Wednesday August 23, 2017
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[Still Striving]

A$AP Ferg review!

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Kanye West "Graduating" October 12th at Vanderbilt

I'm a giving chap, so when the organizers of Vanderbilt University's Homecoming sent me not one but TWO e-mails asking to publicize Kanye West's appearance at their 6th Annual Commodore Quake, I decided to oblige. You can read the full text of their press release below. If you're going to the show feel free to send a report to and speak on all aspects of the event including Kanye's performance itself. Nashville, TN – Vanderbilt University’s Homecoming celebration returns on Friday, October 12th, with performances from hip-hop sensation Kanye West, pop-rock sensation Guster, and singer-songwriter Brett Dennen.  The 6th Annual Commodore Quake will be held at Memorial Gymnasium on the Vanderbilt University campus.

With years of success producing hits for artists such as Jay-Z and Alicia Keys, as well as the commercial and critical successes of his own two albums, Kanye West is one of today’s most prolific artists.  To continue the university theme of West’s previous records, The College Dropout and Late Registration, his third release entitled, Graduation, will hit stores September 11th.  The lead single, “Stronger,” is quickly climbing the Billboard charts.  

Rounding out the bill are Guster and Brett Dennen who appear as part of the Crocs Next Step Campus Tour.  Guster has risen from their humble beginnings at Tufts University to recently release their fifth studio album, Ganging Up on the Sun. Guster’s melodic and free-spirited sounds are coupled with their reputation for stellar live performances. Complimenting Guster’s sounds onstage, Brett Dennen will showcase songs from his album So Much More.  

“Every year, we strive to bring the best talent to Vanderbilt’s campus and the Nashville community,” says David Silverstein, Co-Chair of the Vanderbilt University Music Group. “We are looking to put together compelling and unique lineups, blending genres and talent to give students and the general public the ultimate music experience.” The Music Group is the student-run organization responsible for planning and producing Commodore Quake, as well as the annual Rites of Spring Music Festival.

Ticket sales are scheduled to begin at 10:00 AM CST on Friday, September 14th and are available at all Ticketmaster locations, online at or by calling (615) 343-3361. They are also available with no service charge at the Sarratt Box Office on the Vanderbilt Campus. The ticket price is $15 for Vanderbilt students and $35 for Vanderbilt Faculty, Staff, Alumni & General Public. Doors will open at 7:00 PM. Please visit or for more information on Commodore Quake.

About Vanderbilt Student Campus Events

The Office of the Dean of Students at Vanderbilt University provides an extensive list of activities and organizations for students to gain the true college experience. The Office of Student Campus Events houses several organizations and programs designed to meet the needs of every college student. Their mission statement includes offering a fun and celebratory environment as well as cultivating a sense of school pride that extends past the classroom. The Music Group is the student run organization responsible for planning and producing the Commodore Quake as well as the annual Rites of Spring Music Festival.

Media Contact: Student Campus Events, Vanderbilt University –
Dwayne V. Elliott – (615) 322-2471.
"Ultimate Victory" Posts Disappointing Sales

Billboard released last week's charts and Chamillionaire's sophomore set only moved 79,000 units in its first week bringing him a #8 ranking. The ranking beat out the #10 ranking for Cham's "The Sound of Revenge," but that album sold 130,000 units the first week. Twista's "Adrenaline Rush 2007" also posted weak numbers with #10 and 41,000 units moved. Kanye (226,000) and 50 Cent (143,000) moved to #2 and #3 making way for country star Reba McEntire to post her first #1 album.
Darryl McDaniels (DMC) Wins Emmy Award

'Bout time hip-hop got some love from the Emmy Awards! informs us that DMC won the Emmy for his critically acclaimed VH1 "Rock Doc" documentary, "DMC: My Adoption Journey." The award was presented at New York's Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers on Monday night during the 28th Annual Emmy Awards. He beat out CBS News' 60 Minutes "I'm Mike Wallace: A 60 Minutes Tribute," PBS' Cinemax's "Favela Rising" and PBS's "Lomax the Song Hunter," a documentary based on legendary record man Alan Lomax. Congratulations to DMC on an award richly deserved.
Slim Shady's Startling Slide

Although it pains me to say this due to the fact that I’ve been following the man’s career since he had an album titled The Slim Shady EP that was so buzzed about among Hip-Hop heads that couldn’t seem to ever keep it in stock, Eminem seems to be done as an artist. His skills have been diminishing for a number of years now, but after hearing his painfully bad guest appearances on a number of remixes and album cuts it’s become clear that, whether all the emotion he previously had has left him, or he simply just doesn’t care about rapping anymore, the only thing the Eminem of today has in common with the Eminem of five years ago is a name.

Read the full story at:
Kanye Wins the 'Star Wars' with 50 Cent

Our good friend Andrew S. at just sent us the following tidbit of news - Kanye West outsold 50 Cent this week by more than 270,000 albums. "Graduation" scanned 930,251 copies while "Curtis" scanned a mere (by comparison) 659,682. The count is not final but it's pretty clear in the head to head battle, Kanye won. 50 claimed that Def Jam rigged the sales charts but it's unlikely the Nielsen SoundScan system would have allowed for such large scale tampering. Plain and simple - 'Ye won, 50 lost.
Hip-Hop to Take a Stand for 'Jena 6'

Thanks to DIVAdend Entertainment for the following press release updating us on a special hip-hop project to support the Jena 6. If you're not familiar with the Jena 6 case check Wikipedia for the latest updates or visit Democracy Now for a summary of the situation.

The Hip Hop World Descends On Birmingham
(Generation Next Takes A Stand For “Jena 6”)

Lloyd, Baby Boy, Sean P, Twista, Tank, Jagged Edge, Killer Mike, DTP’s Small World, and Hurricane Chris are among the first artist to join the Jena 6 movement to converge on historic Birmingham, AL and headline The “Jena 6” Empowerment Concert. The concert will give the consistently misunderstood musical generation a chance to make a positive statement. What better city than Birmingham (a key city in the civil rights movement) to set the stage for the hip hop community to shed light on an ever present problem, that continues to divide cultures and classes of youth throughout this county. Incidents that mirror the Jena 6 tragedy are increasing at an alarming rate; and communities across the country are enduring similar challenges like the residents of Jena, LA.

Since the unfortunate circumstances involving six of their peers has been predominately reported by adult press and media outlets, young people from the hip hop generation are now demanding that their voices also, be heard. The “Jena 6” Empowerment Concert will provide the perfect platform for them to positively express themselves. Seed money to host the event was pulled together by The Stop the Violence Movement (AE Music Group, LLC, Atlanta Sound & Lighting Company and God’s Pod Outreach Ministry, Inc.); who have worked tirelessly with Blaire Entertainment to provide our young people with a platform for positive expression. Upon hearing about the Jena 6 case, Abdul Chestnut (event organizer) felt compelled to contribute and coordinate the resources to bring appropriate media attention to this matter. One of the primary goals is to assist communities in economically empowering themselves, so that they may become self-sufficient.

By engaging the much criticized hip hop community to spearhead this movement, it gives them a chance to be apart of something special and an opportunity to rewrite history. “Any adult who ignores this Call to Action is guilty of neglect and should be held accountable,” continues Chestnut. The “Let Freedom Ring” Weekend will educate and involve the hip hop generation in a crusade strikingly similar to the one birthed by their ancestors, during the Civil Rights Movement.

Hip hop icons Twista, Sean P, Rasheeda, Baby Boy, B5, The LAX Boyz; along with R&B sensations Lloyd, Kandi (formerly of Xscape) Tank, The Chestnut Brothers and Jagged Edge are among the first artists to sign up for the benefit concert. “What’s happening to the Jena 6 is not an isolated incident; it could happen to any of us,” says Universal Recording artist and teen rap phenom, Baby Boy. We are asking men of all persuasions to stand on the “front line” with our young people and send a message demanding accountability of law enforcement officials and the judicial system. A press conference is scheduled for Friday, September 28th at 1:00 PM in front of the Birmingham Civil Rights Museum; with a peace rally to follow at Parker High School at 4:00 PM.

The benefit concert scheduled for Saturday, September 29th begins at 6:00 PM at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Center. Tickets are available at the Box Office or online at Ticket Master.

ChiQ DIVA Simms
DIVAdend Entertainment and for more info
A Hoe By Any Other Name...

Chamillionaire's curse free sophomore CD (and to a lesser extent, Master P's Miller Boyz CD released last week) brings up the issue of curse words in rap music. After Don Imus' ignorant and racist comments Black leaders nationwide took the opportunity to crusade against the perceived problems in rap music, mainly the n-word, bitch, and hoe. While Chamillionaire has never been the one to curse excessively in his rap, his decision to make a curse free record was significant considering his recent success and high expectations for his sophomore album. Given the positive reviews for the album, there's no question (nor should there ever have been any doubt) that rap music can be just as dope, though provoking, and catchy without four letter words. The question that remains is whether banning certain words from rap music will have any effect on the perception of women as "bitches and hoes."

Full Column:
Chamillionaire Gives Us the Mixtape Messiah

If you haven't already, head over to to get both the "Mixtape Messiah 2" and "Mixtape Messiah 3 (complete w/ DVD)" legally and courtesy of Chamillionaire himself.
From Rhodes Scholar to Rapper

When people look at A.D. the VOICE’s educational background the first thing they usually ask is “why is that guy a rapper?” A.D. was the first black Rhodes Scholar to graduate from Colgate University. He then moved on to Oxford University and Harvard Law. Hip-Hop, however, and the art of MCing, called to him the entire time. “I think for me Hip-Hop boils down to being the ultimate form of self-expression,” he explains, “and there is nothing I enjoy more in life than expressing myself.” After an impromptu appearance on stage with The Roots during a show at Colgate A.D. the Voice was hooked and Hip-Hop became added to the holy trinity of things he had done growing up in Schenectady, NY - books, basketball, and church. This week I caught up with A.D. the Voice to find out how higher education and Hip-Hop mix.

Read the full interview at:
Nas to Release New Album Late This Year

In a recent article on Nas revealed that 2007 is going to be his year. Nas has been telling MTV among others that he's halfway done with a new album and the first single will come out on October, but he won't yet reveal the title. MTV is also reporting that a Nas greatest hits album will come out in November before the album of new studio material drops. Nas: "They say the fourth quarter is for big dogs. I been doing the fourth quarter for years, so I guess I'm at home in the fourth." Stay tuned to for more coverage of this album as the year draws closer to an end and we'll see if Nas makes his fourth quarter goal on time.

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Welcome to for Aug. 22nd, 2017!! Please support us at our Patreon page and we can go 100% ad free when we hit the target goal. You can also shop Amazon through RapReviews and like us on Facebook. This week we have EIGHT new items for you: A$AP Ferg's "Still Striving" (our featured review), an editorial on Dick Gregory, J. Stalin's "My Dark Passenger," two MMA Mania interviews with A.J. McKee and Brennan Ward, the top 15 Missy Elliott videos, Emanuel Wallace's The (W)rap Up for Aug. 15, 2017 and WSIB #10 for Leon Haywood!

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