Wale’s ‘Ambition’ No. 2 with 164K sold [mtv]
Paterno fired over Penn St. child abuse scandal [cbsnews]
NBA negotiations last 16 hours; more talks planned [nba]
Rappers Lil Wayne, Fat Joe Link With Dwight Howard To Coach B-Ball Teams [allhiphop]
Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos kidnapped in Venezuela [espn]
Q&A: Drake On Battle Rappers, A$AP Rocky, And His Five-Figure Bet With Nelly [villagevoice]
Low-income in line for lower-cost broadband [pcworld]
Remains of war dead dumped in landfill [huffingtonpost]
Say what you want, but Puff Daddy seems to be a little smarter than we give him credit for. As in, smart enough to hit the ground running with a somewhat fantastic idea, but not smart enough to parlay it into longevity (read: Craig Mack, Total, L.O.X., etc.). Although, Hip Hop isn’t known for decade-long careers, so I guess maybe I digress? Similar to his new sandbox buddy 50 Cent, all the hate in the world can’t stop this clown from getting dough. Even if it means trying to sell me cologne named after them. No dice.
The thing with Puffy is that, with such a salted reputation, & a phonebook-thick resumé full of shade tree operation, he still makes it his business to keep his foot in the rap game. & the “industry” allows it. It’s almost to a point where I’m beginning to question my opinion of this guy, like maybe I’m the one who has it all wrong. But see, that’s that true hustle nature at work; making you think it is, when clearly, it ain’t, so to speak. I know better than that, though. I wouldn’t trust Sean Combs further than I could throw him. & not for nothing, but I think Diddy’s planting mad seeds, purposely, with intentions of Joe Jacksonin’ the music game soon. Quote me on that.
Anyway, Puff’s latest attempt at rap world domination appears to be a healthy mix of disgruntled Hip Hop vets & thirsty young dudes, as any solid rap gang should be. &, I stopped fronting on DJ Khaled’s production long ago. If you haven’t yet, do yourself a favor. With the exception of Red Cafe, all the members are fairly grizzled old man rap guys, ready to rightfully let niggas know–for real this time. Well, Rick Ross The Rapper is somewhat green, but that beard is creepy. Like if Isaac Hayes (R.I.P.) had’ve been a child molester. Point is, with the current resurgence of veteran rap cats, there’s totally a window of opportunity for Fat Joe, Busta Rhymes, & yes, even Diddy himself. Honestly, if I have to tolerate Sean Combs back on the “radio,” in regular rotation, I’d rather it be in the company of artists who’ve proven relatively successful track records & his favorite weed carrier, than ‘Dirty Money,’ whatever the hell type of experiment that was supposed to be. I swear he comes up with half his ideas high on X pills. Nonetheless, this ‘Dream Team,’ or whatever it’s called is definitely the Miami Heat of rap right now. Like it or not. Now all Red Cafe has to do is continue to carry Puff’s weed & drop a hot 16 here & there, & he could very well just sit back & ride & enjoy the spoils of victory, crabmeats included. Come to think of it, it’s time for a “new” rap crew to run shit for awhile. & I don’t even mind that they’re all from New York, either.
On a related note, am I the only one who finds it odd that Shyne still hasn’t addressed Diddy, in any shape, form or fashion? If he teams up with Puff to go at 50 Cent, I’m going to start listening to Ke$ha for all my Hip Hop needs.
I’ve never understood, especially at a time when nodody’s buying albums, why rapper’s still sign on to other rappers’ vanity imprint labels. It’s kind of like if Black Mamba was the coach & owner of the greatest sports franchise, ever,, as well as the main component to it’s successes, I’d rather play for Mike Dunleavy’s old squad. Same house, different furniture, if you smell my cologne (& if you don’t smell it, step your NBA Intelligence Quotient up). Rappers rap, & even if they’re self-appointed CEO’s, they still like the notion of being the best rapper on the planet. If not the planet, at least on their record label. Fact. There’s never been a credible MC who’s publicly admitted he doesn’t mind being #2. & just because a rapper decides to take the ubiquitous plunge into the business side of rap music doesn’t guarantee that his ego deflates. It’s actually quite the contrary. For example, Jay-Z was a cocky douche nozzle back when he rocked Hawaiian shirts & that God-awful sort of flat-top, without Roc-A-Fella Records. Once he was able to call shots, from a patriarchal standpoint, it was a (w)rap. Best believe, no one on “the Roc” out-rapped Jigga. The only one who almost could, arguably, was Memphis Bleek, & he’s been relegated to sideline interviews & partial spotlights since ‘Coming Of Age.’ Word on the ‘Nets is that he has his own label in the works now, too, so the vicious cycle shall continue.
There’s this little book, called The 48 Laws of Power (read it if you haven’t), & it states that the first rule of power is “Never Outshine The Master.” That alone should deter any rapper from joining forces with an already established brand. No matter what you do, it could possibly be viewed as mutiny, disrespect, or the great, great grandfather of all internal rap beefs–the subliminal. Hot verse? Forget about it. It would behoove you to keep your swagger lukewarm for the sake of feeding your children (or your drug habit). If you name a hot rap dude, you can name some rapper that signed to his ridiculously-named “label,” only to ride shotgun indefinitely, regardless of skill set.
I realize that there are exceptions to the rule. Over the weekend, the homie Technique pointed out where this could be beneficial, like in a Slaughterhouse-to-Shady Records situation. These are established dudes, who may or may not make the same movements, label commitment or otherwise. But really though, seasoned rap veterans (in the broadest sense of the term) aren’t likely to get involved with this type of situation. They’re not the ones looking for a deal. By now, they make the deals. Or at least should be. In fact, let me acknowledge the fact that Eminem signed a young & hungry 50, & got the hell out of his way. Because of 50′s magnitude, people forgot that he was Em’s artist, first & foremost. I sure did. For all the “talent” that G-Unit had, Game was the centerpiece to the hodge podge of artists. & he didn’t even stick around that long. Speaking of Game, name one act on Black Wall Street Records. Check, & mate.
Imagine if more of the rappers-turned-CEO’s exibited Fat Joe’s late 1990′s sensibilities, & put their (clearly better than them) artists ahead of themselves for the sake of really starting a record label, as opposed to giving recording contracts to a cacophony of sausage blowers & blunt rollers. When I noticed Joe giving Pun all that shine, I thought that was brilliant. Like Erick Sermon did for Redman. That’s forward motion. That’s realizing that holding back home talent means less dough, simply put. But, we all know that’s not how it works nowadays. I wonder what would possess these young dudes to become property of labels whose bosses are the exact same age as them. Shout-outs to Young Money, CTE, & 1017 Brick Squad, collectively.
Come to think of it, I remember reading somewhere how these overnight CEO’s & rap entrepeneurs are the future of music. Couple that with the fact that a lot of the older cats didn’t have the same opportunities way back when, & perhaps I’ve typed in vain. Hmm…