Its been awhile. No pissed off editorials, no DJ gigs, no mix shows and I haven't done anything to land myself on a reality show...yet. Its called being preoccupied with real life kickin your ass. Anyhow, here's a brief cameo before I retreat back to my office under a rock. Its nice and cool down there.
I'm not sure how many of you shop at Foot Locker (or bother to look at the TV screens in there), but if you do and wondered...yeah, that was me. I've been doing a series of video shorts for SLAM Magazine's sneakers of the month at Foot Locker, and apparently, they're running now! I haven't seen the videos yet, but when my aunt, cousins and a few friends called and asked me why my "big ass head and that big ass afro" was on the TV screen in Foot Locker...I figured I'd save you the email/phone call asking me what the hell I was doing. If you happen to see one, don't laugh. You can giggle though.
Also, I haven't made any music in ages, but a song I produced for The Cunninlinguists awhile ago was released recently. They did a video for the song that was released on Friday, its hilarious and getting a great response.
Even if you don't like my beats, its the only music I've made in the last year and a half (and probably the last for awhile). The video is extremely well done. I even make an appearance in the video at 2:14, so if you don't like Foot Locker, you can see me there and ridicule me from the comfort of your own home.
Oh, and all of you on this mailing list with news/media sites. Feel free to link the music video, but there's no need to re-post the Foot Locker thing. It was just useless info that may help you out on Jeopardy one day, along with "foods that start with the letter Q". Besides, can't have people piling into Foot Locker stores like the Superbowl is being played. .
Hope everyone is ballin' big time on 30 inch rims. Save me some.
Shouts out to the homie Patrick aka Paddylane for the fresh interview he did with me for his new blog, "Hip-Hop 4 The People". I first met Paddylane via Youtube 3 years back when i saw the dope fan-made video he did for the Panacea song "Place on Earth", so naturally when he asked me to be featured on his blog- it was a done deal. You can read the interview HERE, and make sure you subscribe to his blog too, as Patrick knows his hip-hop!
"Execution is right. From the Italian horror movie-inspired cover to the murderous beats and battle rhymes, this collaboration is a homicidal attack on all things wack. The album, a team-up between Brooklyn MC Ruste Juxx and Marco Polo, is on Duck Down, so before you even hit play you know you are in for some quality, hard-hitting East Coast hip hop. The label has an impressive track record, as do Polo and Juxx. Marco Polo's "Port Authority" and collab with Torae got high marks from this website, as did Ruste Juxx's 2009 debut, "Indestructible." Marco Polo is a sample-based producer, using his MPC to make the gut-punching hip hop in the tradition of Primo and Pete Rock. Ruste Juxx is a foul-mouthed battle rhymer, the shark you send in to take out haters with a verbal beatdown. It's a perfect partnership, since both artists are inspired by classic hip hop. "
""A Million in the Morning" is a mockumentary centered around a Netflix sponsored contest where contestants attempted to break the world record of movie watching. For those not familiar with the concept, a mockumentary is a mock documentary where comedy, usually dark humor and satire, is used to poke fun at the subject of the documentary. The genre became popular ten years ago with the film "Best in Show." That mockumentary poked fun at the obsessive and extreme nature of dog owners obsessed with their pets. It was a success, due mostly to the top notch cast and fresh concept. Since then, there have been plenty of attempts to capture the same magic, but very little success."
"Bryan Williams has been going by the name Birdman long enough that we can probably drop referring to him as Baby at this point. Honestly it was a bad nom de plume and even worse as a nickname - it implied that what Williams had to say on wax was childish and immature. That's fair though - a lot of what Williams had to say WAS. With marginal talent at best as a lyricist, Williams relied on catchphrases and funny noises to carry himself as a soloist when his real best fit in the rap game was (and always has been) as the entrepreneur and architect of Cash Money Records. Despite a lack of accolades for his rapping ability, Birdman has been a sales success for three reasons: well produced singles, a VERY tight relationship with Lil Wayne, and no shortage of TV and radio exposure for his singles. Since he's still releasing solo albums over 7 years after the first one dropped, you have to give him a modicum of respect and props as a soloist. "
various artists :: Bohemian Rap CD :: Free Ice Cream as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon
"The idea has lingered in the collective consciousness of hip-hop since the unfortunate rise and fall of Vanilla Ice - sample Queen's greatest hits to make even greater rap songs. It's really not a bad idea given the long-lasting musical legacy of Freddie Mercury, but Robert Van Winkle poisoned the well and nobody's wanted to openly advocate drinking from those waters for almost 20 years. Even on the rare occasions Queen samples have snuck into the mix, they've been carefully hidden in the background, and were probably prohibitively expensive to license from the corporate owners of that still highly marketable music catalogue to boot. Kats & Domer have their own solution to the latter. FreeIceCream.net is literally what the domain name implies - great flavors you don't have to pay for."
"Cool Breeze's resume speaks for itself. A longtime pal of Atlanta's seminal rap visionaries OutKast and Goodie Mob, his legendary verses on "Dirty South" and "Decatur Psalm" were enough to make any Dungeon Family fan put down the soul food and slow down his Eldorado long enough to wonder "Who IS this guy?" However, it wasn't until after OutKast's third multiplatinum effort that major labels began to pick up the duo's relatives, and in 1999 Cool Breeze's debut "East Points Greatest Hit" saw the light of day on Interscope. Blessed with the Midas touch of Organized Noize Productions and guest appearances from his D.F. brethren as well as Kurupt, 8Ball, and Nivea, Cool Breeze's debut LP set to prove that he would be the "Greatest Hit" to emerge from his East Point neighborhood. "
"Earl Stevens is back a little over a year after dropping "The Ball Street Journal" late in 2008, and like always he's doing it major, but this time he's doing it EXTRA major. For the first time since Nelly did it back in 2004, a major hip-hop artist has dropped two separate but related albums on the same day at the same time. E-40 is "Revenue Retrievin'" around the clock, which is why he's grinding on the "Day Shift" with one hustle and on the "Night Shift" with more muscle. Unofficially "Revenue Retrievin'" is a double album, but when they chart on Billboard they'll go up separately. Make no mistake about it - they WILL chart. E-40's cult following has grown over the years like Earl's wasteline, and the portly pimp of Vallejo knows how to appeal to that fanbase - keep it Yay Area and hella gangsta. So long as Stevens' stays consistent, so will his album sales. "
"The companion album to E-40's "Revenue Retrievin' - Day Shift," the late night hustle picks up on "Night Shift" right where the former left off. The closer of E-40's new double wide project found Earl Stevens in search of better days and a better life, but once night fell Rick Rock and 40-Water worked together and found the key to getting ahead - keeping it cooking metaphorically and literally by going in "Over the Stove". Muscle and hustle have been the keys to E-40's success since the early 1990's and they're still working for Earl Stevens here in spades. Not surprisingly since this album is "Night" and not "Day" there's a much harder feel to the presentation. Rick Rock returns on the second track with another banger to remind us that "Nice Guys" finish last and stay broke while "bad guys finish first, and push coke." Things soften up for the third joint though, potentially a new single candidate not yet released off the CD - the Jazze Pha produced "Can't Stop the Boss" featuring Snoop Dogg and Too $hort. It's a West coast powerhouse lineup over a very mellow piano backdrop, with Pha singing the hook to boot."
Geto Boys :: Till Death Do Us Part :: Rap-A-Lot Records ** RapReviews "Back to the Lab" series ** as reviewed by Matt Jost
"Under the watchful eye of James Smith, the trio revisited some GB staples and introduced a few new nuances to the repertoire. With the Ghetto/Geto Boys being the label owner's vision from day one, it didn't come as a surprise to hear him open and close the new album. The "Intro" finds him talking in his careful, Corleone-like manner, mentioning "a lot of people mad about our success." If you think you've heard this one before and expect a tirade against haters, you must be a newcomer to the Rap-A-Lot saga. Referring to "the DEA, IRS, and other wicked people in high places," Smith for the first time alludes to a conspiracy to bring the label down on trumped up charges, which he counters as follows: "I didn't allow myself to be systemized by the welfare system and poverty that they try to handicap us with in the ghetto. I work my ass off, I pull brothers off the street. And together we built a multi-million dollar record company in a few years. I did it the way it was supposed to be done, by hiring lawyers and accountants, to make sure everything was done legally."
"What is rhythm? It's a word that's ingrained in our vernacular, but what does it really mean? In musical terms, rhythm is defined as the pattern of regular or irregular pulses caused by music by the occurrence of strong and weak melodic and harmonic beats. By this definition, just about everything has a rhythm to it, even when some would argue otherwise. Here we have Baltimore, MD native, King Rhythm, who seeks to continue creating his own unique form of hip-hop. His music is built on a foundation of dirty beats that are hard, funky and aggressive. Previous releases were focused on electric and dance sounds, but with the release of "Hardships & Head Trips", the synths have been replaced with guitars and drones to create some progressive hip-hop that is almost psychedelic in nature. "
"Man, hip-hop sure has gotten interesting. I wish I could put a moratorium on people either hating rappers because they all sound the same or liking rappers just because they don't sound like the shit on the radio. Those with such opinions aren't looking hard enough. Hip-hop has long since moved past a place where it need be judged simply by how much it does or doesn't sound like the mainstream. Take "Terradactyl," the 2009 anticon debut from chicago MC Serengeti and producer Polyphonic. With 'geti's cerebral montone and Poly's dissonant glitchings, it is tempting to call the record brilliant because it sounds nothing like what is on the radio, but that would be too simple. "Terradactyl" operates on its own terms. Realize, this is neither a strength nor a weakness, but simply a reason to judge "Terradactyl" based on how good it is, in and of itself, not based on how much it does or doesn't sounds like something else. "
Erick Sermon :: Double or Nothing :: Def Jam Records ** RapReviews "Back to the Lab" series ** as reviewed by Pete T
"He's gone by many aliases—E-Double-E, the Green Eyed Bandit, and Erick Onassis to name a few—but be it for his celebrated work behind the boards or his identifiably drawly rhymes on the mic, Erick Sermon has more or less been a mainstay in the rap game for over twenty years. Whether for his invaluable contributions as one half of seminal Long Island rap duo EPMD, his role as founder of the influential Def Squad collective, beats tailored for everyone from Too Short to Jay-Z to Ludacris to Shaquille O'Neal, and substantial latter-day solo catalog with multiple hit singles, he only rarely makes headlines but never fades from relevance. In 1993 while EPMD fans were still mourning the breakup of one of hip hop's greatest twosomes, E-Double hit the studio right away and rushed to produce his solo debut "No Pressure." Featuring his by-then signature bass-heavy East Coast production, "No Pressure" was well-received by fans and critics alike but displayed somewhat of a lyrical deficiency on Sermon's part as he struggled to handle double the mic duty in Parrish's absence. "
"Evan "Truthlive" Phillips is the co-founder and CEO of Interdependent Media, the indie hip hop label whose roster includes Tanya Morgan, Finale, J*Davey, and K'Naan. Interdependent not only puts out excellent indie hip hop, they do a great job marketing it, embracing new technology to create buzz for their artists and get them heard. For Tanya Morgan's sophomore effort, "Brooklynati," Interdependent created a website for the imaginary city. More importantly, they got people to actually buy the record. Like so many other hip hop label heads, what Phillips really wants to do is rap. He came up with his name when he was in the hospital awaiting one of three open heart surgeries for Supraventricular Tachycardia- "Live Truth, Truth Live." As you'd expect from someone who coined their rap name while awaiting surgery, Truthlive isn't a ringtone rapper, and he doesn't rap about getting drunk in the club or putting rims on his car. Like Chuck D, he's got so much trouble on his mind, and uses his rhymes as an outlet, addressing the injustices of the world and the sorry state of hip hop. "
This week's Hip-Hop Shop may be Episode 69 but there's Nuttin' Dirty But Tha Music. We're featuring new songs from Armageddon, Black Bobby, the tag team of Unjust & Opio plus much more! If you like what you hear be sure to e-mail email@example.com with feedback or to get more information about sponsoring the show. Hip-Hop Shop features podsafe music, so give a copy to your friends and tell them to check us out every week at RapReviews.com! PS: Be sure to check out our good friends mrob & The Cancer at K4D too!
* Atari Blitzkrieg - Can U Stand the Reign * Armageddon f/ Fat Joe, Noreaga - It's Over (Remix) * Lawrence Arnell f/ Reef the Lost Cauze - Nothin Less * Little Brother - Star * Unjust & Opio - Aggression * Black Bobby - Major Blazer (Pon de Flow) * Louis Logic f/ Black Mask - Broken Record
RAPPER HOPSIN DIRECTS, SHOOTS AND EDITS HIS OWN VIDEO FOR $400!!! HE’S A “MOTHERFU*KER”
The days of artists being signed and turning all of the budget worries and marketing work over to the record label have been over for some time. Ruthless Records’ Hopsin understands the current industry climate and is proactive about jumping in and doing his part to market his album, “Gazing At The Moonlight,” virally.
Hopsin recently acted as director, camera man, editor and artist on his most recent video for the edgy street single, “Motherfu*cker.” Shot entirely guerrilla style on his privately owned mini cam and edited on his home computer, Hopsin’s creativity shines in the finished piece which cost as much as most flossy lunch meetings at the major labels.
(April 12, 2010 - Brooklyn, NY) Fresh off the release of the most recent Georgia & Declaime album, SomeOthaShip, Declaime aka Dudley Perkins is preparing the release of his latest solo album as one of two initial releases from Georgia Anne Muldrow's and Declaime's own label, SomeOthaShip Connect. The album, titled FONK, will be available digitally as well as on CD and vinyl May 4th.
For fans of Declaime's previous albums, the appropriately titled FONK boasts a new, distinctive sound for the emcee; one that harkens back to the west coast Roger Zapp/Funkadelic sound that inspired the west coast G-funk hip-hop Declaime grew up listening to. To help bring that sound to life, Declaime enlisted the services of Quazedelic - an understudy of George Clinton himself, who has since went on to work with artists including Snoop Dogg - to produce the entire album. "I wanted to keep it to my heritage of West Coast funk," says Declaime. "A lot of us west coast underground artists tend to go to the east coast feel 'cause it's an innovative boom-bap sound. So my crew - Souls Of Mischief; The Pharcyde; Planet Asia - did that. But we actually grew up listening to MC Eiht, E-40, Dre, Snoop, Ice Cube, Too Short, DJ Quik, NWA - music that had a Zapp, Parliment, Funkadelic feel to it."
Declaime's return to his funk roots also marks a departure from his work as Dudley Perkins. As the MC steps away from his Dudley Perkins persona, he will instead be showcasing honed emcee skills and his no-nonsense, to-the-point lyricism coupled with his unorthodox, winding rhyme patterns. "I made the music with a simpler context," says Declaime. "This way my message of positivity can now reach a wider audience." Songs throughout the project, including the album's lead single, "Fame," available today via iTunes, perfectly display the sound of the new project.
In a world obsessed with immature desires a man in his rarest form must rise and stir against the tide of conformity. Heeding the call is Declaime, an incredible artist talent hailing from Oxnard, California. The visionary poet first amazed his family with his musical aptitude at age two, and with no father figure in sight, started a lifelong fascination with superheroes at an early age. Experiences with gang life left Declaime disillusioned, and he emerged a transformed man ready to begin a mission of enlightenment through the power of sound. The producer/emcee/visual artist began his journey on a track with Tha Alkaholiks, and he went on to work on with Lootpack, Oh No and KanKick to name a few. Declaime has been prolific in bringing metaphysical hip-hop into being for the masses, previously releasing Illmindmusik, Andsoitissaid, Mad Men On Arrival, A Lil' Light, Conversations With Dudley, The Dank And Jammy Show, Expressions 2012 A. U., Beautiful Minds, The Message Uni Versa, Holy Smokes, and SomeOthaShip. His latest album FONK is slated to drop on May 4th via Declaime's own label imprint SomeOthaShip Connect.
Following the splash made by his debut release of The Day The Turf Stood Still - DaVinci's self-described "soundtrack for gentrification and urban renewal" – The Fillmore District's DaVinci linked up with the one and only, The Smoking Section, out in his hometown to give viewers insight into what a day in the life is like for the rising MC. Escorting viewers through the streets of this culturally and historically rich district of San Francisco, DaVinci expresses the impact that his hometown has had upon his music, and the prolific stock of inspiration that he has derived from living there. He takes a moment in the video to drop by the New Chicago Barber Shop and talk with the owner, Reggie Pettus, who is affectionately nicknamed the Mayor of Fillmore. They discuss the vibrant history of this area, from the 1950's, when the streets were perpetually flooded with the sounds of jazz and blues, to the present-day hip-hop culture. Throughout the feature piece, it quickly becomes clear that DaVinci's music is the result of his history and the history and culture of his hometown.
DaVinci's debut album, The Day The Turf Stood Still, is available now both for free download and purchase via SWTBRDS Creative Collective.
The Fillmore District has bred more rappers per capita than any other district in San Francisco, and although the older generations recall its rich musical history rooted in Jazz, the Fillmore today is rife with drugs, turf wars, and mass gentrification. DaVinci, a young MC raised in the Fillmore, is a prime example of the duality of this area, who at the age of 13 was homeless, hungry, and hopeful for a way out. Explains DaVinci, "My music has everything to do with my environment: from robbing, killing, pimpin' to selling and abusing drugs," he explains about his heavy content. "It's a direct reflection of what my friends and family have been through and are still going through." While his story is similar to many other young rappers’ upbringings, DaVinci was surrounded by an incredible pool of Fillmore talent and by studying with the greats, he was able to sharpen his skills and aim higher than most, cultivating his story-telling abilities beyond mere drug-and-gun-talk. Growing up in the same 10-block radius as Bay Area rap legends San Quinn and JT the Bigga Figga, DaVinci was content in merely watching the next generation follow in their footsteps, until he received overwhelming praise from his peers from a mixtape appearance, which then prompted him to pursue rap professionally. In 2006, San Quinn welcomed him onto the "Pressure Makes Diamonds Tour" with rap veterans Xzibit and Tech N9ne. Since the tour, DaVinci has kept busy appearing on numerous mixtapes and compilations, as well as preparing his official debut album, The Day The Turf Stood Still. The Day The Turf Stood Still is available now via SWTBRDS Creative Collective.
A lot of emcees feel the fact that they recorded their music gives them some sort of right to everyone’s time. Proper sees things a bit differently, saying “the process and challenge of proving I’m worth being heard is what I’m dead set and focused on.” Proper’s latest offering is the song “Mirror Mirror,” which is off of the Know You Got SOLE soundtrack, and in a continuation of my Season of Sole series of Artists Of The Week, I sat down with him to find out more about his music, the step by step process he’s taking to reach his goals, and why he feels Nike needs to put him on speed dial.