Friday, May 22, 2009


There is always a few characters in the limelight that fall from grace, but they work their way back into the public's hearts with a redeeming move or two. Sometimes they do it on purpose, other times its completely accidental and coincidental. Here is my Redeem Team for the month of May.

RON ARTEST - The man who filled Dennis Rodman's shoes in the basketball world. From breaking Michael Jordan's ribs in a pick up game to jumping in the stands to fight a fan, he has stayed a figure of controversy. He has even had his team ideology questioned when he requested time off to promote his rap album (ya'll remember Tru Warier?). When he was traded to Houston in the off-season many believed it was his last chance to stay in the league, being that he would be going to his fourth team in four seasons. It seemed like a good fit, with already two superstars in Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming present in the line up. T-Mac went down with an injury in the regular season, and Yao let his persistent leg problems dead his season during the playoffs, leaving nappy headed Ron Artest to lead the Houston Rockets through their series with the West favorites Los Angeles Lakers. Many thought the Rockets were finished after game 2, but Artest helped lead this rag tag team of sixth men all the way to a game seven with Kobe's Lakers; doing it all somewhat quietly. His press conferences were funny and charming, instantly making him a playoff sweetheart for the media. Welcome back, Ron.

NICK CANNON - This may seem like an odd choice, but I think after the way he stood up for his wife and told Eminem that he would molly-whop his ass for his remarks about Mariah, I gained a lot more respect for "corny-ass Nick Cannon." That is what a real man is supposed to do: threaten to kill a cat that disrespects their woman. Much props for putting your nuts in your hand, Nick.

AL DAVIS - Maybe the old man is not so crazy. He caught hell for the way he treated and unceremoniously fired Lane Kiffin. Lane Kiffin went on to land the head football coach job at the University of Tennessee, and has acted a damn fool ever since, without even having one game coached under his belt. Talking loud about Urban Meyer, recruiting violations, and Twitter controversies have already sullied his first year. This behavior leads at least me to believe that maybe there was more going on behind closed doors, and Al Davis actually got this one right.

MIKE TYSON - No need to go into his history, the name speaks for itself. He has a new documentary about his life and career out, he allowed himself to be used in EA's upcoming video game "Fight Night: Round 4," and he makes a guest appearance in the new comedy "The Hangover" (which I think looks damn hilarious). All this and not a single tiger or piece of ear cartilage in sight. Good look, Mike, just lose some weight now.

Best believe that with winners also come losers. Here's a short list of those on the decline this month.

Charles Hamilton - Getting snuffed hard by a chick right before your album drops is not a good look, especially when you are wearing all that damn pink.

Los Angeles Lakers - Going seven with a Yao-less and T-Mac-less Rockets squad? C'mon, Kobe, Lebron would have swept them.

Eminem - Album was ehhh.

Lane Kiffin - See Al Davis above.

Joe Budden - When you get on Meth's level, then have an opinion. That "Pump It Up" money has to be all gone now.

Lil' Wayne - Seems like you trained your replacement. Since Drake came on the scene, you have become an afterthought.

Monday, May 18, 2009


I know everybody must remember back in the day, whenever you would put on that Dre or Snoop tape while cleaning your room so you could go outside without argument, your parents always had a snide comment about your choice of music. "Aw boy that ain't music...they stealin' from Parliament...they ain't even sangin'!" Then they would proceed to drown you out with The Isley Brothers or Earth, Wind, and Fire. I've began to think recently, am I turning into my parents? With all my rants about the Golden Era of Hip-Hop, have I become so stubborn in my listening ways that I can't even give this new era of music a chance? As I reflected upon this revelation, I came up with a single answer: "Hell naw!! Majority of hip-hop (if you can still call most of it that) today is straight garbage!!"

I'm a pretty open minded dude, I think I give everything a fair chance (even "808's and Heartbreak") before I decide that it is not for me, and most of the shit out there ain't for me. I don't even turn on the radio anymore unless I want to catch a game. This weekend was one of my guy's bachelor party, and I didn't know any of the songs the girls danced to at the strip club. Strip clubs play everything that's in heavy rotation and I did not recognize not one "Yung," "Big," or "Lil'" that was played over the speakers.

The average new schoolers answer to criticism of their peers is usually one of two things: 1) "Fuck them old school niggas!" or 2) "Niggas is hatin' cuz we gettin' money and they can't no more!" There are more answers, but they all boil down to disrespect of the previous class. No matter who it is, even the most respected new schoolers slip up with the disrespect (ask Lupe). I will agree with them that they are more marketable than say a Redman, or a Rakim; but fuck, so is Britney Spears, and who much actual talent does she possess besides looking cute and being able to grind on people and other objects. She's nothing more than a smart stripper.

So I guess the question I am trying to pose here is am I and other people who think like me out of touch with the new direction in hip-hop? I would have to say no. You see in my parents case, they did not want to like hip-hop or give a chance; I am nothing like that. I search out for new and innovative artists everyday through the Internet, most of the time I come up empty handed, but I have found some diamonds in the rough like Wale, Asher Roth, 88 Keys, AC, Kid Cudi, Mikkey Halsted, and etc. Money made will never equate to talent. My message to all these new schoolers who think people like me are just haters: Step your game up! Quality music will shut my mouth.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Freshmen Orientation

There has been a lot of talk about these new "freshmen" that were sent here to save hip-hop. Sounds like a BET episode of "Heroes" if you ask me. Maybe I am old and set in my ways, but is all this hype needed?

Yes, I admit that hip-hop is in a tailspin. It is more profitable to be commercial rather than artistic. The Current School has a total lack of respect for the Past School and the Old School pioneers, and the so-called best rapper of the era is nothing more than a punchline and metaphor slinger.

Can this new class really take the culture on its back and reach new heights? No...not really. I say this because nothing ever lives up to its hype (i.e. Hatton-Pacquiao, Kimbo Slice, Blueprint 2, any Joe Budden album). So far only a few of these new names have shown me something new.

Charles Hamilton is definitely not living up to all the talk, at least in my mind. Is he scared to release an album? This cat must have like 300 mixtapes in rotation, sorry Weezy looks like theres a new mixtape king. He sounds like the spawn of a reproductive session between Ma$e and BG. He just really hasn't impressed me yet. How come he can drop a diss record on Soulja Boy, but back down to Rhymefest and Wale. Anybody can out-rhyme Soulja Boy, come at a real spit kicker.

I really haven't heard too much from Blu or Cory Gunz. Mickey Factz, Big Sean, Nippsey Hussle, Mistah F.A.B., OJ Da Juiceman, and Nicki Minaj haven't really said anything to catch my ear, so I'm not going to make the effort to search them out. First impressions are everything to me, you got to have me at hello. I still remember the first time I heard B.I.G., Nas, Wu-Tang, L.L., The Fugees, etc... Classics get you from the first line they utter.

Fear not folks, there are a few I think have promise. If there was someone I can say could be the voice and fill all the gaps, that would be Drake. The cat can sing and rhyme over any music. His only drawback for me was that he is a Wayne protege, but now it seems like the student is better than the teacher. Wale is extremely dope, I just hope he finds his niche. Asher Roth can spit his ass off when he's not fighting Eminem comparisons. Bobby Ray seems like he is budding into a genius like his ATL mentor Andre 3000. Kid Cudi, I'm still 70/30 with him. I like most of his material, but he hasn't had that one for me.

All in all, who the fuck cares. Music works in a cycle. One person is hot for a second then gets bumped from their pedestal by someone newer and fresher. I think this has been a hot topic because hip-hop itself is still so young, and for so long it was thought of as art and more than music. Every form of musical expression has gone through that metamorphosis, and now hip-hop fans must come to terms that its only entertainment.

Friday, May 15, 2009


My semester of school just ended, so that means class is back in session for you all. Nobody reads this shit, so I wasn't missed. Ha Ha! I guess I didn't make Vibe's top 50 blogs well, who reads Vibe anymore anyway. This new generation doesn't read period.

Speaking of the new generation, I recently read on that Ice-T and Bow Wow's favorite punching bag, Soulja Boy, wants to create a classic album. This sparked my interest because it made me think, "wow, do these fools really think there is a formula for a classic album?" If you think it, it will happen. He goes on to say that he wants Lil' Wayne, Kanye West, and Jay-Z to get on his project to ensure its' classic status. In other words he wants them to make it a classic for him.

These statements from Mr. Tellem didn't shock me at all, because he is the king of uneducated statements. What did shock me was the thought that young artists today might actually believe that you can walk in the studio with the intent of making a classic album, and just do it. Doesn't work like that young wordsmiths. I'm sure Darius Mile has the intent of scoring 3o+ points every time before he steps on the court; does that always fact it hardly happens.

In my belief, Jay-Z, Nas, Raekwon, Rakim, and GangStarr want to create classics every time they stepped in the studio, but they each only did it once. Were their other albums quality? Yes! All of them classics? Hell Naw!

The word "classic" is tossed around too much. You don't know if a piece of art is classic until it stands the test of time. A lot of people tossed around the word with Lil' Wayne's "Tha Carter III." I am not a fan of Weezy myself, but he put out a solid effort with that album. Will we remember it 10-15 years from now like we do "Illmatic" or "Ready To Die," probably not. Especially with the way everybody raped the "A Milli" beat, I don't even remember Wayne's actual verses. In contrast, everybody remembers the opening line for "Juicy."

I guess what I am trying to say is just have the intent of making good music all the time and a classic might squeak out by mistake: DON'T TALK ABOUT IT, BE ABOUT IT!!!!

Since I haven't done a post in a while, and I love doing polls, here's another one for you. What is your favorite hip-hop classic? Is it Nas' "Illmatic," Biggie's "Ready To Die," Raekwon's "Only Built For Cuban Linx," Jay's "The Blueprint," or Dre's "The Chronic." If you don't like any of those 5 and have your own, click the other box and leave a comment with your favorite. Just vote....I love an argument