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March Hip Hop Recommendations


Boozy The Clown
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And La Coka Nostra - yay or nay? Heard some guy Slaine, was okay.

check them out Trill, i'm a big Evelast fan and have been since the Pain came out and have followed his career all the way from then up to today, here's some coka, as calash says its big and dumb, but you can't beat a bit of rough shouty shit now and again :angry:

http://www.gigasize.com/get.php/372540/Get...J_Mek_remix.mp3

http://www.gigasize.com/get.php/374162/LaC...oCDS2006WiS.rar

http://www.gigasize.com/get.php/268509/La_...tiful_Thing.mp3

http://www.gigasize.com/get.php/485478/05l...fmywaydirty.mp3

http://www.gigasize.com/get.php/485493/La_...sky__Hutch1.mp3

http://www.gigasize.com/get.php/485514/La_...IXED_Remix2.mp3

http://www.gigasize.com/get.php/485523/LCNAnthem.mp3

some are demos and unfininished. the Dj Mek cut is real nice.

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Yeah, that's an awesome clip. I saw it on the Stones Throw site a couple of days ago. Here's the director of the clip, perennial hip-hop photography don B+ saying a li'l sumpen about it:

"When Mochilla went to Brasil in 2006 for the premiere of Brasilintime, we were to perform with the Brasilian drummers and DJs. The first day at soundcheck, DJ Nuts called me aside and told me that him and Brasil's DJ Primo had been working on a routine with Pupilo and that it was a surprise. Primo is one of the best turntablists in Brasil and Pupilo is the drummer of Brasilian super group Nacao Zumbi. We planned to stop the show half way through bring on Primo and Pupilo and let them do their thing.

Dilla was the first to really get down on sampling Brasilian music and that his production for Pharcyde's "Runnin'" was the first joint to really get out there and show this music to hip-hop heads. In Brasil they were all still reeling from Dilla's passing and people would ask us about him all the time.  On the first night we took the break and the Brasilian homies busted out this version of Runnin' in tribute to Dilla - Brasilian musicians in front of an ecstatic Sao Paulo crowd paying tribute to our friend - and it was super emotional. 

The second night Luke Lynch, Eric and I projected a bunch of photos of Dilla that I had taken so that we could share them with the crowd.  

This short film is a document of that nights performance edited with some of the photos - it will be an extra feature on the forthcoming Brasilintime DVD.

Listen to the crowd and savor what was a very moving time for us. Its beautiful to see how far Dilla's reach was and the love he spread.

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Here's an excellent interview with Sacha Jenkins, the brains behind Ego Trip. After covering a bit about The (White) Rapper Show, he goes on to talk a little about some of the things some of us were talking about a few days back (falling sales, generational differences between fans, love for Ghostface, shit like that). If you find time, you should give it a read. He talks sense:

I'll battle anyone cuz they suck.

Sacha Jenkins, Egotrip co-founder, Mass Appeal editor, and co-creator of VH1's finest moment, The (white) Rapper Show, loves laughing at hip hop's demise. Hallelujah holla black.

By Robert Sumner

Somewhere amid the rubble of dwindling record sales, bloated fashion gimmicks, tabloid-slash-police blotter style news coverage, movie vehicles, beer commercial soundtracks and the occasional leaked mp3, the soul of hip hop exists. Wading through the muck of this much ballyhooed "death" of hip hop in recent years has been a task not many listeners have been willing to undertake when the rewards are usually dragged and dropped into the recycle bin after a week. Is there anything about this culture that resonates beyond the occasional signature dance move? Taking an approach that may sting to some, the brilliant "rainbow of motherfuckers" at Egotrip have put together a show that aims a magic bullet at rap's cynical audience. While Egotrip's The (white) Rapper Show may seem to exploit the idea that rap's supposed core audience (read: crackers) will never truly belong to the music they love to shout inside of their mother's SUV, this often painfully funny reality TV satire is laced with the idea that hip hop knowledge is lacking among listeners, and they.must.learn.

Behind the barrel of this basic-cable gat is the trippers' head honcho, Sacha Jenkins. Beginning as a graffiti writer during hip hop's developmental stages, self-publishing a number of 'zines and moving onto create some of the most influential publications in rap-coverage, Jenkins has taken the whole 'embodiment of hip hop culture' steez to a new level on the 'video hits one' network. Beginning with "TV's Illest Minority Moments," and the "Race-o-rama" series, Egotrip's forays into television have been poignant, hilarious and most of all, pregnant with the culture that made rap so interesting before corporate forces swooped in for a piece. The (white) Rapper Show continued that tradition with a run of episodes that much less found the next Eminem than gave us all the opportunity to experience rap as novices should. Philaflava.com caught up with Sacha before the show's season finale, where he reveals the duality of how fucked up rap culture currently is, while at the same time how brilliant it can and should be. It was less of a Q and A per say than a lecture peppered with f-words.

Philaflava.com: Describe some of the flack that you've caught from white people regarding The (white) Rapper Show:

Sacha Jenkins: There's a lot of white on white hate in hip hop. I have talked to all the kids who were on the show and asked them how their lives have changed and they've said 'Yo it's been nothing but love.' But there has got to be hate, and they have all unanimously said that they have received FedEx packages of verbal hate, or just hate in general from other white MCs, whether it's online or in general. White people in hip hop need to relax. Hip hop is for everyone now. Just because you are the white dude in the crew doesn't mean you're special anymore, everyone raps, so don't be so uptight. Show your fellow white people some love on the mic. But that's what's going to make season two, if there is a season two, so incredible because so many white MCs are like, 'Yo all the kids on your show are garbage I'll smoke 'em.'

PF: What made these guys stand out? Just the fact that they are crazy personalities or was it their skills on the mic?

SJ: Well it's television so you need people who have strong personalities. But say what you want about G-Child, I mean sure, she loves Vanilla Ice and that's her point of reference, but she's passionate about what it is that she does, and she's good at what she does. Even if people think that she's wack, she's not Rich Boy, she's not necessarily today's idea of what an MC is supposed to be. But it's hip hop and your supposed to be whatever you want to be and I feel like regardless of whether people feel she has the illest skills or not, people connect with her passion and conviction. And I think that's what all good television is about: passion and conviction.

PF: Did anything about the show make VH1 nervous?

SJ: I think that there were some misgivings internally because it's a big company and not everyone internally knows the inter-dynamic of what is going into the show. There were white people who worked there who were like, 'What the hell is this, the white rapper show?' and there were certainly black people who were like 'What the hell is this, the white rapper show, what kind of shit is this?' At least on VH1's end the people who were working closely with us to produce the show totally understood what it was that we were doing, but there was just a lot of misinformation. And I think that now that people see the show for what it's worth, I think that people respect it and understand it. But going into it, it's called The (white) Rapper Show, it's Egotrip, we have a reputation for looking at race that's very unique to us, for some people, it's not as open.

There are people who work in porn who talk about double penetrations like it's a Reese's peanut butter cup, it's an everyday thing. I'm not even saying that they don't have an emotional connection to double penetrations. But to me and the guys at Egotrip, the way we talk about race, to a lot of people it's very uncomfortable and people aren't used to it and we forget about that sometimes. Even in a title like The (white) Rapper Show, we go into it knowing that it's a provocative title, but we fail to realize that on a mass scale, it's extremely provocative, and I think because of the way we talk amongst ourselves its like we are desensitized to stuff but we want everyone to feel good about themselves, especially at night.

PF: How has your very early upbringing in Silver Spring, Maryland influenced your work?

SJ: What has actually influenced me when it comes to Silver Spring is like, when I was living where I lived, it was like really diverse, there were white people there, there were black people there; it was kind of a mixed community. And my family is very diverse, I've got cousins that are half-Chinese, I've got white people, Jewish people, my grandfather was French, my father's father was black but he looked white. So for me, I was always in a very diverse sort of world. But then I moved to Queens, everything was like, all right, those people are Greek, those people are Italian, those people are black, those people are Puerto Rican. When I lived in Maryland it was never about like, 'What are you.' When I moved to New York, everything is like, 'Your this, your black, your supposed to do this, your not supposed to do this,' and for me it was a very strange experience.

Everything in New York was so separate and segregated, it was weird. So for me, the reason why I really connected with things like graffiti or skateboarding or whatever, was because it was diverse, when you are a graffiti writer you know rich kids from the upper west side and poor kids form the lower east side and your typically going out of your neighborhood at a time when there wasn't the internet. Back then, in the 80's, kids played baseball on their block and maybe if they were on a team they would go to other neighborhoods, but kids didn't typically leave their neighborhoods. There was no communication, so being into the shit I was into as a kid--graffiti, punk rock, hip hop skating--definitely satisfied my desire to know different kinds of people. And that's sort of what put Egotrip in a really unique position to comment on race across the board. There are five of us, one guy is Chinese, one guy is black and Vietnamese, one guy is Mexican, one guy is black, Greek and Ecuadorian; so we represent a whole rainbow of mother fuckers. It was the fact that I was exposed to so many different kinds of people that I, and all of us at Egotrip, it puts us into this unique sort of position to comment on some of the racial stuff. You watch BET and it's always like a late night black comedian who is like, 'You you know the thing about white people is, they can't dance,' but do you know white people?

That's why someone like Dave Chapelle is so effective, I mean he had his partner, who was a white dude, but together, they made shit that actually struck a chord because it was no longer just saying things about white people, it was actually connecting with them. And bringing that to the white rapper show, we had a pretty broad range of MCs that I think is representative of, not every kind of white rapper out there, but a pretty broad range. And I think it struck a chord with so many people because there will be the people on this show that you will like, but then as a white person, there will be people on the show who you will be like, 'I'm white and this person embarrasses me. I'm embarrassed to be white. This is not a good look for white people.' I hear that all the time. Some people have gotten really pissed off, like online they will be like, 'Yo, this shit is racist.' I find it interesting that white people really want to get pissed off about one fucking television show. Do you know how many fucking television shows have made black people look like fucking bloodthirsty gorillas over the last fucking fifty years?

For me it's an interesting exercise to see how white people react. If you think about all of the shit they had to go through, they had to prove themselves. Anyone would have killed to have the opportunity to do a song with Just Blaze. We created opportunities for people. How many people around the country say, 'hallelujah holla back'? Yeah, there's silly shit on the show, but there are also situations were white people really have to prove themselves. Maybe there is something racist about being upset about the white rapper show?

PF: Do you think BET has plans on ripping off the white rapper show?

SJ: I wish they would. I would love for BET to be good. I mean, I'm black; maybe BET could reach out to Egotrip. Maybe Egotrip could do some good programming for them, but I don't know. But no one has called me from BET. Instead I have to work with the white man at VH1, which is no problem.

PF: There have been a lot of rap legends on VH1 recently, Ice-T has a show, Flavor Flav has had several shows, you guys have Serch, is VH1 where hip hop goes to die?

SJ: I don't think VH1 is the place where hip hop goes to die. But sadly, the reason why I fucking hate hip hop and why it sucks pelican balls is: why is it that the fucking Rolling Stones--those motherfuckers old enough to be your grandfathers--they're fucking rich and can continue to tour? I'm not saying that the Rolling Stones are going to have some shit hotter than Fallout Boy, but they can still record and they can still make a nice living for themselves. OK, Ice T is on VH1. Is he dying or is he actually living? Is he actually able to have an impact on the culture or at least catch a check? Should we be mad at VH1 because they're actually giving people who laid the foundation for a lot of shit a fucking check when so-called black networks won't give them a fucking shot while focusing on the new hot shit? You'll listen to radio stations and they'll be like Notorious BIG, old school, 1994. How is '94 old school? So what is Chuck Berry; is that like fuckin' the Aztecs? How is that Old school?

With hip hop, everything is so disposable. Everything is about the new latest shit. When I was a kid I was a part of that. I wanted to have the new, latest sneakers, I wanted to have all the new latest shit, but that was at a time when the culture was being pioneered. Now that the shit is a fucking industry, it's an industry worth billions of dollars, Ice T, go get a check, no one else is going to give you a fucking check, everyone else is gonna be like, 'You are at VH1, where rappers go to die.' But to me, they are paying respect to people who have talent. Grandmaster Caz was on the white rapper show. Do any of these motherfuckers know who Grandmaster Caz is? Maybe not, but that guy had so much personality and so much charisma and was so great on the show because he comes from an era where rappers actually had to fucking rap and earn the respect of fans.

These fucking rappers, the days of them getting big advances and doing music videos and having bitches in their videos, and shit like that, and like getting fat checks, they're over. Now they're going to have to fucking rap. I challenge these fucking rappers to rap. They don't know how to fucking perform and they suck. I say all the time, lyrically they're garbage, I'll battle any MC right now. Line for line, lets sit down and write raps. I'll battle anyone because they suck. They are not writers.

The first writer I ever wanted to be was a graffiti writer. And then I published my own 'zine, which was a graffiti 'zine, and then I started writing for magazines. But as a writer, who was I inspired by? I was inspired by fucking Big Daddy Kane. That dude is a fucking amazing writer and he was writing shit when he was 19 that was fucking amazing. These motherfuckers can't write for shit. I'm not inspired by these motherfuckers. Ghostface Killah, to me? Amazing. Beyond rapper? Just a fucking amazing writer. Every time I listen to one of his songs, I literally pick up on something I didn't pick up on before. Multi-layered shit. That's what I'm fucking talking about. All this other shit? I'll throw some 'D's on that bitch,' I actually like that shit, don't get me wrong there's plenty of shit that's cool. But getting back to VH1 being the place where hip hop goes to die, it's like, is hip hop alive? Mainstream hip hop? Or is it disco?

PF: So should every rapper be asked whether or not hip hop is dead?

SJ: Hip hop isn't dead. I mean, look. I've caught a check from hip hop for the last fuckin' 14 years so it's kind of disrespectful for me to really believe my heart of hearts that hip hop is dead. For me hip hop, as corny as it sounds, is a spiritual thing. But it's something that I've been able to understand based on my experiences with punk rock, skateboarding, graffiti; there's something very special about the communal energy or the spirit of hip hop. There's something very precious there and important and powerful and that energy inspired me to do all the shit that I do today. So is that energy in the hearts of these MCs out now? I believe that, for sure. Who am I really to judge them and who am I to really say that hip hop is dead, but I feel like these people are as educated as they should be. And I feel like that has been our mission at Egotrip. We try to entertain people but we also want to educate people. We want people to understand. You can throw some D's on that bitch, but you should also know fuckin' "Run's House" by Run DMC. How do you not know that?

It's not television. Television is a business. It's not in the interest in business to educate people. It would be in the interest of business to educate people if all of these CDs that weren't in the stores were in the stores. The whole landscape of all of this has changed. At Egotrip we are lucky to be in the position to drop some science and educate people and entertain people. I am also the editor at Mass Appeal and I love being a part of Mass Appeal because it reminds me of the old days when we were publishing Egotrip. It's an independent magazine and the people there are young and are really inspired by art and inspired by the music that is their soundtrack right now. The hip hop that is popping right now may not be my soundtrack, but I am not gonna discount the fact that it's another generations' soundtrack and they're equally inspired by that. Its easy for Nas or dudes in their mid-thirties to say that hip hop is dead, the hip hop that we knew, that we grew up on is no longer here. I might be able to say that from my experience that I am a more rounded, educated hip hop individual. I think it's safe for me to say that. I am more educated on the culture, I am more educated on the history and I wish more people of this generation would be, but if they are having fun with their shit, who am I to ask them if hip hop is dead, it obviously isn't. I might not be a huge Young Jeezy fan, but does he always have to answer whether or not hip hop is dead? He's cashing checks. He's able to support himself. He's able to travel the world. It seems like hip hop is alive in well in his life.

PF: What do you think of Hip hop journalism nowadays? Is it too concerned with beef, rumor-mongering, being snarky and rap-sheets?

SJ: It's different because now you have the internet. So it's like, now everyone has an opinion and we know that a big part of hip hop is talking shit and drama and all this other stuff. I come from an era where I grew up a mile away from Queens bridge and I remember when MC Shan and the Juice Crew and BDP had beef, and BDP was performing at United Skates of America in Queens and there was a shootout. I remember when hip hop transitioned from dudes battling each other and maybe someone got punched in the face to the point where in the late 80's people started to shoot each other all this crazy shit started to happen. I think at that point, the early quote-unquote hip hop journalism was developing and started to have writers who understood the culture.

By the early nineties we finally had a group of people who were by the culture of the culture writing about shit. I had published my own magazines at that point and I wasn't trained. But once I started writing for bigger magazines, I was able to learn from really talented writers and editors. My perspective broadened and my talent was nurtured. Now you have a whole generation of kids who have no formal training, I didn't have formal training, but now, that you have so many different voices from all over the place. With reporting, your asking questions and your doing research, but with the internet, you can't trust anything. You don't know who's doing what. You don't know how credible these sources are. On one level, it's entertaining and it's cool that so many people have a voice. I feel lucky, when I published my first 'zine, one of the early graffiti 'zines in the late '80s, there weren't even three other 'zines in the world in existence. If I wanted to do the something like that now, who would give a fuck? There are so many different voices and so many different kids wanting to have something to say, I think that's great and that's incredible, but whose opinion can you trust? You read record reviews in Vibe or the Source and after you got familiar with the writing style or the opinion of the writer, you'd be able to figure out, 'OK, I don't really like his taste, so I am not really going to fuck with everything he has to say, but he does make some solid points.' It would help to inform your decision in terms of making a purchase. But now, you get everything for free anyway. Now it's like, 'Oh "Throw some D's on it," I've never heard that, you can find it and listen to it instantly and share your opinion instantly with god knows how many people. There's a danger in some of the shit that's being written, but people have to be wise enough to understand that if it's on the net, you have to take it with a grain of salt.

PF: Going completely off-topic here, what do you think is more racist: the NBA banning complaining to refs or the NFL banning entertaining celebrations?

SJ: OK complaining to refs. It's sports, so the refs have to have a certain amount of authority. The refs are supposed to have respect and you don't want that undermined, so to a certain extent I can understand that. Dancing in the endzone, it's a little different in that black people or people of African decent are culturally different from white people. And maybe, culturally for African Americans, doing something like that is more a part of their culture, as opposed to white American culture or the culture that has established football. So there is a football culture and the football culture is saying, 'This is football culture and you can't do that.' That's one way to look at it. The people who are responsible for dictating football culture are largely white and they don't want that. So is it racist or is it just corporate bullshit? Probably somewhere in between. Black people fucking like to dance, that's old news. I really don't see the big deal. If a fucking white dude fucking caught a touchdown and he wanted to do the fucking wop, who gives a shit. It's sports, but it's also entertainment, that's why I can understand, the refs, OK, you got to respect the refs, don't get in the refs grill. If motherfuckers want to dance? For two seconds? I can blame the white man for that.

PF: You guys have made a ton of lists in your lifetime. Can you give me a top five list of top five list topics?

SJ: I don't know. That's a hard question. We busted our ass on those lists for a long time. I'm not saying that I never want to see a list again, but I really couldn't come up with something clever for that one.

I also read a similar slice of dropped science in a blog by the producer J-Zone, if anyone's interested in that? It was a great read.

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I also read a similar slice of dropped science in a blog by the producer J-Zone, if anyone's interested in that? It was a great read.

Yeah, the J-Zone one is really on point, its worth posting if you've got a link handy.

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Yeah, it's ridiculous how correct he calls the whole thing. Peep the J-Zone piece:

Everybody's saying it. Nas titled his album that. People are debating and a few brothers asked me for my humble opinion. So as I watch the Celtics lose their 17th straight on Sportscenter, I'll do a music related blog for once. After all, it effects me right? 5 things I feel are the biggest culprits of rap's downfall. Well actually before I exercise my freedom of speech and somebody gets upset for nothing, let me clarify.

a. I am NOT saying that there aren't a batch of stellar records released yearly, or a group of dope producers delivering fly shit or a handful of rappers that still make you wanna listen. I also know music is subjective and it's all opinion. The great music of today may be on par with the great of yesterday, but in the grand scheme of things, the negatives far outweigh the positives.

b. There's 3 things you can never argue about…Religion, Politics and Hip-Hop. Cause no matter your opinion, somebody will tyrannically oppose and get all fuckin emotional. Its just my humble opinion, relax. Who cares anyway?

c. For the record, the politics at major labels, press and radio are not listed here because they've been around since the beginning of time. And we have ourselves to blame for not manning up to take control of those.. Yo Flex, drop a bomb on that. OK, where was I?

5. CLANS, POSSES, CREWS & CLIQUES: WHO U WIT?

Safety in numbers. Movements, collaborations, big name guests, teams, crew beef, etc. The days of the solo roller are over. In the prime of rap, you were judged solely on your music. Rakim, Nas & Biggie (early on), LL, Kane…they all built their legend on music alone. Hell, Rakim had no guests on his first 4 albums. Sure there was Juice Crew, Native Tongues, Lench Mob crew, etc. But it wasn't mandatory. Then for some reason, in the mid-late 90's, it became totally necessary to have a movement. A crew with 1,000 different artists all on the same team. Touring together, crew t-shirts, beef with other crews, collaborations, etc. Not that that's a bad thing, a lot of crews are dope all throughout, but it's like people cannot identify with one artist, there has to be a movement or somebody else involved to validate them. Look at today's most successful artists. They all have a movement. Rocafella, Def Jux, Stonesthrow, Rhymesayers, G-Unit, Dipset, Wu-Tang, Hieroglyphics, OK Player, etc. Or if you're not part of a movement, you collaborate with other high profile artists. Doom, Danger Mouse, etc. Its all about cross-pollinating fan bases. You don't? You die. And for some reason, I see Da Youngstas album, Da Aftermath, as the beginning of this from a beat standpoint. That and Run DMC's Down With The King (both 1993) were the first albums I can remember to use a lot of different producers with totally different sounds. It worked back then, they were dope albums. But it wound up being a cancer. Nowadays you need a Timbaland track, a Neptunes track, a Just Blaze track, a Dre track, a Kanye track for people to really care…and for the most part it sounds like a collection of songs, not an album. Why not let one of them just do the whole fuckin album? Can't please everybody, why make a futile attempt? Good albums are about a vibe. Wu-Tang was a movement, but it was cohesive and made sense because they all vibed together and RZA was the sonic glue. Sans Illmatic, Ready to Die and a few others, every single great rap album had a maximum of 3 producers and 3 guests. In this fascination with movements, name association and special guests, we've lost album cohesiveness and the focus on just music. Its no longer about how dope you are, its who you rollin with and who's cosigning what you do. And usually 92% of the crew isn't up to par with the few star artists in the crew. Quantity rules, not quality. You can have a 5 mic album, but nobody cares unless there's a bunch of other people involved. 10 producers and 7 guests. And now so and so with a platinum album can put his wack ass brother or cousin on and cheapen the game, cause they're part of the movement and its about who you with. Back in 88, Milk D said he had "a great big bodyguard" on "Top Billin". But that was it. In 2007, there would be a Great Big Bodyguard solo album.

4. TOO MUCH MUSIC

Like the crew theory, this is about quantity. People want more, even if it means a dip in quality. Some people can put out music quickly and do it well. Some people just want to bombard the market for the sake of doing it. Rakim did albums every 2 years. EPMD, Scarface and Ice Cube did it every year and that was considered fast. Nowadays, if you don't have 2 albums, 5 mix tapes and 10 guest appearances a year, you're slippin and people forget you. This attempt to keep up with the rush has cheapened the music. Now you have regular mixtapes marketed as albums, just a bunch of thrown together songs for the fuck of it. But to survive these days, you have to do that to stay in the public eye. There's far too many slim line case CD-R mix tapes out, and as important as mix tapes are to rap, the very vehicle that helped it grow is now playing a part in killing it. Now everybody has forgotten how to make cohesive projects, so we cover it up by labeling it as a mix tape. The value and pride that full length albums used to symbolize are no more. Mix tapes now triple the number official albums in artist's catalog and never has music seemed so cheap and fast food. Not to mention, when the majors went completely awry in the late 90's, the indie rap scene went out of control with too much product. When I debuted in 1999, there were maybe 25-30 other indie vinyl releases out that mattered. And mine was one of the only full length albums. So it was only a matter of time before I got a listen, it didn't matter that I had no big names on my record and came outta nowhere. Try that now. To go to a store and see the foot high stack of one sheets for new records, mix cd's and dvd's dropping weekly makes you see you have a snowballs chance under a fat girls ass to survive in that world. Look at how many releases a week are on hiphopsite, sandbox, fat beats, ughh, etc. The high profile artists get some attention, and everybody else gets ordered in ones and twos, if that. So today's new talent making his debut is in for an uphill battle. Great records go unnoticed. Rap is now a disposable art. Mr. Walt of Da Beatminerz once said "you work 16 months on an album and get a 2 week window of opportunity. After that your record is as good as dead for most people". That sums it up.

3. TOO COOL TO HAVE FUN/NO BALANCE IN RAP

When rap stopped being fun, I knew we were in big trouble. Not too many people are doin music for fun anymore. Ask yourself, "would I still mess with music as a hobby if there wasn't any money in it?" Too many people would say no. We all wanna get paid. Shit, I got bills too, I love money! But too many people just seem like they'd rather be doing other shit. You read in interviews, "I don't care about no rap, I'd rather be hustling. I just do this cause I can." Hey, whatever floats your boat, I can relate, there's been artists like that since the beginning of time, but they were never the majority until now. Having fun is nowhere near as important as your life before you got signed. And there's plenty of battle MC's, political MC's, soulful MC's and killer thugs but it seems there's not many funny artists no more. Like on some Biz Mark, Humpty Hump, The Afros shit. Not afraid to go to the extreme and have fun. God forbid you use your imagination or rap about something not involving hiphop, the hood, you bein the shit, the end of the world or what color your car interior is. I live in Southside Queens, less than a mile from 50 Cent's old house. Nobody really knows I make music over here. Some kid from over here saw me in The Source a while back and said "Yo I ain't know you was in it like that, yo why you ain't tryin to pump your shit out here and let people know? You should rep the hood. 50 did it." Its been done a million times before, why should I? I'm not on the block hustlin, I'm out there walking to Walgreens for my Grandmother, on my way to the park for a game of 21 or to watch a game at the local high school. I'm a grown ass man with a college degree and I got love for my neighborhood, but I choose to rap about my beat up car, not dancing in clubs, women with bad hygiene and too many kids or ball playin rappers with limited ball skills, cause I ain't a street cat and I'd rather show the lighter side of life. And that was never a problem back in the day. OK those ain't completely new topics, but its like rappin about those things these days gets you marked as novelty rap. Biz rhymed about a lot of this same shit back in the day, but it was still accepted as legit hiphop. 2007? He could never do a song like "The Dragon". Little Shawn & Father MC rapped about the ladies with some R&B beats. De La Soul were labeled as hippies. But all those dudes would beat yo fuckin ass if you got out of line! They were soft by no means, they just wanted to do the music they enjoyed, cause rap is supposed to be a way to have fun and get away from the everyday stress, while not limiting yourself. The thing that made rap so dope in the "golden era" was the balance of styles. You had clown princes like Biz, Humpty Hump, Kwame and ODB later on. You had political brothers like X-Clan, PE, Lakim Shabazz, Poor Righteous Teachers, Kam, etc. You had the explicit shit on Rap-A-Lot and the whole 2 Live movement in Miami. Hip-house like Twin Hype, new jack shit like Wrecks-N-Effect, the whole Native Tongues thing, the hard South Central LA shit, the Oakland funk…and they all co-existed, were all dope and they all had fun regardless of their style. King Sun made "On The Club Tip" and then did "Universal Flag". Lakim Shabazz, Twin Hype and Wrecks-N-Effect had raw battle rap, Geto Boys and Ganksta Nip were hilarious, PE had the yin and yang of Chuck and Flav and ODB was a ferocious battle MC. Even the more serious political rap…everybody seemed to be enjoying making music. Gangsta rappers had a fuckin sense of humor back then. Mob Style might have been the hardest group I've ever heard and they lived it. But them dudes also showed other sides and sounded like they enjoyed music, because it was an escape from everyday bullshit. Tim Dog, was hilarious and hard at the same time. Even if it was a joke to some, the shit was good listening. Suga Free is an ice cold pimp for real, but he has a sense of humor and approaches his music doin what he feels. Who says rappin about a girl with no teeth or going to the store with coupons ain't "real"? Everything is "real", people forget that. Everybody is so concerned with being feared and taken seriously, they can't come off those insecurities and do some guilty pleasure shit. Even the producers. If you can't show your other sides and bug out in your music, where can you do it? Stop being scared and break some fuckin rules. Put some 300 pound girls in your video for once! Laugh at yourself dog, you ain't no killer 24/7. You ain't battling MC's and being a lyrical lyricist mixtape murder 24/7. Havin fun is almost hip-hop faux pas these days. All styles of rap gotta be in the forefront and rap is dead without balance...period.

2. LAW & ORDER: MPC

"Boop Boop, it's the sound of the police!" Yup, the legal police. Hip-hop is based in illegality, but not maliciously. Ironically, many people got into it to stay out of legal troubles (a life of crime), but technically this positive move is also seen as a life of crime by the powers that be. Mix tapes, remixes, sampling, parodies (somewhat)…the appeal of hip-hop was always rearranging the old to create the new. It's the lifeline of the music. One man's treasure is apparently another man's trash. In the wake of DJ Drama getting busted by the Feds for selling mix tapes that the labels and artists themselves approve and benefit from, it has never been more evident that the RIAA and their legal vendetta have just pulled the IV. We all knew that the late 80's way of taking 8 bar James Brown loops and not clearing was bound to catch up to us. I can live with that. You have a platinum album and loop somebody's whole shit, break em off some money and publishing, its only right. But then the lawyers and courts got tyrannical. Now 1/8 of a second sample can run you the risk of legal action. Ouch. I remember having a beat placed on a TV show and the music supervisor panicked after the fact because he swore the snare I used sounded like it was sampled. Wow. I understand melodies, but somebody can own a snare sound now? This is pretty lousy, but to this point it only affected some of the major label stuff and big corporate gigs. No more. Most CD pressing plants wont press CD's that they even suspect have samples, even if the artist signs the indemnification forms. Myspace is now shutting down pages that post remixes. WHAT!? I find that completely ass backwards. I know a few dudes that were warned, and others shut down without notice for posting remixes of major label songs with COMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE ACAPELLAS!. WELL WHAT THE FUCK IS AN ACAPELLA AVAILABLE ON A RECORD FOR?! TO BE REMIXED! DING DING…MESSAGE! Now to take that remix and release it on a major label and make 50 grand is one thing. But to have fun with remixes and post them on a myspace page, where ZERO DOLLARS can be made directly off of it, is completely harmless promotion for all parties involved. Not anymore. Back in the day to be on a Kid Capri, Double R, S&S, Doo Wop, Silver Surfer, etc. mixtape was the best thing to happen to an artist and their label. An unknown producer leaking a dope remix to a popular artists record was a way to get buzz and a way for the industry to find new talent. Taking pieces of old music and creating something new (like the Bomb Squad) wasn't looked upon with the seriousness of a gunpoint mugging. But in a day where album sales are down, no artists or labels are seeing any money, CD's have foolishly been raised in price, interpolating one line of "Jingle Bells" in your song can get you sued and you can't post a remix for promotional and listening purposes only…you can see the music and legal industries have officially declared war on rap as a knee jerk reaction to their own failures. And as idiotic and unjust as things have become, they have the loopholes of law on their side.

1. THE INTERNET

Oh boy. Talk about a double edged sword. Never has it been so easy to get your music heard. If I make a dope beat, I can put it on my myspace page and it's up in an hour (depending on the servers, it may be "processing" for about 3 years). No more spending money and wasting time for records and test presses. Now people in Arkansas that only have MTV and the internet can hear my music. Limited distribution isn't as big a problem as before. Everybody is almost equal, shit we all have myspace pages. But look at the flipside. Everybody is almost equal, shit we all have myspace pages. There is so much shit out and the internet lurks with a million people doing the same thing, its virtually impossible to stand out. Back in the day, you had to work your way up in the business. Havin a record was in most cases a privilege and a reward for your hard work. Catalog meant something. We're in an MP3 world now, and somebody in their bedroom is on an equal plane with somebody that's paid dues and worked hard. That's great for the kid with talent and no vehicle to get heard. That sucks for the no talent hacks on myspace that post advertisements for their wack music on your comments page. The internet also killed rap's number one asset. Anticipation. How many can remember buying a mixtape and hearing 3 dope joints from an upcoming album on a mixtape? You couldn't wait to cop the album. And you didn't hear the album 3 months in advance cause there was no way to spread it that fast. And in rare cases where the album leaked, you had to get a tape dub and even when you did, you still bought it. I remember hearing "Lots Of Lovin", "Straighten It Out", "TROY" and "Ghettos Of The Mind" from Mecca & The Soul Brother 2 months before it came out. But I couldn't find any other songs. That drove the anticipation up and got everybody talking. We were all eager to support. In 2007, the album would leak months in advance, you burn it and that's it. I'm not complaining cause that won't change things, but that was a large part of what appealed to me and many others about music, especially rap. No more. No artwork & physical cd to read the credits and shoutouts (remember those!?), no anticipation, it's old news by street date, the shit don't sell and here we are. Tower's closing, the legendary Beat Street is closed, Music Factory is a wrap…people don't realize that rap as we know it is done. Labels are fuckin suing common civilians for file sharing! A physical copy no longer matters unless you're a collector. Back in the day, you would never see internet beef. It's just stupid junior high shit. People leaving threats and talkin shit via myspace, people getting hurt over e-beef at shows, kids on message boards flexin muscle and actin hard. Great! Now that we have a bunch of killers on wax, we got a bunch of em posting in forums. Cute. You can sit in a bedroom in Mexico and talk about knockin out somebody in Finland and it will never come back to you. Hip hop bravado and the anonymity of the web…it don't get more junior high. The internet was the blessing and the curse of rap music. I may catch heat for this, but I think the best thing is to blow up the industry and start over. There is still great music and I will enjoy making this music til I pass on, even if only as a hobby. I will still be diggin for records, makin beats, playing instruments and watching old movies for inspiration. But sometimes things need to fall apart to give birth to greater things. The fall of rap in it's current state may give birth to something bigger and better. It's what I'm banking on, cause realistically, how much longer can it go down this road? I'm not saying go back in time. Classic rap artists may have been influenced by Cold Crush and Melle Mel, but they took that influence and added something different on to it to create something new. "We need to bring it back to 88!". NO WE DON'T! Ultramagnetic didn't say 'we gonna bring it back to '74' They just did them, and until that principle can be followed again, I say fuck fixing an abandoned building. Hit it with a wrecking ball and rebuild!

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That reminds me of a couple of laughable diss tracks I've heard recently. Timbaland has a track called 'Pianoman' that disses Scott Storch, with the MC (I forget who) taking great amounts of urine out of the fact that Storch is producing the new Hammer shit. I even think the track plays out with the Hammer track :)

It was a response to this HILARIOUS piece of shite: http://videos.onsmash.com/v/JQHdWiBpGhcsjrAi

Scott Storch is an even worse MC than he is a producer. I am dumb-founded that he was a founding member of The Roots.

Edit: Timbo's response: http://spinemagazine.com/music/march/timbaland/pianoman.mp3

I personally like Timbaland's sound, but it's obvious he shat that beat out on a coffee break or something.

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That reminds me of a couple of laughable diss tracks I've heard recently. Timbaland has a track called 'Pianoman' that disses Scott Storch, with the MC (I forget who) taking great amounts of urine out of the fact that Storch is producing the new Hammer shit. I even think the track plays out with the Hammer track :P

It was a response to this HILARIOUS piece of shite: http://videos.onsmash.com/v/JQHdWiBpGhcsjrAi

Scott Storch is an even worse MC than he is a producer. I am dumb-founded that he was a founding member of The Roots.

Edit: Timbo's response: http://spinemagazine.com/music/march/timbaland/pianoman.mp3

I personally like Timbaland's sound, but it's obvious he shat that beat out on a coffee break or something.

It's like a fight between Julian Clary and Graham Norton calling each other fags. That Scott Storch video is just ...... well I don't have the words.

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Yo. Every month i'm gonna act like one day we're all gonna make a rllmuk track together and it'll be super good. Here's this months lyrics from me:

when i fast reply to your shit my verbs never choke

I integrate pictures and spoilers in one post

words stabbing holes in dyslexic geeks throats

you can't take your SNES with you when y'all ghouls and ghosts,

your previous post history and ebay feedback has been filed

enough ammo to destroy your post count with this shit i compiled

dont diss me on the internet if you wanna be a survivor like destinys child

i'm a rllmuk regular so my post game is tight,

like benitez evaluating after a liverpool european night

PEACE!

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Just listening to Ready To Die now.

Its such a good album, shame the stuff he did after was mostly shite apart from the Premo produced tracks on Life After Death.

The What is my fav Biggie song him and Method Man go so well together they should have done more.

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