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.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Bow wow is still plenty popular...

I was amazed to watch this Bow wow "Everywhere I go" video on worldstar and see how many people still show up to his club dates. Women still fight over his shirts and he still makes money, even though he hasn't put out a successful album in quite a few years. I've never been a Bow wow hater, I remember when he first arrived and my sister was jamming to:



Let me tell you Bow wow's earlier stuff was better because it wasn't based around him talking about his money and sounding just like everyone else in the industry today. It was also more polished of a sound which I attribute to Jermaine Dupri's stewardship. The flow was better but it wasn't his.



Now this is the new bow wow whom I think should have not gotten tatted up ridiculously and worked on acting because he could have really been huge, but I have said all of this before. The biggest thing I have to wonder is how the hell can he still be so popular yet not be able to sell any records?



Look Bow wow is one of the most followed rappers on twitter and one of the most searched online. I look at the stats for my own blog posts and one with Bow wow is consistently in the top five of all looked at and I get so confused. One of my twitter peoples (I don't like to consider him a follower), @Mykewayne , feels that one reason Bow can't sell records is that he throws it into the faces of people who  would potentially buy his music as do most artists now. That's a real issue.

Bow wow isn't the only one, but he lacks the credibility that Jay-z and apparently Wayne and Baby have. I personally can't figure out why, especially in the case of Wayne and Baby. If you listen to Wayne's earlier music there was much more content and authenticity, though not as much talk of balling and such, or being a killer himself for that matter. Why, because he isn't a damn killer. Yet he gets away with the image of such for whatever reason. Bow wow apparently cannot do that, yet because the industry is focusing on the showing off and bragging he goes along.

This is a real problem for the hip-hop game. At some point the listener gets tired of being told how we are lames because we have jobs, don't have quarter million dollar cars and don't pop multiple bottles in the club. You try to enjoy yourself yet if you get some alcohol that isn't the popular one at the time, you're going to be made into a social pariah. Remember when Jay-z talked down about the 4.0 Range Rovers vs the 4.6 on Imaginary Players? Same shit. It's an issue that is growing more tiresome as these artists become more outlandish in their portrayals of excess.


Fact, you're not better than me because you're rich, and that's not just for rappers, but also executives, lottery winners, politicians. Stop flaunting your wealth and telling me all of the reasons why a regular person, who supports you, in essence, creating your wealth is a loser or nothing or you will suffer the same fate. The people you pass on the ladder up will be the same ones you see on the way back down.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Watch The Throne...for what?

So by the time this post hits, "Otis" will have been banged and rocked until people are sick. I know the club is gonna have enjoyed this one over the weekend. Let me say this, on a second listen, I like it a little better as a single song, however,as a preview of an album I think about the trash that was "H.A.M." and how this song has no point. Until the last verse by Kanye when he starts doing silly shit again I can actually enjoy this and I think Jay does do fine when talking greasy on this joint as he is prone to doing.

I just don't want to keep hearing this, especially from Jay-z. I liked the Kingdom Come progression he was going on but lately Jay has gotten a bit lazy with his concepts. As probably one of only a few guys who can actually push the culture and get respect he should be moving things forward and regressing to completely talking about how much "swag" he has. I don't know, all I can say is that the Blueprint 3 and American Gangster were both subpar by Jay-z standards though if it were Jeezy or somebody it would be cool.

Just this, Watch the Throne is not something I'm checking for except for the fact that it is an actual album and not many have been released this year.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Consequence throwing shots

Get More: MTV Shows

So I got this from my newest associates over at ISocialite as I looked to see what new things are going on on a Saturday morning. So Consequence who is somewhat well-known as a behind the scenes guy who has put out some music of his own is apparently livid at Pusha T of the Clipse. Apparently, he thinks Pusha jacked him for a concept on his latest mix tape. At the end he also takes a shot at Kanye saying that he is next.

This could be something good even though I'm not a Consequence fan. He has been around for a long time so he is an industry veteran but these days to say someone bit a concept thats out on a mix tape is just reason for a shrug. maybe I've become used to so much 'music' being put out that I hear something like that and it doesn't really do anything for me. This is just bound to happen. Check the XXL where they have the rhyme borrower section every month, there is always something ridiculous that shouldn't even count in there because the song being 'borrowed' from is like three weeks old or something.


Either way, it will be interesting to see how Jay-z protects Kanye this time, because we all know Jay isn't going to let that cash cow get anything wrong with it.

Friday, July 22, 2011

White rappers and the N-word

So I listened to the V-nasty again...I forgot which white girl rapper it was. Funny, if you notice a few weeks ago, I posted about the desire for there to be a successful white female rapper to take off where Eminem started. Right after, Kreayshawn popped up from the Bay area with "Gucci, Gucci" and a day or so later, V-nasty appeared on world star with the following freestyle:




Just because here is "Gucci, Gucci":



So both of these females are supporting each other (are they actual sisters?) and coming from an area that is known as a niche and trying to expand. The issue most people have is that in their music, they are known to drop the word 'nigga'. Black folks immediately seem to be shitting their draws over this, I'm here to say one thing-get over it.

We don't 'own' the word, it was derived from the French word negre and stuck as the derogatory term for us black people in the country for years. It was adapted and over the past 60 years or so, the meaning for the most part has been changed especially when used int he social context as slang as you see in most rap songs. Saying "that's my nigga right there" is a different term from a slave-owner using it and yes the 'er' does make a difference as it takes the contempt and disrespect from the word. As it is today, when you look at hip-hop and its influence it seems patently obvious that people who grow up listening to hip-hop will eventually use the slang associated with it regardless of race.

It's 2011 and fortunately or unfortunately depending on how you see things more of the generations starting with mine (I'm almost 30) and following are identifying less with their racial features and more with the group of people they live around and share likes with. The spread of music and migration of people into more diverse communities has made the traditional lines harder to see and older people often are somewhat confused by this. It might be easier if I tell you the exact two moments that made me, a person who has never experienced that real,true racism, understand that the word nigger or nigga was not the same as it had been just a scant 15-20 years earlier.

Incident one was during the Blueprint Lounge tour. This was the first time I saw Jay-z live and was excited. During the show, I noticed that the crowd was at least 75% white. The music for "Nigga What, Nigga Who" came on and I wondered, would the entire venue just get quiet when the hook came on or would this mob of white kids be bold enough to say the dreaded "n" word. My answer came immediately, they didn't give a fuck. It was in the song, they weren't talking down to anyone and they were feeling the music. The second was while my friend and I were working for Red Bull Energy drink on the Mobile Energy Team. We were for a long time, the only two black people there and on one of our shifts we stopped at a Royal Farms on Washington Boulevard. We were approached by a group of white teens who asked for Red Bull by saying "Can we get some Red Bull, niggas is thirsty". We looked at each other, knowing we weren't thirsty and apparently, not the only 'niggas' in the area. After that, the word nigger or nigga will never affect me. It's no longer racial for generations of people, it's cultural.



This brings me back to V-nasty. If you watch the above video with her and the ultimate coon Riff-Raff, you can see all the traits of stereotypical niggas. The gold teeth, tattoos, exaggerated ignorance are all hallmarks of what you would consider niggas. They're not making a mockery either, you can tell, they're just like that. That's what is cool to them. Watching their videos-they're real-ignorant that is."Nigga" means the same as dude or guy now in the majority of instances. So if you're under 30, and almost definately in an urban area, if someone is calling you "nigga" even if they're angry, it's probably not racism.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Damn...I can't knock the breakfast Club though...

Look I like Charlamagne the God and he's probably right about Lil Mama needing to really do some more because she gets arrogant and cocky. Her list of accolades is very short, however I do believe that because she isn't sexy and in the "in" crowd or what Young Money is doing she doesn't get promoted in any type of way. Her album was better than Nicki Minaj's because it was actually about something and an album that could be used to move people into a positive direction.





Unfortunately, what the God talked over was that the same bullshit always occurs with the music industry and what albums and songs get pushed on radio. They can keep telling her to say it in her music, but once she records it, whose job is it to get it to the masses. The Breakfast club isn't about to say they're not playing a Nicki Minaj song for a Lil Mama song because they don't have the power. The money is behind a certain type of act and if you're not in the cool club, you're left out to starve. I said this before when everyone was cracking jokes about her going on stage with Jay-z.

As far as his first question about people with attitudes who don't deserve them I have a list:

Amber Rose
Nicki Minaj
Drake
Kid Cudi
Big Sean
Ace Hood
DJ Khaled
Wale

You see, much like Mama, none of these people have a track record of quality. Khaled puts out the same thing time after time and thus is useless. Who else needs to earn their arrogance?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Album Review- DJ Khaled- We the Best Forever

So the southern replacement for DJ Clue is back with yet another compilation, this time, not on Def Jam but further affiliated with Young Money/Cash Money which I guess  means he is no longer the president of def Jam south (?). DJ Khaled is back with his yearly compilation of the same artists with similar beats. Not looking for a cohesive album, this should be a decent collection of street/radio singles that most people will undoubtedly bump.

The big single of the moment is "I'm On One" with Drake, Rick Ross, and Lil' Wayne. The hook and pre-chorus by Drake are cool, but he and Wayne's verses aren't as good as Ross' thanks mostly to his flow. "Money" features Ludacris and Jeezy, aka, the two guys who helped start this new South movement that Khaled and crew seem to not really deal with in a lame attempt to fit in. which is followed by "I'm Thuggin" which is going to get major play in clubs and big whips with dark tints even though Wacka Flocka has the misfortune of being paired with Ace Hood on the track.



Unlike most of his albums, Khlaed goes to add some R and B flavor with "It Aint Over Til Its Over" which was premiered at this year's BET awards and features Fabolous, Mary J. Blige and Jadakiss. Mary does fine with the throwback track, but Jada and Fab add nothing. Chris Brown, Keyshia Cole, and Ne-yo sing on "Legendary" which should see considerable airplay on a number of outlets. The feel goes back to the hip-hop on "Sleep When I'm Done" with Cee-Lo handling hook duties alongside Busta Rhymes and The Game.


Unfortunately, the surprises end with the T-pain and Birdman feature-"Can't Stop" which is more of the same 'ballin' on the haters' music that Baby is famous for. For the third year, Khaled does a song with the "future" of rap called "Future" which once again features Ace Hood-who is never going to blow, Wale, who had one of the best written and complete albums of the past couple of years, and sort of newcomers, Vado, Big Sean and yelling ass Meek Mill. Akon and B.O.B. sort of lighten the mood up with "My Life", but strangely at this point I prefer T-pain to Akon, the guitars on the track do bring a different life to it.

Khaled is brought into an obligatory Young Money track with Tyga, Jae Millz, Kevin Rudolp (really?) Cory Gunz, and Mack Maine called "A Million Lights" which is the most forgettable track on the album. The album also boasts both the original "Welcome to My Hood" as well as the remix in which T-pain, Busta Rhymes, and Twista go off, and Jadakiss has the absolute worst.


Going into a Khaled album you know what you're getting, similar beats, the same features and damn near the same lyrics about nothing but ballin' bustin guns, and being the illest trap-boy ever. There is nothing to figure out either you like it or you don't and for the most part the album ends up being forgettable once it all blends together because too much is the same. Production as usual is pretty tight except for the song that was designed to bring in Kevin Rudolph's pop guitar stylings which is way more out of place than the r and b changes of pace. Possibly if Khaled weren't obsessed with trying to get Ace Hood over and adding the awkward Wale flow a slot could have been found for Pill who fits better or maybe another handout for Plies of Fat Joe to placate two guys who helped create Khaled who is apprently done with his older terror squad affiliation.

Rating: 3/5

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Rock Solid...just that indeed

So on today's plethora of world star nonsense I was able to find something that I might consider a gem. This artist-Rock Solid, decided to put out a diss to Lupe Fiasco for his greasy talk about Barack Obama. A lot of disses are just stupid and lame hood beef but this one has a little bit more of a purpose. Now do me a favor-watch this, and do not be turned off by the 'skit' he does because there is something good here.




 I know you'll want to laugh but lyrically he is solid, maybe not the best but above average. The real treat is the actual song that comes at the end  of the video for the song "Crazy Life". I can tell you what, finding a song like that makes digging through a lot of the independent and amateur rappers worthwhile. Now I hit his youtube page and he has a lot of the same things where you see some talent there but he needs someone to help harness and bring it out to the fullest.

For instance, he is sometimes too predictable and simple with his rhyme schemes but he has a natural charisma. He is also a little too swole but I would rather listen to him than Red Cafe any day. Give him some top notch quality with production, mixing, and video promotion and you'll have something because I think he would naturally be a better artist just by going through that process.

Also videos like "Don't" where he goes off on a skit about Haters don't really add much. I see it got views on World Star but this isn't the promotion you really want especially because it is presented as being real but is so obviously staged. Point being, this is where some good video production values and equipment would really help if this is an idea that must be executed.


Look listen and tell me what you think, believe me I'm not 'dissing' but there are things that can be fixed or made better so that this guy can become the artists I'm sure he feels that he is already.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Keepin it Real Goes Wrong pt. 2

So new thing in hip-hop today is Wacka dumb ass Flocka Flame saying he is going to quit rap at the end of this year because the game is so fake. Let me be the first to say -Good bye and don't let the door hit you where the good lord split you!



Look I would love to ask Wacka one question, "What did you expect the game to be?". You're an entertainer, dog, what are you talking about. You rap about murder and selling drugs neither of which you are doing at the moment. It's like Hulk Hogan saying that wrestling isn't real. Nah, let me change that because Hogan is at least an icon, he's like Jay-z or Nas, Wacka Flacka is like fucking Kevin Nash saying that he is done with wrestling-guess what homie nobody gives two shits.

The funny part is this radio host is trying so hard to present to him some love but that's the exact thing he is talking about. People talking about fans, Wacka doesn't have no damn fans, he has people who like a couple of his joints. You want to know who has fans? Wayne has fans, Eminem, these guys are established and have people who will cop whatever they put out before they buy a sandwich with their last dime. Know who has fans? DMX still has some dude right now barking as he rides the bus by himself to his job and his ass ain't quitting. So here's to hoping this isn't some lame ass cry for attention like Lupe's 'threat to retire' was.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Rappers and Rap groups have the worst names

I'm perusing the internets as usual looking at the latest music and new releases as well as finding some older things that I haven't had the pleasure of hearing and I realized one thing, rappers and the few rap groups that exist now, by and large have the worst and least creative names of anyone in music. For instance, the top artists of the last year were Rick Ross, who is named after a famed drug dealer and Lil Wayne, who is really Dwayne Carter. There is no creativity.

Now if we go to the realm of Rock, just look at what comes off of the head "System of a Down":











All of these groups have slick names that are creative, independent and have some artistic merit and meaning behind them. Meanwhile the best rap name I can find is Odd Future, who are wack. We also have Young Money, The Triple C's (aka Carol City Cartel), and ...ummm....There aren't even any hip-hop groups anymore. When did that happen? Hell there need to be more groups since most of these rappers can't hold down a song on their own anymore. Look at how many features they have on each and every album. Since Puff changed the Warlox to just lox, there hasn't been any really hot names. The best ones I can say are out right now are dead prez and Travis Porter, just because Travis Porter is more than one dude but it sounds like one. Look hip-hop needs to get more creative point blank. Any more 'Young's" and "Lil's" and I'm gonna throw up.

What are the best and worst rap names that you know?

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Album Review- Big Sean- Finally Famous

Big Sean is one of the new breed of artists that I rarely hear, but he was listed on the XXL Freshmen 10 and is signed to Kanye Wests's GOOD Music so he has some big push behind him. He also was featured on the cypher portion of last years BET Hip-Hop awards although he didn't stand out to me.


The album starts with a simple intro and Sean gets in a decent 16 bars but nothing to get too excited about. "I do It" is the first song and it starts the album on a different note than I would expect with a midwest/southern bounce beat that knocks pretty well although his verses are ultra simple and not really coherent.  "Dance(A$$)" is a shot at getting strip club airplay and possibly an uncut video somewhere like worldstar. That's said it's simple and taking it for what it is I'll let it go. Now Sean tries to do something different with the mix on "So Much More" where he sounds far away with a classic soul sampled beat that allows him to be more of himself and the song that shows the most potential for why I might like him as an artist.



"What Goes Around" is a song talking down to people who were non-believers in Big Sean and he expresses how he feels validated now. The second best song I would say is "Don't tell me You Love Me" a relationship song where Sean is trying to leave from his relationship. He uses the Neptune sound on "Get It" a generic song about getting money and working on success. "My House" is a throwaway with a lame hook though the beat has potential.



The lead single features Chris Brown called "My Last" which is probably really the third or fourth best song. Lupe Fiasco is the guest artist on "Don't Wait For Me" and John Legend is on "Memories pt. 2" which sounds just like a Drake song. Wiz Khalifa and Chiddy are the guests on "High" which is about smoking of course. "Livin This Life" is about balling and living the successful rap life. "Marvin Gaye and Chardonnay" is an extra southern song with Roscoe Dash and Kanye West where Sean and Ye put out bullshit southern rap verses, though Kanye's could have been alright if he were on the song with two charismatic artists, but he and sean together try too hard. The oddest song is "100 Keys" on the end with Pusha T and Rick Ross who both murder Sean who is totally out of place.

Look Bug Sean is the new Kanye West clone of an artist who has less skill and nothing to talk about much like Drake. The album is about how he throws money, yet when did he start doing this? before he was on? It is full of false angst and faux drama that doesn't come across as authentic at all. Between the Drake-alike flow and the 'I'm a rapper with swag I can say anything and its hot' lyrics, this album is a big letdown and I had no expectations. Big Sean really needs to put in some work on honing his craft, and song making ability and tone down on the arrogance if he wants to be as successful as he thinks that he is.

Rating: 2/5

Not into the Amber Rose phenomenon but...

I was checking blogs and I found this through my man Japiro over on Mark Milly's blog and I figured I need to drop some sort of comment on it. This involves the recent (well a few weeks ago) pictures of Amber Rose's lady parts. As you know, I'm not into celebrity gossip and I try to bring something new into the discussions, but this goes back to one of my earliest blog posts about how mothers need to watch their daughters in the internet era. The proliferation of 'homegrown' porn sites these days leads to more opportunities for them to be exposed when they make a mistake and take risque pictures for some random dude they think they're into.




In this case, I feel a lot less sympathy. Just look at that picture. You damn near see the goodies anyway. Secondly, this is a former stripper who was 'rescued' from obscurity by Kanye so for her to be so 'saddened' and 'upset' over pictures that she has known have existed for over two years is total and utter bullshit to me. If you have any celebrity status at all, guess what is going to happen if you have some type of risque pictures? Ask Cassie, Rihanna, Paris, Kim K, Ray-J, and the list goes on and on. If you're gonna have those, they need to be in a password protected folder not just laying out there where someone can easily find them. But look, you want to be ultra sexy to the extreme this is what's going to happen, sorry, but look at your image and history. The thirst for fame is going to lead to this same exact thing. and when will people finally learn that? Here is her statement:


No matter what I go thru or how embarrassed I am I have a man that Loves me & has my back thru everything. @RealWizKhalifa thank u. :- ) I was gonna wait until my radio show to address this but I want to say this now.

I trusted someone that worked 4 me & allowed them to use my laptop a million times, I caught this person sending my pics to themselves and I fired this person immediately.

Wiz & I & both of our families have known about this for 2 months now. We tried to prepare ourselves for this day. Those pictures r 2 1/2 years old just sitting in my computer.

I’m really hurt & embarr#!@%*#ed because I have so many young girls that look up to me. I would never put those pics out of myself. The company that I was working with no longer wants to work with me because of these pics and that prevents me from getting money to take care of my family. Its a messed up situation when someone so evil comes into ur life and tries to destroy it.

I know I’m not the only girl in the world that has taken pics like that but they were very private.
I’m sorry for letting my young Rosebuds down. Pls understand this was a result of trusting a person that didn’t deserve my trust. I have cried for the past 2 days but I know this to shallp#!@%*#. Thank u for all of ur support.

Honestly, you have been 'letting your rosebuds down' for a long time if you are in fact trying to be some sort of role model. You Amber, have done nothing that anyone should want their daughter to be proud of. Sure going from stripper to model is something, but that path is not one I would want nor hope anyone would want for their child. I haven't seen you do anything  that is role-model worthy at any point in your 15 minutes of fame. In fact you are the problem, too many magazines putting you on the cover instead of a truly self-made successful woman. Too many people idolizing you and the false love that is the 'entertainment' industry instead of solid career choices. While as a person, I'm not going to say you deserve it, but I don't feel sorry for you at all. Live it up.