September 2006 Archives

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Last year, the kid known to many as Tru Life started a "movement," but has since abandoned the responsibility of carrying out the plan to bring the gritty East Coast sound back to the map. Many have taken notice to the fact that Tru has been quiet, and maybe it's because he's working on his album; since the massive internet blast of his deal with Jive Records, Papoose has fallen back on the consistent mixtape hustle. I'm seeing a trend here. Let's not forget the streets now, my dudes. We're the ones who first embraced you both.

It's cool to want to be remembered as a leading rap patriot. But remember, now, that taking on such a big task to carry upon your shoulders requires keeping the mixtape flow on heavy rotation, not just throwing out a full-length commercial LP. It's been nearly four months since the Jim Jones/Dipset vs. Tru Life saga, and his single, "This is the Life," was good money but is now a joint of the past. Some people might say that mixtapes are irrelevant but on the real, they play an essential role in rounding up your fanbase and broadening your following. So far, since the summertime showdown, there has been no follow-up single, no new mixtape (something a lot of people are asking for), no nothin.'

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After a quiet year and some change, Memphis Bleek has recovered from his last rock-bottom and is back with the legendary DJ Kool Kid with the mixtape Feed the Streets.

Needless to say, Bleek's last effort, 534, bricked harder than the cracks in the streets of Newark. Many have said that his barely-there discography proves that he will never surpass the modest success of his debut album Coming of Age. Others say he won't ever amount to anything because he lacks all the noteworthiness that is necessary in shaping a well-groomed MC; they say the kid is just sloppy. But if you really sit down and give him a listen, he's not any worse than most of these rappers in the game, so I don't see exactly where the ridicule fits (in comparison with other rappers). Though his last album was trash, I believe that with better direction and songwriting that the upcoming full-length can be Def Jam's treasure -- something they're in desperate need of right about now.

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Over the years, many people have claimed their stance on who they believe holds the throne for New York City. But if you really think about it, no one really fits the criteria of what a true king of New York should be -- that is, if it can ever be defined. The criteria below, non-deliberately created by an argument between me and a few others, is found to be present in the few top-dog rappers of New York City that actually exist. Somehow, they all have something in common -- they're all missing at least one (and in one case, TWO) of these qualities:

1. Lyrical Dexterity
2. Longevity
3. Classic album
4. Steady flow of success

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It's been years since Lord Tariq and Peter Gunz have made moves relevant enough to captivate a national audience.

Gunz has been quiet, but Southeast Bronx's Tariq is still on the grind with his heart and focus set on the streets -- about the only audience who really appreciates him at this moment in time. Most not keen to the underground scene think he hasn't been making moves but his aim is relentless; he's been hitting up numerous mixtapes, has popped up on a couple of SMACK DVDs with his Soundview Team Saga crew, and is still promoting the 2005 release of his indie effort The Barcode.

Whoever thought that a DJ straight out of the streets of Cincinnati, Ohio would make a comeback with a New York City joint?
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Many know him from his collabo with Talib Kweli on Train of Thought [Reflection Eternal]. He played a major role in the making of Blackstar, and now he appears to be the backbone of New York City unity, bringing together the likes of Jadakiss, Papoose, and Kweli all onto one track, entitled "Where it Started at (NY)." This jumpoff is the lead single for his LP Hi-Teknology Vol 2, and I must say that the verses spit by all three represent the song title to the tenth. The video, which is primarily documentary-style footage of the streets of New York City, enhances the feel of the laid-back rhythm.

N.O.R.E: The War With Rap

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Queens, C-N-N, stand up.
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Reggaeton, have a seat.

The Queens MC formerly known as Noreaga has come a long way from 1997's The War Report, which almost hit gold stat despite dismal radio burn, to N.O.R.E Y La Familia...Ya Tu Sabe, which debuted on the charts this week at #82. It sold a painful 11,000 copies. Some people with feelings of near-nostalgia for the old N.O.R.E they're familiar with say this is a good thing; this will serve as a wakeup call to never attempt another reggaeton album ever again in his life. Nore did mention, however, that the next effort would be straight hip-hop, raw and uncut.

The problem with Y La Familia was simply this: Someone reasoned that his hottest reggaeton single, 2004's "Oye Mi Canto," came right before the fallout of the whole Damon Dash and Hov ordeal, which pretty much put a stop to any album releases on Roc-a-Fella, Nore's label at the time. Nore then ran over to the newly formed Damon Dash Music Group, and when that label folded from under Universal's wing, he later found his way to the newly established Roc-La-Familia. Meanwhile, the national buzz he had going for the reggaeton hit pretty much fizzled out, and two years later, he hasn't been able to come with a reggaeton banger with the equal amount of power and mobility necessary to capture nation-wide radio spins. Anytime you have nothing stable to work with, the labels don't want to lose out, so you just kinda get "thrown out there." Not a good look.

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I guess I should give the Dipset Harlemite Jim Jones his props for going from hypeman to on-the-come-up to Diplomat CEO and Warner Bros. A&R. He created a buzz with his wish to "smack the holy living shit out" of Nas (then I heard he turned around and showed his face at Nas' party) and is now set to release his third solo album, Hustler's P.O.M.E, the same day as Talib Kweli's Eardrum. However, like many albums in rap, these dates are subject to change, as Jones' LP was previously entitled Bright Lights & Big City and was slated for release in October... Much like Kweli's previous October release date, who is also the CEO of his Blacksmith label.

These are the only similarities amongst the two MCs, besides the fact that they're both in a timezone where New York City rap does absolutely nothing, regardless of quality, lyrics, club bangers, whatever. They share the same release date, but their style and swagger is in total opposition of one another.

Still Waiting for that KRS Comeback

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Most people don't care. I do. No room for stans with this one.
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Knowledge Reigns Supreme. Street poet. Lyricist. Metaphorical blastmaster. Philosopher. Teacher.

Back in the days, it was said that the DJ was the lifeline of the MC. The South Bronx classic Criminal Minded, although said by KRS himself to be birthed by the hands of QB's MC Shan, was a superb debut LP (that helped to introduce the "gangsta" appeal to rap music) packed with the brilliant contributions of Scott La Rock. The fire starter, "South Bronx," still has that banger feel to it, and cuts like "P Is Free" and "Elementary," still bang...still. This album, released in 1987, still tops most albums in my heavy collection, possessing a kind of superiorty both lyrically and quality-wise.

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Pharoahe Monch with Cash

Pharoahe Monch tore it down during Samsung T-Mobile’s Trace Launch at the Y Apartment in New York City last night (September 19).

For the record, Todd Smith was wack. And that horrifying lead single, no matter what old-school jumpoff they reworked, made that tired broad's singing skills look even worse than what I had first perceived.

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Sometimes, when your time is done, your time is done. And there's nothing you can do about it. He's been on it since '84, which makes him a legend, so all reverence is due in that aspect of it. But when your prime has passed, your prime has passed, and when all fails, there's no one else to blame but yourself.

"If you ain't bangin' don't promote it/ And if you gonna spit it out make sure you wrote it." â€" Tru Life


(According to source, said to have taken place some time last month right after the performance of "Shottas").

"Reap what you sow" has been a saying since the Bible days, and it can be said that no other aphorism has gracefully fit into the modern days of street violence quite how this one has. But in this case, this motto is based on more verbal communication than that of an actual doing.

Fabricating one's rhymes to fit, mold or shape themselves into a macho type of imagery not only manipulates listeners, but it gives real thugs with real issues who care about nobodyâ€"and have nothing to live forâ€"the wrong message.

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Styles P. and Jadakiss are two of the best lyricists in the game. Period.

Remember the days of the Lox's 1998 platinum-selling debut album Money, Power, Respect? Then came the shiny suits depature of Bad Boy which was followed up by the successfull 1999 Ruff Ryders Ryde or Die Vol. 1. Kiss' 2001 solo debut, Kiss Tha Game Goodbye , went gold, and his follow up, the 2004 critically-acclaimed Kiss of Death went platium. No sounds of the 4th quarter Kiss My Ass he spoke about last spring. Typical.

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Jadakiss is a dope MC who spits that fiyah consistently. He has enough clout to stand on his own two feet, but when conjoined with Styles and Sheek, there's no magic, other than the constant mixtape hustle which is, without a doubt, heavily embraced by the streets. But after a few weeks, mixtapes, unless a classic, only become an addition to the collection sitting atop the stereo system. With that said, D-Block can be respected by the streets all they want, but the truth is that mainstream is the key to success.

The Rise and Fall of Roc-A-Fella

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“Rockefeller died of AIDS that was the end of his chapter/And that’s the guy ya’ll chose to name your company after?” â€" Nas “Ether”
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The earlier days of Roc-A-Fella seemed so promising, but now it seems that the present doesn’t hold key to the past. Amil appeared to add some much needed femininity to the Roc, now I hear she’s working at K-Mart, Walmart, or something with a “mart” at the end. Memphis Bleek had more of a chance to shine in the earlier stages of his career. However, he seemed to be falling deeper in the mud with every next effort following his 1999 debut Coming of Age, and his most recent release, 534, flopped ridiculously upon hitting the shelves in 2005. Cam’ron doesn’t even acknowledge the Roc, even though he endured perhaps the most commercial success from the platinum selling Roc-A-Fella debut Come Home With Me. Nowadays, he can’t even move 300K.

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The only one who actually made a step-up since his departure of Roc-A-Fella records is Juelz Santana. But with three music videos (“Clockwork” got no burn), only bringing him to gold status, the amount of money spent didn’t even get back to Def Jam’s offices let alone Juelz himself.

Okay Bronxrap.com... I see you. And we're both on the same page.
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"Y'all stop cryin' mayne, on the east. Y'all been eating for years… We all got grillz in our mouth, now they want grillz in they mouth on the east. I ain't trippin', do your thing. But, don't be crying that hip-hop's dead. If hip-hop's dead, it's y'all fault that hip-hop's dead. So, get your backpack, jump on the train and get your paying gig up and get in the know." â€" Pimp C on 97.9 The Box
If this isn't the most stupid, silliest shit I ever heard next to the simplistic elementary rhymes spit by these corny Southern rap artists, then someone show me a quote more retarded than this one.

Rest in peace to all that fell vitctim to that horrifying disaster on September 11th, 2001.
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“Why did Bush knock down the towers?” is the question Jadakiss asked in his 2004 hit “Why.” Well, I, alongside many other Americans, can answer that: Bush is a 9/11 conspirator.

But this post isn’t going to focus on Bush’s dictatorship.

Nas and Jay-Z: Unappreciated

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They first brought you Illmatic and Reasonable Doubt, and then moved on to become the two biggest nemeses of recent rap history. That battle, without a doubt, was ill -- perhaps too ill to ever be surpassed.

It's crazy how two of the game's nastiest MCs can put their differences aside and join forces for hip-hop (which needs all the help it can get), while the rest of the world shakes their heads in shame. I thought that the whole Nas and Hov unity thing would be appreciated, embraced, and accepted throughout every vessel and outlet of hip-hop and all of its entourage, but I was wrong.

Or can Terror Squad hold it down without Remy Ma?
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"I swear mothafuckas gonna hear the Squad/Ya'll betta fear Prospect and Joe the god/Armageddon, Tony Sunshine and Remy Ma"

These few bars, taken from "She's Gone" on There's Something About Remy, were the words that ensured her loyalty and pledge to the South Bronx rap crew. These words appear to be a thing of the past now.

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Shaolin is the borough that many New York City natives have never been. Why? It seems so disconnected from the rest of NYC. Maybe it's because there are no trains available for connection to the island. And who wants to take a ferry back and forth? It's wack.

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So we enter The Wu, the original nine, which consists of Shaolin's Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface, Inspectah Deck, Brooklyn's RZA, GZA, and Ol Dirty Bastard, and the quieter Brooklyn-born U-God, who all pulled together to form Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers in 1993. This album was named a classic and preserves its title as one of the most influential rap albums of its time. Where the Staten Island rap scene went after the buzz for this group perished, I don't know. Where the group members' individual clout and hip-hop swagger went as of late, well-- don't know that either.

Yeah. He said it.

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Allow me to reflect here for a second.

That "757" that "crashed" into the Pentagon on 9/11 didn't do the damage to the building that it should have, which doesn't sound right. Second of all, many heated anti-Bush Americans (emphasis) are saying that Bush and his family received insurance for the collapsing of the Twin Towers, in addition to him BLOCKING ALL EFFORTS FOR A FULL PUBLIC 9/11 INVESTIGATION, and for these reasons they say he was involved, and that he perhaps set up that and the Pentagon madness as a means to turn America's outrage for his jerking the 2000 elections -- which explains the suspicious set-up of the Pentagon ordeal. There's no way to prove this, and won't be, but I wouldn't put it past him. Third, I saw this chick on TV that was de-detonated by a bomb squad, crying and screaming about how some assassins kidnapped her, brutally did her in, strapped her with a bunch of explosives and pitched her to the public. Clearly, she was not the "suicide bomber" that the mass media aired out in The Post, The Daily News, and your TV everyday. People are being kidnapped and FORCED to do these things. If anyone knows anything about Muslims, "suicide bombing to see our paradise with Allah" is NOT what this religion stands for. They don't represent this in any shape, way, form of fashion.

There are plenty of Middle Easterners living here in America, a free country, where anyone can detonate themselves in any public facility at any time (knowing they won’t be searched). Why is it that we never hear about any car bombings (not that I'm encouraging it), explosions or any other chaos going on in the States? If there are a lot of Americans who hate America, I'm sure there are many people not of American descent who hate the U.S just as much. Yet... no car explosions, no nothing. Something just isn't right. America, to me, is a set-up, an underlying fuel behind the fire. But of course, we can only see the image that is pitched to the front of the line.

I was rooting for him. I really was.

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Busta's first week numbers, which did 200,000 and change, was one of the best to tackle the first week rap entry on the charts this year. But that was just the beginning. And that beginning was June 23rd. It's now September 1st.

Many figured that he was just getting off to a slow start, and that he'd soon pick up where the explosiveness of "Touch It" had left off. But for whatever reason, Busta has only pushed about 500,000 copies after ten weeks. Ten weeks of "I Love My Chick," throwback showboating on "New York Shit," sashaying around on endless BET and MTV2 appearances, massive "106th and Park" airplay, heavy daytime BET video rotation, mixtapes, the Rick James-featured "In the Ghetto," and crazy radio spins has taken Flatbush's finest to... #76 on the charts. I don't understand.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from September 2006 listed from newest to oldest.

August 2006 is the previous archive.

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