Friday, September 10, 2010
So, I got an email from the homie Bem with a new Kilo Ali song. The subject line said "New Kilo (auto-tune warning!). Actually, that warning didn't really deter me from wanting to hear the song. The music that Kilo was making before he went to prison is actually conducive to auto-tune and probably wouldn't sound that bad with it on it. Then I saw all these other comments in the corresponding emails talking about "this is what happens when rappers get on crack and go to prison." That might be the truth, but that's not nice to say.
But yeah about the song. This is Kilo's first song since he got out of prison. I myself, don't really mind the song. It would probably be some vintage Kilo if he would've left the auto-tune off (again, he fresh out and probably didn't know any better) and tightened up some parts of the song...because towards the end, he does kind of go off on a tangent. But like I said, he just got out of prison. No rapper ever sounds good RIGHT after they get out of prison...not 2Pac, not Pimp C, and sure as hell not Shyne ("Roller Song" is growing on me though).
'Pac only sounded good to us when All Eyez On Me came out because he went to the studio with Dr. Dre and Death Row and actually worked for a few months before anything even left the studio and went to the public. If you go back and listen to some of those bootleg Makaveli's you can hear the fresh out the pen 'Pac trying to get his flow and timing back.
But yeah, I'm starting to ramble. According to this website, a new album will be dropping in March 2001. Tell me what ya'll think of the song. Personally, it kinda makes me want to dig out my neon green Braves jersey, clear bottom Reeboks and start ragtopping on ya'll ass.
UPDATE: According to Kilo's twitter this is not a new song, but actually something from 2004 that some folks put out behind his back.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Gonna be busy doing other stuff, so unless its very pressing...not gonna be all'day aan'day. Keep checking back though, gonna have some tickets and other items to give away in the coming weeks.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Is it me or is rap music more eventful than it is meaningful nowadays?
I swear everyday I'm hearing about some new event, or an event disguised as a song. Tip got arrested (again), Kanye is going off on twitter (again). Another dumb ass rapper banged Kat Stacks. Rick Ross has a song with Nicki Minaj, Drake, Puff Daddy and Swizz Beatz did the beat. Drake has a new song with Puff Daddy, Nicki Minaj and Rick Ross with Jay-Z on the remix and Kanye doing the beat.
Don't get me wrong, I'm no longer what you would consider a spring chicken. I've been walking to the globe long to "have seeeen some shit now" as Dave Chappelle once quipped. That said, there are plenty of events that got us talking and/or shaped the future of Hip Hop and rap. Ice Cube leaving NWA. KRS-ONE bumrushing PM Dawn off the stage. 'Pac and Biggie. Dr. Dre leaving Death Row.
In addition to that there were plenty of songs that we pretty big deals when they came out, like "The Symphony," "Scenario (remix)," "Who Shot Ya (remix)" or anything DMX breathed on in 1997-98.
But I don't know man, it could be my age bias talking, but it just seemed "different." Matter of fact, I pretty much know it was different. "Events" were once things that mattered, but didn't trump the music itself. When Cube left NWA and Dre left Death Row, in the interviews that followed, the first thing they let you know was they had new music coming out that was gonna change the world (Cube did this immediately, it took Dre a little longer).
Plus, when an event happened, it was really a big deal because most of the time, we'd hear it straight from the horse's (sober, calm, articulate) mouth and it was presented a certain way via magazine or MTV News.
Nowadays an "event" is two of these cats crossing paths at the strip club, sneaker store or VIP section in the club. Sometimes they don't even have to say anything to each other and that will be the event itself. "Gucci didn't speak to Jeezy at the club!" Then when an event like this happens, we get to see the people involved bitch about it on twitter, youtube, WSHH or wherever else that type of behavior is welcome. Or of course hear it from some gossiping bitches.
As far as the "event" songs, I'm not saying nothing new when I say that technology has allowed for cats who never even met, let alone be in the studio at the same time, to make music. In some cases, its great. In others, its just...so the f*ck what? You proved you can record a verse for a guy in Miami while your on tour in L.A. Congratulations, you can work a computer in 2010.
I remember interviewing Busta Rhymes a couple of years ago and we got on the topic of rappers hopping on every damn remix or feature that comes their way. Busta was blunt in his answer saying he has a family to support and that he feels that he is still relevant and talented enough to keep rapping. Bun B gave me a similar answer one of the times I talked with him also. Which I feel them on. Granted, not every Busta feature is my favorite but unlike so many of his peers do from time to time, you can tell Busta came on the song to actually rap and not just do it just to say "yeah, I'm rapping, on this song, too."
But the part that stuck out to me the most in our conversation was when he admitted that hopping on a DJ Khaled song didn't feel the same as recording a song like "Scenario." Mainly because, when he and the rest of The Leaders of the New School hopped on the song with A Tribe Called Quest, they were all in the studio AT THE SAME TIME. Not just the studio room itself, BUT THE BOOTH. He said, that's why the verses and adlibs were so animated. They did the entire song in full takes, top to bottom, in the booth together...stank weed breath and all.
To further illustrate this point. Really, outside of maybe "I'm So Hood" from a few years ago, "Swagga Like Us" from not to long ago and lets say, "Hello, Good Morning" now...do you feel compelled to listen to any of these super event songs on your own time? Sure, we all listen to it at least once (twice if we actually like it) on whatever blogsite we found it on. But did any of you listen to "Monster" today? Would you go apeshit in the club if the DJ played it tonight? If you answered yes...congrats! You are better than me because I buy none of this stuff.
I know its not far-fetched to think this...but I swear all of these super rappers of today have the same managers and interests so they all just make music with each other and drink Ciroc while doing it.
These folks have succeeded in making Hip Hop a big ass movie packed with events...but not moments. You go to the movies on a Friday night and probably forget about the flim by Sunday unless somebody asks if you saw it. Same thing with alot of the music now. You'll hear it once on Tuesday afternoon and won't think about again unless you follow said artist on twitter.
But yeah...I don't rap or make beats. So I'll never understand "what's going on." All I can do observe and share my thoughts with whoever is listening. What do ya'll think?
Thursday, September 2, 2010
This week's Creative Loafing has a feature on Bushwick Bill that explains his current situation that may lead to him being deported back to Jamaica (but may actually end up in Canada or England). This has been on the hearts and minds of a lot of people since Willie D and J Prince revealed the news at the Vh1 Hip Hop Honors when asked why Bill wasn't there.
I knew Bill had be living here but had no idea that he'd been sitting in jail downtown since May. He actually popped up at the Ozone office when I was working there one night. Didn't really want anything, he was just stopping by to chat.
The story also talks about Bill was trying to get his life together and go the spiritual route with his new music. That may explain why he lectured me at the 2008 Ozone Awards when I greeted him "aw man, Bushwick! wassup gah'damn!" He pulled me to the side (well, side and down actually) and said that I shouldn't use such language and queried "why should God be damned?" When I told him I'm moreso saying "got damn" he didn't really buy it.
But yeah, peep the story out...
READ: Bushwick Bill Teeters on the Brink of Deportation
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Here it is, the video everybody has been waiting on. Shoutout to 'Lo for making an actual music video in this day and age. Kinda reminds me of "Roses." Wonder if Bryan Barber did this one too.
Monday, August 30, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
"In The Hood" is my favorite song off one of my favorite albums. But yeah, as a fan I'm kinda perplexed. The song is four years old now and the clip itself doesn't really do the song as much justice as it could have, in my opinion. But, Hen's words on this track are so potent and he paints the picture so well verbally that it makes up for it.
The other side of me is happy to see this cat Willie Hen is still being active in a music capacity, because I'd really like to hear some new stuff from him. A birdie whispered in my ear that we could see another The Product album in the future. Whether that future is near or far, I don't know.
But yeah, enjoy this for the time being.
Just got this in my email. This group called Riot !n Paris probably has the coolest video out right now. It's an interactive joint where you pick how the video continues and ends.
Remember those Booty Call games on Romp.com from the early 2000's? Well, its kinda like those, except here its actual real people, not cartoons. If you have a few minutes to burn, play with this for a while. It's pretty entertaining.
As for the song itself...eh. Not my cup of tea.
This Saturday, Cleveland's very own Chip Tha Ripper will be coming to The Loft for the next stop on his Gift Raps tour.
For what's sure to be an entertaining show, MTV Freshman 5 winner Haziq Ali, AquaForce, Grand Hustle's latest signee Wil May and a "Big" special guest will also be on the bill. And its being hosted by yours truly.
Doors open at 9pm, show starts at 10pm. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 on the day of the show. You can get yours at TicketAlternative.com.
Monday, August 23, 2010
Over the weekend I got a chance to catch up with Bilal. Apparently he came right back to Atlanta after his show with Erykah Badu from last Saturday. I was really looking forward to doing this interview after riding around to his new album Airtight's Revenge for the last couple of weeks.
With the current press run he is on right now, Bilal has a gang of (video) interviews on the web right now. But all of them pretty much focus on his past and "how do you feel about Love For Sale." Luckily, I was able to ask him about specific songs from the album after hearing them. Especially "Flying" and my personal favorite, "All Matter" (a more personalized rendition of the song he recorded for Robert Glasper's last album).
I didn't get as much time as I would've liked but I think it still came out pretty cool. I have an extended version of this interview with stuff about him growing up in Philadelphia, growing up as a Jazz guy in a Hip Hop generation and how his early days as a songwriter almost had him ready to jump off a cliff...but its kinda lengthy and we all know folks don't have the longest attention span on the internet. If ya'll want me to post it later, I will.
But yeah, check this clip out and let me know what you think. Airtight's Revenge in stores September 14th.
Oh yeah...today is dude's birthday, so wish him a happy one.
Besides "is it supposed to rain?" the biggest question in Atlanta this past Friday was "are you going to the Lil B show." When some people asked it, they had intentions on going and just wanted to know if they'd run into you there. When others asked it, it came off as if they were asking you "are you sure you want to eat that?"
I didn't go get "based" last Friday. Not a fan or follower of dude, so I wasn't really pressed on going. Wasn't going to be covering it for any outlet in particular, so wouldn't be "working." I "get" what's going on and what he's doing, so I really didn't need any baffling questions to get answered. Plus I had some personal obligations that night and it started raining...so yeah, didn't bend over backwards for it.
But a couple of folks did, so figured I let ya'll see what they had to say. The video above was shot by the homie Jeron Ward. The accompanying reviews were done by Nadine Graham and Shannon Barbour. Read after the jump...
On Friday, August 20th, Lil’ B of the California rap group, The Pack (“Vans”), performed a live concert at the Loft in Atlanta. For weeks, the show, which was opened by anti-hipster, Gripplyaz and FKi Music, had been tirelessly promoted and the Internet was flooded with the news of the upcoming arrival of the “Based God.”
For Lil’ B to be such an online phenom (he’s already garnered attention from Rolling Stone, The New York Times and The Village Voice) you would think that his more of his fans would’ve braved the rainy elements to attend the show; however, the crowd was underwhelming. Still, the skinny jean wearing, colored Vans sporting, “cookin” dancing teenagers made up in enthusiasm what they lacked in numbers. And Lil’ B didn’t disappoint, immediately adding to the weirded-out vibe of the evening with his zany antics.
Case in point: when the 21 year-old sauntered onto the small stage donning a cream t-shirt and dark glasses, he had a silk scarf veiling his face and cryptically announced, “Ya’ll know I don’t show my face.” Then he laughed, and the crowd laughed too.
Thankfully, after a few songs, he withdrew his announcement and went ahead and discarded the scarf. As he rolled through his “catalogue” (which basically consists of viral videos and song leaks) the crowd’s excitement reached a fever pitch.
He breathlessly sped through the almost comical “Pretty B-tch,” “Suck My D-ck Ho” and “Violate That B-tch,” showcasing that there are apparently an infinite number of ways to rap about receiving oral sex.
Regardless, he was able to strike an honest rapport with his fans, thanking one for the snapback hat he was rocking, before fittingly asking, “Who all in here be Tweeting me?”
He also took the time between songs to vehemently deny the online whispers of him being “a Down South music biter,” stating that he was merely influenced by the South. The audience gave hoots of approval. He went on to deny the gay rumors as well—which were initially sparked by his constant references to himself as a being a “princess” and a “pretty b-tch.”
Then he performed his most outrageous track, “Look Like Jesus.” Of course, this song came after he’d already again referred to himself as a “pretty bitch” and strangely declared that he looked like 80’s TV icon, Matlock. The crowd, however, ate it up, singing along with unbridled enthusiasm as he bounced across the stage like he was on a sugar rush. Panting every few bars, he wore himself out by the song’s end.
No doubt, the internet-bred celebrity of Lil’ B, is extreme, even a sign of the times—an era when kids looking to declare themselves as “different” latch onto anything that seems weird, even if it makes no sense, and journalist clamor to be the first to find the next Internet phenom, no matter how bizarre the act is.
But, even with that said, Lil’ B has definitely created a movement. He has stage presence and is obviously smarter than his outlandish lyrics suggests. Like it or not, Lil’ B has made the machine work for him, and you can’t help but respect that.
Show Grade: C
From Creative Loafing:
The young crowd waiting to get into the Loft for Friday’s Lil’ B Live in Atlanta presented by Fadia Kader/Broke & Boujee show were a part of Atlanta’s rising hood-hipster hybrid. The Internet-fed fans of Berkeley, Calif.-based Pack member, Lil’ B, exemplified the power of social media to advance the careers of rising rappers and wannabes — who become virtually indistinguishable with each new YouTube video.
Like the explicit content advisory stickers of the past, an endorsement from the infamous Soulja Boy should also serve as a warning. It’s like saying, “this motherfucker is a gimmick.” Lil’ B’s loyal followers, however, remained undeterred. It may be the sense of belonging he gives them through shout outs via Twitter and Facebook. Or maybe it’s his uncanny ability to sound sincere with every profane utterance, such as “Y’all inspire the fuck outta me.”
Regardless, some couldn’t wait to see him.
As a result, the opening acts got lukewarm love. Especially Grip Plyaz, who was practically booed, as if his biggest song, “Fuck Dat Hipster Shit,” was a personal attack against those in attendance. Retro Sushi got some bounce from a version of “Black Boy, White Boy Swag,” built on the sound of Soulja's “Pretty Boy Swag.” Honestly, FKI was the highlight of the evening with their rendition of Gucci Mane’s “I Think I Love Her,” where their guitarist, Ricky, strummed on the strings behind his head.
Fortunately, the show moved quickly, so by the time Lil’ B came onstage, his face covered with a T-shirt, the excitement level was still high. He finally revealed himself and launched into “Pretty Bitch” and several other mindless tirades that make up the most recent of his approximately 1,500 songs on the web.
By the time he got to his “hit,” “Look like Jesus,” the scene was sick, but not in the good way. The “BasedGod” is baseless. Some left the show early, but a scant few stayed, hanging on his every word.
At that point, I wondered if the force of social media was really enough to propel his career into legitimacy. Who knows. I, like many others at the show, had enough.
A friend and I joked that if we took a shot every time he Lil B said the word "dick," we would have had alcohol poisoning.
Here are some other choice quotes:
"I was in church, but I don't give a fuck about shit."
"I look fruity, but I like girls."
"Suck my dick ho" — this was just shouted randomly throughout the performance, not necessarily as part of a song.
"If you can't fit Magnums, that's o.k., just wear Trojans."
So, there you have it. Did any of you go to the show? Feel free to leave your thoughts. I've heard everything from "he has great personality" to "he is the Black Male version of Lady Gaga."
Friday, August 20, 2010
Imagine waking up to an email with the subject "F*ck You From Cee-Lo Green." Yo...I'm not lying, I was about make some phone calls and see what was really good, I don't appreciate being talked to like that.
But it was just a new Cee-Lo song.
Sounds like 'Lo is really taking it there on this Lady Killer album. This song is kinda funny though.
Be on the look out for another version of this video (with actual people in it, I'm assuming) to drop next month. Lady Killer in stores October 4th.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Caught up with Aleon Craft the other day at Solar Sound Studios to get him to talk about some choice cuts from
The Stargazing Soundtrack and what this project means at this point in his career.
Previously: Aleon Craft: The Stargazing Soundtrack
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Grady Homes, Capital Homes, Bowen Homes, Herndon Homes, Thomasville Heights, Hollywood Courts, Bankhead Courts...all torn down over the last 5 years.
I, like so many of you, have asked, "where is the government sending these people?" Well, one of the answers is Riverdale and Clayton County, which explains the current conditions down there. The other answer came yesterday as thousands of people mobbed the complex where Central Station is located, just to get Section 8 applications...that will put them on a waiting list...to be approved.
Like the homie D said over at his site, "expect much worst."
Spotted at TEV
Internet phenomenon Lil B is going to be in Atlanta at the Loft this Friday. I'm going to go to see what all the fuss is about. Right now the homie Noz is looking like he needs to change his name to Noztradamus for calling this early.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
I came across this video earlier this morning and found it interesting so I figured I'd share it with ya'll. It reminded me of when I used to tape songs, freestyles and interviews off the radio and when I used to record videos from off Rap City and Yo! MTV Raps. Obviously I wasn't the only one doing that because you look up just about anything on YouTube now.
But it seems our elders from the Jazz generation are still catching up to technology...or finally deciding to share some of their hidden treasures.
It also reminded me of one of my favorite posts from StuffWhitePeopleLike.com: "Black Music That Black People Don't Don't Listen To Anymore." I'm not saying that Black folks don't listen to Jazz at all anymore...but I sure as hell can count on my hand the ones that do.
As you can see the video, our White brothers still seem to be enthralled by the discovery of old jazz music. Hell it was a White cat that recorded all of this stuff. Over the last few years I've been starting to adopt the idea that Black folks don't record/preserve/protect as much of their own musical or cultural history because they are too busy living it or creating something new.
Which is a catch 22 because it leaves it up to folks from other backgrounds to record it and then ultimately control it and control how it is promoted and presented. Which usually leads to people feeling a certain way about "our" songs being copied, critiqued, ridiculed or used in paper towel commercials.
But yeah. Beyond all of that, I thought this was a cool clip. I know these recordings will be put in the museum when completed, but I'm looking forward to seeing what happens after that.
Monday, August 16, 2010
photo by Maurice Garland, September 19, 2009
This sounds like a pretty cool idea...
From LA Times:
Cee-Lo Green wasn’t exactly looking to become a television star -- until the opportunity was handed to him.
When the cable network Fuse went to the Gnarls Barkley rapper-singer with the idea for a new music show, “Lay It Down,” he couldn’t turn away.
“It’s more than me wanting to do this, it’s someone wanted me to do it, which was very flattering and a compliment in the fact that I was asked to be a part of it,” Green said. “That was gratifying for me.”
In the interview- and performance-based show, set to premiere in October, Green will act as host -- and sometimes collaborator -- as he puts artists such as Lil Jon, Ludacris, T-Pain, N.E.R.D., Janelle Monáe and Public Enemy in the hot seat to break down their biggest hits and discuss the inspiration behind specific verses and beats. It's a setting reminiscent, says Green, of a "modernized midnight television special."
He said he hopes the show will provide fans an inside look at and artist's creative process and offer little-known details behind some of the hits. For instance, Public Enemy’s “Yo! Bum Rush the Show” was written in the back of a U-Haul truck by Flavor Flav.
“I think this was an opportunity for everyone to be intimate about their own process, approach or formula, but true art isn't exposed in its entirety. I believe it's an opportunity to express a bit and reveal a bit but still maintain some mystique,” Green said.
Sal LoCurto, senior vice president of programming at Fuse, said adding shows such as Green's to the network's programming block only further sets it apart from other music networks such as BET, VH1 and MTV -- all of which have turned their attention to reality television.
“We are the only music channel. [BET, VH1 and MTV are] past tense. They’re not really music channels,” LoCurto said. “I always say it’s kinda like rooting for the Dodgers and expecting to see Sandy Koufax pitch. It’s a bygone era.”
Jason Hervey, executive producer of the show, said Green was targeted because of his vast career, be it from his days as a member of Goodie Mob to his solo career to being one half of Gnarls Barkley.
“He can connect to the artist and the subject really on any level, and there is such a knowledge and a passion for music and his fellow performer,” Harvey said. “I think there's an admiration, you know, and there's a point of view that really is unrivaled unless you've walked in the many different shoes within the musical career that he has."
With production on the first season of the show wrapped, Green is back to focusing on his upcoming solo album, “Lady Killer,” as well as a new Goodie Mob album -- his first with the group since 1999’s “World Party.”
There's only a few artist that can have a pretty good conversation with artists from all walks of life and Cee-Lo is one of them. Oh yeah...I still have the other parts of my interview with him for ya'll I didn't forget.
Not sure if MTV's online network was your preferred source for music videos and clips in the first place, but if your looking for content from Universal Music Group artists specifically, you're going to have to look elsewhere.
From Wall Street Journal:
Universal Music Group pulled its music videos from MTV’s websites starting earlier this week, the two companies said Friday, as talks over new licensing terms broke down.
While many details of the breakdown weren’t disclosed, MTV Networks has been in negotiations with Vevo, the Hulu-esque video service owned by Universal , Google and Sony Music. MTV previously licensed music videos directly from record labels for use on MTV.com, VH1.com and CMT.com. Now Universal, Sony and EMI want websites to let Vevo “syndicate” its videos through their sites. Under that arrangement, which is already in place on YouTube and several other sites, Vevo sells its own ads and delivers its members’ videos through a branded player. Website owners like MTV parent Viacom Inc. get a cut of the advertising revenue.
In a statement, Universal said: “MTVN has been unwilling to negotiate a fair syndication deal with Vevo to carry our artists’ videos and consequently our videos will not be shown on their online properties. We believe that using Vevo as our online music video syndication platform is the best way to maximize revenue for our artists, our songwriters and ourselves.”
The dispute doesn’t affect the ability of MTV’s cable channels to air videos from Universal artists.
While it’s not clear what the sticking point was, it probably relates to the attempted insertion of a new entity in the value chain between consumer eyeball and content owner. In other words, it’s not hard to imagine that MTV balked at the possibility of making less money so that a new company controlled by the record labels could get cut into the deal. Representatives of MTV and Universal declined to comment on financial details.
In a statement of its own, MTV Networks said: “we continue to seek out new and innovative ways to connect artists with their fans that are mutually beneficial to everyone. However, during our recent discussions with Vevo, we were unable to reach a fair and equitable agreement for rights to stream UMG artists’ music video content.” The company added that it was “disappointed” by Universal’s decision.
Also notable: MTV recently entered a partnership with Warner Music Group, the other major-label group, that represents an alternate—and competing—approach to selling ads that run with online music videos.
For now, the impasse applies only to Universal videos, because that company’s previous licensing deal with MTV expired last month. But Sony’s deal comes up for renewal in the fall, and if no deal is in place by then, Sony’s clips good be next to go dark at MTV.com.
Just in case you skimmed through and didn't read, no, this doesn't mean that MTV won't be showing music videos from UMG artists (do they still show videos?). It means that they won't be showing them online, nor will they be showing performance clips to coincide with interviews and other content.
VEVO is owned by Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group, hosts its videos through YouTube while Google and Vevo share the advertising revenue. Sony's deal with MTV Networks is up for renewal in the fall.
The homie Aleon Craft just dropped his latest project The Stargazing Soundtrack today on DJBooth.net. Just like his last few projects, SMKA handles the production.
I finally got a chance to make it to one of the dates on the Stargazing Tour at the Glenn Hotel last Friday. Craft really did his thing and it sounds like he's really coming into his own as a solo artist.
A lot of you know him from Da Backwudz while a couple of you may know him from Labratz, so he's always been a part of a group. Early on in his solo ventures, I can't lie, I heard a heavy Big Boi influence, which isn't a bad thing, but that's one of the things I felt that held Da Backwudz back...they were dope, but the sounded so much like their influences that their music sometimes got lost in the shuffle.
Since Craft has pretty much been working with SMKA exclusively, he sounds more like himself and he gets to even stretch his creativity more. The partnership seems to challenge SMKA just as much. I'm looking forward to seeing how far Craft's music goes. Its capable of appealing to a wide range of people.
But yeah, if you are a fan of George Clinton and consider yourself a Funkateer, you should enjoy this project. Stat tuned for an interview with Craft very soon.
LISTEN/DOWNLOAD: Aleon Craft The Stargazing Soundtrack
Friday, August 13, 2010
Yesterday XXLMag.com invited me to take part in their Aim & Fire online chat discussion. The way it works is they invite a bunch of journalist, bloggers, tastemakers, etc into a AIM chat room to talk about the hot rap topic of the day.
Yesterday's topic was this brewing "beef" between Rick Ross and Young Jeezy. The timing for it was perfect since Ross dropped his "diss" called "Summer's Mine" and Jeezy dropped his 1000 Grams mixtape earlier that day.
Other people in on the conversation included Bossip editor Janee Bolden, Gyant, Wendy Day, BET.com's Carl Cherry and XXL's Jesse Gissen. I didn't really say as much as the others...doesn't seem like anybody pay attention either. But I was there...calling stuff like this gay and lame like I usually do. When you get a second, peep it for yourself.
READ: XXLMag.com AIM & FIRE
Thursday, August 12, 2010
photo by Maurice Garland
Conrgats to shawty...
Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music has just added another talent to it’s already strong roster. XXLMag.com has learned that CyHi Da Prynce is the latest artist to sign with the label.
“I just affiliated with Kanye,” the September 2010 Show and Prove rapper told XXLMag.com. “It’s been a beautiful journey for me.”
That journey’s other big highlight came in February 2009, when the Atlanta-bred MC was signed to Def Jam. CyHi credits the vice president of Def Jam, Bu Thiam, as well as L.A. Reid, with helping him link up with Ye-who flew him out to Hawaii for three and a half weeks earlier this summer. While there, the two worked on roughly five songs together, says Cy, who recounts that Kanye first took notice of him on the remix to Yelawolf’s “I Wish.” “He heard my verse and loved it,” he says. “After that, he took his time out to look my name up and he liked the music that I had.”
Now with an even greater backing than what he had before, CyHi expects big things. “To me, [Kanye] is the most complete artist in hip-hop, and I feel like that’s what I want to be. To have him as a mentor is just a blessing. I’m learning.”
CyHi Da Prynce plans to release an EP, The Royal Flush, in late August or early September.
Hey, I know there's hella internet theories and rumors swirling about this. But lets put that aside to recognize dude's come up. I'm glad to see an artist like Prynce get aligned with somebody like Kanye. Prynce is a VERY creative and conceptual dude so this partnership makes all of the sense in the world. Guess the music industry has another famous Redan Raider.
These songs popped up in my head the other day. Might've been because I was listening to Gibbs' rendition of "Born To Roll." Fully aware of Masta Ace's contributions and legacy, but really, it wasn't until "Born to Roll" that I really got into him like that. Not an excuse because I've gone back and listened and researched, but his Juice Crew stuff was coming out when I knew more about Rick Flair and Hulk Hogan than I did about rap music.
I remember seeing this video and thinking "damn! who are all these light-skinned girls!" Guess you can say Masta Ace introduced to me (and a few of you too) to fineness of our Latin sistas. I also remember seeing this video on YO! MTV Raps and hearing Ed Lover and Dr. Dre borderline hate on the song and video, talking about Masta Ace was selling out to West Coast. Matter fact, I remember hearing that quite a bit from NYC based outlets. Which is in sharp contrast to what we hear and read nowadays from the same folks saying that his Slaughtahouse album was "acclaimed."
Ace kept this sound going on his next album Sittin' On Chrome with the singles "The I.N.C. Ride" and "Sittin On Chrome." I could be wrong, but outside of a couple Dr. Dre videos, Masta Ace was probably the only cat that actually showed car culture in his videos, with the Hispanic community included in it.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
All summer SMKA and Whynatte have been doing the Atlanta Stargazing Tour at different spots around the city. Unfortunately I haven't been able to make it out to any yet, but here is some video from the most recent show that will make you feel like you were there. It featured performances from Aleon Craft, STS, Vonnegutt, Grip Plyaz, Sean Falyon, Stanza, Jarren Benton, Tom P and HaZiQ aLi.
The next show will be this Friday at the Glenn Hotel:
Oh yeah, the song in the background is Aleon Craft's "Yoga Flame"...its pretty jammin.
I was in the studio with these two a few months ago and heard some of the stuff they were cooking and this seems to be the first piece they're sharing with us. Listening to 4-Ize reminds you that Hip Hop can be silly and fun. Not saying that 4-Ize is a silly guy, dude is a real MC. But, you get what I'm saying. Reminds me of Redman and early-Ludacris.
Speaking of which, there is plenty of Conjure in this video. So much, that I should probably be getting paid or broke off with a bottle just for posting it.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Just like last year, everybody and their mama will be rocking at the A3C Festival's Perfect Attendance Stage. I ain't even gonna lie, I enjoyed it last year but I was about Hip Hop'ed out by day three. But don't let that discourage you from going to your very own Hip Hop Heaven. Here is the line up for the weekend:
East: Emilio Rojas, Esso, Gilbere Forte, J The S, Jasmine Solano, Kid Daytona, Mac Miller, Mickey Factz, Phil Ade, Ra the Mc, Skotch Davis, Young Chris
West: Ayomari, Bambu, Carter, Casey Veggies, El Prez, Pac Div, Rocky Rivera, Shawn Chrystopher, Skeme, TiRon
Midwest: Big Sean, Black Spade, Fly Union, Gotta Be Karim, LEP Bogus Boys, Ro Spit, Rockie Fresh, Royal Camp, Stalley, Vandalyzm
South: Big K.R.I.T, DGoodz, Embassy Music, FKi, Hollyweerd, Hollywood Floss, Jackie Chain, Jus Nice, Kooley High, Laws, Mach Five, Merc, Nesby Phips, RE, Skewby, Tom P, Warren Jae
Unlike last year, you won't have to hop in the car and ride down the street to see it. It will be in the same building as the rest of the festivities. For you artists out there, they have 4 slots left to fill. If you think you deserve to be on this stage visit REVERBNATION.COM to be considered.
A3C Hip Hop Festival will take place 10/7-10/9
695 North Ave
While I was out chilling this past Sunday, SL hit me up and told me him Pill and Killer were shooting a video for the "Grind 100 Hustler" song they just made together. It wasn't out of the way and its always cool to shoot down to Sweet Auburn so I went ahead and went. The video is being shot by the homie FLX and its something that's fitting with the title of the song.
Just captured some moments from the shoot, got some words from the fellas on why they insist on using backdrops like this for their videos and SL (who is from Little Rock) wound up being the only dude on set, in the middle of Atlanta, wearing a A-hat.
This was pretty cool, this is the first time these three cats actually cut a song and video together in a hot minute. Hopefully we'll see more of this.
Shoutout to DJ Trauma who I think was there before I got there.
Previously: SL Jones feat. Pill and Killer Mike aka Mike Bigga-"Grind 100 Hustler"
This is the new video from Joi and Devon Lee's new musical partnership Hot Heavy and Bad. They debuted this at Pal's Lounge on Auburn Ave (which is also where some of this video was shot) last Thursday and the felines in the building were going ape shit over it. Joi enlisted the talents of a lot of cool people on the come up in the city for this video, so that show you just how cool she is.
Be warned though, the name of the group is Hot Heavy and Bad. Do not run up on her saying "I like YOUR new song"...she will politely check you for it.
Previously: Joi Covers Creative Loafing
Monday, August 9, 2010
Gibbs drops another dope video. Here the visuals go right along with the song's hook "when the world don't do you right can't help but do wrong" by showing that hard times are not color blind or age biased. Produced by the homie DJ Burn One, this is probably one of my favorite Gibbs tracks.
Correction from earlier...this track isn't on anything. Gibbs recorded a new verse just for this video because Pill couldn't make to NYC to shoot his part.
Friday, August 6, 2010
Groove Chambers-"In The Bag"
If you don't know the name Groove Chambers, this is the perfect time to educate yourself. Groove is the man that produced the bulk of Nappy Roots' debut album Watermelon, Chicken and Grits (including the hit "Awnaw" and the jams "Set It Out," "Ballin On A Budget" and "Headz Up" and it was his idea to put Anthony Hamilton on "Po'Folks") and he's also the man responsible for Lil Mama's "Lip Gloss."
Outside of that, he hasn't done much as a producer...because he's been hoarding all of his beats for himself and the debut album he's been working on for years. After meeting the cat a couple times I finally got a chance to really chop it up with him last night. In that time he played what will be the first single from his debut album. I don't know if it was the studio speakers or what, but when I heard this joint blast out, I wanted to jump out of my chair. But instead, my cool ass just nodded real hard and waved my arms a little.
But yeah, "In The Bag" is a dope ass song song with, favorite parts and stuff (I know that sounds corny, but you get what I'm saying). It just gave me one of those...feelings. You know how back in the day you'd be listening to the radio at night when they'd play all the new music and something would come out and you'd be like "I don't know what this is, but I like it and this is gonna be a hit." That's how I feel about this song.
Greg Street and Green Lantern have been playing it on V103 here and there, so its on its way. The song probably isn't going to blow up until later on, but I just wanted to give ya'll a head start on it.
The First Lady of the Dungeon Family is gracing this weeks issue of Creative Loafing. Written by Jacinta Howard, the story talks about how timing has always seemed to be an issue in Joi's career even though she has been co-signed and supported by everyone from Madonna to Raphael Saadiq to Outkast.
Though she will always be appreciated and known as Joi to her fans, she is recreating herself as a member of Hot Heavy & Bad that includes her musical partner, guitarist, producer and Pal's Lounge owner Devon Lee (who come to find out used to be in Proton way back in the day). They debuted their new video "One" last night at Pal's Lounge and its hot stuff. Everybody that's heard the album says its dope as hell, which isn't surprising.
READ: Joi's Bad Ass Revenge
Since we here, might as well share a couple of my favorite Joi songs right quick, both of these are from her last solo album, 2005's Tennessee Slim Is the Bomb. I remember kinda getting checked by Joi at this party when I told her how dope it was. Come to find out, it wasn't supposed to be out and I had a bootleg copy. Sorry.
"Say Say Lil Fine Ass Niggah" feat. Trauma Black, Bun B and Pastor Troy
"I'm So Famous"
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Last night Fox 5 reported that T.I.'s Club Crucial was facing suspension of their liquor license and a $50,000 fine for violating Chapter 10 (10-109 (a)(12) and (a)(14) to be exact) of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Atlanta. The code states that the city has the power to revoke, suspend or refuse a liquor license to any business that fails to "adequately supervise and monitor the conduct of the employees, patrons and others" on the premises. In layman terms, the city is looking to suspend Crucial's liquor license because they feel that the club has too many fights and is a violent establishment.
Club Crucial is located on the infamous Bankhead Highway (which is now named Donald Lee Hollowell), so a stigma has always been attached to this club. But anybody that's gone there before will tell you that this is a fine establishment that just so happens to be in the middle of the 'hood.
The City of Atlanta is citing six incidents over the last year as reason for their wanting to suspend Crucial's license and ultimately, cripple their business. I have the incident reports below...
These are from January 2010 and November 2009
If you read the incident reports, you will notice that all of these situations were pretty much handled by Club Crucial security (which includes 15 private security officer, 4 off-duty APD officers outside 2 Sherrif's officers doing patdowns at the door and 22 security cameras inside). Club Crucial security essentially handles the altercations themselves, and if the people don't calm down or leave, they have them arrested. Also of note is that it's rare that these incidents start because of something that happened inside the club that night. My sources (and just from being there enough times and being in the know) people have a problem with each other from some personal and family issues. People aren't in there fighting because somebody stepped on their shoe or looked at them funny.
Also, in the incident reports you will see that none of these altercations involved weapons, shootings, stabbing, hospitalization or death. You don't even see anything about a broken bottle because Crucial pours all of their drinks inside of plastic cups, including beers. Just for that reason alone. Beyond that, there is a general sense of respect that the club commands. Its owners and staff are respected figures in the community, and people in the neighborhood appreciate them being there, so they are on their best behavior for the most part.
On the flipside of this, there are a number of other nightclubs in Atlanta who have incident sheets that trump Crucial's. And these are supposed to be the more upscale establishments. For example...
Here is Luckie Lounge's sheet:
Luckie Lounge is easily one of the more popular clubs in Atlanta and have become notorious for their dress codes (and overzealous security). As you can see from this sheet of crimes reported that include Aggravated Assault, Burglary, Larceny, Larceny from Vehicle and Auto Theft. Some of these events you've read about on your favorite Hip Hop sites.
Here is Club Opera's sheet:
Again, a long list of Aggravated Assault, Larceny, Larceny from Vehicle and Auto-Theft at an "upscale" club. Again you might have read about some of these events on your favorite sites. Unlike Crucial's incidents, some of the incidents on Luckie and Opera's sheets involved weapons and people being hospitalized.
Beyond these two establishments, two murders have happened at other Atlanta nightclubs including The Masquerade and strip club Foxy Lady. None of these establishments have been threatened by the city with fines or license suspensions.
This is where I ask: Is Club Crucial Being Targeted?
It sure does seem that way. One reason is because of the city's efforts to "clean up" certain parts of town. As we all know, gentrification has been going on in every major city for decades now. As far as Atlanta is concerned, it has been in full effect since the Olympics when they cleaned out Techwood Homes to make way for Olympic athlete housing that was later turned into housing for Georgia State and Georgia Tech students.
Over the last few years the process has been sped up as we see some of the housing communities that gave Atlanta its identity (both notable and notorious) disappear. Bankhead is the latest on the list of communities to be stripped and gutted as Bowen Homes, Hollywood Courts, Bankhead Courts and other communities have been shutdown and bulldozed. The area is practically being primed for new homes and business to be built for people who aren't of the community.
If you follow, you will see that in communities like this, the property value drops while the property tax rises. Which discourages certain people from buying up the properties and encourages certain others to swoop in and get it. My sources tell me that in fact, currently, nobody is allowed to buy properties or start new business on Bankhead right now. To this journalist, that sounds like somebody doesn't want the people living there to build anything for themselves and would rather for the area to become even more rundown than it already is to the point that the people start to leave (or get forced out) so that new ones can come in and take over.
After years of carrying a bad reputation, some may wonder why the city has set its sights on Bankhead? Bankhead Highway is the only strip of highway that connects the more affluent Cobb County directly to Downtown Atlanta. Thus, Bankhead has become an important strip in Atlanta's growth plans.
Establishments like Crucial are viewed as a threat to those plans. Even with thousands of Bankhead citizens being erased from the community, many of them still return every week just to go to Club Crucial. It's one of the last places standing, it's one the last landmarks of many of these people's lives, so of course they "come home." As long as "these people" continue to be in the area, people with new interests in the Bankhead area will not be so quick to move in.
Another alarm is that Crucial was notified of the city's intentions in February 2010:
Crucial hasn't been able to properly represent themselves in front of the board since then and were practically attacked out of nowhere with last nights decision.
As of now, Crucial is still in operation, so do not believe the rumors that they are shut down. Their liquor license has not been suspended, yet. The motion has to be passed by Mayor Kasim Reed. This case will be presented to him sometimes in the next ten days. I am posting this information hoping that it will spread awareness and hopefully get into his ear so that he doesn't sign and stamp it without knowing what is going on.
In the event that Mayor Reed does sign off on this, Crucial can take the case to the Supreme Court and stay in business in the meantime of the case being investigated.
What do you guys think? Do you care? Does it matter to you?
Even if you aren't from Bankhead and never been to or plan on going to Club Crucial, I felt it was important to share this story so that you can tell others who may care. Or even to find a way to apply the information in this story to your daily operation. I saw alot of negative things being said about Crucial after this story broke, which I thought was unfair. To say that a place deserves to be shut down because "they ghetto" is not fair. If you don't like it, don't go. Keep going to your dress code clubs and risk getting shot and stabbed. Let the "ghetto" people have their fun. Don't wish that a place that actually serves the community gets shut down because "they ghetto."
Things are changing around us everyday by the minute. Just make sure you are prepared.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Heard these dudes were shooting a video today. Since I stay down the street, figured I'd pop up and see whats good. I don't really know what the video is going to look like in the end. I think they are just focusing on MCing and performing in this one. Nothing too crazy, just a couple moments on camera, that's all.
It was hot as hell outside.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
By now you've heard about Laurence Fishburne's daughter Montana (aka Chippy D) entering the porn industry...which drew me into another 360 post.
Of course you remember Ice Cube's classic, "Givin Up the Nappy Dugout":
If you've been in a cave for the last 20 years and never heard this song...Cube walks up to a house looking for the neighborhood freak. To his surprise, the freak's father answers the door. When Cube asks to see the girl, the father starts cussing saying "my daughter ain't going out with no damn Ice Cube...I raised her in a nice Catholic school." After that Cube pretty much lays it out to the dad that his daughter is a hoe. Of course, the father is in denial and says that Cube is lying.
That also got me to thinking about the role that Larry Fishburne played in Boyz N Da Hood(which Cube also starred in), Furious Styles:
Not sure if you realize it, but for alot of cats growing up...the Furious character acted as a surrogate dad, even if it was just for a few scenes in a movie. Outside of Cliff Huxtable and Uncle Phil, Furious Styles was one of the only Black father figures in TV/Film at the time (lame ass Carl Winslow don't count).
So the scene where Furious asks Trey "you got any p*ssy yet?" and then scolds him for not using a condom when he did get some was the closest alot of fatherless cats got to having "the talk" back in the day.
Both of these instances have a strange, funny and sad connection to the news of Fishburne's daughter entering porn to jumpstart her "career" and get her closer to her goal of being like Kim Kardashian.
Fishburne's daughter is the real life Cheryl from "Giving Up the Nappy Dugout ("we got the little hooker on tape"), this Brian Pumper dude is Ice Cube at the doorstep and unfortunately Fishburne is the "Furious" father who can't believe that his daughter is the neighborhood hoe.
I don't care man...even if my kid is grown. I'm still busting caps in anybody having to do with getting over on my kid. That said, I don't know what Larry plans on doing (if anything)...but if I was the Brian Pumper dude, I'd be worried that Larry go back into Furious mode and protect his kid (house and name) by licking shots in his direction (5:05 mark)
[my XXL Show and Prove on Wille Joe from December 2007]
Willie Joe feat. Playboy Tre and Mistah F.A.B.-"Somewhere (part 2)"
Willie Joe just let this song out on the web and its pretty jamming. Over the years I can say I've dug most of dudes music. And even if you didn't like a particular song, if you saw him perform it, he would win you over. Back in what I like to call the "Showcase Era" of Atlanta (2003-2007) Willie Joe became notorious for ripping stages to the point that folks didn't want to go after him. Hell, ask B.o.B (who's live show has gotten better and is now getting rave reviews) who he got some of his stuff from and he'd tell you he got alot of it from being on the road with and watching Willie Joe back when they were running together. Which explains the Playboy Tre appearance here, which may look random to those who didn't know they go back for some years.
Joe had moved to Atlanta from the Bay back around 2003 and made his presence known on the indie scene, working with Fort Knox and Strong Arm Management at the time. They wound up making a street hit with "Get Em Got Em" around 06-07. Not sure what became of that relationship but eventually WIllie's buzz and talent were recognized and he signed a deal with Shonuff around 07-08. He came out with some hard ass songs including "How We Roll." Unfortunately some mind-changing and industry red tape kept that song from blowing up.
Since that Willie moved back out to the Bay and focused on building his own company Wataboy Entertainment. He may not think so but I listen to damn near everything he tweets me, hahaha, I just don't post all of it. But this joint right here was hard to deny, the shit is jamming. So, if Willie tweets you some of his music, go'head and check it out...its worth it.
TSS just posted this video from Chromeo. The homie Jabari Graham has been telling me to check out this group for some months now. Guess I will now. If you're already up on them or like me, are starting to be intrigued...they have a show in Atlanta on August 27th at the Masquerade.
Monday, August 2, 2010
Yours Truly's cameras captured Freddie in his essence for this short documentary. Hopefully this can be sort of a ying to the yang that is Freddie's Complex Magazine interview from last week.
Dude always speaks his mind in his raps if you're listening hard enough. Hope people don't just start looking at him as some guy who just goes around calling out other rappers for the hell of it or to get attention, dude speaks on what's really going on out here in these streets and in the hearts of men.
Its kinda like how some media outlets started painting Pimp C, or hell, even 2Pac as some dudes who had nothing else to say but how they felt about somebody else...almost diminishing their contributions to music as a whole. Pac spoke on everything from community organizing to religion, but people only remember him now for calling out Biggie, Nas and Dr. Dre. Pimp was known to expose a bit of vulnerability and display his great talents as a producer on his tracks, but folks only want to remember him for the volatile interviews he gave months before his passing. Freddie is one of the few rappers out today talking about the struggle, but it seems like alot of people just now want to pay more attention to him because he poked fun at DJ Khaled, Rick Ross a couple others.
Not trying to say that Freddie is ONLY going to be looked upon to "call niggas out"...just hoping that it doesn't.
Anyways, check out the documentary...download Str8 Killa/No Filla mixtape and go out and buy the Str8 Killa EP tomorrow.
I couldn't let the cat out the bag but I was trying to drop hints on Twitter all day about the special surprise at Art, Beats and Lyrics last Friday. One of them was a rare performance from Cody Chesnutt and the other was Pastor Troy being backed by ALIen the Drummer.
That shit was beyond crunk. The homie Kila captured some of this riot-inducing footage.
Friday, July 30, 2010
The homie Dominick Brady just posted the first part of an in-depth audio documentary about Atlanta Hip Hop. What makes this documentary unique is that he is starting the story pre-LaFace. There is a common misconception that Babyface and LA just appeared in Atlanta one day and brought the gift of music with them, exposing us savages to melody and words with sounds attached.
I'm really looking forward to hearing the rest of this as it comes out.
LISTEN: Headland and Delowe
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
The homie Will from SMC invited me Tree Sound to sit in on the process of listening and picking records for Killer Mike aka Mike Bigga's Pledge 3 album last night. Fell through and the spot was pretty packed, a little bit of everybody was up in the building last night. Kyle Lucas of Vonnegut, Kyle of Jagged Edge, Sugar Tongue Slim and the homies Yelawolf and DJ Burn One were putting in some work with Nashville vets Jelly Roll and $truggle, that boy Rittz fell through too.
Since everybody was down the hall from each other, we was all pretty much just popping in and out the rooms hollering at each other. One of the times Mike fell through 'Wolf's session somebody offered him a beer...and then some straight comedy ensued...
I had the camera so I figured I'd catch some of the classic randomness that happens during late-night/early-morning studio sessions. Hip Hop truly does bring different races and cultures together, haha.