The Hip Hop Purist: Death To Autotune (My Story)

Dear Grouch and Eligh,

I downloaded your latest album because I liked the song you had with Blu.  I even liked your poppy video with Pigeon John and Gift of Gab.  So I take my burned copy of your cd and gave it a guilt filled listen in my car one morning on the way to work.  All of a sudden, I did not feel guilty anymore.

Why not have T-Pain appear on your album?  You guys are too fresh for that autotune shit!

On a recent trip to ATL, I was at Criminal Records and I saw your album for sale.  I picked it up and that new Brother Ali.  Then I remembered the autotune.  My facial expression morphed into it’s “I smell something that really stinks” version and I placed your cd back on the rack out of alphabetical order (sorry people that work at Criminal).

I still play that track with Blu though.

Better luck next album.


Tha Hip Hop Purist

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GHtv: It’s All Part of a Biiiiiiiiiiig Plan

Wise intelligent showing and proving he has earned the name breaks it down. WELL. I ain’t trying to knock the brother and it’s most definately NOT a criticsim cause I agree with what he’s saying. just one little itty, bitty, tiny problem and I quote Chuck D

“1989 the number/ another summer (get down)/ Sound of the funky drummer!

That’s the fist line from Fight the Power. it wasn’t released in 1992.

You’ll understand in a minute (6:22)

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IMO: Who Dat Is??

NEWCATSRookies of the Year: Break-Out Stars of Rap’s Freshman Class by Big Rob E

It seems for a minute now, I’ve heard peers around my age tell me how “Rap doesn’t have anybody good anymore,”  ‘cept for the veterans we grew up loving. Though ish’ ain’t never gonna be like it was once upon a time ago, I do see some of these new cats doing they thing.

Drake has had the big buzz for some time now. Even Ma$e jumped on his song to announce his back-to-back comeback.  Hopefully, he’ll be able to come with that album that’ll justify his hype.

I’m diggin’ this West Coast run that Cali’s own Jay Rock is on, reppin’ his projects to the fullest. There’s an authenticity he brings that’s real refreshing compare to folks now-a-days. I was late on B.O.B., aka Bobby Ray, aka B.O.B. again, but I’ll tell ya he’s pretty good. I was hating at first, but after giving a mixtape or two the time of day, he’s somebody that can hold his own—reminds me of homeboy from Field Mob (what’s goin’ with them, they was nice wit it?).

Asher Roth is another one that can do his thug thizzle (minus the thug part). I don’t like everything he’s got, but the ones I do are just fire and you know he’s not going to give you the stereotypical rap song, which I’m all about.
Kid Cudi: I’m still on the fence about him but I’m sure he’s goin’ to produce that joint that wins me over one of these days or nights.

Another cat I still consider on the new, Joell Ortiz, is just undeniable. Not only is he with this sick squad known as SlaughterHouse, but for those of you who miss the old days and want to hear something new, Mr. Ortiz’s mixtape Covering the Classics is something you cannot allow yourself to sleep on. He does justice to old skool hits in a way that lets you know that he was right there with us, going through the same experiences.

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GrownHead Check: 57 – 63

GH header - 3

Grownheadz is a community of lovers of hip hop who came up in the Golden Age through the Renaissance, and does not condone discrimination against young bucks, old heads or the other man. But you can only truly call yourself a grownhead IF….

57)… you’re the one calling the police because those %&@# kids next door won’t turn down the music.
58)… you solved the Rubics cube… peeling off the stickers.
59)… one phrase, “The Plane, The Plane”.
60)….you don’t TRY to learn the new dances.
61)…you wondered why there were no black people on the “original” Degrassi Junior High.
62)…Colors, Boyz N the Hood and Menace II Society made you scared to go to Compton.
63)…you tried St.Ides because Ice Cube

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Lowering the Bar

by Jai Manselle for Life Is Nothing Without Stylesouljaboy

I recently found myself in a conversation with an old friend of mine from college. As is always the case with these “catch up” sessions, at some point we had to reminisce on the good old days. The clothing, movies, politics and (of course) the music. I think anyone over 22 feels like music has completely fallen apart in recent years, particularly the once revolutionary hip hop genre.

The days when lyricism, originality and showmanship were requirements have dissolved into an era where an artist’s worth is determined by how many ringtones he can sell or how fresh his wardrobe is.


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ALBUM of the WEEK: Raydar Ellis & Quite Nyce – Champs vs. The League

Its a funny thing about underground artist, sometimes you just don’t know a lot about them.  Allmusic has a post for Raydar Ellis but nuthin for Quite Nyce.  I mean I know Raydar hails from Conneticut, went to North Carolina A&T, transfered to the Berlkee School of Music.  He even teaches the only Hip Hop class at Berklee.  I know we need to feature his solo album “Late Pass” on Album of The Week.  Raydar also just did a seminar on the evolution of Common you can see it here for free.  ANYway, 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.


MySpace Playlist at

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IMO:Dear Sucka MC’s

Dear Sucka MCs: Enough is enough. Signed, Everybody

by Renee Brown

Few people know this, but it is U.S. Federal Law that every man between the ages of 15 and 38 of African-American descent must pursue a hip-hop record deal. At least I assume this to be true, given that nearly every black man I know is either an aspiring rapper or producer, and most of them prioritize this goal over pretty much anything else in their lives.

Of the eleventy-thousand aspiring rappers that I know, I would say that roughly 5 of them have actual talent. Of those 5, roughly 2 have an actual shot at getting signed…and as we know, obtaining a record deal does not guarantee success. So what does that leave us with? A society that, already plagued with environmental, economic, and class crises, must now deal with an excess of Sucka MCs.

In every major city I visit these days, I find a “28 Days Later” type of situation, only instead of blood-thirsty zombies, suckermcthere are hundreds of Young Jeezy hopefuls urging me to buy crudely produced CDs with titles like “Bullets and Butt Cheeks,” with an ambition that would make those zombies look lazy.

These unwelcome sales pitches leave me in a dilemma: While I typically support local artists and applaud urban youth who are not serving for a living, not to mention appreciating someone with a dream, the music is nightmarishly terrible 98 percent of the time. Furthermore, I can’t help but lament the time, undiscovered non-musical talent, and blank CDs that are wasted on this musical fuckery. Since the birth of hip-hop, there have been Sucka MCs, but why do they exist in such great numbers today?

Let us flash back to the 80’s, when the Reagan administration all but eliminated the middle class and destroyed the black community by making the drug trade the only option for many of the poor.Back when hip-hop was still creatively legitimate, MCs would convey their views on this cultural phenomenon through music, which, at that time, was among the most revered mediums of artistic social commentary. But America wouldn’t be America if a good thing was not exploited for profit.

Slowly but surely, the music lost the message and morphed into a wasteful, depressing tell-all on the newest form of slavery. Selling cocaine was no longer a tale of survival or an attack on our community; it was now a status symbol and a rite of passage for underprivileged, urban men. The person to be admired in the hood was not the one who graduated from college and got a well-paying gig with IBM; that person was nowhere to be found in the hood. The role model became the dope man, who embarked upon the marriage of the century to hip-hop.

As so often happens in marriage, the two parties became one (one of the reasons why I have sworn off of marriage), and gave birth to the newest hood role model: the rapper who capitalizes off of boasting about selling drugs to his community. Somewhere down the line, someone got wise to the fact that one can make a song about serving without actually having any experience in that field. So began the reign of the Sucka MC.

Kudos to the Sucka MC. They have a proud tradition of making millions of dollars off of sheep-like idiots. And a thumbs-up to whoever held out the hope of making it big to an entire generation. But an enormous Fuck You to those who abandon searching for whatever real talents and abilities they may have in order to pursue a career in something that A.) They suck balls at, B.) Contributes absolutely nothing of value to society, and C.) Will see to the extinction of real hip-hop altogether.

What a sad reflection of the poor self-esteem of a people. As if the redundant, bland musical abortions heard on the radio are not depressing enough, we must constantly be reminded of the hopelessness that plagues our community. Black youth bank on singing and dancing to be their meal ticket…what year is this? It is my hope that the success of President Barack Obama will prove not only to black youth, but to every oppressed people that they have options. To show them that their destinies are not controlled by the system. To show them what a real G is capable of.

To the Sucka MCs out there, I implore you to discover what your real God-given talent is. It may have nothing to do with music, or whatever you consider to be music. While you may think that this task is far too challenging, you may find that there is a home for you that is 100 times more rewarding than “Bullets and Butt Cheeks.” Give the real MCs a chance to get on. And please, God, free hip-hop from exile and show the world once again the relevance, creativity, beauty, pain, humor, fun, unity, and power of this great art form. Amen.

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CLIP of the WEEK: DO NOT Do This At Home

Hey ain’t nuthin wrong with some PE. I can appreciate Joel’s love of Public Enemy and Luke Cage, Powerman but if your gonna cover Public Enemy call some friends, turn up the amps, kick up the volume and let it rock. Check out his cover of PE’s You’re Gonna Get Yours from their first album Yo! Bum Rush The Show (3:47)

By the way here’s the original YEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAH BOYEEEEEEEEE

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Fighting The Good Fight

3 Battles That Influence Hip Hop Today

by Kevin Smith for  Associated Content

Hip-hop has seen some pretty good battles between artists throughout its history. Many of the battles are unknown to much of the public due to several different factors. Some of these battles changed hip-hop, some turned into real beefs, and others have just been forgotten. Here we will look at 3 of the more important battles that changed hip-hop in some way.

Kool Moe Dee vs. Busy Bee Starskirap-battle

This battle occurred before most of us were even born, but it is pretty much safe to say that had this battle not occurred, rap wouldn’t be as creative as it is today. Busy Bee Starski was a party MC. He was a very animated and charismatic MC who knew how to get the crowds into the show. Many have said that this battle was not fair because Busy Bee wasn’t a battle MC, but he was a battle MC. The way Busy Bee battled was determined by who could rock the crowds the best. Kool Moe Dee on the other hand, was more of a serious MC. He was more about the lyrical content of rhyming. The battle itself wasn’t actually a battle at all. It was more like a sneak attack by Kool Moe Dee,


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HOT 5: 5 Rappers Who Didn’t Need A Greatest Hits

5 Rappers Who Don’t Need a Greatest Hits (but have one anyway)

It happens to every head at some point.  You’re casually browsing through the CD racks at the record store, just wasting time and suddenly you can’t believe your eyes. It can’t be! MC One-Hit and the Whatstheirnames have a greatest hits album?!  The right move is to shake your head and pop it right back on the shelf, but sometimes curiosity (and masochism) get the best of you. We’ve all fallen victim in moments of weakness, to buying schlock like this:

Mack 10 Foe Life: The Best of Mack 10 (2007)   


1. Foe Life    10. Hoo Bangin’   
2. Hate In Yo Eyes    11. The Testimony   
3. Nothin’ But The Cavi Hit    12. Hustle Game   
4. Like This    13. The Letter   
5. From Tha Streetz    14. My Chucks   
6. Only In California    15. Tha Weekend   
7. Money’s Just A Touch Away    16. W/S Foe Life   
8. On Them Thangs    17. Get Yo Ride On   
9. Do The Damn Thing    18. Mozi-Wozi  

Come on now—18 tracks? Really?!  Even PE, Run-DMC and LL would have to push into filler territory for 18 hits!  Foe Life and, to a (much) lesser extent, W/S Foe Life (with West side Connection) and Nuthin but the Cavi Hit made some noise, but the rest of these songs are known only by the hardcore fan and Mack 10’s mom.

Tag Team: The Best of Tag Team (2000)


1. Whoomp! (There It Is) [Remix 2000]    11. Do Your Dance/Old School Flava on Your Dial   
2. Bring It On    12. Funkey Situation/Back From Another Mission   
3. Wreck da Set    13. What U Waitin’ 4   
4. Just Call Me DC    14. Let the Music Play/Drop the Funk Bomb   
5. Bobyahead!    15. Booty Low/Tag Team Underground   
6. Drop ‘Em    16. Oweeo   
7. It’s Somethin’    17. Side 2 Side/Somehouse Kickin’ It   
8. U Go Girl [Remix]    18. Here It Is, Bam!!   
9. Free Style    19. Whoomp! (There It Is) [House Mix]   
10. Throw Your Hands    20. Whoomp, Si Lo Es 

STOP LAUGHING! No, really, stop.  Some forward-thinking, enterprising soul said “You know what would really put Tag Team over the top? A poorly translated Spanish version of Whoomp There It Is.” And Whoomp, Si Lo Es was born. Now, I bet you feel really stupid.

Schoolly D: The Best of Schooly D (2003)


1. P.S.K. ‘What Does It Mean’ 7. Parkside 5-2
2. Gucci Time   8. B-Boy Rhyme and Riddle
3. Put Your Filas On 9. Smoke Some Kill
4. Saturday Night 10. Mr. Big D**k
5. Dedication To All B-Boys 11. Coqui 900
6. Fat Gold Chain 12. Livin’ In The Jungle

 Okay, this one I actually do own.  As a DJ, I’m a completist  when it comes to an artist.  But really, all Schoolly D needs is one of those “Five Best” CDs that  Rhino puts out for 5.99.  Yes, Schoolly will go down in history as the first rapper to cap somebody on wax, and PSK is a legitimate hip-hop classic—the beat has been sampled often, from Biggie to Case.  The brother even produces tunes for Aqua Teen Hunger Force. But 12 tracks is  overkill when your biggest song was last hitting in 1987.

Bizzy Bone: The Best of Bizzy Bone (2007)


1. Nobody Can Stop Me   7. On The Freeway  
2. What Do We Say?   8. Thugs Need Love Too  
3. Thugz Cry   9. When I See  
4. Around The World   10. Maybe You Can Hold Me  
5. Fried Day   11. Don’t Ask Me Why  
6. One Time   12. The Top 

Hell. Naw. I repeat: HELL to the NAW. Were the masses really clamoring for this?  On a side note, why is it when I go to Best Buy or, until a few months ago, Circuit City (WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? excuse me for a minute…) is there always an ass-load of Bone Thugs n Harmony product?  I mean damn near every album, new stuff, old stuff, what’s up on that?  Is the Bone Thug Nation that strong in the M-I-Yayo? Or is Bizzy on a secret tour, driving around the nation making sure his CDs are on prominent display? You make the call.

Luniz: Luniz – Greatest Hits (2005)


1. Intro    9. Killers on the Payroll   
2. So Much Drama    10. Big Face Escalade   
3. Just Me and You    11. Pimps, Players Hustlers   
4. Oakland Raiders    12. Baby Momma   
5. Playa Hata    13. Closer Than Close   
6. In My Nature    14. Broke Hoes Is a No No    
7. Fuck You    15. Mob   
8. I Got 5 on It    16. Break Me Off  

Luniz is another group that have a few songs, and they get props for introducing the term “Playa Hata”  (eventually shortened to just “hater”) to the world, but please check the track list.  It’s not like they were running out of room. They could’ve included the Posse cut remix of I got 5 On It, featuring E-40, Digital Underground, Dru Down, and Richie Rich.  I mean really, is Fuck You such a heartwarming hit that there would’ve been an uprising to cut it?  I’m just saying, if you’re gonna do a greatest hits, do it right.

Honorable Mention
Biggie Smalls
Now the Notorious One is no laughing matter.  But it aint too hard to round out the hits.  Just buy his first two–excuse me, his ONLY two albums recorded before he died.  Granted, there are some cameos and collabos floating around out there, plus the remixes that don’t stop.  But take it from a GrownHead: Ready to Die and Life After Death are really all you need.

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