Monday, May 29, 2006

At the record store: creepy shyt....

Went to the record store and saw this and it creeped me out: Salam Wreck Featuring Big Proof: Grown Man Sh*t

On the album cover we have Proof(RIP) posing with a big gun on the front and the back of the album. Im not saying its anything like the Seven Day Theory and such.

It just creeps me out that the life he chose to portray was what did him in.........

Saturday, May 27, 2006

NY Subway Series Ends Hip-Hop

Earlier this week, the true roots of hip-hop resurfaced via the Subway Series, a traveling concert made up of dancers, beatboxers, emcees, and singers that perform on an NY subway train.
It was the latest of the series, and will be the last for a while, which is a shame; in an era where hip-hop is plagued with pop-friendly tunes, trashy Paris Hilton collabos, sellouts like Jadakiss and Fat Joe, corny southern snap music, and lack of lyricism, there should be more, not less, of the support which preserves "real rap" and reminds us that true hip-hop really exists.
Pop artists like 50 Cent, Eminem, and Nelly have all contributed to the destruction of hip-hop that was first birthed from constant radio rotation. Have you ever heard a corny rap song that you couldn't stand but then you realized that its constant airplay grew on you? Brainwashing the listeners into thinking a song is hot--even though it's not--is an effective marketing strategy that always works. Not only that, but a kid once asked his teacher, as I read in a magazine years ago, if "Eminem created rap." That was the ending of hope for hip-hop.
So in the event of rap's demise, the only mainstream hip-hop pioneers to be granted an afterlife in rap's heaven would be Nas, Talib Kweli, Mos Def, Common, Dead Prez, to name a few--the only few, which is hardly enough. Nas wasn't lying: hip-hop really is dead.
Cafe Louis

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Game-what is he doing with a Bentley?

I found the news funny about The Game getting in trouble with the law. See SOHH.He was driving his Bentley without license plates. Now, funny as this might be, I have to wonder, is The Game really in that MC class to be getting a Bentley? Bentley driving MCs would include Diddy, Em, 50, TI,Dre and so on. MC's with consistent track records for making hits, being able to branch off into other ventures like movies, owning companies and a sizable fan base. To me, The Game is still iffy. He got his hit record, but one hit a career does not make. He had hit maker 50 behind him for his last album, but for his new album? I hardly see a buzz. If anything, there is more doubt out there about what Game is capable of. To his credit, he did bring back the mid 90s West Coast rap style, but thing is, is that whole style and posture played out? Will there be enough interest in it for his second album? And as for Black Wall Street, I havent seen that produce much. It seems to be Murder Inc. part 2. They even have an female MC named Vida, or is she the same one who did all those records with Ja Rule? I dunno. I think the GAME should have held off on buying a Bentley and maybe waited a couple more years to see if people will still be digging him like they did when he was part of G-Unit.
American Idol...puke! You call this a "idol"?

Being into hip hop and whatnot, I cant help but think, this Taylor Hicks is just mad corny! "American Idol" just proved itself to be whiter than toast. How could anybody think that this guy will make it in today's music industry? I mean, really, even Vanilla Ice could whup this guy's azz. I just dont see him being a real attention grabber.

The American Idol finale had a performance by the amazing Prince (which is what I still call him!). Prince is light years ahead of anybody who has stepped on an American Idol stage! Being I have been into rock music in the past, I was really pulling in the end for that bald headed heavy metal dude named (I think) Chris. If anything, that guy was marketable.

Who is going to "idolize" the new idol? Who is going to buy his music? Who will go to his concerts? Simon has got alot on his hands to actually get a buzz going on this guy. I suppose he'll just drop an album and then just go away. Yeah, ultimately, that will be his fate.

On the real, doesn't that happen to alot of MC's who get the record deal, then you don't even hear from some of them. Like, I remember a freestyle contest a couple of years ago. It was on MTV and had MCs from Rocafella, you know, Beans and Memph Bleek and all them. The winner turned out to be some geeky lyrical cat who got a record deal with the ROC (this was before the whole Jay as prez/Damon Dash thing)and then in the end, the album never got recorded. In short, the A&R's at the ROC probably were like "this aint gonna happen". Then Kanye came out after this contest and blew shyt out the water, making this unknown MC(along with Memph and Beans) irrelevant.

I say all this to say that I look at this corny dude and Im like, America's Idol? Ultimately, the best this guy is going to do is get some part on some Broadway show, or be some drugged out loser performing in Vegas doing show after show in an empty room with half naked cocktail waitresses for an audience of depressed, drunken losers who lost all their money gambling.

He aint going nowhere..........
Blog Roundup

Dag, you know, I just don't get around much, what with how hectic my life of 36 years is. So, its good to see that I can get a blogger round up at About rap regarding what is going on, cuz I sure as hell will admit that I dont know!

From:LiveJournal Hip HopWord is 50 says he'd like to executive produce 2Pac's new album and make sure 2Pac is promoted correctly. 50 also says he's concerned about the direction of 2Pac's material from his last effort. "I mean look at his last album. You can say there was no single and if it was it wasn't released in time and not only that, but it was probably released quietly, where absolutely no one heard about it. How do they expect to make money by doing that if the marketing isn't on point," asked 50.

From:Assimillated Negro:So last night was the first of a two night engagement for The Roots and Company at Radio City Music Hall. The first night had Nas, Common, Talib Kweli on the bill. The second has Erykah Badu, Mos Def, Angelique Kidjo, and R&B duo J. Davey. Which means the first night might be worth the $75-80 beans. But Day2 ... ehh. (UPDATE: this would be true except Day 2 apparently had a ten minute set by Dave Chappelle and a finale with Jay-Z, D'OH!!!)

From:Bitter VibesI just received an email from an angry and obviously, very disgruntled freelance writer regarding The Source Magazine. Apparently, the gangster tactics didn't stop when Dave Mays and Benzino were given the boot

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Oprah Winfrey vs. hip hop

Despite what 50 say, Oprah loves her some hip hop:

"I got a little 50 (Cent) in my iPod. I really do. I like In Da Club. Have you heard the beat to In Da Club? Love that, love Jay-Z, love Kanye, love Mary J. Mary J is one of my friends."

Check it out on Irish Examiner

Monday, May 15, 2006

Say it aint so-Universal had to pay for Big Tymers airplay

"Universal Pays For Big Tymers' Airplay, Settles Payola Lawsuit With NY"

Check it out on SOHH....

And I thought they were that good! It just can't be!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

The real definition of "Snap" Music?

I just figured out like a couple of months ago that the name "Dem Franchise Boyz" has dope boy (ie drug dealer)connotations. Well, what about the whole "snap" music thing that they claim. SOHH blogs offers a distinct definition of "Snap":

1. A style of music originating in the Dirty South. Unlike Crunk music, Snap music has a slower tempo but still talks about clubbin' and strippers (what about bubble gum and candy tho'). It is characterized by the finger snap effect in place of the snare drum. Different people may be able to take credit for originating this style from Fabo, D4L, & Dem Franchise Boys. (Fabo was a member of D4L the last time I checked and since when did he start producing beats)

2. A type of music that is very easy to snap your fingers to, hence its name. its made from simple beats and originated in atlanta, georgia. there is a specific step that people often do, along with the snapping. a good example of snap music would be the song "Laffy Taffy" by D4L.

But as the blogger states-"For the record, I don't call it snap music. I think it's all hip hop and just one of it's many facets. And let's be real, the only people who really call it snap music are those outside of Atlanta."

The definition was made up by the suburbanites at Urban Dictionary. Is there anybody out there that actually takes the "Urban Dictonary" seriously? Its good for 14 year old high school kids but for the rest of us living this reality? I don't think so.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Ghostface vs. NYC?

Recent comment by Ghostface:"I knew New York was wack when they shot my man Amadou Diallo forty-one f-ing times and ain't nobody stand up," Ghost explained. "But if that sh** happen in L.A. somewhere, they would have went to bat for Amadou Diallo. It would have been hell. Stores getting burnt the f up. New York don't stand for nothing."


Friday, May 12, 2006

My hip hop week in review....

Let's see, what happened this week...I finally watched these "Beef" CD's and the Beef IIis the most interesting one. Sometimes those beefs can be so uninteresting, but this CD breaks down some classic beefs. However, at the end of the DVD, I liked how Roxanne Shante broke down how she used some education clause in her contract to get $175,000 in a college education. She didnt have to pay a cent back. Now thats smart, she also got her PHD. Thats hot.

I was always a big fan of Royce the 5'9", but seeing him in the Beef II in a segment about his beef with D12, I now see him as a lil punk. He looked like a poodle or something. I always thought he was a tall scary looking MF. Instead, he looks like a lil girl or something. I still like his music though. But T.I. is right now projecting that whole "living on the edge" vibe, and thats cool, Im digging it. In a gun fight one day, and now he's in jail again. I know the females are getting hot over that. "You been to jail? Can you be my baby's daddy?" Yuck.

I was hearing about Star's(of Star and Buckwild")comments about doing some sick stuff to DJ Envy's daughter. I think this is "Beef" taken to another level. He must've thought he was being "ill", but he went too too far. The morning shows were all condeming him, and Star, he's not really a presence in DC, hes on none of the stations, but I heard his voice a couple times on some mixtapes, and I could tell that even though Cedric Muhammed of Black Electorate likes him (see his Hip Hop Fridays collumn), I just wouldn't be feeling this cat.

Another thing that happened this week that was sad was a little girl who was shot and killed over a rap battle that went bad. Now, my thing is this, why the victims in this case and the target in Star's attack were both little teen girls? The irony is quite chilling, don't you think?

I was bored at work and a thought crossed my head: what ever happened to Fab Five Freddy? I remember that scene in Wild Style were a graf artist friend of his and this journalist both are getting robbed and he sees this as he is getting back to them, this robbery going on. He says "Yo, there's no need for any of this!" Then the robbers apoligize to Fab and say "we didnt know these were your friends!" Now thats juice!

As much as I am open minded, I really think that people are going too far in trying to push this whole "hyphy thing". On my home station, WPGC, they said that in the Bay Area all they play is hyphy.I dunno, this whole hyphy thing, its cool and all, it was explained by the DJ as being a slower version of Baltimore House. On the BET Board they said it was related to ATL Crunk.

Listening to the radio tonite, and hearing some of the corporate endorsed garbage (Dipset, the Clipse, Lil Wayne, etc.)I long for the old days when I used to hear hip hop mixes with Run DMC, the Fat Boys, Kurtis Blow, Whodini, Kool Moe Dee and the Boogie Boys when I was in high school and Tribe Called Quest, Diamond D, Brand Nubian, Common (when he was called Common Sense), De La Soul, and Showbiz and AG amongst many, many others. I miss that kind of music.

Congratulations to the Class of 2006 at Howard University who graduate today. I been out of Howard so long its crazy, but I know how exciting it is. You all dont party too hard!

Is it just me, or does anybody else out there simply not give a f#@% about the NSA monitoring our stupid phone calls? And the Republicans still love him! LOL.Screw 'em all.
Dark times for hip hop

Check out:SOHH:Killa Season

It's spring now, almost summer. The women are looking hot, the sun is shinning, and the weather is so nice. There should be positive vibes in the world despite the gas prices and the ongoing conflict with Iran, damnit...So why is there all of a sudden an onslaught of violence aimed at hip hop stars?

Though none of it is rap related ala Biggie and Tupac, I am getting tired of the depressing violence that seems to be hitting hip hop stars. There was Proof's death last month, rapper Gravy was shot(again)outside the Hot97 studios, Houston rapper Big Hawk was shot and killed, and Hot97 is getting evicted because of the violence outside of its studio! Then you have T.I.'s entourage getting involved in a shooting! Imagine that, the top selling rapper of the summer and his entourage was involved in gunplay. I guess that plenty of rappers have had this type of thing happen; the beef, the disses and the bullets flying, but unlike most hip hoppers, I can't help but think, there is just something that is very wrong with this picture.

These are some crazy times in hip hop. Is this all indicative of rappers and their realness? Is it all about street stuff or the involvement of rappers in "the game" or "the life"? I don't know, but it discourages me in this day and age because you never know when the powers that be will step in (see Snow: Black Underclass Is “Most Dangerous Thing In Our Lifetime) or hip hop will get shut out of another city like it is in Las Vegas, I mean, its just crazy.

In the midst of this dark period in hip hop, here's something encouraging, despite Hot97's eviction, that doesn't stop the Hot97 Summer Jam! Also, check out this inspiring piece on All Hip Hop:What if Hip Hop had a Heaven?
Also-check out RapCella

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

John Eff Kennedy CD review

Having listened to rap since like 1983, I feel I have an ear for talent.In this world we are living in, we got people who are just mad. People call into radio talk shows, they call into TV news shoes, and they are mad. Where is that anger in hip hop? There was more anger at stuff in hip hop like 12 years ago. Now, you got all the same old cliches. You got you dirty south beats and the ice and the cars and the hos, but none of these rappers are talking about how f-d up the world is. And the world is f-d up for hip hop, especially.

Thats why I like rapper John Eff Kennedy. Despite his name, don't think of him as a "political rapper" or as some left wing whiner. In the tradition of Skillz with his Year In Review, John Eff Kennedy has his "2005 Year In Review" where he talks about political stuff, hip hop stuff and he just rips it over that Chris Brown beat. With funny lines like "Its more dangerous than heckling Ron Artest", he makes references to news stories you have to remember before you laugh. He just hits the listener with alot but it still bumps.

This is some serious head music. He's into straight up anarchy and destruction with songs like "Bomb the Hamptons" and "Burn the Mall". However, its not a celebration of violence as much as it is a condemnation of some of the f-d up values we got in this country. Then, the whole career fast track, you know, high school, college and corporate America is parodied in songs like "College (Try It)","I Dont Want To Go To School" and "If You Think Im Working For You Company". John Eff Kennedy is pissed off with all the BS this society defines as "success", and he expresses it in his music.

John Eff Kennedy is into more political ground with "JFK" where he lets you know where he is coming from, and "Trina", about Hurricane Katrina and the governments response to it. With a dope rhyme style, clever lyrics and an intelligent outlook, John Eff Kennedy is sure to get far in the rap industry. But I just don't know, are heads ready?

Check out his music on FunEnder!