IMO: Mad Rapp Fan – Female MC’s Need Your Help

Female MCs need your support now!! Buy their CDs, don’t download their efforts. Send money today so they can feed their families. Don’t you care? A dollar a day can save an MC’s will to spit. Ladies used to be first, but now they’re acting and being treated like second-class rap fans. (1)
Yes, I am a man and I can’t speak for you, but this just my pseudo-sexist view. So here it is: don’t let L Boogie’s flake out kill your joy. The sun rah’s lyte feels the luck of the grae queen.
Feminists can’t blame all the sexism in hip-hop on men. Women are struggling to strike an impossible balance being a lady and hard lyrical content. Sexxy brains is not an oxymoron, some of you have them! I know some mofo’s are pissed, but fuck um. There ‘s no balance, you do you. Show your cleavage in the streets and the work place if this makes you feel good; a good mood yields good work.
Fans stereotype what an XX-chromosome MC look like: double-wide or a shim. Mediocre female MCs pimp their bodies for peanuts. You must walk, talk and act like a woman, but whose definition are you using? You do you. I know, Mad Rap Fan is lecturing on a subject he can’t understand, but skills is skills. Some women will buy MC Such-and-Such with 102 bitches in 20 songs, but won’t buy Jean Grae and will go as far to say they don’t wanna hear a rapper talking about all those female issues. If men were responsible for starting this sexism machine in hip hop, ladies you are the oil that lubes those gears. MAD RAP FAN OUT!!

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Say My Name, Say My Name

By Chris Faraone for Columbia Journalism Review

The New York Times rarely refers to rock stars such as Alice Cooper, Moby, and Elton John by their birth names. With few exceptions, Vincent Furnier, Richard Melville Hall, and Reginald Dwight get free passes on their alter egos, as do the likes of American Idol icon Clay Aiken (Clayton Grissom) and anti-Christ
superstar Marilyn Manson (Brian Warner). For some reason, though, the unofficial guideline that once compelled former Times critic Donal Henahan to make subsequent reference to Iggy Pop and Sid Vicious as Mr. Pop and Mr. Vicious (instead of Mr. [James] Osterberg and Mr. [Simon John] Beverly, or even Pop and Vicious) does not apply, apparently, to hip-hop artists. At the Times, the penalty for being a rapper is twofold: you are routinely called out on your birth name (no matter how nerdy and ironic it might be), and you rarely are addressed as “Mr.” This nominal double standard surfaces from time to time in hip-hop articles throughout the mainstream press, but due to the Times’s extensive urban-music coverage and its eternal struggle with honorific conformity, rap handles seem to inspire more copy dilemmas there.

Despite having sold several million discs and served as president of Def Jam Recordings under his alias, Jay-Z still gets pegged as Shawn Carter.


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BOUGIE: Got A List, Checkin It Twice

Got A List Checkin It Twice

With 2008 well past the halfway mark, many of us are evaluating where we are in regards to our longer-term goals. As many of you know, this has been a tumultuous and rewarding year for me, in which I left behind a solid but flat job to pursue my joy full-steam. From getting two of my dream cars (a ’63 Bel Air and a Honda Civic) to my recent move to my dream city (ATL), I’ve used a similar process that gives me a knack for getting what I want. I decided to analyze the steps I’ve taken to reach my goals and use it as my future blueprint. As I look to the next stages of my success, I want to share what’s worked for me in hopes that it can work for you, too.

1. Know what you want: This step usually comes about by defining what we DON’T want. I didn’t want to be tethered to a phone all day in a cubicle, so I knew my ideal job would allow for some interaction with people. Most times, all we have to do is look to what’s currently making us miserable for cues on where we might like to be.

2. Be very clear: I knew I wanted a career that combined my love of writing, interaction, planning, and creativity. When I honed in on public relations as an industry, I went about the business of defining where I saw myself in that business. It’s not enough to know you want to be in finance or law or the music industry. Drill down until you have the exact title and job description of where you want to be. For me, I focused in on being an Account Executive at a small to midsize PR agency–and I’m currently on that path with an internship.

3. Read and Research: I live on the Internet. My library card gets a workout. There are boundless resources for information on ways to obtain your desires. Databases, books, white papers, blogs and websites all exist to provide the answers to your questions without putting foot to pavement. Through specialized research, I amassed knowledge of the roles and responsibilities of the position I wanted, boned up on my interviewing skills and researched potential opportunities. Create a dossier or “go-to book” on your goals, with magazine articles, lists of names and companies, and your notes to have all your goal-getting info in one place.

4. Talk to people who have what you want: In researching my ideal position, I created a network of people who could tell me what in the hell I was trying to do. I found out the duties and going salaries, the differences between corporate and agency work, what employers were looking for. I have unofficial mentors like owners of PR agencies, corporate communications VPs, HR pros, and presidents of organizations. These people give me the inside track on what to say and do and where to look for what I’m going after. My key source for building my network is membership organizations and conferences–where everyone is already geared towards helping other members.

5. Preparation: Ensuring that you’re ready when the right opportunity comes along is more an art than a science. There is never a “big break.” Each little opportunity and piece of information builds on the others until you’ve created a portfolio, a resume, a reputation. Making sure to do well wherever you are gives you the foundation for where you want to go. Even if you hate your job, by doing it well you ensure a good reference. A few small pieces on a blog can demonstrate your writing skills and subject mastery if you want to break into writing for magazines. Sounds like grunt work? You’re catching on! This is also known as paying your dues, and it’s the hardest part of reaching your goals.

6. Prayer/Patience: No matter who you pray to or if you pray, you need to detach from the outcome. After you’ve controlled the controllables, you need to realize that you really can’t control what’s outside of you. After you’ve sent the application, shook the last hand at the interview, made the presentation, it’s out of your hands. Of course there are ways to continue to positively interact with people, but don’t ever tie all your hopes onto one opportunity. Keep moving forward and keep a few irons in the fire, because something even better might come to you.

7. Resilience: Setbacks are inevitable. Obstacles, snafus, and crises are par for the course in reaching your goals. Surround yourself with a team of cheerleaders who will remind you of all the hard work and achievements you tend to forget when things aren’t going your way. If you get a “thanks, but no thanks,” give yourself permission to have a down day where you mourn the loss of the opportunity and indulge in your frustration. But remember, there’s no good story without conflict, and times like these are going to be part of your “nobody gave me nothing for free” success story.

8. Celebrate!: Be thankful for every little win along the way. Share your news with non-haters. Stop for a moment to reflect on what you’ve accomplished and how you got there before moving on to the next step of the process. In our quest to acquire success, it’s rare that we pause to count our blessings as they are right now.

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MIX of the WEEK: Kinda Fast Mix

1. Wrath of Kane – Big Daddy Kane
2. Guess Who – Doug E. Fresh
3. Bless The Funk – Double J (instrumental)
4. Chubbster – Chubb Rock
5. Morris Brown – OutKast
6. Whole World – Outkast
7. No Other Man – (instrumental)
8. Here I Come – The Roots

9. Peruvian Cocaine – Immortal Technique
10. Explosive (instrumental)
11. Big Poppa – Biggie Smalls (REMIX)
12. I’m a Hoe – Whodini
13. Everlasting Bass (instrumental)
14.Let Everything Go – Schola Man
15. Baby (instrumental)
16. Luchini – Camp Lo

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What Is The Most Important Song in Hip Hop?

by Skinny Black Girl for Till Death Till Do Us Part…Thoughts of Mrs. Hip-Hop

Last week, my homey and fellow blogger/hip-hop head Dee hit me with some pretty tough questions. He wanted to know 1.) Excluding “Rapper’s Delight,” what was the most important song in Hip-Hop? and 2) What was my all-time favorite Hip-Hop song?

These had me stuck in my car for a minute. The most important song in hip-hop? My all-time favorite hip-hop song? Wow. Such weighted questions. So many possibilities.

So I considered the first question. What was the most important song in Hip-Hop? My first thought was “The Message” by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. It was one of the genre’s first “conscious” records and it communicated the ills of the Black community to the world at large. The video itself is timeless, immortalizing the concrete jungle that birthed Hip-Hop back in the late 1970s. But then I began to reconsider.

In my opinion, there is a song that showed a true transitioning of Hip-Hop from an “urban cultural fad” to a musical genre that could reach the masses, without compromising any of its original swagger. And that song is the Run DMC and Aerosmith collaboration, “Walk This Way.” “Walk This Way” propelled Hip-Hop into mainstream culture and proved to the world that the genre’s seduction was not exclusive to the hood. Run DMC showed that Hip-Hop was to the new generation what rock was to previous generations. Bold. Defiant. Brash. Enticing. Pretty soon, it wasn’t just Black boys in Queens rockin shell-toes minus the laces. Jimmy and Billy in Orange County were running around in search of bucket hats and dooky rope chains as well. “Walk This Way” was Hip-Hop’s message to the world: I am here. And I ain’t goin’ nowhere.


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ALBUM of the WEEK: Kidz In The Hall – The In Crowd

This week we feature the Kidz In the Hall and the 2nd album “The In Crowd”. You may have heard of them from dropping an album last year, their first, called School Was My Hustle. They got some initial buzz because they were a crew that OMG!!!! Actually went to college. Not a bad first outing (pick it up if you have a chance). After a label change the boys come with their sophomore effort. Showing no signs of a slump we present them to you. Don’t forget, these are not the complete songs—just 90-second clips so you can get a feel for the music. If you like what you hear, go out and buy the CD. Quality hip hop grows when we support the artists. Check ouyt an interview the duo did right before the release of “The In Crowd”


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Who’s Watching the Kids?

by Morgan Steiker for

When Kanye blew up with The College Dropout, rapper Naledge (also from Chicago) was actually graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, where he met producer Double-O. After forming Kidz in the Hall, the duo made enough noise on the mixtape circuit to get heard by such industry heavyweights as Just Blaze. They signed a deal with Rawkus and released their debut, School Was My Hustle, in 2006. Their second album, The In-Crowd, was released in May on Duck Down.

The video for your first single, “Driving down the Block,” premiered on TRL a few weeks ago. Are you looking forward to having teenyboppers stalking you now?

Double-O: Yup. Essentially, there is a level of success we’re trying to achieve where that kind of thing will be there, but, hey, it’s a great thing to be the shit to an eighth-grader. Trust me, there’s nothing wrong with that if the kids are into the music. In terms of them being teenyboppers or whatever, I don’t care about that. If you connect with them, you connect with them. Back when I was in eighth grade and Wu-Tang came out, the only thing you got was what was on the videos and on the records. Now, with MySpace and other outlets, there is much more in-depth interaction with the artist.

Naledge to the left, Double-O to the right
Naledge to the left, Double-O to the right

What does success mean to you guys musically and personally?
Naledge: Musically, I think it’s the freedom to do whatever you want to do and have people follow you
wherever you wanna go. It’s having a loyal fan base, a core that will consistently buy your albums. When I think of successful artists I think of Da Vinci, Shakespeare, Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, Langston Hughes — people who made a creative contribution to our society that lasted longer than their lifetime. Basquiat and Tupac weren’t alive for that long, but their body of work still speaks for them. I also want my music to allow listeners to accept me as a big brother, a father figure, or simply a role model.

Now personally, I wanna be a millionaire before I die. I wanna be the master of my own fate. But I do wanna be recognized by my peers for my music. Rap is a sport, and the rewards are definitely a part of it.

Double-O: Success to me musically is the connection. F the critics. F all the in-betweens. Success is when you’re performing a song onstage and the whole front row knows the words to your songs. It’s the people that come up to you at the merch booth after the show, and they know a song of yours that is three years old and was like number seventeen on the mixtape. Truly connecting with the fans and them getting what you’re trying to do is what success means to me, musically.

On a personal level, success is whatever I make it. I’m big on setting goals. My first goal was to be able to make music for a living; then the next one was being able to put out an album, and once I reached that I wanted to top it with something even bigger and greater.

How’s the vibe for you guys over at Duck Down since you signed with them?
Double-O: It’s been great. They’ve all been very open to us. We’re a brand new element to that whole family where you have people who have worked together doing music for fifteen-plus years. They respect what we do musically and they probably like a certain energy we bring to the table. It’s not like they signed a teenybopper act that is a shell of what they’re supposed to be; they signed two dudes who have a certain appeal. The vibe is great.

If seven or eight years ago, someone had told you you’d be on the same label as KRS-One and Boot Camp, what would you have said?
Double-O: I don’t even know. I couldn’t even have predicted the way the industry is right now. If the industry was the same way it was seven or eight years ago, we wouldn’t be on Duck Down. Not only is it right that we are on Duck Down now, but there’s a possibility that we could be this huge thing for the label. All I could’ve predicted back then was that I was gonna push my art into this music industry until it worked. From there, anything else that happened was just luck of the draw, I guess.


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Why I Hate Rappers

by Domingo for

Here are my Top 10 reasons why I fucking hate rappers (A producer’s point of view).

10. When producing a record, you ask me to give you 8/16/8/16/8/16…the day you come to the studio you wrote 4/12/4/12/4/12 and wanna ask me what the fuck is wrong with the beat.

9. Must every verse start with “Yo …yo ….yo check it”?

8. Every four bars doesn’t mean take a break and ask “yo how that sounds son” to ya entourage of 20 friends cousins and parents.

7. Can you ask ya homie to stop standing in front of the vocal booth window coaching ya wack ass from outside the booth?

6. How many times in that verse did you say “nigga” at the end of the sentence.


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HOT 5: Dumb Names

Trugoy (De La Soul): we know it’s yogurt backwards, but that doesn’t tell us anything? But that’s been the De la steelo for years. I used to think I just wasn’t deep enough to understand what the hell they were talking about until talking with other folks, they didn’t know what the hell they were talking about either. So a dumb name is par for the course

Jadakiss (The Lox): For a gangster its not the hardest name ever it sounds like a girls name, kinda. Our crack research team here at grownheadz HQ actually spent 25 MINUTES investigating the name on the net. They (ok me) got nothing. The closest I got is my personal theory. Jadakiss’s real name is James and maaaaaybe his name is a short way of saying “J da kiss of death” but that’s just a wild guess. We actually know a woman who named her daughter Jadakiss (yeah its ghetto). With a name like Jadakiss a rapper might feel obigated to over compensate in his rhymes to prove how hard they are.

Cappadonna (Wu-Tang Clan): We think Cappadonna was late to the Wu-name choosing party, and there’s so many of them that all the good names got taken up quick. Or maybe he just really likes coffee. Whatever the reason, it’s not good enough. Or maybe he was like “Check this out y’all you heard of Madonna right? Well I got a gun and I’ll bust a cap in yo ass. So get this get this, my name is CAP-adonna. How ya like me now do ya feel me? ”

Sheek louch (The Lox): Snuffaluffagus’s deadbeat cousin.

Crunchy Black (Three Six Mafia): He is not representing for the dark-skined set. Sounds like a mean-ass childhood nickname that homie never got over. Or, how about a flavor at a ghetto dairy Queen. Alright, alright one mo. We won’t go to deep with this but something to do with underwear and we’ll stop it right there.

Homorable mention We were all done and then we thought aww hell the other dude in de la soul has a dumb name too. That’s right y’all plug one himself Posdanus has made the cut.

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