In an interview wth 247hh.com Scarface recalls the time when Bushwick and Willie D came to blows.
Scarface, Willie D, J Prince, Ready Red and Bushwick Bill had just touched down in Mississippi and entered a Limousine, which Scarface describes as more of a funeral hearse. At some point during the journey, Bushwick became agitated and started ranting about how much he hated the establishment they were attending and that they were a bunch of “trench coat and gangster” pussies. As you can imagine, Willie D was non too pleased, and took Bushwick’s comment as a disrespectful shot aimed at him, and his “Trenchcoats-N-Ganksta hats” song.
Mr. Scarface Is Back , the debut solo album that set Scarface on the way to becoming the most prolific artist of all the previous 9 members of the Geto Boys. Released in October 1991, the album managed to reach 13 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart gaining it gold status. The iconic album cover image…
Ever since hearing my first Geto Boys album "Grip It On That Other Level," I've been a devout Rap-A-Lot fan with a deep respect for founder James "J Prince" Smith. For at least a decade, between 89 and 99 I supported Rap-A-Lot unconditionally, and stacked up virtually every album the…
Rigormortiz, the debut album from DetriMental Ganxsta- DMG was released at a time when solid albums seemed to be dropping routinely every other week. Rigormortiz was one of those tapes that I remember seeing sat proudly in a lot of peoples collections but was rarely talked about. It just kinda seemed to get lost in the…
Scarface may be considered the overall king of the south, but Willie D is the undisputed cuss down king. And in case you forgot just how “Laugh out loud” funny he can be, here is a video compilation of some of his best moments. From the hardcore take down of fellow Rap-A-Lot label mate Choice, to his verbal assault on police brutality victim Rodney King, Uncle Willie has never been one to mince his words.
Uber-feminists and politically correct individuals who are easily offended might want to turn back now, Willie ain’t no joke. You’ve been warned!
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Jay Z has signed an exclusive first-look film and television production deal with The Weinstein Company.
The two-year contract will see Jay Z, notch up more production credits to add to his others that include, Baz Luhrmann’s “The Great Gatsby” and Chris Rock’s “Top Five”. With the rise of Jay’s multimedia empire, Roc Nation, TV and film seems a natural progression.
Hov released a statement on the new deal, saying, “I’m excited to tell stories from real-life prophets, whom through their struggles have changed the world for the better, and others whose stories are filled with fantasy and delight. Harvey and David are visionaries both of whom have done this time and time again. I’m already passionate about what we currently have in the pipeline and I’m looking forward to discovering others.”
According to the announcement, there are already projects in the works that will be announced in the following weeks. I think the transition from rhyming to film making is a wise move for Jay. His status as an emcee will inevitably wean with the 2 second attention span of today’s youth. Probably be wise to go out gracefully and leave his throne to one of his understudies.
Just found out the sad news about actor Bill Nunn’s, passing away at age 63 after a battle with cancer. You probably remember Bill in roles such as Duh duh duh man in New Jack City, but he’s best known for his iconic role as the boombox-toting, love-hate ring wearing Radio Raheem, in Spike Lee’s 1989 film “Do the Right Thing.”
It was upon hearing about Bill’s passing that got me thinking back to Spike Lee’s classic hood flick and it’s scarily prophetic parallels to the police brutality we are witnessing today across America.
The scene in the movie where Raheem gets choked out by the police is an almost exact cinematic enactment of the tragic Eric Garner case, who over 27 years later was brutally murdered in the same asphyxiated manner.
The eagerly awaited 2Pac biopic “All Eyez On Me” has been given a release date for November 2016, but the film hasn’t come easy. Having undergone severe production delays, multiple director changes, in house lawsuits and even allegations of murder. It seems Tupac can’t escape controversy even in the after life.
Tupac’s mother, Afeni Shakur Davis founded the Tupac Amaru Shakur foundation after her son was murdered in 1996 in Las Vegas. She oversaw the release of his posthumous albums and was in the process of executive producing All Eyez On Me, having been in discussions and negotiations with several major studios and production companies.
Tupac touched so many people in his brief life so it was always Afeni’s wish to collaborate with the right people and in the right way, to get her son’s story out to the world. But the task was proving to be more difficult than expected with director reshuffles and in-house lawsuits that almost derailed the movie completely. One such incident was that of Morgan Creek Productions, who alleged in a Los Angeles Superior Court filing that Amaru Entertainment had backed out of an agreement to sell Tupac’s life rights for a film adaptation.
Afeni Shakur quickly fired back at Morgan Creek, with a $10 million cross-complaint lawsuit that claimed a prearranged 2Pac biopic was never agreed upon, despite Creek’s allegations. Amaru Entertainment claimed that Morgan Creek, CEO James Robinson tried to strong-arm a deal for Tupac movie rights, then sabotaged the project when Amaru attempted to set it up elsewhere.
“Instead of negotiating in good faith with [Amaru], they sought to obtain the rights by concocting a nonexistent ‘agreement’ and engaging in heavy-handed threats, coercion and intimidation to interfere with and ultimately destroy the film project,”
With John Singleton and also Devil In A Blue Dress director Carl Franklin withdrawing early from the project, the chair was handed to acclaimed rap video director Benny Boom with former Death Row collaborator, L.T. Hutton overseeing as executive producer. Hutton, who started out as a producer in the early 90s, had already entered in to a deal with Morgan Creek some years earlier after setting up his own movie company “Program Pictures”. It was this partnership with Morgan Creek that raised suspicions amongst some people in the industry as to Hutton’s motives. How could a man so closely connected to a company that so ruthlessly pursued Afeni for ownership of her son’s brand, be trusted to produce a movie that will stay true to Tupac’s legacy?
These where also the sentiments echoed by John Singleton, the only director who had the Shakur family’s full blessing. The Boyz N Tha Hood director took to instagram to address reports of his removal from the project, reasoning that the people involved where not really respectful of the legacy of Tupac Shakur and that he was planning his own movie about Pac.
“Real talk! ….How you gonna make a movie about a man when you suing his mother to get the rights to tell his story?!” John Singleton
Real talk! The reason I am not making this picture is because the people involved aren’t really… https://t.co/mqRP23fYOC
From that point onwards, Hutton appeared to be continually haunted by questions regarding his integrity to Tupac’s legacy. During an interview on the Goin Way Back Show, Hutton was asked about his thoughts on Singleton’s statement. Hutton’s response was “100%, unequivocally not true at all”. He then went on to say how John Singleton had not worked on a project in many years and his remarks where nothing more than a rant because there was an official announcement of a start date for principle photography and that production was moving forward, hinting that Singleton was dragging his heels.
“It was a negative comment due to the fact that, it wasn’t that he walked off…he was let go…..Some people are self servant and egotistical. It’s like this, If you say “only my voice can be heard”, in this picture, you already a no go”
Money B then presses L.T about Afeni and for verification that the Tupac family estate are happy and on board with the production. This is where things get interesting so pay close attention to the detail as Hutton’s response can be interpreted in many ways without proper context so it is up to you to do some research and draw your own conclusions. Hutton explains that all matters involving Tupac’s estate had to be signed off by Afeni who he claims had meaningful consultation from legal advisors. He then goes on to say that in the beginning they (his company) had a tiff with Afeni (Amaru Entertainment), but distances himself from all involvement by claiming it was an associate within the company who caused the “tiff” (lawsuit) and that person has since been fired. If you’ve been following the story so far it should become immediately apparent that “concocting a non-existent ‘contractual agreement’ and engaging in heavy-handed threats, coercion and intimidation” is a little more than a small “tiff” as Hutton puts it.
Which brings us to Afeni’s tragic and untimely death. Conspiracy theories abound events like these, and it seems like every time anything at all happens out of the ordinary involving a highly regarded public figure the conspiracy brigade will jump all over it, especially if there’s a money trail. I have to admit the timing of Afeni’s death is amazingly convenient in an almost identical way to that of Michael Jackson and Prince, both of whom fought long legal battles over ownership rights. Jackson won control of his catalog from Sony in an historical legal victory with Prince doing the same against Warner Bros. Both artists met early deaths soon after.
Now consider that an “unknown” representative for Tupac’s estate announced that Afeni had set up a trust to control all of Tupac’s music rights, naming “Tom Whalley” — former head of Warner Bros — as executor of Pac’s lucrative catalog. Now consider that these reports came by way of TMZ which is also owned by….drum roll…..WARNER BROS! Now all of this may just be wild speculation but you have to admit it does give you reason to think a little deeper. Regardless of what we believe, it’s been 20 years since one of our most beloved rap cultural icons was taken from us and now the last true blood guardian of his legacy has gone with him.
Former Ruthless records manager Jerry Heller has died at 75 years old. At around 7:30 AM PST — Heller passed away after suffering some sort of medical emergency while driving in Ventura County on Friday just before noon. Apparently he was rushed to hospital with serious injuries after his car slammed into a van. It is still not fully understood if he died as a direct result of his injuries or some other medical complications.
Jerry Heller, was both loved and loathed in equal measure. Always the controversial figure, the very mention of his name conjured up images of the typical greedy record executive. Regardless of the controversy, his tenacity and vision helped propel Eazy-E and N.W.A. to the highest heights of stardom, changing the hip hop landscape forever.
I always found Jerry’s interviews facinating and very informative. He always came across as a likeable rogue, and he always told his stories in enthusiastic detail. There is no doubt that hip hop has lost one of it’s most intriguing and enduring characters.
What is more important beats or Rhymes? This is a question that has been circulating since Melle Mel was stepping on broken glass. It is also a question that I personally find baffling. I mean, can this question seriously be up for debate? Surely both elements have equal importance? What are we actually saying here? That poor production is permissible provided that lyrics are of the highest order? Or on the other hand can we accept nursery rhymes so long as the track is a club banger? Has the bar become that low that we can only expect to have one without the other? Obviously there are times when production outshines the lyrical content and vice versa, but in my memory it was never by a huge margin. What I’m seeing today is a trend of extremism. We have a generation obsessed with cyphers and rap battling but can never envision a studio album and on the other end of the scale you have average to outright awful rappers mumbling incoherent garbageover high end production. Does this last point not encourage listeners to accept watered down lyrics with no substance and rappers that lack skills? Is this not what we are seeing more and more in the mainstream today? A culture where lyrics are becoming irrelevant?
To me the two elements go hand in hand, but what do you think? Does one element hold slightly more weight over the other? Leave a comment below ⇓
In terms of a hip hop albums, what warrants the label “Classic”? What is the formula? Is there a set criteria to work from? I’ve been a hip hop fan for almost thirty years and grew up in a time when dope albums were dropping on the regular, but I don’t remember people calling them classics at the time of release as I do today. I mean, is their such a thing as an “Instant Classic”?
The Classic Question
Being able to call a song or album that’s less than a week old “a classic” in my opinion devalues the word classic. Is this really fraudulant hype? A marketing strategy? A lie to help decieve people into buying an album? Do people confuse classic with an album that has instant appeal? Have peoples standards just drastically dropped when passing judgement on a peice of work? Has the overall quality of hip hop music produced today deteriorated? Are the younger generation desperate to label something classic now because they feel it is their era of hip hop music and they want something to call classic? Do people find it difficult to define classic? Why can’t people settle for saying “This album shows all the marks of a classic” or “This album could be considered a classic in the future” Surely that would be more feasible? Let me finish on a couple of albums that I consider worthy of the word classic. Wu-tang Clan’s “36 chambers” and Dr Dre’s “The Chronic” I can play those albums today in 2016 from start to finish. They deserve the title because they have stood the test of time. They still sound as good now as they did in 1993 and 1992. There are also one or two albums from more recent times that are entering that “classic” phase but interestingly they are becoming rarer as the years roll by.
So now it’s over to you. Do you think “classic” has become a throwaway term?
For years BDP legend and hip hop scholar, KRS One has been hailed as a paragon of truth and knowledge for everything related to hip hop culture. But could the “teacha” actually be preaching a false doctrine? According to some original Black Spades members and Bronxdale residents he is.
A series of video interviews has emerged debunking the history taught by KRS at the numerous lectures he gives around the world. The clips feature many prominent original Black Spades members who address many of the misconceptions that have been widely accepted as historical fact, such as Grandmaster Flash inventing the cross fader and Afrika Bambaataa founding the Black Spades, as well as being the primary reason behind a city wide gang truce around 1974.
“I’ve heard KRS’s thing, it’s bullshit. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Here’s the thing, what I have seen. People want to romanticize and glamorize the origins of what came to be hip hop….Number one, and I need to say this very clearly. Bambaataa, whom I’ve known for over 40 years, has never, ever, ever, ever…..ever, made the claim that he stopped the gangs in New York city. He has never, you know, made the claim that he told the gangs to put they guns down. He has never made that claim”
Cholly Rock – Baby Spades, Zulu Kings 1974-1977
When asked about KRS One’s claim that Grandmaster Flash invented the cross fader, original Spades DJ Kool Dee looked bemused, commenting that it was simply not possible. Cholly Rock was also asked the same question and his response was that KRS didn’t know what he was talking about and that cross faders were already in use before Flash came along.
“Nah, he didn’t make that. I don’t think he ever made a mixer. No that’s not possible. Matter of fact, Flash played on this (GLI Disco 3800) in Nell Gwen’s before he became big time. He didn’t invent this, no way”
Kool DJ Dee – Bronxdale 1st Division
When Soundview resident and original Spades member, Mike Watts was asked if it was true that Afrika Bambaataa was the founding father and leader of the Black Spades, he snapped at the suggestion.
“He (Bambaataa) was never the leader of the Spades. He wasn’t even a Spade when he started…….. he was a Savage Nomad, then became a Spade. Bambaataa never started shit. Bambaataa may have started the Zulu Nation, but he didn’t start no f****n Spades”
Mike Watts – Black Spades 1st Division
The same sentiments were echoed by another Bronx OG, only this time in a more blunt and direct way.
“Yo let me set the record straight. He was the founder of a ……….f***k that fat bastard! He’s a lying ass. Yo I’m gonna cut off now please, because I’m upset, I’m truly upset man. Because everything I read is falsly documented and it’s wrong”
Michael “Fat Mike” Wayne – Founding member Savage 7/Original Black Spades
There’s no denying the fabricated version of hip hop history currently being presented as fact. But is KRS deliberately trying to mislead people or is he simply romanticizing the facts? Drop a comment
Who are the most Underrated Hip Hop Producers of All-Time? That’s a question hip hop heads always ask. But what about the producers who you never hear about? You know, the ones whose beats fill up your favourite albums but somehow get overlooked in online discussions. This is NOT a typical “most slept on producers” list. That list would be way too long. What I want to do with this post is pay homage to 5 hip hop producers who have been in the game for at least 20 years, produced classic albums, and (in my humble opinion) are more than just slept on, they are completely overlooked.
Cold 187 Um
Gregory Hutchinson better known as Cold 187 um or ‘Big Hutch’, is a certified hip hop legend who seldom gets the respect he truly deserves. Considered by most hip hop scholars as the true creator of G-Funk, (before Dre put his stamp on it), Hutch has been serving up his own brand of unsampled g-funk for over two and a half decades. It was Cold 187 and his group “Above The Law” who helped Eazy maintain Ruthless Records successful streak after N.W.A. split and Dre jumped ship. With so many unique sounding classics under his belt such as Kokane’s “Funk Upon A Rhyme” and “Uncle Sam’s Curse” it’s only right that he gets a place in our list.
John Okuribido, better known as John Bido or Bido 1, is perhaps the most elusive producer on the planet. Bido is the guy we’ve all heard about, but don’t really know anything about. Just google Bido’s name and you will see exactly what I mean. Information on the veteran beatmaker is virtually non existent. Widely known for his extensive work with Geto Boys and other artists from the Rap-A-Lot stable, Bido was an early Rap-A-Lot pioneer who was praised by Mike Dean as being one of his biggest influences. With production credits stretching back to the late 80’s, Bido has provided musical backdrops for, 5th Ward Boyz, UGK, DMG, Ganksta N-I-P and of course the Geto Boys. His contribution to the Southern hip hop soundscape is immeasurable.
Easy Mo Bee
Probably the most well known out of the 5 listed here but still deserves more props. Easy Mo Bee is a veteran producer who got his first big break producing Big Daddy Kane’s “It’s A Big Daddy Thing”. He went on to produce a string of hit records for artists such as 2Pac, Notorious B.I.G, Craig Mack, Wu Tang, Das Efx and many more. He is probably best known for his association with Puff Daddy’s Bad Boy records, producing many of the labels early releases. That was until a dispute between Mo Bee and Puff Daddy over production credits for Craig Mack’s “Flava In Ya Ear” remix turned the relationship sour.
Terry Alan, better known as DJ Slip of Comptons Most Wanted, is an incredibly talented producer/engineer who had a hand in many of my favourite west coast gangster rap albums from the early 90’s, Music To Driveby, 187 He Wrote, Death Threatz, AmeriKKKa’s Nightmare. I can’t tell you how many hours I spent on my walkman listening to MC Eiht’s “We Come Strapped” back in the day. But then it dawned on me recently just how little I actually know about the man whose music I have been praising for more than 2 decades. You would think google had a little more info about a producer, who stands somewhere north of 6 feet 6 and weighs 400 plus pounds, but you’d be wrong. All I can say is Slip’s dramatic production style plays so much like a symphony, that you would swear he had a 90 piece philharmonicorchestra right there in the studio with him. A definite unsung.
If this was a top 5 most underrated list then Buckwild would have to take the number one spot. With a portfolio of production credits that’s completely unmatched, (Big L, Jay Z, O.C, Nas, Method Man, Organized Konfusion, 50 Cent, Big Pun, etc,etc, etc) it seems inconceivable that this man would even be on this list. But ask yourself this question. How many times do you hear Buckwild’s name mentioned in online discussions? Not nearly enough is your answer. One of the things I most respect about Buck is his ability to assist a diverse range of artists, both underground and mainstream without sacrificing the integrity of his craft.