Eminem just turned the clock back to 1998 and came with one of the sickest verses I've ever heard. He raps over Drake's "Over" and Lloyd Banks' “Beamer, Benz & Bentley.”
I'm so bad, I could bitchslap a backhanded compliment!
- DJ Premier on his last visit with Guru. Honestly one of the saddest (and sickest) stories I've ever heard. There are not enough words to describe what a horrible person Solar is.
- Why no hip hop in the White House? "Still, it's time for the White House Music Series to recognize hip-hop. Common -- a Chicago rapper who is incredibly thoughtful, widely revered and squeaky clean -- seems like a plausible candidate. Even better: an appearance from hip-hop troupe the Roots. Many of these Music Series events contain an educational component for young students, and you're not going to get a better drum lesson from anyone other than Roots bandleader and timekeeper ?uestlove."
- Is West Coast Hip-Hop ready to come back? I don't think it needs to, but Dell Frost is right that a lot of established west coast artists are releasing albums at about the same time.
- Speaking of West Coast hip hop, Ice Cube is still Straight Outta LA (Interview).
- Is the RZA going to be in DJ Hero 2?
- Nicki Manaj comes out of the closet. She's also right that this is, for whatever reason, way different from a gay male rapper in the mainstream.
- Betty White proves that really, everybody is hip hop.
The two people who follow this blog (hi Mom!) know that I've been covering Guru's death pretty closely. In particular, Guru's last letter rose red flags all over the hip hop community. It seemed a lot like a promotional letter for Solar, and had me and a lot of other people suspicious on who actually wrote it. Especially when DJ Premier released such a classy response after he got dissed in it. Now we know why:
After listening to The Adventures of Bobby Ray, I completely changed my opinion of mainstream hip hop. It's creative, organic, original,and best of all, it's awesome. Everybody was surprised by the success of B.o.B's lead single, "Nothin' On You" - even his label, which pushed the release date up by a month. Quite simply, there's nobody else like B.o.B - The Adventures of Bobby Ray is everything you could hope for from a debut album, it places the strengths of B.o.B as a rapper, singer and performer under a spotlight, helping his talent shine.
No Daily Operation today, the B.o.B review took up too much time, but I'm going to start putting up HiphopDX's list of mixtape release dates. Enjoy:
We are witnessing a fundamental change in hip hop. Listening to B.o.B.'s Adventures of Bobby Ray (check the review), one thing stands out - new mainstream rappers are getting really good. Better than they've been in a long time actually. Ever since Nas said Hip Hop Is Dead, people have been criticizing today's hip hop for a lot of reasons: not enough lyricism, creativity, depth, or realness were getting through to the mainstream.
Since 2006's Hip Hop Is Dead, we've seen debuts from Fashawn, K'Naan, Kid Cudi, Wale, Drake, Flo Rida, Asher Roth, Skyzoo, Blu & Exile, and now B.o.B. Those aren't all great rappers, but they have a lot of different flows, styles, personalities and subjects. And those are some of the more mainstream debuts - I'm not counting great mixtapes by everybody from J. Cole to Wiz Khalifa.
- VH1 Honors the Dirty South: "VH1’s will tribute it’s seventh annual VH1 Hip Hop Honors to the South. VH1 Hip-Hop Honors will celebrate The South and the honorees who merged the southern story into hip hop’s global message.
Jermaine Dupri, J Prince of Rap-A-Lot Records, Organized Noize, and Master P are being recognized on the show for their talent and success. In addition to featuring amazing performances, VH1 Hip Hop Honors: The Dirty South will explore the rich hip hop historyof the region through music, dance and language."
- Jim Jones is teaching a music course: "Class is in session and this time, hip hop superstar Jim Jones is the teacher. Tuesday, April 27, 2010 kicks off a 6 week high school course, entitled Music Business 101, presented by Entertainers for Education Alliance (E4EA). Jim Jones will be heading the class along with numerous selected guest speakers. After class Jim will head over to
Fordham Universityto lecture on aspects of the music business at 6pm on April 27th 2010."
- Violinists Mix Hip Hop and Classical: "Brothers Tourie and Damien Escobar were just young boys when they began earning money by
playing the violinon New York's subways. While attending Julliard School of Music, they started incorporating hip-hop and rock influences into their sound. In 2005, the duo won a talent show at the legendary Apollo Theatre in New York. Taking the name Nuttin' But Stringz, they released their first CD, Struggle from the Streets to the Chart,in 2006."
- Scarface remaking Criminal Minded: "I haven’t really came to the conclusion yet of what I’m gonna do with it, but I know for a fact that I’m remaking “9mm Goes Bang,” along with “Poetry” and shit like that. I just feel like – And it’s not for a personal gain, it’s a respect thing. I’m [paying respect by remaking] [KRS-One's] whole fucking shit. I feel like he deserves that compliment. Like muthafuckas forget where it came from, man."
- B.o.B. has mass appeal: "He may hail from a city famous for its crunk and minimalistic snap styles, but his catchy, genre-blending hip-hop steers closer to the sonic experimentalism and pop appeal of fellow ATLers Outkast."
- Get a Wu-Tang Name! I'm Crafty Barnardo.
- Is the Tea Party really racist? One "hip hop republican" doesn't think so: "Some may see it as White people using a Black man to justify hatred of another Black man. However, the picture shows one American talking to other Americans about bringing more of us together, regardless of who the president is."
- "[VH1] has given the green light to a new series entitled 'Diary of a Hip-Hop Girlfriend' that will, you guessed it, follow some rapper girlfriends through their day-to-day lives.
- DJ Premier with a classy statement on Guru: "I’VE BEEN ASKED TO COMMENT ON A LETTER SPEAKING ILL OF ME WHICH WAS SUPPOSEDLY WRITTEN BY GURU IN HIS DYING DAYS. ALL I WILL SAY ABOUT IT IS THAT OUR TIME TOGETHER WAS BEAUTIFUL, WE BUILT A HIP HOP LEGACY TOGETHER, AND NO ONE CAN RE-WRITE HISTORY OR TAKE AWAY MY LOVE FOR HIM."
Guru's solo work was almost entirely devoted to guest appearances and his Jazzmatazz series. The series had four volumes, and it had about as many strengths as weaknesses. Guru's one of the only people to really do an honest melding of jazz and rap for an extended period (the first two volumes of the 4-volume series). There were a lot of people who sample jazz loops, sure, but nobody who actually went out and played duets with major musicians like Guru did.
Guru was most famous for his Gang Starr songs, and for good reason: he and DJ premier made some of the best music of the 90's. Guru's solo work, especially his Jazzmatazz, was some of the most quietly innovative work in hip hop, but it was never as catchy, tight, or exciting as his work with Gang Starr.
For those who don't really know the situation, there has been some really weird stuff going on between Guru and Solar since Guru's heart attack. First there was news that Solar wouldn't let Guru's family visit right after his heart attack. It all boiled over for a while, but Guru's last letter to his fans had some very weird parts:
Update: DJ Premier confirms; adds heartbreaking details.
- Was Guru's last letter a fake? Also, the best Gang Starr videos.
- Russell Simmons: "Social media is the new hip hop, the new rock and roll, the new equalizer, giving voice to the previously voiceless, the sound and thunder for
social justice, the intimate forum for honest integration, which the new Americayearns for, even before it becomes a physical reality – it is what the new America yearns for, what it aspires to. Social media made this happen. I watch its progress, I promote it shamelessly, I love it."
- ANC youth leader's outburst is turned into hip-hop hit: "He is notorious for trying to whip up crowds with a political song that many feel is a dangerous throwback to racial apartheid. But young South Africans seem more enthused by youth leader Julius Malema's unwitting foray into hip-hop."
research methodsand strengthens vocabulary through study of various music moguls and culture history.
Special education inclusion teacher Pamela Mitchell instituted her Hip Hop Scholars (HHS) program in 2004 as a means of improving students’ testing, listening and study skills. Through a hip-hop-based curriculum, the program also teaches
Back after a quick hiatus, better than ever!
- R.I.P. Guru
- Allhiphop.com: "A number of Hip-Hop pioneers will gather at S.O.B.’s in New York tomorrow (April 20th) to focus on a unified front in maintaining and continuing the integrity and preservation of the culture. KRS-One’s Temple of Hip Hop in association with the Universal Zulu Nation will host an ongoing series of discussions regarding the cultural integrity of Hip-Hop."
- A great feature on Freddie Gibbs and gangsta rap: "From the laid-back groove-fit-to-cruise production and blunt-filled lyrics of “Boxframe Cadillac” to the borderline emotional Gibbs of 'World So Cold,' a revealing song about Gibbs’ stillborn child, he reveals what life is like on the streets of Gary with the same foundational goal of hip hop in mind that inspired N.W.A. to reveal their lifestyles. 'I’m opening people’s eyes to a whole different place, showing them what [Gary, Indiana] is,' he said. Gibbs gives credit to his craft, defending its original purpose, saying, 'Hip hop is the best form of communication for that.'"
- Freedom in Morocco: "It wasn't always like this. One of the members on this year's jury was 30-year-old Nabyl Guennouni. Now a manager at an events agency in Rabat, Guennouni was one of 14 heavy-metal musicians who in 2003 were arrested and sent to prison for practicing 'satanism' and 'endangering the Islamic faith.'"