HOT 5: Rock Groups That Sound Like Rappers

Back in the 80s and 90s, did you ever take a chance on an unknown group, just by virtue of the name and album art, then get home to find it wasn’t even the genre of music you were expecting? The happens less now, because of the Internet and the fact that most Grownheads just don’t have time for all that browsing anymore. But you get the idea. These are the Top 5 Rock Groups that could be Mistaken for Rappers. Enjoy.


Sounds like: they could be some jazz-hop duo a la PM Dawn, or Us3.

Really: Well come on, you know who they are. But just in case , 4 rocks gods from Dublin who do really nice things and act all pompous about it.




Sounds like: M.O.P., B.D.P., NWA–any rap group from back in the day with a clever name that needed abbreviation.

Really: Alt rock legends. Most Grownheadz know them for their mega-hits “Losing My Religion,” “Shiny Happy People” (1992) or, if they go a little deeper, “The One I Love” and “Stand” (1987).



All-American Rejects


Sounds like: The Beastie Boys’ lesser known and even wilder younger brothers.

Really: Influenced by Green Day but sounding more like Blink 182, the four-peice rock group from Stillwater, OK broke into the big time with “Swing, Swing” in 2002 and kept it up with 2005’s “Dirty Little Secret,” whose video featured images from popular, anonymous confessional site Post Secret. (from


Bloc Party:

bloc party

Sounds like: they could be some booty bass, dance-based rappers, kinda like 95South back in the day, D4L (“Stanky Leg”) or Soulja Boy.

Really: Bloc Party is an English indie rock band. They trace their musical lineage from The Cure, Joy Division, Sonic Youth, and in their more recent work, Radiohead. (from Wikipedia)


Sonic Youth

Sounds like: Some skinny jean-wearing crew that favors autotune and neon colors.

Really: Sonic Youth were inspired directly by the hardcore punk and no wave movements, but were more noise-rock and distortion effects. Ironically they’re the only group on the list with solid Hip Hop Credentials: In 1990, Sonic Youth released the single “Kool Thing,” which featured a guest appearance by Chuck D and as such became the first time many Grownheads may have heard the band. “Kool Thing” was later featured in Guitar Hero III and is available to download for the Rock Band video game.
(from and Wikipedia.)

sonic youth

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IMO: Baby’s Dating, Daddy’s Hating

by Yo Jeff

Did you meet the kid who likes your child yet?  Well there’s nothing to be scared of so put all of your tough talk and hard attitude away and save it for the movies.  Wake up, it’s the new millennium and having a scary looking parent standing at the door saying, “you better treat my daughter right” is so yesterday.  Today there are much more constructive conversations for that dreaded first meeting. 

Whether you have a son or a daughter the same philosophy applies. The same goes for if your child is 12 or 22, and regardless if you are half of a church-going couple or a playa turned single parent. You can give your child the assistance they need to begin their journey down the path of finding a life partner. teen dating

Aside from educating your child about the impact of unexpected teenage pregnancy and STDs, it’s equally important to talk to them about dating. It transmits your values about how to treat others and what kind of behavior to accept. Don’t give advice that directly contradicts your lifestyle; if your child has seen you bring home a different partner every week, you can’t very well insist they wait to be married for sex. What you can do, if you’ve been a bad example, is talk to your child about what influenced your outlook and the consequences of some of your actions. You don’t have to destroy all boundaries to have an honest conversation with your child. 

Sometimes you find out your child has a love interest before you think they’re old enough to hear about the birds and the bees. If this happens, fear not. 

First thing you should do is to request a meeting with both of them.  You can have the meeting over at your house or somewhere else you can have uninterrupted conversation.  Use the meeting as the screening opportunity that it is. Show your child how to talk to someone they are interested in. Pretend you are interviewing them as a couple. You will be surprised what you find out. Ask them questions like how they met, what they like about each other and why they want to have a boyfriend or girlfriend.

Humor is a good way to talk about sex.  Ask a question like ‘Have you ever simulated the act of reproduction?’ Everyone knows what you are talking about and it sounds less judgmental than asking the child if they’re a virgin.  Request a meeting with their parent or parents—this lets them understand that it is more than the two of them who will be connected. 
Your child’s decision-making skills are their first line of dating defense. Empower them with the dating smarts you’ve learned so you won’t end up like the parents on MTV’s Parental Advisory, trying to break your child away from a date from hell.  If you feel you need to brush up on your dating knowledge there are a number of basic dating books, which give a lot of good advice.

Look, there are no arranged marriages in America so people have to learn how to date.  Be the trusted life coach your child needs you to be. 

This is your boy Yo Jeff, Hip Hop’s #1 dating coach, wishing you good luck.  Any comments? Leave ‘em below. Send questions to

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ALBUM of the WEEK: New Jack Hustle – SoundCheck

Okay okay we occasionaly get lazy around here so we lifted this despription of New jack Hustle from

“In 2006, producer/rapper Newman, of Giant Panda, first heard rapper Shawn Jackson over the Mekalek produced track Dream Come True. Newman was blown away and commenced to deliver a beat CD to Shawn. Following that, Newman and Shawn put out the Go! single. Go! sold well in L.A., the U.K., and Japan garnering attention from tastemakers such as Quantic and most notably Andy Smith of Portishead. This warm reception inspired the two, now known as New Jack Hustle, to create a full-length album. The resulting project became Sound Check.”

By the way if you take NEWman and Shawn JACKson. Well you can see how they got the name.  as mentioned above Newman is a member of the group Giant Panda, which we featured here on Album of the Week. ANYway, these are not the complete songs, just 90-second clips to give you a feel for the music. If you like what you hear, buy the CD. We’ve gotta support if we want real hip hop to flourish

new jack

MySpace Music Playlist at

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HOT 5:Things More Fun in Movies Than Real Life

As the summer blockbuster season limps to a close, some of you may look back with nostalgia on the mass karate fights, kicked-in doors and de-wired bombs that make up your most cherished action flicks. is here to remind you that lots of events that look like killer fun in movies would be disproportionately less fun in real life. Below, our Top Five.


5. Jumping into a Pool Fully Dressed
Whether you’ve just graduated from high school or landed the girl of your dreams, there are few ways to broadcast a life-changing event more directly than jumping into a pool dressed head to toe. It’s also, apparently, a great party starter: electric guitars squeal out of nowhere, drinks appear in everybody’s hands and invariably someone yells, “Let’s party!”

 He thought better of it the second after hitting the water.



REALITY: That exhilarating splash is soon over, leaving you hobbled as you struggle to swim in a waterlogged sports coat. Once you get out of the pool, unless you strip naked you can’t really sit on any upholstered furniture, so here’s hoping the party stays on the patio all night. You thought that little stunt would be the talk of the party, but as the night wears it dawns on you that it was more of a you-had-to-be-there moment. Also, someone stole your shoes, you can’t get the water out of your ears, and that cute girl you were trying to impress? She can hear your squelching from a mile away, and she thinks you’re wet and desperate.


4. High Speed Chase
MOVIES: What a rush! The coppers (or mafia, or whichever side of the law you prefer) are hot on your tail and eating your dust as you execute one daring maneuver after another. Suddenly, your gas light comes on. Luckily, there’s a drawbridge nearby, but its warning lights are blinking, signaling an oncoming ship. Do you floor it? Do I even have to ask? In the movies, you soar over the 6-foot gap and down safely on the other side as your pursuers skid out at the last minute and shake their fists from the wrong side of the bridge. But in real life…

REALITY: You die. A lot. And way before you hit the drawbridge. Remember when you drove through that large pane of glass two guys were carrying across the street? In real life, a razor-edged shard shattered your windshield and beheaded you. Don’t like that? Well, how about those three red lights downtown? You may have floored it through the first two, leaving multiple-car collisions in your wake, but a 1981 Datsun T-boned you on the third, breaking your legs and puncturing your lung. That hairpin spinout when you drove against the flow of traffic? Dead, dead, dead. If by some slice of luck you even make it to the drawbridge, there’s no way your car would make the jump. The average car traveling at high speed, say 120 mph, has a jump of 10 meters, or 32 feet. That sounds good until you take into account that a car drops 7 inches every second of unsupported flight. So unless you’re riding on 42s, you’re going down in a watery grave my friend. And bystanders will laugh at you.


3. Barfight
You don’t have to start it. You don’t even have to know who threw the first punch. All you have to do is duck down and keep an eye out for hilarious instruments to hit people with. Barstools are handy, liquor bottles are dramatic, and if you can pull some hapless sucker in front of you in time for him to take a punch aimed your way, all the better. At the end, you and the guys kick back, order another round and laugh as the uptight proprietor moans in despair at the state of the bar. It’s good, manly fun, and bars have insurance for this type of thing, right?

 Hope he's got a good lawyer...

REALITY: Wrong. As a participant in a bar fight, you’re subject to charges of disorderly conduct, felony assault, destruction of property and public drunkenness. And “he threw the first punch” won’t cut you any slack. As the victim of attack, your chances of arrest double. Bonus: If you hit a guy in just the right way, he dies—and then it’s a good thing you had practice with group brawls, because you’ll have plenty of opportunity to test those skills in the pen. Also, concussions and closed head injuries become distinctly less hilarious over time.

 2. Walking Away from an Explosion
Good Guys know that eventually, you have to fight fire with fire. It can be a warehouse full of drugs, weaponry headed for the wrong side of a foreign civil conflict, ill-gotten artifacts from the Amazon Rain Forest or the headquarters of an evil genius. Point is, Bad Guys’ property sure burns pretty, especially if you set off the fire by flicking a cigarette over your shoulder as you stride away. A hero ain’t a hero till he gets his point across with a huge freaking fireball.

 He'd be more bad-ass if he walked away. He must've heard about the flaming projectiles.

   REALITY: Or back lacerations and third-degree burns. When you blow up a multi-story warehouse, looking cool and nonchalant takes a backseat to the frantic scramble for cover as you try to avoid getting smacked in the head with flying pieces of flaming debris. Oxygen deprivation makes peeling off in your getaway car a bit unrealistic; you may just want to drive a block and pull over before you pass out from smoke inhalation.


1. Shootout
MOVIES: Yelling catchphrases, blasting on bad guys, diving through windows and over conveniently located counters—there’s nothing like a good shootout to get the adrenaline pumping.

REALITY: I don’t know if we mentioned this before but it might sound vaguely familiar. Dead, dead, DEAD. Or at the least paralyzed. Shooting a gun is no joke and unless you go to a firing range on the regular your chances of hitting anything are little to none. There’s a reason movie Bad Guys are such terrible shots–do you know how hard it is to focus with all that adrenaline pumping through your system? And lest we forget, stray bullets like innocent bystanders. There will be blood, and unless you are a duly sanctioned officer of the law there will also be charges. Unlawful discharge of a firearm and reckless endangerment can net you up to 10 years, depending on whether the jury had a V8. If you manage to nail a Bad Guy, self defense MIGHT get you off with involuntary manslaughter, for 2. But that group of terminally ill 5-year-olds walking home with their adopted pet bunnies that you just shot up is going to get you at least 25 years in the big house. Now don’t you wish you’d settled things by thumb wrestling?

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The Sophomore Slump


In late March Rick Ross did something crazy – he bested ubiquitous icon Snoop Dogg’s “Ego Trippin’” and the latest NOW compilation with his newest album, “Trilla,” selling just under 200,000 copies. The big man from Miami was #1.

What makes the whole affair more ludicrous is that homebody did it with his sophomore album. From what’s been arrow dowheard so far, there isn’t anything wholly different in topic (cocaine) or guest appearances (T-Pain?) than Rick Ross’s last CD or the average radio joints. Ironically, this is probably why he did well.

Check your favorite rapper’s resume and you’ll find a substandard sequel: “It Was Written,” “In My Lifetime, Vol. 1,” “Life After Death”. Nas had signed a wack, short-sighted contract with MC Search’s label (”I know who I paid, god/Searchlight Publishing”), Jay-Z was planning on retiring after one album, and Biggie was planning on being dead (sooner). Your top 5 dead or alive released conceptually messy sophomore albums for the same reason the Wachowski Brothers created awful Matrix continuations – none of them planned on making a sequel in the first place.


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Somebody Needs to Tell…

Somebody Needs To Tell…

 Right Wingers: Obama’s Speech to SchoolChildren Not Master Plan to Harvest Brains

I love that they misspelled worry. Dork.


“Stay in school.” For right-wingers, even the most bland, non-threatening message is a Socialist weapon in President Barack Obama’s hands.

“He wants to get our keeeedssssss!!” The neocons have erupted in hives, with good reason. They’ve been rocking back and forth with their fingers in their ears, chanting “No, no black man,” since last November, junked their TVs and enrolled their children in Rush Limbaugh charter school to keep their little minds untainted from the knowledge that a black man runs the country. If Obama addresses a national speech to school children, there’s no way to counteract the effect it will have. Their children will have a vaguely positive memory that will be loosely associated with Obama.

Elementary schools will hold assemblies to broadcast the message, and the break in routine will purvey a sense of excitement, or at least everyone will get out of class. Which means that even if the kids aren’t listening (which they won’t be), they’ll know the break was brought to them by the president.

I remember the one time that Bear Elementary School pulled us all out of class to watch a news broadcast. I was in the fourth grade, and it was the launch of the space ship Challenger, which had teacher Christa McAuliffe aboard.

Well. I hope Obama’s speech goes a little better than that, but I’m just saying, it’s a big deal, the teachers will likely discuss it in class later, and the kids whose parents pull them out of class to skip the “brainwashing” are gonna feel like outsiders and resentful, and start to question their coconut-job parents. And as Martha says, that’s a good thing.

 Somebody Needs To Tell…

 Sensible Republicans to Man Up and Kick the Loons Out of the Driver’s Seat

 Man, am I getting tired of addressing crazies. There are normal, sane and logical conservatives out there—there must be! And they must be tired of their leadership and image being hijacked by whacko, mouth-foaming regressives intent on fostering straight-up revolution against our duly elected president.

I’m confused as to why these logical people haven’t come forward to be the voice of reason to their friends, neighbors and churchmembers, who are losing their minds daily over every move of America’s commander-in-chief.ignorance

They could be afraid. Watching some of the town halls and reading right-wing blogs, it’s easy to see the spirit of bullyism and group-think at work. These people attack any member of the group that doesn’t step right up and guzzle the kook-juice, even their own leadership. They booed John McCain for calling President Obama a “decent man” who “respects the Constitution,” hardly lavish praise. And they’ve attacked any Republican congressperson who’s even looked like they’d consider (gasp!) national healthcare. Olympia Snowe remains the only Senator strong enough to negotiate healthcare in good will.

The Orlando Sentinel’s Kathleen Parker had it right when she said the GOP needs to “drive a stake through the heart of old Dixie” attitudes.

If they don’t stop using their trump card—fear-mongering, uneducated but ACTIVIST bigots who are easily whipped into a frenzy—they will be forever lose any claim to legitimacy.


By Resident Alien

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Hip-Hop Journalism? FAIL

The Failure of Hip-Hop Journalism: Rewritin’ Hip-Hop History
by Minister Paul Scott for

To hear some hip-hop journalists tell it, there was a time when hip-hop magazines were the vanguard of the revolution. Not since David Walker’s “Appeal” were there such powerful writings that shook the foundations of the system. Some believe that if it wasn’t for hip-hop journalists, slavery would have been back in effect after the Reagan administration.f grade

However, contrary to popular belief, The Source was never “The Negro World,” nor was XXL ever the “The Messenger.”

This is not to say that hip-hop magazines have not had their shining moments. XXL’s first couple of issues showed promise that something new might have been on the horizon and The Source did give the early conscious rappers a voice in its early years. But that had more to do with the fact that hip-hop, itself, was going through a brief conscious era more so than The Source shaping the direction of hip-hop. The writers were merely reporting what was happening in hip-hop, not plotting a new “vainglorious” course.

Today The Source does have a few interesting articles, especially in its “Ear to the Street” section. However, this is an exception to the rule. For the most part, hip-hop journalists give the same rehashed stories over and over again regarding beefs, street credibility and the obligatory paragraph about a rappers love for weed.


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