All Articles Tagged "rap"
When it comes to music, there are classics and then there are songs that just got all the way played out. We loved these tracks when they first came out in the ’90s, but eventually they were played so much we lowkey ended up hating them. Check out our list songs people played out thoroughly.
If there’s one word I can use to describe Jay Z, it would be…charming.
Friday night, HBO premiered Jay Z’s “short film” for his song, “Picasso Baby.” In the beginning, Jay discusses how he believes concerts are “pretty much performance art” with different venues. He goes to explain that by doing the video for “Picasso Baby” at a small venue like Pace Gallery in New York City, he’s able to have an exchange of energy between the crowd and himself.
As the performance starts and continues, you get to see Jay interact with different people in the crowd – both young and old. In some capacity, almost everyone who comes face to face with him throughout the song is some type of artist, whether it be a singer, dancer, actor, designer or anything else you can think of.
There are a few people who stand out like actor Michael K. Williams from The Wire, actress Taraji P. Henson (who is clearly a Jay Z fan) and actress/activist Rosie Perez. By the way, Rosie is still as fly as she was back in the 80s. There were also appearances by Wale, Alan Cumming, Cynthia Rowley and Fab Five Freddy.
Check it out and let us know what you think! Did you expect more?
When you’re really good at one thing, sometimes it gives you the feeling that you’d be good at anything…unfortunately for these athletes, their lyrical prowess when it came to rapping did not match their skills on the court, in the ring, or on the field.
Is Kendrick Lamar one of hip-hop’s latest saviors?
The critical acclaim and fan praise continues to pour in over his album, good kid, m.A.A.d city, and is showing no signs of slowing down. People love the way Lamar told the story of his life growing up in Compton and are able to easily visualize everything he describes.
For his effort, ASCAP is honoring him with a pretty big award.
According to EURweb, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) will present Kendrick with its Vanguard Award on June 26th.
Paul Williams, ASCAP’s President and Chairman had this to say about Kendrick:
“Kendrick Lamar’s smart, structured story-telling and genre-bending sound make him stand out amongst his peers. He pushes boundaries with his creativity, perfectly illustrating everything that the ASCAP Vanguard Award recognizes.”
Past winners of the Vanguard include Santigold, Diplo and Janelle Monàe. Those are just a few of the most creative artists in the music business and it is no wonder Kendrick is being honored.
ASCAP’s VP of Rhythm and Blues added:
“Kendrick is one of the most exciting acts in the rap game today, and we know big things are in store for his career. It’s no wonder that he’s been dubbed ‘the new king of the West Coast’ by rap veterans like Snoop Dogg.”
The awards ceremony will be held in Los Angeles on June 26th. Singer Usher will also be honored that night with the Golden Note Award.
Are you a Kendrick Lamar fan? Do you think he’ll have longevity in the music business?
She ‘Bout To Drop Bars — Or Not! Someone Had The Ridiculous Idea To Offer Amanda Bynes A Hip-Hop Record Deal
From The Grio
Embattled actress Amanda Bynes has unleashed a series of headline-grabbing tweets and statements recently, including one that announced her desire to become a rapper.
Now, fans of the former Nickelodean star may actually have a chance to hear her rap.The 27-year-old has reportedly been offered a record deal from the New York-based music group, Chinga Chang records — a hip-hop label founded in 2003.
“She’s phenomenal and that’s the crazy thing about this,” Daniel Herman, the CEO of the record label told The Huffington Post. “This is the perfect home. This isn’t just a gimmick.”While the ex-child star has yet to respond or comment on the offer, Herman says he is “beyond confident” Bynes will join the team.
Read more at The Grio
Well, if Beyoncé and Jay-Z can get matching “IV” ringer finger tattoos, why can’t Waka Flocka Flame and his boo get some too?
We haven’t heard much musically from the loc’ed up rapper over the last few months but Waka is surely about to get the internet streets talking. His longtime, on and off girlfriend, Tammy, briefly posted a picture of she and Waka – half of the picture was of them in an embrace and the other half showed off their tattoos. They have each other’s names tatted on their ring fingers.
While Waka went the more “traditional” route and got Tammy’s name on his ring finger (although with the spacing, it looks more like “TAM MY” and not “Tammy”), she went a little more …mainstream. If you looked at the photo posted, you’ll see that Tammy got “WAKA” tatted on her finger. That’s pretty far off from his real name, Juaquin. It seems a little weird that she’d get his stage name tattooed on her but hey, whatever floats your boat. Right?
By the way, Tammy took that picture down pretty quickly and replaced it with a drawing of Waka, a ball and chain and an engagement ring with “Tammy” written on the tag.
Waka and Tammy have no children together but Tammy has a daughter from a previous relationship that Waka treats like she’s his child.
They seem to be doing pretty good in their relationship now so congrats to the happy couple.
Sometimes Solo artists and even band members want to branch off into new directions and when those talented folks hook up with other established artists to form a new group, its called a supergroup. And when they’re good, the music is even better than the sum of their talented parts. Check out some of our favorite solo artists who banned together to form groups and groups who broke up and formed new ones with other singers.
Industry observers scoffed when T.I. announced he wanted a new $75 million recording contract at the demand. As we reported,T.I.’s 10-year contract with Atlantic Records had just wrapped up when declared his new going rate. Well, T.I. is now talking a $200 million record deal.
“I am a free agent. I’m operating as an independent label. I do not have corporate sponsors. I don’t have no corporate backing. I don’t have no major distribution. We Master-P-ing this Isht right now… I’m proving I’m worth $200 million,” T.I. told Billboard.
By proving it, he means delivering hits through his Grand Hustle label, which launched in 2003. But as the magazine points out it has been an uphill battle. The label struggled when T.I. was in prison for most of 2009 through 2011. There had been some bright lights, such as B.o.B. and Yung L.A., who released a platinum-selling hit “Aint’ I” in 2008 but they all petered out. And Meek Mill, who signed with T.I. in 2008, jumped to Rick Ross’ Maybach Music Group before releasing a record.
Grand Hustle finally had new signings like British rapper Chip, and Houston vet Trae Tha Truth. T.I.’s first post-prison album, “Trouble Man: Heavy Is the Head,” hit No. 2 on the Billboard 200. Last week, he released “G.D.O.D.,” the debut mixtape from Hustle Gang, a new moniker for the label, notes Billboard. The project was preceded by a single from T.I. and B.o.B., “Memories Back Then,” featuring Kendrick Lamar and Hustle Gang singer Kris Stephens. The song broke through the Hot 100 at No. 88—without a major-label push.
“That dark period is over, and the celebration shall begin. But before the celebration we got to put in the work. And this work is a part of it,” T.I. told Billboard about Grand Hustle.
Grand Hustle now has 30 members and T.I. says he knows his company’s worth—and wants to be paid it. “Right now, I’m proving I’m worth $200 million. I done sat with all the people; everybody says they’re interested, but they don’t want to cut that check. Alright — we’re going to motivate them to cut that check,” he said.
We’ll ask again: Will T.I. get what he’s asking for? Or is he over-reaching?
Where in the world are the Grandmaster Flashes of today? You know the rappers who told a story that many folk could relate to. Nowadays hip has hopped its way into the bowels of shame. No, I’m not talking the Talib Kweli’s of the world either, I’m talking mainstream rappers whose controversial rhymes are landing them in hot waters, mainly because of heavily misogynistic-laced lyrics. Some have offered apologies to the public, while others would rather snub their nose at us than muster up an “I’m sorry.” It truly is a jungle out there for some of these rappers, and it makes one wonder if they’ll keep from going under. Ah-huh-huh, huh, huh.
Does gospel get a bad rap?
If you grew up in a “praying house,” as some call it, chances are you were required to go to church all the time – probably three times during the week and all day on Sunday. At home, the Bible may have been centrally located and the gospel music playing was a constant. Your parents and grandparents played all the goodies like Shirley Caesar, Mississippi Mass Choir, Mahalia Jackson (if you really want to take it back) and James Cleveland – they were the real music stars. So it was church and gospel music. That’s all there was back in the day. That’s it.
But that was then.
Today, gospel is a booming business that goes way beyond praising God in song. Many artists are doing reality shows, making songs that sound really close to secular music and other becoming involved in other business ventures that some may consider attempts to be more mainstream. It’s almost become a gift and a curse.
When it was first revealed that Mary Mary would be getting their own reality show early last year, I admit to being one of the people staunchly opposed to the entire idea. Like, of course, Mary Mary are really just two women who lead very regular lives outside of music but as they are gospel artists, I was nervous about how much they would show of their lives. I, like many others, were worried they’d be “ungodly” in their personal lives and it would turn me off. Sure, I was prejudging them and as judgment is a part of life (despite what many of us might say), I don’t really apologize for it. As it turns out, the show isn’t that bad (aside from the occasional very “angry” moment from one of the sisters) and I enjoy watching. They’ll be on season three soon so I guess so does everyone else.
The music is becoming a little more “interesting” as well. While many of us who know and sometimes enjoy gospel music may recall it being traditional – mostly slow and literally almost just like church – in its sound, a lot of today’s music is quite…hip. Kirk Franklin led that wave in the late 90s with “Stomp.” Artists like Mary Mary, Tye Tribbett and others are continuing the trend. While these artists are continuing to deliver “the word” in song, some feel they’ve gotten too secular (if you recall, “God In Me sounded a lot like “Blame It On The Alcohol”). New artist Lecrae (who actually won a Grammy earlier this year) is a young gospel rapper – and a great one, at that – who grew up with hip-hop music did not initially “know God.” He surrounded himself with a party lifestyle full of drugs, alcohol and women. He finally had an epiphany of sorts and decided to turn his life over to God. But he raps; should he not be allowed to perform his praise in the way he knows how?
The question becomes: Is today’s Gospel just getting bad rap? Are people too uptight and caught up in what gospel artists “should” be? If you think about it, a lot of these artists grew up in not only a hip hop era, but also a media based one. They’re gospel singers, not blind singers who don’t know what’s happening outside of their genre. Shouldn’t they have a right to express themselves in a way they see fit without being disrespectful to their message? It seems like many people who are familiar with gospel would like to see it stay in this “box” that’s full of choir robes and hymns. Admittedly, I’m a person who likes gospel music in spurts and am fairly conservative in what I like. But as I recently watched an episode of “The Sheards” while wondering why they would even bother with reality television, I thought, “They have a right to show their lives too. Stop being so critical.” It may not stop me in full from being critical but I’ll watch with more openness.
Gospel artists seemingly will never catch a break unless they stick to this mold of only singing and speaking about God, heaven and the like. Perhaps that’s too much responsibility and as we know, you can’t please everyone.
What do you think? Are people too hard on the gospel artists or should some gospel artists be more mindful of the product their releasing?