Thursday, July 31, 2008

Uncle Murdered: Random Rapper Disses Uncle Murda!

Not that I ever thought Uncle Murda was an actual murderer, but I still never expected any random up-and-coming rappers to aim some slick words in his direction.

But that's exactly what Brooklyn rapper Bekay does on a new freestyle called "Uncle Murdered" -- and then some.

Apparently Uncle Murda recently announced that he is going to change his stage name to "BK" -- presumably for marketing purposes (not sure how many records a fella named Uncle Murda can actually sell, although Mobb Deep's album "Murda Muzik" fared pretty well...).

I guess the name change was a little too close for comfort to Bekay's name, so he decided to take a few pot shots at Murda. Actually, way more than a few. Three verses' worth. All filled with deadly venom.

Over the Infamous Mobb's beat for "Mobb N*ggas," Bekay reminds Murda who had the name first: "That's my name they're saying when the streets do talk, from the junction on Nostrand to East New York".

But wait, there's more:

"Real gangsta sh*t here,
Yo, my uncle murdered.
15 years, did a bid,
Not a f*ckin word of
What he did.
So what you do is unheard of.
Absurd words from a f*ggot
Who should serve burgers."

continues with personal attacks, saying Murda looks like "a G-Dep reject" and questions Murda's moniker by saying "Your ass wouldn't murder a fly."

The punchline-laden freestyle include such zingers as:

"Only time he licks shots is when he drinks tequila..."

"The first rapper to get a deal with a quarter water budget..."

"Only time you see beef in BK is on a whopper up in Burger King..."
Bekay takes it a few steps further and claims that the gangster rapper actually lives in the posh and highly gentrified Brooklyn community of Park Slope, an area filled with young, white professionals -- a far cry from the rough and tumble projects of East New York that Murda claims, and hints that Murda is a snitch when he says "at least my peeps don't talk to police".

Then he pulls Murda's card for once and for all, questioning Murda's place in rap:

"You calling yourself BK
Is like hiphop without the MCs, graffiti, turntables and DJs.
It's like the devil without hell,
It's like the Neptunes dropping an LP without Pharrell."
He finishes the rhyme by calling Murda "a tall Kermit the Frog in a f*ckin' fitted cap".

The next question is where this silly beef goes now.

To me, Bekay sounds like any other white rapper -- which is not a bad thing, but he does not separate himself from the rest of the pack, which is obviously to his detriment.

But Murda ALWAYS acts like he has nothing to lose. Last time a rapper said something about him that rapper was beat up and robbed in the street with bullets flying everywhere. So I'm not really sure what -- aside from free publicity -- Bekay is trying to accomplish with this song.

But one thing is for sure -- Murda will not let this slide. But I have a feeling a rap rebuttal will be Murda's last resort. I think we know what his first one will be...

Regardless, Murda gets the last laugh because he is featured on rapper Fabolous's song "Brooklyn" alongside living legend Jay-Z, something I'm sure Bekay would trade anything for -- especially his name.

Here is a video of Bekay doing his thing:

Most Slept On: Skyzoo

Of all the independent, underground rappers in New York City, there are only a small child’s handful of those who possess true talent.

And to be sure, when I say talent I am at the very least referring to actual rapping ability, versatility, vocabulary, flow, subject matter, word play, and an ear for music — just to name a few.

So, knowing that the above should be universal qualifications for any rapper, I find myself wondering why Brooklyn’s Skyzoo doesn’t receive more acclaim for his efforts, which are very prolific.

Sadly many people know Sky from when he took a shameless loss to rapper Jin on BET’s 106 & Park six years ago.

But since then Sky has been on a serious non-stop grind that has produced countless mixtapes, a critically acclaimed EP with Grammy Award-winning producer 9th Wonder, and myriad collaborations with some of the game’s most respected rappers, as well as some unknown upstarts.

His hard work continues to this day as he steadily releases songs and freestyles to the masses en route to the release of his upcoming album, which has yet to be titled.

Sky is special in that he can simultaneously straddle the streets while still appealing to the more erudite Hiphop demographic, and he does so without compromising his respect for either.

His lyrics are not the most complex (and neither is his wordplay) but he still comes off as a highly accomplished emcee with above average rapping ability. Combine that with creating songs that the average listener can relate to (for example, he rhymes about the streets but doesn't glamorize guns or dope) and he is what mainstream rap is missing right now.

Only Talib, Mos and Black Thought can do that and come off as believable.

Here are a few of my favorite songs from Sky, as well as some of his videos:

A Day in the Life

Block Sh*t feat. Marco Polo

Click Feat. Torae (Prod. DJ Premier)

Get it Done Feat. Torae (Prod. DJ Premier)


Sick With the Slang

Stop Fooling Yourself

Skyzoo vs. Jin on 106 & Park

Skyzoo: The Necessary Evils

Skyzoo: Way to Go

Torae Feat. Skyzoo & Chaundon: 3 Kings (LIVE)

Skyzoo: Freestyle at POW! Radio

Monday, July 28, 2008

Nelly Agrees to Wear Puff's Underwear

OK, my disdain (I'm not a hater!) for Nelly is well documented on these pages.

But wowsers, he has just gone way too far for my likings right now.

I'll give him a pass for all his coonery.

I'll give him a pass for singing when he claims to be a rapper.

I'll give him a pass for making slow jams with R&B and Country music artists.

I'll even give him a pass for thinking he could disrespect the Blastmaster KRS-One.

But now, as we approach his complete irrelevance in the music industry, even after he was seen getting mushy with an ugly, dirty-looking, talentless Brit (no, not Amy) who is rumored to exchange sexual favors for music, he has pulled the most questionable move ever -- agreeing to model Sean Jean undergarments.

I know the greatest basketball player of all time models Hanes, and even David Beckham gets his model on with Calvin Klein, but those two are the very best that their respective sports have to offer. They get more than a pass because they are icons in their fields.

But I can't give Nelly a pass for this nonsense.

I mean Christ! Would you look at that picture? Imagine the print ads! It won't be long until the day we read about Nelly on Sunset Boulevard soliciting a hooker who is the proud owner of an Adam's apple.

Fueling the flames -- if you catch my drift -- is Puff's statement about the endorsement:

"To me, Nelly is the quintessential definition of the Sean John man."
Lest we forget how the American Heritage Dictionary defines the term "Nelly"...

The Officer Ross Jokes Can't Stop, Won't Stop

Studio gangsters who do nothing but tout fictional accounts of crime in their "reality rap" lyrics should all be losing sleep in the wake of Rick Ross (AKA Officer Ross) being exposed like a person undressed.

As if Ross's situation can't get any worse or any more embarrassing for the self proclaimed man who is owed "a hundred favors" by former drug kingpin Manuel Noriega, apparently The Smoking Gun has released more damaging information that further confirms Ross's employment by the Florida Department of Corrections.

While Ross continues to deny the so-called allegations, a certificate of Ross's perfect attendance as a corrections officer made its way to the Internet.

And if that's not bad enough, Hip Hop DX is reporting that Ross's fellow rapping Floridian Plies has also been found guilty of embellishing on his own criminal history.

Of course none of this is surprising to the educated Hiphop fan, who knows better than to believe most of what many rappers claim is true. Hell, Jay-Z lied about stabbing Un Rivera as a marketing technique to help sell records (which, by the way, worked to a tee).

Rappers should be very worried that they are next on the list of Hiphoppers who do nothing but front on wax, knowing that if what they rhymed about was true they would have been in jail a long time ago.

Rick Ross is guilty of associating with law enforcement, thus making him a snitch as dictated by the streets.

Ironically, the following rappers all rap about how many people they have robbed, killed or dealt drugs to -- or a combination of all three -- which means they have, in effect, snitched on themselves.

Gotta love Hiphop, the paragon of hypocrisy. The list of rappers who misrepresent themselves is far too lengthy so I will limit my examples of fraudulent-claiming rappers to the below usual suspects:

The Clipse -- Since their late 90s demo they have boasted of their cocaine dealing prowess, which they say continues to this day. They are now part of the Re-Up Gang, who's name is a reference to buying more drugs when their supply gets low so they can continue to deal drugs. Their last album included a song called "Keys Open Doors".

Young Jeezy -- Jeezy has made a very successful career of rapping about selling cocaine, including an oxymoronic t-shirt campaign that featured an angry-looking snowman (a reference to cocaine, of course) with the words "stop snitching" on the back. He also refers to himself as "Mr. 17.5," alluding to his low price of only $17,500 for a kilo of cocaine.

All of Dipset -- Hell, they even made a movie about how they sell drugs. Even Jim Jones, the most successful member of the Dips, is still making songs about selling crack even though he is a record label executive.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Hell Rell: Black Mask Black Gloves (The Ruga Edition)

Dipset enforcer Hell Rell is back with his official sophomore fell length album, Black Mask, Black Gloves, and everybody who is a fan of Rell's unique gangsta spin on rap, he does not disappoint.

We were first introduced to an incarcerated Ruga Rell on 20o3's Diplomatic Immunity double album, which was really a very good album. 

But even with his limited participation on the album, Rell stood out with his memorable a capella freestyles, which included gems such as:

N*gga, what cho money like?
I keep dough, ijo.
Spice the track up like adobo,
It's a free throw.
My hit man's Benito.
He don't speak no English lingo
And he fresh off the plane from Puerto Rico.
Find a n*gga and kill him
Is the only thing that he know.
He'll ring your doorbell
And pop you right through the peephole.
As far as this ki go?
It's gonna get stepped on,
Cooked up, broke down.
Probably get distributed in yo town.
The block's got me grindin',
My watch keeping me bright.
N*gga, why I'mma knock ya hustle
If mine's treating me right?
Like his customers, he had me hooked right there.

Of course, on this new album the subject matter never strays too far from his bread and butter -- guns, money and drugs, none of which can exist without the other in Rell's world -- but musically this is the most solid effort from a Dipset member since perhaps Cam'ron's Purple Haze album released nearly four years ago.

The album starts on a high note with "Intro (Black Gloves)," where he lets listeners know what he's about and what's he's been doing in his spare time:

Got a hundred guns, hundred goons,
Plus two enemies, too.
Killed one in May, one in June,
My new album is coming soon!
And while I'm no beauty scout, it is obvious to the naked eye that Hell Rell is not the most attractive human on the face of the earth. But like Deion Sanders it must be the money (though he cautions that while he is very wealthy, "I never wrote a check"...) when he raps that he's "got b*tches lookin' for me like a shoe sale."

And although he goes out of his way to prove the unity of his crew, The Diplomats, the noticeably limited Dispet participation on this album is very telling -- and worrisome for the Dips' future as a whole. Only J.R Writer and some guy named Sen appear on the album with Rell

But Rell holds his own (does he have any other choice?), and reaffirms his allegiance to the Diplomats for any doubters on "True Colors," one banger of a song calling out fake gangsters while at the same time touting his own wealthy but homicidal status:

Yeah, n*gga, it's the Dips,
So don't get us confused.
Or you gon' make me mad,
And you gon' make the news.
And I'm gon' make my flight,
Or triple on a cruise
To an island where these b*tches is nude and serving food.
Ignorant, but isn't that why we love Hell Rell in the first place?

The album's lone misstep is "Push 'Em Back," which, weirdly enough, sounds almost exactly like Lil' Mama's reprehensible hip-pop song "Lip Gloss," and at times on the song borrows Yung Joc's flow from his hit "It's Going Down".

But after that the album wraps up with two very solid efforts in "Rumors," where Rell refutes all the Dipset gossip, and on "Million Dollar Man," which may just be the best on the album, where he says on the hook, "If it wasn't rap, it was crack kingpin, thank God I'm on my job with this ink pen."

Check out this video of Rell promoting his album, which officially came out on Tuesday.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Be Rick Ross!

Taken from The Urban Daily:

Tired of spending your days babysitting sweaty criminals? Overheard one too many emasculating screams after lockdown? Ditch those polyester pants and nightstick now!

After the overwhelming success of "Be Kanye West," the culture vultures bring you the next breakthrough in their life-changing series: “Be Rick Ross.”

Being Rick Ross is the perfect way to shake those prison blues. Not only will these little pills give you the look and swagger of a boss, you will be given enough credibility to take the name of a real drug dealer and have no one question you. The best part? No more cavity searches!

Just dissolve two fast acting pills in your favorite energy drink (Pimp Juice works best) and drink immediately. For best results sit in front of the TV watching BET. Any show will do. Once you feel the beard cover those extra chins and that cherubic smile, apply the shades, the bigger the better. They will make it so you never have to look the people you’re fooling in the eye. They’ll never know!

Once you’ve got the world believing your story throw your weight around—literally. Pose for magazines topless with your belly protruding. Lay in bed half-naked with beautiful women. People will flock to you because confidence is sexy. Before you know it deaf rappers with ill nana will date you just to get people talking about them again. Jay-Z will envy your songs just enough to rap on them, but he’ll be too shook to be seen with you in the video. Freeway will make songs saying “those rappers with big beards ain’t me” and then ask to be on your album! That’s when you know you’re a boss!

*The first ten callers will get the Akon “I Really Went To Jail” pill absolutely free! Don’t just be the C.O., be the inmate you’ve always feared and exact your revenge.

So don’t waste another a minute because you have a whole other life to begin. Be your own boss, be Rick Ross!
I still can't believe that Ross is still denying that he once worked as a corrections officer when because he worked for the state it is public information that confirmed the allegations in the first place!

But I guess anyone dumb enough to think that the public would believe his claim of being a global cocaine kingpin is also dumb enough to think that his repeated denials hold any type of merit.

Jim Jones Sends His Goonie Goons for Max B!

At least once every month Hot 97 sponsors a showcase of underground rap artists at SOB's -- called Who's Next -- as a way to give some shine to those who seem to be destined to live their careers in the shade.

My faves Mickey Factz and Kidz in the Hall have both participated in past showcases in front of crowds eager to hear the next great thing in rap.

But last night that monthly series took a turn for the worse.

Max B was headlining July's showcase and was reportedly chilling in the VIP section awaiting his turn on stage when about 50 people bumrushed Max and his crew. Reports vary, but I've heard that anywhere from one to several shots were fired, maybe only into the ceiling. No one was hurt.

But you'd have to be living under a Hiphop rock if you don't think Jim Jones, former Max B boss, friend and frequent collaborator, had nothing to do with this madness.

After co-writing Jim's past two album, Max began exchanging disses on wax with Jim after he was ousted from Jim's Diplomats crew. Each dis to one another has been soaked with venom and hatred. Max even went so far as to make a song ("She Touched it in Miami") about how Jim's wife tried to sex him.

These guys were so close that at one point during the taping of an episode for the now shelved Jim Jones reality show on VH1, Jim is seen counting cash to bail Max out of jail for attempted murder charges.

Max was responsible for many of the hooks you've heard from Jim, including and especially Jim's big hit "We Fly High".

But obviously something changed along the way, as it inevitably does when it comes to rap cliques and crews, and now they hate each other.

So much, in fact, that I would bet Max B's life that he was run up on by people representing Jim and his new Byrdgang crew.

One blog, who's author was in the house during the show, described last night's events like this:

So I went to the Max Concert at SOBs. Here’s the chronicle of events:

-I walk in
-Take flick with Max
-Go 2 bar
-Couple people walk in
-Those couple people brought about 48 of their closest friends
-They surround Max who’s in VIP
-Swizz Beatz song “Where The Cash At” plays
-Things are thrown
-Fight breaks out
-Song stops
-I (along with the whole club) hit the floor
-Night over

Can’t get any more detailed then that without dry snitching. But I got confirmation that Max is ok and is making a big announcement tomorrow. Crazy night! Gotta love NYC

Crazy indeed.

Funny thing is that exactly what Max B aka Biggavelli (yes, that's right -- he claims to be the incarnation of part Biggie and part 2Pac...) wants. He'd love to be shot and turned into a martyr, whether he lives or dies.

Max has really carved out a career based on beef, including his other running feud with Prodigy, which is detailed in one of Max's numerous YouTube clips available online.

This is normally the part where I say Hiphop is dead but, dare I say, Max B IS NOT Hiphop, so I can just chalk this up as some more shameful black foolishness...

Famous July 23 Birthdays!

Aside from your's truly celebrating a birthday today, the other great people of the earth who are turning one year older today are:

1989: Daniel Radcliffe, British Actor

1980: Michelle Williams, singer (Destiny's Child)

Monica Lewinsky, American Celebrity

Omar Epps, American Actor

Marlon Wayans, comedian

Sam Watters, Color Me Badd singer (the one with the creepy curly hair)

Elden Campbell, retired NBA player

1968: Gary Payton, retired NBA player

Philip Seymour Hoffman, American Actor

Slash, guitarist

Eriq La Salle, actor

Antoine Carr, retired NBA forward and center

Woody Harrelson, actor

Don Imus, radio disc jockey

And today's horoscope for all Leos gives me hope, although I know it's a load of shiznit. But I do like what it has to say about my money situation:

Your positivism lets you get right to the point. You have little patience, however, with those who do not take you seriously. You have plenty of enthusiasm and can accomplish many things. You have an inner self-confidence that burns with its own light. By watching your response to difficulties, a young or new co-worker learns ways of problem-solving. You are compassionate and patient with others. Your money-management skills come into play this afternoon as you discover new ways to invest. An impromptu gathering of friends this evening may find music the center of the gathering. Wondering why you do not do this more often may call for future get-togethers. These are the kinds of gatherings that uplift and heal.

BET's Terrence J Gets Beat Up in NC Night Club

Karma is truly a beeyotch.

And apparently so is Terrence -- or at least that's what he looks like in this photo, being escorted out of the club while looking extra disheveled -- who reportedly got beat up in a Chapel Hill, N. C. nightclub this past weekend after running his mouth to the wrong dude.

It's the same crime he was recently guilty of when he embarrassed co-host Rocsi (and, subsequently, himself) a couple of weeks ago by trying to show her up on air with repeated put-downs and off the cuff remarks about her reading ability. Only in that episode, he came out unscathed save for having to write Rocsi an apology, which was read on air, but not by Terrence.

What is truly uncanny is the timing of it all.

After making Rocsi look like somewhat of a baby last week when she walked out during a live taping of 106 & Park after Terrence dissed her, the blogs were on fire.

Opinions varied as to who was really to blame, but from what I read Rocsi evoked much more sympathy than Terrence, who came off like a cocky high school bully.

But for every action there is an equal or opposite reaction, and that theory again proved to be law when some nobody from North Carolina b*tched Terrence in the club. Everything was all good just a week ago., who provided the photo, added its own unique commentary about this past weekend's events in North Carolina:

And in the b*tchass move of the day, the other person chased him out the club while security tried to get involved. Terrence then hid out in his car looking scared for the rest of the night. Why he stayed there is beyond me but I have a feeling it was because his sloppy drunk self couldn’t drive. Tisk tisk Terrence. Sadly, nothing about this situation surprises me.
The video of the apology being read by singer Mario follows below:

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Rick Ross Exposed as a Liar

After weeks of Rick Ross denying he was ever a Florida corrections officer before he became a popular rapper, The Smoking Gun has done the legwork that Ross' accusers couldn't and uncovered and released information proving Ross was a prison guard.

Just last week Ross issued the following statement:

“My life is 100 percent real. These online hackers putting a picture of my face when i was a teenager in high school on other peoples body. If this shit was real don’t you think they would have more specifics, like dates and everything else? I’m in the entertainment business and a lot of people like to hate because I’m on top of my game. Like I said before my life is 100 percent real.”

From The Smoking Gun's Web site:

Department of Corrections (DoC) records show that Ross, whose raps detail the Miami gangster lifestyle and his supposed days trafficking cocaine, did, in fact, work as a correctional officer for 18 months. Ross (real name: William Leonard Roberts) was appointed a prison guard in December 1995 at a salary of $22,913.54, according to the below personnel record, which was provided to TSG by Jo Ellyn Rackleff, a DoC spokesperson. The rapper's social security number is identical to that of the jail guard. According to the official document, Ross was earning $25,794.34 when he left the department in June 1997. After graduating from the DoC training academy, Ross was assigned to the South Florida Reception Center in Dade County (the lockup is one of three statewide that serves as an intake facility for new prisoners).

...the 32-year-old performer claimed that unnamed "online hackers" put "my face when I was a teenager in high school on other peoples' body. If this shit was real don't you think they would have more specifics, like dates and everything?" He added, "Fake pictures are created by the fake, meant to entertain the fake."
Considering that his says anything fake is to entertain the fake, and also considering that this is basically an admission that his kingpin image is based on falsehoods, does this mean that he is calling his fans fake? It would sure seem like that.

This is a prime example why rappers should embrace their pasts and stop embellishing on some gangster lifestyle just because you sold a single dime bag in high school.

Ross has a new album scheduled for release in the next few months. It will be interesting to see if he lets down his guard and opens up on wax and abandons his tales of drugs and murder for those that are more consistent with his actual lifestyle. I doubt it will happen, though.

And just last night Ross released two freestyles, one in particular seemingly targeting blogs while also trying to reinforce the fact that he is indeed a drug kingpin and street gangster.

In Ross's Life of the Party Freestyle he lets it be known that:

"B*tch, I'm the boss and I'm laughing at your blogs."

"I'm the glue in the streets, meaning I can get you stuck
The world knows where the f*ck I'm from
Sell rock, 20 chains and I never lost one...
Heavy on the block, never on the Net."
And to add insult to injury, below is video documentation further proving Ross lied about his past:

Monday, July 21, 2008

Rhymefest Stan Strong-Arms His Favorite Rapper?

Either a Stan has taken stalking where stalking has never gone before or Rhymefest has orchestrated the publicity stunt to end all publicity stunts.

It is being reported that a big time fan of Rhymefest (that's putting it mildly) recently caught Fest slipping and got him for his iPod, which was filled with new music from Fest.

Now the fan -- who has blamed his frustration with numerous delays for Fest's music being released as the reason why he stole property from his favorite rapper -- has threatened to leak all the new music on every week until J Records (Fest's label) announces a release date for a new album.

Regardless we'll see what comes of this. If we hear that fest has been dropped from J Records, I guess we know who was responsible for this stunt.

The Stan, who identifies himself only as Prometheus, wrote the following critical and laudatory diatribe aimed at Rhymefest:

To whom it may concern:

Whoever reads this open letter, whether it be Allido Records, J Records or Rhymefest (I don't care), listen very carefully.

To all rappers and producers: DO NOT LEAVE YOUR iPOD OR LAPTOP UNATTENDED WHEN YOU ARE IN A PUBLIC PLACE. I will get to that in a second.

First of all, I am a huge fan, and I love your music. I'm one of those people who consider you to be a highly underrated artist, partly due to the wack-ass label you signed to and their lack of promotion, partly due to how lame the Hip-Hop industry is and partly due to your inconsistent record releases. But, I'm going to help you. They say an artist can only create great art through great suffering. I'm going to make you a better artist, and I do this out of love for your music.

I'm not going to say where or when (because then you may realize who I am), but you were in a public place recently with your iPod hooked up to a sound system playing music for people, and I caught you slipping. You actually walked away for 15 WHOLE MINUTES!!! Then, you forgot it!!! Wow. I grabbed MAD music off of your iPod. And what did I find? A ton of songs you recorded for EL CHE. Maybe you shouldn't label the songs soo obviously.

This sh*t sounds incredible. Actually, this sh*t is HOT FIRE!!! Why isn't this sh*t out, n*gga? Don't answer that. It doesn't matter. I'm going to help you out, and here is why.

I bought BLUE COLLAR when it dropped. BLUE COLLAR and Busta's THE BIG BANG were the most noteworthy releases that year. And you didn't even go gold? How the fuck does that happen? Oh, my bad: J Records. But, I digress...

I went to some of your shows. I even traveled to see you perform when I could. Hot sh*t every single time, dude. You never disappoint. But, you would do sh*t on your MySpace that would build up a fan's anticipation, and then you wouldn't do sh*t! The EL CHE logo contest? You never said sh*t about a winner. The PLUGG CITY tour? My cousin submitted her info, and you never said sh*t about a winner. Who the f*ck does that? But, hey: I'm a fan. You must have had a reason, right? Don't get me wrong: I'm not a Stan or some sh*t like that. I simply need you to do what you say you're going to do.

Then, you claim that EL CHE was coming out last year. Then, it was this year. More contrived industry inconsistency. I've heard some songs like "Angry Black Man on a Elevator" and "Real N*gga Quotes" and I even heard "Exodus" for the 3.5 seconds you put it on your MySpace. That sh*t sounds incredible. I watched the YouTube videos with the Just Blaze and Jazzy Jeff joints. What the f*ck is up with that Jazzy Jeff project, dude?!? Either you or your label are some f*cking liars regarding what the f*ck is coming out, and I, for one, am tired of it. And, another thing: how the f*ck are you going to come at Lupe Fiasco for his political views when you didn't even have an album out? Was you trying to get attention, n*gga? Is that it? Attention for what? A new single? EL CHE??!!!?? I don't see a release date, my n*gga. Where art thou, release date? Was it worth it? MAN IN THE MIRROR was dope as f*ck. Why the f*ck isn't somebody trying to figure out how to sell THAT sh*t?!? I'm confused by you music dudes, for real. I love your sh*t. I buy your sh*t. I heard you were working with Dr. Dre on DETOX. Are DETOX and EL CHE ever coming out, n*gga? I NEED NEW MUSIC.

I got songs from your iPod. I'm going to leak a record from EL CHE every week until you drop a single or a video or some sh*t. The people have NO F*CKING IDEA how hot this sh*t sounds. Well, I'm going to show them. You had everything on your iPod. Even old, vintage sh*t. I'm gonna drop that, too. Until you or your weak-ass label keep your word and start dropping some f*cking music. And, I'm not playing. I'm going to make you a better artist. I can't wait to see what you do.

To me, this sounds like a classic case of an artist who is upset with his label and doing what it takes to force the label to release his music.

But at the same time I won't front and act like if I got my hands on the entire Neptunes catalog -- including the dozens of albums and hundreds of songs that have never seen the light of day -- that I wouldn't try to employ a similar tactic to either make them release them or release them on my own to the starving Neptunes faithful.

Pharrell: Father or Fool, Daddy or Duped?

Word on the street is that Pharrell has knocked up some model from Miami that he met less than a year ago.

Because Pharrell is such a private person no real details have been released other than the fact that some chick P has been banging turned up preggers.

Now I know this woman must be incredibly beautiful, but I certainly hope (for P's sake) that she didn't cut any holes in condoms or go retrieve a used condom from the garbage and inseminate herself.

In other words it is quite possible that this chick trapped him in hopes of cashing in on his hard-earned dough.

I hope Pharrell likes (I don't care if he loves her or not) this chick enough to do something in the best interest of the child, but either way he is screwed.

These types of "relationships" are doomed from the beginning (shout out to Kanye who had enough foresight to cut off his former fiancee and protect himself and his assets) and destined to last just a few years, if that, before child custody and alimony proceedings turn the father into
a bitter woman hater.

Apparently the mystery woman is "very pregnant" and "she hangs out with the backstage crew when he performs."

Truthfully I just hope this new madness does not affect his music at all.

Friday, July 18, 2008

GZA Plots 50's Assassination

A UK blog is reporting that GZA is going to release a new song very soon called "Paper Plates" that specifically targets 50 Cent, a move that stems from some beef the two shared (pause) about a year ago.

Here is an excerpt from that article:

Last night I was out having a drink with GZA from the Wu-Tang Clan, after the 2nd London show this week. We were talking about anything and everything to do with hip-hop and the Ice-T / Soulja Boy debacle came up, as did the incident in Dec 2007 at Coko in London when a young fan took the mic and screamed “f–k 50 Cent” which the media gave the Genius credit for.

Although there wasn’t tonnes of bad blood, 50 did retort, and now GZA is picking up the hatchet. The Wu-Tang’s head henchman asked if I remembered the Jadakiss diss to 50 (which one??), I said ‘yes’ and he said ‘it’s like that… times ten… I’m going to annihilate 50, he can’t f–k with me lyrically’. I asked if it was the kind of record that would end 50’s career, and he said 50’s career is dead anyway, stating that the recent 100k soundscan for G-Unit’s ‘Terminate on Sight’ album would be a good for amount for a GZA album, but is garbage for one of 50’s. It doesn’t take long is GZA’s company to realise that he chooses his words wisely, and he’s not playing on this one.

Now, we all know about GZA's acumen as an emcee, but we also know that many times from a mainstream point of view popularity always wins over skills. (See the KRS and Nelly battle for further proof of this trend.)

And while GZA is damn near flawless with his rhymes, 50 is no slouch either.

And 50 doesn't need fancy wordplay to get his point across. That's never been his style. Meanwhile GZA relies on wittiness and metaphors as part of his inimitable style.

To be honest, in the eyes of the masses, I don't see how GZA can come out of this one unscathed, considering that outside of the underground he is not a well-known member of the Wu. So I fear he will be perceived as a near-irrelevant old school rapper trying to regain some prosperity and attention at 50's expense.

And I'm almost positive that will be how 50 tries to spin it.

But who can blame 50? I'd be scared if I were 50 because while GZA's attack may not end 50's rapping career, it will undoubtedly make a chunk of his fans switch allegiance, and after T.O.S.'s first week numbers, 50 can ill afford to lose many more fans.

I'll post the song as soon as it becomes available.

Below is a video of GZA going at 50 live on stage some time last year.

Rappers Sample N*E*R*D's Music

Aside from Mickey Factz, I can't really think of too many rappers who have dared to sample the music of N*E*R*D for their own productions.

So it's refreshing to hear Brooklyn's own "Lessondary Nose" (no matter how mediocre 3/4 of the rappers are) over a loop of the bridge in N*E*R*D's song Everyone Nose, the lead single from their new album Seeing Sounds.

The Lessondary (pictured to the left) consists of Von Pea of Tanya Morgan, Spec Boogie, Elucid and Che Grand.

Von Pea rhymes first and easily outshines them all, and although I can normally appreciate efforts from Che, he and the other two emcees fall flat on this track, which features much of the original version's drum n' bass percussion, a reason they may have had trouble with the beat. Von wasn't fazed though.

Here's some video footage of them performing the track:

The next song is by FKi, which apparently stands for Fly Kids Inc. They're signed to Mickey's label GFC, and they do a nice job with N*E*R*D's Spaz track. Nothing special, but still very nice. Whoever they are.

FKi: Spazz Freestyle

N*E*R*D's video for Spaz follows:

The Clipse Video: Fast Life

I still have love for The Clipse despite the obvious strains between them and The Neptunes, who are the reason for their very existence and fan base.

"Fast Life" is the first single from their Re-Up Gang album, and there is reportedly zero Neptunes involvement. If this lead single is any indication of where the album goes musically, I probably won't buy it.

This is a basic Scott Storch beat, and not very hot if you ask me. It sounds and feels like Scott probably sold this track for well under his market value (because he was trying to get his money back up to pay his back taxes while on the run, evading authorities).

It also sounds like one of those "jiggy" beats from the late 90s that were once so popular, complete with heavy a grand opening of synths and strings that eventually gives way to a mediocre melody.

Pusha and Malice trade rhymes bragging of wealth, women, cars and selling drugs, which, of course, unlike rap, is the primary source behind all of the aforementioned.

But as is usually the case with these two -- especially Pusha -- no matter what the song's subject matter may be, it always eventually comes back to a cocaine reference of some sort. And Pusha immediately shows that this song is no exception:

Whatchu wanna do with me?
King of the powder flow, untouchable
If you don't believe, then homey, you sniff me.
The scent's still trapped in my clothes
And I just came from over the stove.
Malice prefers the self grandiose approach on this track, but still makes it known that his lifestyle is a result of drug dealing:

My presence is an event.
The party don't start until they let us in.
That's right, ladies and gents,
Coke money to rap money, give it a rinse.
Next comes the spin cycle,
The rims on my Benz get more spins than Michael.
Overall it's a decent effort but by eschewing the Neptunes in favor of other, less talented producers alienates a lot of their fans, who may not really be eager to hear Pusha and Malice rhyme over amateur production.

The cheesy, typical video follows:

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Rick Ross vs. Trick Daddy

See, this is why I love and hate Hiphop at the same time.

Actually this isn't even Hiphop, this is just two rappers -- not Hiphoppers -- battling for no good reason at all.

Trick Daddy has been on a campaign of late smearing Rick Ross's good name (phonetically pronounced "Rause," rhyming with the word "house") by claiming Ross was a corrections officer in Florida before hitting it big as a top-selling rapper.

That's a far cry from the cocaine dealing kingpin that Ross has successfully marketed himself as, even going so far as making such hyperbolic boasts of being friendly with Pablo Escobar.

(Never mind that he stole his rap moniker from an actual drug trafficker from L.A.)

Trick backed up his claim with one single snapshot photo (top photo to the left) of who he claims is a young, beardless Ross, who is seen in the photo wearing what appears to be a brown uniform consistent with those who work in law enforcement.

Now to the normal person, working as a corrections officer is a good, steady, if not some times violent, job. You get health benefits, a decent salary, you pay your taxes and life goes on. In this day and age of people losing their jobs left and right, working as a corrections officer might even seem kind of inviting.

But in the hyper-unrealistic world of rap, it is a strike against one's masculinity and overall humanity to be labeled as a former corrections department employee, which basically puts you along side the very folks who sentenced the inmates you preside over.

It also makes you a snitch -- guilty for associating with people who enforce the laws of the land.

And in rap, snitching is an absolute no-no, even if you technically didn't do any snitching or testifying at all.

(On a side note, going by the above rules, isn't Trick Daddy also a snitch for providing private information like this? Isn't he snitching on Ross? I digress...)

So of course Ross had to defend his honor and responded the only way rappers know how to respond to certain claims -- on YouTube. Ross also added that it is his face in the photo but that it was superimposed onto the body of somebody wearing a corrections uniform.

Personally, not only do I think it is Ross in the photo, but I also think he was probably working that job as a way to support himself while he was looking for a record deal. To me there's no shame in that, but that doesn't sell records.

So Ross grew a heavy beard, got a bunch of tattoos, practiced his menacing posturing in the mirror at home, and made up the improbable but typical story of moving kilos of cocaine before (although he still raps about it like he continues to sell drugs) he was able to sell "legal dope" and move units in album sales. Amazingly, this ploy has a 99.9% success rate, as long as you're a rapper.

If you ask me the top photo looks way more like Akinyele than Ross, but I can't deny the resemblance.

More Lobster and Scrimps? is reporting that Timbaland has agreed to produce Jay-Z's next album in its entirety, something Tim hasn't done for a Hiphop artist since maybe Bubba Sparxxx or Petey Pablo.

Tim couldn't hold back his excitement about the project:

"I'mma make it a classic too. You better believe it. It'll be a monster! I always say this: You get a first single from me, I'mma get you up to gold."

"We wanna go to the world," he added. "The world is 'Big Pimpin'.' 'Big Pimpin' ' is an international hit, so we wanna do 10 of those. Meaning, some of the songs gonna sound like M.I.A. would rap on some of the beats. You gonna be like, 'Whoa!' But it's Jay on 'em. That means it reaches everywhere. I'mma have songs with bagpipes. The music is gonna be so worldwide, he'll be able to tour the rest of his life, maybe, off just this one album. The Jay-Z album is gonna be phenomenal. You know why? We don't care. We're doing great music just to do it. We doing it for our fans who love us to say we ain't quit. I'm doing it 'cause that's my homeboy."
Given the track record of their collaborations, especially on Jay's masterful Vol. 3 album, this could be a great album.

But I have some reservations about the finished product considering the international pop feel of Tim's recent music. Jay already lost some of his fans with his "mature" approach to his Kingdom Come album. And since we already know Tim deliberately targets a pop audience when creating music, it will be interesting to see what the results are.

Long gone are the days of beats like "Big Pimpin," the "Snoopy Track," and probably even "Dirt Off My Shoulders". They have been replaced by down-tempo collabos with R&B and rock stars, which attract millions in sales, but if Jay is targeting his core fans (i.e. the streets) Tim is gonna have to come with something a bit harder. Pause.

I'm sure I'll like the album and appreciate it musically but we'll have to wait and see how the streets accept it. I thought Jay would have learned from his Beach Chair days from Kingdom Come, so we'll see what happens.

The Neptunes should have done this for Jay years ago but after hearing the American Gangster album I think the once-incredible chemistry they shared is long gone. Hopefully Jay and Tim still have theirs.

I won't front too hard, though, because Tim's song "Laff At Em" was real tough and Jay's verse was crazy.

BREAKING NEWS: Jesse Jackson is a Hypocrite!

OK, so that's not necessarily breaking news since we all know how the good reverend cheated on his wife and fathered a child out of wedlock -- thus going against his vow before God to uphold his marriage throughout the good and the bad.

But now it is being reported that Jackson used the N word during that same interview where he said he'd like to cut Barack Obama's nuts off.

Jackson used the N word and talked about cutting Obama's nuts off well after he issued the following statement about NaS wanting to name is album "N*gger":

“The title using the N-word is morally offensive and socially distasteful. NaS has the right to degrade and denigrate in the name of free speech, but there is no honor in it.”
He also told the following to the Associated Press around the same time:

"I am against the use of the N-word by anyone and I think we must be consistent. We must not use the word."
But every dark cloud has a silver lining. Jesse has done so much irreparable damage to himself that Obama would be a fool to involve him in the presidential campaign in any way, shape or form, so at least we can expect a Jesse-free campaign in the coming months leading to the election.

Even Al Sharpton couldn't help but to scold Jesse:

"I have said, and many of those in other groups, NAACP and others, that we've all used it in the past and we've got to stop it as we challenge this nation," Sharpton added on CBS News' The Early Show this morning. "You can't challenge others without challenging ourselves. So this is disheartening, and I still hold Reverend Jackson in high esteem. But I certainly do not at all condone the use of the word."
As a result Jesse issued an apology that fell on deaf ears and blind eyes:

"I am deeply saddened and distressed by the pain and sorrow that I have caused as a result of my hurtful words. I apologize again to Senator Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, their children as well as to the American public," Jackson said in a written statement. "There really is no justification for my comments and I hope that the Obama family and the American public will forgive me. I also pray that we, as a nation, can move on to address the real issues that affect the American people."
We don't believe you, you need more people. And Bill O'Reilly is obviously not one of them.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

New Mickey!


Just as I was saying how Mickey is the future he comes along and drops two very dope songs in his weekly series of songs, along with his requisite explanation about the tracks:

"For week #30, I wanted to do the 2 for 1 sale. So I jumped in the studio with Tanya Morgan and made some shit! Some real Hip Hop shit. Gotta respect it."
The first joint with TM is crazy. I wasn't really sure about how I felt about songs with Mickey collaborating, but this song really works well. It's just on some braggadocio type of rhyming:

"This time I bring it back to the essence,
And still move forward, never trapped in the present.
But it's still a gift that Factz is presenting.
Untie the bow and then capture the lesson."
Von and Donwill contribute some nice rhymes but Mickey outshines them both -- even though he has the middle verse -- as he should since it's his song.

The second track features Mickey conceptually at his best, referencing the increasing pressure youth have growing up, including one verse from the perspective of a black kid and another from that of a white kid. It showcases Mickey's songwriting ability as well as his ability to adapt to any type of track; in this instance, an R&B song originally performed by Star Trak artist Robin Thicke where the music and hook vocals come from.

We Ain't Feat. Tanya Morgan

Keys of Life Feat. Robin Thicke

It's Mickey!

I'll admit, it takes a lot for a rapper to impress me.

Especially if I have never heard of him or her before. My ear is specially trained to dismiss rappers like that on first listen, no questions asked.

So imagine my state of mind when, a few years ago, I was surfing the Web trying to find new music and stumbled upon a rapper with an unusual, almost silly-sounding name who was rhyming over breaks from N*E*R*D 's first album.

Of course I was intrigued right off the bat on the strength of the Neptunes, so I downloaded it immediately and was introduced to a confident, more-than-able rapper who had the knack to rap about more than just a handful of already played-out topics while incorporating the requisite witty wordplay and clever metaphors that Hiphop music seems to be well void of.

He is also from the Bronx, and Bronx rappers can never lose with me. Pause.

The rapper I'm talking about is Mickey Factz, a 23 year old wordsmith with a relentless work ethic that helped propelled him on his way to stardom.

At this past weekend's Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival, where the above photo was taken, he was greeted like a bona fide star from those in attendance. The night before at the festival's opening reception, he was also given the same treatment from the crowd, who's members could be seen whispering "is that him?" before ultimately going up to the man to pay their respects.

The crazy thing about Mickey is that he continues to show growth in his lyrics and music, which includes (but is not limited to) songs recorded and released since January of this year.

Because of his style of clothing and choice of what type of music he can some times use, he has been thrown under the "hipster rap" umbrella, but a closer listen clearly separates Mickey from that bunch.

From "Breakout," a track from In Search of the Nerd, Mickey's mixtape composed of rhymes over N*E*R*D breaks that sparked my interest in the first place:

"Yeah my name is Factz
New jacks is liquor addicts
I'm messing with sweet bard
And y'all just snicker at it
Rewind the last line
Mick's a hood star.
No candy involved,
You just missed a good bar/Mr. Goodbar."
Now when I heard that last line, I was convinced. But I figured that's all the music I was going to ever hear from him.

So imagine my surprise when less than a year later Mickey dropped Flashback Vol. 1: Back to the Future, another stellar mixtape . This one featured Mickey rhyming over beats of Hiphop past that defined a certain era, such as Incarcerated Scarfaces and BBD's Poison.

Over Main Source's "Live at the BBQ," Mickey handles his business:

"Live at the barbecue
Your rhyme skills are horrible
I'll put them on the grill
And fry them into particles.
Rappers are liars, it's comical.
Fronting like they're driving through,
But couldn't get a ride at a carnival.
Why would I honor you?
Factz is sonning you.
I'm so live I'll daughter you.
Guys, I'm warning you.
My style is phenomenal,
But I don't acknowledge you.
N*ggas don't feel you, they fondle you.
How could you stand there and be
Acting real like you're packing steel?
You'se a daffodil that uses Massengil."
Mickey then followed that up with a quick release of Heaven's Fallout, a high quality mixtape made up of mostly electro-style beats, and Mickey didn't miss a beat. Especially on conceptual songs like "Breathe Another Day":

"As I open my eyes
I gotta thank God that I'm still alive.
I can still breathe,
I can still rhyme.
I ain't wake up in a jail but I shine/shyne.
Don't got a job, no 9 to 5
Live off the things I say from my mind.
And I'm grateful that I ain't die
Cuz I ain't ready to tell God hi.
Nah, I'm not a low-life rapper
I breathe for the people,
I don't got asthma.
Float like Casper.
In the winter you can see it in the snow,
It'll blow right past ya.
Feel the chill in the air?
Poetry in motion, feel what you hear.
Breathe through your ears, inhale my sound.
If this is your first time I'mma tell yall how."
But even with those quality releases under his belt, Mickey showed no signs of easing up and released song after song, week after week, for what is now being marketed as 2 volumes of "The Leak," his weekly series of songs. Over The Prodigy's instrumental for "Smack My Bitch Up" -- a wild electronic beat -- Mickey blacks out like Forest Whitaker's neck:

"OK, stand back, I’m concentrating
It’s about to get complicated.
Yall know I ain’t crime related.
But yall bout to get annihilated.
Some of yall need potty training.
Straight bitch, yall ovulating.
Got you bloody, better watch it buddy.
They say time is money, no time to waste it.
Are you sick of me? Go get your team.
I got a cold heart like Mr. Freeze.
Got cats all quiet like Mr. Bean.
You ain’t do dirt, you’re Mr. Clean.
Oh! So you grip the beam?
You don’t spit clips
You’re a gymnast on the fitness team.
I’ll blow you cowards to smithereens.
It’s a wrap when I grab the guillotine.
Spazzin on you, I’mma leave patches on you
Like you tryin to quit nicotine.
I’m far from a rat but I get the cheese
Never caught in a trap, I’m quick to weave.
I belong on the track like your chicken’s weave.
I’m calling you wack, you’re boring in fact.
I yawn when you rap, I be in my dreams.
And it’s time to attack, better hit your knees.
Some of yall cats need therapy.
I smack you up for a penalty.
Yall say yall sick? I’m the remedy.
You are not the guy, you ain’t never seen
Somebody out they mind with no memory.
If you want that life then keep telling me
You live a life of crime with no felonies.
You just put your life in jeopardy
And guess who’s Alex Trebek?
There’s no questions I’m the answer – unless
You feel you can pass my test
Sorry, but I’m giving rappers an F.
Yeah, I’ll damage your flesh
No I’m not Aretha, mad disrespect.
Rappers are chicks and guess who’s the pimp."
Other notable recent Mickey Hits include "Robot Rock," "Talk Yo Ish," and "Africa."

He has said that he expects his now-untitled debut album to be released by his label GFC some time next year.

Some videos of Mickey follows:

Mickey freestyling

freestyling in the barbershop interview and freestyle

Mickey's song Be Free, before he became a so-called Hipster rapper