THIRD ANNUAL I ROCK THE MIC CONFENCE & AWARDS ANNOUNCED Family Reunion of Urban Radio Will Focus On "Stepping Your Game Up to the Next Level of Excellence"
Miami, FL, September 18, 2008 - Plans for the 3rd Annual I Rock The Mic Conference & Awards (IRTM) were announced today. The conference dates are set for December 4 - 7 in Miami Beach, Florida at the Eden Roc Resort & Spa. The theme for the leading empowerment gathering for urban radio professionals is "Stepping Your Game Up to the Next Level of Excellence."
IRTM, known as the family reunion of urban radio, creates a very unique environment where accomplished industry professionals and the aspiring convene for power networking, informative panels, talent development and programming workshops and exclusive entertainment events. 2007 marked the first time that key urban radio powerhouses were under one roof at the same time. Industry leaders such as Tom Joyner, Doug Banks, Elroy Smith, Big Boy, Doc Wynter, Donnie Simpson, Reggie Rouse, Gary Bernstein, Michael Baisden, Rickey Smiley, Terry Monday, Keith Sweat, Big Tigger, FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein, RIAA's Carlos Linares, Arbitron's Julian Davis and many more came together to network and talk about the business of urban radio.
The 2008 IRTM weekend retreat kicks off this year with a celebration of powerful women who rock the mic and the conference will feature live broadcasts by personalities on radio and internet stations, interactive panel discussions on current industry issues and information that will include representatives from the NABOB, RIAA and other industry organizations.
Back by popular demand this year is the talent development boot camp. New to the conference agenda is a programmers workshop and luncheon that will feature some of the most powerful programming leaders in the country.
"I Rock The Mic is about empowerment. Many think urban radio is heading towards extinction but they are wrong. Urban radio is transitioning and today its all about taking our old school knowledge and tying in the new school technology," says Rick Party Co-Founder of IRTM and CEO of Sizzle Productions. "I Rock The Mic empowers urban radio professionals and students with knowledge of today. We are committed to the responsibility of preserving the history and shaping the future of urban radio?
The IRTM Awards close the weekend and have honored urban radio legends and icons for their contribution to the industry. Past honorees include Hal Jackson, Jerry Rushin, Irene Johnson Ware, Herb Kent, Tom Joyner, Walt 'Baby' Love and Donnie Simpson. The 2008 honorees will be announced in October.
It seems that disgruntled rap superstar Busta Rhymes has finally found a new place to call home. www.udubnews.com is reporting that he has signed with Motown Records and reunited with former boss Sylvia Rhone, who was chief officer at Elektra Records whem Busta started his career. Months ago we reported that Busta and Interscope label head Jimmy Iovine got into an argument which resulted in Busta being dropped from the label, but Busta's representatives insist that he asked to be released from his contract. Thanks to udub for giving us the update and congrats to Busta Rhymes on moving forward with his career.
Man, this recession is hitting us hard from all fronts, even here at RapReviews it seems cats are scrambling to find free joints to review on a weekly basis. That only makes my job easier! So with nor further ado we kick things off with a recap of the free music that was featured in this week's update:
Apparently this is kind of old, but I just ran into it - a whole CD by 9th and Murs for free to follow in the tradition of their previous non-free collaborations. Should be a good listen for those going to buy "Murs For President" in a few weeks.
FMF has been a little eastcoastcentric (not my fault though, down south and west coast, holla at ya boy), but we will expand a little for this edition.
The good folks at Allhiphop.com hooked up with Tha Dogg Pound and DJ Drama to give you a new and free mixtape:
Seems like every website is hooking us up with the FMF swag (what does swag even mean?) and HipHopDX is not to be outdone, hooking up with Detroit's native son, Royce Da 5'9'', to give us the follow up to the critically acclaimed "Bar Exam." Here's "Bar Exam 2" for your free listening pleasure:
Man, I think RapReviews needs to jump on the bandwagon and cosign a mixtape or something - any takers? That's it for this week, short, sweet, and to the point. If this doesn't hold you over until next week then you need to get a second job or something to keep you busy.
Last week I attended two different shows and at those shows I met up with a lot of artists I know from the scene. At the Kosha Dillz album release party, in addition to Kosha Dillz himself, I ran into Homeboy Sandman, Creature, Sav Killz, J Ronin, Donny Goines, Yak Ballz and a host of other folks. At the Maiysha album release party I met up with Conscious, INF and some other friends. Obviously there was plenty of catching up going on, but as Conscious and I discussed later in the week, there are a host of other reasons artists need to be at as many shows as they can make it to, especially shows where they may have never seen many of the artists on the bill, or at least haven’t seen them in a while.
The Hip-Hop Generation. It’s the label that’s been affixed to everyone who has grown up involved in hip-hop in any way, shape or form. According to Ice Cube, however, it’s a tag that was created with the intent to debase. “That’s a dismissive kind of label,” he says with aggravation, “it’s damn near like calling us rednecks in our own way. If they act crazy don’t worry about it, they’re part of the Hip-Hop Generation. If something happens that you don’t understand, don’t worry about, they’re part of the Hip-Hop Generation. You know, ain’t nuttin wrong with you, it’s something wrong with them.”
Kidd Russell is an artist who first caught my ear in 2006 with his debut LP, Untied. Since then I’ve listened to him grow as an emcee, and after seeing the video for his latest single, “Dear Shooter,” which is off of his upcoming album, The Dash, I finally decided it was time to sit down with him to talk about his life and career. During our conversation Russell opened up about why he raps, the inspiration for “Dear Shooter,” and how The Dash represents life. This is an interview two years in the making and it’s safe to say it was well worth the wait.
Introducing a new feature here on RapReviews - Free Music Fridays! I would steal Funk Master Flex's logo, but I don't want to get sued. What we do is scour the internet on a weekly basis to find free music for you to peruse. It can be commercial, underground, singles, mixtapes, etc.. but no matter what, it'll be free and legal (can't get more legal than getting directly from the artist or label itself). If you're a fan, scroll down and enjoy. If you're a label, artist, or rep and want to be featured next Friday just hit me on my beeper - or if you lack a beeper (squares) then hit me up at djcomplejo @ rapreviews.com.
Love, Peace, and Downloadssss...
First up this week is a single coming from Foreign Exchange. For those out of the loop, Foreign Exchange consists of rapper Phonte of Little Brother and producer Nicolay. The single off their forthcoming album is available here:
Not to be outdone, producer Jake One gives you some free heat in the form of "The Truth" - the lead single to his upcoming album. Featuring Freeway and Brother Ali on the same track (you read that right), this song is a good sign of things to come:
Moving on up to the EP tip, rapper Supastition has been making a lot of noise lately (and for good reason I'd say). In order to wake up even the deepest sleepers, he's released a free EP under the legal name of Kam Moye. Check out 8 tracks of free dope here:
Moving deeper into the underground, literally, we re-visit the Windy City to check out the Molemen collective in the form of Decay. As an appetizer to his upcoming album he gives is "The Unlikely Villain" - a mixtape available for free here:
Speaking of mixtapes featured in reviews on our site, both Wale's "100 Miles and Running" and Rhymefest's "Man In The Mirror" got much love from RapReviews. Here they are for you (by way of Wale's Myspace page):
We prefer downloads on FMF, but when People Under The Stairs let you preview their latest album in it's entirety (The Om Years) we had to show them some love. For those waiting for your opportunity to peep The P - you've run out of excuses:
Last, but definitely not least, for all our readers who prefer their rap in Acid form, we have the latest podcast from Acidrap.com. For those out of the loop - Acidrap.com is Esham's official page and outside of getting all the info you could ever want about the boogie man, you can also DL his podcasts which include a mix of of music and more:
CNN is reporting this afternoon that Kanye West was arrested this morning after getting into a skirmish with several paparazzi photographers at the Los Angeles International Airport. The incident involved the rap star and his road manger slash bodyguard Don Crowley fighting with two photographers, and the cameras of the paparazzi were damaged in the altercation. West and Crowley were both arrested on charges of felony vandalism. Some sources incorrectly reported Crowley had also been charged with battery but police sources told CNN that was not the case. TMZ has video footage of the incident HERE. We'll keep you updated as more details become available.
*September 10th, 2008* -- The self-proclaimed Dot Father himself, Derek "Sadat X" Murphy, has returned with his brand new, fifth solo collection, the appropriately titled, *Generation X*. The Will Tell produced project, in an exclusive deal with New York City's urban indie powerhouse, Affluent Records, is being introduced by the set's hard hitting, lead offering, 'Never.'
Not having heard from X since '06's solid, but commercially panned, *Black October*, Sadat is back in fine, rare form, showing that he hasn't missed a beat since the days of old with his group-mates, Grand Puba and Lord Jamar, of the legendary Brand Nubian collective.
Originally known as Derek X, the Brooklyn, New York, resident emcee made his national debut in 1989 with the release of the group's premier single 'Brand Nubian' b/w 'Feels So Good,' followed by their critically acclaimed, first outing, *One For All*. The classic set spawned three additional hits 'All For One,' 'Wake Up,' and 'Slow Down.' Inspired by the teachings of Islam, *One For All* eventually sold over 350,000 units, nearly going gold, and won the coveted 5 Mic rating in Hip-Hop magazine, The Source.
Sadat, who borrowed his moniker from former Egyptian president, Anwar Sadat, eventually recorded and released his solo debut, *Wild Cowboys* . The stellar record contains superb production from some of the industry's finest beat-makers; Buckwild, Diamond D, Minnesota, Da Beatminerz, Pete Rock, Showbiz, and Dante Ross.
Three additional solo projects, and a pair of Brand Nubian efforts later, and the "X-Man" is about to unleash, possibly, his most powerful opus yet, *Generation X*.
With a career that spans nearly three decades, and possessing one of the genre's most distinctive voices, veteran rapper Sadat X is definitely a much needed, breath of fresh air in an otherwise stale Hip-Hop sound-scape.
*Generation X*, which features appearances from Twanie Ranks and Thirstin Howl III, will be released digitally on September 30th 2008, followed by an actual in-store date November 4th 2008.