See, this how I was introduced to L.A. Reid. A part of a group called The Deele, looking like 6 vampire pall bearers in all black. He didn’t even hum a note as far as I know and it didn’t take long for the group to be overshadowed by Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, who was already a blazing song writer giving a lot of his hits to Bobby Brown. No one seemed to truly care about anyone else, yet when LAFACE was formed, it seemed to be a logical choice. TLC, OUTKAST came through with a firestorm and made a name for themselves but we all knew this was a R&B flavored label.
Def Jam was Hip Hop’s Motown. The grassroots of what made our legends who they are. We seen all of them blossom throughout the decades and become Icons. There was so many changes of the guard within the castle that we all knew one day the new king would be someone with just a name and no real connection to Hip Hop. That’s where Mr. Reid comes in. I had a look of someone blatantly opening up my Arizona Tea and drinking it right in front of me when the news hit that LA was the new chief !! When I heard Jay-Z was coming to the team also, I knew this shit was even worse since he never did any real CEO work at Rocafella. More so the labels “cash cow” who had no choice to drop every year because who else was gonna hold it down – Amil ? Yet in still, I felt at least there would be a balance, hoping to GOD that Shawn Carter would hold it down not only for the Vets but for the new talent of Hip Hop coming thru. At least I was half right.
Def Jam turned from the longest running Hip Hop label (Damn Right Y’all) to a regular pop station club. Wack ass Artists like The Dream started taking Exec spots while the likes of R&B acts are getting the most exposure. The only 2 Hip Hop acts that thrived was Rick Ross and Young Jeezy !! Even The Roots and Nas who were supposedly signed by Shawn Carter before he left didn’t get much press, let alone videos !!
“Why did one straw break the camel’s back? Here’s the secret: the million other straws underneath it – it’s all mathematics.” – MOS DEF
I guess that happened when LA Reid thinking Shyne was a 2PAC figure signed him to a crazy deal while he was banished to Belize. This one hit wonder (No Hit, if you ask me) who did a 10 year Bid, came out of Prison sounding like he was on his knees for 9 of them or suffering from a bad case of Bronchitis was a getting a deal while the likes of Redman was nowhere to be found and Method Man was doing guest spots on CSI – New York. Rhianna cd flopped even when it’s sold for pennies but of course, the budget needs to be recouped. Pardon me if I cried tears ofJoy when this rumor hit. It’s the only logical choice. We barely have label support as is and it’s fucked up when the flagship artist gets no push while having a very good project. Maybe the changing of the guard needs to go back to the 1st two. Some people who did it for the love of music, not with lining their pockets. Kick these incoherent asses out and start fresh…We can only dream
-Written By Curtis75Black
***I stay trying to give cats some shine, no? Introducing the homie Curtis75Black (NOT, REPEAT NOT IN THE PICTURE DIRECTLY BELOW!), a fellow rap fanatic/Hip Hop elder representitive, & he has something(s) he wants to talk about. So, without further ado, on with the proverbial show. It’s all you, c75…***
There was a time when a rapper could be a rapper. Talk all the shit he or she wanted to and feel the repercussions of it. There was a time when a rapper got called out, every fan and peer took notice, listened to or read said quote, or peeped the track, waiting for a decent response from the emcee getting aimed at in shooting range. It was the climate. You had no choice. Your credibility is on the line!
In the age of Internet websites, bloggers, Twitter and other cyberspace BS, said rapper has it’s own PR team! Fans now jump on comment sections and put their two cents in the argument. Sometimes dissing the aggressor better the artist. Websites act like players on payroll, discrediting emcees instead of keeping a level head. Basically, if the rapper is hot nowadays, he or she really doesn’t have to respond to a diss. As corny as it sounds, that’s Hip Hop as we speak. Jay-Z, Nikki Minaj and whomever else that’s hot or in personal favor, gets caught in the wrath of a barrage of lyrical tirades & don’t have to brush off shoulders. Their Stans will do it for them. I can’t recall the last time an emcee put on the gloves to spar. Now you get video responses where a emcee will sit in front of a camera and express their displeasure for the act, like they’re President or a CEO of company.
What has become of Hip Hop? Where are the BALLS on the emcee? Has the Internet and prestige really watered down our emcees or just given the fans a bigger voice to be heard and express themselves as the fans they are? I liked how Keys went at Nicki Minaj, no holds barred, full of lyricism, something we, as fans, always claim we want on a consistent basis. She points out stuff we all mentioned on sites and regular convos. For Nikki Minaj to be put on a Diva Pedestal without even a debut CD out–just doing guest spots here and there while signed to Young Money–doesn’t make any sense. I also would expect a sense of pride, being she’s from Queens, New York, home of the most legends of every borough that trail blazed, as well as held their own in confrontations during their careers. She should take off the wig and let it be known who the fuck she really is! I guess not though. No one had to tell MC Lyte a thing!
Rappers are babied! Fans want them that way, Bloggers on the payroll make them that way. Hip Hop, probably because of 50 Cent, has everyone (even if they have a legit beef or just want to squabble) looked at the same way: air time seekers. The fact that LL and KRS both answered younger emcees 10-20 years after their last battle proves what these future kings and queens haven’t got enough of to get the torch truly passed to them: Heart.
Written By Curtis75Black
@Curtis75Black on Twitter.
May 18, 2010 came and went just as quick as a young teenager getting his 1st nut off. New music arrived but did that change anyones perception that Hip Hop is Dead ? A project heavily salivated, crazily downloaded track to
track on every Hip Hop site (Leakage), Distant Relatives – Damian “Jr Gong” Marley & Nas has finally arrived. According to the web comments, this is a “INSTANT CLASSIC”, better than anything that has dropped since Illmatic. Clearly Hip Hop’s finest work. A great collaborative effort. Now would Hip Hop support it ? I copped my copy off Itunes the day it dropped, what about you ?
Not to leave any other Hip Hop artists hanging, I also brought through out the year:
Dopeman Music – Scarface
Fornever – Murs & 9th Wonder
Left Back – Little Brother
Wu Tang presents Wu Massacre
As well as a few throwback classics from the 90′s. These including with the other music I picked up in 2010 listed on the last drop dealing with this subject, you see, I don’t slack up too much.
Hip Hop fans has always been fickle and elitest to a fault. Peeps will praise one artist and hate on others for doing the exact same thing 1 year prior. More so hating the artist than the music, a hit could be a track played in every club, heard on the radio
constantly and video seen everyday depending on who’s the artist and a sellout move of it’s the next man. Kinda goes with the territory. Hopefully, you’re on the right side of the fence. Hopefully peeps are acknowledging your music so you won’t be ignored if you drop a classic project full of substance and vigor, this generation is something else. With our major outlets off air, ( Rap City, Yo ! MTV Raps, The Box, 103.5 The Beat in Miami ) hearing what you need to hear than what they want to stuff down your throats is a effort in itself. Bloggers and Websites are now the stations that use to be. The problem with that is they have personalities also and like what they like. Them not feeling you is just like not paying the radio stations: you won’t be heard, so you have to dig deeper for that fire.
As far as Damian and Nas go, this project is more than stellar. You can tell just from the names of the songs, they came with a set plan which is Radio play. With the lack of profanity, disrespectful lyrics, and a overabundance of smooth production with Damian bringing his touches to the boards a vocals bringing positive subjects, they should be able to get regular play in elevators. A true DJ can mix practically every song in a club and the peeps should be rocking along with ease. Right now, I can’t say I have a favortite because every track brings it’s own pulse but “Strong Will Continue” touched me the most. I almost shed a tear when Nasir mentions his newborn son. Tight work from true artists.
Written by Curtis75Black
I remember being in the 4th grade up in The Bronx being forced to do school plays and Christmas Recitals by my teacher. Singing Frosty the Snowman was never the highlight of my day and repping Wizard of OZ was complete Bullshit since the roles were limited plus all the characters was white but that’s another story. Growing up back in the 80′s, the parameters were real! You crossed the line and stepped on a toe, you got your ass whipped. The school, nor my parents didn’t play that. School dances, there was no grinding basically because we was all breakdancing but you should understand where I’m coming from.
Nowadays, lil elementary kids who could be my kids are putting on their own rendetion of Scarface!
I sat back and wondered “Who in their right mind thought this would be something kids should participate in?” Hip Hop cd’s we listened to back in the day got ran over by bulldozers and this is acceptable?!
I’m sort of jealous because there was no way in HELL our parents or school would’ve played this shit !! An uproar isn’t even the half of it. Just a look from them for even suggesting it would’ve told us our answer. It’s really a trip watching this because eventhough not a father, I can understand why so many parents have gone crazy watching this. It’s even more hilarious listening to the parents give ovations to this performance like they’re watching Hamlet.
-Written by Curtis75Black
Wikipedia has Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones born 9/14/73 and his classic debut Illmatic dropped 4/19/94, which made homie just 20 years old when those lyrics were finally heard. 16 years later in the music business and now 36 years of age, Nas finally decides to go back and get his diploma.
Now, I’m not knocking homie for reppin’ himself finally and taking notice how though praised his career is by his faithful fans, his personal life is in the toilet. I just find it funny how the same man that spit the lyics to this hasn’t gottten that done yet !! But we know how adults can be with that “Do as I say, not as I do” line, trust me, I heard it millions of times. The fact that homie has a daughter, I figured this was something he accomplished years ago so she can not only see him as just “my Daddy, the famous rapper”.
Alot of peeps will give him praise for this but I can’t! It’s 2010 man! This is ridiculous. You can’t get praise for finally doing something you should’ve done anyway. I’m not gonna give a guy a medal for not going to jail at a young age. You’re not supposed to !! I’m not gonna praise a sista for not geting pregnant at 16, again, You’re not suppose to!
Since the 90′s era of Hip Hop emerged, everything negative was a positive in the eyes of Hip Hop fans. Nas was praised for the street corner lyrics he was spitting but yet so was ONYX, Snoop, BIG, 2pac, Wu and anyother emcee that was “Keeping it Real” at the time. Sad part is, alot of new emcees followed suite. Not much with lyrical content but with social actions and the like they couldn’t get away with hadn’t they entered the rap game, like being a “College Dropout”. The music game don’t last forever and Nas is blessed to have lasted 19 years in the game but what about the newer generation coming up now ?
-Written By Curtis75Black
Music is suppose elevate the calm. Get a somber mood into a happy state. Have you feeling good to the point you put a certain track on repeat. Make you memorize the lyrics and mimic harmonies. It’s also suppose to be diverse. Dealing with Hip Hop, hearing the same style, same rhythm, same chorus or even the subject talked about can be very wack.
Hip Hop is the last genre that should be redundant.
For a minute now, all over the Internet, Bloggers and Hip Hop mags, all I hear and read is that the music is dead. Radio ain’t playing the real, BET programs suck ass for being another version of the radio and the outlets for our artists have dried up. Nas said “Hip Hop is dead”. Sorry but I beg to differ. We just stopped listening. What I mean by that is we want the radio and video to be what it used to be in the 90′s. We want to see our artists on tv performing real songs. Problem with that is we as fans stopped supporting our artists. We bootleg instead of buying so on the outside looking in, it seems as though we don’t care. We hate more than giving positve reviews which makes it seem like everything’s a bad choice. Why would a producer book a emcee who seems to not have any fans?
Straight up, for the past 2 years, I purchased 28 projects of Hip Hop! Once I got my iPhone, it was over with cd’s. Shit, I have a load of those as is…peep Federal Ranga’s Vlog to see what I’m talking about. Here’s quick Rundown:
LL Cool J-Exit 13
CL Smooth-Multi Barz of Fury
Large Professor-Main Source
De La Soul-Are you In
Masta Ace & Ed OG-Arts&Entertainment
Blaq Poet-The Blaqprint
Canibus & Keith Murray-(Undergods)
Wu Tang-Chamber Music
Dres-From the Black Pool of Genius
Crooked I- Mr.PigfaceWeaponWaist
Raekwon the Chef – OBFCL2
Q-Tip-Kamaal The Abstract
Joell Ortiz-Covers the Classics
Royce Da 5’9″-StreetHop
KRS-ONE & Buckshot-Survival Skills
The Alchemist-Chemical Warfare
Method Man & Redman-Blackout!2
Joell Ortiz-Road Kill
Freeway & Jake One-The Stimulus Package
Statik Selektah-100 proof (The Hangover)
And that’s so far for 2010! I probably missed a few for 2008 but they are on cd. Now with what I put down here, you see the diversity. You can’t tell me none of these artists are worthy or classic! If you’re looking for a certain artist or just checking for what’s on the radio and video programs, I understand why you wouldn’t care for the majority of these artists. If you’re the type who’s just checking got your GOAT, or favorite producer Dr. Dre, I understand even more that you’s a fool. Let’s be real, Hip Hop in the USA is bland because fans are spoiled rotten. We want our emcees to have a certain style and sound how we want them to sound without taking the music for what it is. We hate our emcee when they beef with our favorites acting like we wasn’t feeling them before the turmoil (Beanie anyone?). Dismiss a emcee who’s not on the charts or not selling as much as they used to. That is the definiton of selling out right? Hate a emcee who’s
on a Indie because they lack marketing but can’t stand a mainstream artists because of their “pop” sound? The majority of these emcees can only go the Independent route because a mainstream will not push them. We as the mainstream fans sort of speak, dictate whats being heard by what’s selling. If we don’t buy, they won’t be heard or pushed. Can’t blame white folks and chicks for that. They jam and buy anything that moves them. What do I know though, I’m just a fan who still enjoys a whole lot of Hip Hop music from our artists.
-Written By Curtis75Black