Friday, April 24, 2009

Freestyle Drama!

The young Drake finally hit the big apple last week and was immediately put on the spot on Funkmaster Flex's show on Hot 97.

Now off the cuff, this should be a lesson to "his people," that maybe he needs a little artist development. This is the stuff that record labels, A&R's, managers, agents have failed in. Now I am a HUGE Drizzy fan. I think he is quite the substantial M.C. and he has a little tongue on the singing end. So, unlike a lot of these new Orange Juice Jones rappers that keep peeking into the industry wearing fake chains and wearing video ho's like a Flavor Flav clock, you have this biracial dude from T.Dot trying to make a mark with actual talent. So, his people need to make sure on the business and developmental end he is right.

Rule #1: Never send an upcoming M.C. on a popular hip hop radio show unaware. Let him/her know that they will most likely have to spit a freestyle, so at least the idea of a rhyme can start flowing. Never mind the fact that Drizzy had already been at the station for several hours because he had been on the Angie Martinez show. So, here we are several hours later and my man is supposed to just bust some killer freestyle. Yes, it sounds good on paper, but most of the time, these M.C.'s have already thought up those rhymes or written them and they are passing them off as freestyles. This was bound to not go right, simply because Drake wasn't prepared for that.

Rule #2: Don't expect every rapper to have Biggie-flow. Most backpackers know that Biggie would just freestyle all of his rhymes. Most also know that Hov does the same thing, even Weezy. The problem with that is they don't know why. Biggie didn't freestyle all of his rhymes because he was just some musical genius. A lot of it was a part of his business savvy. Biggie hated paying for studio time, so it was a survival method for him to come up with rhymes off the cuff. That was just his gift. To a larger extent that is Jay's gift too, but it is also his curse. You listen to a lot of Jay's rhymes and the substance is incredibly lacking. People love his style and swagger so much, they often get eclipsed by the fact that there are only so many songs where you can discuss Cristal, Louis Vuitton and groupies. Yes, the excessive sensationalism of materialism (that's a lot of isms...LOL). This materialistic expression has killed the purpose of hip hop, which used to serve as a voice for our generation, and has now become a ridiculous reality show, that's secretly scripted. What happened to the celebration of an M.C. that can really write? I mean isn't that what M.C.'s get paid for? Should they get writer's credit if they didn't "actually write it"? Known lyricists like KRS-One, Common and Nas have legendary lines - that they WROTE! Those M.C.'s are in a league of their own because they have written rhymes that embody history, struggle, and progress. Instead, rappers shouting out designers that hate them, upholding millionaires that were slave owners and supporting liquor that most blacks can't buy become celebrated and quoted...

RULE #3: Talent overcomes the gimmick. I am sure Flex has seen many rappers walk into that radio station with their gimmick in full effect. From the hat of a team they know nothing about to the designer sneakers on their feet. They walk up to the mic freestyling (wink) a rap that a ghost writer has secretly written for them prior to the interview and then they get (as Cuba Gooding would say in Jerry Maguire) the QUAN! But in this video you see Drake in what appears to be a tee shirt from like Old Navy or the Gap, chillin with a Blackberry. Low fade hiding under the headphones, and the rawness of the moment slaps you. There is no gimmick. Unlike the Eminem's of the world, he is not coming at them with a chip and a satirical minstrel show. He isn't trying to thug it out like some of these "thug rappers". He's just a kid with an ill flow and crazy swagger who was smart enough to spit something he actually wrote over any beat, and then finally admit that he was caught unaware and would come back and get it. It's clear that he is tired, and overwhelmed by the moment. Period. So to all of the haters who exhaled at this moment, breathe in and breathe out some more. Because when this young kid says, "I'll get em though." I believe him.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Miscellaneous Randomness! The Mid-April Edition...

So here it is the middle of April and it is still cold outside. In fact, Sunday before last, which I believe was Palm Sunday, it was FREAKING SNOWING outside!!! I was incredulous to say the least. The irony that I live in Chicago and I am adverse to cold weather is not lost on me. This year though, the weather has been RI-DAM-DICULOUS! One day, it is a warm breezy seventy degrees and the very next, it is 35 and snowing outside like it is December. I'm officially over it already.

So lately, on the bus, I have found that my patience bar is at an all-time low. The Chicago Transit Authority has now gone environmental and for some months now have had Hybrid buses on the street. These large monstrous, yet environmental buses have "touch" back-doors. Yet, every single day someone gets their non-reading arse on the bus and stands there like an idiot at their stop as if the back doors are supposed to magically open on their own. Nevermind the fact that in BIG BOLD letters, it specifically says "PRESS HANDS HERE TO OPEN"! I mean seriously folks, a child could figure this out. It amazes me how everyday, people do the same dumb crap. Reading truly is fundamental.

So Da Bulls (in my Southside of Chicago Irish voice), are in the playoffs. YAY! However, they are playing Boston in the first round. Shall I plan the summer vacay now? Seriously though, I have a hunch that this series won't be the sweep that people think it will be. If my hunch is right, then Boston is in for quite the windy ride against the Chi!

On a political note, can you believe these uber-conservative Republicans throwing these (dare I say) TEABAGGING parties??? I mean I don't know if anyone else is oblivious to the double entendre here, but if we are dealing with idiots, they will be showing up to the party with an entirely different idea than protesting the raising of taxes. What I wouldn't give to be a fly on the wall at one of those mix-ups...LOL! If we don't raise some taxes, then our great-great-great=great grandchildren will be still paying for our debt. Speaking of which, the Obama's paid almost 900K in taxes last year. GEEZ LOUISE! Talk about practicing what you preach.

Music News

I am still amped about the I AM tour coming to the States. Rumor has it that when the tour hits the U.S., Mrs. Carter will be touring with Mr. Carter! Can you imagine that? That freakin show will be sold out in like 5 minutes.


Yes, I am still on that Drake Mixtape. Right now, he is the only cat out there who is both rapping and singing well. No disrespect to Ye and Weezy, but they need to stick to that initial career of JUST rapping. Drake has an ill flow, with a Hova swagger, although he is killing Mr. Carter in the substance. Then he flips it, and will sing a la Joe/Kenny Latimor-ish and it kind of blows you away. This kid will be around for a while, I am just feeling his swag right now. A friend of mine couldn't get into him because she's not into light-skinneded (ugh) dudes...I will be so glad when black people stop being so color-struck. Truthfully what does complexion have to do with talent? And we say slavery is over with...

This whole Keri Hilson v. Beyonce, Ciara, Pussy Cat Dolls or whoever is just too ridiculous to really be addressed. Get on first. Get established first. Get platinum first. Achieve stadium status ON YOUR OWN FIRST! Now that, that is out of the way. Her album is nice, not awe-inspiring, but radio friendly, clean your house while listening to it kind of record.

I have also been blazing that N.E.R.D. "Seeing Sounds" records. If you don't have this record - go out and buy it, trust, it is such a worthy purchase! Gotta love those Star Trak boys! That Jada record review will be next.

Oceans 7

So, it is no secret, I am like addicted to YouTube. I need to cut back on watching it at work (yeah I know), but Jermaine Dupri has a channel on YouTube called Living the Life. Those who regularly watch it are called Lifers. What has become interesting is this Oceans Boy clique he has put together. The Oceans 7 are:
Jermaine Dupri - The General
Johnta Austin - Johnny Sinatra
Usher - The Light
Bryan Michael Cox - The Texas Ranger
Tyrone (JD's Asst.) - Intynational
Trey Songz - 007/11
Nelly - Moe(?)

These guys are typical men, they are truly an explicit male version of the View. The things they discuss are hilarious, crass at times, but definitely entertaining. Check them out.

Friday, April 10, 2009

This FROCKING GUY! (The Keri Hilson Edition)

Okay, so a few weeks back, Keri Hilson releases the remix to her song, "Turnin Me On," and in the remix she appears to be dissing Beyonce and Ciara. Some of the language in the song, would leave ANYBODY to infer that she is most definitely talking about Beyonce and possibly even Ciara.

Now, I am no R&B peacemaker, however, I do believe in staying in one's place. This remix came out even before her album dropped, so it just seemed premature, not to mention ridiculous for her to be talking shyt! Either way, experience is the best teacher, and she will find out that in the industry, if you don't have the proverbial IT factor, it doesn't matter how many hot songs you write/produce, the spotlight isn't for everybody. Only time will tell.

So, I come across this video on YouTube of this Beyonce stan completely LOSING it about the diss. To say this mess is funny, is an understatement. Check it out!

This guy is a STAR!