Archive for the ‘Jay-z’ Category

Jay-Z – "DOA" on Autotune

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

So Jay-z has his new song out “DOA” about the Death of Autotune. Last Friday Hot 97 premiered the song on Funkmaster Flex’s show making it out to be a big deal that they had a new Jay-z song first repeatedly playing the song over and over. Then song itself is okay. The beat contains a sample from Janko Nilovic with a guitar lick that Jay-z doesn”t even that great rhyming over.

Essentially,Brandon Soderberg is right that the song is essentially a concept rap song in which the rapper tries to prove they are real hip-hop by taking on whatever goofy trend is currently popular. I do disagree with Brandon Soderberg’s defense of autotune. Autotune does make club/dance style music but it certainly should not be called hip-hop or rap.

It is confusing to understand Jay’s attack on autotune when he has defended T-Pain, Kanye West and Lil’ Wayne. Ron Brownz seems to be the only person Jay-z is addressing.

When Jay-z speaks, hip-hop listens. Jay-z criticism of Autotune will probably have some effect at the margins in terms of pushing up and coming rappers and producers to turning to voice effects.

Hip-Hop post-Obama

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

The New York Press has on hip-hop’s relationship with Barack Obama. The main point of the article is that hip-hop is also excited about Barack Obama being President because he is black, cool, and he gets hip-hop unlike all previous presidents.

The question is where does hip-hop go from here? Part of the appeal and power of hip-hop is that hip-hop has continued to serve as a voice of opposition of the status quo. A key element of rap music even in the works of commercial interests like Jay-Z has been to question the political leaders.

Based on the twittering of ?eustlove of The Roots, I am afraid most of hip-hop will automatically approve of Barack Obama’s actions. Thank goodness Dead Prez will still hold his feet to the fire.

More Random Music

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

More random music:

I saw this great remix to the Jay-Z song Roc Boys by K Def. The horns are replaced with a smooth guitar lick. Instead of being a party song the song switches to a laid back song emphasizing the lyrics with occasional blasts of sirens for a sense of urgency.

Link via

Here is the new single “Touch & Go” from Joe Budden. Joe Budden will release his new album Padded Room on October 28. Fun Joe budden song with an electronica sound.

Here is a new song from Q-Tip called “Gettin’ Up Clean.” How we all miss A Tribe Called Quest. Hopefully Q-Tip will get a release for the album he has been working on.
Link via Hip Hop Flavas

Here is a new video by Detroit female emcee Invincible for her song titled “Sledgehammer”. Invincible covers topics such as gentrification and urban decay briefly in this song.

This song by Invincible is off of her new album Shapeshifters which will be released on September 9th.

There is a new Jay-z song called “Jocking Jay-Z” produced by Kanye West that is floating around the internet. More Jay-z talk about how rich he is and famous he is; Jay-Z’s act of exclaiming how famous he is getting a little boring but his rap flow is still great and the Kanye Beat is amazing with the simple guitar distortion and straight forward hard rap drum beat.

Will People Who Aren’t Hip-Hop Stop Staying Bling?

Saturday, June 14th, 2008

Mary Battiata has a piece at Slate talking about how Obama could bring an end to “bling.”

The piece is written in a way that is probably well intentioned. She seems to think that if Obama is elected President, suddenly the poor black people in American cities will have no problems after they are able to cleanse themselves of excessive materialism.

Her article is full of out of date phrases and stereotypes. Bling is an expression that was popular in the 90′s, this is a new time. Battiata references heavy gold medallions have not been popular since the late 80′s unless she is really complaining about the whole subculture of hipster rap that bases itself off of clichés of the 80′s.

Mary Battiata and other liberals have to realize that Barack Obama is not the second coming of Jesus. Obama is just another politician and people should not expect him to change the culture of the world.

Brent Bozell Is Not Hip-Hop

Monday, April 28th, 2008

Brent Bozell uses Obama’s recent reference to Jay-z as an excuse to attack Obama and hip-hop. Obama has been critical of the lyrical content of rap music in the past, even being accused by the website HipHopDx of hating hip-hop.

But Obama’s criticisms of hip-hop are not enough for Brent Bozell who would probably only be happy with politicians referencing hip-hop as code for insulting black people like Bill Clinton did in his 1992 campaign for President when he brought up Sista Souljah.

Bozell cites a Parents Television Council study that points out some problems with the hip-hop videos being aired on TV by Viacom:

Obama should take a look at a new report from the Parents Television Council about three popular rap-music programs that air in the afternoon or early evening — “Sucker Free” on MTV and “Rap City” and “106 & Park” on Black Entertainment Television for two weeks in December and a week in March.

In 41 and a half hours studied, analysts found 282 uses of the N-word. Is that “a little too frequently,” too?

A little too much degrading of women? In those same hours, there were 143 uses of the B-word to describe women.

A little too much focus on material things? Here, Obama is gliding by the question of what material things are acquired. The rap shows included 205 depictions or discussions of drug sale or use and other illegal activity during the study period, for an average of 7.5 instances per hour, or roughly one instance every eight minutes.

Obama did not discuss the heavily sexualized world of rap in his answer. Sexually explicit scenes or lyrical references on these shows appeared 27 times an hour in December and 40 times an hour in March. No one could miss that drumbeat.

In just one week of programming — 14 hours in March — PTC analysts found 1,342 instances of offensive/adult content, or 95.8 instances per hour, or one instance of adult content every 38 seconds.

There certainly are problems with hip-hop and the programs Bozell mentions but it is not fair to say that 106 & Park represent all of hip-hop. Obama has mentioned that he has discussed the problems he have with the lyrics in hip-hop with Nas and Jay-z who are certainly high profile rappers. What more could Brent Bozell want?

Did Obama Make a Jay-Z Reference?

Friday, April 18th, 2008

Obama may be the big government candidate for President, but is hard not to like the guy.

In Wednesday’s debate about trivial issues, Obama did not perform at his best. Obama’s not worried. At his speech the following day, Obama makes what I think is a clear reference to Jay-z by brushing the dirt off his shoulders.

Would Jim Jones Have A Career Without Jay-z?

Friday, February 23rd, 2007

Jim Jones is a small time rapper who it is surprising that he has risen above weed carrier status. This summer Jim Jones had a successful hit with his song “We Fly High.” “We Fly High” which features Jim Jones shouting Ballin’ for a hook was a certified success. Jay-z pushed things to the next level though when he released “Brooklyn High” which was a diss version of the song. As Jim Jones recently told Funkmaster Flex, Jim Jones was glad that Jay-z covered the beat and was able to add Jay’s verse for a remix that would provide additional radio play.

It is not clear what made Jay-z jump down to Jim Jones level to engage in rap beef. Cam’ron previously had tried started a rap beef with Jay-z. Cam’ron criticized Jay-z for any number of things, including wearing sandals this really seemed to bother Cam’ron, without getting as much as a response from Jay-z. Jim Jones, in his role as Cam’ron’s weed carrier, had released several diss tracks on several mix tapes. Then Jim Jones released “We Fly High” and Jay-z responded. It is not clear exactly why Jay-z stepped into the fray. The very fact of Jay-Z’s response raised Jim Jones status in many minds.

Without all this would Jim Jones be a rapper bloggers might be discussing? I doubt it.

The Video for the Remix to “We Fly High”

A Live Performance of Jay-Z’s “Brooklyn High”