Tha Rap Critic

Monday, January 31, 2005

Black Cloud Over Black Wall Street

The Black Wall Street, Game's label and community organization, has released a statement in regards to two violent incidents that seem to be overshadowing Game's first week on top of the Billboard charts. The first incident of concern is an altercation that took place at a radio station in the Washington D.C. area where Game's entourage allegedly caused serious injuries to an on air personality named Xzulu. The altercation began when Xzulu allegedly made a remark about Game's manager's headset. Whether or not Game was directly involved in the altercation remains to be proven factual, however, when someone gets assaulted by a member of an entourage as high profile as Game's, then of course Game is going to be blamed. Therefore, Game, Big Fase, Jimmy Henchmen, and the rest of Black Wall Street please control your tempers if you really want to be a force in the community like you say you do.

In other Black Wall Street news, the Compton headquarters they call home was shot at recently. I guess success does breed jealousy. I mean it's not like those less fortunate individuals from Game's part of town that don't have #1 albums are taking his success in stride, especially if those individuals are from rival neighborhoods. There are a lot of people that want to see that man dead, and many of them want to be the one that's responsible for his death. My advice to Game and Black Wall Street is, if you want to continue doing business in Compton, lease some office space and hire some security. Doing business out of a house that sits on an alley is not very smart with such a high profile name associated with your company. Also, Game needs to align himself with some political leaders if Black Wall Street really wants to have an impact on the community. As this would allow him to do more for his city and make it a lot safer doing so.


Thursday, January 27, 2005

Irv Gotti Surrenders to Federal Agents

On Wednesday January 26, 2005 Irv Gotti, born Irving Lorenzo, the CEO of The Inc. Records, along with his brother Christopher Lorenzo, surrendered to federal agents in New York City. The two face up to 20 years in prison under federal RICO (Racketeering In Corrupt Organization) Laws if convicted on money laundering charges. The charges stem from The Inc's affiliation with former New York drug kingpin Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff and his underwold enterprise.

Irv Gotti was quoted as saying that he has no ill will towards the "Feds" for their investigation and that he is only guilty of making hit records. The brothers were both released on $1 million bonds and are due back in court on March 18.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Jermaine Dupri President of Virgin Urban

Jermaine Dupri, long time CEO of So So Def and multi-platinum producer, has been named the president of Virgin Records Urban Division. This marks the third home for Dupri and his So So Def imprint that originally was distributed through Columbia/ Sony. JD was under the wing of Clive Davis and L.A. Reid for a couple of years before Arista folded into BMG imprint Jive Records. Dupri expressed dislike for the situation he was in at Jive and wanted out of his contract. Upon his release, Dupri and his stable of artists, which includes Daz Dillienger, Da Brat, and the Youngbloodz have been free agents until recently with the camp being moved to Virgin.

Dupri has stated that he wants to be the first artist to drop an album under the new deal with Daz' long awaited comeback album not far behind. Some speculate that long-time girlfriend Janet Jackson had something to do with Dupri's move over to Virgin being that she is also an artist on the label. However, Virgin's CEO Matt Serletic said it was Dupri's track record of making hits that was the deciding factor in him hiring ATL's finest. With the West Coast rekindling the fire with Game's new release and Dr. Dre's Detox slated to drop before year's end, JD needs to get that Daz out sometime soon.

Welcome to Atlanta, Virgin

Saturday, January 22, 2005

D-Block on 50

In what I think to be a very classy move, D-Block and LOX members Jadakiss and Styles P refused to unleash any verbal abuses at 50 Cent in a recent interview with Funkmaster Flex. Instead of stating what they were going to do to him or releasing any diss record, Jada and Styles simply let it be known that Jada's decision to rhyme on Ja Rule's hit single New York, which also featured Fat Joe, was strictly a business move. Fat Joe also stated that he knew Irv and Ja before their "beef" with 50 so he doesn't see what the big deal is.

Jadakiss and Styles did express concerns that if they were to get involved in a highly publicized "beef" with 50 Cent that Universal, both D-Block's and G-Unit's parent company, that Interscope/ Universal would side with 50 Cent because he's pushing more units. While it seems that the LOX are playing a more diplomatic role in this situation that 50 Cent is seeming to take out of hand, chances are that if he keeps running his mouth, then D-Block will strike back. We'll see, let's hope it doesn't get too ugly.


Thursday, January 20, 2005

Joey Crack Pushed Back Again

Fat Joe's latest album, now titled All or Nothing is slated for an April 25, 2005 release date. The album, originally titled Things of That Nature was supposed to drop in mid-November to follow the heavy buzz Joe received from last summer's smash hit Lean Back, but was instead pushed back to a late January release date. Now executives at Atlantic are going to release the album in late April, my guess to give Game's new release The Documentary and 50's March 8th release St. Valentine's Day Massacre time to cool off. Speaking of Game, some experts are giving him the early nod for best album of the year. I don't know about that, especially knowing that Outkast will be dropping 10 The Hard Way in mid-June.


Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Cop That Game

I'll be the first to admit, I was being skeptical in regards to the new release by G-Unit member Game. I think I was doing so because the West Coast hadn't had a buzz for a new artist like this since Snoop dropped Doggystyle. At first listen, I could actually let the CD ride as none of the songs on the album were just wack to me, although there were a couple songs that I wasn't necessarily feeling as with any album that has came out in the last couple years.

I won't deem this album a classic, however there are some extra solid joints on here making it a good buy. Some of my favorite tracks on the album are the Kanye West produced Dreams, the Havoc produced Don't Need Your Love, the Dre produced Documentary, and the final track Like Father, Like Son. This album is also very introspective, and although one would think this album would glorify the Southern California gang lifestyle, it actually doesn't. Game is actually giving hope to those that come from the "hood", especially on the track Start From Scratch where Game openly expresses his feelings on his life and how he wouldn't change anything if given the chance. Overall, this album brings a lot to the table...hope you enjoy.

Is Compton in the house?

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Chingy and Nelly Battle for the Lou

St. Louis rap heavyweights Chingy and Nelly have been entrenched in a little war of words lately. The "beef" started when Nelly took a subliminal shot at Chingy in his latest release Sweat/ Suit. Chingy taking offense to his St. Louis counterpart released a brutal street dis record aimed directly at Nelly and the Lunatics.

Nelly, in a recent interview, claimed that he was not taking a subliminal shot at Chingy and that Chingy has a problem with being a man because if he really had a problem with Nelly, he should have stepped to him when the two saw each other at an awards show in Vegas. Regardless, this won't be the most lyrical battle ever, but it will be an interesting one being that Chingy's latest album isn't moving the units that his first album did to date. Anyway, how about you guys keeping all this herrre and thurrr country grammar on record, alright derties!

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Eminem Face to Face With Dave Mays

Eminem and Source Magazine co-founder David Mays briefly bumped heads recently at a Detroit radio station. This long standing feud between Shady/ Aftermath and the Source has finally gotten the face to face meeting that Dave Mays and other co-founder Ray Benzino have been looking for. Mays and Benzino have long been calling Eminem out to meet with them face to face, with Slim Shady giving one of them what they wanted. Apparently, Mays was being interviewed at a local Detroit radio station when Eminem made his appearance with a reported 10 man entourage. The two men exchanged heated words, but reportedly, no physical harm was brought to either party.

Gentlemen, lets keep this thing peaceful. Em, if you wanted to holler at Mays, you should have showed up solo so that you guys could have ironed your differences out like men. Apparently, Mays was shocked to see Eminem in person for the first time. In a brief statement, he even joked about whether or not the person he saw was really Eminem. Even after all the confusion, Mays still wants to have a one on one sit down with Mr Mathers.

Hi My Name Is!

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Jay-Z signs Foxy

Long-time collaborators, former label mates, and BK representers Jay-Z and Foxy Brown have reunited. Jay-Z, the new president at Def Jam Recordings, has signed Foxy to a contract with undisclosed numbers at this point. I have never really been a Foxy Brown fan; however, I respect her talent and I am rooting for her to make a successful album, whenever it may drop. Foxy had long been talking a reunion with Jay, but it failed to come to fruition in the public's eye until recently when this signing was announced. I'm curious to see who else Jay-Z will sign in the coming weeks.


Nas Married

Queensbridge legend Nas has just gotten married to singer Kelis in Atlanta, GA. I find the marriage very intriguing because it seems as if only yesterday you started to hear about their relationship. Now they have officially tied the knot. Big up to Nas for taking that step, especially in such a high profile relationship. Lets hope that they have lots of children in order to keep that talent pool going strong for another generation.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Welcome Home Ras Kass

After serving almost two years in a California State correctional facility, legendary West Coast rhyme smith Ras Kass has been released. Welcome home bro', I hate to see brothers in the beast, especially brothers as talented as Ras. Supposedly Ras has over 100 songs that he is ready to unleash. If I know Ras like hip hop purist East/ West Coasters alike, then I know at least 80 of them are dope. With the Game dropping in a little over a week, Dre finishing up Detox, and Ras Kass being released from prison, it's shaping up to look like a good year for the West Coast!

In A Minute

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Outkast Going Back to Their Roots

Multiple award winning, envelop pushing, good music making, and culture shocking supergroup Outkast will be returning to their Southernplayalistic roots on their upcoming June release "10 The Hard Way." Many have been praying for this release, while others are just starting to get used to the Outkast of the 21st Century. Outkast have been one of my favorite groups every since their ascension in the hip hop ranks in the summer of 1994. Southernplayalistic was a classic, then they outdid themselves with ATLiens, and then they set the bar with the critically acclaimed Aquemini.

Then in 2000, Outkast lost some of their hard core fan base while gaining a whole lot of new fans with the release of Stankonia. After a greatest hits album in 2001, Outkast, amongst rumors of break-up, dropped the double disc Speakerboxxx/ Love Below. The diamond selling album cemented Outkast as crossover pop icons. Now with the upcoming release of "10 The Hard Way", Outkast claims to be going as hard as they did on Southerplayalistic. Talk about a complete 360 turnaround. I'm dying to hear the new album as a die hard Outkast fan. Check me out as I keep you updated on this release.

Stank you!

Monday, January 03, 2005

Hip Hop Isn't Music?

Who said hip hop isn't music? Well according to the Lone Ranger and his response to my post on December 30, 2004, here's what he had to say "Hip Hop "artists" are street thugs who wouldn't succeed in any other endeavor. The violence will stop only when their audience becomes smart enough to realize that this isn't music at all and tunes them out. So long as there are stupid consumers, there will be violent hip hop."

First of all Mr. Ranger, with comments like that, I can see why you are lone, all alone to be exact! According to the Mirriam Websters online dictionary music is defined as "vocal, instrumental, or mechanical sounds having rhythm, melody, or harmony" and also "the science or art of ordering tones or sounds in succession, in combination, and in temporal relationships to produce a composition having unity and continuity" Pick either definition and one can clearly see that hip hop does fit into the definition of what music is. From the Roots to Dr. Dre, numerous hip hop tracks are made with live instruments, not just drum loops and samples. Therefore, I find it hard to take Lone Ranger seriously in his distorted observation. From NBA games to your favorite commercials, hip hop is the music of choice for marketers when it comes to keeping people spending money. Consequently, it seems as if hip hop is a major driver for the American economy, not to mention that it's the highest selling (volume) and grossing (monetarily) music genre in the world.

And as to his comments that hip hop artists "are street thugs who wouldn't succeed in any other endeavor", obviously he hasn't done his homework on that subject either. With several rappers/ producers making money in several other fields that do not necesarily have anything to do with music speaks volumes in itself. Not to mention that several hip hop artists have college degrees. So for someone that has been a journalist for over 30 years, blah blah blah, Mr. Ranger should exercise some journalistic intergrity and research matters that he's so quick to speak on, especially when it comes to my blog. Before I go, violence in hip hop is unacceptable, and that was the main reason I was speaking on it so that hip hop "cops" like Lone Ranger can't take shots at our culture!