Tag Archives: hip-hop

Peace to Apache


Apache – Gangsta Bitch
Hit the Twitter this morning (follow us if you aren’t already) and found out the news. Again, as this author said on the Teddy Pendergrass entry, younger deaths hurt the heart like no other, but if hearing such news brought back good memories, then a man’s time walking among us wasn’t a waste.

Bump the cut and you’ll understand why that sound will live forever, regardless of pop rap whims. That was a downright electric time in Hip-Hop, sparking trends that some of the current faves keep alive to this day for a reason.

You can’t make this stuff up #7

So after this author gets thru watching NCIS: Los Angeles (don’t sleep, excellent show, I never miss an episode), I click over to the news, and oh so many stories in, they talk about these cats in New Bedford, MA, who get arrested for making a “f*ck law enforcement” type song. At first, you’d be like, what is this, ’92? But before you grow a tie-top hat and Zubaz, the thing was, they were naming names, not just any names, but those of specific police officers, their actual probation officers, so on and so forth. No DA worth his salt is gonna sit back and let that go down without f*ckin’ with somebody.

And as 2520 as these dudes come, they aren’t exactly the Icy Hot Stuntaz. They look like they get down for real. Who knew there was a 2520 hood out there that was that style of grimy? And though the song doesn’t sound mixed very well and these cats drop F-bombs like they’re going out of style, dare I say it’s overall actually pretty dope! Old girl from “It’s So Cold In The D” should take notes. They got a future with street cred attached once their violation lid is up.

UPDATE: As stated when this author first reported for you to decide, the actual vid is lawn gawn, so this is the closest you’ll get to hearing the sound (until maybe those cats or one of their boys cut an edited version…dare I say they should be heard from again with something, LOL. Somebody will sign they *ss even in these days and times):

Click here for the full story.

“It’s So Cold In The D”

Detroit, stand up…no, SIT DOWN!

This author knows he’s a year late to this, but I had to expose it to more people, for the sheer comedy of it.

Made by some chick named T-Baby (how very original of her)…and she proves herself to be completely tone deaf. I hope she rides her baby daddy better than she rides beats (then again, maybe not, she’ll probably crank out a Down Syndrome kid like Precious). Plus how the f*ck was she s’posed to keep the beat (pun intended, watch the vid, thank me later) if whoever’s on the boards recording her ain’t telling her anything? Sitting there just takin’ her money (yeah, studio time is expensive, but f*ck and that, you should have concern for your reputation). And she’s clearly not doing this as a joke, but taking herself very seriously…though I don’t think her entourage behind her got the memo (guess her hardrock cousins weren’t available that day).

Way to demonstrate why they should have never given ghetto people technology…or electricity to power it.

Straight disgrace to Detroit rap. Not to condone violence against women, but House Shoes should stomp her out in house shoes. Trick Trick need to slap that trick trick. Guilty Simpson should earn his name and slash her with a butterknife or something. Fight dull with dull.

They probably roadblocked the bridge and the tunnel to Windsor the day this cut dropped in order to slow down the next Great Migration. Detroit’s had enough of a brain drain already.

Message be damned, not many people are meant to rap. I mean really, she’s what’s left over after the rest of the Detroit Hip-Hop scene moves to L.A.? She makes Soulja Boy and Gucci Mane look like Rakim and Kane. It couldn’t have been THAT cold in the D when she cranked this out, right? Certainly wasn’t the day of the video shoot, what with her in orange hair to match her printed hoodie. I hope she got her money back from the people behind the camera, then gave them 1 star on Yelp or whatever.

And she got her goddamn nerve offering this as a ringtone! Isn’t having song ringtones played out now?

There’s literally 139 response videos to this on YouTube. But f*ck all that, comment here when you’re done.

Special thanks to Maximillian over on Very Smart Brothas for putting me on to this.

#41: Taking rap(s) too seriously

Studio gangstas exist because rap’s biggest problem since the rise of the thugs and “roughnecks” has been the idiot fans (and some rappers’ colleagues) who feel that keeping it real actually means that rappers must live exactly what they say in rhymes (that subject matter usually being some hardcore dirt or illegal way they got extreme stacks before they first hit the mic). To these people (usually ghetto), there’s no such thing as a persona or a character, no such thing as creative license.

Somehow this “keep it real” contingent never got the memo that a rap song isn’t an interview with a given rapper.

Some, to be sure, actually do rap about their real current lives or true experiences. Or even base fictional raps on something that really happened, ripped from national headlines or their personal ones.

But one should be able to paint whatever type of picture they like without some weirdo attaching these works to how the performer actually lives. Many rappers are their own worst enemy, as these lyrical Brunos never step out of character, and perpetuate the idea that this should be the normative of Hip-Hop. Even wrestlers change it up when they get out of the polyester daduntaduns.

Overemphasizing that other idea of “realness” is what has poisoned the rap climate for so long. It’s partly how Tupac and Biggie got killed, it’s partly why so much corny E-thuggery is posted to rap sites like allhiphop.com or DubCNN, it’s partly why so many MCs (like Max B and Shyne) go catch cases and end their own careers.

It’s really disrespectful to the beauty of what Hip-Hop has been and still could be. You don’t see this f*ckery go on in rock or jazz, not even with these all-too-closely-associated R&B artists.

And it’s paradoxically hilarious that these homophobic alpha males are analyzing every square inch of the life of another man as if they’re getting paid for it. Message to that man in question who rolls like this: If another dude was on your tip like that, living vicariously through you, you’d call him all kinds of queers, right? Of course you would, the world already knows how people like you are. You don’t think you look some kinda way all in a rapper’s personal business (or that of some sports figure, for that matter)? *cue the plea copping that it’s supposedly different*

And leave it to this idiocy that you got rappers not admitting to or proud to have perfectly legit jobs or degrees in the name of higher street cred. For the sake of feeling right listening to a record, one would rather that someone getting smoked or turned out on crack actually happened, and at that rapper’s hand! As if that makes the beat sound better in the speakers or some sh*t…

#38: Michael Jackson

RightOnMJRegardless of overall ghetto ideology, understand this: Ghetto people, hood folks, whatever you want to call them, fox with Michael Jackson, always had, always will.

The thugs, the smokers, workaday people, hoochie mamas, uber snobs, churchy folks, foreigners who own the shops, every single generation alive right now and they kids, any living condition you could possibly think of, fox with MJ.

The hood was on those Beat It and Thriller jackets real tough along with the sequin gloves and weren’t afraid to admit it. So many artists the hood appreciates got some of their early and/or current steez from Michael. Dr. Dre in his World Class Wreckin’ Cru days. Ginuwine. Usher. Ne-Yo and Chris Brown. Cats that were singin’, rappin’, producing, startin’ record labels all likely dreamed of being involved in a Michael Jackson cut. Because the world watched him like Monday Night Football, or more to the point, the World Cup. He may not have been in the hood long beyond blowing up out of Gary, Indiana as a child, but he was the son of every hood, and many in the hood ate due to his existence.

Trust, you saw bootleg t-shirts of the month when his albums and concert tours were churnin’? You gon’ see ’em this weekend with EXTRA strength!!

Surely many wondered as this author did (including before even the news broke) how large the story of the death of a guy like Michael Jackson would be. An icon probably matched only by Michael Jordan, maybe Madonna…but we’re not gonna go there today.

Could this be the day pop music died, as said on the news? As with the foundation he laid mentioned above, probably not. The show went on when Pac and Biggie returned, the show went on when Elvis died, the show went on when so many others died (or fell off), so the machine will keep churnin’. But again, with the foundation he laid mentioned above, the legacy and doors opened are arguably unmatched.

The term King Of Pop wasn’t just a marketing tagline. It was already understood before it was even coined to promote the Dangerous album, back in ’91. When Jam first came out, this author could have swore that was Chubb Rock on the mic, until I was informed it was Heavy D…but I digress. Back on that generation thing, it was one thing that the Jackson 5 were them boys in the 60s right next to Elvis and the Beatles. It was another that they fit right in in the 70s with all those disco and funk acts. But in those damn 80s though. Certain elements of pop culture were just…larger than life in the frickin’ 80s. Knight Rider & A-Team. Dallas & Dynasty. Lakers & Celtics. Transformers & G.I.Joe. Hulk Hogan. Mike Tyson. Michael Jackson. Elements of culture that rocked those who grew up in the 80s and beyond. Game changers.

MTV got on board because his videos were EVENTS, like the Super Bowl or the Olympics. Punk *ss MTV were the folks who wouldn’t play a single record that wasn’t by a white rock artist. Ray Parker Jr.’s “The Other Woman” was turned down because he had a white woman on his arm and MTV didn’t want to upset the likely racist viewership they were courting in such places as the Bible Belt. MJ’s music had the clout to apply the undeniable pressure necessary for MTV to cut the crap and play not only his material, but Lionel Richie! Jacko arguably made Yo! MTV Raps, Fade To Black, MTV Jams and Black Real World cast members possible.

Oh yeah, that wonderful nickname. Jacko. Short for Wacko Jacko, as the Brits would call him. Yeah, the hood knew that something was off with him. And we ain’t talkin’ the initial nose job: no one really tripped when that happened. Pallin’ around with Emmanuel Lewis, no big deal (back then anyway). Could even look past having a pet chimp. But when all the other stuff rolled in regarding kids that looked noways Black and Jesus Juice and some of the other…eccentricities made headlines every frickin’ week for some 25 odd years, the ghetto didn’t clap to it…

But oh, bet your bottom dollar that albums like Bad, Dangerous, even History and Invincible, were for them trucks. Many a Suburban piloted by the Billy-est of Bad*sses had some Michael subbin’ right in the mix with one of those Lil Young Boy rappers. And you better believe the parties and barbecues with the fam went hard when “Wanna Be Startin’ Something” was thrown on the same way they would to the latest freaky dance cut.

NBA commissioner David Stern said recently, and I paraphrase, that there are two things that unite a people. The house of worship (church, synagogue, the rally, masjid, what have you), and the house of sports worship (you know schools, cities, and countries get up with great pride for its team winning a title). Michael Jackson was, and is to this day, yet a third.

By the way, what a busy news day: death of Michael, death of Farrah Fawcett, the Iran craziness, NBA draft…this author remembers two others like this. Sammy Davis Jr. and Jim Henson passing on the same day in 1990, and Johnny Cash and John Ritter returning the same day in 2003. And that thing about deaths of famous people going in threes is some wild space sh*t…but again, we’re not gonna explore that one.

Peace to Dolla

You know what, say what you will about rappers of today and their subject matter and lifestyles and all that, but Dolla didn’t have to die in L.A.’s Beverly Center yesterday (way too young at frickin’ 20 at that). Surely just flew in to see the town and promote himself, only to end up unable to return home. Condolences to his loved ones. Even if this author never heard of him before yesterday.

#25: Selling you their rap CD

damn-cd-vendors
On avenues from Melrose to Myrtle, you’ve likely participated in the following exchange:

“Do you like Hip-Hop?”
“For you? No.”

Sad and mean, but after so much of the the exact same approach from these rappers wanting you to take a flier on them all at random, you develop a heart that pumps used motor oil.

Trust, Stuff Ghetto People Like does not believe in knocking hustles, just pointing out what goes down when it comes to some hustles, and how wild the game really is. Ghetto people try the hard sell on you con frecuencia, taking the darndest folks by surprise. It can sound like they’re practicing on you for the day they’re actually serious about getting a sale or two.

Oftentimes the spiel is fired at probably the most inappropriate moment of all: on company time. Surely you thought it was weird to be hit up about buying a rap album by a security guard, or the guy changing your oil at Jiffy Lube, or a bank teller (e-mail that I’m lyin’!), or dude that is taking your order at McDonalds. Get a $5 drink coaster with your Big Mac Value Pack!

It’s not totally a bad thing. Some of the best acts in the Hip-Hop era got their careers off the ground by flipping their music on the streets (see Too Short, Showbiz & AG, Nas, countless cats down South). The thing is way too many guys do it these days, from the Woods of Ingle to the Woods of Holly, and they’re annoying anymore. Cats don’t even stand out, looking exactly like the dude next to ’em selling incense. (They probably came together! Take blunt breaks with one another and the whole deal.)

It’s as if no one tries to get signed, they’re selling the demo right to the consumer, unmixed, unmastered. And often it isn’t even packaged in an appealing way that would fit in next to the Gang Starr and Lil Wayne on your rack. Quite likely it’s a sweaty envelope with folded corners from sitting in the pocket of homeboy’s North Face for days.

Listen up, MCs, if you got a product you reeeeally believe in, if you’re a real artist, and you aren’t just someone hitting a lick like so many other rap hucksters (many of whom actually get radio spins on Power/Hot/The Beat in your town right now), get your marketing bars up, find better and more respectful ways to demonstrate that the product is dope. Take it to college radio. Book some shows opening for someone established. Do your cuts at open mics with your albums handy. Put some in the hands of a few bar and club DJs. Hell, sell it on Myspace. Failing all that, at least have it bumping out the car trunk or in a boom box. Anything but trying to push it on someone unheard, because you may as well be panhandling. Those who know this author know I’m not a big fan of panhandlers. And don’t you dare pass me those sweaty, lice- and ear wax- ridden headphones, because I’m likely to slap them to the ground.

Yep, even in front of my evening date.