During the last Radio Rehab we asked a simple qustion “Which rappers do you think would do good on Jeopardy”. You can get in on the fun too. The next Radio Rehab is Thursday July 19 at the Neighborhood Theater. Check the Radio Rehab Charlotte website here for more info
“I might smoke a spliff, but I won’t sniff” – Grand Puba
I am of the belief that who you are as a teenager is basically who you are for life.
I am dumbfounded when I run into people who tell me they have never been in a fight in their entire lives. But it’s not like I grew up in a horrible neighborhood. Many of my teenage years were spent in Kenner, LA.
I grew up in a place that was below middle class. I stayed off of Idaho and 25th Street, in some apartments that had seen better days. I was a few blocks away from a canal, so I spent much of my time catching turtles and snakes. When I was not doing that, I was fishing either on the Mississippi River, Lake Ponchatrain, Lafreniere Park or the Parish Line. My Parish Line fishing spot was near the home of one of my good friends.
The people in my neighborhood thought I was weird because I liked reptiles and because I had no N’awlins accent. But being cool with my boy in another neighborhood got me in close with his crew, regardless of hobbies or vernacular. My friend had rank because he did some pretty courageous things. He also beat up some people everyone was afraid of. No one really messed with him.
He did all of the dirt during the week. On the weekends, we were out trying to outfish each other. These times were golden. Not only because I was growing into myself, but hip hop was also at its peak.
Everyone listened to hip hop. Everyone was influenced by MCs and the way they dealt with life. Many of us had no father at home, so hip hop acted as a viable substitute. This was the time when it was a noble trait for MCs to be intelligent. I don’t think Chuck D realized how much power he had over us.
I remember vividly the scene in my boy’s room, when our group listened to and began actively debating the line I began this piece with. We had all been indoctrinated by Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” campaign through our public school curriculum. So it was a big deal for someone in our little crew to smoke weed. One guy had already started smoking, and used the music to somehow justify it. In his mind, Puba was a righteous brother, and if Puba could do drugs and still remain righteous, he too could smoke and remain righteous.
Then Cypress Hill came out…And dedicated their first single to David Duke when they were on Yo Mtv Raps…
Today, my boy and many of the dudes from that neighborhood struggle with addiction problems. Some deal drugs. Some live on the streets. Some are dead. We are ultimately in control of our destinies, so I am not trying to blame Puba for their fates. I’m just saying. There are many weed heads who never try anything stronger. But there are also many who do.
“No I don’t smoke weed or cess / Cause it’s known to give a brother brain damage” – Dr. Dre
5 Rap Acts Who Belong in the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame
GrownHeadz, ever ahead of the curve, created this very special Hot 5 months before Run-DMC’s induction into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame. Still, out of respect we decided to keep them on the list, as well as fellow honorees Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. The rest of the rappers and groups named here haven’t gotten the invite yet, but they damn sure deserve one.
Run-DMC (inducted 2009)
No question, for these guys, the honor was long overdue. Run-DMC has true rock credentials. Three of their biggest hits were rock records: Rock Box, King of Rock, and Walk this Way. In fact, their second album King of Rock featured rock songs almost exclusively. Besides, Run-DMC, more than any other group, was responsible for hip-hop’s dominance of music in the 21st century. But we already discussed this before.
Grandmaster Flash & Furious Five (inducted 2007)
Initially, I was one of many who questioned Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five’s induction into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame. Don’t get me wrong, they were innovative, considered at one time the best in the field, and they made history when The Message went platinum in 1982. All that’s good enough for the Hip Hop Hall of Fame; I just didn’t think it was far-reaching enough for the Rock Hall. But the Hall of Fame has been good at picking artists who are the foundations upon which the city is built. Some early inductees into the Rock Hall like Louie Jordan, Smokey Robinson, and James Brown are not considered “rock” acts, but provided a basis for many rock acts who followed. In that case, of all the early innovators of hip-hop, GMF & FF definitely fit the bill. Plus, when they released The Message it put EVERYBODY (including other rappers) on notice that hip-hop was more than just party music.
The Beastie Boys
Beastie Boys do not get a free pass into the Rock Hall of Fame because they are white. They get in because they truly blazed a trail in hip-hop. They have gone from frat boy anthems (Fight For Your to Party) to headlining concerts that highlight China’s human rights abuses in Tibet. Along with rock-oriented rap hits, Beasties went all the way back to their punk rock roots and busted out live instrumentation on a few of their albums, like Check Your Head and Ill Communication. And, lest we forget, Sabotage is basically them singing (bless their hearts).
Why PE? The better question is Why Not? Their first, second and third albums pioneered the “Wall of Sound” technique, and featured straight-up rock songs like Sophisticated Bitch and Channel Zero. With all the screeches, sirens and dozens of samples per song, a PE album demanded to be played at 11. Add in Chuck’s BOOMING flow and you have rap that is most transferable to rock. Bring The Noise lost not an ounce of credibility or funk as a rock remake. Furthermore, PE travels with a full band to supplement their sound on the road. One journalist jokingly wrote that Public Enemy was trying to be the Rolling Stones of hip-hop. Well, with both Chuck and Flav pushing 50, still putting out records and selling out shows, they just might do it.
Sex, Dugs and Rock n Roll. In terms of pure rock attitude, NWA was as hard as it got. When your favorite band scares your parents shitless, is under FBI surveillance and continues performing despite obscenity fines, you know they just don’t give a fuck—and you love them for it. Second only to PE in rebelling against authority, they were the Rolling Stones (bad boys sexing everything in sight) to PE’s Beatles (clean-cut good guys). And if you look at the line up, it’s pretty extraordinary. They had Dr. Dre long before he was hailed as one of the best producers of all time, Ice Cube, one of the top lyricists ever (though MC Ren was no slouch), and Eazy E, one of the first artist/label owners in hip-hop, whose label signed some classic artists (DOC, Bone Thugs n Harmony). If NWA were inducted, it would acknowledge one of music’s greatest beatmakers, rappers, and entrepreneurs all in one swoop.
Why the Conscious Hip-Hop community needs a DJ Khaled
By Jasiri X fo Davey D’s Hip-Hop News
By now we all know DJ Khaled, and his incessant yelling out of whatever is his new catch phrase of the year, which also of course just happens to be the name of his latest album (marketing majors pay attention). But what has made DJ Khaled truly successful is his ability to bring together many of the top artists in the game, on song after song, throughout his entire projects.
This rap unity has enabled not only DJ Khaled to become rich and famous (or infamous if you will), but has also propelled lesser known artists from his region IE: Plies and Rick Ross into Hip-Hop stardom.
This made me wonder, how come the conscious Hip-Hop community, which always talks unity, community, and cooperation, doesn’t have a DJ Khaled? Rarely do you see conscious artists coming together on high profile collaborations. The last one I can remember off top was the Hip-Hop for Respect project which was in 2000!
Imagine how dope a project would be that had KRS-ONE, Chuck D, Lupe, Mos Def, Kanye, Dead Prez and NYOIL with Erika Badu on one song and the very next track featuring Immortal Technique, Black Thought, Brother J, Common, Wise Intelligent, Pharaoh Monch and Lyfe Jennings on the hook. This would be a real Hip-Hop fans dream come true!
FOR THE REST OF THE STORY CLICK HERE
by Ishmael Abdusalaam for All HipHop.com
Legendary Public Enemy front man and activist Chuck D has set a 2009 resolution to rectify the marginalized representation of females in Hip-Hop culture.
A swept aside issue in recent years, Chuck D argues that the lack of prominent women in Hip-Hop is causing the culture to move backward and devalue many of the progressive strides made by female pioneers in the 80s and 90s.
“In ‘09, my fighting the power is for women in Hip-Hop, especially groups, producers, songwriters, and label heads,” Chuck D explained
FOR THE REST OF THE STORY CLICK HERE
by Shannon Barbour for About.com
One morning, on my way to work, my neighbor–a gentleman in his 60s–commented on the Mos Def CD in my hand. After inspecting its ‘explicit lyrics’ label, he asked, “What kind of dirty music are you listening to?” I replied that Mos is a talented rapper/actor. “But rap is hard on women,” he added. “It’s so misogynistic.” For the most part, he’s right. It’s hard to embrace all aspects of hip-hop, when so many artists would rather objectify than celebrate women. Sometimes, I find myself having to defend my love for hip-hop for this reason. Thankfully, there are quite a few MCs who still respect the ladies.
Krs-One falls into the category of the rare MC whose political ambitions were so great that they neutered any sexuality to be found in his rhymes. He did however, coin the expression ‘Jimmy-hat’ in what was arguably the first safe-sex rap song, along with the phrase, ‘you can’t trust a big butt and a smile.’ Hey, he had to make folk wise up somehow.
9. Chuck D (Public Enemy)
They were fighting the power and believed women to be assets in the struggle. At the height of their career, they talked about young black men’s confrontations with police and the destructive nature of crack cocaine in hoods across the America, but they never called the tragically crack-addicted mothers b*tches or h*s. Now Flav’s exploits on Flavor of Love, well, that’s another story…
8. Q-Tip (A Tribe Called Quest)
Q-Tip’s solo-effort ‘Vivrant Thing’ with its glam video replete with models was still more respectable that 90% of the music out at the time. (Think Juvenile’s ‘Back That A** Up,’ o.k., enough said) “Electric Relaxation” is probably Tribe’s most sexually-charged hit and it still makes most of us wanna dance. ‘Find a Way,’ is the classic boy meets girl hip-hop song.
FOR THE REST OF THE STORY CLICK HERE