The hip-hop community is still reeling from the death of Heavy D earlier this week, but more troubling news surfaced over the weekend. Via a brief tweet on Saturday (November 12), DJ Scratch revealed that Erick Sermon has suffered from a heart attack. The 42-year-old singer is one half of the legendary New York group EPMD along with Parrish Smith. Details on Sermon’s status are still scarce, but according to Scratch (who once DJed for EPMD), he seems to be stable.
"Erick Sermon had a heart attack today," DJ Scratch wrote. "He's ok, but still send your prayers. He is not on Twitter." Fans have continued to tweet their questions at him after the initial announcement, prompting him to reply, “I wish yall tweet me this much when I tweet good news. Smh”
Before embarking on his successful solo career, Sermon scored several hits--including 1987’s “It’s My Thing,”--with Parrish Smith as part of EPMD (Erick and Parrish Making Dollars). His first solo album No Pressure was released in 1993.
Some listen to music to reinforce a mood, an idea of a time/place, to embody a mind-state, a lightness, to sharpen or dull an edge. I make music to jump off of that edge and explore.
I've been exploring since birth, whether wandering through the woods as a child, through the streets of NY as a teenager, backpacking through South and Central America, India, Africa, touring and performing in over thirty countries around the world and taking advantage of every minute offstage to wander, observe, get lost... I've seen a lot. And through it all, one thing remains super clear: people are beautiful. They may not always be well educated, well paid, or informed of the world that exists beyond their doorstep, but I've landed on many doorsteps and have been welcomed in way more than I've ever been turned away. I've been fed by strangers, I could not use words to communicate with, whose cupboards were not overflowing with food. I've been given beds and floors to sleep on by people who did not know me from Adam... Don't believe the hype- the outside world, that many of us have been taught to fear, is filled with more love than anything else. Yes, there is ignorance. Yes, there is violence. Yes there is greed and crime. But there is something beneath all of that, and it has been fighting it's way through all cultural variations and traditions, norms and differences. And that thing, that force, that common ground, and the energy that transforms, is what I call
Nowadays, I look at the news, browsing the net, and, subsequently, learn what songs, videos, movies, books are popular in compare/contrast with what's in the news, with what's going on- and to be honest- I'm often dumbfounded and left with the question of "What the hell am I trying to do?". "Exactly what world do I expect to fit into with these sounds, these thoughts, and sentiments?". I feel alone, stupid, caught in some absurd elitist riddle where the answer is found scratched into the wood of some old unknown blues musicians' guitar. "Who the fuck cares?", is what I ask myself. "Who am I fooling?". It's not that I don't like what's out there. I like and love a lot of it. I just don't always feel like I fit in.
When you talk to record execs, they want to be able to see exactly where you'll fit into the commercial playing field. They want to be able to envision your song being played between Kanye and Drake on the radio. They want to be able to easily locate your audience. I'm pretty certain that much of my audience is out occupying cities across the world, protesting against corporate giants, squatting in city parks, following the same compulsion that led many to poetry slams and readings some years back; to raves, hip-hop, and punk rock shows, when music was more counter-culture than over-the-counter culture. All those seeds that were planted, the voices unlocked, the envisionment of the world that is possible and the pledge to make it real, are all coming full circle now.
I rise and face
the firing squad.
there is one
is my system
They fire rounds
but I am seldom
in their circle.
A quiet mind
is labeled 'sound'
and colored purple.
My little boy
has not yet learned
to color within lines.
His jumbled diction
has not yet learned
We speak of art
with flaming passion
and then do work
void of compassion
and wonder why
is bleeding fiction.
Volcanic Sunlight is my contribution to the times. It is my way of sharing that through all the necessary fighting for change behind, ahead, and within us, I have found it most helpful to think of it as a dance. I danced through a lot of bullshit (and fun shit) in order to get here... (don't forget the fun shit!). Yeah, it's been fun. Hella fun (415/510). And, honestly, I ain't really trying to fit in. (See: Talk To Strangers). But I've decided to sell my album to you, this time. As if to say, here is my idea of a 'product' that, I hope you will consider, worth more than it's asking price. As if to say, "invest in alternative energy". 'Cause, basically, that's how I think of Volcanic Sunlight: as an alternative form of energy. Something a bit more conscious of it's global imprint that whole cities, and possibly, new worlds, or, at least, new thoughts, can run on. My intention is for it to serve as a generator, a power source, that remembers the beauty of it's engine as it serves to transform the system.
And I would like to give a special shout out to all of the youth and people around the world that have somehow chosen this year to stand and demand the civil liberties, equality, and socio-political justice, and transparency, that should be afforded to all, in all lands. Your rising voice and actions have supplied more than slogans. You are who every poem was written for. And you are the chorus to the anthem of our times. Thank you.
Genre: Hip Hop / Rap, R&B Location: Ohio & Chicago Comparison: Nas, Tupac, Drake, Lupe Fiasco, LL Cool J
About Tugun Cannon
MC Tugun Cannon embodies a rare trait in hip-hop--he is a street artist that is politically and socially aware. That outlook is even embodied in his name Tugun, which means he shoots knowledge and game.
Having started rapping at a very young age, the first rhyme Tugun ever spit a rhyme it was ironically written by his grandmother. The pro-rap verse (which he still remembers to this day) was the first step into the world of entertainment for Tugun. Working with his grandmother and her production company—1+1 Productions—at the age of 7, Tugun also got the opportunity to share his talents in the theatre. He joined his grandmother and mom as an actor in Shakespearean plays, as well as in Lorraine Hansberry's production of A Raisin in the Sun.
Although Tugun was exposed to the arts at a very young age it could not keep him from eventually getting caught up in the street life. As fate would have it, he ended up getting sentenced to 16 months in a juvenile detention center outside of Philadelphia, PA. What could have been a setback ended up changing Tugun's life forever. "They take that rapping shit seriously out there and me being around that refueled my interest in rapping," says Tugun. He had finally embraced music as the proper creative outlet to express himself.
Once he was released, Tugun relocated to Atlanta, GA and worked at his uncle's mentor program "It's Cool to Be Smart." This would be Tugun's introduction into the record industry as he had the chance to work and hang with signed artists and producers. Fresh out of juvenile lockup and at just 17-years-old he was discovered by producer P-Money. That connection would lead to Tugun moving to California to work with multi-platinum recording artist Game.
Having gained knowledge in song recording, Tugun had a better idea of how to improve himself as an artist. That journey started with the launch of his career back in Cleveland with the release of his first mixtape titled Growing Pains. Over the next few years Tugun would release six more street albums, creating a strong buzz everywhere he touched down from his hometown to Las Vegas to Chicago where he would go on to sign with independent label Mathaus Entertainment.
With the knowledge of the industry and the knowledge of the street life, Tugun is on the brink of releasing his official debut album, The American Way. Kicked off by the single and video "Bout My Business" produced by Ben McCrary, the album is a culmination of all the things that he's been through in his life. "The American Way is the little people speaking to the big people," he says. "This is David's way of getting Goliath's attention and letting him know ‘you about to get slayed'." The album artwork, which features an upside down U.S.A. flag and the title of the album spelled backwards only tell part of the story. But don't get it twisted, Tugun is not in the game to preach, "My music is thought provoking without beating the listener over the head with a message I do it in a way that if a kid was about to go do something stupid, he might think twice about it if he was listening to my music because he or she can hear me share my experiences of being in the same position."
As the first in a trilogy of "America" themed albums, Tugun has just begun shooting game and knowledge to the masses.
In addition to the music, Tugun also shows and proves on a grassroots level. Along with fellow artist LuLu Tha P.K., he is starting a breakfast club for underprivileged kids, in urban areas, who are unable to eat breakfast in the morning before school.
Having worked with Game and international singer/songwriter/producer B. Howard ("Can't Let You Go"), Tugun remains humbled and acknowledges that all of his experiences have been gifts that led him to his current position. "I am anointed by God, more than anything." With the expectation of listeners seeing who he is as a person, he emphasizes that he "is not a star, but a human being who goes through ups and downs, fun, and is simply open to the human experience."
His new album The American Way is scheduled for release on September 11th, 2011 on iTunes and other digital outlets.
We're pleased to announce that the legendary DJ Premier was just added to the bill for M.O.P.'s upcoming album release party, taking place November 21st, 2011 at Santos Party House in New York City. The Mash Out Posse will celebrate the release of their latest studio album,Spartawith a vibrant performance in NYC. Lil Fame and Billy Danze are sure to put on an electrifying performance as they play all of their hits as well as soon-to-be crowd favorites from their upcoming collabo album with the Snowgoons, Sparta. Several special guests are expected to be on hand for this, so if you’re a fan of New York hip-hop, you won’t want to miss this one! Don't take our word for it - check out DJ Eclipse and Torae of Sirius XM's hit show, "Rap Is Outta Control"talking about their experiences seeing M.O.P. hold it down live in person.
Introducing Perfeck Strangers! "Ghetto" Video Release Party, Nov. 16
Don't be a stranger!
On Wednesday, November 16th inside Toby's Famous Eatery @ 411 College St. W. in Toronto, we celebrate the release of the debut Perfeck Strangers video "Ghetto". And you're invited!
Music will be played by Stylus Award winning DJ LAW and there is NO cover! That's right it's FREE! Great music, cheap drinks, videos on the big screen and more!
Presented by EasParkPro and URBNET, this is the industry party of the month that you don't want to miss!
It's easy to say that Perfeck Strangers are an unlikely pair, but when listening to their music you would think they have been rhyming together for years.
Both accomplished rappers in their own rights, the union of Dan-e-o and Promise presents a “perfeck” melding of talent in the vein of Hip Hop's most heralded duos, such as Black Star, De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest and Little Brother.
Perfeck Strangers have even been compared to legendary tag-teams like EPMD and Das EFX for the way they effortlessly flip lines back and forth with each other.
Joining forces after years of blessing eardrums as impeccably brilliant soloists, veteran Toronto emcees Dan-e-o and Promise are now tackling the world of music as the tandem, PERFECK STRANGERS!