Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Album Review: Wu-Tang Clan, Legendary Weapons

One of the most daunting challenges in music is duplicating the success of and allure surrounding a group's critically acclaimed debut album. While it is possible, few have succeeded in this tricky arena.

One of those groups happens to be the Wu-Tang Clan, who arguably outdid their first album with Forever, the double CD released four years after 36 Chambers simultaneously launched nine separate careers well into and beyond the Hiphop stratosphere.

The Wu exploded into a million directions, branching off into clothing, liquor and video games, to name but a few of its lucrative endeavors.

One of those ventures was to launch a series of Wu-Tang Clan compilation albums consisting of Wu-Tang affiliated artists and producers while still featuring the talents of its core members, who, for the most part, would not be rapping alongside one another on these compilations.

This Legendary Weapons album is one of those albums.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Consequence Rages Against Kanye's Machine

While it was some time in the making, soon-to-be former G.O.O.D. Music rapper Consequence yesterday, with the release of his new song (below) that accuses his co-worker, Pusha T, of lyrical forgery, officially declared war on his record label complete with a promissory heat-seeking missile soon to be aimed at his boss, Kanye West.

In the song -- named The Plagiarist Society -- Consequence shuns subliminal bars in favor of a clear and obvious threat, referring to Pusha by his government name: "Terrence ... go take a breather on the terrace before he does something to make his team perish/ 'Cause he ain't nothing but a body shield for that coward from the Midwest/ So yes, you can bet that your boss is next."

For months now Consequence has alleged that Pusha not only copied his lyrics, but also the title for My God, the lead single for his Fear of God mixtape.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Producer AMP Channels His Inner DJ Premier

9TH WONDER presents THE SOUL COUNCIL from Pricefilms on Vimeo.

One of the most basic ways an up-and-coming Hiphop producer can separate himself from the throngs of Johnny-come-new jack beat makers is to carve out a unique sound that is immediately recognizable to the listener regardless of the rapper or singer.

And, as it turns out, another way to do so is by crafting your style around a sound that's associated with a more established producer. Well, for the most part.

If I may (since I, ahem, don't actually know the man), please allow me to formally introduce Amp: one-sixth of The Soul Council -- a collective of producers assembled by 9th Wonder for his It's a Wonderful World Music Group and Jamla Records imprint -- and, more notably, the man who has successfully mastered the art of consistently crafting DJ Premier-style beats.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Uncle Luke Calls Out Wiz Khalifa

A long time ago in what now feels like a galaxy far, far away, the founding fathers of this thing we call Hiphop established an unofficial code of conduct for any and everybody who is an active participant of the musical genre and lifestyle.

Unfortunately over the past decade or so the lines of those ground rues and regulations have been blurred to the extent that at best they are currently unrecognizable, and at worst they are completely ignored.

For example: copying, or, in Hiphop vernacular, biting, is completely unacceptable. This general rule was intentionally vague, applicable to a wide variety activities that include but are not limited to topics such as dance moves and the style in which a rapper performed his or her rhymes.

As the Hiphop nation expanded globally, so did its guidelines, which were, at one time, devoutly observed by most if not all of its devout. Just like "it takes a village to raise a child," Hiphoppers were expected to respond accordingly to instances where members strayed from the rules.

Keeping in that rich tradition, Luther Campbell -- former front man of the raunchy, controversial pioneering Miami Bass group 2Live Crew -- has decided to use his weekly column in his hometown's alternative tabloid to address the relationship between Wiz Khalifa and Amber Rose.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

2011 Collaboration Albums Fall Short

Remember all that madness I was talking months ago, hyping up the recent trend of artists coming together to pool their talents and resources to produce collaborative albums?

Well, simply put, I was wrong about them.

For some odd reason I figured that the union of two separate but very talented musical entities could only result in the highest standard for Hiphop music and lyrics. But I was wrong.

Not only did I see it as an innovative, creative outlet for rappers and Hiphop producers stuck in a genre that is slowly but surely becoming decidedly less creative than its pioneers intended for it to be, but, if done correctly, each project had the serious potential to generate more fans and, perhaps more importantly to the artists themselves, more revenue. But again, I was wrong.

Friday, July 8, 2011

NaS Excels Where Common Fails on New Track


Maybe I'm in the minority here but let me first say that I much rather prefer the Electric Circus / Universal Mind Control / Be version of rapper Common over his latest incarnation, which has him exchanging hardcore rhymes with NaS over a banging street track courtesy of producer No I.D.

Let me clarify.

Any rhymes from Common are always soothing sounds for ears sore from the prevailing hodgepodge of random rap music that shows no signs of slowing its invasion of Hiphop. But when he kicks hardcore lines – specifically when he starts off the songs with lines like "I wanna bitch who looks good and cooks good" -- it comes off as forced at best and insincere at worst. Hell, we already know Comm has been linked to some top notch females so what's with these ridiculous demands? But I digress.