Tuesday, August 28, 2012


August 11, 1973 may not mean much to those not in the know, but for me, it is a pivotal point in the evolution and creation of a culture.  A nondescript party at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue, concocted by Cindy Campbell, sister of Hip Hop legend Clive "Kool Herc" Campbell, paved the way for this thing we revere, take for granted, utilize, abuse:  Hip Hop.  “I didn’t want to go to Fordham Road to buy clothes because you’d go to school and see everybody with the same thing on,” Cindy Campbell said in an interview about that fateful initial party.  “I wanted to go to Delancey Street and get something unusual.”  In her eyes, that unusual was clothing, but in the bigger picture what we received was the birth of a culture, or at least the planting of the proverbial seeds. 

Hip-Hop Flyer

This is how the original invite looked on a simple, yet quite effective index card.  Even in infancy, Hip Hop made its mark with simplicity, and in a positive manner.  Truth be told, Hip Hop would have most likely evolved if this party would have never existed, but this DJ Kool Herc party surely served as a catalyst for a cultural explosion that started as a very slow burn initially.  With August 11th in the past, we can reflect on how a Back To School Jam opened the doors for those that followed, be it Grandmaster Flash, The Cold Crush Brothers, The Treacherous Three, Run-DMC, LL Cool J, NWA, Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, KRS-One, Queen Latifah, A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Jay-Z, Nas, Biggie, Tupac, Souls Of Mischief, Pharcyde, The Geto Boys, Outkast, Goodie MOB, The Roots, The Fugees, Ludacris, T.I., Foxy Brown, Li'l Kim, Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, Kendrick Lamar, and a plethora of other colorful monikers.  Let's give everlasting thanks to the foresight of those that participated and made this historic party occur at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in West Bronx! 


#CultureOverEverything is the Twitter hashtag employed by NC emcee Rapsody, who released her dope joint entitled The Idea Of Beautiful today.  While in South Africa, Kenneth Price filmed this gem for "Kind Of Love", produced by 9th Wonder and featuring vocalist Nomsa Mazwali.  I salute Rap Diddy for staying completely true to her true school roots (pun intended and nod to 9th Wonder's True School).  Witness this creative being waxing poetic over another soulful joint from 9th.  Cop The Idea Of Beautiful as soon as possible via iTunes.  You won't be disappointed in this sixteen-cut album, which can be considered as the true proper debut for Rapsody.  With other releases by Slaughterhouse, Torae and Nitty Scott, MC, this has been a very good day for dope lyricism within Hip Hop. 
Twitter:  @rapsodymusic
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/rapsodymusic


Lupe Fiasco is not playing this go 'round folks!  Food & Liquor 2:  The Great American Rap Album is poised to be a powerhouse release.  Lupe has been hitting listeners in the heads with gem after gem from the early fall release (album slated for Sept. 25th).  Add "Bitch Bad" to the list.  Spin Magazine took the stance that Lupe was being preachy and contradictory with this song, so in turn Lupe has instituted a boycott of the publication.  We'll see how that goes (because many cats don't try to take a stance or stand with ongoing issues).  In the meantime, take a look at this new video, and see how Lupe "spins" the "bad bitch" theory with his dynamic lyricism.  Thank you to my Okayplayer family for posting the new video, along with sponsorship from Sugarwater Energy Drink

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Courtesy of Google Play is the mini-documentary for Busta Rhymes, Life & RhymesThe twenty-plus minute short details the ascension of Busta through the ranks of hip hop stardom.  Interviews with Spliff Star, Talib Kweli, Sadat X and others gives insight into one of the most unique and dynamic hip hop artists ever.  Take a peep at this short, and be sure to cop his aptly-titled joint Year Of The Dragon when it is released in the near future (fingers crossed).  Special thanks to XXL Magazine for showcasing this video expose' at http://www.xxlmag.com/news/2012/08/busta-rhymes-reflects-on-career-in-mini-documentary-life-rhymes/.


Last night, while perusing Twitter as usual, I came across a shocking revelation or declaration from fellow journalist and respected writer dream hampton.  If you don't know, dream hampton has been entrenched in hip hop culture for the better part of the past twenty years, from being an editor with The Source, writing for a multitude of publications such as Vibe and The Village Voice, and recently co-authoring the Jay-Z best-seller Decoded.  What caught me off guard was her assertion that Nas used ghostwriters for his Untitled album (better known in hip hop circles as Nigger).  Reading her tweet may take more abstract thinking than literal, but in essence she pointed out stic.man from dead prez and Jay Electronica as the two individuals responsible for the alleged ghostwriting duties.  In all fairness, both highly respected artists (in their own rights) are credited on a few of the songs, such as "Queens Get The Money" (Jay Electronica) and "Sly Fox" (stic.man).  Also, the context of the allegation needs to be noted, as dream hampton was discussing another hot hip hop topic in relation to her friend and cohort Jay-Z (about Jay discussing more substantive items in his material).  Obviously, these points all lead up to Mr. Jones going on Power 106 in Cali with Big Boy.  Part of the conversation with host Big Boy was if a prolific lyricist such as Nas has used ghostwriters in the past to craft his lyrics.  Check out the response during the video, and you be the judge.