How the Ghost of Vanilla Ice is Saving Hip Hop Right Now

By Resident Alien

You know when you’re watching some really extra crime on the news, and you have that split-second hope that it’s not a black guy?

Well, all too often for the last couple years, DJ A-See and I will be nodding along to a dope new lyricist and find ourselves hoping it is a black guy.

Somebody’s got to say it: white rappers are really bringing their A-game, and black rappers… well, I’m not saying we’re pulling a Custer, but we need to get our weight up. (Sorry, I’ve been watching a lot of History Channel lately.)

Over half the new rappers that make me lean forward and say, “that’s kinda nice” are white dudes now. There are still incredible black rappers, but they get shouted over by locust swarms of video-lifestyle rappers. How many ways can you talk about partying, drinking and making paper? Fuck it, it’s BORING.

Whereas, white rappers like Yelawolf, Invincible, Surreal, Atmosphere, Eternia, Brother Ali, even MGK, are bringing a diversified flow set, nice lines, strong concepts. And why?

Vanilla Ice. To The Extreme is the soundtrack of their nightmares. Vanilla’s pale, dreadlocked face wakes them up in the middle of the night, driving them to the pen and pad. It’s a legacy of whackness that has been motivating white rappers to do better for the last 20 years.  As successful as he was, no one wants to be the next Vanilla Ice.

Among black rappers, on the other hand, about a jillion wannabes are praying through gold grills to be the next Waka. They don’t care about the effect all this bad music is having on hip hop culture, because they don’t care about the culture as a whole. They just care about peddling the most inane, unchallenging, hookiest trash lyrics to as many people as possible.

So the ghost of Vanilla Ice is fueling a lifeline of good hip hop: independent, creative and insightful, that may keep us going until we make it to the next Golden Era. Unless—God Forbid—we’re already there

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Audio Session: Heavy D w/ Anthony Hamilton – I Can’t (single)

MCs stop being hot for a lot of reasons. They were a fad, their style gets played out, or they start to pick bad music. Whatever the case, I always thought that Heavy D really didn’t have a reason for falling off– one day, his records just stopped selling.  Before his death, he was releasing new music. Check this record with Anthony Hamilton.  Safe to say, Hev still had it.


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Somebody Need To Tell: Dick,Mitt, and TMZ

This Dick's sneer puts homophobes in fear.

Somebody Needs To Tell…..

Dick Cheney
Word on the street is, the surest way to convince a Republican state rep to recognize same-sex unions is to call in Captain Equality, that champion of freedom everywhere, Dick Cheney. Yes, the Machiavellian man behind the throne through the Bush years has become a strong-arm advocate for marriage equality. It helps that his daughter and, it’s rumored, his wife are among the lesbian ranks, so he has some skin in the game. We here at Grownheadz commend you, Mr. Cheney. It’s wonderful to see a card-carrying Republican lend your considerable conservative weight behind a noble cause. Dick even trots out a nice soundbite: “Freedom ought to mean freedom for everybody.”

Now, before this turns into a full-blown Dick-fest (pause), we AIN’T forgot. Dick’s tax cuts for the rich still have America walking sideways, we were losing 75 million a MINUTE for a war in Iraq cause in his words, “they had more stuff to blow up,” and his bold-faced bragging that he authorized torture and would proudly do it again has France and England losing all our party invitations in the mail. So hey, it’s nice to see that the Tin Man has a heart for one segment of the population, but on the real? Dick can still, well, eat himself.

During their coverage of Whitney Houston’s funeral, TMZ informed the world that the transpiring events were in fact a “home going.” They explained that “home going” is a common term used in the black community to describe funeral services. That’s fine, the more you know and all that. The problem was, after that educational moment, they kept up a continually snarky, sarcastic, quotation-marked reference to Whitney’s funeral as a home going. Note to TMZ: Black folks ONLY use home going on the cover of the program—in every other instance, it’s fine to say funeral. Ask some of those black staffers we see on the TV sitting around the office and you’d know that.

For a guy named Mitt, he sure does drop the ball a lot. Ba-da-bing!

Mitt Romney
It appears that Newt “Never Drop” Gingrich has taken the lead in polls leading up to the Republican Michigan Primary. Hate to break it to ya, Willard (how the hell that got shortened to Mitt I’ll never know), but you might have to take an L. Remember back in 2008, when it really, really looked like the Big Three auto companies were about to come crashing down? Michigan does. Mitt, a man born in the state, whose daddy was once governor and the CEO of a defunct auto manufacturer, was running for president. A son of Michigan had a national platform to speak for them. And what does he tell the world? Let it crash. Let it fail. No government bailout, no help, just let’em go out of business. GM’s entire third shift nearly went to join Elizabeth.

Well, what a difference four years make. Mitt must have prayed he’d have the nomination in the bag before the Michigan primaries rolled around, so the vote wouldn’t matter much. Ooops. Check your history books, and you’ll find there’s nothing worse than a Teamster with a grudge. Mitt’s making appearances around the state talking about being a “son of Detroit” and how he loves lakes… and cars. Whatever dude. What should have been a cake-walk is now a 10-car pile-up, and we think we’d rather take the bus.

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Audio Session: Cosmo Baker-4th Pyrmid w/ Greg Nice – It’s So Hot (single)

Something a little interesting,maybe. Posted this video primarily to see what was up with Greg Nice lately but you decide about the track.

(from 4th Pyrmid’s people)
4th Pyramid is a MC/Producer/Songwriter from Toronto, Canada. Coming up the ranks as a producer and engineer, 4th Pyramid has quietly stacked credits for the Black Eyed Peas, members of Wu-Tang Clan, MF Doom, and Pete Rock, while licensing his own tunes with Sprite, Scion, and various feature films. Pyramid is also one-half of the DJ/production team The Sheen Bros, along with Cosmo Baker, and together the duo released their 2011 EP through Scion’s A/Vlabel. In December 2011, Pyramid launched his own imprint, Silk Ivory, a boutique label that was quickly signed to Lyrics To Go / Universal Music, and through the label 4th Pyramid will release his debut solo album, The Pyramid Scheme, onMarch 13, 2012.

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Hip Hop Affirmations: What Are You Looking For?

As sure as this earth is turning,
souls is burnings
in search of higher learning
Turning in every direction
seeking direction”

– Jay-Z

What are you looking for? The 3 years following grad school, I had 4 jobs as I tried to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. What did I discover? Sometimes you have to jump around in order to find what you are truly seeking. It can take a lot of guts to leave a situation that is not right for you, especially if you are fighting the pressures from voices around you telling you what you should be doing and that, “you are lucky to have a job.”

Some people think a little differently. They feel that the job is lucky to have them. They understand that they may not be in the ideal situation, but they continue to use their “off” time as “on” time. Time to get on to discovering what they are really passionate about. In my search I’ve done many different things including a stint in a Multi-Level Marketing company. Some may cringe or turn their nose up at that opportunity, but I can tell you first hand that my experience sparked a desire to focus on personal development.

I recommend self-discovery to everyone. It doesn’t matter how old you are, it’s never to late to figure out what you want to be when you grow up.

Two books recommended by Ambassador Bruny for Self-Discovery:
-The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren
-What Color is Your Parachute by Richard Bolles

Affirmation of the Day:
I love all the unanswered questions I have about what I want to do with my life. It shows that I care about my impact on this world

Question of the Day:
What do you want to be when you grow up?

Action of the Day:
Find 10 minutes to focus and journal your answer to the question of the day

Run the Point; from where you are, with what you have!

Your Ambassador,
Mike Bruny

Mike Bruny is a certified professional life coach and author, helping ambitious professionals gain clarity for life/career decisions. Reach him at His book  “Move the Crowd: 30 Days of Hip Hop Affirmations to Change Your Life.” is availible at www.Amazon.com

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Audio Session – BBU – bell hooks (Mixtape Leaks)

Coming straight out the Windy City is BBU intersting group from the looks of the bio. The first two songs below are nice the last two are definately for the dance floor but say a little more than the average dance tune. You decide.  But they are all going to be on their mixtape bell hooks dropping tomorrow.

(from BBU’s people)
BBU (which stands for Bin Laden Blowin! Up or Black, Brown and Ugly) are a Chicago-based, trio of hip-hop activists whose futureNOW sound is as diverse as the scenes they come from, run with and intentionally mash-up at their shows and in the sonic landscapes they rock over.

Imagine Outkast, Bad Brains and Public Enemy cipher-politicking at a community-organized,revolutionary Juke party. On the strength of their mixtape, Fear of A Clear Channel Planet (available for download atv BBU has performed across the country with Mos Def, (MF) DOOM, Dead Prez, J. Cole; been on Lollapalooza and SXSW stages and featured in the pages of The New York Times, The Washington Post, URB, The Chicago Tribune and TimeOut Chicago. The Chicago Reader named BBU, Best New Musical Group and the taste-making website Pitchfork hailed their anthem, “Chi Don’t Dance” as their Best New Dance Track.

As the crew finishes their new mixtape, bell hooks set to drop Tuesday (tomorrow) February 21 MCs Epic, Illekt and Jasson Perez, remain on the artist-activist grind, working as community and union organizers, health care providers and educators and are helping to grow a culture connected to a People’s Movement. They are creating a soundtrack for the people, by the people.


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Stray Notions: Negan (Nine)

WHO hasn’t heard of Jeremy Lin?

WHAT is a “free” gift? Aren’t all gifts free?

WHEN is the time REALLY RIGHT?

WHERE were you when you found out Whitney Houston died?

HOW can hip hop be dead if Wu Tang is forever?

WHY isn’t there mouse flavored cat food?

DO you remember the 1st time you heard a Whitney Houston song?

IF a pig loses its voice, is it disgruntled?

WONDER how many people REALLY have a problem with Chris Brown or are just frontin to look good

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Grownhead Check: 148 – 154

Periodically, we need to check credentials to weed out the spies, posers, and undercover gangsters (reformed gangsters are fine) and make sure you are a real grownhead. Soooooo, you truly are a grownhead IF….

148) … you didn’t goto a Super Bowl party, but instead watched the game at home with your kids around.
149) … you remember when the Patriots got steamrolled by the Super Bowl Shufflin ’85 Chicago Bear (RIP Walter Payton)
150) … your Super Bowl party was catered (you might also be “bougie” but that’s a different list)
151) … you remember when Tom Brady was a back-up
152) … you actually RSVP’d a Super Bowl Party and didn’t just “fall through”
153) … you remember when the New York Giants were all about LT – Lawrence Taylor
154) … you thought Madonna was moving a little slower during her half-time show

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