All Articles Tagged "rap"

Exclusive MN Chat With Luke Christopher: Singer Talks Groupies And Creating West Coast Music

July 25th, 2014 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Hailing from California, Luke Christopher and his infectious smile captivated us while we interviewed him about his budding music career. Growing up in a biracial household, Luke Christopher mixed various genres together to create his own sound. As a self taught musician, Luke Christopher’s claim to fame has been to blur the lines in music. Therefore, his personal edge has been covered through working with artists such as Wiz Khalifa, Common and Usher to name a few. In this  intimate interview with the L.A. crooner/rapper he details how he entered the music industry, deals with groupies and is changing the West Coast sound.

How did you get you start in the music industry?
I started writing song on GarageBand back in the day, when I was 12 years old. My brother and cousin would create music with me on the program but to be honest, we were just messing around. We would take nursery rhymes and turn them into raps. Then at some point, they started to do their own thing but I stuck with creating tracks on it. I started rapping when I was 13 and I started singing when I was 15 and producing. I didn’t have anyone to sing on my hooks, so I began to just do it all and it worked out to being a blessing.

Who would you like to work with currently, or in the future?
I definitely would like to work with Andre 3000, James Blake, Regina Spector, Mos Def and Kanye. I really like what Pharrell is doing right now; to be honest I am really drawn to artists who are extremely creative.

Every Tuesday, you promised to release a song. Have you lived up to that goal?
My team and I have released 15 weeks worth of Tuesday “singles” of original songs and some of them are samples.

Creatively, how does that affect you as a writer?
By releasing a new song every Tuesday, it has been a cool exercise. Every single week, you have to create something different. None of the songs sound the same and I notice my fans realize that. They will tell me “oh snap, that new track is different and dope.”

You call your fans the TMRGang; Are they just as crazy as the BeyHive, Beliebers or other stans?
Yeah the TMRGang stands up even though they are not as big as the other fan bases but they are crazy [laughs]. But on a serious note, they love good music and that is what it is all about.

Since your status is changing due to you becoming more popular, do you feel the people around you have changed? Also, have you had any experiences with groupies?
The people around me have not changed. The homies are still the homies, because we are a team. But the groupies are coming. But to be honest it has all been all flattering, so it’s all good. Nothing too crazy [laughs].

What style of music influences you when you are in the process of creating a song?
Writing wise, it would be Stevie Wonder. Also, The Beatles, Micheal Jackson; if I am writing a rap song, I look to Pac, Mos Def or Common. I like to input wisdom in rap. I definitely go back to early Kanye too; he has been a great influence on my music.

West Coast rap has changed; do you think it should revert back to its 1980s style or do you like how it is transitioning now?
The nature of music is to change and grow, so sonically it will never sound the same again. But I like the current sound and I think it’s dope. There are a lot of artists coming out of the region now, so it is a perfect to be out there. The sound is ill and it’s like we are coming back now to take over the industry.

Check out Luke Christopher’s latest Tuesday song, “Sunny Days!”

Jill Scott Reflects On The Current State Of Rap And Its Depiction Of Women

July 9th, 2014 - By Brande Victorian
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During the 2006 Essence Festival in New Orleans Jill Scott spoke out about how women of color are portrayed in rap lyrics and their accompanying music videos, calling the content “dirty, inappropriate, inadequate, unhealthy, and polluted” as she told the audience in the superdome they needed to “demand more.” Eight years later, we caught up with Jilly from Philly during the 20th annual Essence Fest to ask her whether she feels any progress has been made on that front or if her words still ring true today. Check out the video above as Jill Scott reflects on the current state of rap and its depiction of women. Do you agree?

15 Female Rappers Who’ve Impacted Hip-Hop

December 19th, 2013 - By Meghan Reid
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Hip-hop is still a young artform, which means there is still a long way to go when it comes to giving respect where it is due. The women of hip-hop on the mic, in the studio, writing bars and battle rapping often don’t get the respect and recognition they deserve, so we decided to spotlight 15 women who’ve contributed to hip-hop in big ways.

yoyo

Source: Facebook

Yo-Yo

Yo-Yo did her thing in the ’90s when she was featured on Ice Cube’s AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted album for “It’s a Man’s World.” Her debut album Make Way for the Motherlode in 1990 gained popularity with the single “You Can’t Play with My Yo-Yo.” Although she didn’t receive mainstream success she continued to release albums that were authentic and true hip-hop. In 1992 she released her second album, Black Pearl that had a positive message which clashed with the current sound of gangsta rap. She went on to release three other albums and her single  “Can’t Play With My Yo-Yo” was ranked number 92 on VH1′s 100 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs.

Songs We Used To Love… Until They Got Played Out

October 24th, 2013 - By Kelly Franklin
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say my name

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.

“You Make Yourself Art!” Watch Jay Z’s Performance Art Piece For “Picasso Baby”

August 3rd, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
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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?

 

So You Think You Can Rap? 15 Of The Worst Rapletes (Athletes Turned Rappers)

July 31st, 2013 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: WENN.com

Image Source: WENN.com

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.

Stomping With The Big Dogs! Kendrick Lamar To Be Honored By ASCAP With A Vanguard Award!

June 16th, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
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"Kendrick Lamar PF"

Peter Kaminski/WENN.com

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

June 13th, 2013 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Source: Instagram "Amanda Bynes"

Source: Instagram

 

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 

The New Engagement Ring? Waka Flocka & Girlfriend Engaged By Getting…Name Tats?

June 1st, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
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"WakaTammy"

Instagram

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.

"Waka1"

Instagram

Well…sort of.

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.

From LSG To TGT: 15 Of Our Favorite Musical Supergroups

May 30th, 2013 - By Meg Butler
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shalamar

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.