Why Chuck D was right about Hot 97

By now the Chuck D/Hot 97 beef has been well-documented by blogs, and anyone with access to Twitter can see the back-and-forth exchange that’s spanned several days.

Long story short, Chuck D blasted Hot 97 for this year’s Summer Jam show, calling it a “sloppy fiasco” and criticizing the liberal use of the n-word, questioning where Hot 97 would be if the concert had been filled with Anti-Semitic and gay slurs. He wants urban radio to “get it right or be gone.”

Ebro Darden and Peter Rosenberg of Hot 97 responded, and a war of Twitter words ensued.

On the surface this seems like just another social media spat that will be forgotten tomorrow, but in reality it runs much deeper than that. This is not just about a sloppy show or racial slurs. It’s not about Summer Jam or Hot 97 or Ebro and Rosenberg. It’s not about specific hip hop radio stations or specific hip hop concerts. It’s about what all of these things collectively add up to. This is about what “hip hop” has become, and Summer Jam was just the most visible example…continue reading at Rap Rehab.

Advertisements

Press release for hip hop artist Precise

Veteran Chicago rapper Precise to release “Ladies Love Mixtapes The EP” at listening event “Love Sessions” on May 24

Chicago, May 15, 2014—Acclaimed Chicago rapper Precise will release his new project “Ladies Love Mixtapes The EP” at the Love Sessions listening party at The Silver Room in Chicago on May 24 from 7 to 10 PM CST. Inspired by romantic relationships, the album was created to give female rap fans an alternative to the male-dominated, misogynistic content in the mainstream media. “Ladies Love Mixtapes The EP” tells a story that remains true to the essence of hip hop culture while catering to a woman’s sensibilities. The EP was written by Precise and produced by Tye Hill, D.J. Thunder and Crankz.

Over his 15-year career, Precise has performed with Grammy award-winning rapper/actor Common, Spoken Word Artist Saul Williams and Grammy award-winning recording artist Rhymefest. Last July, Yahoo Voices named him “Chicago’s Most Motivational Hip Hop Artist,” and most recently, he was a finalist in The Hard Rock Café’s Battle Of The Bands.

Continue reading “Press release for hip hop artist Precise”

The problem with hip hop journalism

Most hip hop journalists these days fall into two camps, neither of which has much to do with journalism.

The first camp includes press release aggregators and groupie types who act more like publicists than journalists. These writers attend all the right parties, score all the right interviews, blindly co-sign “hot” artists, post new singles as soon as they receive them and act as virtual mouthpieces for record labels, never questioning the direction of the culture or the artists who represent it.

They invite readers to look, listen and click, but not think. When confronted about the ills of hip hop, these “journalists” will make endless excuses in defense of rap and why they aren’t addressing deeper issues in their reporting – and they have to make these excuses, because their livelihood and status depend on rap’s popularity.

On the other end of the spectrum are “cultural tourists” at so-called hipster magazines. These writers know little about hip hop as a culture, have only scant association with the community it springs from and subconsciously gravitate toward ignorant strains of rap because they’re more comfortable with black stereotypes and caricatures than real people…continue reading at RapRehab.com.

Why hip hop needs a voice on Zimmerman verdict

[Originally published in thegrio.com]

Since George Zimmerman’s acquittal for the murder of Trayvon Martin, the reaction within the hip-hop community has ranged from long-winded Twitter rants to total silence.

While rappers like Lupe Fiasco, Immortal Technique and Phonte have been vocal about the verdict and what it says about the value of black life in this society, far too many high-profile stars have said nothing.

Kanye West, for example, positioned himself as a new age revolutionary on Yeezus, but his revolutionary spirit seems to have disappeared since he stepped out of the booth; his last tweet as of this writing was a link to a GQ article about his new creative direction.

Jay-Z recently took to Twitter to connect with fans as a promotional stunt for Magna Carta Holy Grail, but we haven’t heard a peep from him about arguably the most important court decision of our generation.

Continue reading “Why hip hop needs a voice on Zimmerman verdict”

Hip hop reality check: A brief manifesto on Wiz Khalifa, Rick Ross, 2 Chainz and betrayal

Hip hop fans, let’s be clear about a few things.

Wiz Khalifa can’t rap for shxt.

Rick Ross is an impostor whose fabricated identity is based on betraying his own people.

And 2 Chainz has little to offer besides swag and stereotypes.

And no, this is not hate, this is the informed opinion of a hip hop junkie who has watched the art form devolve from a beautiful display of skill and innovation, an outlet for a wide array of black perspectives, a voice for a community that previously had none, to a collection of negative stereotypes that send destructive messages about who we are and what we should be as black people. Continue reading “Hip hop reality check: A brief manifesto on Wiz Khalifa, Rick Ross, 2 Chainz and betrayal”

Review of Boston’s 2011 Hip-Hop Unity Fest

[Originally published in the Boston Herald. All kinds of people caught feelings about this one. Oh well.]

The world didn’t end on Saturday, but a rapture of a different kind swept over hip-hop heads at the Paradise that night.

The fifth annual Boston Hip-Hop Unity Fest had emcees from multiple styles and stages of notoriety rocking the same stage, with famed producer DJ Premier closing out the night in tribute to Gang Starr comrade and Roxbury-born wordsmith Guru.

The rap marathon’s massive lineup almost proved too stacked, as the lengthy roster ran long and Premier was forced to shorten his 90-minute set to just half an hour.

Continue reading “Review of Boston’s 2011 Hip-Hop Unity Fest”

10 things every rapper should do before they start rapping

When it comes to rap music, abysmal record sales often start with abysmal records. Though a few bright spots do exist (Kanye, we see you), a barrage of bling-obsessed studio thugs has made the rap landscape look mighty bleak.

While a return to the golden age may be a rap purist’s pipe dream, the state of hip-hop affairs can certainly be improved.

With that in mind, we present The Top 10 Things Every Rapper Should Do Before They Start Rapping:

Ready when you are.

1. Read the dictionary. That doesn’t necessarily mean emulating Malcolm X and going cover-to-cover with it. Necessarily. But some time invested in expanding your vocabulary will be well-spent. This way you won’t end up rhyming “handle” with “weather” and “hood” with “hood,” or “new shit” with “new shit” and “sun” with “hundred.” At the very least, consider setting up a word of the day alert at Dictionary.com. Continue reading “10 things every rapper should do before they start rapping”

Millyz opens up about sophomore album “Whiteboy Like Me 2”

[Originally published in the Boston Herald on May 20, 2011]

For Cambridge rapper Millyz, two years have brought both triumph and tragedy.

In 2009, the enterprising emcee released his debut street album, “Whiteboy Like Me,” and turned a budding fan base into a cult following. When recording the follow-up “Whiteboy Like Me 2,” available for free download on Friday at datpiff.com and newenglandhiphop.com, the 25-year-old looked to capitalize on the success of the original while pushing beyond its street-oriented scope.

Continue reading “Millyz opens up about sophomore album “Whiteboy Like Me 2””