A blog about hip-hop, rap music, its trends, and an overall thought about the music an culture, without indulging in gossip. A real set of opinions and discussions, not based on the popular sentiment, but examining and challenging it.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

She Fine- Halle Berry

I gotta admit that I thought Hurricane Chris was done by now but low and behold the young boy comes back with an underground banger, buoyed by the fact he name drops Halle Berry in the song. This new dance craze that's going on, "doing the walk" or whatever it is gave my man second life. I'm actually glad that (so far) Halle's people haven't issued any injunction stopping it from being used. She even danced to it on Ellen which was surprising, I'm not used to seeing Halle's black side. ( I thought David Justice and Wesley Snipes had beat it out of her)



That was Halle if you hadn't seen it. Listening to her I know she's been watching it and practicing that just for the show. Those white girls at the end looked just dumb and didn't take it serious which was real wack. Below is the video from Hurricane himself.




So thats probably one of the best versions of this new style of dance. Now one I don't get it the Rickey Bobby.



Look at this fool right chea:


Here is the guy who made the song:



alright, where yall youtube videos at?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Flunk-Flex is the lamest Jock ever




What's happening people? I'm back again to speak on the lameness that is taking over hip-hop as it continues to rake in money hand over fist. You see, some people who are/were icons and helped hip-hop grow but were often part of the problem are hilarious when the situations start to change. Funkmaster Flex is one of the biggest hypocrites in the game. I would call him gay but he isn't gay and that's an insult to homosexual people. He's more like a big bitch.






Wow why the harsh words? Simply put, Flex is always blabbering his mouth because of what he can benefit from. Now he apparently has problems with some person over at Interscope. I don't have a problem with it, put that dude on blast flex! But then he goes out of his way to make sure that everyone else he thinks is important knows he will still kiss their ass. If you have such a problem with Interscope then go ahead and say it but don't have a list of people who you don't want to piss off. It's like if I have a problem with someone at a particular label or company and the way that company does business I have to understand that once I do it, some of the other people are going to be mad. They work there they should catch an attitude when you're saying you're not going to playing any of their artists unless they come and disassociate themselves with the place they are under contract to.

I don't like the Baltimore urban radio station so I don't listen to it, I really don't care who I know who works there, I'm not going to apologize for it because thats how I feel.

You see Flex has helped create the Interscope monster by riding 50 Cent's dick for the past 5 or 6 years at least. Just check the last round of interviews he gave dude while beefin with Rick Ross. Fif's penis was so far up in Flex I thought he was going to burn down his house next! (yeah I just went there with it)



People like Flex who try to jump and act like they are acting in the best interests of the culture sicken me. He has plenty of time and opportunity to go in on labels and artists but of course, he never does until he thinks he can get a benefit from it. How about we start a ban Flex annoying voice from the radio movement and see how he likes that. I'm sure Steph Lova will be down.




Look here I don't know if this will play but at around 4 minutes and 20 seconds Nas puts it down about Flex, and this is from 2002.

Monday, April 27, 2009

E. ness or Young City who you with?

From the extremely laughable beef department, I had avoided mentioning Chopper City aka Young City ( remember he couldn't keep that name when Making The Band first came out) and E. Ness as they go back and forth flapping their gums. But I mean come on at this point it's gotten really hilarious.

Let's break it down, Young City (for legal reasons) is now located in Detroit. This is because of Katrina he said- although everyone else is either going back or in Houston-somewhere down South. But that's not important I gather- Young Chopper City has been dropping hood jewels in his video war against Ness.

I mean this is one of the latest:



I am going to tell you this, Yeah him and all of his friends put together every dollar they had to make that bankroll- no show is going to pay you in cash like that, especially multiple denominations- that's just retarded. But you know he's real cause Chopper stays in a lil ass house. I mean look at him and dude sittin on that lil ass Love seat. The kind you get from the hood furniture store that operates out of a house that always advertises the lowest prices anywhere. I know there is a black lacquer table in that house. It is all good though but he says he has mixtapes out- I haven't seen any so I will be on the lookout for those. Am I wrong or did he spit on the floor near the end of the video? The dude is smart though, putting the focus on Wayne who abhors confrontation.

I almost forgot the most infamous video of all The Choppa Suit:



The Suit even has it's own website visit the site here. If you just want a definition to tell your friends what a Chopper suit is, you can get it here.

-Thats the last one from Choppper.



Ness on the other hand was always one of the best in the band when it came to lyrics. He is a Philly cat and you knew that he was grimey and had street credentials. You might have caught him back to doing battles and really putting his name out there as a battle rapper as well with the World Series of Hip-Hop battle series. You could have caught him on several world star videos putting in work.

Check Ness:


What Ness has on his side is a healthy dose of reality for Chopper. Ness has facts on his side about a lot of things and I gotta ride with facts. Then he still talks to his other old Band members which also is a sign to me that he keeps it real.



Also, Ness actually raps and doesn't do a bad job after he runs off at the yap.



and last, let's hear what Ness thinks about the suit:




Ness vs. Chopper who you got?

and by the way- where is this Choppa at?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Album Review- Asher Roth- Asleep in the Bread Aisle





So the second greatest white hope has finally arrived. That doesn't mean that this is the second white rapper or even that Asher is the second best white rapper, I still give that to Bubba Sparxx, but he is the second with the marketing muscle behind him to actually have expectations. To be sure either Ash Roth is already accepted or looked at with extreme skepticism, not much in between, so after the controversy and angry militants claiming he is the new Elvis here to steal our culture, his debut finally drops.




Ash starts off with "Lark on My Go-Kart" a fun romp that really when taken together doesn't make much sense. With a a flow and voice that is closest to Marshall Mathers than any other white artist to date, Ash does little to differentiate himself initially. He has a lot of silly metaphors and descriptions that he uses but unlike Em's dysfunctional upbringing, Asher gives us the college kid perspective. This is full of drinking games like beer pong which he mentions on "I Love College" and smoking weed ,"Blunt Cruisin'". This is where Asher lets us know he isn't Eminem. We could never imagine Em making a song about college.



Like most artists who don't create album filler by talking about selling dope and fucking bitches, it seems as though it could be a struggle sometimes to come up with suitable subject matter for songs. "La Di Da" is a song about relieving stress, "Sour Patch Kids" is a criticism of American greed. The beat is hot and the flow on this track is worth mentioning.



The slip-ups show up with "Lion's Roar" which features New Kingdom on the hook and Busta Rhymes who performs solidly on the beat. Asher's part falls short because he tries to talk a lil greasy but otherwise for most hardcore rap listeners (or maybe it's just the people who like commercial rap) will be turned off because the song is in fact, different. "Bad Day" also attempts to be humorous while telling a story but the jokes aren't there.




"His Dream" Is Asher's attempt to talk about the relationship between his father and himself. Now this song is boring, but it's a good song. The fact of the matter is that it is touching but it is hard to dramatize a normal life and most people want to hear the exaggerations though someone like myself could relate to that more than a Jay-z who didn't know his pops. I am feeling "She Don't Wanna Man" which features Keri Hilson. I can see that this should be the next single, not much lyrically but it's catchy as hell. "Be By Myself" features vocals from Cee-lo and Chester French back up Asher as he does a song about how Eminem has affected his life as a white rapper on "As I Em" which is worth listening to.

Overall, Asher has promise. Some people complain because they think he is a marketing creation with no love for the culture, but so are Gucci Mane, Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, and countless other "rappers" who are in the game now. Asher has potential but he needs to direct his concepts just a little better to craft a truly great album, this one is merely good.

Rating: 3.5/5

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Album Review- Rick Ross- Deeper than Rap

Before I start this let me say I hate Rick Ross. I am serious, I think the guy is lame and that he is just another "image" creation by the machine who doesn't have much merit when it comes musically. I know I'm a special sort, who actually wants to hear something different from an artist by the time the third album comes around, sue me. However I am forced to give Ross some credit for what he has put forth on this album "Deeper than Rap."


What Ross doesn't lack is excellent production and a damn good flow over the beats that he chooses. His flow is much better than let's say a Jadakiss and he even speeds it up on occasion showing he actually tries something when it comes to rap which is always a good thing.



When it comes down to subject matter, Ross has one, being rich from Coke. He handles that with verve. Ross does weave believable descriptions of the kingpin lifestyle with an extensive list of different ways to ball or stunt outrageously. Need examples? "Mafia Music" and "Maybach Music pt 2" open up the album on that note, with the latter featuring Kanye- who as usual tries too hard to fit in with the thugs, T-Pain's obligatory appearance, as well as Lil' Wayne (who mentions he is sitting in the asshole of the Maybach, wtf is up with that?). This theme continues with "Rich off Cocaine" (so creative), and "Gunplay". Ross mixes greasy talk with the luxury lifestyle in most of his songs.



The second variety of song Ross has is the Kingpin Sugar Daddy role that he is trying to fill since Biggie and Pun aren't around anymore. For this he enlists everyone from John Legend on the second single "Magnificent", Robin Thick eand The Dream, in what makes even more awkward pairings than the John Legend appearance, and of course Ne-yo. If you heard one you have heard them all.

As far as other rappers, Nas continues his southern defjam starring tour on "Usual Suspects" which overall is one of the better tracks on the entire album. Trina shows up for the lame sexual record "Face" and Foxy Brown makes an appearance on "Murder Mami" which is one of my least favorite songs on the album as it seems to encompass what I don't like about Ross with the worst of what Foxy Boogie is capable of.

Now I seem negative but oh well. I prefaced this by saying I'm not feeling Ross. If you check my earlier blog posts you will see where I say how an album title needs to relate to the music that makes up said album and Ross doesn't come through on his promise to show that it is "Deeper Than Rap". There is plenty of chance to dedicate some songs to his motivation to selling crack and to speak his story but Ross chooses to simply paint the life of a drug dealer in glamorous Miami Vice terms. I can't stand it but overall the album is a decent listen if you are into that type of thing.

Rating: 3/5

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Album Review- Mims- Guilt



So a couple of years ago I guess we got hit by this dude who had a catchy single that spawned reggae remixes and was one of the biggest ringtone hits of the year when Mims released "This is Why I'm Hot". The following LP, "Mims - Music Is My Savior" didn't do much commercially but it wasn't bad. Looking at the results of that, it's safe to say that Mims wasn't in the greatest sophomore position, but with low expectations it's easy to avoid calling it a slump.



The first single was the catchy "Move" whose catchy beat and chorus show that Mims hasn't forgotten how to craft a decent single. Radio play for it is less than it probably should be, I mean why play someone other than Lil' Wayne? But this type of song isn't limited to the official single,"Makin Money", though a trite concept keeps the hook simple and provides an open break beat. I also like "On and On" as a possible single.


However on "Love Rollercoaster" he tries to freak the same beat as Terror Squad did on "Let me take you home", it works but they did it better. "In My Life- Why oh Why" could have been better because he uses the second half of the title more and it gets annoying. He also shouldn't not have tried to do the sing-song thing "One Day", that was a failure.

Mims shows a little bit of depth "One Last Kiss" and "Heal Me". Overall Mims is a lot better of a rapper than I gave him credit for. I will admit I was sleeping especially when Charlamagne got at him on the radio to step his game up. I can see why he was upset, dude has tremendous potential but cant seem to get the break that he deserves and needs.

Rating: 3/5

Monday, April 20, 2009

A Real Show.

So I'm watching a video of Capone n Noreaga performing from their second cd, "The Reunion" and it is taken from live footage. I realize I can't find where the dudes even are amongst the crowd of people on the damn stage. I love some CNN but that right there annoyed me.



Now they aren't the only people who fall victim to this sort of performance issue. It is incredibly annoying to not know where the guy who is actually "rapping" is. These dudes do not need to be on the stage if they aren't doing anything. these guys aren't back-up dancing, breathing fire or anything to help add to the show.



Second problem, one that Ross especially seems to have, is a mixture of sound mixing and a lack of performance ability. For one the biggest fallacy in a club is that the speakers must all be completely turned up to the highest level. This may work while there is just music playing, but if someone is on the mic then the vocals need to be turned up differently than the music or you can't hear shit. This is especially important when you have 8 non-relevent people on stage or you have the whole record playing behind you because you cannot perform without it. One hype man may work but the normal record and 6 other dudes with mics isn't going to help the performance.

If you're going to perform with a DJ, and a hypeman you need to treat every show like a major tour especially if you want my money.



Or you can do something like what Jay has done here, hire a band and do something that it different from the usual.



Now Jay is the rare artist that can just show up and have the crowd be excited. The main reason I go to a concert is to get a great show from an artist I am feeling. Going to the Best of Both Worlds Tour was ill just because the atmosphere was crazy as everyone was feeling the show going on. I don't think most people feel this way at most of the shows they go to, they are more interested in being seen. I just don't see where the connection with most of the newer artists is.

Pretty much, I'm saying if you want to perform live, you need to be serious about it and treat every show like it is special. People are paying their hard earned money so that they can take in the live atmosphere, give them something to talk about. Taking your shirt off is not what does it, you need more than that. Let me know how you feel?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Whats in a name?

One of the possible details that can be overlooked when albums an album is thought of, recorded, and released is the title. Some of them make a stir and are intentional like last year when Nas decided to title his disc "Nigger".


Unfortunately it never came to fruition due to label and retail bureaucracy and we were left with:



It's funny, a close associate of mine was joking with me about who should have albums of certain names because they could potentially cover the theme well. Wouldn't it have been better if Jeezy had done that album and Nas done "The Recession"? It's not like any of Jeezy's songs actually had anything to do with the recession. Probably the best example of this is this new Flo Rida album:



Who in the hell told this dude it was okay for him to do an album and call it R.O.O.T.S. ? I don't give a damn what he makes it an acronym for the shit is a waste of a great concept. Common or Talib could have pulled this off with little effort and it would make sense.



Then you got this fake ass Che Guevera, Nino Brown wanna-be doing an album called New Jack City 2. Now I'm normally a supporter of Bow cause I don't see how he is really bothering anyone, but this is a no-no. The album relates nothing to Nino Brown nor the movie so why try to make the connection or allusion?



Ludacris on the other hand, uses the movie/television theme to cover the entire spectrum of his album and correctly takes the theme for each song from a specific movie, creating a great metaphor overall for the album. You actually have to think of how the songs relate to each other to get it.




In terms of irony, T.I. might just win for his latest, after all he recorded and released it after getting caught by the ATF trying to buy illegal weapons. Fittingly, he at least talks about his recent trials and tribulations on the album so it makes sense.


I'll be on the lookout for more great and terrible album titles. Let me know what some of the best (and worst) album titles you can think of.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Twitting with Chamillionaire

Hanging on the latest web obsession, twitter, reading some of the questions posted by Houston rapper Chamillionaire and the subject came up of being a successful artist. Chamillionaire asked if an artist could be successful if he or she only focuses on their core or original audience. There are a lot of things to think about the first of which is, from whose perspective is this success being measured. You see each person has a different defChamillionaireinition of success. Some people (most i seem to see now) define success on possessions, money, and in the terms of music, crossover success; this means being able to get onto pop or top40 radio instead of just urban radio. Using this logic is Flo Rida more successful than Eminem because he gets play on both urban radio and pop stations while Em can't get played on black stations.






If I was an artist, to get a solid core of fans who enjoy the music that I make would be much more important to my feelings of success than to have millions of fickle listeners who love me one day then throw me away at the end of the month because a new person has dropped something new and hot. Artists like Redman, Nas, Ghostface, Trick Trick, and even Trick Daddy and B.G. may not have the largest legions of fans, but one can argue that they are more loyal and thus more likely to be supportive of their endeavors in a myriad of arenas. To have the respect and know that that respect gives you loyalty and support even when you misstep is truly more valuable than a quick buck isn't it?

As a fan, I feel that artists that are able to convey a feeling to me are a success regardless of the amount of units they sell or spins that they get on the radio. Would I like for them to be successful so that others can get the feeling I get from their music? Yeah but truthfully I can't control what others do. I can only voice my opinion and hope that it is able to make a difference int he way someone perceives the music. I get angry when artists like Maino, Dead Prez, Kweli and Busta Rhymes can't get any love but thats all that I can do.






Will they keep making music? Some will and some won't but in this day and age the actual cost of making music has dropped so much that their is a wealth of content to fill in those gaps when someone gives it up. The trouble is finding it, but if you keep your ears open, it will find you, I just learned about Nipsey Hussle about a month ago as well as Crooked I's greatness and now I am a fan so for me there is hope.



So the question we must ask ourselves as fans, is does the amount of people who like an artist other than us determine that artists success and our continued support. What are your thoughts?

Stop Lying Keri



Point blank she lying and backtracking. First of all she talking about it wasn't official because it came out when the song was dying down...thats when you bring out a remix. No one brings out a remix while their song is still popping. The logic doesn't make any sense at all, the whole point is to get more interest back in the song and the artist in general. Then she saying oh no, it's not specific, whatever. Listen to the lyrics on the song and it has to be directed at someone especially when she explains that she is trying to go at the people who have been "hating" on her, whatever hating is. Why would Polow even record vocals over the track if he wasn't trying to instigate and get more hype behind it? that was his intent, you should have just run with it Keri cause you can't do stuff like that then try to act like it never happened, we the public are not that stupid.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Wack Rapper Series: Chingy

Now we all have lists of great rappers, top 5 dead or alive, top tens and g.o.a.t.s . There is always attention also paid to wack rappers. Let's start to highlight these dudes and find out if they truly are wack and why?


Let's start off with St. Louis resident Chingy, and let's just say he isn't going to be the only St. Louis rapper who would make my list. Now Ching-a-ling never considered himself the best although he did have a short lived feud with Nelly. He was a party starter to an extent, though in my mind that doesnt excuse an artist from having decent lyrics. Let's see Chingy's verse from "Holidae Inn"


Peeps call me up {*phone ring*} said it's a ho-tel party
Just bring the liquor there's already eight shawties
I'm on my way (way) let me stop by the store
Get a 12 pack of Corona, plus an ounce of 'dro, ya know?
Now I'm on highway 270 needin' Natural Bridge Road
I'm already blowed, hit third I'm a get blowed some mo'
Pulled up, stop parked, rims still spinning
Valet look like he in the game and must be winning
To room 490 I'm headed, on my way up
There's three girls on the elevator like "wassup"
I told em follow me they knew I had it cracking B
One said "ain't you that boy that be on BET?"
"Ya that's me, Ching-a-ling equipped wit much ding-a-ling"
Knock on the door I'm on the scene of things
Busted in, Henny bottle to the face!
Fuck it then, feel like my head a toxic waste
There's some pretty girls in herre, I heard em whispering
Talking bout "that's that dude that sing 'Right Thurr' he glistening"
I ain't come to talk (talk) I ain't come to sit (sit)
What I came for was to find out who I'm gon hit, aww shit

Wow, such depth. But let's look at a later song with him and Rick Ross:

Look, check
Hey I'm so flossy I can wear the Dental package
The Range Rover sweet, 'cause it got a lotta racket
Our (') lost faith, now I call it Chingy Magic
Look the other way nigga when you see me in traffic
Hello, 22's is cool
Feel like I graduated, throwin y'all still in school
Look, mellow they call me Young Smooth
'Cause my appearance alone will get your girl in a mood, shoot
I know they like the color on the Chrys'
'Cause I'm gettin it hell, put some colors in the ice
That's ballin, go 'head, gamble with your life
And I'ma {*gunshots*) turn your head to some dice
Hood up partner, you niggaz goin straight broke
Tryna keep up with my whips, I don't pay a damn note
No, no you fake hustlers are a joke
Huffin old ass fool should have came with a remote
What the fuck is Chingy magic? I mean don't get me wrong, One call away rocked but only because Jason Weaver did his thing on the hook. Chingy also is blessed with the most annoying rap voice ever,which sounds like a cross between a chain saw and a dirt bike.



You're not going to tell me that shit doesn't hurt ya ears. At least he turned it down some as he moved on and continued recording. However, as I listened to this, this song featuring Tyrese sounded exactly the same as One call away, but you be the judge as I welcome Chingy into the hall of shame.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Classic Material?

Now in today's climate is is very hard to determine what a hit is. It's not harder however to determine what a classic "album" is. By definition, there are more mixtapes and collections of songs than albums now, however, these all can be considered "albums" in a loose sense. There isn't very many people who can present to me the idea that there are as many classic albums now as there were in the previous two eras in hip-hop.

This comes up for me because I just read a little press release about Saigon in hiphopgame.com where he discussed his new venture with Amalgam Digital. In this little blurb, Saigon makes one mistake in my opinion, saying that he is going to follow up a classic disc "Warning Shots" with "Warning Shots 2". Opinions held by fans and hardcore mixtape fanatics who live near you don't make an album classic. Classic albums are hard to come by. In fact the last classic album I can remember is by the man everyone loves to hate, 50 Cent.



Let's talk about what makes an album a classic.

1. The album has to stay something in a creative an energetic manner. The artist has to convey some feeling and his persona in a believable manner.
2. The beat selection must compliment the songs and lyrics. The beats have to convey the same feeling and message that the album has. Thug Motivation had great beats but in my opinion was trite and repetitive when it came to lyrics and actual songs themselves.
3. An overall theme is always a good thing. The album works best when it tells a story or at least represents a certain portion of the artists life. For an example, see "Ready To Die" , you get an accurate portrayal of Biggie's early life.



4. Straight up lyrics and good music. An album where the artist isn't putting forth some type of lyrical content is a waste of beats. You have to use all of the different writing and poetic techniques available. If you're not using things like alliteration, metaphors, similes, and varied rhyme schemes.
5. You Have to be believable and original. There are a lot of artists out there who may be nice lyrically but I just don't believe their subject matter completely. Fabolous and Jadakiss immediately come to mind. These two consistently refer to selling dope in the same manner all of the time with little depth to it. You need to have some type of originality to your perspective. Just telling me how you sell weight constantly isn't giving me a unique take on the hood perspective.

Basically these are the five things that need to be included into a classic album. The artist has to take these elements and take his game to the next level in order to have a classic album. The songs need to be closely related yet there needs to be some sort of variety which is what makes it hard as hell to make a classic.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The karaoke generation

Hip-hop has long been a place where the best were allowed to showcase their talents in the musical arena. You have to be good at something and individuality was always given respect and props. It seems that since the late 90's lyrical innovation, which was at the time, the ultimate show of skill, has given way to what I like to call the karaoke generation.

This new generation of artists is not making any attempt to push the edges of expression through lyricism and the work that it entails. Most artists now are content to let catchy beats and hooks do all of the work while adding little if anything to the "songs" themselves. I have to use "songs" in this manner because truly are these songs? There are verses but they ring hollow with little meaning or difference between them. I mean you can take any three Lil wayne songs and mix up the verses and never know the difference. Take Jeezy and Rick Ross and mash them together and you get the same thing every time.

Even worse to me than Jeezy or Wayne is the new fad of people who have no rapping ability at all being allowed to make records and getting radio spins. OJ da Juiceman is the worst person I have ever heard. I'm not a rapper, I can't be, however, I am so much better than he and Gucci Mane that it pisses me off. Who can't do what they do? I think that rappers should have some type of elitist attitude when it comes to what they do. A pianist isn't going to practice for 30 years only to allow someone who bangs on the keys to do symphonies. There is a lack of respect for the artistry of hip-hop by a lot of these guys. They're only in it for the buck and that is disrespectful to the rich history of hip-hop.



There is no way you can justify to me why that shit is allowed to be played. You are telling me that none of his friends said this shit is wack? Where is the responsibility? Yet if Nas, or Krs-1, or Ice-T says something to these guys they are labeled as old and a hater because they uphold a standard. I understand you want to applaud a guy for getting out of the drug game (possibly) and doing something that is less detrimental (again, not a guarantee) to the community but he doesn't have to be a rapper. He could be a C.O....(and by the way when did becoming a C.O. get you on the police force?). But back to OJ, how is he even describing the hood in which he grew up? What do we get from listening to "Make the Trap Aye!"?

Soulja Boi is not immune to this as well. Look at him and Arab. Watch the hilarious "beef" between him and bow wow where Bow takes the time to school Soulja on staying in his lane. I have no problem with Soulja and his juvenile music because it is for juveniles, except when he's talking greasy and/or behaving like a tough guy. Same thing with this one hit ass wonder Vic. Find the get silly remix and listen to him talk about someone getting shot, then Bun B comes with a lame verse to co-sign the wackness that preceded him.

I have surmised that people have come to like this music for a simple reason, they feel like they can do it so they don't mind singing along. At some point, the music must have been so deep that it made people frustrated that they couldn't do it or understand it at the very first listen. People had to be jealous of rappers for their ability to control the English language. How else do you explain this nonsense? I'll be waiting for responses on this joint.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

What happened to Houston?

It wasn't that long ago that the Southwest was coming up due to it's independent grind and the long work put in by artists like Scarface and UGK. Fueled by the explosion in Lousiana rap, the progression to the area just South of Cali seemed to complete the full hip-hop coverage of the map. All at once, Paul Wall, Mike Jones, Lil' Flip, Chamillionaire and Slim Thug threatened to take over the game the way the Miami rap scene has.



I mean this was my shit. These dudes weren't lyrical for the most part. But they were like a continuation of the "Bling-Bling" era of hip-hop. Talking about the woodgrain, and you cant be anymore hood rich than the burberry print on the bottom of the little jag. They represented the party feel of the time, but maybe it was a lack of ability to adapt, or the realities caught up to the world as George Bush was elected for the second time, but dudes fell off of the national scene hard.



Even the styles seemed to fall off hard. The above video for "Grillz" I think played a huge role in the downfall. It was the last straw for people who saw these few people as trendy or fads with no serious staying power, well that and Slim Thug.



Not to say Slim by himself killed the scene, however the immense hype that was generated with his signing to Star Trak to work with the Neptunes and subsequent "failure" of the album to amass major commercial sales probably put the kibosh on a lot of artist development from the area. Labels had to feel it was a risk to sign these artists to lucrative deals, and using their independent mind-set, they aren't going to sign some wack deal.

The death of DJ Screw also had a negative effect and the "new" Bun B hasn't seemed to do anyone any favors, as he mentions "grippin wood-grain" more than Young Dro mentions "chevy's and the movie Lean on Me".

Chamillionaire has managed to try and carve out a niche by being more lyrical and creative with his music, however, in today's karaoke market, it's hard to move units when people can't keep up with what you're saying, just ask Twista.

(editors note I could only find the uncut version of this next video which isn't really safe for work so please don't click it and get yourself fired-we're in a recession and some of you all are thisclose to being cut loose anyway.)



It's funny, because I thought Mike Jones was going to be the worst rapper I ever heard, I really thought that he was the bottom line for bad rappers. That and Paul Wall, but apparently the hip-hop community saw fit to prove me wrong and introduce Gucci and OJ the Juice man. But anyway shout out to H-town for holding it down.