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.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

What makes a good artist- Part 1

I know that when I post and talk about hip-hop I can seem unconventional at times. I'm pretty sure some people think that I am just trying to go against convention just to be doing so but believe me I don't. Those people are just as bad as the people who never question artists who are designated by the public as the guys who are hot. People like Drake and Lil Wayne today get a pass just because they are popular, I rank them much lower however.

as an overview, I would have to say the most important things are a combination of lyricism, emotion, and overall song creation are the three most important things for me when judging an artist. Lyricism holding slightly more weight but I enjoy artists who are able to bring across an emotion in a song and who aren't scared to do so. Most of todays artists who are popular have that problem. You don't get anything that makes you feel like Rick Ross has been in your shoes when he raps. Hell, until recently, I would say Ace Hood didn't get it either, then he released Blood, Sweat, and Tears and several of the songs let me know that he gets "it".



Being emotional is not to say an artist is acting like a bitch but that he or she is getting across a certain feeling. Listening to "Get Rich or Doe Trying" you feel 50's aggression and determination to make it or die before he lives broke. That's an expression of emotion. DMX might be one of the best at emoting in the history of hip-hop. Just listen to "Stop Being Greedy" and tell me you don't feel his passion and pain, the entire album is one big exercise in how to create emotions. Even still when you look at his features on songs such as "Why We Die" from the Busta Rhymes album "Anarchy".

My favorite current artist at the time is Joe Budden and that is literally because of his ability to express himself on the track and to expose himself. Many times he drops freestyles about his personal relationships and the way he feels and I know that other artists do so but are too concerned with having the image of being infallible.  Here is "10 minutes" from his first album where he just lays out his whole entire life.



To me he might be able to be a top 5 emcee if he could put together some of the other items that I would list when thinking about the best rappers, but two important ones that he has are great lyricism and ability to emote. the number one rapper ever, point blank is Jay-z and he has the best mix of overall talent when it comes to lyrics and song creation and occasional ability to emote. "Song Cry" and "Hard Knock Life" are two sterling examples of that ability. 

This is why I look at someone like J.Cole and I just don't believe him. While he can rap, the words he deliver are devoid of any real substance. He knows what you want to hear but he can't let himself loose enough in them to become one with the music. I feel the same thing about a Wacka Flocka and Rick Ross. They may be on the opposite spectrum of topics of a Cole but yet when I hear them, I just hear rap. Just literal words that don't have anything in the way of meaning behind them. Point blank, I know after seeing some of my recent posts including rankings and etc, you may want to know what comes to my mind when we talk about good rappers or mc's. This is just a taste believe me.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Album Review- Styles P- Master of Ceremonies

By now, Styles P is a member of Hip-hop history even though it would seem to be at odds with his street persona, he is a rapper. A throwback to a grittier era, this album is a straightforward example of NY hip-hop.

The album starts off with an ode to smoking "This is How i Fly" which features Avery Storm. It sounds like an early 00's album mid-tempo cut and that's exactly what it is. Nothing too striking to start off an album with. The same type of feeling follows on "We Don't Play" which features Lloyd Banks. None of the punchlines on this straight up rapping track really strikes a chord or deserves a rewind. "Ryde on the Regular" is a better song, though it has a slightly vintage flow, the enveloping piano and cymbals help the track immensely. Styles spits some general street lyrics, but they're a bit tighter and his flow is on point. The hook could have used work but this song represents what Styles is.



Sheek Louch appears on "Street Shit" (what else), where Styles spits over a beat I'm sure I've heard before. Sheek does his thing though. Statik Selektah produces "Feelings Gone" which has an interesting bass line and uses Lox samples for the hook. "Its OK" has Styles and kiss doing their back and forth thing which is less than stellar by now. Rick Ross and Busta Rhymes fetaure on "Harsh" where Busta regresses to the description of bubbling drugs for like half of his verse. "Children" with Pharoahe Monch is a track that could have been left off the album.


In odd pairings, Pharell is the feature artist on "Don't Turn Away" which uses a slick little guitar riff but seems more like a track for a neptunes album than truly being at home on this collection. "Uh Oh" is a straight up mash in the hood throwback cut, and it also features Sheek. These two work together way better than either does with Jada. "Keep the Faith" with Aja is one of the better tracks on the album as is "I'm a Gee" which features Rell. Where he has been hiding I don't know but Styles does good with providing a slightly different and more in depth look at his "G" persona.


Styles is a rapper either you like or you don't. There isn't going to be much different from what he has been doing but songs like "I'm a Gee" and "Ryde on the Regular" don't do too bad overall and if he could just put together a couple more original joints on each album you could say more about him. As it is, the hardcore Lox, Sean price types fans will love this album though much of it is very well covered topics by Styles iver the past 15 years in the game.


Rating: 2.5/5

Friday, October 28, 2011

Album Review- Wale- Ambition

So finally, the long awaited sophomore album of DC's Wale is just about ready to drop and either solidify him as one of the brightest stars in the game or possibly drop him down to the title of also-ran. His first album was a great surprise that I gave an award to for album of the year. It was the best debut of any of the new crop of rappers that have come out in the past three years or so. Unfortunately, my hopes for this one are tempered by Wale's alliance with Rick Ross' Maybach Music Group which doesn't seem to be a natural fit.






The album starts out decent with "Don't Hold Your Applause" which is a great way to open this album. It maintains the live album feel that DC go-go is known for and Wale works well with the track. "Double M Genius" is a decent play at the MMG letters as Wale brags on his skills though his more aggressive flow reminds me of fellow label mate Meek Mill more than his own. On "Legendary" Wale goes in with more straight lyrical anger and old-school style spitting than I'm used to from him but it works well. The spirit of "Nike Boots" lives on in the form of "Chain Music" which is a club joint that has been in rotation for a while now.




The lead single features Miguel, and is the soft "Lotus Flower Bomb". now saying it's soft isn't a crack on this one because it fits in with the poetry and green tea set. Lloyd is the featured guest on "Sabotage" about a woman who can submit herself to a happy relationship, the beat is cool but the hook and pre-chorus are slightly annoying. "White Linen (Coolin)" which has Ne-yo handling the hook duties, is a bit noisy and it doesn't quite fit together as smoothly as I would have liked it to. "Miami Nights" is all Wale but it doesn't have anything to it of substance, it's cool but doesn't resonate.  "Focused" has a different vibe to it as it's a Kid Cudi produced and hooked song and it fits in better with being a slight change of feeling song in the album compared to the songs around it.


I'm convinced Big Sean is on of the worst artists out, I'd rather hear Young Berg, as it is, he is featured on "Slight Work" which sounds like a song that will take off in the club, especially in DC. I'm not familiar with Go-go but this title is probably a play on one of the styles of dance in DC clubs. Hood single "Bait" is also here on the 'deluxe' edition and it is a very catchy track even though it is unorthodox. Rick Ross outshines Wale on "That Way" which also feature Jeremih, just because his flow is tailored made for such a beat.


"No Days Off" is a throwaway filler for me personally, while "Illest B___" disappoints the hell out me. Wale is talking about his sister yet referring to her as the illest bitch alive. I don't like that and wish someone like Wale would refrain from even using the term to refer to women and especially his family. The title track, "Ambition", features Meek Mill and Ross and is not the track it should be. Looking at the title, listening to the track, and building the album around this concept, Wale should have stepped up and dropped a better, relevant verse, especially since he went last. Mill does his thing and Ross cops out terribly after about 2 1/2 good bars that showed some depth. Wale starts off with some strong bars it falls off very fast when he says "long as your mother love you/don't ever love a woman" which is not only dumb but didn't even relate. However, "DC or Nothing" is the song that should have been "Ambition". I wouldn't say I dislike DC but being from Baltimore, it is always an uneasy acceptance of our close proximity. But this song is the truth, the passion and fire are there in this song.

Overall, the album could have been much worse with the move to Maybach music. I was worried about the sound being totally different, but Wale managed to evolve sonically however, in the area of song creativity there is a step back. Too many of the songs are the same way when it comes to women and relationships and he talks too much about his weed habits.  He just throws it in there lazily to take up space. While "Lotus Flower Bomb" and "DC or Nothing" represent so much of what is powerful about Wale he gets weighed down with pseudo-smooth songs like "Cool Linen" where is flow doesn't quite fit the style.

Overall: 3.5/5

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Album of the Year 2011 - As is Hip hop Awards

This year I was thoroughly disappointed by the hip-hop material that was released by major labels. The albums were few and far between and those that were released didn't live up to my lofty expectations most of the time, however this isn't my most disappointing, its my top 5 of the year.

5. Watch the Throne - Jay-z and Kanye



Watch the Throne was rumored for a while and I was hopeful that it would never see the light of day. What I expected was an album of self-indulgence and that is still the best way I feel I need to describe it. The production was top notch as usual, but there was too much going on a lot of the songs, and while Jay-z came on point with most of his verses, he just felt like he was being dragged along by Kanye who had the worst verses of the LP.

4. Blood Sweat and Tears - Ace Hood



I'll admit it, Ace Hood is one of the rappers I have long considered worthless. He has never had any real content, never was as real as Plies and didn't have the finish of Rick Ross. However, he reached down deeper and was able to come up with an album that managed to reveal some things about him that we hadn't learned and let some emotions come through in his music, toning down the usual generic bravado and making a decent album.

3. Pink Friday - Nicki Minaj



Though not the type of content i would have preferred, the second high profile debut from a Young Money artist out shined anything put out by the label in the past two years. She spit more hard bars than Drake, mixed in some polished pop hits and tried to inject something other than the Harajuku personality that she has created, thought not enough. if she can get back more to her original flow and use less of the new Wezzy style she could really be even more special.


2. The R.E.D. Album- Game



Game could have name dropped as usual but he toned it way down and managed to put out the longest and deepest album of the year overall. Though he did have songs where things slipped down and he copied every guest artists style on tracks on his album, he still managed to continue to put out the most nationally acceptable West Coast album.




1. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy



Top notch production carried this album, and though I am still disappointed that the story he starts at the beginning isn't a theme that carries throughout, Kanye continued to show why he gets repeated chances to get on our nerves, His talent abounds all over the album though some cuts seemed to be ego driven and didn't do as much for me, there are few people who could even attempt something like this, much less pull it off to this level.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Disappointment of the year 2011- As Is Hip Hop awards

Now this might be my favorite award to give out in a way because I consider this the one that is designed to keep people honest. Of course whenever you say something is a disappointment you're going to get some opinions because you're stepping on some people's toes.

5. T.I. - No Mercy


I have liked TI since his second album, why people from the South like the first I will never understand, but the time in jail and short turnaround before another stint while recording No Mercy showed. Apart from his blatant whining about how he's a human and people should treat him as such, the album lacked the fire, passion, and hits of his previous two.

4. Jay-z and Kanye West - Watch The Throne


How can it make the best and worst list at the same time? Easy, this is a weak year for albums and the standards for Kanye and Jay-z are so high they might be impossible to meet. There are bright moments but some real lows, while "Niggas in Paris" has a catchy beat, the topic and verses leave something to be desired, and the song with Beyonce outright sucks.

3. Lupe Fiasco - Lasers



Lupe is arrogant and he hasn't earned those Kanye rights. He can rap but can be too convoluted to do any good. He can make songs but this album sounds like there were a bunch of pop producers trying to expand his white fan base in the pop realm at the expense of what Lupe actually does best.

2. Big Sean - Finally Famous



(side note why is dressed like Johnny Gill?)


So when you have Kanye production and the hype coming out of the box you have got to perform. Sean fails miserably. His lyrics are trite, his "super flow" isn't super and not original at all, and his subject matter is all about 'haters' and those who doubted him. Trying to figure out how he even got a release date is beyond me.

1. Lil Wayne - The Carter IV



Even die hard Weezy F. Baby fans were scratching their heads after this one. For someone who sold so m,any albums, you never hear this album getting played at the stop light. Too much talk about absolutely nothing and a lame singing single doomed this album. Along with the retreaded sounds of Lex luger, Wayne helped TI prove that coming out of jail may equate sales, but not quality material.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

As Is Hip-hop Awards 2011-Independent album Of the year

It's the time of the year where I give my thoughts and ideas on who would be the victors at my awards show if I was having one. You been around, you know what this is, so let's get it started. This year, click on the highlighted links for my initial reviews.

5. Sheek Louch- Donnie G - Don Gorilla

So Sheek came out and dropped another solo album and of course, it was slept on by many because he is considered the weaker of the Three Lox members, but he as always bee my favorite. Straightforward with most of his lines, you know what you're going to get from him and this time, you had some decent tracks to listen to as well. Sheek is never going to get the mass appeal but generally, his albums are more solid and less uneven than Jada or Styles.

4. Pharoahe Monch - W.A.R. (We Are Renegades)



Pharoahe Monch (aka the skinny Michael Jai White) is always one of those solid rappers who is an underground legend. He is very lyrical though sometimes I feel that he stumbles over his flow and could incorporate some more musicality in his verses sometimes-not all of the time mind you, but he needs to break up the monotony sometimes. WAR  has a lot of good things about it, including the production which doesn't even seem to fit with Pharoahe's style but he handles things well.

3. Black Rob - Game Tested Streets Approved

BR is one of my favorite rappers with limited potential. He has one of the best rap voices in the game and a decent ability to tell stories yet he also can create singles that fit in with his personality. The album is a throwback with a mostly clean feel to it and songs like "Celebration" fit in with the more laid back type fan like myself.

2. Stic.Man - The Workout

Stic's album wasn't the best but it might be the most creative of the year. An entire set of songs designed to motivate and promote healthy living is something that hip-hop has sorely needed. He has always been good about choosing beats and doing something different though it was obvious that doing 10 tracks based on this topic were daunting for him as he carried the entire thing almost completely solo.

1. Saigon - The Greatest Story Never Told



Saigon is a guy who foolishly signed with Atlantic and had his shit pushed back, waaaaaay back. Finally his album dropped and though some of the songs may sound dated, overall it was a solid effort, better than most of the guys who dropped major label records this year. Sai manages to keep his entire album focused on relevant subject matter and not just turn to popping bottles and being the biggest and best hustler of all time. Hats off to you and a middle finger to Atlantic.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

As is Hip Hop Awards 2011- Lyricist of the Year

This year is more of the same, in general the same guys seem to crop up and fill up the list from one year to the next, this year the majority of the six finalists/candidates were on the list last year.

6. Wale- Two years ago I gave Wale my album of the year for his debut "Attention Deficit". Since then he has looked for a new advantage to help since he is on the hip-hop black hole which is Atlantic Records. Since he has joined forces with Maybach Music he has been on a tear, recording constantly and standing out amongst the loose affiliation he is now in. Sometimes, his flow hasn't fit in with the style of MMG and what they intend to do musically but I have confidence that his songwriting ability will shine over the gimmicks.

5. Rick Ross- Rozay has moved up one spot from last year. The flow is almost bullet proof and though pretty much every song is just about alike from the Boss, he still manages to create vivid images with his bars. If you want to hear the hood luxury rap, Ross is the way to go.

4. Game - Jayceon finally showed that ability that we all knew was there with a minimum of name dropping. While he still doesn't have his own identity when he has a feature, The RED album was one of the best of the year and most of that was due to Game's lyrics. "Ricky" and "Good Girls Gone Bad" are just tw examples of the good stuff on the album and his mix tape was also considered one of the year's best. Game did attempt to overwhelm us though with a ridiculous amount of bars over the "Otis" track which i refuse to listen to one person on one beat for that long.


3. Royce da 5'9 - Royce moves up from last year as well when he was the one member of Slaughterhouse I had questions about. This year he solidified himself, though I was really feeling his complete solo effort, he dropped solid mix tape verses and on the Slaughterhouse EP that dropped before the spring. He also followed that up with the Bad Meets Evil Reunion album with Eminem and on the hit single "Lighters" he had the better of the two verses.


2. Jay-Z - Now one of the things holding Jay back is the overall lack of material. Watch the Throne as an album was nothing spectacular to me, especially by Jay and Kanye standards but it was better than most records. Jay also had the better bars consistently on the album but it still wasn't enough although "Murder to Excellence" could be the best album track of the year.


1. Kanye West - I loathe giving anything to Ye because of his annoying temperment but he gets this based upon His solo album which was released at the end of last year. While it did have some empty moments, it was light years ahead of anything and then he followed it up with decent, albeit not great bars on watch the throne. Too many of his verses failed to relate to song hooks and concepts even though they weren't what you would call bad.



Monday, October 17, 2011

Has Hip-Hop Gotten too mellow?

So recently Jay-z commented on the fact that he thinks weed smoking has gotten to the point where it is affecting hip-hop music in general, making everything extra mellow and soft. A link to his comments is right here courtesy of Contactmusic.com (ironically). The first blush attitude would be to write him off but he isn't completely wrong is he?

Look there are a lot of reasons right now why a lot of people who are considered critics such as myself think today's rap music is watered down. The technology and lowered barrier of entry, the internet and ipod, and the labels themselves are all string factors that have directed the direction of hip-hop but I think there is something to be said by the amount of 'weed' rap that there is. Method Man and Redman were two of the originals who laced cannabis rhetoric in ever song and it was cool, it was their thing. Someone who commented wrote that it is true that every artist now throws in weed smoking or a song dedicated to marijuana on their albums these days and it is true. 50 Cent who is adamant in the fact he doesn't smoke nor drink too heavily references smoking on all of his albums, Snoop has existed for the last quarter century on cripping and smoking. Today, Wiz Khalifa and Currency are the main couriers of the smoking mantle but even the "best of this generation" like Lil' Wayne and Rick Ross are almost constantly talking about the amount of weed that they smoke.


But that's just a small part of why hip-hop seems different now. Part of it is the cycles or ebb and flow of hip-hop, just as high top fades and stone washed jeans seem to have been resurrected, so  has the simple party and let's have fun music that existed in the late 80's. These kids today coming out are generally in a better place and are tired of hearing the jaded street lyrics that they grew up on at the end of the 90's. They are also in a way rebelling against the parents who expect them to become professionals, watch their mouths, and be decent citizens who continue their household legacies. This is sort of parallel to how the grunge movement of the early 90's in Rock started.

There are people who debate the merits of the early movement in rock just as many of us look at this new generation of "swagger" rappers today. You hear false angst and more than half of the albums from people like Big Sean and J.Cole is about how people "doubted they could make it" in rap. Not in life, but just as rappers, as opposed to a DMX or a Busta Rhymes for whom their absolute ability to survive was what was questioned. These questions weren't even about the person themselves, but because of their background and upbringing.


While I'm not saying I want every rapper out to be Onyx, that shit would be just as annoying, the fact of the matter is today, an Onyx like group wouldn't get the love or any play just because of the type of music they are bringing. Hip-Hop has become a version of urban fantasy where the only important thing is how fly you can imagine yourself being since every new act comes out talking about the amount of "swag" that they have. It's the mix and while I am sure there are rappers who are angry, or aggressive, or who have the lion heart of a young Busta Rhymes, will they ever be able to get any exposure because they do not fit into the typical "cool" mold of this new generation of hip-hop.




The issue now is one of conformity, being truly an individual and to the opposite field of everyone isn't really encouraged. Today's pseudo-hipster 'professional' crowd doesn't seem inclined to want or relate to an NWA or PE. Common and Pharrell are the farthest extremes but even they can blend in without much issue. Maybe its the growth of the middle class like myself, maybe it is the drug use, but most likely it's a combination of all of these factors.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Independent Spotlight

So this might be one of those posts people tend to gloss over because they don't see the splashy name and headline at the top but I implore you to take a look and a listen as I showcase some more of the talent that you may not know quite yet.

Forst up there is an artist I have here who goes by Wingspan. Now this video I'm going to show you grabbed my attention because it was good, cinematic, and the song is a real song. Not just some I get money throw it around stuff either. The beat is a good blend of a classic Isley brothers sample too.



The one complaint I have is that Wingspan doesn't get into the reason behind said feelings of despair in the song. It's just more of a "I have pain so I want to get rid of it" song. Produced by Copywrite, the song has a feel to it more than I can say with recent songs I've heard from the likes of J.Cole and other more well-known underground or up and coming artists. The song is pretty decent so check it out.


Next up is Rashid Hadee who hails from Chicago. The first song I heard was "Neighborhood Thang" which uses an interlude from Bone's the Art of War for this beat and an introduction. Rashid handles the production very well and his verses are tough as he talks about something we all know about, the neighborhood. Definately check out Rashid by clicking here and getting "Leakage The Prep" and give this up-and coming artist a listen.





One of the artists I always try to promote is Gods'illa from Washington DC. I consider them a less extreme Dead prez with the same good production that sets them aside from a lot of similar artists in lyrics and subject matter. Their latest release was the CPR Blendtape:







I would suggest that you check this out as well for some professional sounding uplifting hip-hop .

Now my final artist I'm going to promote for you is Prophet Nelson from Baltimore, who just released his first single, "Famous", which you can listen to here. He also just launched his website which is www.prophetnelson.com , so head over there and listen to what he has to offer. Don'y worry, pictures are coming soon. Remember to support the new artists out and keep the game alive and fresh.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Wayne is still confused

So I looked at Worldstar and they have a new video about Wayne and his "Public Service Announcement" and this is a reflection of what he felt about Steve Job's death. However, I'm confused as to what the hell he is talking about. On one hand, he is talking about how he wants to be remembered. Now this isn't to say he makes good points, such as an overall message of doing things because you want to do them and you're passionate. I can agree with him and do applaud him for saying that.

However, at the same time he wants kids to be independent yet say they do it because their idol does it even though it may not be a reasonable endeavor for them. For instance when he talks about getting his tattoos because he wanted to be like Tupac, but really did it make sense? If a young person wants to get tatted up because Wayne does it and Wayne is passionate so he's completely covered does it really make sense when this person isn't an entertainer and has to survive in the real world? What about the 'gang' affiliations that he has that are superfluous and young people who want to bang and be for real about it? That doesn't make it any better.



Now I doubt you'll watch the entire video but the actual good parts are at the end where Wayne actually does the shit he needs to do in his music, talk about the reality and the hard work that goes in and what really matters. That was good, but why are all of his songs so empty then if he is so passionate? That bothers me to no end because it seems like he can't bring himself to fully believe what he says in this video.

If I backtrack to the beginning however, as Wayne talks about how he was influenced, and questions the adults whom he followed and mimicked, I take issue with the fact he is deflecting and asking why they drank so much which influenced him in the end. Well Wayne, it's the circle, each generation is reflecting that which came before only it gets more extreme as certain behavioral boundaries get pushed and considered the norm. So until someone like say Dewayne Carter steps up and admits there is no reason for him to continue to promote the smoking, drinking, and gangster lifestyle, and push his peers to explain themselves and possibly change their views, the generations who now look up to him will follow and do the same things. Look at all the young boys with facial piercings now since weezy has gotten them.



I feel the same way about Puff, and Snoop to name two icons. What will Snoop do if Corde comes home one day and tells his father he wants to be a Crip. Does Snoop jump him in? Take him on a drive-by? Run a train on a teenager with him? How does that play out. What if he decides he actually wants to be a Blood since Wayne is one? This goes back to what i speak on a lot about responsibility and Wayne doesn't have to have a pole in his house (he showed his studio in the video) because he is in the strip club so regularly it's not even funny. Things like that take him down a notch but he is a year younger than I am, he no longer has the right to tell me how adults led him in a particular direction because at this point he is right, he has to make his own choices. His comments about being passionate and making that terrible rock album were laughable as well because the actual sales numbers do not mean it was legitimate or a good rock cd.


Some things in this I chalk up to general arrogance and the truth. He can say he is doing it for passion, but of course once he says that, as an opinion leader, those who follow him will also say they have real passion and you cannot disprove that. Only they can in the future and I fear that many of our youth will feel regrets (well they will say they don't regret anything because that's the rule isn't it?) when they get older and they are looking at all of these old faded tattooed remnants of their past that don't hold the meaning they thought it would. At 24 you haven't lived enough to have your body pretty much covered like so many people have. There are so many more meaningful events that will occur, how do you ignore that?


Let me sigh because I feel like I'm rambling on. Wayne I'm with you on the idea that people need to know why they do what they do, and admit it if they're going to do it. I just wish you as an artist and person who influences culture put these ideas forth more consistently as you do the exploits of being rich and being a "G" in your music. Embrace your role as an adult and role model and steer the youth away from the direction where only a rich rapper can really still be successful and promote ideas that will foster growth in the community.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Luke putting a tax on rappers in Miami?

So one new issue in hip-hop is an editorial piece that Luke wrote in the Miami New times. You can go ahead and read it here:



Luke's Gospel


So Luke is tired of people coming into his city and profiting from the lifestyle, getting enjoyment and partying all crazy without giving back. I understand his anger and meaning behind this 'threat' but this tone probably wasn't the best way to get it across.

Hell I've been saying on this very blog that guys like Puffy need to be doing more for the neighborhoods and give less money to the strippers at King of Diamonds. I would love to see them video and promote themselves doing a public service. How about a "Clean up Harlem day: Sponsored by Ciroc" , there are plenty of things that he could be doing other than threatening guys who show up to parties drinking Grey Goose. Wayne could do more than show up on DJ Khaled remixes and talk about how much of a Blood he wants to be, he could be stopping actual teenagers from being in gangs where they're going to get killed. They could put together and fund a recreation center or fund a project every quarter all around the country. Just think if they each put in half a million at the beginning of each year what they could do in terms of helping. What about choosing applications each year from each city they're from to do a neighborhood makeover and general maintenance. Extreme making over a school hip-hop style. These are the things that our leaders in hip-hop should be out doing if they really know where we are from and want to help out people who are just like them. Think about it.

One of my favorite blogs right now

So i have been scouring the web looking for hip-hop blogs that are more like my own, an opinion or independent idea and not just a re-posting of the same gossip and rumor that you find everywhere. Thus i ended up at The Big Ghost Chronicles .

Now I'm not going to say whether or not this blog is by the man the legend himself Mr. Toney Starks aka Ghostface from the Wu Tang Clan but this guy does write somewhat like Ghost could though I'm not sure Ironman would be so forward in his hip-hop criticism. It doesn't really matter because there are some true gems within this blog, starting with his Annual 10 Softest Niggas in the Game . I'll tell you what, if you're a Drake or Wiz fan or you like any of these new Emo rappers, don't go unless you can handle the pressure, because the big homie brings the pain. Just look at this excerpt:

8. MTV RiFF RaFF
Speakin of white dudes wit cornrows n braids....Nah ya eyes aint deceivin you par...If you aint never hearda this cornball ass muthafucka before its probably cos you dont hang out in trailer parks or search "WACKEST SHIT ON EARTH" on google enough namsayin. Son....we was mad at Vanilla Ice back in the 90s yo. This muthafucka is like the T-1000 version of Vanilla Ice my nigga. Newwww.....Improoooooved Vanilla Ice. I quit. I never thought I was gon see a white boy coon this fuckin hard EVER son. This muthafucka musta been injected wit the blood of Soulja Boy in his sleep yo. Son look like he a failed experiment that was designed by the government to spy on niggas in Magnolia Projects n shit....in 1998. The level of wackness this muthafucka capable of could probably make Fubu visors rain from the sky b. This muthafucka could probably cross his arms n blink n have you wearin a G-Unit sweatsuit without you knowin it son. Look at this cracker son...



Not only did this powder coon get a MTV logo tatted on his neck...but he actually got a BET logo n a World Star one to go wit it. On his actual flesh son...FOR. EV. ER. Nah yo...fuck this cracker, fuck his pulse, n fuck his heartbeat....fuck his moms, his kids, his unborn...I dont give a fuck yo. I dont be wishin death upon nobody but this muthafucka need to die son.


This is classic material right here and there is more where that came from. For instance, his album review of the Carter IV had me on the floor crying laughing. I can read it write now, knowing all of the jokes and still bust a gut with laughter. It's been hard for me to truly find blogs that have a unique identity and this is one of the best.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I wish I could show you my face as I watch this video of Papoose and I'm really in disbelief that this guy actually thinks he is "King of NY". Number one that title kind of died with Biggie and when Jay-z decided against volume 1 that name. Then the other crazy thing was that it's Papoose and Red Cafe having tension over this. Really...who are both of these two dudes? Pap is terrible and Red Cafe is freaking laughable.



So Papoose really thinks that he's a better raper then jay-z? Is he kidding me? Then he comes with all of this new nonsense of being the king of his dome or whatever and it just doesn't make sense. Now he was a dude who had potential, but just like Sebastian Telfair Papose has just been a damn disappointment.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Skill doesn't equal Greatness- completely

This may seem to be the opposite of how I seem to preach at times here on this blog, but in truth you have to have other things other than the technical ability to put lyrics together. This really came to light while listening to J.Cole's album. Now Cole can rap, fine. But ther eis nothing about J.Cole that makes me want to bump his music or feel where he is coming from. The same with Big Sean and Drake. You may say I just don't relate but honestly, I relate to these guys much closer in type, education, and upbringing than that of a Jay-Z, DMX or Beanie Sigel, yet these guys don't appeal to me, why?

It's the passion, now X is not the most lyrical guy ever, neither was Pac, but you will always love them because they brought the passion and emotion to game that made you overlook their shortcomings. You can understand where they come from in their music because of that intangible magic they have that cannot be quantified or measured. Just listen to "Get Rich or Die Trying" and tell me that by the time you get to the end of that album you don't feel like Curtis Jackson. You cannot help it, he makes you.


My favorite artist right now is Joe Budden. Why? Because he has amazing lyrical ability, and not in the 'I know more words than you so that's lyrics' style, but in a I can put regular shit together better than you to describe how I feel right now. I can't relate to a lot of the stuff he says on a 'I've been through it' level but he paints a picture so vivid I have to see it. Eminem does this too, only he uses one very long metaphor or extra descriptive simile that you have to kind of remember and go back to the beginning to understand at times which is what makes his music good for rewinding. At the end of the day I get something out of it that is more than whats on the surface.


I'm not saying that Cole can't rap but nothing on his album is remotely as revealing or as deep as fellow newest school rapper Wale who put out a really good almost great album last year. What he does strike me is is a guy who would make a good accountant or something in a 'regular' job. Not to knock professionals like myself of course, but why not be that rather than be an average type of guy just because you can rap technically. I understand, there are dope boys out there rapping who you are way better than, but they have something, they represent something, they have a personality and identity and a passion for what they're doing. Why not just go and be something you can be great at? I get it, because you just want to be seen and try to be some sort of star because you think you're owed it because someone else is. Find your lane, and generally, it isn't sports, and it isn't entertainment, most people aren't that special. There is nothing wrong with taking the road less traveled.




Same thing with the D-boys, so don't think I'm trying to pick on 'wholesome' guys like Cole or maybe a Soulja Boy who just keeps putting enough out until something sticks. Nah, if you are this big boss drug dealer you claim to be and you can't rap, I'd rather you continue to sell crack. At least you're only going to destroy your local community with your nonsense and not spread it through out the entire country.

To sum things up, rap seems easy, and technically it is, just like football and basketball are 'easy'. You don't have to be a genius to understand them. To be great there needs to be something else, another intangible besides the ability to write lyrics to be an artist, especially a great one. Some guys are Vince Carter- all the talent yet no ability to translate it to what it needs to be, some are Kobe- ultimately talented with a matching work ethic and creativity, while others are Kendrick Perkins, maybe not the best but they work hard and put everything they have into what they create to make an impact.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Puff is officially gone...

I used to be a fan of Puffy. Even though he had killed his own label by focusing on himself as the main attraction and couldn't launch acts successfully after featuring them for weeks on MTV. I don't drink but he built the ciroc brand into a formidable entity and his Sean John label is the only line of hip-hop urban gear that still has life left in it. He has dabbled in acting and spreading out his management talents even though I wonder about the benefits to a Rick Ross and Nicki Minaj, who changed her mind and got out of that deal. But he has officially dropped that straw on this camel's back.




First let me give props on this video to Grindhd.com and DMV Followers for this video taken in Atlanta after the BET hip-hop awards. For those at work or who can't make out what's going on, Puff gets on his "Ciroc Boys" shit in the club and then calls out a dude who has a bottle of Grey Goose in the crowd, threatening him and talking trash. TI finally gets the mic and tells everyone that if they want to fight to let him know so he can get out before he ends up blamed and back in jail...again.Funny, TI is the calmest person, because he has the most to lose.

This behavior needs to stop. This entitled, I hang around dudes in the studio who drink henny ciroc and smoke blunts while talking about shooting people so I think I'm tough attitude has no place in hip-hop especially from a hundred millionaire. This is that same attitude young guys like Big Sean come into the game with like they've done something. This is that bad example that Puff continuously puts out and it pisses me the hell off. He needs to grow up, as TI said , "let them drink what they want, you got too much money for this" . Bodyguard right next to you while you wild out is not tough when it's dudes who been waiting for years for the chance to put hands on you just to prove you're not a tough guy. Calm down the antics Sean, you're supposed to be a role model.