Tag Archives: ice cube

Hot 5: Songs for Halloween

Yeah, yeah its about that time of year and people are putting together their halloween mixtapes.  So we here at GHz figured we put in our 2 cents on how to get your hip hop spooky mood on. By the way these are in no particular order.

Kid Cudi – No One Believes Me
The newest song on the list comes from the Fright Night soundtrack. No not THAT Fright Night from 1985 we talkin about the remake with Colin Farrell that came out last year.  Missed the movie huh?  Well the song was nice and we looooved the video (alright just DJ A-See loooooved the video).

Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince – Nightmare on My Street
Back when he was still gettin payed for just rappin Big Will & Jazz  dropped this 3rd single from their huge crossover album He’s the Dj, I’m the Rapper.

Ice Cube and Dr. Dre – Natural Born Killers
This song sparked hopes and dreams that there might be some kinda reunion of  NWA or at least a collaboration between the two BEST members of NWA or something, something.  Little did we know that this was a harbinger of things too come.  Us, we, you , I and everybody else getting disappointed by what Dr. Dre was going to do.

Gravediggaz – Diary of A Madman
Only for the true heads in the building.  Most grownheadz SHOULD remember this group from 1994. It featured RZA, Prince Paul, Frukwan (from Stetsasonic) and Too Poetic.  It was for alot of folks their 1st exposure to “horrorcore”.  Geto Boys dabbled a little but the Gravediggaz went all in with the imagery, the rhymes, the theme the whole nine.   With RZA and Prince Paul on the beats the album was hot.  Sadly rapper Too Poetic died of colon cance in 2001.

Geto Boys – Mind Playing Tricks
No Halloween mixtape would be complete without this bonafide hip-hop classic.  THIS song truly put the Geto Boys on nationally.  They were already hot in the southern underground. After this release north, south, east and west knew about the 5th ward.

 

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GH Exclusive: Ice Cube, Bun B., Big K.R.I.T. and DJ Drama on learning Industry Rule #4080

Ice Cube and DJ Drama live at The Fillmore
Charlotte (June 30, 2012) – Ice Cube and DJ Drama host Coors Light Search for the Coldest semifinals at The Fillmore. (MillerCoors/Jamar Caldwell)

Coors Light’s Search For The Coldest emcee contest rolled into Charlotte’s Fillmore Saturday night with free beers and a panel of celebrity judges. Ice Cube, Bun B., Big K.R.I.T. and DJ Drama sat down for an exclusive with GrownHeadz before the show.

Cube, who seemed to be reserving the main of his energy for emceeing the competition, kept his responses short but pointed, while Bun B.’s guest lectures at Rice University(!) really seem to be paying off. Homey’s thoughtful, measured answers were just short of brilliant. K.R.I.T., too, was impressive as the panel’s youngest member and the newest to fame. And Drama? Well, we at GrownHeadz have high expectations for deejays, and he didn’t disappoint. Check it out below.

What Makes for a Cold MC?

Ice Cube: The coldest MC is someone who knows they’re a star before anybody discovers them. Lyrics, confidence onstage, mic control and different flows.

DJ Drama: I think it takes creativity, confidence, someone who understands beats and hooks, but definitely the bars. The lyrics are most important of all, the ability to put a good song together. I’m sitting here with Ice Cube and Bun B and Big K.R.I.T., so definitely someone who can stand onstage next to such great talent.

Bun B: They have to have command of the English language. Some people assume rappers all speak broken English, but the best MCs are masters of vocabulary. Also, depending on the crowd in various cities, [performing] can be intimidating. Some people start off with boos. You gotta have heart and confidence. I’ve seen dudes lose battles before the first word is spoken because they let the crowd break them. You have to have the will and the confidence to turn those boos into cheers.

Big K.R.I.T.: The coldest MC has to be able to get the crowd hype, no matter what.

How Do You Stay Sharp?

Bun B: Just because we’ve made it to a certain level because of our status, we can’t rest. I get challenged by young cats everyday. They try anyway (laughs). I love it. I don’t want to sit around eating off a rhyme from 2003. You gotta stay on your toes in this world, and not just as an MC but period.

K.R.I.T.: You’ve got to invest time; run your business, but sharpen your weapon at the end of the day.

Cube: I always got something to prove. You never know what people will hear from you, either a radio cut or a deep album track, so you never know where your next “audition” will be coming from. Whoever thinks you fell off next, you gotta change their mind. I was a B-boy so I had something to prove on every record, every album, to the general audience and to myself.

Hip-hop the art form is so different from the business of hip-hop. When did you learn, far as the music industry, that there’s no Santa Claus?

Cube: The day I met Jerry Heller.

DJ Drama: I can speak to that, though I’m not an MC. I can talk some really good shit, but I can’t make it rhyme. Spending a lot of time trying to get to the top takes dedication. Even after the great moments, even LeBron has to say OK, I made it, but what about next year. When I was coming up, it felt like rappers were superheroes. I don’t know if it’s because Meth is tall, but they were like 10 feet tall to me. Now, not to say the industry is tainted, but it’s still a business. You need passion day in and day out to love what you do and put in the work. Just remember Industry Rule #4080.

Bun B: The day I got signed. We saw KRS-One in the hallway and were like, yo, whattup, we just signed to your label! And he asked us, ‘Did you sign the paperwork yet?’ ‘Yeah, we just signed it five minutes ago!’ And Kris was like, ‘Damn, I wish I could’ve talked to you before you signed!’ I went from my highest high to thinking, ‘We just made the biggest mistake of our lives.’

K.R.I.T.: When I realized there is about a 3-month rollout period between finishing an album and releasing it, and that sample clearances change everything as far as retail value is concerned. “Can I use that? No. How bout that? No.” I just want to give my music away for free! But I had to be smarter.

What kind of background and output are you looking for in new rappers who approach you? How much of a catalogue?

Bun B.: For me looking at new rappers, it’s quality, not quantity. Plus a work ethic. Some cats have talent but drama. Always on the phone with the baby mama. That has nothing to do with getting in the studio. I’m not saying don’t look after your child, but you gotta decide who you are willing to offend, and who are you going to look after, in the course of making your dreams come true.

DJ Drama: For me, it depends on what the person in general is looking for. The way the game is going now, the Internet and social media give artists more leverage to come to the table and show what they’re worth. 50 destroyed what a demo tape was; it went from the ‘90s ‘Please listen to my demo’ to independent artists now being able to really make a living on their own mixtapes. It depends on the level you are coming to. With Coors [the competition], I could tell which people were in different positions, just by listening to them. I could feel who could be the coldest MC.

Cube: I don’t care about the catalogue, or how many songs they made. You gotta excite me. If I’m not excited listening to you, then I don’t feel like it’s ready. Plus, you never know if you’re building a star or a mess. Most artists, when they blow up, feel like they don’t need you anymore. On the flip, if they don’t blow up, it’s [my] fault for not supporting enough. ‘How come you did the first video, but not the second?’ Gotta find someone with their head on straight. It’s easy when the crowd is packed. It’s when it’s empty and the sound ain’t right that you ask what are you in it for, the music? The money?

K.R.I.T.: [Independents] have to go out and compete with the majors before you land a deal. You’ve got to be able to promote and brand yourself, keep that independent mindframe so when the label’s not acting right, you can go out there and create your own buzz. Promote who you are as an artist, or you’ll make songs you don’t believe in. Spend as much time on your craft as you can mentally, then get out there and put your all on the line.

Did your age change how you approach your subject matter?

Bun B.: I have children, and I have a grandchild. I take care of my family, speak the truth as I see it and go to sleep peaceful at night. All my music is reflective of me at the time. If it’s still relevant, I speak to it. People want to give us a bad rap. But I don’t consider it Cube’s or Drama’s responsibility to raise my kids. Too much is put on us that way.
Cube: Age ain’t nothing but a number.

DJ Drama: As a DJ, it’s a little different; I believe our main focus is to be the median between music and people. Sometimes, what I personally listen to may not be what’s hot at the time. I like to break what I believe will be hot. Back with the explosion of crunk, I felt there was a lack of attention to the lyrical skills of Southern artists. So on Gangsta Grill, I got Killa Mike, T.I., Big Boi. People asked why I didn’t use White Tee or Knuck If You Buck, just to pick those songs at random. Because they’ll be on every other mixtape. I promote what I think will be important to the culture.

K.R.I.T.: The way I approach my subject matter is by writing about my life experiences. The album I just dropped won’t be like the next album. I’m going to see different things: personal things, relationships, financial and spiritual changes. I write about the journey.

Following the Q&A (and a wooden endorsement from Cube: “Coors Light. The world’s most refreshing…beer?”), DJ Trauma got on the wheels to warm things up before the competition began. They had the models in silver leggings walking around, an ice bar (which is still news in N.C.) and were plying everyone with free Coors Light, but it was so damn cold inside the building I had to keep going outside to warm up in the hundred-degree heat.

To my surprise, the contest featured only two competitors, Felony Fame and Eddie Blaze, neither of whom I’d heard of. They seemed chosen more for their contrasting styles than any great skill. Felony is a stereotypical crunk rapper, clichéd than a motherfucker (“shining like diamonds,” whoo!) with the requisite piss-poor enunciation. Though his lines were more thoughtful and generally more positive, Blaze lacked stage presence and couldn’t seem to connect with the crowd. His “Where my college kids at?” drew a chorus of boos.

They went four rounds and I wasn’t moved by a single line. Charlotte’s real lyrical talent was NOT on display—anybody at Monday Night Mic Fights could’ve Antoinetted those suckers. I don’t know what label paid to push these dudes, but their skills were a joke. For what little it’s worth, Felony Fame took the prize.

Lackluster amateurs aside, we actually got to see some real emceeing when the panelists performed. Special Ed came through for a surprise appearance, and Big K.R.I.T. warmed the crowd up with “Forever and a Day,” “Cool 2 Be Southern,” Me and My Old School” and “Money on the Floor.” Bun B. gave a 12-song set of favorites including “Gimme Dat,” “Big Pimpin” and “International Player.” He also did “Sippin on Some Sizzurp,” but it was a bit off-putting, given Pimp C.’s demise just 2 years ago—I felt like he should at least put a disclaimer on it, out of respect.

Cube wasn’t bouncing all over the place like Big K.R.I.T., nor was he on Bun B.’s mellowed-out molasses vibe—he was just…Cube. Rock-solid confident and in complete command of the crowd. I’ve never seen a performer spark that kind of energy with just a “Yay-yay.” His ‘fro was like a black halo. The crowd, which had been mostly civil (poor Blaze) all night, just seemed to wake the fuck up. At the first signs of “Check Yourself,” hands were up, and “You Can Do It (Put Your Back Into It)” probably got its best reception in years. He finished off the night with “Today Was a Good Day.”

Coors Lights’ SFTC contest heads to NY for the grand finale July 26th.

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GrownHeadz Convo: When Did Ice Cube Fall Off?

Can too much success ruin a hip hop artist? It can when it comes from movies and TV roles. Just ask Ice Cube, who went from being “The Wrooong N*gga to F*ck Wit,” to …we don’t even know what the hell anymore. 

This latest GrownHeadz Convo, me, Resident Alien, the Hip Hop Purist and K-Rocka try to pinpoint the exact moment Cube traded in the sawed off for a Segway, and we put together a list of songs we wish Cube would make now, for the grownheads.  (5:01)


 

What topics would you like to hear Cube rap about?

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Top 10 Hip Hop Love Songs

I despise love songs, but I have been forced to listen to them all of my life. I know Jodeci songs by heart that I wish I didn’t know at all. The subject has run its course. There are too many other things to talk about on Planet Earth.

One of the things that attracted me to rap in the first place was the range of subject matter that could talk about something other than someone’s troubled love life. Scarub has a song about traveling into outer space as a molecule of carbon. Lyrics Born talks about bobsledding off of the Himalayas. Let R&B deal with the drivel.

But if LL Cool J has taught us anything, it’s that the radio loves love songs.

“All the radio do is dangle / That R&B love triangle” — Ice Cube

“I Need Love” ruined LL. Headz know this. That dude that said “BOX!” on Crush Groove died slowly as his radio-friendly smash single made loads of money. He created the formula and other rappers followed the blueprint: Get women to like it, and the men will buy it to get with women.

I feel it is a badge of honor that I never got caught up in this bubble gum BS.

But at the same time, there are some love songs worth mentioning. Please bear with me, for I am dealing with a subject I am not too fond of.

——————————————————-

“No Greater Love” – Blu and Exile
This beat is masterful. Exile put his foot in this one. Puffy, please take note. This is how you use a sample. I never thought Smokey Robinson would get me hyped.

Lyrically, Blu is on point. He talks about loving a woman while keeping his nuts intact.

“Plus a little room for Azulito when the time comes” — Like me, he knows he can only make boys.
“I love it when I tell a chick to chill and give me space but she can’t…”
“Plus, she missed a whole semester fucking around with this peasant named Blu.”

It’s almost like I wrote those lines. I can actually relate to a love song. Who woulda thunk it?

———————————

“Passing Me By” — Pharcyde

Jimi Hendrix sample + some horns mixed in the hook = awesome.

The triple-syllable rhyme intro on the third verse brings delight to the ears. Looking back though, this song is kinda stalkerish. Not stalkerish like Scarub’s verse in 3MG’s “Hopeless Romantic,” but only borderline disturbing.

Many young people make fools of themselves when dealing with that hormonal surge called adolescence. Everyone has a first crush that they remember for life. I’m Facebook friends with mine. 🙂

———————————-
“Makeba” – Aceyalone
This is another beat where a foot is a main ingredient. This is one of my most favorite-est beats of all time. I really wish Acey and Mumbles would collab on another project (PLEASE! — for the sake of hip hop!).

Acey and Makeba used to be in love. Something happened when things were getting a little too close and Makeba left. The song is detailing Acey running into Makeba and reminiscing about their past relationship. Acey leaves a back door open for her, though…without spiraling into the role of sap whatsoever:

“I still got a piece of me to give you
You still got a piece of you to give me
You’re listening but you don’t hear me
We can pick up right where we left at
But, I gotta be me and you gotta accept that
I just wanna be homies
Cause I ain’t got love like Monie
Cause as soon as you got close
You got ghost and you tried to leave Acey Aloney
So hook up with me. If you can, cool
Cause you know I know what you get loose to
And if you play your cards right
And keep your shit tight
Then we might be down like we use to.”

The song is almost a hip hop version of Hello Like Before by Bill Withers

———————————–
“What’s On Your Mind” — Eric B and Rakim
So the R is on the subway and sees a woman he deems attractive. He tries to politely let her know that he thinks she looks nice and was interested in getting to know her better. She ignores him. Then he says “You don’t really look good; I hope you have a bad day,” and leaves her alone. He gets off at his stop and his Spidey Sense lets him know he is being followed. The stalker is the woman from the train! Unsure if she’s following him or if they just had similar destinations, he ducks into the store to get the universal beer of the 5% Nation. ’Lo and behold, she steps into the same store. Then he lays down the law: “If we’re playin games, then we’re gonna play mine.”
Amen.
The rest of the song is borderline sappy: He talks about needing to be in tune mentally before he could dance horizontally, then consummating the deal. All of this is tolerable only because the first verse is so strong.

————————————

“You Never Know” — Immortal Technique Featuring Jean Grae
The songs on this list are not in any order of greatness. If I tried to put them in order, it would probably change depending on my mood. But this song would always be Number One on my list.

Immortal Technique has a horrible delivery (he has really improved this lately, by the way). This is tolerated because he has some very potent content. This song is an example of that.

I will not spoil it for people who have never heard the song. I would even say this song IS sappy and I still think it’s very good.

————————————
“Everything Changes” — Aceyalone
I’m really not sure if this song is about Makeba, but it’s another song reminiscing about a woman he used to love. There is a line in there that caught my attention:

“And I knew they would get her when I let go her hand / And when I let go, the inevitable / So beautiful and susceptible.”

I have been in relationship situations with women where I told them something similar. I let them know that there are lots of bad guys out there. I know plenty of the bad guys because many of them are my friends.

Yes, I can be harsh with my honesty at times. Yes, I refuse to follow societal norms and conventions. If you think the grass is greener, then by all means, sample it. But in the back of my mind, I feel guilty about letting a person into the wilderness who ain’t built for the feral creatures they are destined to encounter.

————————————-
“Otha Fish” — Pharcyde
This is a sappy, whiny song. Slim Kid Tre thought he found “The One,” but it just didn’t work out. He has to constantly remind himself that there are other fish in the sea as he looks back on their relationship. The reason this song makes the list is because of the delivery. The sing-songy flow, mixed with the beat riding cadence that the Good Lifers created, runs strong on this track.

“Next thing you know we got together
Word, I thought it’d be forever
Didn’t have an um -buh- rell- a
Now I’m soaked in stormy weather”

MCs have a hard time maintaining a consistent flow while keeping the content pertinent. Some abandon any form. Others, like Tre, put the structured flow in where they can but then abandon it for the long, drawn out, melodic transfer of syllables over the beat. All the while, the subject matter remains consistent. Mikah 9 should get a quarter every time this song is played.
————————————–
“Tough Love” — Devin the Dude

“It’s a give and take
You live and make
Decisions together
And be in it like whatever”

Too many people make the mistake of dismissing Devin as just another raunchy southern rapper. His first two albums are hip hop classics. Sure, he’s raunchy, but there is a message under the Luther Campbellness that many people miss because they can’t get past more than a couple references to gonads.

I know many people are addicted to the honeymoon phase of relationships (see Andre Benjamin’s “The Love Below”). They wonder what the hell happened as the grind of day-to-day life creeps in. When that real person starts showing their true colors and all of the pet peeves that you thought were tolerable become serious issues. Devin lets you know that the grind is inevitable when dealing with him. He lays down some ground rules to let you know he is a willing participant in the relationship, but it will not be easy.

“Love is like a maze and you might get stuck/
We can go thru it, or we can just fuck.”

————————————–
“44 Wayz” – Paris Featuring Mystic
Paris and Mystic are a modern day Bonnie & Clyde in this love song. They read some books, determine that the poor people of the world are getting the short end of the stick and decide to stick it to the system. Their solution is to rob banks. At the end, of course, they both die in a blaze of glory. But they had each other’s back until the end.

We all yearn for someone to have our backs like that. It feels comfortable knowing someone is willing to die to protect you.

————————————

“What Is Love?” — Pigeon John
The break down of the beat at the end of this song is MOTHER-FUCKING-EPIC! Sorry Pigeon, I know you love Jesus and everything. I could not think of a better way to express myself in dispensing props.

The title asks the question I have posed to people who freely use the four-letter word in their everyday conversation. I am not so sure that word should be spat out so loosely.

In the song, Pigeon is having issues staying faithful to his girl while he is touring. He thinks he loves his girl, but he is not sure because he has urges to cheat. So he wonders if he’s in love at all.

Love is nothing but hormones. Oxytocin, seratonin and some other stuff combine in a cocktail in your brain that gets you high and motivates you to make silly decisions. Men feel this just like women do. The issue is, men are not built for monogamy. Faithful men suppress millions of years of evolution to remain that way and their women trip because the toilet seat is up.
Honorable Mentions

“No One Ever Does” — Saul Williams
“So many people ask me who is God, and when I tell them God is love, their reaction is quite mortal” — Brother J

This is not hip hop, it is grippo. This is not a classical love song, it is more universal. Saul really wants to love his fellow human being, but he finds it difficult because of the song’s title. He knows that it is imperative, and he will put forth a valiant effort to do so. Yet, he still laments the title. If you like this one, check out “Heading Home” by Eric Bibb.

————————————–
“Neglected” — Grouch featuring Eligh
This is also not a love song. Grouch and Eligh want to be in love. Pickings just seem to be slim because the women they keep running into are not up to standard. They would rather be alone than spend their time trying to bump uglies with a physcially attractive gold digger. Like so many of the songs mentioned, I relate.

————————————–

“Fa sho” — Odd Squad
These dudes love their women, but they decide to not suppress their inherent doggishness and get caught in the process. So it is a love song with a bit of folk wisdom sung by Devin in the hook. After hearing the song, I am left with the impression that these guys might not have the urge to suppress anything. Although they are hurt that their loved ones left, I have the feeling they would probably do it again.

Evolution is strong!
Keep ya head up, Kwame Kilpatrick J

————————————

“Glenn Close” — Binary Star
One Be Lo falls in love with a girl then realizes he don’t love her after all. He then hooks up with another woman and drama ensues. The name says it all.

There is even a mention of a well-known hoodoo rumor:

“Now don’t think that I’m petty / but I know what desperate ladies put in their spaghetti / thats why I told her that I ate already.”

—————————————-

“Nowalaters” — The Coup
This is one of the most well-written songs hip hop ever produced. The story and rhyme scheme are top notch. It is too intimate to not be autobiographical. I had to put this on the list because it is a story involving a male and a female and love. Boots never really mentions he loves the woman he is talking about. He loses his virginity to her at 17 in a Honda Civic parked somewhere near Lake Michigan. He then realizes she is pregnant.

“It was me up in the vaginary / And I’mma love my kids, whether real or imaginary.”

He then proceeds to talk about all the things he is prepared to do to get ready for his child to come into the world. Then the baby is born too early, but it has a really healthy weight.

Even though he realizes the child is not his, he still wants to take care of the kid and his mother. Now that is devotion. The only reason he leaves is because she pushed him away.

“There’s a few things I’d like to say in this letter
Like I wish I could have seen him grow
And ask my wife, I learned to fuck much better
And thank you for letting me go.
For real,
Thank you for letting me go.
For real,
Thank you,
For
Letting
Me
Go…”

Because ultimately, sometimes that’s what love is, too.

HON. MENTION:

“Here” — Brother Ali
 
Check out more of the Hip Hop Purist at www.furth3r.com. Note: Consider yourself forewarned.

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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…..by 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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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,

FOR THE REST OF THE STORY CLICK HERE

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IMO: Music vs. Motherhood

I Stopped Loving Hip Hop: Music vs. Motherhood
by Shonda Tillman

I stopped loving hip-hop. Well, not exactly. But I came close – way too close. You see, when I was a teenager I loved and lived hip-hop. Those were the days of NWA, the D.O.C., Salt and Pepa, Too Short. The music was rebellious, edgy and LOUD. And the beats, oh the beats! There was nothing like hearing a Too Short beat bumping from the car of a fine chocolate man. Doomp, da doomp, dooooom, bu-na-na, doomp da doomp dooooom…

Then I became a mom.black-mother

“Don’t play that in front of the kids,” I heard myself screaming at my husband. But we continued to pump our music when we were alone. And I began to hear the words with my new “mom” ears. How could they promote this type of violence? How could they talk about drugs and call women “hoes” so freely? Why are they creating this picture of madness, of the worst of the worst for all the kids to hear and copy? How could I have ever been so stupid as to listen to this SMUT!

Indignant, I boxed it all up—but still could not throw it away.

My boycott lasted for several years, until the other day when one of the television stations showed a documentary on hip-hop. I found myself excited to hear the songs I once loved. I remembered how exciting it was seeing NWA’s new video on MTV, waiting for the Roxanne responses to come out, getting my first pair of Salt N Pepa earrings, using my after-school job money to buy Guess jeans and gold rings with my initials on them. God, I missed those days.

I almost stopped loving hip-hop. Until I remembered that there are many neighborhoods where drugs are rampant and a walk to the corner store can cost you your life. My high school classmate Tanisha was killed by a stray bullet while walking down the street. Rodney King proved to the world that police brutality does exist. In college, I spent an afternoon at the studio with Too Short. He was extremely polite, talented and never once called me a B***tch. And last but not least, many women honestly do conduct themselves as “hoes.”

The reality is that rappers are expressing the hardships of everyday life, the same way the Furious Five told us that they were close to the edge. Rapping was a way to be heard, to scream out the hurt. These were my brothers, and they deserved to be heard.

I can not stop loving hip-hop because it helped my brothers and sisters escape a hard life. I can not stop loving hip hop because of the extraordinary entrepreneurial skills each artist showed by creating something from nothing. Dr. Dre turned out to be a musical genius, Ice Cube is putting out great family movies, Russell Simmons has created an empire which will influence generations to come, Run-DMC was able to merge rock with rap – all of them just needed a chance to shine.

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HOT 5: 5 Rap Acts That SHOULD Be In The Rock n Roll Hall of Fame

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)
rundmc1No 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)
gmf-ff1Initially, 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
beastie11Beastie 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).


Public Enemy
pe1Why 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.


NWA
nwa1Sex, 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.

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OFF the NET: Quick Hits

chain-dude

Just some things that you might find interesting:

It seems when other artist decide to cover a rap song they like to pick the hardest one they can find and give the touchy-feely remix. Top 5 Acoustic Hip Hop Covers

For all the true heads and grownheadz that know their hip hop geography through song. If ya ever wondered what some of those Projects or blocks looked like from Jay-Z to LL.
A Hip-Hop Mapquest.

When hip-hop did the dive into the mainstream they took the style, the clothes and even the words.

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