George Zimmerman vs. DMX Is an American Nightmare

February 7th, 2014

(Photos from left: WENN, Joe Burbank-Pool/Getty Images)

By Gee King

Some have argued that the American psyche has been diseased since the country was founded. But at least we used to pretend to have dignity. This week, our culture’s thirst for violence, ignorance and race-based controversy exposed another symptom of our insanity. The George Zimmerman vs. DMX celebrity boxing match is the latest wake-up call to America’s malignant madness. We are sicker than we realized.

The disease is caused by fear. Even though our society is mixed and our president is bi-racial, Americans are still afraid of each other. We joke about it in movies and gawk at each other’s idiosyncrasies on reality TV and viral videos, but it goes much deeper than laughs and stares. 50 years after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, our minds remain segregated. And our fear keeps us focused on negativity. That’s what guided George Zimmerman’s vigilante mission in February of 2012. When he saw Trayvon Martin, he saw the cultural cues for “thug.” When Trayvon saw him, he saw the cultural cues for “creepy cracker.” They both saw their cultural counterpoints and acted accordingly.

The same fear-based perceptions led to Jordan Davis’ murder. Just the sound of a loud bass line thumping from an SUV full of Black teens was enough to push Michael Dunn to the edge of paranoia. The idea of a White man telling them to turn their music down was enough to enrage the teens. Tensions rose, then Dunn heard the lyrics “kill that b—h.” His fear took over. He saw a phantom shotgun barrel through the window and fired his 9 mm handgun four times, killing Davis. Like Zimmerman, he is claiming self-defense. Like Zimmerman, he acted on fears that society had programmed him with.

The promoter of the Zimmerman fight, Damon Feldman, is blissfully ignorant to the damage his work is doing. When pressed by Hot 97’s morning show to explain why he would promote a child-killer as a celebrity, he played dumb. “I didn’t follow the whole [trail]. There’s a lot of stuff going on in the world,” he mumbled dismissively. If Feldman’s ignorance didn’t free him of moral obligation, he believes his financial interests do. “I’m a business man,” he said matter-of-factly, dropping the classic American trump card that, if played right, can excuse slavery, sexism and child abuse.

Feldman has made a living promoting fights between has-beens like Jose Canseco and the late Rodney King. When Zimmerman approached him hoping to get in the ring, he quickly received 15,000 emails from people eager to take him on. Feldman told Hot 97 he chose DMX simply because he was the most controversial option. “I’m giving the platform for DMX to get in there and get revenge,” Feldman explained. But can justice be served through absurd racial theatrics?

DMX as the angry Black man will only confirm the racial prejudices that drove Zimmerman’s attack on Trayvon. Zimmerman will play the evil White man, stoking anger and fear through his lawlessness and showing people of color how little their life is worth to this country. This will only open more wounds, create more fear and encourage the next George Zimmerman to act on his perceptions.

  • SEND TO A FRIEND
  • Digg It
  • Delicious


Should Jay-Z Say Goodbye to Barneys?

October 29th, 2013

(Photos from left: Brian Ach/Getty Images, Jay-Z Apparel via Barneys)

Jay Z has taken a lot of heat this year for what many people perceive to be his increasingly corporate presence or “Empire State of Mind” if you will. First it was his media-induced feud with Harry Belafonte who accused Hov and ‘B’ of not doing enough to give back to their community, to which Jay Z responded with the now infamous “My presence is charity” line. Then there was the Magna Carta Holy Grail/Samsung experiment which turned out to be a gargantuan data mining operation employed by the cell phone giant to gather consumer information.

Most recently Jay partnered up with upscale department store Barney’s for a holiday collection introduced by some of their top designers. But when the upscale clothing superstore was accused of racism by an African-American customer, who was harassed over a belt that he had purchased, by store employees who thought he stole it, the public has demanded Jay to sever ties with the store.

Jay Z has opted to keep his partnership, which is a smart move. First of all, because the story as a whole is still developing we don’t have all the facts. And making a judgement based on limited facts is an assumption and we all know what assuming can do. As a rapper and entrepreneur, Jay has fought to combat prejudice, so it is only right he hold off on passing judgement before he finds out all of the facts. How bad would it look if it turned out the story was fake? Secondly, as one of the most influential public figures of the last decade, Jay’s influence carries a lot of weight. So whereas some D-list pumping a startup project can call it quits with minimal backlash, everything Jay Z does is put under a microscope and met with an exponentially greater amount of public scrutiny.

The main reason he is right to stick to his guns on this one is the example he stands to set even if everything does turn out to be accurate. Being the bigger person is a role Jay has filled quite a bit over his career and this would be no different. As much as he means to American pop culture, Jay Z sets an example for young people whether he wants to or not, and to show that people or even companies can come together to resolve their differences, learn a valuable lesson and show some semblance of harmony. Peaceful, innovative and diplomatic solutions are increasingly rare, and this is an opportunity for Jay to show his power as a leader. The jury is still out on the situation, but hopefully Americans will learn to seek facts before making judgments.

Jay Z has taken a lot of heat this year for what many people perceive to be his increasingly corporate presence or “Empire State of Mind” if you will. First it was his media-induced feud with Harry Belafonte who accused Hov and ‘B’ of not doing enough to give back to their community, to which Jay Z responded with the now infamous “My presence is charity” line. Then there was the Magna Carta Holy Grail/Samsung experiment which turned out to be a gargantuan data mining operation employed by the cell phone giant to gather consumer information.

Most recently Jay partnered up with upscale department store Barney’s for a holiday collection introduced by some of their top designers. But when the upscale clothing superstore was accused of racism by an African-American customer, who was harassed over a belt that he had purchased, by store employees who thought he stole it, the public demanded Jay sever ties with the store.

Thus far, Jay Z has opted to keep his partnership, which  is a smart move. First of all, because the story as a whole is still developing we don’t have all the facts. And making a judgement based on limited facts is also known as prejudging and is plaguing America. As a rapper and entrepreneur, Jay has fought to combat prejudice, so it is only right he hold off on passing judgement before he finds out all of the facts. How bad would it look if it turned out the story was fake? Secondly, as one of the most influential public figures of the last decade, Jay’s influence carries a lot of weight. So whereas some D-list star pumping a startup project can call it quits with minimal backlash, everything Jay Z does is put under a microscope and met with an exponentially greater amount of public scrutiny.

The main reason he is right to stick to his guns on this one is the example he stands to set even if everything does turn out to be accurate. Being the bigger person is a role Jay has filled quite a bit over his career and this would be no different. As much as he means to American pop culture, Jay Z sets an example for young people whether he wants to or not, and to show that people or even companies can come together to resolve their differences, learn a valuable lesson and show some semblance of harmony. Peaceful, innovative and diplomatic solutions are increasingly rare, and this is an opportunity for Jay to show his power as a leader. The jury is still out on the situation, but hopefully Americans will learn to seek facts before making judgements.

  • SEND TO A FRIEND
  • Digg It
  • Delicious

Nipsey Hussle and the New 360 Deal

October 25th, 2013

(Photo: All Money In Records)

By Jacob Rohn

Last week L.A. rapper and entrepreneur, Nipsey Hussle garnered national press when he released his latest mixtape, Crenshaw for the modest price of $100. The headline was strategically deceiving. Who would pay $100 for what is normally a free mixtape? Wait, Jay Z bought 100 of them?

People were so intrigued they had to check out the story even if they were not a fan of Nipsey Hussle. With the limited edition mixtape (only 1,000 were made available) mixtape, you also received access to a private show that would be held exclusively for those that paid the $100 sticker price. Not such a bad deal anymore is it? Nipsey sold out of the mixtapes in just one day. (That’s $100,000 for those counting). Did he just give the independent musician the greatest idea since the internet? Possibly.

Currently companies like Live Nation and AEG are signing artists to “360 deals.” which gives the artist an upfront singing bonus. Jay Z’s most recent deal with them was for $150 million. The company, however, gets a chunk of everything from merchandise, to album sales and of course, live shows and the ensuing live show DVDs. The rapper Game once said of the all-encompassing agreement, “If I find a dollar on the sidewalk I gotta give (the label) half.” So it’s not always as lucrative for the artist as it looks.

But if, Hussle, a moderately popular artist (though his name rings out in his native California), can make $100K in a day, what would happen if someone like Jay-Z or Kanye West followed suit? The press coverage wouldn’t cost a dime. Your marketing and advertising budget would be zero! The artist could actually lower the price of the CD/concert ticket and STILL make more money. That’s a win/win.

We gotta give it to Nipsey–he has always been ahead of the game from a business perspective. In addition to rapping, the 28 year-old also owns a successful cell phone store and clothing store in his LA neighborhood. On this one, he deserves some serious props. He just did what comedian Louis CK did for comedy when he released his standup special for $5 on his own website. Gave artists an avenue to make money without the corporate middleman and in a way that also benefits the fans.

Other rappers and musicians in general should applaud Nipsey Hussle for deciding not to allow himself to become another corporate victim.

  • SEND TO A FRIEND
  • Digg It
  • Delicious

Rappers Embracing Their Role Model Status?

October 12th, 2013

(Photo: Imeh Akpanudosen/WireImage)

Why do we love Arsenio Hall? Both on his original late night show as well as his new one he’s always represented hip hop. Recently he had 2 Chainz and Big Sean on in the same week. Both had great performances but what was interesting was something that both artists revealed. Each professed to being exemplary students when they were in school. This might not sound like a big deal but if you add context it reflects a significant step taken by hip hop as a culture.

Remember when Ja Rule was the biggest star in hip hop? Nobody wants to admit it but for a short while he superceded Jay Z and DMX. Until it was discovered that he grew up going to private school, a fact that he went to great lengths to hide while he was attempting to pass himself as the second coming to Thuglife frontman, Tupac Shakur. Many rappers, like Ja, did like Chris Rock’s MC Gusto in the cult classic CB4 and created an identity for themselves rooted in the streets. It was a reflection of the generation. Ice-T summed it up best when he noted that pioneering MCs were really on the streets and used rap to get off the streets, while newer rappers got into rap THEN tried to get into real street life.

When 2 Chainz told Arsenio how proud he was about having good grades in high school, even telling the veteran host that “with good grades you can do anything,” this was a moment not to go unnoticed. For as long as hip hop has been around there have been scholarly rappers, but for a mainstream, club-friendly rappers it’s a different story. It’s a sign of the times.

For a long time hip hop has produced some amazing entrepreneurs, but a lot of them advocate an indiscriminate mix of positive and negative ventures to attain financial success. In more recently MCs seem to be promoting a more all-inclusive message of encouragement. People like 2 Chainz and Kanye West are really showing that you can use hip hop as a vehicle to access whatever you’re passionate about the same way rappers used to preach that you can use drug dealing as a vessel to success in hop hop. Note Jay-Z’s recent article with Vanity Fair.

Whatever the motivation, it doesn’t matter–it could be the constant blending of genres diversifying hip hop or the age of information in which we live, either it is crucial because hip hop plays a significant part in every aspect of popular culture and in shaping the minds of young people of every age, race and socioeconomic status. Hip hop has always spoken for the underdog the message keeps getting more positive. 2 Chainz and Big Sean are not perfect role models but they are authentic and in this culture that’s one thing that still goes a long way.

  • SEND TO A FRIEND
  • Digg It
  • Delicious

Is Azealia Banks right about culture theft?

October 3rd, 2013

(Photos from left: Joe Scarnici/Getty Images, Miley Cyrus via Twitter)

By Jacob Rohn

Miley Cyrus and twerking have become married in the media ever since the MTV VMAs. Many people have pointed out that Miley has appropriated black culture to advance her own career. Rapper Azealia Banks has spoken out against the idea of white artists taking from black culture saying, “I’m really trying to figure this out. Why is Black Culture such an exclusive club???…I”m asking myself this question a well. I’m guilty of this.” She also added, “So strange…Santigold can sing indie rom songs and no one accuses her of wanting to be white..but white women twerking is the new evil.”

Fair enough. But it seems that Azealia might be missing the point. It’s not that it’s an exclusive club or that anyone should be excluded from being able to make whatever kind of music they want. But it should still be acknowledged and in the case of black culture it holds extra importance due to the number of white artists throughout history that have adopted the culture and then been crowned kings of something they didn’t start. If you look at rock n’ roll which is widely considered to be a “white” genre of music based on the fan base and the demographics of rock n’ roll artists, you will see that it was actually cultivated by black artists from both rock and blues. Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Muddy Waters helped to define and refine what we know today as rock n’ roll, but Elvis Presley is “The King.”

Cultural origins should be placed on genres as a part of historical context, not to criticize. The founding members of any genre should be given credit for paving the way for future generations to enjoy success, but criticizing any artist for music they make is racially digressive. Azealia does need to recognize that a lot of great artists and trailblazers have gone unappreciated or under appreciated throughout the history of music. It’s not criticism it’s just giving credit where credit is due.

  • SEND TO A FRIEND
  • Digg It
  • Delicious

Should Jay Z Still Be Talking About Drug Dealing Past?

October 2nd, 2013

(Photo: Vanity Fair Magazine, November 2013)

By Jacob Rohn

In the November issue of Vanity Fair, Jay Z tells writer Lisa Robinson that the skills he sharpened as a drug dealer (managing budgets, knowing when to re-up), could be applied to help start up a legitimate business. It came off as another chapter in the storied lore of the drug dealer as the anti-hero. This is not the first time Hov has brought up the criminal activities of his past, but since he has transitioned to a business man he has become more of a role model, hanging with the likes of Oprah Winfrey, President Obama and more. So, should he still be talking about selling crack?

The simple argument is (assuming he’s telling the truth) Jay should not only address his past but also celebrate the fact that he “made it out” without doing time or getting killed. But of course, the argument is never that simple. Jay Z has transcended the average level of stardom so the Charles Barkley “I am not a role model” argument is null and void. Jay Z is a role model and even though he did say in the article that young hustlers need an exit strategy, his talk about being a reformed drug dealer comes off as glorification. It seems like he’s actually advocating this path as a stepping stone to other business ventures. Let’s keep it real: When you see the cold hard cash that comes from selling drugs and you see the exponentially larger sums of that cash that your superiors are bringing in, are you really going to want to use your newfound knowledge and street savvy to open up a barbershop or carwash as Jay suggested in the article? Doubtful.

Hands down, Jay Z should be celebrated as one of the great  new American success stories. The Rockefellers and Kennedy’s made initial fortunes illegally–to quote Chris Rock “Bootlegging, which was just a fancy way of saying drug dealing”–selling alchohol during Prohibition.  So, why then is Shawn Carter the one that’s being called into question? Whether or not Americans want to admit it there are racial undertones, but that’s a different discussion. The real issue is Jay Z remains the standard by which excellence both behind the mic and as the face of your “brand” is set. People have wanted to be like him both personally and professionally. So for Jay to glorify his drug dealing past in any way is detrimental because he really is THAT famous.

As wealthy as he is, Hova still speaks to and for the streets. He also speaks to and for the changing face of the nation and when the two collide it’s important to be cognizant of everything you say. Note to Jay: Responsibility increases when you are the new American dream.

  • SEND TO A FRIEND
  • Digg It
  • Delicious

Have We Tired of Kanye West’s Rants?

September 27th, 2013

(Photo: Ralph, PacificCoastNews.com)

By Jacob Rohn

It was an active Twitter day for Kanye West who took to the social network to lambast late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel for making fun of his BBC interview in which the “I Am A God” rapper called himself the “biggest rockstar out right now.” Yeezy’s tweets read as if a middle schooler had sent them, mostly calling Kimmel unfunny and saying he’s never had “good p***y.” Kanye’s immature and unhilarious response only seemed to make Kimmel’s point stronger.

Since Kanye made it into the spotlight he’s given us endless examples of his ego getting in the way of his actual talent. But have people finally had enough of the Chicago MC’s rants? It seems as though, the answer is yes. When folks hear about Yeezy going off on one thing or another their eyes just glaze over–the sentiment being: “He’s at it again.”

This instance though brought up one comparison that has long been overlooked: Kanye’s similarities to the late Tupac Shakur. Both have a charismatic passion that intensifies as the subject matter progressively gets deeper. So why were Pac’s statements taken seriously and often times lauded whereas Yeezy’s are not?

The answer differs for different people. For non-hip hop fans that like pop music, Kanye has never really recovered from the Taylor Swift incident. He’s still the same egomaniac that could comfortably walk on stage and mortify a young starlet (it should be noted that if anything the incident helped Swift’s career so don’t feel too bad for her). For hip hop fans though, it’s another story.

When Tupac would profess himself to be a victim, he actually was. His “me against the world” outlook was validated by his various experiences with the law and with the streets, from police brutality and his rape charge to his being shot five times in a New York studio, he was to many a victim. And both his lyrics and life experience conveyed to America that “this is what young black men are going through every day”.

Kanye on the other hand always seems like a child throwing a tantrum. When he’s trying to portray himself as a victim it comes from a notably narcissistic place. For example, his recent attack on a paparazzo, even as despised as they are in America, fighting one for pretty much nothing when you’re engaged to someone who owes her entire career to the paparazzi, does not win you any sympathy.

Ye has always had a chip on his shoulder ever since labels refused to sign him as a rapper. So it should be noted that he does deserve credit for fighting an uphill battle and winning. But when your biggest and most boisterous cheerleader during that battle is yourself the public loses interest. As Kimmel pointed out, you can’t be your own hypeman.

Though it is true that as a musician and producer, Kanye West IS one of the biggest stars on the planet. And even though it’s true that he should perhaps get more credit for bucking the corporate structure and for what he’s able to do creatively in art and fashion. Kanye drowns out his legitimate points with unabashed self promotion and self-aggrandizment.

One thing’s for sure, Kanye West does not need your validation. Yet for someone that doesn’t care what people think of him, this latest incident with Kimmel shows that he actually does care. Doesn’t Yeezy know, that some of the most talented folks never get their due until their gone?

In the meantime, we’ll just hope for him to put all this energy into creating rather than ranting.

  • SEND TO A FRIEND
  • Digg It
  • Delicious

Jaden Smith Bucks the American Education System

September 25th, 2013

(Photo: Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)

It’s not unusual for an adolescent to act out in rebellion against the powers that be, whether it’s parental authority, the government or unquestioned systems of our everyday life, in this case we’re talking about school. These days social media is the perfect place to vent, rant or instigate dialogue. But while the average Smith could easily voice a controversial opinion and have it be forgotten days later, when the Smith in question is the child of Will and Jada, and a young star-turned teen sensation Jaden Smith, the waves become a tsunami.

The Karate Kid star recently took to Twitter to call into question us Americans are indoctrinated by the “system”, saying:

“If newborn babies could speak they would be the most intelligent beings on planet earth.” Followed by a series of jabs aimed squarely at American institutions of learning. Smith writes:

“If everybody in the world dropped out of school we would have a much more intelligent society,” then, “Education is rebellion,” and more to the point, “School is the tool to brainwash the youth.”

As expected there has been a sizable backlash to Jaden’s comments, particularly by education professionals. Some of the responses have been the typical “what does this spoiled rich kid know about education?” While other were less combative, like education blogger Jamar Ramos’ open letter, which points out Jaden’s indisputable position as a role model as well as a discussion about the real world challenges faced by the average person that would potentially drop out of school. Jaden has yet to respond but received a huge show of support from a fellow thespian, who also happens to be one of the biggest stars of our generation, Drake.

The Young Money MC/crooner took the stage at the iHeartRadio music festival in Las Vegas sporting a t-shirt with Jaden’s awestruck facial expression during Drake’s own performance at this year’s MTV VMAs. It looked to be an act of solidarity shown by Drizzy, but either way it will probably add to the child star’s newly polarizing teen image.

What could be harmful about Jaden’s tweets? For one, whether or not he accepts his responsibility as a public figure, he is one. Children and even teens do look up to and draw inspiration from the young star. So when he lambasts education, there are kids that will look at his statements as a call to action.  Even more, the sentiments undermine Jaden’s talent.

Here’s how. To insinuate that other teens should drop out of school and they will be smarter, more successful or even “okay” because you’re all those things without school is grossly misleading. When encouraging the masses to do something it is imperative that you acknowledge that your situation is unique. The privilege of wealth, status, two parents, unlimited access to resources cannot be overlooked. Most young people look at their role models and think “if I work as hard as them I can make it too,” not realizing that there is a God given talent, luck and immense that drives the star machine.

Though you may argue, “Shouldn’t parents be their kids’ role models?” Of course. But this is also the era defined by “Honey Boo Boo” and pop culture is the center of our shared universe. And as the child of one of the biggest stars today, folks are listening to what someone like Jaden Smith has to say. So dismiss him as you will, as the spoiled rich kid, handed everything on a platinum platter. But the “consider the source argument” just doesn’t fly.

To judge him on his upbringing is as hypocritical as you accusing him of questioning yours. Though life experience is always a plus, people can still have knowledge of something they don’t do themselves. Look at ESPN’s charmingly nerdy football expert, John Clayton, who clearly does not know what it’s like to go toe-to-toe with 300lbs of pure muscle yet is still one of the network’s most trusted analysts. Jaden may not be right but should not be discredited based on his upbringing.

What good comes from such tweets? Discussion creates one of the most crucial components of education, perspective. Jaden has instigated a conversation. Even if his statements are drastic, they shed light on a subject that otherwise might not have been broached.

Much like Frank Zappa who once encouraged, “Drop out of school before your mind rots from our mediocre educational system,” Jaden Smith is bringing something to light that many people may not have known about: Old textbooks, unmotivated teachers, shorter school days/years and how all of the above effects present and future generations in a global economy.

As of right now it’s unclear exactly what motivated Jaden Smith to send those tweets. Were his intentions to encourage young people to literally quit school? Doubtful. Jaden comes from a good family and has never given anyone reason to believe that he’s anything but a nice kid. Whether it’s just teenage angst or a long-repressed sentiment that he just had to get out into the Twittersphere, Jaden Smith sparked a debate. And whether people think he’s a spoiled kid who doesn’t know what he’s talking about, or they’re a fan of his, they should consider what he said and educate themselves on why it is or is not valid.

  • SEND TO A FRIEND
  • Digg It
  • Delicious

How Mister Cee’s Confession Shows Hip Hop’s Maturity

September 19th, 2013

Former Hot 97 deejay Mister Cee has had one hell of a month. After being caught receiving oral sex from a transvestite male prostitute, Mister Cee succumbed to public and media scrutiny and announced that he was relinquishing his post at the famed New York radio station. Cee, real name Calvin LeBrun, also admitted that he had been lying about the incident, and said that while he never had sexual intercourse with a man, he did sometimes procure the services of transvestite prostitutes for oral copulation.

What has been most surprising about the whole situation is the outpouring of support for Mister Cee after he made one of the hardest confessions to make to an audience that has not always been known to be very sympathetic or tolerant. Perhaps the most outspoken ally has been Cee’s old friend Big Daddy Kane who told Vibe.com, “I’ve always supported him and that’s not going to change because of today. What he said on-air was real. I support the brother and I’m going to always be his friend.”

Additionally, Cee’s Hot 97 cohorts have shown nothing but love — from Peter Rosenberg to Funkmaster Flex, and even program director Ebro Darden, who asked the DJ to come back to his post.

2013 has been a big year with regards to the maturation of hip hop. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis have been tearing up the charts with their pro Gay-marriage hit “Same Love” and Jay Z and A$AP Rocky have both expressed their support for the LGBT community. Frank Ocean was embraced fully when he opened up about his bisexuality. Both Nicki Minaj and Azealia Banks have proudly brought the topic of their own bisexuality to the forefront without allowing themselves to be objectified by it, and there is even a confirmed openly gay rapper (F. Virtue), who recently came out via the single “Anita.” For a culture that has frowned upon homosexuality for most of its existence, hip hop has not only come a long way, but it has done so fast. Even 5 or 10 years ago, the idea of anything pro-gay would have been met with ridicule and scathing one-liners (with the exception of Eminem’s infamous collaboration with Elton John, which worked because who really wants it with Em?). Why the sudden change? Hip hop is mostly a league of followers. Just listen to the radio. First everyone was on autotune, then nobody touched it. Then ratchet, then a slowed up autotune took over (á la Future). Like Kanye said. “There’s leaders and there’s followers.” When the big sellers like Hov, Rocky and Macklemore step up, others feel safer stepping out on that ledge, or if not, they are much less outspoken in their opposition.

Another factor in the equation is hip hop’s continuing explosion into mainstream. The last few years (mostly inspired by the sounds of Mr. West and will.i.am) have seen an unprecedented amount of sonic osmosis. Genre lines have been blurred so much leading to collaborations that know no boundaries, geographic or otherwise. As a result genres that have more gay artists are becoming a part of hip hop and vice versa, and just like with anything, learning about other cultures allows people to have a heightened sense of sensitivity and understanding. Hip hop and its fans should be proud of this new revolution. It’s not perfect, but it’s come a long way in a short period of time. It’s also worth noting that qualitatively the genre is in the best shape it’s been in in years, so those worried about the disappearance of good music don’t have a very solid argument.

Mister Cee may have felt disgraced when he came clean, but in the long run he has helped bookmark a period in time when hip hop changed for the better.

  • SEND TO A FRIEND
  • Digg It
  • Delicious

What Does Kendrick Lamar’s “Control” Verse Mean for Hip Hop?

August 13th, 2013

(Photo: Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for Bud Light)

By Jake Rohn

Today (August 13) Kendrick Lamar has declared war on hip hop’s best and brightest new artists on the new Big Sean song “Control.” In addition to proclaiming himself to be “The king of New York,” and “Makavelli’s offspring,” the Compton MC took aim at everyone (including friends like Drake, A$AP Rocky and J. Cole) letting it be known that he’s gunning for that No. 1 spot and won’t let anything or anyone stand in his way. Read the rest of this entry »

  • SEND TO A FRIEND
  • Digg It
  • Delicious