When J. Cole dropped his debut album Cole World: The Sideline Story back in September of 2011 he shared the release-date with the likes of Phonte, 9th Wonder, Evidence and more. Flash forward to 2013 and Cole is in a similar situation. Only this time the “competition” is Mac Miller, Statik Selektah and that one guy from Chicago. There are no worries coming from the North Carolina emcee though as he’s confident in the work he put in for the album.
The question is for y’all though: With Kanye West’s Yeezus, J. Cole’s Born Sinner, Statik Selektah’s Extended Play and Mac Miller’s Watching Movies With The Sound Off all scheduled to drop on June 18th, who will have the best album? And no… we’re not talking sales here, we’re talking quality music!
By now, some of you may have heard the Hot 97 fuckery that went down a couple of days ago. If not, let us catch you up real quick. Hot 97′s program director Ebro, while on Peter Rosenberg’s The Realness, took shots at artists like Flatbush Zombies, Joey Bada$$ and Sean Price whom he considered “minor league” rap. Ebro further ranted on, saying these artists are “Still on the come up. We put em on Peter Rosenberg’s Real Late Show until they make it to prime time.” Sean Price, who is by no means “on the come up” (Heltah Skeltah, anyone?), is not one to bite his tongue, and took to Twitter to express his sentiments on the subject:
One Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta put up the above message on her timeline (as well as the song title “PARTYNAUSEOUS,” set to drop September 6th, before taking it down). We’ve known about the respect Gaga has for Kendrick’s music, and Kendrick has talked about trying to break and bridge the boundaries of “underground” and “mainstream” music. While I’m sure there are a myriad of opinions on this upcoming collaboration (I’m keeping mine to myself until I hear the end product), now it’s the dopeheads’ chance to divulge their thoughts on the c-section below.
After escaping the Vegas death heat, I pulled up my Twitter timeline and saw nothing but folks talking about Chief Keef. Not about a new song or label talk, but about his recent comments regarding Kanye West…
@kanyewest ain’t do shit for me Hoppin on da song wasn’t enuff I made myself hot #300 all by myself
And like I tend to do with these types of posts, I’m gonna leave my personal opinion out of it and ask y’all to share your thoughts in the c-section. Do you think Keef is right? Think he should show more respect? Don’t give three shits? Let us know…
I will be the first to admit that the notion of an elite group of men cloaked in secrecy controlling the music industry was inconceivable, despite knowing the unethical practices that go down behind the “iron curtains” of the executives who “run” this shit. Industry Rule #4080. You know the rest. A week ago, I stumbled upon an article that changed my outlook on this topic just enough to make me take a couple of steps back and rethink. The article, titled The Secret Meeting that Changed Hip-hop and Destroyed a Generation may read as a complete, tin-foil conspiracy theory at first glance, but take a closer look at the timeline of Hip-Hop along with this meeting, and it makes sense.
“Mos Def, I’ll have a n*gga bury ya carcass, for a Kool G and I’m not from Rawkus…”
There was a point in time when I, along with many other rap fans, thought that Rawkus Records was an indomitable force to reckon with within this volatile music industry. A powerhouse of a record label that soared over the terrain of both indie and majors, and to think, Rawkus was also an indie label in it’s early years. Established by childhood friends Brian Brater and Jarret Myer in 1995, with $10K from their combined savings account, the two Brown University graduates struggled with brand identity, putting out a variety of music genres that ranged from drum-n-bass / jungle to rock and other forms of electronica. Luckily for the two, they were friends with creepy media tycoon Rupert Murdoch’s son, James. Brater and Myer drew up a business plan that eventually landed them some financial stability with the help of James Murdoch, and the label would go on to sign their first Hip-Hop act, Company Flow, despite slight uncertainty from the group.
Co-Flow (El-P, Mr. Len & Bigg Jus) had already recorded an EP which would later become the full-length album, Funcrusher Plus. The former EP (Funcrusher) was released on indie label Official founded by El-P himself, with 8 Steps to Perfection already getting steady burn on the streets of underground NYC. With “Murdoch money” now on the tables, Co-Flow signed to Rawkus and recorded a few more tracks to officially lengthen Funcrusher Plus from an EP to a 19-track-deep LP. Graff heads welcomed End To End Burners as an anthem of sorts, and the streets immediately embraced Rawkus & Co-Flow and cosigned the rawness of the album which was as cold as the steel blade of a loose box cutter sliding across skin. Ah, I can still recall hearing the unorthodox flows and screwing up my face and nodding to the idiosyncratic beat of The Fire In Which You Burn, like “What?!”
It’s been awhile since I dropped an official stamp on someone (The Seshen being the last, in January), but after hearing a few joints from the Brooklyn-born/Phoenix-living N.A. I had to help spread his word. And rather than rehash dude’s bio, I’ll just let the music speak for itself. Check the three cuts I’ve included in the post and/or grab his debut project, Substance Abuse, right here.
Today would have marked the 87th physical born day of the great Malcolm X, who we lost on the eve of Feb 21, 1965. Personally, Malcolm, along with Yuri Kochiyama (who we’ll get to later), Richard Aoki (who played an integral role in the genesis of the Black Panthers) and Marcus Garvey are all heroes and role models in my eyes, and will always remain so. Legends who pushed for justice and equality of all minorities and oppressed people. Now you may be asking who Yuri Kochiyama is. After the jump, you can read a small editorial I wrote on Yuri and who she was, if you’re at all interested.
One reason why I love Hip-Hop music so much is the magnetic effect it has on my third eye. I’d say from the age of 19, I’ve been politically and socially aware, and the genesis of all this was a few days after graduating from bootcamp in 1999. I remember arriving in Virginia at Norfolk Naval Base and having to stand pier watch, which was one of the most boring tasks. To kill time, my supervisor suggested I read his copy of William Cooper’s Behold a Pale Horse while he did the first round of the watch. Since he explained that this was a book that one really did not have to read in sequence, I flipped through the pages until I found a topic that piqued my interest. One of those topics was Secret Societies; my first exposure to literature about the Illuminati, occults and the “Protocols of Zion.”
It’s been two years since the ill-timed death of Keith “Guru’ Elam, and to be quite blunt, it’s very frustrating to see this icon’s contributions to the culture go so neglected. It seems all the fuckery that went down right after his passing with Holar’s (from here on out we’ll refer to him as “Sirius B”) iniquitous antics overshadowed the chance to celebrate Guru’s life. Off the bat, it seemed that negative press followed everywhere Guru’s name was brought up. Well, not entirely, but with so much of “Sirius B’s” fabricated stories popping up, it sure seemed that way.
In case you are one of the folks who don’t know what’s going on (and if you still don’t want to know, I salute you. Now skip this post), a few nights ago Havoc started spewing all kinds of poorly spelled jibba-jabba at Prodigy on the Twitter insulting him and his manhood, only for Prodigy to respond with some ALL-CAPS barbs of his own. A few hours later both individuals claimed that it “wasn’t them” who wrote them, with Havoc using the telltale “my account was hacked” excuse and P one-upping him in the creative department by saying that it was a “fake” account (which, oddly enough, was “verified”).
Now, of course the rest of the hip-hop world has to have their own say in the matter, and when Peter Rosenberg asked Fat Joe he said it was the “9/11″ of hip hop.” I’d probably break my neck shaking my head so much at that logic. So now I ask you, the viewer: what are your thoughts on this whole fiasco? For me, I don’t care; I’m still trying to find out if Mary J Blige will come out and sing the ingredients of the new Crispy Chicken Snack Wraps at Burger King whenever I inquire about them. But perhaps I’m in the minority with this one.