Aug 15

Are you easily manipulated? I am quite sure you answered no to my question but if you are a Twitter user then chances are you have been manipulated and led to anger by someone’s tweets. Think about it, were you one of those people who got suckered into championing a cause off of Twitter only to find out later that you were wrong? I’ve noticed something about Twitter and I am sure that many of you have noticed it too. Twitter has become the staging ground for passive aggressive attacks and for goading celebrities into responding. As a writer I know all too well how easy it is for people to mistake my intent and miss out on context whenever I write. Throw in my cynical and sarcastic wit and you get a huge divide between those who get it (and laugh) and those who… [Read more]

Jun 04

Can you imagine a company that has no respect or want for your craft and you only learn about this after you’ve earned them millions of dollars through promotion? I can’t imagine it but Hip-Hop music has been burned so many times by this narrative that  you would have to wonder at the intelligence of the artists who do it. The latest fallout before Hip-Hop’s reeducation was probably the Cristal wine boycott issued by Jay-Z after years of it being the unofficial, over-priced wine of the Hip-Hop crowd. after the managing director of  Louis Roederer answered a question in The Escapist magazine about rappers drinking Cristal, Jay-Z responded and put a stop to anymore rappers referring to the wine in their lyrics and buying it up in any clubs: “It has come to my attention that the managing director of Cristal, Frederic Rouzaud views the… [Read more]

Apr 24

From blaming Video Games for gun violence to blaming rappers for rape, it never ceases to amaze me how the fad of generalizing becomes so popular when it never fixes the problem at hand. Do you know what I find funny about the current assault on Hip Hop with labels such as “rape culture” (since Misogyny is no longer the popular word of the day)? I find it funny that while the implications are serious, the people making the most noise do not buy, have never bought, and will never buy the albums of the rappers that they are going in on. Look at it this way, it comes off as if they are skipping over everything else wrong with radio hip hop in order to find the few instances of alleged rape. Bear with me here rape is a brutally terrible crime but what… [Read more]

Mar 20

The name Jamiroquai is synonymous with that of fast cars and funky disco grooves but they are a band that has created a sound unlike any heard out in the music industry today. With confusion to those unfamiliar with their music, people often assume that the band’s front man Jason “Jay” Kay IS Jamiroquai. Perhaps they’ve seen a few of their videos and one can easily make that assumption but the fact of the matter is that they are such an influential band musically and artistically. Jamiroquai is a derivative of the word “Jam” and the Native American Tribe “Iroquois” mixed together as one word but there is a much deeper meaning to the band’s name as they commemorate the tribe in a few of the songs from their first couple of albums. The centralized Native American theme is a representation on the subjugation of… [Read more]

Feb 04

Recently I ran into world class photographer and artist extraordinaire Bayete Ross Smith and we began to talk about Hip Hop, the culture, the music, and whether or not the movement was dead. My argument was that the Hip Hop we cherished since childhood was on it’s deathbed and that we need tor accept that as fact. Bayete disagreed on the death sentence of Hip Hop, reminding me that it was so much more than popular music and personal preferences. He explained it so eloquently I had to share it: If Hip Hop is something you are, you’ll find it thriving. You just can’t expect to get it through mainstream media outlets very much. Connect with the M.C.s, DJs, Graffiti writers/visual artists, B-Boys/physical performers and other creative innovators locally. I find Hip Hop wherever I go. But you have to seek it out. Counter Culture… [Read more]

Oct 23
gucci mane smoking

New Hip Hop sensation 2 Chainz said the very line I used as the title in his song “Crack” to echo the sentiment used by many supposed ex-drug dealers turned rappers concerning money; if the rap money runs out then the crack money will always be there. It is an interesting admission being that it gives transparency to a world that runs off of drug money, gangsters, and reformed thugs. This isn’t a diss as much as it is truth. One of the original groups to have exposed the money behind the music was N.W.A. who used the drug money from hustler turned band leader Eric “Easy-E” Wright to pay for the studio time and venues needed to get themselves noticed. NWA was not the only group to start out thisway and as their businesses grew it allowed for them to become more and more… [Read more]

Feb 01

I’ve never missed having a “father” in my life being that I had so many strong male influences growing up but listening to the late, great James Brown’s “Papa Don’t Take No Mess” I actually wish I had a cool ass daddy like he did. The song has very few lines but each one of them you can tell was heartfelt, impactful and coming from a place of deep love for his father. Check it out if you don’t know it (Video following the article). Lessons from Papa… “Papa digs the chick If she look real slick, Papa rap is very quick He definitely ain’t no trick.” What I get from this is that Papa spits his game directly and to the point; being that he is a man of confidence and stature, the chick either gets on board or keeps it moving. I love… [Read more]

Nov 15

Editor’s Note: This is the first article in an ongoing series I will be doing called – Music and Life (M&L) which is based on lyrics in songs that have influenced my thinking or reinforce a philosophy that I live by. Many of us live our lives through song without realizing it and I hope to enlighten you on some of the best lyrics from various genres that have helped me in one way or another. It’s philosophy but it’s fun philosophy that sounds oh so good. This was my redemption song, it was a song that made me go “you know X is right, if you’re holding me back for too long I have every right to lash out and do something about it”. Granted the lyrics in their literal sense is about robbing to eat (slang for make money). “Y’all been eating long… [Read more]