Why is Will Smith Still Rapping?
Peep the article below by Greg Tate
where he asks and tries to figure out a question that's even had me stumped for a minute now, Why is Will Smith still rapping?
Sure, Will Smith's the one married to Jada, but underneath the skin we're brothers. I'm an old muhfluckuh who don't need to be trying to rap like he's an old muhfluckuh who don't need to be trying to rap. Making Will's Lost and Found a whole lot of huffing and puffing signifying nada, the lamest album that'll be released this year. It violates an immutable law of the celebrity universe—that Hollywood actors don't get to pretend they got flow anymore than they get to pretend they can rock and roll.
Some things, like having story, bounce, and wit in your voice, can't be grafted on like hair, makeup, and wardrobe. And Will never had style as an MC, just annoying and cloying bubblegum shtick. It served him well at 17, but the Fresh Prince wasn't built to age gracefully. Even in movies where he's playing a grownass man on major steroids, I keep expecting him to bust out with "Parents Just Don't Understand." "Summertime," that top-down-in-the-sunshine song where he tried to flip it like a happy-go-lucky Rakim, that grooved me, I'm not ashamed to say. But now homeboy wants to be Rakim, Eminem, and Fitty too. Lost and Found got not one but two wannabe "In Da Club" 's, like we need to see our Cosby-esque Unka Will propositioning young hotties with lines like "How come you don't wanna dance—you shy?" Uh uh. Noooo. Sounds like borderline sexual harassment. Yuck. And if you're a Black man so unkool you must counterattack Eminem for ranking and filing on you, why ape Lil' 8 Mile's style? For god's sake pull yourself together man.
The most deeply felt thing here—there has to be something—is when Will is unable to answer his son about whether there were people in those buildings he saw fall on 9-11. Pursuant to that, "Ms. Holy Roller" goes after a cheatingass flame who found Jesus and wants the world to know it's going to hell. Only Will ends up comparing her religious zeal to that which allegedly brought down the twin towers. Problem is, other than making us suffer Black indie cinema like Woman Thou Art Loosed and taking under-the-pulpit money from white supremacists against gay marriage, Black evangelicals seem a pretty toothless lot, dude. Though I hope they burn in hell.
Will, I beg of you. Cease and desist making imitation hip-hop albums. Stop your dreadful impersonation of an MC. If this is a sickness, get help. Love your culture.
M.O.P. Leaves The R.O.C./ Dame Dash Music Group
Almost 3 years after signing with Jay, Dame and Biggs and revealing that they would embark on a label deal through Dame Dash Music Group
after Rocafella's sale, M.O.P
. has now secured an unspecified recording deal domestically with another company and are seeking another for the international market. Group manager Laze E. Laze says the group will make a clean, amicable break from all parties. In a statement, Laze said, "You see Roc-A-Fella was never our home. It was the home of Jay-Z, Biggs and Damon Dash. No, that’s not us, or Kanye or Cam’ron, It’s the house that Jay-Z, Biggs and Dash built. And those days are gone." He went on to say, "I want to apologize to the fans of M.O.P.
for signing a deal with Roc-A-Fella Records. Well, I didn’t do it alone. We all had to sign. So, from Bill [Billy Danz], Lil’ Fame Foxx, Rocko, Flip [and] the whole First Family - we apologize, with that I think every other act that signed owes the same apology, with the exception of Bleek, Beans and Amil." Laze E. Laze said he had a reflective revelation at Dame Dash’s recent birthday party. "It became so clear to me when I looked at these guys together again. At Damon’s birthday, party Jay and Dame looked natural. It was like they never split. Jay [was] effortlessly handling the overwhelming stares of groupies and super groupies and Dame seeming to gain confidence with Biggs on one side and Jay on the other. It’s the ROC," he said. "No, we didn’t belong there. That’s our cousin’s house. We love our cousins and we are welcome, but we never lived there.[Jay and Dame’s split] was the classiest divorce I’ve ever seen," Laze said, but said he realized that M.O.P. is a group that charters a different path. "M.O.P.…we were destined to travel the desert, vagabonds, wild hyenas searching for bones or a fresh kill. We aren’t classy we are rough, hard *ss ashy knuckle *ss n*gg*s. And the only peace we are ever going to have is when there is a war going on, that’s our lot in life.” Read M.O.P.'s statement here.
Raffle: Time 100, Houston's Best Kept Secret, and What Rakim Told Me
Remember Common's ex-wife? The one that goes by the name of Hip Hop...Well, she found herself in the latest list concocted by Time Magazine. The top 100 includes your favorite rapper's favorite duo, OutKast, as well as the self-proclaimed god MC, Jay-Z. Shame on all those naysayers who never gave Rap a chance in the first place, simply because they couldn't understand the concept of people talking over music.
In a non-related development, C-Rayz Walz, a keynote underground MC has been enlisted by MTV to serve as a Freestyle Mentor in the next episode of Made
. The Freestyle specialist will be serving up some recipes to his student, an aspiring rapper. Look for C-Rayz when Made
airs on June 10.
To those Hip Hop fans who love to get their knowledge on - Go pick up the Wu-Tang Manual by The RZA and Rakim Told Me:Hip Hop Wax Facts...
by Brian Coleman, Boston-based journalist who also hosts XXL's Classic material column. The former is the Wu-Tang fan's ultimate guide to The 36 Chambers: lyrics and their meanings, extensive profile of every member of the Clan, and group bio; while the latter chronicles Rap's golden era with concise details. I picked up a copy of the Wu-Tang manual at Barnes and Nobles and I must admit that it exceeded my expectations.
Another crew with plans of toppling all expectations is the creative bunch at Shady Records. Pharoahe Monch, the new Shady-signee will release an album that'll be Executive-produced by Denaun Porter(Kon Artis). The wait has officially began for us Pharoahe fans.
And for those asking questions about Obie Trice, his sophomore album Murder City
is bound to hit the Hip Hop nation this winter with more devastation than the Tsunami.
Now onto, the main feature of the day: Houston's Best Kept Secret. If you're from the H-Town, that expression is all you need to know that Godwon is the man in discussion. And, if you haven't heard of Godwon
, then you must be living in the newly discovered planet. His flow is crisp and impeccable, his cadence, riveting. Godwon is the definitive MC with a great deal of appreciation for the art. Artistic prowess apart, he has enough backing to crash a brick wall. There have been rumors of Shady Records, Universal, and other labels striving to sign this billion-dollar talent. He's also cosigned by The Authentic King of The South, Mr. Scarface himself. See Godwon in the Geto Boys video for The G Code
That's a rap folks. Stay tuned to Rap News for more up to date info-tainment.
I'm the CEO of Diplomat Records, I'll Sign Myself!
It's official, Cam'ron
has left Roc-A-Fella/Island Def Jam and signed with Asylum/Warner Music Group. There's good news for Jim Jones and Santana too
. Jim Jones is the newly appointed director of black music at the Warner Music Group and Juelz Santana recently signed a new joint-venture deal with the Def Jam. Dip Set weed carriers
Hell Rell and J.R. Writer are still on Koch.
Ten Most Anticipated Albums of 2005
- The Minstrel Show
: Joe Scudda, Yazarah, Elzhi(Slum Village)Release Date
: Quarter 3 or 2005Reason 2 Anticipate
: Big Pooh promises to awaken us like a spring mattress. 9th Wonder has been labeled the Pete Rock of our generation, and Phonte’s “tailor-made” flow is still intact.Custom Made
- Pillow Talk
(Custom Made)Guest List
: Mobb Deep, Jedi Mind Tricks, Inspectah DeckRelease Date
: June 2Reason 2 Anticipate
: There’s always a mystique factor about a relatively unknown group with bright prospects. Every West Coast MC has been on the same mission for the past 8 years - to resurrect the West. This lyrical powerhouse is doing it with a unique approach - they strip their sound off the conventional heavy bass line, and focus on catchy hooks and dazzling lyrical content, laid over jazzy beats.Kanye West
- Late Registration
(Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam)Guest List
: John Mayer, GLC, Consequence John Legend, Keyshia ColeRelease Date
: Late JuneReason 2 Anticipate
: We get to watch Kanye argue his way to the top for a second consecutive time. Plus, there’ll be another dime in one of the videos that’ll follow this sophomore LP. Oh and the supposed gold chain that accompany every major release these days.Common
: John Legend, Bilal, Kanye West(as if you didn’t know that already)Release Date
: May 26. A bootleg version might be available on the net.Reason 2 Anticipate
: Comm is supposed to tell us how and why he fell in love with Erykah on this record.Styles P
- Time Is Money
(Ruff Ryders/Interscope)Guest List
: Talib Kweli, Jadakiss, Sheek Louch,(the usual suspects), Mario Winans, JERelease Date
: June 2005Reason 2 Listen
: D-Block is set to unleash their 127th official 50 Cent diss song on SP’s album. The Ghost is expected to float all over the record in what’s possibly the more versatile of his two solo efforts.Saigon
- The Greatest Story Never Told
(Fort Nox/Atlantic)Guest List
: Saigon, Saigon, and Saigon.Reason 2 Anticipate
: Sai got “the bowtie flow; he’ll bring it to your neck” Although, Alchemist and Scram Jones are slated to bless Saigon’s project, it’ll be interesting to see how he can maintain his razor sharp lyrical edge over club-ready Just Blaze production.Sean Price
- Monkey Barz
(Boot Camp)Guest List
: 9th Wonder, BuckshotRelease Date
: May 31Reason 2 Anticipate
: “I send your ass to heaven, muthafucka ask about ‘Pac” His blend of lyricism, wit and wordplay make the craft look so easy. His style is like a manual named “Hip Hop 4 Dummies”Buckshot & 9th Wonder
(Boot Camp)Guest List
: Little Brother, L.E.G.A.C.Y., Joe ScuddahRelease Date
: May 24Reason 2 Listen
: We can’t get enough of these 100% 9th Wonder records; So far, they’ve all successfully gone plastic. But those collabos are diamond to Hip Hop heads. Chemistry
and Monkey Barz
are the 2/3 of the Boot Camp tripple threat this year. Hi-Tek and Steele complete the cypher with Smif 'n' Wessun Reloaded(
- All or Nothing
or Things of That Nature
(Atlantic) or whatever he decides to go with nextGuest List
: Nelly, Mashonda, Cool & Dre, All Terror Squad affiliates, dead or alive.Release Date
: May 24Reason 2 Listen
: To find out what he'll eventually title the album. Also, Joey will attempt to protect his NY Crown - the one he won last year for “Most Improved Rapper”AZ
- Final Call
: Tony Sunshine, CL Smooth, Rell, Ron GRelease Date
: NeverReason 2 Listen
: AZ’s non-stop flow, “Magic Hour”, another “Quiet Money” song, and the fact that fans will discover new ways to sleep on him again.Rizoh.
DJ Green Lantern Leaves Shady Records
I guess Green Lantern's comments on The Come Up Dvd Part 4
really came back to bite him in the *ss. He's severed all ties with Shady and Eminem due to the fact that Dirty Money's got him on their dvd telling Jadakiss
, "That's a jab, where's the knockout blow?", while referring to Jada's new dis record "Checkmate". He also says, "You know they gonna bring that young boy out?" I guess he meant Lloyd Banks. Green Lantern still denies giving out any real insider information.
This must have been what Jada was talking about when he said that people associated with 50 Cent even wanted him to get at 50. You gotta see that sh*t. Get that The Come Up Dvd Part 4 here.
The Game Charged With Assault, Sued For $280 Million
Prosecutors in Prince Georges County, Maryland have filed assault and battery charges against The Game, after an incident in which he allegedly assaulted radio host DJ Zxulu, formerly of 93.9 WKYS-FM in Washington, D.C. on January 21st, 2005.
Another man has come foward claiming he was also assaulted. In his $280 million lawsuit, Kwasi Jones alleges that in addition to the assault of DJ Zxulu, a group of 20 men accosted him and assaulted him in the radio station. Aftermath Entertainment, Shady Records and G-Unit are named in the lawsuit as well, since Game is an artist on G-Unit, which is distributed by companies owned by Eminem and Dr. Dre. Jones also claims the record labels were negligent for issuing a remix to "Hate It or Love It," which originally appeared on The Game's The Documentary.
On the remix to “Hate It or Love It” featuring 50 Cent, Banks, Yayo and Buck, The Game rapped, “ I’m rap’s MVP/ Don’t make me remind y’all what happened in D.C.”
The Come Up Dvd Part 4
That new The Come Up Dvd Part 4 is what's up
. They got Jadakiss and the rest of D-Block on there addressing current beef and other sh*t. Even Green Lantern says Jada and the D-Block camp may have something for Fifty Cent. But isn't Green Lantern Eminem's homie? I don't know what's up with that, but you know there's no loyalty in the game. Cassidy tells Murda Mook to beat it and says he may be willing to take Fifty Cent up on his challenge
. This is a release for the true hip hop fan, those who already know what it is. If you want to cop it, go here.
Benzino to Leave The Source
Ray Benzino, the Chief Brand Executive and Co-owner of The Source magazine, has resigned from his position at the company today (April 8). "If me leaving the source is gonna help the magazine then I'll do it," the rapper told AllHipHop.com."The Source is an institution and is part of history; I want my kids and grandkids to enjoy the No. 1 Hip-Hop magazine for all time."“I want to step down from the magazine and sell my stock effective immediately,” the rapper continued in a statement. The rapper explained that there were a number of reasons for his departure, including his beef with Eminem, politics and other nearby business partnerships. “This is a big step for me. I’ve been consumed too much with the whole conflict thing… the Eminem suit and I am sick of it. I don’t want to take away from what The Source has built up, but I got issues with The Source and magazines like that. Everyone is too politically correct. They’re not thinking about the little guy who can’t afford to pay for high priced ads. It’s like a monopoly,” he continued. He also took issue with mogul Earl Graves and his Black Enterprise publication, which partnered with The Source when it sought to strengthen its financial status. “Our other partner, Black Enterprises, is another reason why I’ve decided to leave. I don’t like how they perceive me. There are too many things that I don’t agree with, so I am moving on.” Finally, Zino stated that he expects to start a new publication – a direct competitor of The Source – that will be free of his previous constraints. “I plan on creating another magazine that has my voice which represents the little guy. It’s because of the manipulation of SoundScan and radio that Hip-hop is losing its edge,” he lamented. “I want to come out with a magazine that will reflect that. I want to start from the ground up and speak for the artists.” While he's starting a mag, a rep for the rapper stateed that he has no beef with his former publication. "They're still cool," the rep told AllHipHop.com and revealed that the rapper and former partner Dave Mays would have a press conference today
LED Scrolling Text Belt Buckle: That New Hot Sh*t!
I know you seen 'em in a video (true)
Yo, peep the new hot sh*t. LED Scrolling Text Belt Buckles
. These are for those who blaze they're own path and like to stunt and stand out. Word. F*ck wearing a shirt with your hood or your face on it. Stunt for real with your name, hood and set scrolling across your waist. I guarantee, by the summer, everybody's gonna have a LED Scrolling Text Belt Buckle.
This rap sh*t is wrestling, word, I said that sh*t about two years ago. Peep this article off Playahata.com
by Eyecalone. It's real sh*t.With the most important event in music history in our rearview mirrors (that's heavy sarcasm folks), it looks like it's safe to come from under those tables and take a look back at the 50-Cent/Game "Beef". Oh and what a mighty "beef" it was, lasting less than a week, the battle of Interscope was over almost as soon as it started leading many to speculate that is was all a publicity stunt. I'd have to say that in some part I'm in that it was all a "publicity stunt" camp myself, albeit a stunt that quickly started spiraling out of control and lead to at least one real bullet and a at least a little real bad blood (no pun intended). The media covered, and likely record company imposed, truce between 50-Cent and The Game had all the sincerity of two 8-year olds forced to share toys and play together.
Since his gunshot inspired rise to stardom and commercial success 50-Cent has behaved like a egomaniacal madman in relation to other artist but it did come as a surprise to listen to him on the radio attempting to torpedo the career of a rapper who's success he had a financial stake in, especially being that the rapper he was targeting was signed to 50-Cent's own label. Maybe 50-Cent would lose a little money by hurting Game's record sales, but he could likely make even more by manufacturing some more drama and a subplot for his LP the night before his album hit stores - just business, never personal (besides The Games deal with G-Unit was only for one album). Even Jadakiss, who recorded a scathing diss record against 50-Cent in response to shots 50-Cent took at him on the song "Piggybank" from 50-Cent's latest LP, has indicated that he intends to use the "Beef" as a way to boost his own profile and increase his sales.
If today's rap scene had to be compared to anything it's splitting image would have to be wrestling, but not the real wrestling that you get medals for in the Olympics, more like the WWE (WWF) stuff. Yes, the same creative, energies that brought you larger than life personalities like Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Stone Cold, The Undertaker, The Big Show, etc now bring you "Hip-hop". No the WWE's Vince McMahon isn't head of a record label, yet, but watching these rappers and each new "beef" is like an episode of "WWE Smackdown". At least in WWE there a number of characters based on a host of outlandish stereotypes. In rap, that other orchestrated slamfest' of suspect machismo and testosterone, everyone including the females are playing the same Al Pacino, Robert Dinero, and/or Tupac inspired character.
Putting aside, the sheer ridiculousness and ignorance of the caricatures of black 'manhood' put forth by rap music, what if we were to examine these rapper's personas using the standards they promote. What if we really looked at what was behind the "street cred(ibility)" that seems to be a major component of selling any significant amount of records these days? We would probably be pretty surprised and amused at what we found.
Game Recognize Game
You've scene the scowls, heard the gang shout outs and threats of violence on radio and mix-tape, and if you don't know any better you're probably terrified. Let the music industry and Jayceon Taylor, a.k.a. "The Game" tell the story and he has hardly had a good day in his relatively short life of drug-dealing, gang-banging, and other assorted criminal activities. However, if we take a closer look it appears The Game is not quite the character his handler's are selling.
Ironically the first crack in The Game's "Ice Grill" came courtesy of his feud with rapper Joe Budden. In a diss record aimed at The Game, prior to Game's meteoric rise to stardom, Joe Budden's exposed the fact that the man anointed "savior of West Coast rap" and apparent toughest rapper in the universe had been a contestant on the now cancelled dating game show "Change of Heart" (just for your information the way the show works, is a male and female couple are each allowed to go on a date with a person of the opposite sex arranged by the show's producer, to see if they have "a change of heart" and decide to start dating the new person. Also FYI The Game's girlfriend had a change of heart on the episode).
Now "Change of Heart", when it was on the air, did not cast minors meaning Jayceon was on the show as a legal adult and shortly before his rap career began, assuming his reported age of approximately 25 is anywhere near correct. The feud with Joe Budden led to other revelations about America's new favorite "Gangsta' rapper", namely that he had a tongue ring around the time of the show's taping, and in earlier years (allegedly high-school) was a "bleached blond" (wore dyed blond hair). In a radio interview on with NYC radio personality Wendy Williams, Jayceon admitted to the tongue ring and blonde hair, but alleged that such styles were not a big deal and in fact were common on the West Coast at the time. I have my doubts about the truth of that claim, but assuming that was the case, Mr. Jayceon Taylor isn't just any California native, he's a "thug", he's a gangsta', and God-damn-it he's "The Game". Blonde hair and tongue rings on a gangsta'? What is this Demolition Man? All these admissions of course, came just moments after The Game confessed to at least one MURDER on a nationally syndicated radio program. Damn, even the late John Gotti said he was a plumber.
The "Ice Grill" continued to melt after viewing Game's DVD "The Documentary" which is supposed to document Mr. Taylor's life story, but to me made his public persona more suspect. For instance according to the DVD Mr. Taylor graduated high school where he was a pretty solid basketball player and briefly attended college. In fact, he didn't join a gang until 21 years of age! The Game's account of his brush with death where he was shot several times (which nowadays is a prerequisite for getting your album promoted), in a botched drug sale seemed more a comedy of errors than the actions of someone seasoned in the inner workings of an outlaws life. According to Mr. Taylor, he was shot with his own gun when he left his firearm on a table while stepping away to retrieve the marijuana he was about to sell. Presented with the opportunity, the apparent buyers, quickly turned robbers and Taylor was shot in the ensuing struggle for his own weapon. I could be wrong but leaving a loaded firearm on a table in a room with several guys you don't know while alone in an apartment doesn't sound like the actions of a seasoned gangsta'. to me.
After this incident the game apparently decided the drug dealer's life wasn't for him, purchased and studied the albums of some of the biggest names in rap at the time, and set about becoming a rapper. It seems in the case of Jayceon Taylor, the industry apparently understood they would be able to 'juice-up' his story and create a product whether Mr. Taylor actually had the talent to match the hype or not.
Even the tattoos on this guy seem manufactured. For instance if you look closely at the large N.W.A. tattoo on the left side of his chest, you can see it was tattooed over what appears to be a previous tattoo of a sun. In watching his own account, and listening to and reading his interviews, it becomes clear that Mr. Taylor is likely is hardly anything like the angry, volatile, violent, and completely ignorant personality he publicly promotes. In fact if there is any sincerity to the claims of things he's trying to do with his Black Wall Street Company to create legitimate forms of employment for his childhood friends, he's probably a lot more positive, bright, and forward thinking that one would imagine - but alas the industry and Mr. Taylor isn't interested in selling Jayceon Taylor, they're too busy selling Game.
"What-up Blood, What-up Cuz, What-up Wankstaaaaa!?
We can't really begin to talk about The Game or uncertified gangstas' without talking about one of rap's biggest stars and the man who helped spark The Game's career, Curtis Jackson a.k.a. 50-Cent. To keep it simple, in the netherworld known as "the streets", the perpetrators are the "Gangstas". They are the people who are "respected" (pronounced feared). The victims, particularly those that are victimized numerous times are "Vics", "Marks", "Herbs", etc. By this standard 50-Cent is possibly rap's most famous Mark, but he certainly isn't "Gangsta". He's been shot by unidentified assailants, stabbed (superficially) by one of Ja-Rule's entourage, rarely makes unsupervised public appearances, travels in more bulletproof vehicles than the Pope, and makes use of a personal security detail, that is alleged to be filled with police officers, and is likely one of the largest in rap. And for all his talk and scathing attacks against Ja-Rule for being inauthentic and a "pop" rapper these days nobody pens catchy, pop songs more often, and more successfully than Mr. Jackson.
But let me leave the G-Unit and former G-Unit rappers alone before I get accused of writing a hit piece against Interscope records. I am an equal opportunity ridiculer, and since I talked about Curtis Jackson it's only right I at least give a little airtime to his nemesis, Jeffrey Atkins a.k.a. Ja-Rule. While Jeffrey was a long time suspected actor the full extent of his phoniness wasn't exposed until 50-Cent began ruining his career and credibility with fans by attacking him on records, in print, and in any other venue that would listen. Ja-Rule's subsequent decline in sales and popularity was probably a major factor in him agreeing to a sit-down with Nation of Islam head, Minister Louis Farrakhan, that was supposed to help broker a peace between Ja-Rule and 50-Cent, and their respective camps. In his heart-to-heart with Minister Farrakhan Jeffrey Atkins revealed an aspect of his upbringing that in light of all his tough-talk and posturing is simply hilarious, namely that he was raised as a Jehovah's Witness in a fairly strict religious background. I suppose he learned the hard life of the street doing all those drive-by bell-ringings in the hood.
It isn't all Mr. Atkins fault though, he was simply keeping with the image of the label, formerly known as Murder Inc. The label has of course since, dropped the 'Murder' and changed their name to just 'The Inc", though it's not clear if they changed the name of their recording studio from "The "Crackhouse" to maybe just, "The House". I guess with all the heat coming from associations with real life criminals like Queens, New York's Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff (which has lead to a real life money laundering criminal indictment for label head Irv "Gotti" Lorenzo) it was time for a name change. I guess everybody wants to be a gangsta', that is until those real life gangster charges start coming, then they 'cry in their milk' in interviews, on TV, on radio, and anywhere else that will listen, about the unfortunate prospect of their own imprisonment and how hard the legal troubles are for them and their families.
The seemingly endless cycle of self-deprecating buffoonery that today's commercial rap music finds itself in was far from an unpredictable situation. It's simply a continuation of the legacy of manufactured and fake gangsta' rappers that moved to the top of every A&R's wish list after the early 90's commercial success of the rap group N.W.A. It's both ironic and fitting that, that group was composed of a group of guys that for the most part were not from the streets they talked about, affiliated with gangs, and at least two (below Dr. Dre and Yella) of the group's founding members were formerly members of a music group called the
World Class Wrecking Crew that apparently preferred sequins and blouses to L.A. Raiders caps and jackets. Who new that in 2005 the rap industry would so closely resemble the 1993 spoof film CB4.
Putting aside the tough talk, posturing, and gangsta' images the industry promotes in the name of pushing their product, even if these assorted jokers we call gangsta' rappers were anything like they state on record it certainly wouldn't be anything to praise. Even if they were "real", at best these rappers and a small portion of the tales of graft they tell on wax could serve as a entertainment and/or a warning to the listeners in line with saying "stay away from this situation because I've been there, lived that, and it's not something you want to go through". Instead we have these outrageous and offensive caricatures of black manhood, promoted by business executives (most of the most powerful ones being White, male, and middle-aged) and performed by frowning Negroes, beamed into our homes and homes around much of the world each day, ad nausea. This image is terrifying to politicians and Caucasian parents of any class but intoxicating to their teenage and young adult children, who provide an estimated 80% of the funds to a rap industry that is estimated to be more than an billion dollar enterprise, annually. For most of this group, who provide the vast majority of the funds, Hip-hop is part forbidden fruit, with it's low-brow taste and constant use of the N-word, and part twisted voyeurism, because many of them actually believe these songs are accurate presentation of what Black and Brown poor and working class life is like.
Meanwhile, back in the real world, an entire multi-billion dollar industry has been built around the imprisonment of black and brown men often for attempting to live out toned down versions of the drug czar fantasies we often hear recited on wax - and YES, if you own an article of clothing, piece of art, bedspread, earrings, baby bib, etc or you changed your nickname or rap name, based on the movies Scarface, New Jack City, or King of New York or one of it's central characters then you are likely caught up with some part of this fantasy. These frequent and widespread prison trips have succeeded in continuing to cripple and deform black and brown working class and poor communities and households across the United States.
Of course apologist for the music will say it's just entertainment and Hip-hop isn't responsible for fixing problems it didn't create, and that statement is at least partially true. To some degree the music itself is neutral and can be used any number of ways. Currently I would argue it's being used as weapon against those who created it. Hip-Hop, rap, whatever your preferred descriptor, did not create these problems and Hip-hop alone will not correct them, in the same way voting, by itself, will not fix America. Varied and complex problems often require varied and somewhat complex solutions. However, anyone who at this point is still arguing that the images and ideas being marketed and promoted via commercial hip-hop are only entertainment is either a liar or an idiot, or some combination of the two. While music alone usually isn't going to make you commit a crime or engage in a particular undesirable behavior, music is a large part of the fabric of American pop-culture (truly U.S.A.'s biggest export) which plays a huge role in influencing attitudes and consequently actions. Hip-hop is being used to hock everything from alcohol, to sneakers, to clothes, to jewelry, to marijuana flavored bubbled gum for a reason. At best it only desensitizes many young people, especially those without numerous positive influences to act as a counterbalance, to ideas and behavior patterns that they should reject. At worst it is shaping the attitudes and influencing the actions of a generation of young people, particularly the poor and pigmented ones, who remain under under siege from American society at large, and now their favorite rapper too.
The B. Coming
Yo, Beans is my n*gg* but peep this review of his new album, The B. Coming, from Byron Crawford.com
. It's funny as sh*t. Word.Beanie Sigel, The B.Coming (Dame Dash The Rapist Group, 2005)
One of Jay-Z's weed carriers from the Hard Knock Life era, Beanie Sigel put out two albums, one in 1999 and one in 2001, neither of which produced any hits. Since then, he's acted in two ridonkulous State Property movies, one of which seems to always be on Skinemax (like always), and rapped on their corresponding soundtracks along with his Dame Dash-assembled State Property crew. Apparently, somewhere along the line, dude pulled a 2Pac and convinced himself that those dumbass movies were his real life, as he's now doing hard time in the clink for a variety of offenses.
FEEL IT IN THE AIR
I'm usually not into this slow, "Night Shift-era" Commodores rap, but in this case I guess it does kinda fit the whole mood of the song. Beans obviously wrote this one knowing good and well he was on his way to Federal Pound Me in the Ass Prison. No homo. I can see what everybody else likes about this.
I CAN'T GO ON THIS WAY
Life as a weed carrier must be rougher than I once thought. According to this song, he couldn't even afford to go to a dentist and have his cavities filled. If he worked part time at a Big Gay Mart like I do, he could pay about $7 a week and buy into the company's "Starbridge" dental plan. Freeway, who guests on this, really shouldn't be rapping.
ONE SHOT DEAL
3 tracks in and we're more or less back to the same ol' Beanie Sigel from back in the day. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised at all to find out, just based on the production, that this track has been laying around since the Dynasty era. Still, I guess it's cool enough for what it is. I mean, Redman's on it.
GOTTA HAVE IT
Similarly, I'm assuming this was recorded during the sessions for one of those State Property albums. I actually like this one a lot, even though Peedi Crakk kinda owns this track the same way Fiddy owns the best tracks on that Game album. Twista pops up at the end and does that whole "Ooh, look how fast I can rap!" thing that's never really as amusing as I'm sure he thinks it is.
I wonder how much The Neptunes charge for shit that was left over from the R&G: Rhythm & Gangsta sessions. This isn't bad for what it is (although it's certainly no "Drop It Like It's Hot"), but I don't know how well it fits in with the rest of these tracks. Snoop actually does the chorus and adlibs.
I see a lot of other, inferior bloggers are really feeling this, but I wonder if they're aware of Ghostface's superiors (yes, even to this) version of more or less the same motherfucking idea from like 5 years ago. Ripping off Ghostface's old ideas is the kind of weak shit I would expect from the likes of 50 Cent and MIA. Beanie should've sampled the real "Purple Rain" instead.
Speaking of sampling classic (like really classic) pop shit, I see some fellow (he calls himself "Boola") got the idea to sample a track from motherfucking Rumours (seriously). Not that he did an especially good job of flipping it, but I can at least appreciate the effort. Now all we gotta do is convince Just Blaze to flip motherfucking "You Can Go Your Own Way."
LOL at Rell being on this. Who the fuck is Rell anyway and why does he still have a career in the music industry? Actually, he might not. This sounds like another one of these tracks that have been sitting around for a while.
BREAD & BUTTER
Best. Song. Of. The. Motherfucking. Year. The rhymes, about the kind of woman who's not worth a shit, are motherfucking vicious. The production, by the aforementioned Just Blaze, is what CL Smooth would call "impeccable." Speaking of old school rappers, Sadat X and Grand Puba from Brand Nubian, which Fly has never heard of, handle the chorus and adlibs.
LORD HAVE MERCY
LOL at Beanie Sigel name-checking "Stairway" by Led Zeppelin. That really is one of the best songs ever. This song, on the other hand, isn't. That dumbass "pressure busts pipes" metaphor needed to be retired about 5 years ago. This chorus, by some unnamed R&B chick, is also rather painful.
Is Peedi Crakk signed to the Dame Dash The Rapist Group? Because he more or less owns yet another song on this bad boy, even if he isn't saying much. His style and technique make everything that Beans says seem so obvious. His voice even kinda reminds me of Ghostface.
TALES OF A HUSTLER PT. 2
I'm not familiar with the original "Tales," but I could do without pretty much every aspect of this sequel, from the beat (The year 2001 called...) to Beans' dumbass "anguished" flow, to the 8th generation weed carrier's weed carriers guest vocals.
LOOK AT ME NOW
This, on the other hand, is better if still not spectacular. It's in the same vein as the first couple of tracks on here (which were really good), but this one's just not as compelling musically or lyrically.
LOL again at motherfucking D.Dot producing this one. I wasn't aware that he had done anything at all since the Life After Death era other than making a few random appearances on Making the Band 3. This beat kinda reminds me of that song Eminem produced on The Blueprint back before everybody realized how motherfucking miserable of a producer he is. Jay guests on this but doesn't say anything especially interesting.
I can't even handle Bon Jovi's "Wanted: Dead or Alive" when it's sampled in a rap song. This was unnecessary.
COMMENTS: So yeah, I can see what everybody likes about this album, but I'm still not drinking the Kool-Aid. The strong points are rill fucking strong, but there's only like 3 or 4 of them and the rest of this shit is really not that great.
BEST TRACKS: "Feel It in the Air" "Gotta Have It" "Bread & Butter"
Posted by Bol at 02:10 PM
This Whole Rap Sh*t is Boring as Hell!
The reason that picture's there is because he's one of the few new dudes I'm feeling in this rap game. Here's some sh*t I was reading from hiphopgame.com
that's funny as hell and true:So everyone's throwing disses now. And they're all wack. Fuck the whole situation. 12 year-old girls in a pillow fight hit harder than this shit. 50 Cent is more for the children than Wu-Tang ever was. For real, what grown man would have "Candy Shop" bumping in their system? Or even "Gatman and Robin?" C'mon, this shit isn't music. Saigon makes music. Stimuli makes music. 50 Cent makes sing-a-longs.Everyone knew "Piggybank" was coming, why did it sound like Jada and Joe had just written their disses. Why even respond? That's only helping 50. Everyone knows 50's a snitch that lives in Connecticut that has more bodyguards than Martha Stewart, yet his albums still sell.
Seriously, think about Hip Hop today. It's kid music. The majority of music put out is just immature, boastful shit taken to another level. Instead of the playground bully taking your lunch money, they're kidnapping your moms instead. Everyone's so concerned about dropping punchlines and club songs that making good music is not even a focus or concern. As long as the hooks are catchy that's all people seem to care about…
And labels are a whole 'nother pile of dog shit. For real, with all my experience dealing with labels, it's become blatantly clear that people working at Hip Hop know nothing about Hip Hop!!! At one label meeting I sat in on, one of the interns had no idea who Shells was…no idea!!! If you pay any attention to Hip Hop, how do you not at least know the name, I mean dude's been on a million mixtapes…these labels are full of horse shit. Another funny thing, at a music conference my boy went to lately, the top A&R's say they listen to what their interns bring them…not to rat anyone out, but their fucking interns come to me for music. Here's what they probably do. They come to me, check Kay Slay's track listing, maybe holla at another DJ or two, see who the Source featured, and then report back to their bosses like they've done work. HipHopGame breaks artists. Remember last year when only a few people were fucking with Saigon, Stimuli, and Grafh…now look where they all are…fucking dickriders…to any kids who want to work for a label, don't. Being at a label one day is too much for me…
Take your favorite mixtape rapper. Now give them the test Saigon put me up on. If you can name 5 of their songs, they're more than a mixtape rapper. If all they do is freestyles, they're trash. Anyone can do a freestyle. Now look at some of the dudes ripping mixtapes. Jae Millz - one song "No No No" Stack Bundles - can't think of any A-Team - That's My Dude Grafh - Bang Out, God As My Witness, Food, Damage Is Done, In Those Jeans (Remix). So far Grafh's the only one to pass. Murda Mook - none Maino - Questions...you get the point...dudes are buzzing off of being on mixtapes, not making music!!! What type of shit is that???
Another thing I'll never understand is ghost-producing. I know producers want to get on and make money, but there has got to be a point where you're just pimping yourself…I would never want to make a beat that sounds like Timbaland produced it, give it to any one of Star Trak's trash artists, and hear them shouting out Timbaland. That's like taking the time to have a good relationship with a girl, you know, dinners, movies, all that shit, and then giving her to your boss to fuck for a while. And then on the other side of the scam you got Timbaland who is sitting back not doing shit paying people to make beats so he can sell it to a Jay-Z and get paid off of it…but worst of all, all the fans get cheated by actually believing that Dr. Dre or Timbaland made a certain beat…
So was Jay dissing Game on the radio? I don't really know and who the fuck really cares…
Props to Scram for working with Freeway…Free laid down a tight verse, but one thing I will never understand is when he says, "there's a lot of rappers trying to sound like Free." Who the fuck is trying to sound like they rhyme with their nuts stuck in a vice grip??? C'mon man. The only two that can pull off the whole high-pitched voice thing is Ghostface and Poison Pen…can u imagine Beanie Sigel in the booth yelling to his engineer, "this is just a demo take, I'm raising my voice a little higher so I can sound like Freeway!!!" Even Bow Wow and Romeo have a deeper voice than Free…I like Free's music, but please don't ever, ever, ever say that people are trying to sound like you. They're not.
So Maino and Gravy are beefing…does anyone really care?
Hey, do you remember Big Sty? Can you believe it's only been one year since Big Sty came out with that song dissing everyone with such classic lines as "I'll throw a grenade through your sunroof" and "you say you're God's Son, we'll I'll make you see God, son." Where the fuck did he go? That's what happens when you come into this industry on controversy…you leave as quick as you came. I remember the radio station I was at last year had the vinyl of that song too…remember Big Sty…
I really don't understand this Game phenomenon. I guess if everyone says you're hot, then you must be hot. I think Game has little people running around telling everyone that Game is hot, and people are just believing the shit without even listening to him…and some people e-mailed me telling me to stop hating on Game and that I'll never reach his level of success…well…I don't want his level of success…I have no aspirations to be a platinum rapper…I have no aspirations to go on "Love Connection"…and I have no aspirations to be a stripper…so that being said…I'm not a fan of Game, and I don't want to be Game…
Another thing people were saying was to stop hating on Lil' Wayne going back to college because he is setting a good example for kids…ummm…no he's not…by taking one damn class a semester, he's on pace to graduate in 2025…I don't think that's a good example…you want role models, look at athletes like Michael Strahan, don't look at these rappers…
If I get one more demo from a squeaky-voiced kid talking about his "gat" I think I'm gonna smash the cd and send it back…for real…you can tell when the shit is fake, and then when it is verrrry fake. If you don't shoot people, don't rap about shooting people, and if you do shoot people, don't rap about it because you'll just get yourself put in jail…bottom line, if you rap about shooting people than you're either lying or you're just dumb as shit…
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