The Wu-Tang Clan have been through more than share of ups and downs over the years, but there’s no denying that they brought back a much needed grit to rap music when they hit the scene in in 1992 with their self-released ‘Protect Ya Neck’/’After The Laughter Comes Tears’ single. RZA’s master plan to get everyone separate solo deals on different record labels was inspired, although it clearly worked out a lot for better for some. Fast forward to 2015, and all of the original squad (with the exception of the late, great Ol’ Dirty Bastard) are still releasing music in some shape or form. What I’m interested to gauge is who you consider to have done the best job at keeping themselves lyrically sharp? Who are you still hyped to hear a guest verse or a new track from? Are you tired of hearing Ghostface rapping with bands? Has Raekwon become over-exposed? Has GZA become a an angry old wino who’s best days are behind him? Will Method Man ever make an album worthy of his talents?
A decade ago, the magic of the Blogger platform allowed many an aspiring rap message board warrior step into the big leagues and pull themselves up by their bootstraps to become the media big dogs that they are today. The characters covered here have risen to the ranks of published authors, college professors, internets celebrities, Tumblr cult leaders and even presidents of important international movements. Let’s take a look back at some early rap blog gawds…
One of the highlights of the forthcoming Marco Polo album PA2: The Director’s Cut, as Large, Rebel INS, O.C. and Trag all go in. DJ Revolution steals the show, however, with what can only be described as scratching so great it should be illegal.
Many an afternoon, I sit alone in a a four-cornered room staring at candles, wondering, “Why hasn’t anyone made a decent rap version of Billy Squier‘s ‘The Stroke’ yet?”. Turns out that Rick Rubin was saving it so he could follow up his Billy Squier Break Beats For A-List Rap Stars series which began with Jay-Z‘s “99 Problems”. The bad news is that Eminem refuses to make a song that doesn’t have a really shitty hook that involves either himself or some emo broad singing (by tim). The good news is that this doesn’t sound like Linken Park. Nevertheless, I’m happy to support any rap that uses abrasive guitar stabs and encourages Rubin to put some shoes on and stop sleeping on leather couches. Also….cowbell.
I’ve never been a huge fan of these guys, but they did help KMD get on so I’m willing to cut them some slack. This recent reunion show certainly doesn’t seem to do them any favors, basically resembling what would happen if a guy who owned the local pizza store and his accountant decided to put on a rap show.
Highlight’s of the Big Daddy Kane park jam, including performances of “Set It Off”, “The Symphony”, “Wrath of Kane”, “Raw”, “Ain’t No Half Steppin'” and a cameo from Dres. Kane lived up to his reputation as live performer and kept the old heads hyped. Shouts to Dallas Penn for rolling through with me despite near exhaustion status.
To be honest, I’ve found post-Prince Paul De La Soul to be hit and miss. They basically lost 90% of their sense of humor and became Mad Rappers with sometimes questionable beats. That being said, this new song has ESG‘s “UFO” on it, so it’s good money.
Check the complete video of the Stretch and Bobbito‘s appearance with ego trip’s Sacha Jenkins at the New Museum last Friday, which followed their special 1993 broadcast on WCKR. Shout-out to Mr. Armstrong for being the only other rap dude other than myself to rep sports coats and boat shoes on the regular.
New Museum: In conjunction with the New Museum exhibition “NYC 1993,” Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito Garcia discussed New York City circa 1993 through the lens of rap music. Events like the election of Rudolph Giuliani and the World Trade Center bombing changed the city’s landscape, as debut releases by the Wu-Tang Clan and Black Moon established a new tone for New York rap.
Uncle Ralph McDaniels did pioneering work by being the first music program to cover a major hip-hop concert for his Video Music Box show in 1985. Here’s an edited version of what went down, including a press conference freestyle session from Whodini and Run-DMC, a typically modest Mister Magic talking about ho he broke every act there, some anti-graff commercials, the Furious Five‘s pre-show warm-up routine and a whole bunch of rapping from Whodini, Run-DMC, and the Fat Boys.
OG ego trip crew member Elliott Wilson weighs-in on recent shitty records by LL, Joey Crack and Eve. Good thing veteran MC’s like Sadat X, Grand Daddy IU and Sean Price are still delivering the goods by ignore dumb internets trends, huh?
Son of Bazerk featuring No Self Control are back with another DJ Johnny Juice produced single. They credit the comments section of Unkut Dot Com with inspiring them to reform a couple of years back, and the resulting EP was surprisingly enjoyable. Downoad it from SlamJamz.