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Sometimes when situations occur at the last minute sans your knowledge of the actual event, it’s deemed as a bad thing. But when the big homey, RC, snatched me up for a Busta Rhymes album listening session on the 10th floor of our building, two things came to mind; one, “My chocolate milk is going to get warm” and two, “I wonder how hard it’ll be to snatch the album without him noticing?”
On our way to the conference room, the aroma of Soul Fixin’s locked itself in the deepest portion of my nostrils (and my nose is insanely big lol). At that moment, Busta already won my vote for album of the year. Various executives and managers from the BET Network filed in while I began to devour my plate; Busta soon followed. As soon as Busta entered the room, he greeted each individual as if they played an intricate role in putting the album together. He sat at the head of the table (directly next to me) with an eager but yet nervous demeanor…..I mean, at least until he blurted out “I have the best f*cking album in the world”.
Considering the monsoon of legal trouble he was entangled in during the making of this Lp, Busta said with a confident tone “This album is as close to the truth you can possibly get being that I still have things pending”. The first track, “Decision” which features Mary J. Blige, Jamie Foxx, Common and John Legend, was produced by Deanun Porter and is a heavy reflection of the rough time Busta was enduring back when his friend/bodyguard, Izzy Ramirez was gunned down on the set of the “Touch It” remix video shoot. Busta explained the songs inspiration was conceived during a phone call from Mary J. Blige declaring her decision to support him during his rough patch. Jamie, Mary and John each took turns crooning the words “I’ve made a decision, despite all the things we go through/ im going to take my time with you.”
Quickly altering the somber ambiance, Busta’s next tune knocked so obnoxiously, the flat screen on the wall blacked out momentarily from the thumping kick drum. “Blown” which features five-time 2008 BET Award nominee, T-Pain, screams 645 BMW top down music all throughout the track. Busta said of Teddy’s contributions, “I’ve always appreciated a hard working artist and them making it unanimously known that they’re the hardest working mofo in the business. I used T-Pain in a way that no one is going to use T-pain”. Cool & Dre produced the infectious mid tempo banger, and when I tell you the song will hurt your chest, please believe me. If not, play it in front of your T.V….I bet you’ll believe me then.
“Don’t Believe Them” which draws inspiration from the night of T.I.’s weapons arrest at the BET Hip Hop Awards in Atlanta, features the King Of The South himself and Akon. An ode to how the public twisted and manipulated all three parties legal tales, Busta, and TI respectively deliver heart felt verses directed at those who chose to bash and believe the false information. “Dont believe when they try to say its over/ tell em your number one, your a champion”, Akon wailed on the Cool and Dre production.
Nowadays concept tracks are as far fetched as buying physical albums, but on the track “If You Don’t Know, Now You Know” Busta and Big Tigger (I’m just as surprised as you are) clearly reinvent the definition of concept material. In the form of an interview, Busta and Tigger sit down for an extensive conversation about everything and anything that’s occurred in both of their life’s. But instead of the song being just an in-depth interview, the track turns into a see-saw conversation with both artists rhyming during the actual dialogue. Big Tigger would ask his question (in the rhyming scheme) and Busta would respond accordingly. To take things a notch higher, a young lady even calls into the show and spits “Hey Tig, im enjoying the show/but there’s something about Bus I’ve been dying to know”. With Tigger in rare interview and rhyming form, the former personality fires every and any rumor concerning the rapper. Busta even fires back at Tig when things get a little too personal (remember that rumor regarding Tigger in Karrine Stephans book lol?). Oh, did I mention the track was produced by Dre. Dre and Focus?
“An oldie but goodie”, Busta said of “Let Me Show You”. The DJ Scratch (he produced “New York S*it”) produced tune, which was also co-produced by Busta Rhymes, provides the 35 and up demographic something to groove to. Not only did Busta smile immensely throughout the song, he even jumped up for a round of two stepping with one of the fellow lady listeners. After witnessing that act, it became clear to me; Busta was back to his old self.
“I’ma Go & Get Mine”, a track dedicated to the counterfeit night club bullies, shines a beaming light on all the tough heathens who received a severe butt beating for picking on the wrong club patron. Known for applying a sense of humor in his music, “Ima Go & Get Mine” exemplifies just that. Sampling Mike Epps vocals from the movie All About The Benjamin’s, DJ Scratch cuts Mike’s vocals so precise, you would have thought Epps was in the studio laying the vocals himself. “I’m a go and get my 45 on 47 be back in 15 so leave in 30/ cause ima be back with 37 niggaz wit them 38’s. CLASSIC!
“If” which features Nicole Sherzinger from The Pussycat Dolls pits Busta next to the seductive song bird explaining some of the things that might occur if she only knew. The Rick Rock produced track gives an Arabian feel with the off set kicks and claps. Nicole’s ear candy,(“Now every time I see ya face and hear ya voice”), and Busta’s profound tone (“If You only knew, If you only knew”), keeps the tracks mixture of assertive commentary and flirtatious inquires at an equal level.
“Throw It Up” is an all out slug fest between Ludacris, Lil Wayne and of course Busta himself. The Cool & Dre production gives each lyrical connoisseur enough breathing room to cause a certain amount of damager during their respective slots. Luda raps “I throw it up like them gangs in California”. It’s evident these three were summoned by the streets with Busta rapping “When the game was getting weak and everyone started whining/and when the streets needed us, we came with perfect timing”.
Too long? Who cares! An album of this stature deserved every single noun, adjective and verb. Busta is FINALLY back on his BS. THANK GOD! Seems like Busta’s pre prediction was right on point because he definitely has “THE BEST F*CKING ALBUM IN THE WORLD”
Low “This ish is so good, I’m not going to bootleg it. I swear, lol” Key
LowKey and Busta after listening to the “BEST FUGGIN ALBUM IN THE WORLD”
Last night, DSA Media Group, Don Pooh Music Group, and LTB Entertainment honored R&B Queen, Mary J. Blige at Spotlight Live in NYC. The extravaganza, which was held in correlation with the Heart Of The City Tour that wrapped up it’s final show at Madison Square Garden last night, brought out the industry’s most elite. DJ Goldfinger took care of the nights musical needs spinning the latest and greatest in hip hop & R&B.
Unfortunately I (LowKey) was still recovering from my previous rendezvous with the Heart Of The City show Tuesday night, so I didn’t get a chance to attend. Lyor Cohen, who was in attendance last night, said about the event ” Mary J is coming off a successful tour and we had to come out to celebrate. She has a rare, genuine quality and we have to celebrate it. Congrats to Mary J. Blige and congrats to my friends @ DSA Media Group for putting this together.”
The good folks over at PDG Public Relations (What’s up Carine????) slid a couple of visual goodies my way, so stop being lazy, scroll down and take a peek to see who hit up Spotlight Live.
Low “Last night sure as hell looked fun” Key
Warner Music Group CEO, Lyor Cohen
Stephen Hill, Mary J. Blige, Kendu Issac (MJB’s husband/manager)
Power 105’s, ED Lover and DSA Media President, Dante Simpson
The Retro Kids (Sighhhhh)
Trina and Lyor Cohen
L to R: NY Giants Brandon London, Geoffrey Pope, Derrick Ward
Kevin Lile, Mary J. Blige and Kendu Issac
If there’s one thing I learned last night, it’s that MJB & Jay-Z are truly masters of their art. Thinking otherwise would be highly uncivilized. Hosting their second to last show at Madison Square Garden, these two titans brought every ounce of love they had left directly to the heart of NYC.
The-Dream, who opened the set for Hov and Mary, did particularly well considering that his set was only 20 minutes…at most. Performing cuts from his debut album, The-Dream’s stage presence (as well as his bendable and flexible dancers…lol) impressed me. But considering he’s opened for them for the past 2 months, it would be absurd for him not to maneuver through his set like a pro. And though he only did three songs, “Falsetto,” “I Luv Your Girl” (minus Young Jeezy) and “Shawty Is A Ten” (minus Fabolous), the nightmare I imagined when he hit the stage was all but a bad Dream….good job Mr.Nash.
After a 15-minute intermission, MJB took to the stage in fullllll force. Now, I’ve never seen the Queen of Hip Hop Soul perform anywhere, but I can damn sure tell you, I’m glad my first experience was at Madison Square Garden. Appearing from behind a humongous curtain, both Mary and Shawn opened the set together performing their impeccable classic tune “Can’t Knock The Hustle.” But after that concluded, Mary displayed the type of showmanship only our parents remember when Tina Turner and James Brown came to town.
Forgetting the Queen had SOOOOOOOO many classics, Mary breezed through her catalog EFFORTLESSLY. And by the looks of things, her fans did too (especially the several young ladies who sat DIRECTLY behind us). Who would have thought Method Man still knew how to perform? (He tore down “All I Need”). It would be blasphemous for me to try and recap each emotion from each song so I won’t attempt it. However, when an ENTIRE stadium can recite an R&B tune off RIP, that’s when you know you possess timeless material.
It came to the point during her set that the MEN were even more excited than the women (I’m not going to name any names, you know who you are lol). At the conclusion of her performance, my man Jackpot pulled me to the side and said “She BODIED Jay, and he didn’t even perform yet.” And though Hova is my favorite, I must say that sentiment is a true one.
Opening the set with the American Gangster cut “Say Hello,” Jay slid onstage donning the bad guy persona that he was once known for back in the 80’s. Even though “Say Hello” is my track of choice from AG, I don’t think it was a strong enough tune to open up a Madison Square Garden performance. Nevertheless, Young Turbo put in work. Though I seen the Big Homey several times in the same setting, for some reason, it never gets old to me. His playful crowd commentary kept the crowd chuckling as always. “Side to side. That means you too big man, don’t f*ck this up,” he joked while performing “Excuse Me Miss.”
While Shawn isn’t known for inflicting his political views on his fans, it was during a brief 2 minute freestyle that we finally knew how Jay really felt about our Commander In Chief. “And the commander in chief just flew by, didn’t stop knowing he had a couple seats just rude/ Jet blue he is not, Jet Blue by the spot/ What if he ran out of fuel and just dropped?” Jay rapped. He continued “Push! Money over broads you got it, F*ck Bush.” 5 seconds later asking if the audience was ready for change, Obama appeared on the widescreen followed by a warm greeting from the audience.
Retreating to the DJ booth, Jay decided to play a game of “F#ck That.” Playing the first 10 seconds of a bunch of classic tunes such as “Money Aint A Thang,” “Best Of Me,” “Aint No Ni**a,” Jay clipped each song with a “F*ck That” sentiment. He even clipped the collabo of his wife’s smash hit “Crazy In Love.” “No disrespect B, but “F That one too,” he suggested. I guess B didn’t like that too much seeing how she appeared from beyond backstage and ordered him to play it again so she could strut across stage for a couple seconds (GOOD LORD THAT MAN IS LUCKY).
Overall, the show was great. And even though our original seating was on the SIDE of the stage (hey they were free so I’m not complaining), my man E somehow tricked some honey dip into holding 3 seats down in a more exceptional area so we could really enjoy the show.
Did the Heart Of The City Tour touch down in your city??? If so, speak on it. Do you think it was worth it? Could it have been better or was the duo’s performance flawless???
Okay, I’m tired and I have a LONG day tomorrow. I think we’re covering the afterparty at for the last show at Spotlight Live. Of course, I’ll have pictures and commentary as I always do. GOOD NIGHT!
Low “There is a lot of love in the Heart Of The City” Key
Are you ready for the Stay Down Experience???? Thursday (April 17th) BET will be airing Mary J. Blige’s new video “Stay Down” throughout the entire day beginning at 11am and ending at 7:30pm. “Stay Down” is the second single from Mary’s 8th studio LP , Growing Pains. The project is now certified platinum in the U.S.
Coming hat in hand, I would like to CONFESS my undying LOVE to Mrs. Blige (apologies Martin Kendu Isaacs, but she needs to hear this). For the past 8 years, I have been in love with your voice, your style, your persona and everything else I forgot to mention. I, LowKey, will ALWAYS be down for you lol!
Since I poured my heart out to Mary, let’s hear some similar sentiments from all the faithful and devoted Mary fans out there. What’s your favorite thing, song, album, or look from the Queen of R&B???? Go head……SOUND OFFFFFFF!!!
Also, make sure you leave your thoughts over here as well……..
Low “My wife’s going to hate me since I’ll always be in love with you Mary lol” Key
Still haven’t seen Jay and Mary in action??? No worries, Almack’s Dance Hall is giving away two free tickets to the May 6 show at Madison Square Garden in NYC. Click this link, fill out the proper information and you just might be on your way to witnessing one of the best concerts of your life.
Make sure you check out our SICK flipbook with pictures from Jay & Mary’s Heart Of The City Tour. And if you have seen the show, hit up our comments section and let us know your thoughts on the concert.
Low “(Singing) Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The Ciitttttttyy” Key
This weekend, Miami played host to the start of Jay & Mary’s Heart Of The City Tour. By the looks of things, both the King and Queen had a grand ol time. Running through both of their catalog’s effortlessly, Jay and Mary easily won over their faithful followers from the start. The Dream, who opened up for the royal family, Timbaland, Young Jeezy, Fabolous, Kanye West and a bunch of their other super friends stopped by to show some love. Scroll down to get a view of Saturday night’s festivities. On Wednesday, March 26, Baltimore’s 1st Mariner Arena will serve as the tour’s next stop. Are you guys ready for the Heart Of The City Tour to hit your town??????
Something about this picture tickles my spine and gives me the urge to follow her tour bus on foot…..
When Big Brother is around, you know Lil Brother isn’t toooo far behind. Can’t wait for Ye’s Glow In The Dark Tour
Hip Hop & R&B’s Royal Family: King Jay & Queen Mary
So much commentary, so little time…… The Dream and his “Shawty’s” during his opening performance!
The Def Jam Dudes (at least the one’s Jay took care of lol)- Kanye West (that jacket just makes my eyes water lol) , Young Jeezy, Jay-Z & Fabolous
The Barack Obama of Rap and the real Barack Obama have a moment during the show….
WATCH, One day you’re going to see LowKey walk into a room with purple smoke coming from every angle, holding a mic with my right hand, while describing Lil Wayne’s height with my left hand and wearing an insane pair of Nike’s…