By Will ‘Deshair’ Foskey In 2007, it is time that we take the Rap Game back to its environment. Back to where our lyrical technicians birth their styles; back to where their blocks embrace them or maybe they embraced the block; back to where it is no place like home, well at least until you leave it. This is the Concrete Kingdom, and first up to bat is Washington Heights own, MIMS. If you’re not familiar with MIMS stomping grounds, enjoy this feature to the fullest. You just might learn something worth your while. Can we start off with some basic stats (birthday, dream car, at what age would you like to retire) MIMS: I was born on March 22nd. My dream car at the age of 13 was the Range Rover, but now it is the Lamborghini Murcielago. The perfect age of retirement is when I feel like I’ve exhausted myself in the music industry. At this point, I don’t believe that I will be rapping at the age of 40. For those who aren’t familiar with Washington Heights, give out the coordinates. MIMS: The best way that I could describe it is if you know the location of Harlem, all you have to do is go a few blocks Uptown from Harlem to find Washington Heights. You’ll know when you’ve reached Washington Heights when you see the African-American faces disappear, and more Dominican faces appear. If you could only shop in one place in the Heights, which spot would you choose? MIMS: It really depends, because as a kid growing up, my choice was 181st. 181st Street is to Washington Heights, what 125th Street is to Harlem. Describe the culture of Washington Heights and what do you believe it is known for. MIMS: Washington Heights to most people’s knowledge is best known for drug sales and what you can get out of there on the drug side. But if you live or spend a lot of time there, you’ll realize that there is a lot of culture – you’ll get to see how the Dominicans operate. I love their culture because my family is from Jamaica. When you get that Jamaican culture mixed in with that Dominican culture, you’ll begin to see that there are many similarities. So you can say that growing up in Washington Heights has allowed for me to stay in touch with my Caribbean roots. Now I must say that I am very familiar with the curvaceous frames of the women in your area. What can out of towners look forward to if they are trying to find them a female from your stomping grounds? MIMS: If there is one thing that I can say about any Latina in the area is that they are loyal. That’s the god honest truth. They will maintain their loyalty to you through it all. So if you’re looking for a female who would hold you down (stand by you), you can find them here. I’m proud that I’m representing Washington Heights. I lived in the Heights for a very long time. But I’m not going to lie; I also lived in the Suburban areas of Long Island. The course between the two, and the knowledge that I’ve gained from the two were very beneficial to my life. I wouldn’t trade how I grew up for the world. Growing up in Washington Heights really allowed for me to learn the hustler’s mentality. And when I finished my high school years in Long Island, it allowed for me to see a different part of life. Now I didn’t live in a $5,000,000 home, but I lived around the corner from one. So I was able to see what a $5,000,000 home looked like; and I was able to envision what I wanted out of life. Many would say that you have come out of nowhere with your first single. When did you know that you’ve arrived? MIMS: Most people would say that my success was overnight, or that I’m a one-hit wonder. But to know me, you’ll know that I’ve been into music since I was 13 years old. This ain’t something that I just picked up and said, ‘I’m going to be a rapper, and I just happened to make good song.’ I’ve been putting together records for nearly half of my life. People want to know what makes me so different from the next man, or how can they do what I’m doing. Well I put my life into this; I put a lot of grind work into this. I’ve been Dj’ing since 13, got into production and engineering at the age of 16, and had a Pro-tools equipped studio at the age of 19. So I can go into any studio in the country right now and handle myself behind the mic and the boards. Ok, so with your first single ‘This is Why I’m Hot’, would you say that the coming together of the song was more strategic or did it come to you effortlessly? MIMS: A lot went into this record. First of all, I didn’t write the lyrics to the beat that everybody is hearing now. Then I had the Black-Out Movement reproduce the beat for me. With that being said, a lot of time went into this record. People may think that it was a, “easy record” but the only thing that was easy about it was the hook, which came to me quickly. I wanted to put together a song that was simple enough for people to understand and then something that was brand new for me. So as far as the writing of the record and the overall body of it, it took about 2 weeks complete. Talk about you second single if there is one already in place. MIMS: The official second single off the album is called ‘Like This’. It’s a club record that is very competitive. It’s not competitive as in dancing, but more along the lines of male and female. I think that people are going to have a lot of fun with it, especially since it’s about to get warm very soon. In closing, why will 2007 be a big year for Mims? MIMS: I think that just like everybody in this industry, I have overcome a lot of obstacles. I’ve taken a record that a lot of people didn’t believe in, and I’m sure that people still don’t believe in it now, but I took that song to a #1 position on the charts. I have a great company behind me. This year is going to be mine. You’re going to hear a lot from MIMS…
By: R Tha BlockStaR AKA Rainier T. Garcia HHC: I got your Survival Mixtape Vol. 3 , and it’s a nice mixtape, but when are we going to see an album? Izreal: Well that’s coming in the first quarter of 2007, we’re in the middle of putting the final touches on it, and securing which avenue we are going to do distribution, we have digital distribution already, but we’re working out some stuff for physical distribution as well, so we’re just preparing the album, so we’re looking around April/May, lord willing’ it depends how things work out, its’ going to be a banger, so we’re excited. HHC: Are you guys going to stay on the independent route? Or are you shopping majors right now? Psalmz: So far, we’ve been independent thus far, and it’s working out just fine, and as we gain more leverage, we are going to consider the independent route, but work along side with the major, for distribution and promotions or what not. Independent is definitely the way to go, its’ the future, you know. For example, our label is called Defiant Entertainment, so it may be like a Defiant/Universal we’ll definitely have our hands all over, and it’s getting our hands onto a bigger level, and the reason we haven’t done it, is because we’ve been able to maintain our independence, now its time to take that next step. We still want to remain independent, so its’ going to be a combination. We don’t want a label to just come along, after we’ve put in years of our hard work, and grunt work, and just come in and put their name on it, and act like they built us, when meanwhile it’s like Nine years in the making. HHC: Who will you guys collaborate with for the album? Psalmz: We actually like to keep it in the house, and do it ourselves, to show people that we didn’t need a bunch of artists to make a good album. Besides, there are three of us already. We do have some collabos, like Pitbull on “Mira Mira” Trae from Rap-A-Lot records. There’s so much of us already. HHC: Do you guys produce your own music? Izreal: We produce some of it, but we also work with a few producers around the country. Our homey Fingazz out in I.E., Southern Cali. He works with a lot of the Chicano rappers like Lil’ Rob, Diamonique, etc. We also have a homey in Atlanta, Sam Traxx, by way of Texas, it’s a combination really, we don’t’ just drop our rhymes, we coordinate, orchestrate the song, intro to the end, it’s more like composing. With producer’s we can build a beautiful chemistry, and we know where we can meet, and I think the music will reflect that. HHC: I’m Latino also (Honduran) and I have this issue with Latino ARTISTS being typecast as one dimensional, that everyone is a Reggaeton artist, simply because they’re Puerto Rican, or Cuban, or whatever, how do you feel about that. Arkitek: First, in New York, that’s what introduced the Latin Hip hop. On the West Coast, you already had established Latin Hip Hop artists, then in New York, “Mira, Mira” was looked at as a Reggaeton track, so at the end of the day, we still get recognition as artists, and we just need to break the mold of that label, and let you take away the adjective as being an ill “Latin” rapper, or an ill “Latin” artist, to just an ill artist. You don’t see them say, “Yo, Jay-Z is an ill African American rapper” or, “Nas is an ill African American rapper” so we should get that label out there as well. HHC: Example, as far as press goes for you guys, what was sent to me was info on a blog for a website that I’m not endorsing, but the blog was on _______ Latino, or record labels making a whole new label catered to Latinos artists, such as Rocafella with Roc La Familia, I don’t know if you’re familiar out here but Thizz, The late Mac Dre’s label, has a Thizz Latin offshoot, do you still feel a segregation? Because they separate everything when it’s a “Latino” artist? Psalmz: We talk about this all the time; you do have the Wu Latino, the separate floor, or another roof. I feel that there are just so many of us in this world period, you got Puerto Rican, Ecuadorian, al these races and the influences from all over, and what do we do with it? There’s always two ways to look at it. It’s still breaking through, before we get into that level, this level has to happen. HHC: I like your remix to E-40’s “tell me when to go” I’m from the Bay, and some Dj friends of mine would spin it at parties and people like that, does NY get Hyphy? Cuz I’ve been getting and hearing a lot of hate from The East coast when it comes to Hyphy, mainly because of a lack of understanding that it’s not a type of music, it’s a way of life. Izreal: I happen to be out in the Bay right now. It depends, New York for a while we were stuck in the movement and the birth of hip hop, but all that as ourselves, we’ve been able to travel, and we see the unity in a lot of these markets, whereas new York has a whole different understanding, that used to be our mentality in hip hop. We had a tribe called quest, we had all that stuff. To me, being an artist is being a diplomat. Hip hop, the artist is so short changed because the artists don’t realize how big it really is. That’s one of our essences is we come to show that hey, all new York is haters, and the same time, we like to bring our influences back to New York so it becomes a broader scope. Hip hop is bigger than only one region, hip hop is international. You got Korean people rapping’ you got Chilean’s rapping’ Honduran’s rapping. You’ve got all of that,a and that’s one of the things is that even though we’re from new York, our album is more and the way we make music and the way we grind, we look at it as a global level. We want to be known all around the world, not just New York, not just The Bay, and our job, if it’s good, is to bring it back. That’s going to happen with any kind of music, you’re not going to like all of it, but there’s definitely hotness in everything, and our job is to be diplomats from New York and show New York there’s more than just what’s around. It’s not just New York Music. That’s one of the points that is lost in hip hop. Hip hop was created cuz it was our voice, we didn’t have a voice. So we had to fine a way to put it on record, for djs to spin it. Just the culture in general. It’s like the hierarchy in hip hop forgets just how it started, you feel me? I honestly think that in the next few years, with all the digital invasion and all that, it’s going to come back a lot to the Indies which is good because independent music is more controlled by the artist, where all the big entities have a certain formula and criteria that they want to live up to like how they want to market their projects. I think you’ll see a lot of Indies in all regions and they will have more an impact towards the music and eventually break down some of the radio stuff, because that might not just be relevant in the future. HHC: What do you guys prefer, rapping in Spanish, English, or spanglish? Izreal: We’re really mostly n English, but we never forget our heritage. Growing up, we grew up in a predominantly black neighborhood. East New York, was predominantly black you know? No one ever said “you’re Latin” cuz coming up, we were just nasty, it was just about being nice MCee’s . The Latin’ thing didn’t really come up till we got bigger. When we were on the come up, we were just nasty mc’s from Brooklyn. It had nothing to do with being Latin or black. As we got closer to the more corporate side of the game, and now especially with the reggaeton thing, like before, you didn’t look at Cypress Hill as “Latin mc’s” it was just hip hop. Beatnuts etc. Because of reggaeton, it did segregate to an extent, but that’s how I feel why T-Weaponz was set for, to break those molds, you know, and sometimes it takes longer for the people to listen, cuz they automatically assume, they’re so stuck in that mentality like “oh, they’re Latin’ they must be doing that reggaeton “ But this year and the last year, we’ve been breaking down those doors, to show that Latin’s can do much more than that. HHC: Do you think as Latinos, we need to be more united? The reason I ask that, is that a lot of people, and I’m not putting any names out there, but a lot of people example, rep like Cuba, or Puerto Rico, or Mexico or whatever, and go to concert’s and scream like “Puerto rico!” or “Mexico”, don’t you think we should be more united by representing Latinos period? I mean we all speak the same lengua (, we all like tortillas rice, chicken, and beans, Do you see how Latinos segregate themselves also. Arkitek: It’s crazy and sad in a way that there’s so many of us in the world and it’s so hard for an artist to even go gold. We can all try and unite, what needs to happen is somebody in power, or someone on a higher level to be able to start to be the flagship of that and to push that. Latinos, we don’t’ have ah pi hop voice. It’s one thing to say unite all day, but if you’re not doing it and you’re not doing anything for Latin people, than how you going to make that happen. It has to start up top. We need organization. Most Latin people are poor. Look at how many Latin’s are in the United States. We’re the biggest minority in the u.s. It’s also the artists’ fault also. Izreal: Here’s an example, on our records, you have Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, white Italians, black, it has to start somewhere, and I agree with you and pslalmz and us working towards that that will happen. In New York like 10 to 15 years ago, it was a large influx of Dominicans, and at first, they was at odds with the Puerto Ricans and Dominicans and as the years passed that got put aside. It’s still a little bit there, but now it’s more open minded. Latinos in hip hop, we still haven’t had that, R.I.P. pun, he didn’t finish what he was set to do. We need something else, and I think T-Weaponz is that. Once we start infiltrating that, artist wise, I think that it will happen. To be honest, the Reggaton movement wouldn’t succeed without the Mexican support in America. Like in Cali, and Texas, its’ predominantly Mexican out there, so the Latinos supporting are Mexicans, but they’re still supporting latins in general. HHC: How do you guys feel about immigration? I’m in Cali, and it seems like everyone just hates on not just Mexicans, but Latinos as a whole, and we’re starting to see the backlash, any of that out there in New York? I know that Puerto Rico is a commonwealth, and is considered the United States, so they’re already Americans. Is there any resentment to Puerto Ricans or Latinos in general about immigration out in NY? Arkitek: It’s crazy cuz I read about this all the time. I realized that Latin’s do stick together in things like this, you had Puerto Ricans marching, lots of NY residents are from different descents, and you had Japanese and Chinese marching. I know that L.A. they took it to another level, but out here they did their marches and stuff. I think America does a good thing of covering up things like this. Issues as big as this. It takes our focus off of one issue than to avoid a bigger issue. It’s one things to not let that happen, like Bush sending 20,000 more troops to Iraq. They throw more things there to take our focuses off. As important as it is in L.A. but it’s bigger than that. WE got friends who are Mexican, and friends who are illegal. You got to understand the history, Latinos built this land, we were the ones to build something from nothing. Every time we get a chance, we always address it. If you have 3-4 minutes in a song, to tell the war what you feel we should do, what are you going to tell them? To shoot someone? Or to unite and come together in this music. HHC: Any Promo tour? Izreal: We have a lot of that planned. Once the spring comes, T-Weaponz is going to be all over Texas, and Cali, northwest as well. We’re working on that right now to perform as many places as we can. Our aim is to touch down and get out to everyone. HHC: No Doubt. For more information oncheck outT-Weaponz
By Quibian Salazar-Moreno As if Nick Cannon’s “Wild N Out” isn’t already on MTV 20 times a day, he’s gearing up to drop another show for the former music network. The new project, “Nick Cannon Presents: Short Circuitz” is a sketch comedy show that will be executive produced and starring Nick Cannon along with a group of comedians who will pretty much make fun of hip-hop and pop culture. According the press release, they already have a couple of sketches about rappers who band together for a common cause, "R.A.C.S" (Rappers Against Child Support); Judge Mo Dolla$ (played by Katt Williams), a pimped out judge who’s the star of his wacky courtroom; with celebrity guests adding to the fun, such as Ice-T explaining the virtues of his newest invention “Ice-Tivo”. Other guest celebrities include Lil Jon, Snoop Dogg, Nas and Kevin Hart. The eight episode series will debut on April 5 on MTV. “Wild N Out” will return for a fourth season and there hasn’t been an announcement in regards to a new album from Cannon.
By Quibian Salazar-Moreno It just seems like Foxy Brown doesn’t really care about the law. Fox Boogie was supposed to be in court this week to face charges stemming from a scuffle at a beauty supply store in Florida. The judge presiding over the case issued a warrant for Foxy’s arrest. Last month, Brown was apparently in a beauty supply store bathroom applying make-up when a store employee informed her that the store was closed and that she had to leave. She refused to leave, spit on the employee and threw hair glue at him while he was calling 911. When police arrived, she struggled with the officer. The next day she posted a $1,500 and was released. When she returned to New York, she was in court again because she violated her probation by being in Florida. The judge gave her once more chance not to screw up, which is possibly why she missed the Florida court date.
By: Hot Gossip Gal Tony old man Yayo should be ashamed of himself stepping to a random kid wearing a Czar Entertainment T-shirt, regardless of who that kid was. Turned out it was Jimmy Henchman’s son who is now considering pressing charges against 50 who allegedly gave Yayo the nod to step to the kid and the old fool himself, after the bully smacked him around the head in midtown Manhattan on Wednesday. Just when G Unit thought things couldn’t get much worse.
By: Rizoh Def Jam’s crown prince of R&B unveiled the title for his eagerly-awaited sophomore LP, due out May 1st. Ne-Yo has decided to name his second disc Because of You after the album’s first single. However, there’s another angle to Ne-Yo’s choice. “It makes the most sense,” says Ne-Yo of his album title. “It’s because of the people that inspire me to make music. Because of the love of the music. Because of the fans. Because of you that I do what I do.” “Because of You,” the single, has grown increasingly popular, jumping to No.23 on Billboard Hot 100 Airplay chart. After several years of penning hits for the likes of Destiny’s Child and Mary J Blige, Ne-Yo emerged from behind the desk and dropped In My Own Words. The album earned him a Grammy nod and a platinum plaque. Ne-Yo recently founded The Compound Foundation which is committed to service at risk and disadvantaged youth.
By: Rizoh His last album, King, outsold every other rap record released last year. Can T.I. repeat the feat with his forthcoming 5th LP, T.I. vs. T.I.P., due out July 3 via Grand Hustle/Atlantic. Eminem, Lil’ Wayne, Ciara, Justin Timberlake, and R.Kelly will feature on T.I. vs T.I.P, along with Wyclef Jean, Nelly, and Akon. Mannie Fresh and Just Blaze, who worked with T.I. on King, will return to the boards for T.I. vs T.I.P. Scott Storch, Timbaland, and Wyclef also lend their production wizardry to the album. The lead single is a toss up between the Mannie Fresh-laced "Big Things Poppin’" and "Show It to Me," a club track that will feature Nelly. T.I. raps in two personas throughout the album: that of himself, and of his alter ego, T.I.P. "It’s basically a battle within myself," he told Billboard back in December. "There’s not nobody out there doing what I do as well as I do it, so I see myself as worthy competition for myself."
By Quibian Salazar-Moreno If you’re not busy during this weekend, March 23-25, BET’s Annual Spring Bling events will be going down at Riviera Beach in West Palm Beach Florida. During the weekend you can catch live performances from Akon, Lloyd, Young Jeezy, Omarion, MIMS, Marques Houston, DJ Khaled, Mike Jones, UNK, Remy Ma and a whole bunch of other folks. In addition to the performances, Spring Bling is bringing back its popular shows Revamp (groups from across the country reenact their favorite videos, competition in front of celebrity judges); Freestyle (the ultimate battle of the mics – mc’s showcase their lyrical prowess to win the title of SPRING BLING ‘07 Champion); Get To Steppin’ (a national step competition) and Rides, Rims, and Runway (featuring the most tricked out celebrity rides, sexy fashion models and music performances to hit the beach). Plus news shows like Irreplaceable (SPRING BLING’s version of the dating game); Sibling Rivalries (two celebrity sets of siblings battle it out on how well they know each other and work as a team); Cheers, Jeers and Tears (SPRING BLING’s version of the gong show) and Jump off (the ultimate dance party). If you can’t make it down, look for the events to air on BET from April 5-8 with plenty of reruns thereafter.
By Quibian Salazar-Moreno The upcoming 50 Cent starring movie, “Get Live”, has finally found a director. Mexican filmmaker Alejandro Lozano, who directed the popular Mexican flick “Matando Cabos”, will direct “Get Live” with production starting later this year. According to Variety, the heist film is set in the underground world of clubs and illegal street racing. The script originally called for the story to be in New York, but Lozano, along with screenwriter Tony Dalton, are rewriting the script and adding Las Vegas and Philadelphia as locations, plus tweaking the characters a bit. "We wanted to give the characters more soul," Lozano told Daily Variety. "I didn’t want to make a film that just stayed an action film." The film is being produced by Stuber/Parent’s Mary Parent and Scott Stuber are with G-Unit Films’ Chris Lighty and are hoping for a 2008 release. 50 will also be starring in “Ski Mask Way”, a film based on the book which is based on his song, also shooting for a 2008 release. As previously announced, 50 will also be starring alongside Nicolas Cage for the prison boxing flick, “The Dance”.
By: Hot Gossip Gal There is whisper of an unfortunate loss in Hip-Hop. It is being reported that Tiny, TI’s Tiny has miscarried the baby she was carrying. The singer is allegedly recovering in an Atlanta hospital and we here at HipHopCrack.com send our deepest condolences to the couple and their families for their loss.
By: Rizoh On March 6, Jay-Z invited Roc-A-Fella artists Freeway, Memphis Bleek, and the Young Gunz to help celebrate Beanie Sigel’s birthday bash. Beans, who’s been tightlipped about reuniting with Roc-A-Fella Records, finally laid speculations to rest in a recent radio interview. While speaking to DJ Absolut of Hot 97 FM, Siegel revealed that his new Roc-A-Fella album will be titled The Solution. “I’m the solution to a lot of things. I’m here to clear it all up.” According to Beans, The Solution features “a lot of collaborations with Jay-Z and Just Blaze.” As if that wasn’t enough, the Philly MC added that he’s also ready to go to war on Jay’s behalf. “I hear a lot of shots being popped at the big homie.” Sigel’s warning shot may appear subliminal but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that he’s referring to the long-running feud between Jay-Z and the Dipset crew.
By: Rizoh 42-year old actress Vivica A. Fox has been released from jail after being arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. The actress was stopped late Tuesday night for drunk driving after her vehicle flew past a patrol car on the Hollywood Freeway at 80 mph., accoding to the Associated Press. Fox was arrested after failing a field sobriety test and a breathalyzer test. Vivica A. Fox has starred in several movies, including “Booty Call” and “Soul Food.” She’s slated to appear in a movie based upon the life of R&B superstar Whitney Houston.
The theme for the 4th installment of Beats & Rhymes is “Fresh of a World Tour”. By having four out of eight producers and MC’s that are in this months event, tour the world yearly! Fresh off a world tour with Jedi Mind Tricks promoting there sophomore album, OuterSpace joins us to host and perform new tracks off there new album, “Blood Brothers” out now on BabyGrande Records. Also joining them off that same tour is, producer and Jedi Mind Tricks touring DJ; DJ Kwestion. Along with fellow Skratch Makanik DJ/Producer DJ Sat-One, who is wrapping up a DJ tour with the legendary DJ Jazzy Jeff as we speak. Similar to our last event with Reef The Lost Cauze this is also a very special event that features four producers that OuterSpace has worked with, throughout there very successful career. And to make it even more special, this is also Sat-One’s first center city gig in over 3yrs. from DJ’ing weekly at Manayunks hot spot: The Grape St. Pub. (people are still in shock that we kidnapped Sat-One for a night!) Sat-One has worked with OuterSpace since his breakthrough award winning ’12 in 2000 titled “Dangerzone” that featured both OuterSpace & Baby Blak on the vocals. Joining the producer showcase is DJ Kwestion & Sake who provided beats for “Grown Ass Man” & “Street Massacre” off the “Blood Brothers” album. Producer A.K. is a new talent who has been recently knocking out street anthems with OuterSpace & affiliate QD member: King Syze! This event is sure to exceed the sold out crowd that we reached at the Jan. showcase, with turning people away at the door. So make sure you come out uurrrlllyyyy!! Beats & Rhymes A Four Hour non-stop Producer & MC Showcase: Watch Out Our Previous Video’s: September Video: November Video: January Video: Sat. March 24th 2007 @ The Khyber (2nd & Chestnut St.-Old City, Philadelphia PA) 21+ Cover: $10 9pm-2am Opening the night off & live remixes with: DJ Tactics Live On The Beats: DJ Sat One (Skratch Makaniks) Production Credits: OuterSpace/Bahamdia/Baby Blak/Last Emperor DJ Kwestion (Jedi Mind Tricks/Skratch Makaniks) Production credits: OuterSpace/Vinnie Paz/Poynt Blanc Sake Production credits: OuterSpace/Vinnie Paz/Royce The 5’9 A.K. Production Credits: King Syze/LNS Live Performance & Hosted By: OuterSpace & The Mighty Flipside Esq. (Electric City) w/some very Special Guests Powered By: 215hiphop Crackspace BUY TICKETS NOW Click For Flyer
iHipHop Blog Team