Remember when that Stuff White People Like blog got turned into a very popular book? Me neither, but apparently it did. My long-time internets associate Byron Crawford released his first tome, Mindset of a Champion, last year, and it turned out to be a great read. The sequel manages to improve on his print debut (technically it was only an ebook but will be available in paperback soon), on account of being longer, funnier and touching a broader range of targets. Where Champion was most likely written in a week, it seems as though Bol spent at least three weeks on this. No shots, for a professional blogger and America’s “leading black intellectual”, three weeks is a virtual lifetime. (more…)
It’s tough being the Big Man On Campus in the wacky world of Rap Magazines. The Source had a great run where they were basically unchallenged for years – despite some good work from Hip Hop Connection in the UK, they couldn’t match the access that the Mind Squadd had to cutting-edge New York music for the first half of the 90′s. The influence that The Source had also made them a prime target for disgruntled rappers, all of whom seemed to believe that everything they released was worth “Five Mics” (you may recall Outkast complaining that their debut “only” received 4.5 mics in later tracks). Sometimes it was a little more personal, as was the case for Ice-T, Public Enemy and Cypress Hill, who were all directly criticised in columns and decided to fire back on record. The following is a collection of some of the more noteworthy attacks on the house that Sheck built. *Updated* (more…)
Since it’s Big Daddy Kane’s born day, thought it might be worth digging out this freestyle session from the end of his birthday party celebration in 1991. A varied selection of rapper dudes get involved, before former Wiseguyz member Big Ill The Mack started taking pot shot’s at Kane and LL Cool J in a display of exceedingly bad manners. He would later win The Source‘s Unsigned Hype in July 1993 and formed Ill Al Skratch.
Masta Ace remembers how it all went down:
Robbie: At the end of ‘Rolling Wit Umdada’ you’ve got your freestyle from Kane’s birthday party, when Big Ill The Mack ripped him.
Masta Ace: It was a dope party. That was actually Grand Daddy IU that you heard at the end, sayin’, ‘Pick that mic up!’ That was a wild night. I have photos from that night, with all of us on stage rapping. Kane, Jay-Z, Nice & Smooth, Just-Ice, Positive K was in there, Ill from Ill & Al Skratch. What a night! At the time it was just a party – we was just doin’ what we do – but looking back on it, it’s like crazy! Just the amount of people and different artists that was up there rapping. Scoob Lover – there were mad people in there rhyming. It was a cool night though.
After Ill shit on Kane there must have been a bit of tension in the air though.
Oh you mean when Ill did that shit he did? Oh yeah, that was kinda crazy. Kane had already left – he wasn’t even by the stage when that happened. Really, most of the rappers that was up there, everybody had kinda dispersed. It was such a long cipher that it kinda got boring after a while, so everybody was kinda leaving, and Ill got up there and just started whylin’ – kinda goin’ at Kane – but only a few people was paying attention. I was one of the people that was paying attention, and I was like, ‘Well this guy’s kinda sayin’ some stuff about Kane at his own party’. It was tension after that night, where Kane’s DJ Mr. Cee was A&R at Mercury Records, and Ill & Al Skratch were signed to Mercury Records. They were actually scarred to come to the record label because they thought somebody was gonna do something to them. They were like worried, but everything got smoothed over.
As Rakim tells it in the above video with RA The Rugged Man (who looks ‘like a teenage girl on her first date’ according to the YouTube comments ), he agreed to remove his four lines aimed at Big Daddy Kane from the first version of ‘Let The Rhythm Hit ‘Em’ after Ant Live played like Sir IBU on some ‘I’m The Peacemaker’ shit.
Rakim, from what I understand – I didn’t hear it – but I know he had made a record called ‘Cut The Kane In Half’, and it was gonna be a diss record for Big Daddy Kane but he didn’t put it out. But if you listen to his rhymes, he says little slick stuff on the Follow The Leader album that was directed at Kane. Because there was a lot of stuff goin’ on about how was better and who was the best. Rakim was pretty quiet, he never talked about. Kane was a little more verbal about it. They never really made it publicly known, but he definitely was gonna do something.
Here’s some rare footage of my favorite live ethering ever, as the Underboss dismantles Lords of the Underground‘s Mr. Funkee in classic BX tradition. Courtesy of brollinHH in the comments section of my original post.
There have been some talented gene pools in hip-hop, where two brothers from the same mother have both shown and proved on skill and talent alone. And then there’s these guys…who needed a weed carrier when you’re own flesh and blood could carry your stash? (more…)
So there was a free show the other night featuring Jean Grae and Pharoahe Monch, which isn’t really a big deal since I never really pay to get in anyways and I don’t really know a song that either of ‘em have done for the last five years, but eff it. First thing I noticed that were a lot of broads around, which is pretty unusual for a scumbag spot like this one but always a positive. Did all this gals roll up to hear ‘Simon Says’? On closer inspection, I noticed that 85% of these chicks appeared to be on some of that old rug munch status, and then the penny dropped. ‘Oh shit, Jean got this girl-on-girl rap audience in a headlock!’. There also seemed to be your usual fudge pudge of type-Emo rap fans and J. Bieber wannabes, which seems to be par for the course in this fruit basket we call hip-hop now. (more…)
Highly esteem film critic Rodger Tossenpot just submitted his thoughts on Kanye’s latest piece of ‘creative jeanious [sic].
No one man should have this much Power. The power to make me weep at the frailty of the human condition, laugh at our faults and marvel at the beauty of Great Art. Many dismissed the idea of Mr. West directing a short film as self-indulgent navel gazing, but only because haven’t experienced the majesty of his vision. Combining the story-telling prowess of the Brothers Grimm with the gritty edge of a young Scorsese, Mr. West has delivered our generation’s Citizen Kane via this 35 minute Rap Opera. (more…)
Why do people who don’t even work in the music industry talk about album sales? It makes no sense whatsoever when you think about it, but since the young rap fans of today are often more concerned with what sort of jacket Kanye was wearing in his new video than what he says in his lyrics, it shouldn’t really come as any great surprise. See, there’s this white guy who used to rap about being crazy, going on killing spree’s and unsavory thoughts toward the mother of his child (and his own mum, come to think of it). Nothing unusual there either – pale-faced rappers have often resorted to casting themselves in the role of the lunatic in an attempt to deflect any questions of ‘street cred’ or whatever you want to call it. He sold a hell of a lot of records performing Black music, won an Oscar, then took a break and got strung-out on goofballs and got fat – basically on some Elvis shit. Here’s the thing – he was actually a pretty great rapper. Sure, as his career progressed the quality of the beats steadily declined and the choruses became increasingly annoying, but the kid still had lyrics to go. (more…)