All posts by Resident Alien

I'm in my early 30s, Nigerian-born and Southern-raised, and I hate lazy writing but I adore lazy Sundays. Anything contradictory or subversive draws me like a magnet. I don't mind if others disagree with me, but debate is a sport, so bring your A-game. I'm on the hunt for strong women MCs, cause I know they're out there grinding in an uptight, sexist industry and culture. I got your back!

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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Late Movie Fridays: Cruel Summer Edition

How I Spent My Summer Vacation
Aww yeah, Charlotte! It’s almost time for another Late Movie Fridays.
This week, we’re going with the light comedy, How I Spent My Summer Vacation, as we kiss the last of the summer goodbye. College kids Perry and Stephanie can’t stay apart, but can they keep it together?

  • WHERE: Red@28th, 2424 N. Davidson (across from Amelie’s)
  • WHEN: Friday, Sept. 30 Games mixer at 9, movie at 11
  • HOW: Free with RSVP to grownheadz@gmail.com

 

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Official Shotcallers of A3C Festival!!!

Guess who’s an official sponsor of the A3C (All 3 Coasts) hip hop festival Oct. 6-8 in Atlanta? Thass right. Not to pat ourselves on the back too hard, but we’re right there with Hip Hop DX, Jamla and other industry heavyweights, supporting our culture and helping to bring back dope hip hop.

We’ll be bringing you that grown man/grown woman perspective, letting you know new names to watch for, videos and show footage of your favorite emcees and straight running up on all the grownheadz who will be there. In the run up, we’ll feature artists like Jean Grae, Big K.R.I.T., Big Pooh, Elzhi, REKS, Aleon Craft, Ras Kass, Young Scolla, Rapsody, Danny, Gods Illa, Boog Brown, Lyric Jones, Bronze Nazareth and Saigon on the site.

There are over 80 confirmed artists for A3C 2011, making the 3-day festival the hip-hop Woodstock Rock the Bells never was. Also unlike Rock the Bells, A3C is recognizing dope female emcees with Jean Grae, Boog Brown, Eternia, Marz Lovejoy, Rapsody and The Reminders rocking the stages. See the ever-growing list of artists below.

  • Random Axe
  • Freeway
  • Murs
  • BIG K.R.I.T.
  • Freddie Gibbs
  • Dead Prez
  • 9th Wonder
  • Jean Grae
  • Cory Gunz
  • XV
  • Big Pooh
  • Homeboy Sandman
  • Smoke DZA
  • Elzhi
  • Reks
  • Termanology
  • Ski Beatz
  • The Kid Daytona
  • Jon Connor
  • Saigon
  • tabi Bonney
  • Ras Kass
  • J-Live
  • Laws
  • Thee Tom Hardy
  • Skyzoo
  • El Da Sensei
  • Percee P
  • Action Bronson
  • Actual Proof
  • Aleon Craft
  • Big Remo
  • BIGREC
  • Black Milk
  • Boog Brown
  • Chancellor Warhol
  • Chase N Cashe
  • D.R.E.S. tha BEATnik
  • Danny!
  • Dee-1
  • Diamond D
  • Dillon
  • Donny Goines
  • Eternia
  • Ethereal Eyezon Soweto
  • Front Page
  • One Be Lo
  • Guilty Simpson
  • Jarren Benton
  • Jon Hope
  • KD
  • LidoLido
  • Lyriciss
  • Marz Lovejoy
  • Moe Green
  • Neak
  • Nice Guise
  • Nottz
  • P Dukes
  • PATEN LOCKE
  • Rapsody
  • Rittz
  • Rockie Fresh
  • Shokanti
  • Soul Khan
  • The reMinders
  • Torae
  • ULTRA BEAST
  • Varsity Squad
  • WILLIE EVANS JR
  • YONAS
  • Young Scolla


 
Hit us up with a comment and tell us if you’re going to be there, questions to asky your favorite artists and who you want to see us interview. And stay tuned, we’ve got some ill promotions up the sleeve!

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Elenora Fagan’s on that Rock $#!+…But Don’t Sleep On Their Rhymes

Still haven't figured this logo out...

Most of the time when rock meets rap, one of the elements is not up to par. Either the rhymes are strong but the chords are weak, or the guitar is hitting but the lyricist is a dull blade.

Enter Elenora Fagan. The Charlotte-based hip hop-rock band is the cure for both maladies: mindful, provocative lyrics backed by a tight trinity of guitar, bass and drum. Citing influences from The Roots to Red Hot Chili Peppers, their sound is a seamless blend of hip hop and hardcore, with hits of house and reggae.

Like DOC said, they’re funky enuff. But the real draw are the group’s two emcees, who pack their verses tight with humor, angst and social commentary. It’s a refreshing addition to Charlotte’s hip hop scene, crowded as it is with  enthusiastic but underpar rappers yelling about money at every single open mic night.

GrownHeadz caught up with lead vocalist Currin Hightower after a Michael Jackson tribute concert at Amos South End. He promised Elenora Fagan, notorious for doing kick-ass shows but having no mixtapes or tees for fans to take home, is working hard to finish their first studio album.

“We’re recording, but it should be ready by early Fall,” he said.

Fagan brought their signature brand of electricity to the MJ tribute, with Thriller riffs and an amped-up rendition of Dirty Diana that got the sluggish crowd to their feet. The Golden Pyramids, Joe Crush, Elevator Jay and DJ Pyro rounded out the lineup.

The crowd, a mix of hardcore Michael Jackson lovers, hip hop heads and rock fans, never exactly gelled. Some performers, such as Mother Earth, a doe-eyed afro chic who rocked the mic and the drums with Joe Crush, got a lot of love; other more rock-oriented acts like The Golden Pyramids got a bit of the cold shoulder.

Pyramids’ frontman William Curry was undeterred, kicking off his group’s set with “F@$% you if you don’t wanna get up.”  The band proceeded to play their asses off to a nearly deserted pit, then ceded the stage to headliners Elenora Fagan.

Elenora Fagan has said they chose the unusual name  to reflect their diversity of styles. It’s Billie Holiday’s government name–and “If you don’t know who Billie Holiday is, I feel sorry for you,” Currin tells audiences.

The group is made up of five guys: Rappers Hightower and Jahmaar Stafford, drummer Matthew Wood, guitarist Jevon Washington and Juan Ossa on bass. The band, which has been together going on 2 years, is picking up steam, booking shows at The World Famous Milestone, Wine Up, Loose Change and WSBF 88.1’s Spring Festival in Clemson, SC.

As yet untitled, the debut release will be ready to drop this fall. In the meantime, support the Queen City’s favorite hip rock band with a donation to their kickstarter fund

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GH Event: Debut of Late Movie Fridays!

Coming May 27, 2011

Late Movie Fridays Flier
Are you ready, Charlotte??

Charlotte, NC — What’s open later than the movies, Better than a bar and cooler than a club?  GrownHeadz’s Late Movie Fridays!

Charlotteans, come chill out with other urban sophisticates on the last Friday of every month and enjoy indie, cult classic and forgotten black film gems.
No cover, 25 and up, no pressure, just a good time. Doors open at 10, with boardgames and cocktails to break the ice; lights go down at 11.
DJ A-See provides the sounds of classic hip hop, underground funk and rare grooves.
The event is sponsored by GrownHeadz.com (of course!) and the Charlotte Black Film Festival. Tell your friends, tell your spouse, tell anyone except for the kids–this is strictly for the grown folks. It happens the last Friday of every month at Red@28 Books.
  • WHAT: Late Movie Fridays
  • WHEN: May 27, June 24, July 29 and August 26. Doors at 10 pm, film at 11
  • WHERE: Red@28 Books, 2424 N. Davidson, Charlotte, NC (across from Amelie’s French Bakery); 704.377.8989
  • HOW MUCH: No Cover, Free
  • WHY: Because the Queen City deserves it

Friday May 27th screening: I’m Through With White Girls 

watch?v=WyMyjLUiu7o

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Top 6 Tweets on Osama Bin Laden’s Death

President Barack Obama vs. Osama bin Laden
"I got you, sucka."

 6. @SeanUppercut wait….not only did he [okay, not really] kill bin laden, he waited till Donald Trump’s show to announce the body. SWAG

5. @LupeFiasco: Now kill poverty, wack schools, and US imperialism…

4. @ThroatChopU: Obama better have that long form death certificate.

3. @nicekicks: With bin Laden dead does that mean I still get molested tomorrow at the airport? Just asking… [All signs point to YES]

2. @HeroStatus: Osama Bin Laden killed after checking into his cave on @foursquare.

1. @Ken_Doll312: Obama Has The Juice Now

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Luke Raises $250 in Miami Mayoral Race

Luther Campbell
"I don't want special interest money--but damn!"

Hip Hop’s first uncle, Luther Campbell, may have put Miami Bass on the map, but he isn’t doing so well in his bid to become the city’s mayor. 
Luke, whose campaign slogan is “Are You Serious?” recently reported a war chest tally  of only $250. Wonder if it’s all in singles?
The tally is more than $150,000 behind the fourth-place candidate. He might do better leaving the posh Bay Village fundraisers alone, and work the crowds at Club Rolexx and Take One–the players might make it rain on him, for old time’s sake.


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Who will be Hip Hop’s 1st Billionaire?

Sean Combs in a tux
A different kind of shiny suit...

The Firm? A little squishy. Blueprint? Back to the drawing board. It looks like Hip Hop’s first billionaire playboy (alter ego notwithstanding) will be Sean Combs.

Folks over at Forbes say astronomical sales of Ciroc Vodka, Sean John clothing and even, we guess, an album or two have pushed the man behind Bad Boy closer to Big Baller status than any other rapper in history.

Read the full article here…

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Searching for the Next Tupac


The producers of the Tupac bio-pic, headed up by director Antoine Fuqua, David and James Robinson, LT Hutton and Afeni Shakur (Pac’s mom), are looking for a new actor to play the title role. The casting call, held on the website InSearchofTupac.com, asks hopefuls to upload a five-minute audition tape. So shave your head, pick up some Thorazine (or not), tie on a bandanna and show us what you got….

Tupac
"Please, don't pick Anthony Mackie..."

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Waka Flocka’s On the Tupac Path to Fame

Waka Flocka Flame is one of four people being questioned by police after a shooting in east Charlotte outside of a car stereo shop. He is not considered a suspect, but police are looking for two cars driven away from the crime scene. More than 5 shots were fired. Didn’t he just get shot at last year in Georgia, and again at another concert in Charlotte before this? 

Is he on the Tupac Plan for Success? It pays off in record sales but you can’t exactly enjoy it. Our advice: He gots to CHIIIIIIIIILLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!

See video here:

http://www.wcnc.com/video?id=116349619&sec=552547

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