Poet, playwright, actor, educator, MC, multi-ethnic and multi-faceted, Dyalekt lives his life truly embodying the word Artist. Very little that he does isn’t in the name of some form of art and with all of those things he throws himself into he always finds some way to work Hip-Hop into each and every one of them. A little over a year ago Dyalekt wrote and starred in his own one man Hip-Hop Theater show titled Square Peg Syndrome and now he is ready to release the music from that show, along with some of his other work, on his debut LP. Though he’s currently on tour in Europe with two other members of the Mindspray crew, a Brooklyn based rap group he joined over two years ago, Dyalekt sat down with me before his plane took off to discuss what Square Peg Syndrome is all about, why he feels everyone can relate to it, and how he's utilizing Hip-Hop to create a new way of learning in the classroom.
Taking a look at the current Radio & Records charts, which are the charts that tell us which songs are getting the most airplay, on “urban” music stations six of the top 40 songs, including four of the top 12, feature T-Pain. Apparently the world loves the vocoder, and as much as I hate to admit it the Chris Brown song he guests on, “Kiss Kiss,” is straight fire. Seeing T-Pain singing everyone’s hooks made me want to take a look back to those who blazed the path for him. With that in mind, today I examine the great lineage of the guest vocal in modern Hip-Hop.
Sean "Diddy" Combs Forms Groundbreaking Strategic Alliance With World's Largest Spirits Company
DiddyBuy Press PlayRead Bio Combs, Diageo Announce Groundbreaking Strategic Alliance, 50/50 Profit Split Where Diddy Leads in Brand Management of Ciroc VodkaNEW YORK - Diageo, the world's leading, spirits, wine and beer company, today announced a groundbreaking strategic alliance between Sean "Diddy" Combs and Ciroc vodka. Under the terms of the deal, Combs and Sean Combs Enterprises will take the lead on all brand management decisions for Ciroc, while sharing in the future profits of the growth of the brand. This exclusive US multi-year collaboration, which calls for a 50/50 profit split, is a first for the spirits industry and could be worth more than $100 million for Combs.
"Sean Combs has a proven track record of developing high-end brands and we expect his alliance with Ciroc to follow suit," said Debra Kelly-Ennis, Chief Marketing Officer, Diageo North America. "We are confident that Sean and his team are the right partners to further enhance the luxury profile of Ciroc."
As part of the new alliance, Combs will take the lead on brand management decisions, including marketing, advertising, public relations, product placement and events.The groundbreaking alliance with Ciroc, one of the world's only vodkas made from grapes, will focus on the "art of celebration," a concept Combs embodies and cultivates both personally and professionally as a lifestyle and entertainment icon. A major component of the initiative will be the commitment to promoting responsible decision-making when it comes to drinking.
"It is an honor and a privilege for me to partner with Diageo on this venture," said Combs. "I pride myself on the company I keep and will only work with the best. My extensive track record as a brand builder ranges from cultivating music careers and creating a lifestyle fashion brand, to launching two signature fragrances and producing a hit television show --all of which have given me the necessary skills needed to establish aluxury brand. I am confident that this alliance with Ciroc will be a success."
ABOUT SEAN COMBS SEAN COMBS, the CEO and founder of Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment Group is a multifaceted entertainment powerhouse. Sean "Diddy" Combs was declared "One of the Most Influential Businessmen in the World" by TIME Magazine and CNN. Combs, 37, oversees one of the world's preeminent urban entertainment companies, encompassing a broad range of businesses including recording, music publishing, artist management, television and film production, recording facility, apparel and fragrance.
ABOUT DIAGEO Diageo (Dee-AH-Gee-O) is the world's leading premium drinks business with an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits, wines, and beer categories. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Guinness, Smirnoff, J&B, Baileys, Cuervo, Tanqueray, Captain Morgan, Crown Royal, Beaulieu Vineyard and Sterling Vineyards wines.
Diageo is a global company, trading in more than 180 countries around the world. The company is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO)and the London Stock Exchange (DGE).
For more information about Diageo, its people, brands, and performance, visit us at Diageo.com. Celebrating life, every day, everywhere, responsibly.
ABOUT CIROC Ciroc is made from exclusive grapes that are harvested late in the season when temperatures are colder, distilled five times and cold fermented, providing a crisp, clean taste and citrus nose. Ciroc was launched in Chicago, New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Miami in March 2003 and nationwide that September. Ciroc, 40% Alc./Vol. (80 proof) is imported by Diageo.
Atlanta, GA -- The Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation (TASF) regrets to report that a series of attacks have taken place at the Tupac Amaru Shakur Center for the Arts, 5616 Memorial Drive, Stone Mountain, Georgia. The first incident occurred in the early hours of Saturday, October 20th, when vandals defaced the building as well as tying a noose around the neck of the bronze statue of Tupac Shakur located in the Center's Peace Garden. The attacks are being investigated as hate crimes by the De Kalb County Sheriff's Office. The second incident occurred at the Center at 2:00AM Monday morning when the statue was damaged further. A male has been arrested and is currently being held in custody.
The noose hung around the statue's neck is an imitation of other cases recently reported in the media after a surge of hate crimes. The statue was also plastered with handbills of garbled rants that include references to 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina as well as vague threats against various record companies and rappers. The manner of the attack indicates it is the work of one or more individuals.
Says Afeni Shakur; "We thank everyone for their prayers and support. Although our hearts are temporarily in pain, our spirits have already forgiven the perpetrators. Hate comes in all colors and genders therefore we will use this act of hate and ignorance to bring our community together and to pray for the healing of those who harbor such feelings. With God's guidance, the work of the Tupac Amaru Shakur Center for the Arts and Peace Garden will continue to positively impact and transform our community."
The Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation is now in the process of raising money to construct a fence around the parameters of the Center to prevent these types of incidents from occurring again.
Brooklyn-based indie-hop innovator Domer is back with a brand new kind of musical project. Only a few months after the April release of his critically acclaimed genre-bender "Work With Me" on Skipping Beats Records, Domer has decided to push the limits even further by inventing a whole new kind of interactive album.
The vocals for the five songs on My Favorite EP were recorded with no beat underneath, just rapped to a metronome and posted online for producers all over the world to run with. By keeping a carefully ambiguous tone in lyrical content and delivery, Domer allows producers to take the EP in any musical direction they choose. Once Domer collects the various versions of the EP (which already range from party tracks to introspective electro to minimal electro-dub), they will all be posted online for free download and listening.
But that's not the best part.
The twist is that the actual choice of the My Favorite EP lineup and song order will be left in the hands of every journalist, blogger and fan who participates. Everyone is invited to choose their favorite version of each song and create a custom-made version of My Favorite EP according to their own tastes. And of course, everyone is encouraged to post their favorite EP for free download on their own site.
"I wanted to blur the line between artist and listener," Domer said. "The direction of the album is in everyone's hands but mine and will continue to be till the project is over. It's cool because it really gets people involved in the process and kind brings the open-source philosophy to music in a new way."
The vocal tracks can currently be found in Domer's blog at iamDOMER.com and he expects to post the finished versions by mid-November, following his return from an October '07 national US tour.
When it comes to producing music Timbaland is the king of the pop stars, gaining huge notoriety for working with the likes of Justin Timberlake and Nelly Furtado. Kanye West is the Hip-Hop producer every rock critic seems to love and boy does he enjoy telling people about it. During all this time, however, one production team has played the back and simply made consistently good music. They used to produce everyone's songs and be up in everyone's videos to the point of dominating the airwaves, both audio and visual, with their presence, but now they’ve grown into a new role. They are The Neptunes. Yeah, you remember them. And over the past few years they’ve been doing some incredible things in music that have been flying under the radar.
Las Vegas. Whenever someone says the city’s name bright lights, beautiful women, gigantic casinos and never-ending evenings come to mind. Some might be surprised to know Vegas also has a Hip-Hop scene, or at least it has Hip-Hop artists attempting to be heard. Two such artists are Jon D and Bob-J, better known as Somobe. The name of the group is derived from an old jazz term, So Moby, which meant cool. It would turn out to be the perfect description for the duo with the smoothed out vibe. Last month Somobe released their debut album, The Great Communication, and this week I caught up with the duo, one half of which, Bob-J, is currently finishing up his degree in journalism at UNLV, to find out more about the project, as well as the Vegas scene and why it’s so hard to be a Hip-Hop artist there.
This Monday I, yes RapReviews.com's own Adam Bernard, turned 29 years old. Now, some of you may be expecting some well thought out reflection on what it means to be 29 and how it feels to know that as of this moment I officially have less than a year left in my 20’s. To be honest, I thought about writing such a post, but then my father emailed me with some life-changing news that I simply had to share. Are you ready for this? Pacman Jones’ real name is Adam Bernard Jones. That’s right, Adam Bernard Jones! I was overjoyed to read this. The news brought me to a euphoric state. Suspended Tennessee Titan and former TNA tag team champion Pacman Jones and I share a name. Today I got to thinking, what other things do Pacman and I have in common?
Have you been wondering whatever happened to that new Mike Jones album "The American Dream" that was supposed to come out ohh... a JILLION years ago? Well perhaps Mike-who-Mike-Jones can offer an explanation himself on his new YouTube series "The American Hater." I only just got hipped to the series so I had to backtrack for Episode 1, but if you'd like to check out Episode 2 the YouTube embed is below.
For those who had been aware that Sean 'Diddy' Combs was having some problems of late, he has potentially just made his legal woes even worse. UrbanWorldWireless reports Diddy was expected to turn himself in today on assault charges but his lawyer put the IXNAY on that decision. Diddy now hopes to resolve the matter outside of the legal system. Good luck with that! T.I. is not faring well on his own legal journey as he was denied bond to be released on Monday. Blogger Sandra Rose reported that T.I.'s 15 year old nephew was tackled to the ground when ATF agents entered his home, which may be the only good news for T.I. - a potential lawsuit against the cops for police brutality. As always we'll keep you up to date on the latest developments.