Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Holy Shit

Thanks Grandgood. Friends, Romans, Countrymen, Autotune is alive and well. To all my sixteen year old female readers, lose your virginity to this. >"Can't do Nuttin' for ya Man".

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

You're Old: 8 Years of Rap Ups

Skillz just dropped the latest installment of his always entertaining year end Rap Ups. Here's one rapper's take on the decade that was.









Sunday, December 27, 2009

Hip Hop Tweets Christmas Spectacular

A roundup of the best tweets in and around the Hip Hop community on Christmas Day.

Uncle Murda: Shout out to everybody that's cheating for the holidays

Cory Gunz: I Think I'll Put A Piece Of Art On My Visa Card, Then Go And Beat Mischa Barton With A Cuisinart!!!!

Josh The Goon
: I've switched to johnny walker black label. Classy.

Trey Songz: Merry Christmas to u and urs. Madden tournament tied at 2-2 tween me & my Lil bruh. Gon get zzzz'd up n holla at y'all later off da liquor!

G Mane: I never let my daughter believe in a satan claus

Jim Jones: Merry Christmas let's not forget this is the day Christ was born ? Anyone know wht 3 gifts the 3 kings Brung Jesus

Trae: Me and My Lil Nigga On this Christmas Shit

Uncle Murda: Go kill ya self if u didn't get ya kids nothing for christmas

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Brooklyn's Finest?

So the year isn't over yet because I'm bored at work. This is in a holding position on Hot 97, I predict it's on its way to ubiquitous. I'm not sure it's a good thing Red Cafe is currently New York's brightest prospect, and I'm just as indecisive concerning Fabolous' newfound regional Godfather status. The guy has a handful of mixtape verses, some Rap and Bullshit 106 & Park Jams and "Breathe" to his name and suddenly he's a "get" for your street single? That being said, I still can't help but love the borough solidarity.

Red Cafe ft. Fabolous- I'm Ill

Anyways this shit does crank. Piggy backs a few recent trends with a sample from "It takes two" rocking in the background and a lift off Jay-Z's "A Millie" freestyle. It's the work of Drake's Toronto-bred homie Boi-1-da with an assist from the Neptunes. ( Non-accredited, he blatantly jacks Busta's "What It Is Right Now" on that synth digression) I figured I'd take the opportunity to host a BedStuy face-off between the master and the pupil to try and determine whose vocals make better fodder for beats.

Papoose- I Just Want the Paper

Joe Budden- Stuntin'

Lil Kim ft. Puff Daddy- No Time

Dirty Money ft. Puff Daddy- Love Come Down

Method Man ft. Mary J. Blige- You're All I Need

T.I.- Bring Em Out (I don't understand the label logic in not allow embedding of certain videos)

Nina Sky ft. Rick Ross- Flippin Dat

Busta Rhymes ft. Spliff Star & Reek- Piano Man

DJ Screw ft. Big Moe- June 27th Freestyle

Rza ft. David Banner- Straight Up the Block

Cam'ron- S.D.E. (Samples Both)

And of course the winner is the Greatest Rapper of All-Time. This one wasn't even fair seeing as how in many ways Jay's career is a Biggie vocal snippet, but it was fun.

Monday, December 21, 2009

A People's History of 2009

Rather than offering up my take on an insane, confusing year in Hip Hop that I don't think we will truly be able to put in context for about 5 years due to the wildly divergent opinions abound as to what truly mattered, I'll speak on the year in terms of the one subject I have true authority on: This blog. I did a little light posting toward the end of 2008 but in many senses this was my first year maintaining my own site. For those who read the blog, weren't aware and are mildly interested, I began my contributions to Hip Hop discussion on the internet for a now defunct webzine called Oh Word.

My vehicles of choice were long, (in the 2000 aught blog sense of the word) context obsessed researched arguments or reviews concerning mostly older albums, trying to shed some light on, pay tribute to or dismantle pieces of work that I felt had been forgotten or misunderstood. I'd typically spend up to a month working on each one. When Oh Word shut down, I decided to start this blog so I could continue to have an outlet as well as a forum for discussion and debate, which is what I truly love about the blogosphere and why I continue to write here and read elsewhere.

What I hadn't considered was how wildly the self imposed demands of regular posting would change my style. The transition from being part of a team and having a niche to being solely responsible for a site is a difficult one I've done my best with. For anyone who is contented reading other people's blogs and occasionally thinks to themselves "This shit is easy, if I cared I could set up and run the best fucking site on the internet tomorrow", you are wrong. You're an arrogant asshole and you're wrong. Balancing a full time job with putting together relevant, insightful, well thought out writing on a regular basis is really difficult. Even foraging for interesting, timely or slept on music worth a reader's time is really difficult. In the course of 2009 I feel sometimes I was able to contribute something worth my reader's time and sometimes I was not. As we come to the year's finale let's review my best and worst efforts.

You can't win if you don't play.
I find blogging to be a question of inspiration, if you look at the list of posts by month to your right you can see with me it's either been feast or famine here, passion is something I find difficult to manufacture. Take for instance an entire summer of writing I put off in the interest of drinking all night, free shows and an excessive amount of train rides to Coney Island. Massive Fail.

Less Is More.
Something I particularly have to work on tirelessly is self editing. Word count is totally irrelevant to me, but I respect that others have better things to do than slog through my digressions and tangents. This year some of my best work has been concise and specific:

Jadakiss and the ubiquity of Great Pop in New York
C-Murder and Katrina
Red Cafe's Resurgence
The Unexpected Pleasures of Plies
R&B Gucci
The Education of Juelz Santana
Raekwon Then and Now
Jim Jones and The Heat Makerz.

More Is More.
That being said, I believe that articulate long form essays have an essential place on the internet, beyond taste making it may be the internet's most important contribution to the future and history of Hip Hop discourse. I believe the truly committed, well composed arguments that bring something fresh and worthwhile to the table will be read and remembered, can play a part in the writing of our culture. I don't think I can claim to have written anything on par with that level of discourse, but here were are 2009's best efforts.

How Dead Prez Changed Protest Rap
2Pac's Greatest Album
Andre 3000: Original Beta Rapper
Jay-Z's Shallow Depth
The Triumph of Kid Cudi.
A Tribute to Project Pat.
A Profile of Talib Kweli

Keep It Fresh.

I experimented with a lot of conceptual posts and I think it's a good fit for this blog. I don't aspire to be a taste maker digging through the myriad of shit floating around the net fishing out the stuff I'm going to dedicate the year to championing, defending and apologizing for. At it's best this is fun, interesting and occasionally educational. That being said, with all experimentation there is success and failure. The good includes:

The Diss You Might've Missed Series: Snoop v Suge and Eminem v Cage.

Another Chamber: Killarmy and Wu Syndicate.

The Outkast Tale of the Tape SeriesWhen Antwan Beat Andre

And Hip Hop Tweets, which is something you can get used to around these parts. As you can see upkeeping these is a weakness I will try to remedy.

Other Highlights include some Hip-HopFilm posturing. A few good rants, two mixtapes, a concert review and some comedy. The bad include a couple of over long pieces I didn't spend enough time with, some utterly useless embedding of shit everyone already heard, and a few aborted concepts.

In doing the review for this piece I can honestly say considering the breadth of a year of work I'm proud of this site. It's not without it's weak or lazy moments, but I'm happy with a lot of the writing and I hope you are too. By the time I'm writing this post in 2010 I'll hopefully have done a better job playing to my strengths and improving on general quality of content. For everyone who has checked in this year and will be on board in the future, thanks for your support and I'll see you next year.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Holiday Cosign

I'm not without my issues when it comes to Noz's "best" records of 2009, but this shit fucking cranks. I never even bothered checking for this dude off name, association and my distaste with the extremley limited exposure I've had, I'd be a hypocrite not to pass on the heat to everyone who is as reluctant to give three minutes of their lives to a random Gucci weed carrier as I have been. In the spirit of this post, after about 30 spins in my ipod tonight I see it, I can't front, this is an anthem. Fame and Danze have Country Cousins. Good call.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Hip Hop Tweets: December 16

A semi-regular Roundup of the best tweets in and around the Hip Hop Community


Asher Roth: Getting my 6th vaccination for africa and reupping on measles and mumps...not a fan of needles

Trey Songz: Cop that new Robin Thicke - Sex Therapy - The Experience...Random: Does Eva Mendez have a Twitter? I'm on her ass

Lil Jon

Soulja Boy: Please send all fan art to thanks i'm updating now :D

Dorrough Music: I outwork niggas!! Plain and simple!!! I do what niggas don't think to do.. And I do what niggas afraid of.. Lmao 2010 was last year 4 me!!

DJ Kay Slay
: Damn our culture is lost... trying 2 figure out what role did I play in the bullshit... smh

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Holy War

I wanted to simply post a link to a NY Times/Hip Hop blog smackdown posted at XXL but when I clicked over it was suspiciously absent from the site. I love the fire and insight provided by the rant, and he's absolutely right.

I get really frustrated with critics seemingly picking "their guys" and riding for them, again in my opinion, regardless of the varying quality in content. Stans, it's okay for your guy to occasionally dog a verse, in this age of over saturation, it's practically impossible not to. What's even more frustrating is how lines are drawn, dichotomies are cast. Just as clearly as one MC can do no wrong, another can't possibly do anything worthy of discussion once he/she has been summarily dismissed as "not my style". Why must we cheerlead and hate relentlessly? My favorite part of writing/discussing music is the gray, the obvious potential waiting to be met, the occasional bust, the unpredictability of how an MC will pan out. Under 2009 rules the future isn't written, it's blogged ad-nauseum and even when the sales come in, excused and apologized away so wrong never has to be conceeded.

Who would've thought Bol would write the most searing piece of criticism in a particularly chippy 2009? A reminder behind all the sarcasm and porn he's one of the smartest dudes doing this. It's not the first time an idea along these lines has been suggested but it's certainly the most salient and devastating articulation on one of the larger platforms Rap Internets has to offer. If XXL doesn't have the balls to run it I will, Bol if you're at all aware of this blog and this pisses you off request me to take it down and I'll do so immediately. And for the record, I LIKE Gucci.

Why the New York Times’ rap coverage sucks balls
from - » Bol's Saturday Night Workout by Bol

If Gucci Mane’s the State vs. Radric Davis is only projected to sell 85-90k albums this week, does it really warrant a feature in the New York Times on the producers who helped craft the patented Gucci Mane sound? What’s next, a feature in the New Yorker on the grade school teachers who failed to teach Gucci Mane to read? I’m only half joking here.

It’s obvious that the white guy who wrote the story for the Times pitched it to them on the grounds that Gucci Mane would be a lot more successful than he ended up being. The State vs. Radric was supposed to be this from out of nowhere cultural phenomenon, like Tha Carter III, and the Times was positioning itself to look smart, by having the inside scoop on its creation. Instead, they just ended up making themselves look stupid, by making a prediction that failed to come to fruition.

The real story of rap music this decade is white guys aligning themselves with various trends in LCD rap, trying to predict the next big thing. It used to be the case that these trends would originate from the ghettos of the South, where people didn’t know any better. By the time you heard of some garbage like Master P or the Cash Money Millionaires, they’d already sold hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of albums to people with mouths full of gold teeth and debilitating sizzurp addictions. Whereas, LCD rap in the aughts was less of a grass roots phenomenon and more a matter of some white guy with a penchant for irony combing MySpace for the rappers with the most ridonkulous sounding names. Which they’d then pronounce the second coming. Sometimes the hipster set would announce that a type of LCD rap was the proverbial new ska, and it sorta kinda would be, like Houston rap, which really was ubiquitous for about a month in 2005, and sometimes it would completely fail, like hyphy, which was never popular at any point in time. (Note the difference.) As is the case with the Clipse, who still command magazine covers coming up on 10 years since they’ve been relevant, primarily on account of boosters in the world of hip-hop journalism, it’s obvious very few black people actually listened to a lot of that shit.

Which brings me back to Gucci Mane. Do I mean to suggest that he’s the creation of the secret message boards at Pitchfork? Honestly, I have no idea, and I could care less if he is. He was around for a good half a decade before he was the talk of the hip-hop Internets; and I’m not even aware of what his new song is called, but it can’t be any more popular than “So Icy.” So it could be a little bit of both. He might actually be somewhat popular in the parts of the country that contribute to the US having such a ridonkulous infant mortality rate, and he might also be the hipster community’s latest attempt to anoint some random, shitty southern rapper, for their own personal amusement. Things in real life are rarely as black and white as I make them seem on the Internets. At any rate, there doesn’t seem to be anything about Gucci Mane that would warrant him being discussed anywhere other than Cocaine Blunts. He’s neither particularly good nor particularly popular. (Funny how that works.)

I figured I’d go in, yesterday, when I saw that the Times was covering him as if he’d actually done something interesting. I didn’t bother reading it until just now, but it seemed obvious to me that Tha Carter III played a role in them devoting so much time and effort to Gucci Mane, and I figured that would come off as conjecture (which a lot of my stuff is anyway), until I finally did read the story, and come to find out it’s right there in the first few paragraphs.

And I quote:

"Still, in spite of these impediments, Gucci Mane, 29, has been the most prolific rapper in Atlanta over the last two years, the most hotly discussed, and also the most improved. In the last few months he’s had the swiftest ascent to hip-hop ubiquity since Lil Wayne.

He didn’t do it alone. Gucci Mane’s rise has occurred in large part thanks to a handful of producers — Zaytoven, Drumma Boy, Shawty Redd and Fatboi, most prominently — whose work over the past four years has come to exemplify the modern Atlanta sound: triumphant but moody, synth-heavy with sharp snares, all sprinkled with almost gothic overtones."

In the past few months, I really have had a breakthrough in my ability to predict a TI’s thought process. It’s only a matter of time before I really am able to save eight year-olds from freemason blood sacrifice. Then I can pitch a series about it to television, like that show Quantum Leap, but with more gratuitous nudity from the cam hoo-ers I’d cast as my love interests. It would definitely have to be on pay cable. HBO, or if it’s not good enough to be on HBO, Showtime.

Anyway, it makes you wonder if, when last week’s sales are announced tomorrow and the State vs. Radric Davis utterly fails to distinguish itself, Byron Calame or someone from the Times will call the guy who did the Gucci Mane story and be like, “I thought you said this bullshit would be notable on the basis of its popularity?” Nah, right? The thing is, it’s hard to determine the relative success or failure of an album, in an age when 50 Cent sells 160k copies of Before I Self Destruct. And that’s if you count weeks worth of digital sales, to people who aren’t as Internets savvy, and all of the copies Interscope bought and had buried in the same hole in the desert where Atari hid that ET video game. Has anyone actually seen a copy of Before I Self Destruct in the wild? The State vs. Radric Davis album only sold 70k copies less than what the new 50 Cent album sold. And it sold something like three times what that Wale album sold. However, I don’t think it’s fair to compare the sales of an according to Hoyle LCD rap album to the sales of an album by a guy who went to an all white high school (and hence knows better) and was forced to do a lot of pandering. The 90,000 copies the Gucci Mane album will probably sell is still only twice as much as what that damn Black Eyed Peas album continues to sell each week, years after it was released, and less than one-tenth what Tha Carter III, the LCD rap standard bearer, sold its first week out.

Relatively speaking, the Gucci Mane album selling 90,000 copies is hardly any different from that Felt album selling 7,000 copies, or whatever it sold. But where was the Felt feature in the New York Times? It might have even been more interesting, to the Times’ well-educated readership. The thing is, there probably isn’t anyone who gives a shit about the Felt who can get a story published in the Times. There aren’t very many people who give a shit about Felt in general. (No shots!) And I can’t imagine the people at the Times who decide what gets published and what doesn’t get published (i.e. the people charged with making sure Noam Chomsky remains obscure) know very much about rap music. They’re basically at the mercy of whoever comes striding in there with the latest selection from the Asylum Records lulz of the month club.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Electrocute a Barracuda

LL Cool J tribute posts are practically cliche at this point. Having said that, the wax junkies at T.R.O.Y. drop a post dedicated to the follow up of what for my money is the greatest Best of Compilation Rap has ever seen, (apologies to Full Clip and Greatest Misses) Uncle L's All World. All World 2 features a couple early heat rocks, a few essential retreads from the original compilation and some late utter shite. More or less an excuse to remind people how truly great L's last gasp, "Ill Bomb" was. Call me a stan but they dropped the ball leaving out a few good album cuts off Phenomenon and Mr. Smith in favor of his putrid Clear Channel geared attempts playing puppet for whichever producer's name was ringing out at the moment over their beats no one else wanted. Tonight I will fall asleep listening to Walking with a Panther.

Hip Hop Tweets: December 14

A semi-regular Roundup of the best tweets in and around the Hip Hop Community

The Game: @MAGIC_MISSY_MOO bitch I wouldn't tap yo ass witta SHITTY yardstick !!! see I made yo MANLY FACE havin ass change that pic huh ?

Harry Allen: It's interesting watching the early *Family Guy*s and seeing how they hadn't yet found their flow yet.

Paul Wall: Thank u PATRON! I love u

Tony Touch: Anyone got the hookup on MAC computers..looking for a MACbook pro..(Prefer the older one ..all grey 15 inch)

DJ Pooh
: "STOP TWANGIN" Gang Bangin on Twitter! It's worthless... Trust me

Soulja Boy: When I die they'll convert my Twitter into a Book and call it "______________"?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Hip Hop Tweets Special: Where in the World is Busta Sandiego?

Brief Hoops aside. Some day not long from now John Wall will be playing on Atlantic Avenue. Tonight he'll be on 34th, I expect a show.

Tonight's Special Travel Edition of Hip Hop Tweets follows the always entertaining Busta Rhymes on his his globe trotting tour around the World. Eat, Pray and Rap with the Leaders Of the New School front man as he goes places, touches people and learns about other cultures, and just maybe, something about himself.


# Just landed in Dubai and it's incredibly beautiful out here....Gettin' ready 2 get on another plane shortly 2 take it 2 Tanzania Africa!!!
8:13 PM Nov 20th from UberTwitter

Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

# Der Es Salaam Tanzania Africa has officially been shut down!!!!Big up 2 the whole entire East Africa...Shit was Krrrrrrrrrraaaazzzzyyyy!!!!
7:37 PM Nov 21st from UberTwitter

Port Elizabeth, South Africa

# O.k. After 22 hrs. of flying we have officially arrived in Port Elizabeth, South Africa and when I tell u this place is beautiful..Woooow!!
5:28 AM Nov 28th from UberTwitter

# This shit looks like Miami, Cali and St.Tropez mixed 2hether...Life is good and GOD IS THE GREATEST!!!Baleeeeeeee Dat!!!!
5:29 AM Nov 28th from UberTwitter

# Just know Africa is way different frm all that hungry starvin' shit they only show us on tv..This is the root of civilization..Baleeee Dat!!
6:01 AM Nov 28th from UberTwitter

# Now that we officially smashed club La Dee Das in Port Elizabeth, S.Africa now we r off 2 Uzbekistan 2 tear that down 2...Let's get it!!!
1:21 AM Nov 29th from UberTwitter


9:51 AM Dec 1st from UberTwitter

A Brief stop in New York to promote a new generic action flick called Breaking Point which I randomly discovered playing at Cobble Hill Cinemas, a semi-small run art house oriented theater in one of Brooklyn's most affluent white neighborhoods. A quick Google revealed it came out in theaters December 4th and the DVD release date is January 12th. I've pasted a handful of the Breaking Point related drops because the increasingly insane superlatives Busta drops in relation to this thing had me rolling around on the floor.

# New movie "The Breaking Point" in theatres Dec.4th...This Friday!!!Starring Armand Assante, Tom Berringer and myself!!!Fucking incredible!!!
11:33 PM Dec 2nd from UberTwitter

# Real talk I just wanna salute all a my twitter family on the check in 2night.I'm excited cause I just left a premier 4 my new movie 2night!!
12:16 AM Dec 3rd from UberTwitter

# The name of th movie once again is called "THE BREAKING POINT" starring Armand Assante, Tom Berringer and myself!!!!Shit is KRAZZY, TRUST!!
12:19 AM Dec 3rd from UberTwitter

# New movie "The Breaking Point" in theatres Dec.4th. This Friday!! Starring Armande Assante, Busta Rhymes & Tom Berringer...Ground breaking!
1:43 PM Dec 3rd from UberTwitter

# Once again "THE BREAKING POINT" in the theatres 2mrw Dec.4th starring Armand Assante, Busta Rhymes & Tom Berringer...Incredible body of work
2:12 AM Dec 4th from UberTwitter

Sau Paulo, Brazil

# Yeah!!!!2nd run of this World Tour begins now...Brazil here we Gooooooo!!!!!Muthafu*#in' Movie Time out this bitch!!!
6:31 PM Dec 4th from UberTwitter

# O.k. We r officially settled in on Brazilian soil.Beautiful as hell where we at.In 3 hrs we goin' sight seeing in the City of Gods! Krazy!!
7:03 AM Dec 5th from UberTwitter

10:29 PM Dec 5th from UberTwitter


# When I tell u Chile was one of the livest crowds I've ever performed in front if in my life!!!!They was soooooo fuckin' Kraaaaazzzzyyyy!!!!!
11:02 PM Dec 6th from UberTwitter


about 23 hours ago from UberTwitter

The Saga continues..................

Saturday, December 5, 2009

It's Snowing In New York

Following up on the mixtape. As a Jew I prefer the holiday season to the holiday. How many days left in 2009?

Mobb Deep- Drink Away the Pain (Situations)

Raekwon- Spot Rusherz

John Coltrane- Moment's Notice

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Hip Hop Tweets: December 3 (The Dark Knight Returns)

This clip is exciting, reminds me why I love basketball. A Roundup of the best tweets in and around the Hip Hop community.


Wale: i mixed kettle one with theraflu ...dont know why...but..i did ..being sick and home alone, never know what could happen

Rza: INSPIRED: UN Sect-General Ban Ki-moon to name Stevie Wonder a UN Messenger of Peace @peace

Rapper Big Pooh- Braylon Edwards-worst hands for a reciever ever

Elliot Wilson: Seriously, these dickhead security niggas at Hammerstein. They're lucky I'm married and can't spent a night in jail. Muthafuckin fuck boys.

The Drakeover? (Thank Me Later)

About 15 minutes after sending my friend So Far Gone. A name has been changed to protect the (semi) innocent.

Drakebasher77 (10:31:01 PM): now let me get somthing thats actually good
JayK4 (10:31:16 PM): I just sent you the best album that came out in 2009
JayK4 (10:31:33 PM): That shit is Ready to die for kids 21 and under right now
Drakebasher77 (10:37:50 PM): this shit is terrible
JayK4 (10:38:27 PM): Wow youre stupid, how many seconds have you had it for?
Drakebasher77 (10:38:44 PM): too many
JayK4 (10:39:02 PM): Do yourself a favor and listen front to back
Drakebasher77 (10:39:12 PM): i hate drake
Drakebasher77 (10:39:25 PM): his voice is mad annoying
JayK4 (10:40:27 PM): let the songs worm their way into your head, accept the fact that hes great at R&B and fuses it with Hip Hop (Sooner than Later)
JayK4 (10:40:37 PM): listen to his verse on unstoppable
JayK4 (10:41:50 PM): its a bad song but youll respect his spit
JayK4 (10:42:21 PM): and youll be able to appreciate he uses it when he wants to, but it's not just some pop minded pussy shit, a 2009 cluster fuck of styles and influence, yes wayne and kanye but much more, smoothly integrated
Drakebasher77 (10:42:42 PM): i mean ive heard all the ones on the radio already
Drakebasher77 (10:42:48 PM): theyre all garbage
JayK4 (10:43:11 PM): he covers a DJ Screw freestyle on November 18th
JayK4 (10:43:16 PM): and kills it
JayK4 (10:44:01 PM): The content is a lot of sad disillusioned shit, no album has gotten closer to explaining a rappers true fears, doubts, insecurities, issues with the lime light then this
JayK4 (10:45:23 PM): Its as close as youll get to understanding your favorite rapper
JayK4 (10:45:42 PM): because its something anyone whose been young rich and at the top of their game can relate to, balancing work and your personal life, how p**** can get old when you don't have to work for it. He was a child star, Middle class. This is rap in 2009, this is where were going
JayK4 (10:46:12 PM): and rather than rapping about shit that he used to do hes talking about whats happening right now, something Ive never heard a rapper do interestingly before this. It's always millionaire whining, boring label machinations and self indulgent navel gazing. He's not without urgency or hunger. This just works.
Drakebasher77 (10:46:55 PM): terrible

A few years ago I wrote about the alarmism in De La Soul’s polarizing Stakes Is High that opened with an anecdote taken from Jeff Chang’s Can’t Stop Won’t Stop. The story concerned the war fought over “The Message”, considered a dangerous and revolutionary song that challenged the then existing notion of what Hip Hop was and threatened its doom, taking the focus off the all important DJ and placing it on the rapper. I love that anecdote because it illustrates something essential about Hip Hop that’s particular to the medium: It has died more times than any other art form, extinction all but assured by its fans and practitioners. It’s angel of death has assumed many forms. Melle Mel’s lyricism, Biggie’s amorality, Jay-Z’s materialism, Puffy’s Populism, Young Jeezy’s perceived simplicity. Rap moves quickly when it changes and takes no prisoners, leaving those unwilling to follow behind with little to hold onto but the retread of a style that has become stale overnight, no longer exciting or fresh because the crowd has moved on. The biggest story of 2009 has been the emergence of a new Phantom Menace who has mastered a style percolating in and around Hip Hop for over a decade, and now threatens to devour it whole.

Despite pretty much owning Rap this year Drake is nearly non-existent in serious critical Hip Hop circles, dismissed most often as a poser for an obvious Un Hip Hop background and most devastatingly as boring. I feel differently, and to quote the former President W. Bush I'll let history be my judge. Don't be confused alleged Populist critics with their finger on the pulse, this album, a nine month old mixtape that sold 100,000 copies in 2 weeks, is what still bumps on the radio, on the train, in the headphones of kids who carry the torch long after the curmudgeonly obscurist internet critics will hang it up and call rap dead (again). This is the future, get down or lay down.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Hip Hop Tweets: Wednesday December 2

A semi-regular Roundup of the best tweets in and around the Hip Hop Community

Questlove: 27 years ago today Michael Joeseph Jackson released the albu---scratch that---revolution known to us mere mortals as #Thriller

Jim Jones: Me n young pootie gettin his dress up splash together for his school Christmas show he sharp as kinsu blades

LL Cool J: Ryan Seacrest and Ellen K just told me there's a lot of blood, sweat, and guts between dreams and success. Very cool..

Warren G: Royce the 5'9 is the truth

Kay Slay: Now!Everyone leave tiger woods the fuk alone?men an women cheating everyday,some get killed when caught an we don't even hear about it