Archive for the ‘Rap’ Category

Hip-Hop Links June 11, 2009

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

Unkut has a list of the most graphic STD rap songs.

Dallas Penn now is starting to Podcast on his blog.

Here is a new song form DC rapper Soulstice featuring Kev Brown called “Bird’s Eye View.” Worth a listen.

The Meaning Of Dope posted this link to an old MTV News story about Ice Cube’s The Predator album. I’m starting to think I am the only one left in the world still buying CDs.

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.

DJ Emskee is a rapper

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

I have been listening to the Underground Railroad on WBAI on and off for probably over 10 years. Little did I know that DJ Emskee also has a side career as a rapper.

DJ Emskee along with producer and rapper Saint rap together as the group The Good People. The Good People have been rapping together for 4 years and have released 2 full length albums, An EP and 5 singles. Now The Good People are preparing to release their first U.S. album on May 19th with the release of Home Coming from Domination Recordings.

Here is a link to the song “Gotta Thing For You” By The Good People.

Money Does Not Equal Culture

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

Time Magazine has a quick interview with Busta Rhymes on their site. In the interview Busta Rhymes is asked about the criticism in his popular single “Arab Money”. Quote:

There’s a song on the album called “Arab Money” that incorporates verses from the Koran as well as statements about women and partying. Some people are really offended by the song and its video. I know you’ve stated publicly that the song isn’t meant to demean anyone. What were you trying to say there?

Busta: I think the handful of people who disagreed with this song really misunderstood what the record was about. What I’m talking about is getting money. I was really trying to point out that Arabs have one of the richest cultures in the world, not just from a monetary standpoint but also a spiritual standpoint. In the United States and North America, we’re not really identified with a particular faith. We don’t really have a culture that anyone can identify with because America is a mixture taken from everyone else’s [roots]. My thinking is that if we’re going to take from a culture, let’s take from a culture that has exemplified success for thousands of years.

Hearing Busta’s response is interesting and sounds like the way Michael Eric Dyson would explain away objectionable lyrics from a rapper. It is commendable to point out that the Arab people have an old culture which should be appreciated for spiritual and other reasons.

But this is not what Busta Rhymes mentions about Arabs in the song “Arab Money.” Sure there are references to a couple of Arab things but mostly Busta is just talking about oil money and material possessions. Busta should learn that money of itself is not culture.

However I admit I have enjoyed listening to the song when it is being played somewhere.

New Music Stuff May 1, 2009

Friday, May 1st, 2009

Here is a video for Kanye West’s “Amazing.”

Amazing from kwest on Vimeo. I like the visuals in this song but I kind of missed the earlier Kanye West when he used to rap. This is good background music though.
Buy “Amazing” as a digital song from Amazon here.
Link via Notes From A Different Kitchen

The Meaning of Dope has a great clip from The Pharcyde performing “Passing Me By” on In Living Color. Great song but in this clip as in many hip-hop performances on In Living Color the show would usuallly end before the song would finish.

Buy the CD of Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde at Buy “Passing Me By” as an .mp3 at

Robbie at Unkut has up an interesting interview with Dante Ross, the famed A&R behind De La Soul, Digital Underground and many other acts. Here is Part 2 of the interview with Dante Ross where he talks about working at Elektra turning Busta Rhymes into a solo artist and other things.

Murs has a new video for “The Science” off of his album Murs for President

Murs – The Science from on Vimeo.

Link via 2 Dope Boyz Murs raps about racism, hip-hop and problems in the criminal justice system among other things.

Here is a new video for “Be By Myself” featuring Cee-Lo off of Asher Roth’s new album Asleep In The Bread Aisle. It’s a so so song but Asher Roth is enjoyable:
Buy the .mp3 of “Be By Myself” here.

New Music Stuff April 23, 2009

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

Young Buck has a song with Glasses Malone called “My Zone” that has a gread sound. The song is produced by K-Salaam & Beatnick for their upcoming “Where The Streets Have No Name” compilation album (Powered by imeem and illroots)

Another free song from the “Where The Streets Have No Name” album is “In Jamaica” featuring K’Naan and Buckshot.

“Everybody with Me” from Ludacris featuring Shawna may the be first song off of the album The Battle of The Sexes that the two rap artists are doing together.

Luda and Shawnna Talk Battle of the Sexes from DTP TV on Vimeo. Vimeo Link via 2 Dope Boyz

KRS-ONE and Buckshot have been working on an album titled Survival Skills set to be released in record stores August 25th and will be released on iTunes May 5th. The lead track “Robot” has been released which features KRS-ONE and Buckshot speaking on T-Pain and other things in hip-hop.

Here is a video of Marco Polo giving a tour of his Brooklyn production studio. It’s a rather sparse setup but it gets the job done:

Eminem is a wimp

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Eminem is a wimp. Eminem has based a large amount of career based on dissing popular cultures that are easy targets and Americans don’t particularly have any large degree of respect for. He did this on The Marshall Mathers LP with the song “The Real Slim Shady” insulting pop stars big at the time including Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera and host of other pop stars. Eminem followed this same formula with The Eminem Show’s lead single “Without Me.” Eminem’s new single continues this boring gimmicl an awful sounding pop songing in which Emimem takes on Brett Michaels, Jessica Simpson, Kim Kardashian, Lindsay Lohan, Ellen DeGeneres, Sarah Palin, Britney, Jennifer Aniston, Jessica Alba, and Amy Winehouse. The one liners against these pop stars are supposed to be funny but listening to the song and watching the video the first reaction is to yawn.

As atrocious as 50 Cent’s behavior has been in his latest feud with Rick Ross at least the feud is against another rapper.

After such a long hiatus from Eminem, it is disappointing to see him return with such boring material. Eminem should have stayed retired like he had talked about doing.

Asher Roth

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

I am intrigued by Asher Roth. I am not exactly sure I get Asher Roth and am still curious as to whether or not Asher Roth will ever become a mass event.

Based on just hearing “I Love College,” I thought Asher Roth was just a novelty artist. This is a fact that Asher Roth has acknowledged in interviews I have seen on the internet. Hearing “Lark My Cart” it is clear that Asher Roth is a talented rapper and more than just a novelty artist.

It remains to be seen whether or not Asher Roth will have any success and what the sales for his new album Asleep In the Bread Aisle will be.

CNN: Hip-Hop Givs a Voice to Cuba

Monday, April 6th, 2009

CNN has a piece on how hip-hop is giving a voice to Cuba. Hip-hop in Cuba has grown partly as a result of state subsidies through the creation of the Cuban Rap Agency, as well as a record label, “Asere Productions,” and a rap magazine called “Movimiento.”

State subsidies of rap in Cuba comes with limitations however.

Formed in 1996, rap duo “Doble Filo” (“Double Edged”) have been part of the Havana scene since the beginning and work with the Cuban Rap Agency. But rapper Irak Saenz admits there are contradictions in being part of the system.

“It does limit our creative freedom,” he told CNN. “The CRA has an agenda that goes with the government’s agenda. It doesn’t limit me but it does force me to be creative in how I express my ideas.”

Real hip-hop artists in Cuba will only retain their artistic freedom by escaping the CRA:

But “Los Aldeanos”, who formed in 2003, are part of a younger generation of Cuban rappers. They don’t belong the CRA, and nor do they want to. They are defiantly underground and outspoken.

“Hip hop is an art form speaks the truth about how people are living,” says Aldo Rodriguez, one half of Los Aldeanos.

Their track “Niñito Cubano” is about a young boy growing up during Cuba’s “special period”, when the fall of the Soviet Union brought hardship to the island.

Their forthright lyrics about life in Cuba don’t make them any friends among Cuba’s authorities, and that limits their opportunities on the island.

“Our lyrics don’t always go with the standard Cuban rhetoric and often that won’t get airplay,” says Rodriguez. “I can be famous in other countries, but here they won’t let me play a concert in a theater.”

With state subsidy of art, the state gains control of what types of art is produced and distributed. If Cuba is given the opportunity to move further towards a market community, freedom of expression will be allowed that groups like Los Aldeanos success can be determined by fans and not by the whims of the Cuban government. One think the United States could do to help move Cuba to a market economy would be to end the embargo on both trade and travel with Cuba.

New Music Stuff March 17, 2009

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

Joel Ortiz has a great cover of Pete Rock’s “T.R.O.Y.”
Link via The RapUp

Here are a couple videos of De La Soul at The Key Club in Los Angeles:

De La Soul – Oooh! (Live @ The Key Club) 3/12/09 from on Vimeo.

De La Soul – The Grind Date (Live @ The Key Club) 3/12/09 from on Vimeo.
Link via Ben de AYora

Normally I don’t care about T-Pain but Nardwuar has an interesting interview with T-Pain.
It is good to see Nardwuar bring up the fact that T-Pain is basically making a career off of rehashing Cher’s old act.
Link via

MC Lyte has a new song called “Brooklyn.” It has a nice Caribbean sound to it that I like.

I’m tempted to start DVRing The Jimmy Fallon Show just for the musical performances. Here is a video of The Roots and Public Enemy performing “Bring The Noise:”Bring The Noise is a very hard song for a live band to get right musically but the Roots do a pretty good job.