Wednesday, September 30, 2009
And as if the A3C kickoff wasn't enough for tomorrow, the homie and famed photographer Shannon McCollum is hosting the first night of his gallery opening at Southwest Library. In case you don't know, he is dead prez' official photographer and has shot everyone from Outkast to India.Arie to Pastor Troy and Lil Jon.
They will have LIGHT food, refreshemnts and a Q&A with Shannon.
The address is 3665 Cascade Rd, Atlanta, GA and goes from 6-8pm
The next three days are about to be real crazy down around these parts. I will try my best to keep you up to speed as to what's going on with the A3C but please understand that I'm just as torn as you as to what to go to. So, I'm going to try and guage what my audience likes and will let you know what I plan on hitting up and kinda suggest what you should check out as well.
Tomorrow night October 1st, B.o.B. and Spree Wilson will be headlining the kickoff show at The 529. It starts at 9pm.
Also tomorrow night the first East Coast leg of Fadia Kader/SMKA/The Smoking Section's Perfect Attendance stage cranks up at The 5 Spot. This night Born Wit It, Siya, Fresh Daily, FKi, Truck North, Donny Goines, Pill, Skyzoo, Niki Natu, Melo-X, CurT@!n$, Diamond District, Outasight, Che Grand, Joe Scudda, Big Pooh, Tanya Morgan will be the featured artists. It starts at 8pm.
and...just like that the A3C website goes down. I guess alot of people hitting them up right now. Either way, keep your eyes peeled for more info. I'll post up more stuff when the site gets back up.
Thanks to my brother this song has been in my head all day. I don't care man, 8Ball's verse on here is an all-time great. Everytime I spit that verse for a Southern Hip Hop novice/East Coast elitist their jaw drops. Hell, everybody snapped on this song really. This Halloween On Top of the World will be 14 years old.
Bonus: 8Ball feat. Bun B-"Ball and Bun" (1998)
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
DJ Jelly and DJ Hotsauce are about to drop a Mix DVD of some of 'Kast's greatest hits in video form. Think video mixshow. From the sounds and looks of this trailer its gonna be pretty cool. People want to act like Oomp Camp and Southern Style DJs weren't one of the first camps up on this video ish.
Spotted at AsTheWorldSpins
While you're here, just show how ingratiated Outkast can be in music, period, you might as well check out some other Outkast inspired creations:
DJ K Sly and the Drop Squad: The Outkasts
DJ Jamad & Floyd the Locsmif Present Outskirts: The Unofficial Lost Outkast Remixes
My guy Yelawolf aka Catfish Billy has been back in the studio for the last couple months and some of the new new is starting to leak out.
"F.U."-Yelawolf (prod. by Will Power of Superhot Beats)
This first track "F.U." is him just snapping as usual over that old Millie Jackson "Fuck You" symphony joint. The song has been used a few times by other artists but Yela is the first to actually get Millie's blessing to use it and have her daughter on it as well.
"I Wish" feat. Raekwon (prod. by Malay of Ghet-O-Vision Ent)
"I Wish" features Raekwon (who MTV just named the "tenth hottest" emcee in the game). I'm glad that "I Wish" finally gets to see the light of day. I heard the OG version a while back when I was in Gasden, Alabama with Yela when he was shooting his video for "Kickin." Shit was jamming. This one is too. They went back and beefed up the production and recorded all new verses for it as well. Plus I love the way they approached the song. The verses make it abundantly clear that Rae genuienly fucks with Yela and wasn't just a thing where dude gave him a check.
Anyways, check these joints out and share them with your friends.
RELATED:Yelawolf's Gummo Stars at Lenny's Photos and Re-Cap
Monday, September 28, 2009
I'm sorry, but I found this to be mildly amusing. I don't watch Saturday Night Live like I used to, but they're still good for a laugh here and there. Plus, its cool that Atlanta's own Kenan Thompson is doing his thing. The skit is basically about an old ass man with a DVD teaching you different sex positions, on some ol' Clarence Carter shit. It actually started trailing off when they added Megan Fox into it, but its still funny overall...to me at least. I'm gonna try "The Skydiver" one of these days.
The A3C festival is set to take over Atlanta this Thursday through Friday. This is Hip Hop to the Nth degree. I mean, really, I don't think I have enough words to even tell you what all is going on, hense the video being posted. All I'll tell you is that I went last year and had a ball. I will be posting info for the remainder of the week to keep you up to speed. For now, you can visit the A3C website to see the smorgasbord that is their schedule.
Tickets are only $33 (thats $11 a day for ten times its value) or you can hit up the homies Fadia Kader and SMKA for their discount package.
Photo taken 6/19/09 at Apache Cafe (Atlanta, GA)
This has been floating around for a few days, never quite got around to sharing. If your a fan of Devin the song title should let you know what the song is about.
Friday, September 25, 2009
The homies over at Konsole Kingz just dropped a mixtape with DJ Don Cannon and it looks pretty good. Check after the jump for more info on this project that include exclusive music from Wale, Cool Kids, Pac Div and Currency, with appearances from Ludacris, Slim Thug, Freeway, Nipsey Hussle, Bonecrusher, Sean Falyon and Big Kuntry King.
Konsole Kingz (KKZ), the #1 hip-hop gaming brand, does it again. Konsole Kingz has teamed up with mega-producer Don Cannon to release a new mixtape inspired by their love of sports games.
The banger features production from Don Cannon and exclusive tracks from hip-hop come-up kids Wale, Cool Kids, Pac Div and Currency, with appearances from Ludacris, Slim Thug, Freeway and Bonecrusher plus more.
Konsole Kingz has relationships with the top gaming companies like EA Sports, Xbox, and Activision. And, Konsole Kingz marketing agency has produced launch parties for Madden 2010 and will have one in Atlanta for the launch of DJ Hero.
Konsole Kingz CEO and founder Cj “Kingsoul” Peters says “The Cannon 2K10 mixtape is the culmination of our efforts to bring the video game and hip-hop industry together. This is the first of our Music 2 Game 2 mixtapes, which are inspired by the top video games.”
DOWNLOAD: Konsole Kingz present Cannon 2K10
*shoutout to CJ with the Artest cut.
Well folks I'm down to make last two pairs of Slaughterhouse and Killer Mike show ticktets. Ya'll have really been showing support, I wish I had more tickets to let go of, but this is all I've got. So, today, just like the days before, I'm going to ask ya'll a very simple trivia question...
Killer Mike appeared on a track with a member of Slaughterhouse some years ago. First two people to email me (email@example.com) with the member's name and the name of the track win tickets. Good luck, see ya'll tomorrow.
Tickets are available in advance for $25 at TicketAlternative.com
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Big Boi feat. George Clinton and Too $hort-"For Your Sorrows"
Man, bout time this thing got liberated. Jason Geter out here tweeting ProTool sessions! But shoutout to ATLien and StraightFromTheA.com for getting this converted and to the people.
This ish is jamming and it just a small portion of the funky expedition that is the Sir Lucious Leftfoot album.
PREVIOUSLY: Big Boi Speaks on Sir Lucious Leftfoot: Son of Chico Dusty album
Ok folks. Another day another Slaughterhouse/Killer Mike ticket giveaway. Yesterday's trivia question was very easy and today's is even easier. Here it is:
Name the rapper who appeared on the song "Slaughterhouse" but did not make it into the group.
Just like yesterday. The first two people to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) with the correct answer gets a pair of tickets to the show on Saturday. Good luck.
Tickets are available in advance for $25 at TicketAlternative.com
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Ok folks. The Slaughterhouse and Killer Mike show at The Loft goes down this Saturday and I have some tickets to give away. Today, we're going to keep it simple. The first two people to email me (email@example.com) how Slaughterhouse came up with their name gets a pair of tickets. That's as easy as easy gets, lets see who wins.
Tickets are available in advance for $25 at TicketAlternative.com
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Sad news out of Atlanta. Popular DJ, DJ Infamous recently lost EVERYTHING when his home out in Austell (not far from the scene in Six Flags) flooded. He just had a week old son and he's lost all of his DJ equipment as well.
If you want to help out you can drop off donations at the Velvet Room tomorrow or Thursday between th10am-6pm. If you want to help out with some money, here is the info to wire him some:
Bank Of America (Georgia)
Monday, September 21, 2009
Miya Bailey (right), photo taken 6/13/09 at the Atlanta Tattoo Convention
City of Ink co-founder Miya Bailey posted an interesting blog today. He spoke on the developing trend of Celebrity Tattoo Artists, namely Chris Brown, Rihanna, Swizz Beatz and Lil Wayne. Ironically this comes one week after DJ Nabs wrote a blog touching on Celebrity DJ's. Its been a rough couple of months for celebs, they're either dying or getting blogged about (sorry, couldn't help myself). But yeah...Miya feels that Celebrity Tattoo Artists are disprespecting the culture and Black folks period by jumping head first into the field with training or due paying. I kinda feel him on this. And if there's anyone that deserves to feel this way, its him. Anyways, I thought it was a pretty good read and wanted to share it with ya'll. The senitments he shares go beyond tattoo, its running rampant in many artforms these days.
READ: Miya Bailey-"Everyone Wants To Be A Tattoo Artist" (without paying dues)
Previously: COLORS: Interview with City of Ink's Miya Bailey
More Goodies for ya'll. This is video footage of an interview DJ Drama did for Gangsta Grillz Radio a couple of days before the show. I was in there the whole time and you could even tell that Mr. Thanksgiving was having some fanboy moments himself. He did a great job with the interview though. They spoke on a whole helluva lot. Shout out to Convertible Bertt, those are Tribute To Atlanta hats they are rocking.
Part two after the jump.
By now you've heard (and seen) what went down at the memorable Goodie Mob reunion show this past Saturday at Masquerade Park. Some of you out there may be tired of hearing about it, but, its been 10 years since these brothers have graced a stage together so two months of build up and a day or so of recap isn't overkill if you ask me. I was able to see everything live from the front row alongside plenty of other people so hungry for some "Soul Food" that we Braved the Atlanta rain and stood in the mud for 3 and a half hours...
This show was easily one of the greatest shows I've ever seen in my life. I'm sure everyone has that favorite artist that they love to see. But this night was extra special. It wasn't just a rap concert. This was both a lifelong memory and a statement that the real is coming back full circle.
The show as titled "Remember Atlanta" and that's exactly what 3,000-plus people did. Pretty much every spectrum of the city was represented...even though it started a little awkward.
The homie DJ Princess Cut opened the show with some smooth blends of 'Kast, Goapele and Cody Chestnutt. It was chill, everything was cool but then this chick came out and started dancing. Ain't nothing wrong with fine chicks dancing but...it seemed a little out of place seeing a chick doing splits at a Goodie Mob show. But hey, shakedancing is definitely a part of Atlanta culture, I may be the only one tripping.
After that poet Georgia Me came out a took over the show's hosting responsibilities and she did a hell of a job. She minded me of that cool ass chick you would smoke with back in the day, but that you could also talk about some real shit with. She introduced every act with cool poem on some A-town shit.
The first act to hit the stage was Decatur's very own DJ Kizzy Rock. Like I said earlier, ever facet of Atlanta music was represented and he brought out the Bass aspect with dancers and everything. [I'll add video in the update later]. Him and JJC did a good job. I remember seeing those dudes dance, wishing I could dance like that. Even now, I still kinda do.
After that Pastor-Damn-Troy came out and killed it. I was especially happy to see dude, because the city's musical brass still doesn't give dude his just due. He was pretty much the first rapper to introduce a new sound and energy to the scene as the Dungeon Family reign began to falter at the turn of the century. If you've seen Troy before, you know dude can easily steal a show, but he didn't tonight. Everyone went up on stage as fans first. They went up there did their songs and got off, all the while letting it be known that they came to see Goodie Mob just like the rest of us. Oh yeah, if you notice, Troy is rocking a Tennessee Volunteers jersey. Now, if you know anything about the South this time of year...if you're rocking a Vols jersey in Atlanta, Georgia during football season, you are running the risk of getting your ass beat. But, its a #14 Eric Berry jersey (the top defensive player in the nation...and he's from here), so it was "ok." But Troy (who I've seen go out on stage with a UGA helmet on) knows better than that, hahah.
After that we got back onto the Eastside of things as the Youngbloodz came out and did their thing. This was sort of a reunion for them of sorts too. From what I see, they haven't put out any music or performed together in a good little bit themselves. They brought out a couple members of the Attic Crew with them which was cool. People forget about Attic Crew's contributions (Youngbloodz, Jim Crow [Polow Da Don], Big Floaty, Playboy Tre, Pretty Ken and they played a part in introducing T.I. to the world) but they played a role in showing how diverse Atlanta's rap scene was by balancing Dungeon Family's earnest, spiritual sound with a more edgy and light-hearted appeal that blended elements of crunk, bass and soul together....but still keeping it lyrical and not just saying "fuck effort" when it came to rhymes.
After that...all hell, er, Heaven broke loose...
Man, the opening to this show was incredible man. Everybody was screaming at the top of their lungs like "FINALLY!!!" Seeing this actually reminded me of what actual showmanship was. Nowadays cats just come on stage and just go. No build-up, no nothing, they just go. But Goodie had theme music (Rocky) and costumes...man. And then they went right into "Goodie Bag" shawty? Its like they read everyone's minds. How did they know? I mean, I knew they were going to do it. But to open with it...fie.
From there they ran through a well put together set list that had a few surprises along the way (props to Dax for the set list pic).
Backbone came out for "Get Rich To This"
Some of the doper parts of the show were when they'd incorporate other songs into theirs. Hell, they even played a little Go Go for a minute. For example, Ceelo and Gipp did their verses from 'Kast's "Git Up, Git Out" over that Spandau Ballet "True." Shit was dope.
But the thing that killed it for me is when they turned all of the lights off and that eerie piano from "Cell Therapy" came on. But then out of nowhere the band started playing Black Sabbath "Iron Man" and Khujo came out and absolutely ripped.
(props to KidDuNot for the footage)
I talked to Killer Mike after the show and asked if I noticed the significance of them choosing that track to do "Cell Therapy" over. I didn't at first...
But he told me to peep how they were doing it over a a song called "Iron Man" with a man with an iron leg opening the song.
I'm mad I couldn't get footage of this, but another highlight of the show was when they started doing "Beautiful Skin" and it started drizzling. It was the stuff that shampoo commericals are made of.
But yeah, by now you should be able to infer that the show was good...so I guess I'm supposed to talk about the bad and the ugly?
The bad was obviously the weather, but it didn't even matter. It rained all day, but it let up right when the show started so that lets you know that it was just meant to be. The weather actually provided some entertainment though. Some girls up front had their umbrellas out, making the people behind them frustrated to the point that they started hitting and snatching their umbrellas down. For a minute people were chanting FUCK THAT SHIT, PUT YA' UMBRELLAS DOWN! It was actually kinda catchy, throw a Lil Jon beat under it and you might have a hit. A couple of them weren't trying to hear that and started splashing the water from their umbrellas on people. It was getting kinda tense for a minute. But, since everyone came here in good spirits, people started offering extra ponchos to the umbrella holders so they could put them down. I think that gesture spoke to the kind of mindstate that everyone there was in. We all came in peace. No one was trying to flash, buck or get attention. Except for these two drunk and high-ass broads that thought they were entitled to being in the front just because they were "pretty." I don't hit women...but I can't say the same for the dudes (and other women) around me. Those chicks were one curse word away from getting stomped out in the mud.
Leading up to the show everybody was asking "is Dre gonna be there?" I mean, honestly I found that to be petty and ungracious. To ask once, yeah. But to ask as if the show would be a failure if he didn't show? Wack. I mean shit. Dre don't even show up for Outkast shows anymore...what made you think he was obligated to be a Goodie Mob one? Be appreciative of the fact that we hadn't seen Goodie Mob perform in 10 years. For what its worth Big Boi showed up and did his verse on Trick Daddy's "In Da Wind" with Ceelo and Sleepy Brown came out to do "Steppin Out."
If anything...I was more "letdown" by not seeing Cool Breeze there to perform "Dirty South"...its practically his song. I've also heard people say they were disappointed that they didn't do a lot of songs from Still Standing, namely "Fly Away." I didn't notice this until someone told me after the show. I mean yeah, that's a classic song in their catalog. But, they ripped the entire night and we both agreed that you've done a great job when you make people forget that you didn't do their favorite song. I mean hell, they didn't do "Decisions Decisions," "The World I Know" or the full version of "Blood" either, which are my favorite Goodie songs...but no complaints here.
But yeah, that's pretty much it in a nutshell. This is the show that Atlanta needed. Oh yeah...DJ Jelly did a tremendous job of rocking the show in between acts. He played everything from Da Organization to TLC to Ball & G. It felt like I was at The Gate or The 559 all over again.
As far as what happens from here? Goodie Mob is going on a Southeastern tour with Scarface. The next show I know of is in Austin, Texas on October 17th. A birdie whispered in my ear that Goodie will be doing another show in Atlanta on Thanksgiving...don't quote me on that though. As far as a Goodie album, they've been recording for like the last 2 years and are just trying to find a proper label home and/or avenue to put it out. I haven't heard anything off of it, but Khujo said it will be a combination of what we got with their first three albums, so...there.
But until then...feel free to enjoy and share the pics in the gallery. I'm going to leave ya'll the same way Goodie Mob left us at the show. Take it easy ya'll...
SHOUT OUT TO JABARI, FADIA, JERALD AND BEM OF SHAMELESS PLUG. SHOUT OUT TO CARL OF FRESHMLK PR!!!!!!!
Friday, September 18, 2009
*I've made this post a sticky, so it will be appearing at the top for a minute. New daily updates are below.
My Creative Loafing cover story on Goodie Mob just hit the net. I really feel like this is the story I was put on this earth to write. Hope you enjoy it.
READ: A Dirty Job For Goodie Mob
Last night the homie Pill got up with Freddie Gibbs and hit the stage at On The Rox in LA. Man, I wish I could have been there, but the homie Derek just came through with the handouts. The crowd got treated to the first ever live performance of Pill and Gibbs collaboration "Run Up To Me" that will be appearing on Pill's next mixtape 4075: The Refill. Now, when I tell you that song is straight fie, I mean its straight fie, these dudes be snapping. This should come as no suprise seeing how "Womb To The Tomb" came out. Oh yeah, I got to hear some of the stuff they've made together since Pill been out on the West Coast...straight fie. They might just need to go'on ahead and put out a project together when they get the chance.
UPDATE: I need to slow my ass down when I blog. When I get excited I make all kinds of mistakes...I meant to type "Derek came through with the footage" but typed "handouts" by mistake because I was over here going apeshit to the song. It has "handouts" in the hook. Sorry.
The homie Senor Kaos just dropped this off in my inbox earlier today and has been on my ass about posting it since (sorry, I wasn't by a computer). But man, this is classic. Its footage of Goodie Mob speaking to students at Woodlard Middle School back in 1995 on a show called The 411. The show used to take rappers around to the youth and have them talk about their life's journey and leave a positive impression on them at the same time.
This video is really touching, for real. Seeing the way these kids reacted when they saw Goodie Mob (some rappers who were actually talking about something) speaks volumes. This was at a time when cats didn't take their popularity for granted and really wanted to leave something for the kids to think about. But yeah, I don't want to get on a soapbox. Instead I'd just like for you to check this video out. Parts 2-4 are after the jump. See ya'll on Saturday.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
I mean...its only right I post this at this time. The homie Spanky from Divided Soul dropped this off in my inbox today. Not sure if any of you had this already, but I know I didn't and I am grateful to have it now. Right now I'm listening to "Thought Process" and man...these violins, damn. Man. But yeah. Here they are...
Goodie Mob Soul Food [instrumentals]
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Meant to mention this earlier, but if you watched Lil Wayne's VH1 Behind The Music, you saw that all throughout the show, he was rocking the Tribute To Atlanta hat made by the homie D.Map and his Convertible Bertt line. Good looks.
You can check out Convertible Bertt's latest fashions at their website, ConvertibleBertt.com
RELATED: Convertible Bertt In-Store Recap and Photos
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Here is Pill's latest video for his single "Glass." Again, Pill has come with a video that does all of the talking itself. This time shot by Zach Wolfe, the video revisits the same two blocks that you saw in the now infamous "Trap Goin Ham" video, but this time with a different and more somber perspective. The video also debuted on MTV Jams today.
Be on the look out for Pill's follow-up mixtape 4075: The Refill. I've heard it and I have to tell you its an even stronger doseage than 4180: The Prescription, for real.
Today Q-Tip is finally releasing his delayed/shelved/damn-near-mythical album Kamaal the Abstract. The experimental album was origally supposd to come out around '01-02 and after hearing "Blue Girl" for the first time, man, I had $15 set aside in my measly college student budget in anticipation of this album...but it never came out.
He said it was because LA Reid an'nem at Arista Records were weary of releasing it because it didn't have a "single" and decided to shelve it. I rememeber reading The Source around this time and they ran a double feature on both Q-Tip and Cee-Lo (who had just released his first solo album) talking about how both of them were going out on a limb releasing these types of albums. Ironically, both of these gentlemen were on the same label. I guess Ceelo got to put his out because he had a "single" in the form of "Closet Freak" and LA already knew him...i guess.
But yeah, I was able to find Kamaal the Abstract on the internet back in 2006 and man, that shit was dope as hell. Its grown legs and walked out of my car multiple times (I know who ya'll are). But, I'm glad to see that the album will actually see the proper release that it deserves. If you haven't heard the album before, please check it out.
Oh yeah, stop by By Any Means TV to see clips of Q-Tip speaking on the meaning behind a few of the songs.
Ok yeah. It may be to early in the morning for this kind of humor. But hey, I know some of you out there start your morning off with a self-serve breakfast everyday so it can't be too bad. But this is the latest sketch from the homie Stereo Williams. I'm sure some of you out there can relate.
Keep an eye out for his site IAMSTEREOWILLIAMS.com
Monday, September 14, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
I'll try to be brief and to the point with this. As may already know or have heard, today marks the 13th Anniversary of Tupac Shakur's passing. Each year this date (or his birthday) comes along, we hear the question "what if 'Pac were alive?"
I've heard people infer everything from rap music being better to universal health care being a reality in America if Pac was still living. I mean, of course I was sad the night 'Pac died. Hell, me and my homeboys rode around smoking and riding that whole night bumping "Made Niggas" (from the Supercop soundtrack, which we at the time thought was gonna be the last ever Pac song). But I can't really say I've given much thought into what would be different if "Pac were still alive?"
So when I hear people ask this question, I wonder what they really think would change. For some reason people seem to think if 'Pac was alive that Hip Hop "wouldn't suck" or "still be real." Its as if folks think Hip Hop whipping boys like Soulja Boy would never had been born if 'Pac was still walking the earth. Like he was gonna bust up in his mama house and make her have an abortion to save the sanctity of Hip Hop's future. I find that kind of thinking funny because people act as if wack rap music wasn't existing when 'Pac was alive. Or that 'Pac himself was going to thwart the growth of technology and keep people from making music and posting it on myspace and youtube.
When people infer that rappers would still "be real" if 'Pac was still alive, it also makes me wonder. Me personally, and of course no fault of his, but I think 'Pac's life and the access we had to it is what has led to rappers both stressing how "real" they are and why they try so hard to be "real" that they lie.
Think about it. Before 'Pac it was rare that we heard about rappers personal lives via the media or even in their own music. To this day I still don't know if Big Daddy Kane has children. I don't know how many time KRS-One has been to jail, if any. And I sure as hell don't know if Rakim has ever been accused of sexual assault or shot.
Rap post-Pac has been all about "the story." Rappers and labels alike peeped how people bought into 'Pac's story just as much (if not more) as they did his music. For example...I remember my mother coming home one day with a copy of Me Against The World. It could not have been mine...did she buy it? When I asked where she got it from, she said she borrowed it from some dude at work. I met this dude before. He was lame as hell, old and admitted that he only bought the CD because he was always hearing about 'Pac on the news. Dude bought into 'Pac's story at the time. I doubt very much that he owned Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z. or even knew that 2Pacalypse Now even existed.
So that said, most rappers out today feel a need to sell a story moreso than music. Don't get me wrong there are some remarkable stories out there that deserve to be told and heard. But when it gets to the point that cats feel that just because they sold drugs to survive, didn't get along with their parents, been to jail or suffered some other societal ill that they need to rap, not rap well or good, but simply rap is where it gets shaky. Because 'Pac's life and the selling of it showed that people will buy into your life more than your music, we have a generation full of rappers trying to show how "real" they are moreso than how dope they are.
On the flipside of that, we have just as many rappers selling fabricated stories when they actually might be dope as a rapper. But because they might have worked a 9 to 5, earned a college degree, had both parents around and never got into the drug trade, they feel the need to act extra hard. Because as a general rule, you ain't supposed to be rapping if you had all of those things growing up...your supposed to be a DJ instead. (I keed I keed).
Another thing I wonder about is, if 'Pac was still here...I'm not convinced that he would still be rapping nor am I convinced that he would still be that good if was still rapping. On top of that...I don't think most of us would be riding with or for 'Pac the way that we do since he's been dead. I mean, look at the way we treat rappers when they get older. We tell them to sit their asses down. We tell them they're too old to be rapping. When we're not telling them that, we're just ignoring their asses all together.
'Pac being taken away from us at just age 25 has really made it tough for Hip Hop to "grow up." His death compounded with Biggie's death one year later has warped our brains into thinking that rappers shouldn't be rapping past a certain age. Because with those deaths, we remember both of them at their young primes, they never got old. So when we see uber-rappers from that era get a little older we don't know how to take it. Especially if they aren't rapping about the exact same thing they were rapping about when we first grew to love them.
If 'Pac was 38 years old and still rapping? I don't think much in Hip Hop would have changed honestly. The changes and problems that some of us have with Hip Hop today aren't here because 'Pac isn't here to correct and check them. Its because of the people who were here long before 'Pac and the people who were fortunate enough to have lived after him. Lying ass rappers would still be here. Rick Ross is not the first Boss to have fabricated their past. Drake and Ja Rule before him arent't the first rappers to Love Ladies. Hoes was shaking ass in videos before 'Pac died too...and I still like looking at ass now.
Bad parents letting music and TV raise children. Crooked cop and politicians. Fucked up neighborhoods. Yep. All here before 'Pac and were most likely going to be here if he was still living.
Now, I'm not trying to discount 'Pac's death. I respect the dead. I just think that most of the shit going on right now that some of us think 'Pac living would change...would still be going on. But I'm not going to sit here and act like his passing didn't have an impact in some sort of way...just not as much as some of my peers seem to think.
The shifts and changes were coming. Master P's marketing and over-producing laid the groundwork for the influx of rap music we have on our hands now. Puff Daddy's knack for making a party out of every moment and becoming great and being mediocre set the stage for good time songs outweighing songs of substance and cats wanting to be famous just for the sake of being famous.
As for the question of who will/can fill his shoes? My guess is as good as yours. At one time it was DMX...then Ja Rule tried to actually be 'Pac. I myself don't think 'Pac's void can be filled and I don't think anyone should bother trying to fill it. I encourage you, whoever you are, to yes, be inspired by 'Pac, but imitate him? No.
Right now...and this should come as no surprise...I think the closest thing Hip Hop has to 'Pac is my nigga Killer Mike. Anyone who is a fan of Mike like I am will most likely agree. But hell, some people may think its Bun B, some may think its Mos Def, some could say T.I. That's why I said my guess is really as good as yours and that cats should just do them and not try to be him.
None of us really know what Pac would be right now. He could be Chuck D or D-Nice, Ed Lover or Special Ed. Dr. Dre or Doctor Dre.
But yeah, my fingers are getting tired, I'm starting to ramble and this Giants vs Redskins game just entered the 4th quarter and looks like its going to be interesting. So, peace and leave your thought if you have any.
Photo taken before Game 1 of 2009 Playoffs vs Miami Heat
I meant to post something on this earlier, but Slam Online is rolling out their annual Top 50 Players list as the season approaches. J-Smoove ranked #40 (he ranked #47 on the list in 2006 and 2008). The list is based on their projected performance in the 2009-10 season. So, lets hope that a higher ranking this year actually means better shot selections, more post play/less bad jumpers, more maturity and perhaps even an All-Star appearance...
Basically, I'd just like to see him finally get past the "he's developing" stage. We hear that every year. While I am glad that we were able to re-sign him last season, I really want to see dude take his game to the next level. Because really, he hasn't gotten any better over the last 2-3 years, he's just super athletic and that tends to blind you from his actual progress as a player. If he ain't careful, he's gonna see Marvin Williams eclipse him as the next option in the offense behind Joe Johnson, because Marvin has actually gotten better each year that he's been here.
But hold up though...just as I was posting this, my brother pointed out a quote Josh had in todays AJC about his summer workouts and what he plans to do this season. I'm kinda glad to have read this coming out of his own mouth:
“I wanted to work more on my decision-making than anything. I handle the ball so much on the fast break and in transition that I wanted to make sure I’m thinking the game the way I need to be. I also worked on my handles and knocking down that mid-range jumper. I’m really not worried about the 3-point ball right now. We have so many guys on this team that can make that shot...
...“I don’t have any business being out there this season with Joe Johnson, Mike Bibby, Jamal Crawford, Marvin, Mo and [Jeff] Teague all doing work out there. I have to focus on working in the cracks and making sure that people respect my mid-range game. And if they don’t, we have to make them pay for not respecting it.”
Man, that was right on time. But enough of me, check out the Slam article. It was written by the homie Demarco Williams.
READ: Slam Online's Top 50 Players: Josh Smith #40
Saturday, September 12, 2009
"I'm from da ghetto, not Degrassi"
"Fuck all these love songs and Pee Wee Herman outfits"
Freddie Gibbs-"Nigga Machine" [freestyle]
Gibbs just dropped this gem in my inbox today. I swear this nigga be snappin. He goes in over the old Public Enemy "Anti-Nigger Machine" beat and just snaps for like a minute straight. This track is some straight gangsta-f*ck-everything-popular-right-now music and I love it. He said he's going to be shooting a video for this very soon.
Oh yeah, Mick Vegas gave me a sneak listen to the "Even Higher Learning" track they did together recently too...fie.
RELATED: FSD x Freddie Gibbs|Freddie Gibbs: midwestboxframecadillacmuzik|INBOXication: Freddie Gibbs
Not sure if you caught Jordan's HOF speech last night, but here it is for your viewing pleasure. Anyone that knows me knows that I have been a die hard Hawks and Dominique Wilkins fan from the jump (except for brief lapse from 92-95 when I was going for Larry Johnson, Alonzo Mourning and the Hornets). So needless to say, I never was just a Jordan d*ckrider, er, fan like that. Hell, up until four months ago I was probably the only Black man in America to had never owned a pair of Jordans (they were damn near free, thats the only reason I got them). Yeah its that deep...
But, I can't deny the man's impact on the game of basketball. So he is more than deserving to be in the Basketball Hall of Fame. But I also can't deny that his speech last night was pretty damn tacky. Dude sounded like a sore winner. Dude was bringing up things that we, but obviously not he, had forgotten about or didn't even think of anymore. He talked about the supposed "freeze out" in the 1985 NBA All Star Game and called out Isiah Thomas, George Gervin and Magic Johnson. He bragged about having Hawaiian hotel suites and how he had Pat Riley removed from his preferred suite at his command. Dude even flew in the guy that beat him out for the final spot on the high school varsity team.
Of course, nothing is wrong with being confident. Everyone should think they are the best at what they do. But, for Mike to take this moment that was meant to honor him (as if he hasn't been honored his whole career) and turn it into a "ha! take that" session was pretty lame. For crying out loud, the only time he brought up his kids in the speech, he said "I wouldn't want to be you guys." Not surprising from a dude who compared winning his 4th championship (his first since returning from retirement) to the birth of his kids. He kept talking about his "competitive nature"...when really he was just up there being an asshole.
But yeah, this is going to be one of the few times, if not the last times I'm mentioning Jordan on this pro-Hawks/Dominique blog of mine. So enjoy.
Mike has been telling me about this video for "I'mma Fool Wit It" since they came up with the idea and it sounds crazy. Basically him and Kuntry went out to Vegas and shot the video in the vein of The Hangover. According to Mike the video cameras only caught 10% of the craziness that actually happened. But here are some stills from the shoot.
Friday, September 11, 2009
I was only 16 when this came out and I hadn't quite experienced what he was talking about, but I knew what he was talking about. Because pretty much, in high school if you're getting into a girl and try to get into her later on and the shit fails? Embarassment keeps you from wanting to even be around her, let alone keep her around. So, the friend zone was pretty much non-existent at that age
But now years later, I know EXACTLY what he's talking about because I've been there and beyond. "The Friend Zone," actually knowing the next dude who gets with your ex, all of that shit. This entire clip speaks volumes. One of the main reasons why Bring the Pain is one of my favorite, if not my absolute favorite, stand-ups.
**UPDATE: I had to switch videos to this slightly shorter one. It seems like Chris Rock Enterprises had the original one I posted removed immediately after I posted it. Ya'll reading my blog?
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Its moments like these that make me proud to say that Killer Mike is my favorite rapper because is one of the most intelligent rappers to pick up a mic, pen, etc. He is guest blogging over at my old stomping grounds, XXLMAG.com this week. While most rap cats use that avenue to babble and spew worthless information, Mike took the opportunity to really drop some game about the power and relevance of money. Not necessarily how to "get" it but how to "keep" it, which is just as, if not more important. You can check out the blog here and leave comments, or you can check it out after the jump and leave some comments here...either way, its a must read. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I haven't really heard any rappers drop jewels like this since Ice T and Too $hort. I mean really, what rappers you know gonna name drop Clark Howard and Neil Bortz like it ain't nothing...
M.O.E “Money Over Every Thing.” I know the world credits the homie “Chopper” aka “Young City” with this saying now but the 1st time I actually heard this saying it was from a Houston Texas rapper 50/50 Twin (what up my Ni**@). When I heard it, my 1st instinct was “ohh sh*t” that’s hard! It sounded like a Gangsta’s morning Mantra. I can imagine Italian Dons and Capos, Black Goons and Thugs, Asian and Spanish G’s alike waking in the morning and instead of prayers they all would sit on the side of their beds, light Cuban Cohibas and slowly repeat M.O.E dozens of times gradually speeding up like Angela Basset doing Buddhist chants when she played Tina Turner.
They would spin these words into motivating song before getting up. Money over everything. Money over everything. Money over everything. Money over everything….climaxing in a quick abrupt silence and a focused glassy-eyed stare. After they arose and did the morning rituals: sh*t, shower, shave, they would hop in there G mobiles and descend onto the streets like James Galdolfini as Tony Soprano and “Carpe Diem” or Seize the day. A day in which nothing mattered except the “color of money” the “good fella” codes and how many “dead presidents” one could amass in a day.
Now because I, like most young males, I know have been indoctrinated by our culture to know the rich guy ALWAYS gets the Playboy Bunny, and broke guys get….well broke guys get what rich guys have had…ask the men currently dating Juanita Jordan, The former Mrs. D. Wade or any dude dating 50 or Rick Ross’s ex-girls. Coming behind a rich dude in games of love and sex sucks dick (no homo). Rich guys drive dope cars, broke dudes girls drive them crazy. Rich guys do what they wanna and broke dudes do what they can…sigh. We all know money is important. But how important is having lots of money??? Hmmmmmm. If the money over everything is truly the “way” …the “way” of the rich, the “way” to completeness and happiness, why the hell don’t other people work harder to get rich?
Because most of us don’t, we spend money on feeling good. Why spend ya last dollar on the club or even a gift for a loved one. If money is the Great equalizer and the almighty in a capitalistic society, “huh”, I ask? Because money don’t mean sh*t! It doesn’t. It never did and it never will. Paris Hilton knows this. So why do we squander it buying shit like gifts or get well cards or tithes to mega churches 4 Jesus, huh, huh? Paris had an opportunity to get a STOOPID inheritance from grandpa and she threw it away, partying, showing her snatch and sexing via night vision all the while charging a small fee (couple mill here couple mill there) so that she could live like the rest of us and enjoy the dispensable years (the 20s). She gave up an inheritance and earned her own money (1 itty bitty titty flash at a time) so she could LIVE.
Money is a tool used to keep taps and measure debt. The less debt you have, the more money you can save, the more money you save, the less stressed you can become, the less stressed you become, the more your life can blossom. Say you make 100k a year, the old money model says you can afford a home that is worth the value of 2 and 1 half years of work. That’s 250k. That’s a couple grand every month for 20 or 30 years or so. Basically you become a slave to the house you “own”, cant miss a day of work, can’t retire, sure as hell can’t quit! As dope as it is to own a good looking home, when will you get to enjoy it and the people you bought it for (your family)? Now may I propose that there is a way to defeat the money matrix? Beating the matrix involves you adjusting your focus less on money and more on Life, Love and Happiness. What the F*ck?!!! Oh yes, I hear you now “this ni**@ Mike is crazy. And yup I am..like a fox. Here’s my answer to money over everything……
LIVE BELOW YOUR MEANS and you will have everything (travel, leisure, cars, clothes) although you must have game and get ya own girl doe. (Playboy Bunnies ain’t free sucka ). What exactly does that mean? Well it means that you adopt the M.O.B mentality” Money Over Bullsh*t.” Since money is a tool, you should use it as such. Remember that 100k salary we just talked about? Let’s say you choose to take half of that year’s salary and purchase 1 HUD home to live in. The government gives you an 8k tax credit (thank u Mr. Prez). Live there, repair the place, write off all expenses regarding that place. Wow, 1-year, 50k minus 8k tax credit and you own a beautiful ranch style home in a decent neighborhood and because you repaired it yourself, has gained value.
Also you never buy a new car, buy pre-owned and used only (most millionaires do) plus they put an extra 8k in the price of a new car. So you got a house, you own a nice, sporty 7 grand Honda and disposable income to start a biz (I suggest buying more homes and renting to former project residents), take trips or invest (now is a great time). This will also give you more money to bullsh*t in random clubs picking up the bar tab for your degenerate friends, etc. But always remember, keep the receipts, write it off as a biz expense.
Having control over your wants and your money will allow you to truly have everything: happiness, travel, adventure and more. If you can forgo your wants of un-needed sh*t and save and spend with purpose, you can escape the rat race of “no money and debt.” If you are not in debt, you are RICH! If you own your property, if you have a small business, if you save money every time you can (even vacations should be planned for the best deal possible), you will always be able to do what you want when you want (with proper planning). When I ask people why they want money they usually tell me so they can do what they wanna do. I feel’em that’s why I rap. Couldn’t do the regular gig sh*t and wouldn’t wanna sell dope forever.
I propose most people can already do all they want to do if they stop chasing money and trap the money they already earn. If you control your immediate and usually un-needed wants, you can save more and spend less (Clark Howard’s line), then you can do more and stress less (my line).
Here’s a simple exercise I learned from (Neil Bortz) as a kid. Take 5s, 10s and 20s out with you when you leave the house. Every time you break a bill, put the 1s away in another pocket and save them. Not only will you save at least 50 to 100 dollars monthly, you will think about every purchase more b4 you fluke a 20 on a swisher, tater chips and a Faygo. Now you can treat yo self to a nice dinner at the end of the month (at a real restaurant) or save $600 to $1200 hundred and take an off-season vacation to Jamaica (girls are great at this sh*t). I promise you if you try this, it will work and you will adjust the way you think about and spend dough. With all that said, I gotta go do a show and make sum paper. I saw a house I wanna buy in an empowerment zone. I’m a few shows away. So everybody spend more time saying love, Fam, adventure, even life over everything and use money 4 what it should be used for, a tool to buy cheap tickets for travel and leisure and paying off student loans.
Extra special “thanks” to Clark Howard, Dave Ramsey, Neil Bortz and Paris Hilton for helping me see the way. I’m out this beyyyatch. I got $$$$$ to make! But $ don’t make me. GTRG…BBB
Check out this fly new video from the homie Sean Falyon. This track "Inside Her" is the second video/single from his collaborative project Mr. Falyon meets SMKA that I put ya'll onto earlier this year (go peep that if you haven't yet).
I really dig the new age pschyadelic angle they took with the vid and the homie Sophe Nix looking kinda nice in there too. The vid was shot and edited by Diwang Valdez (1/3 of Motion Family) and a cat named Kombo Ch.
Be on the look out for Sean as he's going to be performing in NYC at the Leaders of the New Cool showcase on September 30th as well as at the A3C Festival in October in Atlanta.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Today journalist and former Executive Editor of Music at BET.com, Andreas Hale sent out an email to a bunch of us fellow writers/bloggers/journalists announcing that he was leaving BET.com. Emails like this aren't rare, I get them all of the time. Most times people just send them out as a courtesy to let people know how to contact them and who to contact at that particular organization from now on. But, this one was different...
Now we've all heard about what goes on behind closed doors at BET. Hell, I've heard about it first hand from folks that I knew that used to work there. But, the email that Andreas sent out today is pretty much the mirror image of what the infamous "banned BET" episode of The Boondocks called out a couple of years ago. I had to share it with ya'll:
As of today (September 8, 2009) I am no longer the Executive Editor of Music at BET.com.
Upon entering the position at BET I said that I needed one year to see what really went on inside the belly of the beast. I needed 365 days to sleep with the enemy and infiltrate the system. One year to see if they REALLY wanted change at BET.
As someone who has been critical of BET for many years, it surprised many that I would leave my post at HipHopDX last year to take a position at BET. But it was an opportunity I absolutely had to take. I could no longer be critical of this company without accepting the opportunity to change it when given. Although I was hired to bring about change, I was systematically shut down. I wasn’t hired to make noise, I was hired to be silenced.
The truth of the matter is that everything that you thought was wrong with BET is true.
Over the past year I’ve seen a lot to reinforce my position that BET is too far gone in the negative to turn into a positive. We have all always thought the worst, but to actually see it in action is another thing in its entirety. The unprofessionalism, the tom foolery, the favors, the misappropriation of resources, the bad ideas that reinforce negative stereotypes, the emasculation of men, the meetings that break down in full fledged cursing battles, the unpaid overtime, the tears from employees scared for their underpaid and overworked positions and ultimately the unwillingness to change are all harsh realities that I’ve witnessed firsthand.
That is not to say that there aren’t some good people who have sat in the offices of BET. Unfortunately, the good people are not in positions of power to instill any change. Instead, they work their fingers to the bone just to keep their jobs in this harsh economic climate. The other good people ran out of the door as soon as an another employment opportunity presented itself. To say BET was a revolving door would be an understatement.
I came in with a plan to provide balance and to deliver good music to the masses and help make BET relevant again - at least in the dot com world. Those attempts were shut down by out of touch executives who run a dot com but could barely turn on a computer. By those who judge their metrics by page views over absolute unique visitors (that‘s ad sales talk). By those who simply don’t understand the internet.
They brought me in because of my track record but never once took a look at my body of work. If they did, they would have known that I was the pen behind editorials such as “BET’s Coon Picnic” or were aware of the many times I have been critical of their award shows and programming. All they knew is that I played a major role in making a once unknown website into a online media outlet that surpassed theirs and they wanted a piece of the action. Too bad they never researched who I really was.
During my tenure I worked long hours and sometimes succeeded at bringing in decent content to try to reflect the change I wanted to achieve. But it wasn’t without opposition. While some interviews and content initiatives were able to make it through, many others were either shut down or met with ridicule. I offered ideas to incorporate the blog world and to spotlight new talent before MTV did. Those ideas were met with comments such as “This isn’t HipHopDX” or “You don’t know what you are talking about.”
BET is not about the quality of your work. Rather, BET is about the relationships you have with powerful people within the company. BET is not about challenging. Instead, BET is about accepting and saying “yes.” If you have known or followed me over the years, you would know that these are things that simply are not in my character and ultimately resulted in my removal.
For the artists and labels that I have worked with for years, I tried. I did whatever I could to achieve that balance many of us wanted to see happen. To the writers who wanted to writer for BET, I made an attempt but was never given a budget to work with.
Upon my arrival, I was told I would be given a staff. Not true. I had a staff of one to carry out daily operations on a website. I fought tooth and nail to accomplish the minimum (an embeddable player and a site people could navigate) and was constantly brushed off. It was a position that was set up for failure. But I endured as long as I could.
Alas, I have been removed from my position after infiltrating the system and the timing was perfect. I wasn’t let go because the site’s numbers were down. Not because I didn’t work hard. Simply because of a personality clash with an individual whose proverbial ass I didn’t kiss enough. Again, not about the work you do but about the relationships you keep and the sides you take.
I’d like to thank BET for covering the cost of my relocation to bring me to the great city of New York/New Jersey. I’d also like to thank them for putting me in close quarters with people who think like me and will hopefully work with in the near future. I’d also like to thank them for providing me enough controversial content that I observed firsthand and will make for many tales to be told.
I said it and I meant in: One year to either make changes or move on. I left HipHopDX on September 16th 2008. Today is September 8, 2009. Eight days short of a year. Most thought I wouldn’t even last that long. But in that year I’ve had my greatest fears about Black Entertainment Television affirmed.
There is so much wrong with BET that I’d rather not break it down in a single email.
It is pretty good fodder for a book don’t you think?
Damn, the way Andreas used words like "infiltrate" made it sound like he was on some real Spook Who Sat By The Door shit. Its also fitting that when he was at HipHopDX, he was one of the people that leaked out the Boondocks clip when it was banned, hense the HipHopDX tag on it. If he does choose to make a book out of this, would you buy/read it? Or does this email pretty much just re-enforce what you already thought and knew?