“New York emcee AWKWORD has decided to return to the fold after 9 months with a powerful new song titled “Heather Heyer (F*** Trump),” named after the 32-year-old woman who was tragically killed while protesting against a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, VA. It’s clear that he’s just as sharp as ever lyrically, holding no cut cards in regards to his feelings on the matter (and the powers that be, period)” – RESPECT Mag
I don’t fully subscribe to the whole anti-Trump narrative, but if bashing the Trumpster is your thing you will love this, as Awkword does it mercilessly.
Southern California emcee Loose Logic presents the music video for “No Shame”, the new single from Reflections, his forthcoming album featuring JL of B.Hood. Loose is recipient of the All Access Magazine Music Award “Best Hip-Hop Artist of The Year”, the O.C. Music Awards’ “Best Urban Artist of the Year”, and was also named a “Top 100 Unsigned Artist” by Music Connection Magazine. “No Shame” was produced by Soleternity, the beatsmith behind singles with Snoop Dogg and Tech N9ne. Loose has several full-length releases under his belt, and has collaborated with Jadakiss (“Dumb It Down”), RBX (“Turn To Dust”) and Jay Rock (“Never Sleep”). Loose has opened for and performed with Mos Def, Too Short, DMX, Pitbull, KRS-1, DJ Quik, Ying-Yang Twins, Strong Arm Steady and Evidence. He is also a founding member of rap group The Fraternity. “‘No Shame’ is about trying to find meaning in existence and a reason to not give up in different aspects of life; that meaning comes in many forms,” Loose says about his new single. Reflections drops October 6 on Passion Play Productions.
Atlanta emcee Dillon Maurer has teamed up with producer Diamond D for Black Tie Affair. A collaboration EP out now featuring Dillon on rhymes and cuts and Diamond on beats. The EP features Dillon’s longtime collaborator Paten Locke (who also works frequently with Edan) plus support from Boog Brown, Alexa Lima on piano, Terminus Horns, Ben Hameen on guitar & DJ Harrison on Rhodes.
Residing in Atlanta, Dillon recently released the Food Chain full-length with Locke, which featured Dres of Black Sheep, Homeboy Sandman, Count Bass-D, J-Live and Supa Dave West. A bona fide Hiphop legend and Grammy-Winner, Diamond D is a member of the Diggin In The Crates crew which also includes Lord Finesse, O.C., Fat Joe, Buckwild, Showbiz and A.G. and the late Big L, and has produced tracks for The Fugees, Big L, Pharoahe Monch, Busta Rhymes and Mos Def. Dillon’s solo releases include Studies In Hunger, Dillon Ain’t Playin’, and Cupid’s Revenge (Bandcamp). Diamond most recently produced Sadat X’s new album The Sum of a Man. The instrumentals are included on the limited-edition vinyl, which you can order at Bandcamp or Fat Beats.
Ice T reconnects with the UK branch of his Rhyme Syndicate posse, lending a fresh verse to DJ Supreme’s “Arctic”.
Arctic II is a heavy guitar laden remix track that also features fellow UK rhyme veteran Icepick. The video is top notch too, as Ice gets in to full Hollywood character mode.
I would love to see an Arctic part III featuring Curoc, ‘Son Of Noise’ and perhaps a verse from Narrator RBX who would add a real sinister vocal element. I think that would work really well with Supreme’s hard and frantic production style.
MarzRomain is a female rapper from Harrisburg PA. Drawing inspiration from wordsmiths such as Antonio Hardy, Kris Parker, Shawn Carter, Rakim, and Nasir Jones, Marz received the necessary tutelage from some of the best emcees to ever hold a microphone.
“As a small child I was inspired by classics like ‘Going Back To Cali’ and Ain’t No Half Steppin, which was the music my older siblings and parents listened to….’grown up music’,”
This deeper understanding and appreciation of the craft since childhood is evident throughout her music. Marz has developed a mature and unique flow that delivers. Something which is (for the most part) inherently missing from today’s hip hop!
The rapper Prodigy, who made up one half of the group Mobb Deep, has died aged 42. The hip hop star, whose real name is Albert Johnson, was on tour in Las Vegas performing with the “Art of Rap” tour alongside Ghostface Killah, Onyx, KRS-One, and Ice-T, amongst others. Mobb Deep performed Saturday.
It’s been long known that P had been suffering from life threatening sickle cell anaemia, but news like this still rocks you to your core. Another hip hop icon taken from us far too young. Rest easy Prod.
I must first admit that as of late I have been slowly becoming disillusioned with hip hop music. There was once a time when this music was consistently dope, at the forefront and in abundance. When these dark clouds begin to surround me and I start to drift away from the culture, a glimmer of hope drags me back to continue this love affair with hip hop. In walks Jersey native Venomous 2000 and Serbian producer X Trilian with “Sounds Of The Great Ones” and order is once again restored to the hip hop universe!
I love to write album reviews, but before I transcribe my thoughts I first must fully digest the offering. With that being said I listened to ‘Sounds Of The Great Ones’ constantly from when it first dropped a few months back. I don’t believe in flicking through the contents of an album then hurrying out a quick review. This album was no exception. In fact, I probably spent more time absorbing the contents of this album than any of V’s previous work including the most excellent Will To Power.
First off, the album cover art is fresh and the title is fitting. You instantly get a good feeling that the content is going to be dope. The next thing I noticed is the number of awesome guest spots on this album, the older heads will definitely recognise and appreciate some big names from the 90’s and early 2000’s including The Artifacts, Cella Dwellas, Inspectah deck, 9th Prince, Tiye Phoenix, C Rayz Walz and Shabaam Sadeeq.
Venomous opens up with “Know Things,” hard hitting lyrics over a hard hitting beat from Trillian and some ill cuts from UK turntablist DJ TMB. Trillian is not a producer I’m familiar with but after this one I’m already wanting to hear more. A stand out track in my opinion is “Hot Damn” oooooweeeeeee!!! It’s a banger! Venomous, El Da Sensei, Tame One and Tiye Phoenix trade verses over some neck snapping production from Trillian. DJ Trickalome adds the finishing touches with some very nice cuts. Every verse is dope but Tiye Phoenix blows the spot on the track finale showing that she is indeed officially up there with the top femcees in the game.
After listening to “Homecoming” I felt it didn’t fit with the style of the rest of the album. Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed it but it was like I was suddenly listening to a different album. The original “Rock The Bells” was my introduction to Venomous back in 2011 and when I saw “Rock The Bells PT2″ on this track list I was full of anticipation. Just as I hoped, it didn’t disappoint. You won’t hear a better opening verse than the one V2G drops on this, it is flames! The combination of Reks and C Rayz Walz who add their own individual and unique styles heightens the all round listening experience. Again the production from Trillian and cuts from DJ TMB are near perfect.
Things slow down a little bit on “My Grandma Used To Say” A beautifully produced song that I immediately fell in love with. Venomous rides this hypnotic beat perfectly, his therapeutic verses had me reminiscing back to different times in my life. Shabaam Sadeeq and the Cella Dwellas lend a hand on “Products Of Evironment“. All four lyricists flex their mic skills to great effect, weaving in and out of Trilians production with the smoothest of flows. Another thumbs up.
Any comic fans out There? I’m a big fan of MF Doom and all the alias’s he uses on his albums and intros. I must say that I’ve never heard anything quite like “Marvelous” and the reference to so many Marvel characters on one track from venomous which is just exceptional. V shines here and shows just how gifted he is as a writer.
Just when you thought things couldn’t get any better, along comes a Wu-Tang / Venomous combination on “Make Ya Speakers Pop.” This time Inspectah Deck , 9th Prince and NLZ step up to the mic. Trilian has pulled out all the stops on the production here and you can’t help but nod your head to this beat. DJ TMB lays his artistry to the cuts.
I kind of expected a low point towards the end of the album, but that didn’t actually happen, quite the opposite in fact. Over the course of the album I listened to a side of Venomous I’ve not heard before, a more aggressive mc and a more aggressive approach to his flow, an mc with the versatility to stand along side anybody on a track and shine. “Psalms 76” is one of my favourite joints on the album. V spazzes out without drawing breath and spits some heavy bars. I don’t live in the hood or remotely near anywhere dangerous but this had me stomping through the quiet streets of my home town like a Universal soldier. “It’s Over” is a short track acting like a musical outro. Still very dope all round. Conclusion, I’ve spent a lot of time with Venomous 2000’s music overall and he continues to produce albums that go from strength to strength. He always seems to grow and add something different to his arsenal on every joint. V is one of the few that still rides and bleeds for hip hop, something his fanbase will be most appreciative of. V proves time and again he can stand alone or shine alongside some of hip hops elite. The production on this album was top notch throughout. As I said before Trilian is a producer I was unfamiliar with but after listening to this I will definitely be checking for him in the future. The chemistry was almost like these guys had been working together for years. Hats off to DJ TMB and DJ Trickalome for making this album sound complete with all the dope cuts. All in all this is a dope sounding hip hop album that gave me a lot of listening pleasure. 4/5
Big Boi’s latest video “Kill Jill” featuring fellow Atlanta MCs, Killer Mike and Jeezy, is an ode to Tarantino’s contemporary Samurai slasher, Kill Bill.
This is a very catchy track and even though the overall flows sound typical of what gets churned out these days, it still goes to show that even the old school vets can do “dumbed-down” shit! better than the youngsters do it.
North West London native, Lamarrie Essquire aka Da Fly Hooligan, has just dropped a blazing new track titled; P.R.E.A.M. (Pounds Rule Everything Around Me), an ode to Wu Tang’s classic C.R.E.A.M anthem, but with a Britcore twist. The production from Ecam Entertainment on this joint is tighter than a drum. It’s refreshing to know there’s still some real heads reppin the culture on the UK hip hop scene, not just the grimers. Definitely one to keep an eye on. Salute
Funkmaster Flex came under a recent shit storm for his comments regarding 2Pac and the circumstances surrounding the robbery that took place at a New York recording studio back in 1995. One of the first to publicly chastise Flex, for what many view as over opinionated and unnecessary meddling, was T.I., albeit in a calm and collected manner. However, the same couldn’t be said for Naughty by Nature’s Treach, who unleashed a strong verbal assault across (as is the case nowadays in the modern world) social media. The Flex video has gone viral so pretty much the entire world and his dog has chimed in, but for those who somehow did miss it, here it is again, complete with extensive annotations and footnotes so you can get a full overview of what went down.
07:36 Flex talks about 2Pac’s Harlem roots, probably to control the narrative and prevent the topic from potentially escalating in to an east coast west coast thing.
09:20 Gives a brief history about his early career as a radio DJ who helped put out music from groups like Digital Underground. In what could be interpreted as an attempt to show listeners his support for artists closely affiliated with 2Pac, He brings out a platinum plaque of Digital Undergrounds 1990 album Sex Packets and holds it up to the camera.
10:06 Ed Lover sends message via IG and it reads. “My boy Stretch (Live Squad) was with Pac in the studio that night. He shot himself trying to pull out his gun”. Flex responds to Ed’s comment with an emphatic smile and tells him “he’s keeping it too raw too quick”.
10:43 Proceeds to illustrate his status and long career in hip hop by proclaiming he was one of the few dj’s playing Digital Underground tracks in 1990. This statement leads him to address T.I’s criticism, basically dismissing T.I. on the grounds that he was only 10 years old at the time and so his opinion is void.
13:07 This is where Flex starts to address his original 2Pac comments that put him in all the hot water. He starts by explaining that he agrees with the age old saying that one should never speak ill on the dead or those who are no longer here to defend themselves. This was a direct response to T.I’s G-Code statement and how he felt Flex was in direct violation of it. Flex’s defence is that there is no violation because the rules don’t apply in this particular instance. He then goes on to give some rambled reasoning, proclaiming that Notorious B.I.G was also a victim.
13:37 Backtracks a little, talking about 2Pac’s contribution to hip hop and how he loved him before he joined Death Row. He makes a further reference to Pac’s New York heritage, recalling 2Pac’s 1995 track “Old School” which pays homage to all the East Coast hip hop legends.
15:00 Flex starts to explain his one major issue with 2Pac, which he describes as his “pet peeve”. He then categorically proclaims that Biggie did not set 2Pac up the day he was shot in the elevator at Quad Studios.
17:10 Flex tries to address 2Pac’s claim that Biggie was implicit in the shooting. The account Flex gives was that 2Pac had full knowledge of his attackers and the reasons behind the ambush as they were associates of his. This was also the reason why Pac was carrying a piece because he was expecting something could go down.
“Somewhere in there, after the robbery, the claim is, that the Notorious B.I.G set him up. When you say that the Notorious B.I.G set you up and you’re now an artist that now lives on the West coast…..there was a whole team of people now who was against Biggie”
18:53 He then goes on to address T.I.’s G-Code comments for the second time, say that it was in fact 2Pac who was violating the G-Code because Pac was screaming Biggie’s name from the hospital, something that in his opinion Pac shouldn’t have done, regardless of whether it’s true or not.
“Cause you a G T.I., and you know we ain’t supposed to call false names and anything that happens to us in the street…..we ain’t supposed to call no names, number one, and then you supposed to take up your issues with the people that you have an issue with…..that’s it….that’s it….you don’t scream a name. He was screaming Biggies name, 2Pac lied bro”
19:46 Flex expresses his issue with 2Pac allegedly knowing his assailants but allowing the world to believe that it was Biggie who set him up.
20:00 Flex asks for a response from Ed Lover about what went down in the studio the night 2Pac got shot. Ed would respond later in the video.
20:40 Flex addresses the criticism of waiting 20 years to speak on the situation. He kinda deflects the question by giving an account of the type of person the Notorious B.I.G was, whom he also claims in the same sentence to not know all that well.
“Let me tell you about the 20 years later….[pauses]…I’ma tell you about Big and I ain’t even know Big that well. But I’ma tell you why I’m on it 20 years later….Let me tell ya about the kind of guy Notorious B.I.G was. He would never, ever, take part in that fuckin’ buffoonery… [Flex’s tone changes and face contorts]…of someone calling the wrong names on a robbery, because he’s not going to make himself look all nuts….Notorious B.I.G was a G. He would just eat it and keep it moving”
22:25 Flex responds to someone asking him why he wasn’t vocal about the situation on the radio at the time it happened.
23:47 Flex talks about how people worship and fixate on the gangster persona side of 2Pac which he describes as very small part of who Pac actually was.
24:49 Ed Lover responds to Flex’s earlier question on what actually went down at the time of the 2Pac robbery.
“Ed Lover said without any names, dudes came to see Pac because of some other street beef he had with (we know who). Stretch who was about 6.5 was never touched, Biggie didn’t know about it at all….Pac was my friend.”
26.20 Flex starts to talk about 2Pac’s contribution to the music industry but then diverts mid sentence and asks Ed Lover another question about whether it was true that 2Pac actually shot himself during the robbery. Ed responds almost immediately.
“Reaching for his gun he accidentally shot himself, yes”
27:50 Flex then gives a long commentary about similar street robbery confrontations and how Pac reaching for his gun could have been a factor in him being shot, inferring that Pac may never have got shot at all had he not reacted.
31:30 This is the part were Flex becomes highly emotional, revealing his true feelings towards 2Pac and the tragic outcome of the legendary beef.
“People always wanna ask me why I said it 20 years later….I said when the fuckin shit was going on….and Biggie wouldn’t have fucking died if that n###a hadn’t lied. He lied, and ya’ll n###a’s worship him!!”
32:44 Flex continues his emotional tirade, re addressing T.I. and proclaiming that nobody want’s to tell the truth. His focus becomes Biggie and the insinuation that 2Pac’s status as a hip hop God gives him immunity from any criticism or analysis of the truth.
34:55 Flex regains his composure before addressing Suge Knights son, who was also very vocal in his criticism of Funkmaster. Flex initially takes a calm and non hostile approach, appreciating that Suge’s son is just looking out for his dad. He also talks about his admiration for Suge Knight and his legacy in making the west coast hip hop scene the power house it became, particularly in regard to shaping Dr. Dre’s career. But those positive words of respect and admiration are short lived, as Flex goes on to mock Suge, explaining how nobody in New York was afraid of him the way the world thinks they was.
“And I wanna say this with a straight face so there’s no fucking confusion today. I do respect your dad and what he laid down in the music business, but I wanna be so fucking clear right now. When he used to come to New York, nobody gave a fuck!”
Flex wraps up by back tracking over statements he made throughout the video, how much he loves Pac and how much he respects Suge and he’s not slandering him.
What’s your take on all this shit? Leave a comment below