Radio personality Don Imus, who caught a considerable amount of heat for his unacceptable commentary on the Rutgers women’s basketball team, is quickly becoming the modern day face of ignorance in America. But with so much attention focused on the issue, many have spoken out on similar injustices hip hop artists commit on a daily basis. Snoop Dogg, who was called out for such offenses, spoke to MTV:
"[Rappers] are not talking about no collegiate basketball girls who have made it to the next level in education and sports. We're talking about hoes that's in the 'hood that ain't doing shit, that's trying to get a nigga for his money. These are two separate things. First of all, we ain't no old-ass white men that sit up on MSNBC going hard on black girls. We are rappers that have these songs coming from our minds and our souls that are relevant to what we feel. I will not let them muthafuckas say we in the same league as him."
"Kick him off the air forever. Ban him like they did [Adam] 'Pacman' Jones. They kicked him out the [National Football] League for the whole season, but this punk gets to get on the air and call black women 'nappy-headed hoes.' "
Snoop’s upcoming album “The Big Squeeze” is in production, and should be released through Koch later this year.
In unrelated incidents, both Johnny Cash and Woodie have passed away recently.
Johnny Ca$h was signed to the late great Mac Dre's Thizz Entertainment and like all rappers associated with Dre had a strong fanbase. Ca$h, born John Castaneda, was a the victim of a shooting in his native Vallejo.
Woodie was a popular rapper associated with the Norteno music scene in northern California. Born Ryan Wood, Woodie had released over 10 albums and compilations since 1997 and was a favorite among fans of Norteno rap music. While not confirmed, it is rumored Woodie committed suicide some time in March.
Both artist's music can be purchased from www.rapbay.com, including a R.I.P. Woodie shirt with all proceeds going to his family.
Our condolences go to the families of Ca$h and Woodie.
"I want to leave a mark on this earth...making music and saying what I have to say in my music is one of the ways I will exist forever," Common told Billboard.com recently, specifically alluding to his upcoming June 10th release of "Finding Forever."
The album, which follows up the heavily acclaimed, Grammy-nominated "Be," again features production and rhymes from fellow Chicagoan Kanye West, and posthumous heat from J Dilla. Last week at New York's Sony Studios, Com previewed select tracks from his seventh studio album, and explained how the title refers to the idea of the aforementioned Dilla "living on" through his music.
In homage to the influential producer, Kanye West has reportedly gone about arranging his beats for the project in a similar manner to how Dilla might have. West's "Graduation," which will also feature Common, is due out this fall.
Former member of Little Brother and versatile super-producer 9th Wonder is the latest to chip in on the state of music. In an interview with Urban America News Network, 9th commented on downloading music, the general audience maturity level, and what the game's been missing:
“You have to understand that there's a generation that grew up under you that still wants to hear you but is now upset because you're trying to cater to a kid as an attempt to make more money. The truth is we have the most disposable income. We make the most money and we have nothing to spend our money on. Case and point, Jamie Fox did 500 or 600 thousand his first week, Mary J Blige did 700 thousand the first week; Jay-Z did 600 thousand … because they cater straight to their audience. The problem with kids is that this is a downloading generation. So, how could you sell music to a generation that downloads? When Mary J Blige sold 700 thousand her first week, it was all of her fans since What's the 411?. And all of her fans are past the age of 30. But the problem is that's probably the only album they bought in the past 8 years because nothing is speaking to them right about now.”
Hip-Hop’s roots are predominantly black, this is a known fact. In 2007, however, a vast number of folks involved in the culture seem to be of a lighter shade. After seeing what was done to Jazz there is an inherent fear that there will be a white appropriation that will do the same to Hip-Hop. Jason Tanz’s new book, Other People’s Property: A Shadow History of Hip-Hop in White America, takes a close look at the ways in which Hip-Hop has affected white people and how white people have affected Hip-Hop, and this week I sat down with him to talk about the book as well as his thoughts on the subject of race in America.
If the Paid Dues Festival in San Bernardino wasn’t enough to rock your socks off, this year’s Rock the Bells certainly will. Headliners Rage Against the Machine and Wu-Tang Clan apparently drew a following, as a who’s who of hip-hop heavyweights have signed on to tour. The Roots, Public Enemy, Pharoahe Monch, Mos Def, EPMD, Cypress Hill, Sage Francis, Immortal Technique and Jedi Mind Tricks are all committed to the full tour (WOW), while Nas, MF Doom, Hieroglyphics, Mr. Lif, Murs, Felt, Blackalicious, The Coup, Cage, Blueprint, Brother Ali, Living Legends, Grouch & Eligh, Hangar 18 and Lucky I Am have signed on for select dates (WOW!!!!!!).
Producer Hi-Tek, beatbox master Rahzel, and freestyle champ Supernatural will be hosting the festival. Hit up Ticketmaster, bitches.
Seven long years since his successful solo debut “H.N.I.C.,” Prodigy of Mobb Deep is set to finally release the highly anticipated follow-up. The Alchemist, who produced “The Return of the Mac” in its entirety, spoke to MTV about the album.
"I don't think he's trying to top anything he's done, he's just having fun trying to represent where he is right now with life. I'm loving how (“Return of the Mac“) came out. It was a opportunity for us to show that P is still that dude. It didn't really come across in the last Mobb album for one reason or another. P is a survivor, Mobb Deep are survivors. That's what I've been learning with them and their career, the longevity, the deals they've had. They come out, get fronted on, come back, blow up. They've got a pattern about them where they always come back after what they've had what is not considered a successful album. So being that the last Mobb album didn't go over that crazy, P is letting me know it's nothing. 'We survivors.' Same thing for (Havoc). Hav's album is crazy."
As long as we’re not dreaming (or just going insane), the increasingly generous underground label Stones Throw is prepared to provide EVEN MORE free goods to the public, this time in the form of a live event. Those in the Miami area have it good - the Stones Throw Hella International event is free, so walk right in and enjoy the sounds of artists like Madlib, Peanut Butter Wolf, J.Rocc, Egon and Karriem Riggins. Those out of state might have it even better - by signing up at www.uber.com/stonesthrow, you immediately have the chance to win a free round trip to see the event. This includes a guest pass for a friend, two nights hotel, and “VIP treatment” from the good people at Stones Throw. Fifteen runner-ups get a free copy of the “Stones Throw Presents Hella International” box set. Say word.