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Monday, February 25, 2013

Artists are over emotional now

Now these guys all want to be known as tough guys but it's funny because it's always the ones trying to prove that they aren't punks who end up in some ridiculous altercation over something completely absurd. Who else remembers Young Berg's multitude of incidents which included getting his chain taken and getting slapped by Maino. This comes to light even more in light of recent events including Lil Wayne's tirade and one by Wale while at a basketball game.

Let's talk about Lil' Wayne quickly because in his plethora of excuses he pretty much admits that he is sensitive because Dwayne Wade said that "we don't fuck with you" after he sat court side and was apparently heckling Chris Bosh. So let me see, you are that pressed that you get upset and carry that with you for a couple of weeks because someone doesn't like. You're not entitled to have someone like you because you're Wayne.




He also talks about how the NBA told Gerald Green they would prefer if he not use Wayne in any of his attempted dunks during the dunk contest. Wayne doesn't want to acknowledge this but he also has a history if issues at NBA games, just last year he wasn't allowed into a playoff game for the Oklahoma City Thunder and had a pissy tirade. Do you really think the NBA wants its image to be impacted by this guy who is a walking stereotype on disliking the young (although we are the same age) to be highlighted like this? Nope. Wayne has to realize at some point, there are a lot of people who don't give two shits about who he thinks he is.



Let me not forget Wale, who while at a Wizards and Raptors game was seen by the announcers trash talking Rudy Gay. When one announcer said "he's no Drake" and intimated that it would be on twitter, the fact that he as an announcer didn't know who he was. Wale then approaches this announcer during the game creating an unnecessary confrontation I guess in an attempt to show him who he was and that he's no punk. It's funny because it's a wizards game it had to be one of Wale's 8 friends who were watching the game to see him sitting court side cause no one is checking for the Wizards who texted Wale and alerted him to the clowning because this followed.



Nothing funnier though, than the announcer's playing him by saying "hey there, he came to speak". Guess what Wale, no one fears you buddy, calm down. You're a clown and it is such childish behavior to go at some guy who isn't even about that life much like you, but at least he isn't pretending to be. What is the point of this? Is this how people get street cred now? Is this is what you have to do if you're in MMG and not as utterly off your meds as Gunplay? Yet it gets worse.



Here he is now threatening to fight fans, after his big ass security has him comfortably stuffed inside an Escalade for safety. The fan is funny because once again Wale becomes the picture of walking failure when he says to the rapper, "You have to much money for this we were just tryna get a picture of your bitch ass". Well damn, not only did he school him on the main reason Wale needs to chill but then he called him a bitch and truthfully, everything he had done to that point was prove that was indeed what he was or is.

You see rappers are so often trying to put on that untouchable front. They are all street smart and came up tough in the streets, even though, they all didn't. Guess what that's fine, unless you still feel like there is something missing and you dont believe people will actually like you for who you are. You cannot go around and having these temper tantrums. What's worse is that this speaks to a sad state of affairs for men when guys are allowed to think that this is an acceptable way to react. There is too much to be thankful for to be so angry at these perceived instances of disrespect that actually aren't hurting you. Whether you like it or not, there are those who look up to you so you need to make an attempt to carry yourself in the manner befitting of a man. By the way, donating money and giving to charity isn't what makes you a man. Buying yourself goodwill isn't going to change you, and as Lil Wayne put it, this is him, an asshole who really only cares about himself and his 'feelings'.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Awesome interview with Jermaine Dupri

Now I have long respected Jermaine Dupri and I love the Breakfast Club and to have J.D. come up and be face to face with Charlamagne who definitely speaks his mind and will ask the harder questions and while it may be more difficult at times to understand some of what he was trying to explain he does end up making some good points.




For one, J.D. does get into the issue of relevance and what that means. Charlamagne makes a point questioning his relevancy and explaining what that means as far as having influence. He is right about one thing, J.D.'s name no longer is the one that opens doors like it once did. J.D. doesn't admit it but he has lost it and he explains it in the fact that execs are always looking for the newest thing and he is indeed old news. There is also a good point made by the fact he is still behind the scenes on a lot of projects and still has records that chart on a regular basis and it is amazing that there is a lack of knowledge about how much of an effect he does have over the industry because it may not be the most trendy thing at the time.


J.D. speaks on trends as well when C talks about him signing one hit wonders and some of the explanations end up making some sense. Now Dem Franchize Boys weren't going to be stars but when he explains the people in charge of NY radio were tired of the Southern music and started to block it, it takes a second to realize that part of the reason So So Def is no longer as well known is because they were indeed ahead of the trend and the industry wasn't ready to adapt. Thats not the only thing but it is a part of it. Leaving artists at a label once the merger movement began is another huge problem for the artists to which Jermaine was tied.




Talking about who he is working about and part of the problem with his numerous accomplishments is when he talks about working with Usher and Mariah again. He maintains he likes to work with new artists because he gets the chance to work without competing with himself because it is interesting that he recognizes once you create certain albums like Usher's hit "Confessions", it becomes almost impossible to recreate or top such work. No matter what a record is like people will be searching for that old feeling and if they don't get it , they tend to not appreciate what they do indeed have.

It was a good interview and I suggest you check it out when you have about forty minutes because J.D. doesn't shy away from the tough questions and he receives some that would tend to make others in his position uncomfortable. With the twenty year anniversary of So So Def concert this weekend and the huge plethora of artists that he has showing up it was a good time for J.D. to show up and speak his mind on these issues being he is often overlooked from the late 90's heyday of producers.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Wayne is going off the deep end...

By now we all know about Lil Wayne's tirade against the NBA and the Miami Heat specifically during this past All-Star weekend in Houston. Apparently he is tired of getting kicked out of stadiums and games. Charlamagne The God of Power 105.1 the Breakfast Club awarded him the "Donkey of the Day" award again.



I must agree with this because it was just crazy for Wayne to behave in this manner supposed to be an adult and acting like a "scorned groupie" as was said. I also have another issue with the fact he goes on stage and calls out a bunch of professional athletes then says he is street so it's not supposed to be something online and internet related. However what exactly does he expect to happen, have Chris Bosh run up on him at the stop light and let off into his car? It's calling out someone he knows won't and really can't do anything. It just looks petty and seems to mark the begin of his decline. As Charlamagne puts it, so we are to assume that you won't be attending any more sporting events huh. Even worse is that he has Drake and Birdman cosigning for him in this nonsense instead of someone telling him he makes no sense.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Joe Budden - No Love Lost

So i'm not sure if this is an official release, EP, Mix Tape, or what but Joe is one of the more prolific rappers of this generation, and more than most he is able to spit while still having content. That speaks to the amount of turmoil in his life and constant motion that he is in. He dropped a mix tape in the fall after a Slaughterhouse album and mix tape so he stays busy. The other thing, which is less fortunate is his inclusion on Love and Hip-Hop which to this point, has been a career lowlight for rappers and he is the one in the best position leading into the show, none of this has that much to do with the album but it is worth noting being that he will have a new audience due to the show for this release.



The intro to the album has a perfect Budden-type beat but he refrains for spitting over it instead waiting until "Top of The World" which features the best chorus I have heard to date from Kirko Bangz and it isn't a bad song at all. In fact for those who don't know Joe it is an excellent introduction to what he's about. Long time collaborator Emanny is featured on "You and I' a track for the ladies where Joe is sweet talking about how the relationship with him is, it's alright but not ultra great. "Castles" I'm not a fan of either and the track sounds like left over Drake/Wayne music.

Now, classic Joe Budden is "All in My Head" which features singer Kobe and Royce da 5'9. Same is follows with "Skeletons" and its no wonder, it features the other Slaughterhouse members, Joell Ortiz and Crooked I. In odd collabs, Wiz Khalifa and French Montana both feature on "N.B.A." (Never Broke Again) which is that shot at appeasing the new generation who are fans of these two guys. The beat is cool, it's a decent change of pace but I would only have had French or Wiz, but not both, however, dudes in dark tinted whips who listen to trap music will bump this. They also may be listening to "Last Day" with Juicy J and Lloyd Banks, not me however.




 "She Don't Put it Down" with Lil Wayne and Tank is a typical track tailored to the women and sounds formulaic and they waste the majority of Tank's abilities. SLV sings on "Tell Him Something" where Joe tells a woman to tell her man whatever she wants to, but let him know how Joe is better. "Switch Positions" is about just that with Omarion as the feature. "Runaway" is more of Joe but the hook and beat are a bit cluttered and cover up too much of the actual lyrics. "My time" is another quality song it takes more than one listen to get but the hook is muddled and boring though some might feel it, the verses aren't bad at all though. The "Outro" is above average, it is a continuation of the way the beat in the intro was building and Joe goes ahead and does his normal rap thing. There is also a remix of "She Don't Put it Down" with Fabolous and Twista.


Overall, the album is better on a second listen. When I reference typical Joe you have to understand, that typical Budden is better than your favorite rapper because it has more passion and lyricism than the average rapper, so it isn't a bad thing by any means. Now, there are some serious reaches on the album which are probably there to get some of that Love and Hip Hop market to pay attention but "N.B.A." and "Last Day" just don't fit overall what Joe does the best. I think as a tie in with his current gig, this works as an album, yet as a long time fan, I would have liked a little more time to pass so Joe could have really dived into this with a larger amount of life experience.

Rating: 2.5/5


Friday, February 8, 2013

Pusha -T Wrath of Caine

So I have been a fan of Pusha since the last Clipse album and his past few years and bars I have been riding with, so last week he released a new mixtape, Wrath of Caine. Overall, it's more of the same and slightly disappointing though I knew I would come to this moment where he reached his limit of subject and ability.



"Millions" with Rick Ross sounds just how you would expect on a song where Rozay is featured. The song is straight but neither rapper does more then settle into their comfort zone. I can respect it though Ross does mail in his last four bars. The French Montana hook on "Doesn't Matter" just outright sucks and is a wasted of time.

"Blocka" is my shit though. The video, shot in the roughest areas of Jamaica is the perfect image of what Pusha aims to represent, the hook by Popcaan is simple but effective and the bass driven beat is a great mix of grime and still offers the chance for Push to spit off. "Revolution" is weak. He tries to do something different but it isn't that original, he really should have passed on this Neptunes track and found another one because none of this song works. Neither does "Trust Me" which is for the ladies but the auto tune is not well done and annoying.

I like the track on "Take my Life" though the bars are just average from Push. The freestyle from Ab-Liva should have been eliminated, Liva is not who I want to hear from, ever.

Overall, Pusha has a solid mix tape but there are only a couple of sure fire listens, some definite misses and mostly average material I won't remember in a week or two and this is part of the problem with today's rap. Pusha should be working right now to really craft a solid album with fourteen thoroughly vetted songs rather than just record and put out this mix tape.


Rating: 2.5/5



Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Beyonce, Half time and the haters

First of all let me shout out my Baltimore Ravens for bringing home a title this year it was a great season and a great year for Baltimore Sports as a whole. But for a lot of people, the game is just a sideshow since they either aren't fans of football, or one of the teams playing, for them the game is totally about entertainment and that includes the half time show. Now we all remember the Janet Jackson nipple slip that caused the NFL to take over production from MTV and thus bored down the intermission period to a time when even the viewing audience at home could take a nap smoke break or whatever instead of being another reason to stayed glued to the tv for advertisers. Luckily, they have let the reigns get loose and we got a pretty good show from Beyonce.

I say pretty good but not great because I mean I'm not the biggest fan and thats what I'm here to talk about. The idea of fandom and what that means. You see, the one thing that irritates me is the people who feel as though everything their favorite artist does is ground-breaking, revolutionary, and subject to blind adulation and if you don't share those sentiments then you are a hater for no reason. Now, B puts on a good show but guess what, her moves are taken from legends like Tina Turner, Michael Jackson, and James Brown. Now, it's great company to be in, but to call her the greatest of all time is a bit presumptuous. Better than 99% of the acts of today, sure, but that isn't saying much in the music industry today.




This overstatement of one person's greatness causes someone like to me to pause and start to question everything that they do and bring them down a notch because the crowd noise has them elevated too high. I mean look at the twitter volume when Jay-z hugged his wife after her performance. It became such a "moment". Why? I hug my wife all of the time it's not that abnormal, but because they are celebrities, it becomes the benchmark for their fan's lives. I felt the same way when Blue ivy was born and the internet went wild over Jay-z's "open letter" to the newborn where he stated a bunch of obvious shit that any real parent feels. It's not that I'm knocking him for it, but I don't know all of the dick riders who hopped on it like he was the first father to ever kiss his daughter or something so I have to direct my commentary at him somewhat. It's actually unfortunate because I hope he can be a role model, as well as his relationship, but when something as simple as a hug becomes tmz front cover news, something is wrong with us as a collective. That should be the least of what we expect, and we shouldn't be giving him a cookie for something he suppose to do as Chris Rock would say.

At the end of the day, no celebrity walks on water, but when people turn into the ultimate fanatics and overstate every single action, there is a problem. If we all focused as much on being the best we can be  as much as we invest time in defending our favorite personalities, we would be much better off and the positive things they do wouldn't seem so special.

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