Monday, December 28, 2009

     “The media does play a big role in destroying the hip-hop culture movement, but many of you in the hip-hop community are the biggest enemies of hip-hop and you will be the ones who will help the enemies of hip-hop to destroy it, or to bring it back underground, because of your ignorance of knowledge of hip-hop. This has started the difference between "old school" and "new school". 

To myself there is only one school and that's the learning, evolving, going through the different phases or cycles school of hip-hop. That is the real hip-hop school. A lot of you in the world of hip-hop better start looking at the problems in your own backyard as well as the world, because while you are enjoying yourselves etc. there are many plots being sprung to destroy hip-hop in the world”. ~ Afrika Bambaataa

Generation gap has always existed & will always be, it ain’t a surprise that hip-hop is facing this problem. Usually thought thrives on conflict, but this time the conflict is so “ungrounded” that no thought can thrive on it. All they do is nothing but criticizing each other. And what's really interesting is that they don’t criticize the content…if you look closely, you'll see that they are talking about the form; when hip-hop is about the substance. As a matter of fact, I can’t even say that the beef is between old school & new school cuz there's no such a movement as new school. Old school is a unity, when new school is a bunch of people trying to do themselves. So, in fact, the old school artists criticize the industry. I would rather call this beef “old school vs. the music industry” aka “pioneers vs. the people who messed up the culture”. Anyway, it surprises me that pioneers talk about the form, when the substance suffers the most. In my book, old school represents the deep lyrical content, rebellious nature & new school represents mastered sound, world's recognition. So why are we talking about “skinny jeans”…like for real?!!! 

Hip-hop pioneers have priceless experience of going “from nothing to something”. They started the culture & the game from the scratch. They didn’t need major labels & media to gain respect and make a difference. There are a lot of interesting “moves” contemporary artists can learn from the old school colleagues in order to be free to create real music without being industry's “puppets”. So called “new school” generation is good at making money. Now imagine what it would be if they collaboed w/ each other… Will “new school” generation listen to the old school? Just like I already said, the “new school” movement isn't homogeneous: we have a mainstream movement & an indie/underground movement. Mainstream artists have already tasted so called “good life” and I’m not sure if they are ready to stop the “clownery” they participate in, to make a difference. In order to change the game, a person must go through thick (the way to the top) and thin (being on the top) & unfortunately not a lot of people proved that they can handle the “thin” part. Indie & underground artists would definitely learn from the hip-hop pioneers, but the old school people gotta be ready to stop all this mockery & work together as a fam. Otherwise, all these inner beefs will lead to self-destruction & the next generation will have to reconstitute the culture from the beginning. So if y'all wanna be loud & make noise, go ‘head! …but your ACTIONS are supposed to be loud & not only your mouth…do something!

Take a look at what an indie artist Floco Torres has to say on this issue. I cosign his p.o.v.…almost completely.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

         So while radio stations and TV keep on playing songs by wannabes like Nicki Minaj, hip-hop community is still struggling to bring true femcees to the game. Recently a lot of hip-hop veterans have stated that female rap had to be revived in order to revive the whole hip-hop movement. But as y'all know, talk is cheap. I've been waiting for one of those veterans to make some real moves & this move has been finally made by the one and only DJ Premier. He mixed a track for an up-and-coming femcee Dynasty aka D-Y & this track called “Femcee” is heavily promoted by Primo. Dynasty has been grinding in the rap game for a while & she finally has a chance to show the world how much of a true artist she is. D-Y has everything to change the game and murder them candy-coated chickenheads & Barbies: mad flow, substance, understanding of what true hip-hop is, dope personality and swagger. Feel free to check out Dynasty's music on her myspace & youtube pages and keep on watching for her, cuz this is only the beginning. 

Download “Femcee” & "On that microphone(Freestyle)" by D-Y.
 


Monday, December 21, 2009
       They say that Hip-hop is dying, but I believe that R&B is in even worse situation. These two genres has always walked hand in hand like a brother and a sister; they co-influenced each other … R&B tracks were used as samples for hip-hop songs, while “hip-hop beat” influenced the sound of contemporary urban R&B; they even blended into so called hip-hop soul. But recently R&B became such a cliché genre…all singers look and sound the same…everytime you watch BET or MTV, listen to the radio, it looks/sounds like some kind of parade of clones. Well, hip-hop has a powerful underground/indie scene. Even though they haven't made much noise, they are there and they are about to blow the industry up. But when it comes to underground R&B …well, the only decent artist I can name is prolly Mayaeni … at least I thought so… and I’m really happy to admit that I was wrong. Maybe underground R&B scene is less loud, but it’s waiting to be discovered & introduced to the world and there are lots of real diamonds in the rough: people w/ true talent and pure love for music. 

One of these diamonds in the rough goes by the name of Nneka. Her name means “Mother is supreme, mother is the best” and she reps her name to the fullest. Nneka is a mixture of different cultures: a daughter of an African father and a German mother…born and raised in Nigeria, she had been influenced by a lot of cultures and eventually became a voice of the ghetto we all live in … the ghetto called “The Earth”. She is not one of those “hot”, candy coated, “ghetto”, half-naked “divas” … nah, it’s not the case. Her music is a lot deeper than that. Nneka’s lyrics reflect her life experience, journey from Nigeria to Germany, issues of the Third World countries, moral values of our time and other things that are beyond the material world. Her style reminds of Erykah Badu & Lauryn Hill. Nneka has a unique raw sound as a singer and a soulful flow as an emcee. Even though she sings more than raps, it’s safe to call her a singer/femcee cuz Nneka is a true artist. 

This month Nneka has had a mixtape called “The madness” out. Her true talent amazed a lot of your favorite artists like Talib Kweli, Lauryn Hill, Nas, Jay Electronica, and Damien Marley …just to name a few. They were impressed so much, that they made guest appearances on the mixtape. I guess that such list of guest appearances speaks for itself. So let the madness begin… 

Download "The Madness" (FOR FREE) here 

For more Nneka check out her myspace page & twitter.




Thursday, December 17, 2009
          What's the most essential feature of the rap game? What makes emcees step up their game everyday? What motivates them to be better? I believe that it's competition. Hip-hop culture is one of the most competitive cultures in the world. Emcees manage to compete not only w/ other emcees, but also w/ themselves. And this "inner" competition is exactly what defines a legendary emcee. This lyricist grows as a person & as an artist day by day on the way to the perfection. But since only sky is the limit, every new step an artist takes is only another prelude to perfection...

“Prelude to perfection” is a mixtape by an 80's baby, young talented emcee/producer/entrepreneur from DetroitYoung Scolla. One of those things that single out the hip-hop generation born in 80's is that these “kids” are either “lost” or “found”. The 80's babies, who keep on listening to what the industry wants them to listen to, are definitely “lost” cuz they've been brainwashed, they have no idea of what real music is. The “found” generation escaped to the world of old school hip-hop, they know their roots, they carry on tradition & they are hip-hop enough to make a difference. Without a doubt, Young Scolla belongs to the “found” generation. He knows how to combine a hot sound w/ a deep lyrical content. When asked about his outlook on the rap game in general he had this to say: "There's been a lot of controversy over the Hip-Hop is Dead campaign. I say Hip-Hop is in a coma. Not to knock any music that's coming out but there is an over saturation. No depth in the music anymore. People aren't saying much. Until there is a balance, rap is going into a pit fall..." They call him “Scolla” cuz he aims for excellence with everything he aspires to do and reach for. This mixtape introduces to the world his inner growth. Scolla talks about hip-hop, success, love, relationships & other things we all go through everyday. 

There are all kinds of songs on the mixtape, but the brightest one is “Maybach Music 2” (Remix). He took Rick Ross’ track and showed what a real lyricist could've done w/ J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League's dope beat. I’m sure y'all remember the original track…hot beat, catchy chorus, and a bunch of bragging…typical “ringtone rap” song. But real rap/hip-hop track has nothing to do w/ that, so Scolla shows how hot 16’s…a hot verse…can turn a "fake" song into a real masterpiece. 

<a href="http://youngscolla.bandcamp.com/track/maybach-music-rmx-ft-s-class">Maybach Music (Rmx) Ft. S Class by Young Scolla</a>

I must say that I checked a few “old” tracks by Young Scolla and I was really impressed, cuz he definitely stepped up his game in terms of content and flow. So if this mixtape is only a “Prelude to perfection”, then what's perfection? 

For more Young Scolla check his twitter, myspace, youtube, blog & official web-site. You can also sign sp on www.youngscolla.fanbridge.com for exclusives from the emcee.

Download “Prelude to perfection” (FOR FREE) here or via sharebee

Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Yesterday I realized that I was wrong thinking that everyone knew Alonzo “Novel” Stevenson. So allow me to introduce him one more time. Novel is a multi-talented artist. He is a producer/singer/emcee and occasional music video director. He is a star to stars & nobody to nobodies. Novel ain’t some kind of rookie; he is more like a veteran. Being a hip-hop savior is in his blood. All his family members are gifted musicians and he carries on traditions of Solomon Burke’s dynasty. He has been in the music game for almost a decade & that didn’t change him. A true lyricist and hip-hop lover, Novel doesn’t allow the industry to break him. Regardless any “label troubles” he keeps on giving the world nothing but real music. Alonzo Stevenson has already blessed us w/ three great mixtapes Chapter One” (2008), “808's and Mixtapes” (2009) & “Suspended Animation” (2009) and great production for artists like Talib Kweli, India.Arie, Monica, Stacie Orrico, Leona Lewis, Alicia Keys, Joss Stone, Slaughterhouse, Sammie, Lauryn Hill and others. Right now he is working on his first studio album & a mixtape w/ Joell Ortiz. What can y'all expect from the mixtape? Nothing but greatness! And to prove that, Novel decided to show y'allindie how he cooks his “Blue Magic”… Welcome to the “Internet novelties
#1

#2

#3

#4

#5
To be continued...
Thursday, December 10, 2009
     What comes to your mind when you think of a “rap/hip-hop love song”?… Now wait a minute! Before you start quoting all those cliché lines from mainstream rap songs, lemme remind you that all those songs have nothing to do w/ hip-hop and love. In my book, rap is an art form & hip-hop is essence/content. A form with no essence is empty and senseless. The same thing goes for all those so-called “love songs”. What's hip-hop? What's rap? This kind of music is about self-expression. And since every person is unique, every song is supposed to be a journey to another world…especially when it comes to love. Now think one more time… Oh, do you really think that everything has already been said and done? Well, then allow me to introduce a Phenomenal Hip-Hop Individual Living Through His Years aka P.H.I.L.T.H.Y.

P.H.I.L.T.H.Y.’s EP “Love Songs For Losers & Ballads For Ballers” is something everyone can relate to. He decided to talk about an eternal issue: love. And the EP shows his own approach to love…to the kind of love that is a lot more than just kisses, hugs & beautiful words. The emcee doesn’t try to preach…nah, it’s not P.H.I.L.T.H.Y.’s style. Young man talks about his own experience and it’s up to you if you wanna learn the lesson or not. This is one of those things that make him so original. He is known for practicing what he preaches. Talk is cheap, that's why P.H.I.L.T.H.Y. walks instead of talking. He's not afraid to be himself, even though he is not a typical rapper. P.H.I.L.T.H.Y. is original in every way. And “Love Songs For Losers & Ballads For Ballers” is just another proof. Just take a look at the concept of the EP: "What's love radio". Intros are presented as listeners’ calls on the radio-station. Every listener speaks on a love issue he’s dealing w/ and the next song is dedicated to that issue. The lyrical content reflects P.H.I.L.T.H.Y.’s deep inner world. When the majority of male rappers are on that “big pimpin’ thing”, he ain’t afraid to be a gentleman and to show the world his beliefs. This EP breaks all the myths you've heard about man’s love and shows that “love is what chu make it”

Download “Love Songs For Losers & Ballads For Ballers” (FOR FREE) here

Or Via rapidshare

For more P.H.I.L.T.H.Y. check out his Twitter, Myspace & Blog.

In other words, welcome to the world of a Phenomenal Hip-Hop Individual Living Through His Years! 

Sunday, December 6, 2009
         Small Eyez is tomorrow, Marty Mcflying the Delorean left behind by his predecessors Common, Mos Def, & Talib Kweli. Like those that came before him Small Eyez has an uncanny lyrical ability to weave positivity & consciousness into accessible music for the general public to absorb. A solo emcee, independent artist, & Mind Musk Ent. Founder, music is something that has coursed throughout Eyez bloodstream ever since he was a youth in Ohio.

Small Eyez was told at an early age that he would never be capable of playing a musical instrument due to birth complications that left him with the use of only one arm. Rather than dwell on the restraints and limitations put on him by others Eyez began to use Hip Hop as a way to channel his creative energy. Eyez first officially appeared on the scene with the critically acclaimed Debut "Vipassana (The EP)", Released in April of 2006. Vipassana garnered rave reviews within the press from noteworthy publications such as Okayplayer.com, RapReviews.com, Groundlift Magazine, & SOHH.com to name a few. Small Eyez has performed alongside the likes of Hip Hop Legends like Talib Kweli, Dead Prez, Young Jeezy, Juelz Santana, & Monica. (Via his myspace page)

Download Small Eyez' new EP "From the Sol" (for free)

For more Small Eyez: Myspace, Twitter 

Thursday, December 3, 2009
       Everyday more and more people complain how wack music is today. Despite all this complaining, major record studios and artists keep on blaming recession for that & people keep on listening to what music industry calls “music”.

Frankly speaking, I don’t really get why people consider recession to be some kind of evil. It’s only a moment of clarity. It’s only a wake up call and nothing more. It’s a moment when a customer becomes the hustler. Cuz customers don’t have enough of money to buy everything they want, so they have to choose what's important and what's not. Every time they buy something, they give that product/company a chance to live. And every time they stop buying something, they sorta kill the product/company. So at the end of the day it’s a survival of the illest and only the best companies stay in the game. 

But it seems that music industry refuses to recognize the rules of the game. They act as nothing’s going on; they don’t apply any changes… when the system is yelling, “Help me! I’m dying!” The industry keeps on living in an imaginary reality. And I must say that their “imaginary reality” affects a lot of people outside of the industry. It creates a scary illusion. When you watch TV, listen to the radio or visit a record shop, it seems there are only a few artists in the game and they are so wack, but you have no alternative and have to listen to those “artists”.

However, in reality, there are thousands of great artists who struggle on their way to their potential fan-base. They have unbelievable work ethic. They don’t try to be a “one hit wonder”; instead they keep on experimenting and making real, unique, genuine, meaningful, and soulful music.

In the beginning, big companies came to hip-hop artists asking begging them to advertise their products, today major artists are enslaved by those big companies. But since we DO go through recession, WE can CHANGE the situation. And when I say we, I’m talking ‘bout FANS. WE made hip-hop universal. WE crowned the “kings” and the “queens” of the game. That's why WE can RESTART the system. 

Actually, the “restarting” has already begun. People stopped buying albums, cuz at least 50% of material on an average album is wack, so they simply download those albums for free. As a result, album sales decreased and industry bosses lose their money every minute. But what's really important at this point is fans’ reaction. Y'all can ask me, “What can WE do? We have no power, no influence…” Sorry, but I beg to differ. 

As I said earlier, there's an alternative to “ringtone crap rap” and this alternative is independent record labels. They have everything to prove that hip-hop has always been alive…everything but big fan-base to be world wide. So what can we do?

First of all, you have to look around and check for some indie artists in your area code or online. I’m sure that you can find at least a few dope artists. Once you found those artists, show them some love: buy their mixtapes/albums/songs or visit their shows. In order to do that, you can visit their web-site or ask them in person. In this case, every fan invests his/her few dollars and eventually an indie artist/label has a budget to work with (fact: recording songs and performing requires some money). 

Also, you can call on local radio stations and request your favorite songs. Radio stations and their sponsors are into ratings. If they know that this or that artist attracts audience, they play his/her music. So if YOU let them know that WE ALL wanna hear REAL MUSIC, eventually that will have to play what WE want…maybe not today, but tomorrow they will. After all, THEY are supposed to entertain US. And they don’t wanna lose listeners, cuz in their world listeners = $$$. We are valuable.

The next step is “spread the word”. If you know a great indie artist, tell your friends about this artist. “Promote” him/her via twitter, myspace, facebook or any other social network. Play this music everywhere you can. In other words, make sure that all the people you know heard of this artist.

There’s one more step for real hip-hop junkies. You can join your favorite artist's street/web team and help them. As a matter of fact, a lot of people think that artists owe their success to their talent. It’s not quite true. Artist's talent creates material, but artist's success is a creation of his/her team. Music is a product of collective contribution. Some of y'all have no idea how many people had to work hard to give you an opportunity to hear the song you call your favorite. The music game is a team game. So if you feel that this or that artist has potential to make a difference in the music game and you care enough about hip-hop, then what are you waiting for? 

I’m sure that there are a lot of other ways to make a difference. What are they? Well, it depends on your situation… Just be creative!!!… Be hip-hop!!!…

In the words of Malcolm X, Power never takes a back step — only in the face of more power”. So why can’t WE be that stronger power? Why can’t we remind the industry that it was invented to please US? Some of y'all might ask, “Who are us?”… We are hip-hop nation… a nation of dreamers who proved the world that nothing was impossible. How many people believed in that “hip-hop thing” in the beginning? That's right! Hip-hop is a “self-made phenomenon”. So maybe it’s time to tell the music industry, “Take a step back!”…

Tuesday, December 1, 2009
     I remember the very first day I “met” hip-hop…it’s been a while since that day…almost 10 years. I remember the feeling it gave me, or used to give me cuz these days not a lot of artists make that real music. The kind of music that makes your heart beat faster. The kind of music that touches your soul & gives you goose bumps… Damn, I miss those days! That's why there's nothing better than discovering an artist who can bring you back in the day when rap was real and not commercial. 

One of those artists is an up-and-coming female emcee Mae Day. Earlier this year (on Feb. 3, 2009 to be more exact) she dropped her second album called “Cherish The Day”. This project compliments her talent perfectly. She has a very powerful flow. It’s able to fit any kind of track; it’s very soulful & hard-core at the same time. She is a real MC (Master of Ceremony). The moment you start listening to her songs, you just can’t stop; you wanna press “rewind” really bad. Her music takes over your heart and mind. She is undeniable.

The whole project would've been way too risky for a lot of artists; they would've preferred working with “big” producers who create “mainstream” tracks than trying something new and fresh. But word “cliché” ain’t in Mae Day's vocabulary. As a huge fan of good ol’ music from 80-90s, Mae knows what real music is. “Cherish The Day” is a Sade-themed concept album produced by De Notes (who used to be a part of SickNotes production team) and mixed by DJ Mick Boogie. The two Detroit natives created a new inimitable sound w/ the help of their chemistry and true love for hip-hop. The most impressive part of the project is that while Mae Day is talking to the listener via lyrics, De Notes talks via beats. Beats complete lyrics & lyrics complete beats. It’s a perfect combination. When it comes to lyrical content, it ain’t hard to tell that Mae was influenced by legendary old school MCs and she carries on tradition. As a matter of fact, she is a friend of MC Lyte…you know they say, “real recognize real”. Deep lyrical content is an essential feature of Coiya “Mae Day” Renee's style. Today, the majority of rappers focuses on a memorable/catchy hook and forgets about messages. Their verses sound horrible and eventually the whole song makes no sense. But it’s not the case. There's no bragging or “blah blah” in her songs…nah, it’s a straight real talk. Coiya  touches upon a variety of topics: love, life, success, determination, dreams, and hip-hop. Every human being can find a Mae Day song to relate to. But you won't hear any explicit sexual lyrics from her; her style is what Mia Michaels calls “sensual innocence”. Unlike some other so called new school femcees, Mae Day doesn’t try to create that “sexy hoeish image”. She stays feminine, but at the same time Mae is strong/skillful enough to compete w/ any male MC; baby-girl can punch w/ rhymes. 

The strongest joint on the album is … well, I must say that each and every joint is a classic one… each and every song is a masterpiece. There’s something special about every song.

But besides incredible rapping skills, Mae Day has an outstanding personality. She is not your average girl. She has her own philosophy and she lives according to that philosophy every day of her life to the fullest. When the majority of artist are down for whatever to “be on top” and get them $$$, Coiya Renee does everything her own way and stays true to the culture; she ain’t looking for “temporary fame”, her every move makes her classic & legendary. Even though being an indie artist ain’t that easy, Mae keeps on going this way & after 7 years of hustling on hip-hop scene she has already accomplished a lot. Despite the fact that Detroit doesn’t show its artists love ‘till they make a big break, C. Renee repps her city to the fullest and doesn’t forget to give Detroit the first crack at whatever she's doing. But at the same time she ain’t trynna take over Detroit. Her mindset and set of goals are bigger than a city, she was born to be a world wide known artist…and she will be…

In other words, Mae Day is the total package: form & substance; unbelievable rapping skills & a deep personality. She has that “it” factor. You simply can’t deny her. So feel free to get to know Mae Day and watch history in the making, cuz Mae Day's way to the top is a birth of a new legend. 

For more Mae Day check out her on Twitter, Myspace, & Imeem  

You can download “Cherish The Day” through www.maedaymaeday.com (FOR FREE)







Mae Day is more than just an emcee …she is a wake up movement! You just can’t sleep on her! It’s a no no! 
Saturday, November 28, 2009
    First of all, lemme say that Game is one of my favorite MCs. He has always been special to me…since the day one. So I’m really happy that he decided to postpone his retirement. Frankly speaking, I never believed that he would retire. Hip-hop is way too addictive. And Game is the artist who put West Coast Hip-hop back on the map. In my book, he is the realest thing since Tupac passed away. 
    I must say that I’m excited about the Game/Pharrell collabo. Technically, they haven't worked together yet. They have a few unreleased tracks from “The Documentary” session, but those tracks didn’t appear on the album. One of the reasons why Game is “game” consists in his ability to adjust his flow to any beat/other MC’s flow. Now picture an album executively produced by Doc (Dr. Dre), Pharrell and Game: three ill minds working on the same project. I truly believe that R.E.D. will prolly be another classic rap album. 
   Check out the interview below. Game speaks on R.E.D., D.O.C. (Diary Of Compton), Dr. Dre, his collabo w/ Pharrell, 50 Cent and many other things. 

R.E.D. in stores 16/02/2010

Wednesday, November 11, 2009
         What's hip-hop? Some people say that it’s a culture. Other people say that it’s a music/fashion style. I say that it’s a way of life. It’s the way you talk, walk, dream, act, see, breath, hear…live. Hip-hop ain’t restricted within rap, graffiti, break dance & deejaying. It defines the absence of limits as long as you keep it real. It’s about self-expression & experimentation. It’s about being free to be everything you can be. It’s your heartbeat, your inspiration. Hip-hop is…nah, words are way to shallow to express what hip-hop is. So lemme show you… 

Wondamuzik is back in the building!

      Female rap…a lot of people think that it doesn’t even exist, but at the same time a lot of people think that it is something this game really needs. Ladies have always been a part of this movement…since the day one. Do u remember The Funky 4+1? The hip-hop group was formed in 1976 and was the first one to have a female MC, Sha Rock. Old school rap raised a generation of great female MCs. They could rap, they were great role models, entertainers, professionals aaand they challenged men. They didn’t diss them, but ladies raised the bar everytime they held the mike. You can ask me “How?” Well, they say “there's his truth, there's her truth & there's THE truth”. So everytime a female touched the mike and battled w/ a male MC it was kinda cross-examination. It has always been so and will always be…men and women have different vision. Even the same thing is gonna be interpreted in different ways by a man and a woman. So when a man rapped his verse, she was like “Excuse me, but I beg to differ!!!!” and she spitted her 16 bars. Thereby, we had his truth, her truth and eventually the truth. But what happened to that generation of ladies? 

I remember in one of his interviews, Notorious B.I.G. said that the biggest problem of female MCs (those days) was that they tried to be like men. At first I was kinda offended by that remark. Why can’t I be like a man? Well, simply cuz I ain’t one. A man is a man, and a woman is a woman. This is the way it's supposed to be and since hip-hop reflects the world/society, it’s the way it’s supposed to be within the hip-hop community. The new school generation of female MCs is more commercially successful, but they lost the essence of being a female MC. The new generation is nothing but a copy-cat. They do what men do. They tell us the same story using the same expressions, the same vocab. In my opinion, the situation is even worse…they do what MEN WANT them to do. They don’t represent sisters anymore. What they do is nothing BUT a gimmick. It’s okay w/ record labels (as long as they get their $$$), it’s okay w/ male rappers (note: not MCs) cuz they ain’t challenged, they can just relax and get their paper…but is it okay w/ the culture? I don’t think so. The culture is losing one of its powerful voices…in mainstream area. There are a lot talented ladies trying to make their way on top. I’m sure that the bomb called “Female Underground Hip-Hop” is gonna blow up this industry one day just like bebop. It used to be some funky music played by some geeks in New York night clubs, but that funky music took over the whole jazz game and was really influential for a while.

Another “interesting” point is that females shouldn't be around hip-hop becuz it’s disrespectful to them. Oh, yeah? The last time I checked rejection was the best motivation. You wanna call me a “bitch”…well, go head, daddy. I understand you, for real. You have nothing to say, so you try to bring me down, but…it doesn’t mean that I can’t bury you 16 bars under... in the most gentle way, cuz I’m an “L” to tha “A” to tha “D” to tha “Y”. If you treat me like I ain’t ish, I’m gonna prove you that I’m THE ish in the flyest way. 

So I truly believe that female rap is exactly what hip-hop culture needs to get back to being a real thing and to stop being a joke. Ladies of hip-hop challenge gentlemen to be stronger, wiser, more consistent, thoughtful, and real. Since this challenge is gone, all we hear is ringtone rap, commercial crap about fashion brands & trends and wanksta rap. That's why I say that we need that Ladies First thing back. Even though ladies ain’t never run this game, they showed the right direction for years. And look what hip-hop turned into when female voice became less influential…Are you proud of this state of hip-hop? 

Message to my rapping sisters (from Queen Latifah):“Grab the mike and get dumb!!!”

Sunday, November 8, 2009
“THE DEPTH OF YOUR STRUGGLE DETERMINES THE HEIGHT OF YOUR SUCCESS” Robert Kelly

31 years ago a Belizean boy was born. His name was Jamal Michael Barrow and no one could predict how crazy his life would turn out to be. At the age of 13 he immigrated to the USA, where he got familiar with hip-hop culture and gang banging. In 1998 Jamal “Shyne” Barrow was discovered by Clark Kent in a barbershop. Shyne’s unique voice and flow impressed the producer and Shyne was introduced to Bad Boy Ent. The rapper appeared on a few tracks and was about to release his debut album. But life had something totally different for Shyne in store. On December 27, 1999 Jamal Barrow was involved in a high-profile incident at a Manhattan club which left three people injured and the 21-year-old rapper facing charges of attempted murder, assault, and reckless endangerment. On June 1, 2001, Shyne was sentenced to ten years in prison.

However, Jamal managed to release 2 albums: “Shyne” (2000) & “Godfather Buried Alive” (2004). Living according to the street code, his gangsta music, and his charisma gained him l.o.v.e. & r.e.s.p.e.c.t. among hip-hop fans and criminals. So even though Bad Boy didn’t really support the debut album, it sold moderately well, and eventually went Platinum. Unlike the debut self-titled “Shyne”, his second album “Godfather Buried Alive” had a lot more guest artists and famous producers on it, but it went only Gold. Anyway, the both studio albums revealed young man's talent and gained him loyal fan-base. 

Having served over nine years of a ten year sentence, Shyne was released from jail and on Wednesday October 28, 2009 he was deported to Belize. Some people would be broken & defeated after all that drama…but not Jamal Michael Barrow. He proved to be a stand up type. Serving his time, Shyne got closer to God and decided to change his name of Jamal Michael Barrow to Moses Michael Leviy. Moses revised his lifetime experience and built a character to become a better person. 

On Monday, Nov. 2nd, the Belizean rapper held a press conference at his former high school, Wesley College in Belize City; where he talked about his enlightenment and future plans.

"In life, you are what you are and this is what I am. I don't want to be like Michael Jordan. I want to be like Moses or King David or King Solomon. Those are the guys I aspire to be like. I didn't want to be like the kingpin on my block; I wanted to be like the guy who parted the sea, that's why I chose that name."

"I came up on the streets with guys that gangbanged and were into criminal activity, and those tools never worked. Those tools, you either end up spending the rest of your life in prison or sleeping in a grave. But with the tools that you are getting here as far as education is concerned, that is the ultimate tool and with that tool you can transcend any situation because I am just like you, you dig. I grew up on Curassow Street. When I was coming up we didn't even have toilets. But one of the things my Uncle Finnegan and my father, Prime Minister Barrow, implored upon me was education, education, education, education."

"Look what gangster roll got me. Look where it led me. And I am not telling you what to do because I am not a preacher and I am not everybody's father, but I am exhibit A of what's going to happen if you don't stay in Wesley College, you dig? If you don't go to that sixth form, if you don't try to go to the university you're going to spend the rest of your life in the cooker or you're going to be in the grave. That is what this is about."

Shyne also revealed he's planning to return to music and will not censor his message. "I make music about life. One of the greatest musicians was Bob Marley. There was nothing misogynistic about him. But his music, he talked about some harsh realities some time. He was tough. I would like to make that type of contribution, that kind of Marvin Gaye contribution, you dig? But at the same time we curse, at the same time life is violent, life is troublesome sometimes — so don't expect my music to be sanitized. I am just going to talk about what's going on in the world."

If Robert Kelly is right (& I do Believe that he is right), then we are witnessing birth of a new international leader who will become one of the brightest stars on hip-hop scene. In the words of Malcolm X, “There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time”. And I’m sure that Moses learned his lessons well. 

Currently, Shyne continues to fight for residency in the United States.

What more can I say? Oh, yea…HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOSES!! WE LOVE YOU!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009
      Yea, this Beanie Sigel vs. Jay-Z beef is old news…but what still surprises me the most is some people's reaction. A lot of people didn’t see this coming. And I wonder why…I mean, name the artists who became “the sh*t” w/ the help of Roc-A-Fella. The only people who created the buzz on this label are Jay-Z and Kanye West. Actually, the label was created to release Jay's “Reasonable doubt” and as one of the founders (Roc-A-Fella was founded by Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter, Damon Dash & Kareem "Biggs" Burke) he always made sure to get the best. So there's no surprise that he succeeded. Kanye…well, hate him or love him, but no one can deny that he is a musical genius. He controlled his own “project” as much as it was possible. By the moment he started his rap career he had already been known as a hot producer and songwriter. So I don’t think that Kanye owes his career exclusively to Roc-A Fella. And what about other artists? Roc-A-Fella was founded in 1996…13 years ago. It has signed/discovered a lot of different artists, but they either stayed in the shade of Hova, or got dropped. Those people who had a name before the Roc simply left the label. The same thing goes for the founders. Kareem Burke was the first founder who left the fam. Today not a lot of people even remember his name or know that he was a part of the Roc. Dame Dash didn’t stay for too long either. So why is everyone soooo surprised? This label has never actually helped to build any artist's career except for Jay-Z’s. Yes, Beanie Siegel stayed w/ the Roc for a while, probably he had certain hopes, but it wasn't hard to tell that this situation would occur. As any other artist, Sigel wants to be recognized, he doesn’t want to be under someone, he wants to have his own voice. He has been riding with this crew for a long time, so he wants his dividends. Is it a crime? 

But what's actually interesting…is that major labels run by artists don’t have artists brighter than the “CEO”. Bad Boy Records (Entertainment) is another bright example. The label gained its popularity w/ the help of Notorious B.I.G.’s success and (since Christopher Wallace departed) Diddy  remains the only “star”. During its 16 year history, the label has had a lot of artists, they created some buzz, but they never had a chance to become stars of the show. And I can’t say that former Bad Boy artists are wack. As a matter of fact, the Lox is living proof that they were the sh*t during the Bad Boy era and Sean Combs didn’t give them enough of opportunities.

Are Jay-Z and Diddy fools to lose good artists? No, they are only businessmen. They got their minds on their money, money on their minds. On the one hand, they want to make money, but on the other hand, they don’t want other artists to outshine them.

Am I judging them? No, I just wanna say a word to young artists. When something like this is going on, be smart enough to take notes. A lot of rappers love to say “Somehow the rap game remind me of the crack game”…translation: it's business and nothing personal; if you are sure that you belong to the rap game, be ready to watch your back. Hip-hop lives in the streets, the moment the contract is signed it turns into business…And who told ya that business was a fair play? “I'm a hustler homie you a customer cronie”…do you remember this? I'm not saying that you have to betray your business partners…it's a no no, but I do say that you have to be business educated to know what's going on behind your back. In the words of Malcolm X, “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today”. Think about it…

P.S. A few words from Joe Budden on the situation: “Bottom line is... i'm a fan of both dudes music & will always be... i just dont care to know the person behind the artist, IT NEVER MATCHES”... I think that it's a good point/advice.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

This time Imma let the music speak for itself.
Can u say "CLASSIC"?!!!


Even though major record labels run the music market, we still have many different independent labels. A lot of them come and go, but some were created for a special purpose: to change the game. What do u usually expect from an independent hip-hop label? Something u ain't ever seen/heard? Unique stile? Hunger? Realness? Incredible music? Interesting production & promotion? Breaking of the "rules"? Bye-bye to clichés? Whatever your answer is, Wondamuzik is exactly what hip-hop scene has been missing. It has everything to become one the most influential hip-hop movements...ever!

The label was founded by Young Fame in 2005. Today it contains 7 gifted artists: Young Fame (CEO), Apollo The Great, O-Skeez, Mikey Santos, Ava Michele, Dj Deuce, & Noonie.

Unlike any other young artists, Wondamuzik members have their own unique voice & style. So if your ears have missed some real Hip-hop, R&B, Soul, &/or Reggae music... Wondamuzik is the supplier u need.  In my book, real music is the music that has power to make your heart beat faster & your mind think clearer. So are u ready to hear something really real?

Ready or not...here they go! 








It's only the beginning...stay tuned!
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
       If u love horror, & everything that has to do w/ horror, u definitely need to grab yourself a copy of Young Fame's new mixtape this Halloween…but don’t be scared, cuz the only one who can fall victim to “Da Thriller” is music industry. U wonder why?...Well, simply cuz “Da Thriller” is so true & u know…truth hurts. This mixtape is everything u could expect from a hip-hop mixtape and even more. First off, it has a theme. It's not a bunch of tracks put in one pack & called “mixtape”. It's a piece of art w/ concept. And if u look closely, u can see that the concept/theme is of double nature: explicit & implicit. The explicit theme is “horror culture”, Halloween, or whatever u wanna call it. The implicit theme is the state of hip-hop culture. So taking into the consideration both concepts, it ain't hard to tell that the mixtape is kinda “audio movie”. It begins w/ an intro that sets the mood for the whole journey to the world of Young Fame. Each song/skit is entertaining, it tells a story, it keeps u in suspense. But the moment u think that the journey is over, cuz the outro is supposed to be the end, u realize that there's more…the bonus tracks give u an extra opportunity to recognize the future hip-hop legend. In my opinion, the strongest songs are “Welcome To My Nightmare”, “He's Still Alive”, “Phantasm”, “Delusional”, “Outta My Mind”, & “Bonus tracks”. But don’t get me wrong, the whole mixtape is a killer. Young Fame is a representative of East Coast Rap scene (Philly/New Jersey) & using metaphors is something he is supper good at. What I really love about metaphors in hip-hop is that they draw a general scheme & YOU choose what to see/hear: entertainment or depth of an artist. If u are into the depth, u have a unique opportunity to test your perception, cuz the more u listen to a song, the more hidden messages u can find there…it's up to your perception, mind, & imagination. And Famey has a lot to say. But what makes this mixtape even more special is production. The whole thing was written and produced by the one and only Lester “Young Fame” Bridges. Today's producers usually play w/ the same melody or trick and their music is so boring, but “Da Thriller” breaks all the “rules”. Its sound has expressive style u will never forget, but at the same time every joint has its own flavor. What more can I say? Feel free to get familiar w/ one of the hottest MCs: visit www.iamyfame.com to get to know Famey and to download the mixtape. Young Fame also has a myspace page. And of course, follow him on Twitter. Special shout out to the whole Wondamuzic fam!
To support “Da Thriller” means to support hip hop's future! Don't miss the opportunity!
Monday, October 26, 2009



    Artists come and go everyday. Today this artist is super popular and tomorrow no one even remembers his name. They are like shooting stars:very “bright”, but short-lived. Anyway, some artists manage to stay forever, even after they pass away or retire. So I'm asking myself, “What qualities does one need to survive in this game and to stay forever? What makes one legendary?” 

Skills: Flow/Vocabulary. If u can't rap…freestyle to be more exact, u can't call yourself an emcee. These days a lot of “artists” use so called ghostwriters; I guess this is one of the reasons why we have so many wack rappers. Originally only a winner of rap battles could be am emcee. But in today’s industry u need marketable face, voice, and be ready to sell yourself, cuz ghostwrites and managers will do the rest for u…if they believe that it will bring them money. Flow is supposed to be unique, kinda emcee's DNA: word play, metaphors, pronunciation, speed, sick rhymes, anything that makes one outstanding. 

If one is good at rhyming/rapping it's good, but it's not enough. There must be a magnetic personality behind the flow. And when I'm saying “personality”, I'm not talking ‘bout a marketable character…I'm talking ‘bout a real person who ain't afraid to be himself and to speak his mind. A legend is characterized by honesty. He is a menace to society, cuz he spits nothing but reality. All he says is supposed to be truth. A legend keeps it really real 24/7. He tells real stories, and he doesn’t pretend to be something he's not. He has his own philosophy  and he lives according to it. He doesn’t betray this philosophy. He lives according to his code 'till his last breath. And this magnetic personality is colored by energy. It can be of two types: explosive or octane. Explosive energy attacks from the very beginning, from the moment artist is seen for the very first time. It's calling u, it's saying “I'm the sh*t. Try me and u’ll see what I be”. It's undeniable. It's an uncontrollable beast, no one can stop it. Octane energy is very quite. Probably u won't even notice it at first. But that's why it's so powerful. U don’t even see it & the next thing u know… u are caught up in it. It's kinda Trojan horse. 

So what makes one legendary? Well, it's a mixture of skills and personality that gives birth to a new unknown quality. And this X quality paves the way to the top. It's something that has never existed and will never be seen again. It's something that makes a legendary emcee the one. This is something that can't be faked. Hate it or love it…it will change the game forever. Ready or not… here it goes.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Let the lyrics speak for themselves ... 

R.E.D. in stores December 1st

In the beginning hip-hop culture was a ghetto secret, but today, when it's one of the most famous cultures in the world (if not in the history), a lot of people think that everyone can rap. People get that celebrity status and start thinking of “rap career”. So those people who ain't really familiar w/ the culture think that being a rapper is easy. At first it hurt me…but they say, “If u can't change the situation, change your attitude towards this situation”. So how ‘bout differentiating a rapper from an MC? 

First off, lemme define “rap” and “hip-hop”… Yeah, I know that “rap” is music & “hip-hop” is a culture, but I'm gonna remind u another definition given by Sid Shaw (from Brown Sugar): “So what's the difference between rap and hip hop? It's simple. It's like sayin' you love somebody and bein' in love with somebody. Rap is only a word”. I believe that this is essential if you wanna see the difference between a rapper and an MC. First there was love…it was born somewhere in the Bronx…it was genuine…it was born by dreamers who had nothing but passion for music and hope for a better reality. Everytime they rhymed it was coming from the bottom of their hearts. No one promised them multi-platinum albums, record deals or concerts at Madison Square Garden. They spent their own money to have an opportunity to perform. They performed in the middle of the street, in the park, round the corner, everywhere… but every performance, every song was a true declaration of love. Record labels, sponsors, businessmen saw that “authenticity sells” (Russell Simmons’ rule) and they decided to make some money. But “I love you” phrase has one interesting quality: when you say it all the time not meaning it, it loses its magical power and turns into a word…“rap”… MC stands for “master of ceremonies”, “microphone controller”, which means that freestyling/performing is a ceremony, a very special and intimate event; MC is a controller, he/she controls the whole “crowd” with the help of “I love you” hidden in 16 bars. MC’s took hip-hop to this level; they showed the world what “REAL LOVE” is capable of. Rappers spit nothing but words, sounds. They create a product for labels to sell. They work according to certain schemes, they listen to what their mind says, they forget about that dream-girl/boy they used to be when they lived in the ghetto. They allow the game the change them, when their mission is to change the game. MC is a lover, and rapper is a money machine. MC is an artist who loves art too much to abuse it. MC bumps heads w/ record label; he can give IN, but he doesn’t give UP. He keeps it real ‘till his last breath. And if he has to choose between “money” & “freedom of speech”, MC chooses “freedom”. A rapper is someone who had a potential to become an MC, but he sold that potential. He does financially smart moves, but these moves are heartless…ain't real. He releases a few albums, he is famous for a while, but eventually he is one out of many & in a few years no one even remembers his name cuz his music didn’t make an impact.

So when people tell me that being a rapper is easy, I don’t get mad, I don’t argue w/ them…I don’t advocate rappers. I advocate MCs…& emceeing ain't easy. So I have nothing but love, respect & support for MCs all over the world. U doubt if MCs exist, if people who can say “no” to money exist?… MC is a lover & in the words of Euripides, “He is not a lover who does not love forever”. So all u have to do is look around. Check your local record store or local record store or serf the Internet. Best believe me that there's a huge army of dope MCs. Sometimes it feels like I live in the Matrix, where major record labels represent “agent Smith” and true hip-hop lovers are “Neos”. So the question is… Who u with? Agent Smith? Or Neo? 

Tuesday, October 20, 2009
At first I couldn't understand why Game kept his artists undercover. We saw them in his videos, he promoted the whole BWS movement, but he never used his major status to promote his people. "The Game" is an international brand, so technically it was the easiest way to introduce Juice, Clyde Carson, X.O., Elijah, Nu Jerzey Devil  & Southsider to the world. I remember one of his interviews where he explained it. He said that they had to grow first; he wanted to treat his artists just like Dr. Dre treated him: they had to begin w/ mixtapes and prove that they deserved a studio album. I don't know if Dr.Dre & The Game will ever reunite for real; but one thing I know for sure: Dre discovered one of the illest West Coast minds. I believe that the BWS is exactly what West Coast rap has been missing. Well,  maybe these rappers haven't reached their potential, but I can see the growth... So check them out!



I wonder how Mr. Taylor gonna treat Shyne...The most recent rumors state that Shyne has reportedly signed to Black Wall Street Records imprint

I used 2 ♥ him

Common used to love H.E.R. & I used to love H.I.M. (Hip-hop Is My Muse) ... but true love never dies ... this is my L.O.V.E. S.T.O.R.Y.

Music

About Me

They call me Janus cuz I’m a little bit of every opposition. I’m quiet & loud, happy & sad, cocky and shy, rough & ladylike… but most of all I’m hip-hop. I started this blog to share my thoughts and ideas with the world, so feel free to leave your comments and to holla at me. Welcome to my world! Follow me on Twitter http://twitter.com/ms__lady