Artist/Group Name: RAHEEM JAMAL Reppin’ (What city you reppin’?): BOSTON MASS Affiliation (What crew or artists you roll with?): PROJECT MOVE/ ELECTRIC / 54th Regiment/ RAYDAR ELLIS/ INSIGHT/ DAGHA/ MOE POPE ANONYMOUS/ M3 Influences (Who inspires you? Not limited to just hip-hop): My inspiration comes from the daily struggles of life mostly. I see life as potential alchemy. The chance to make something out of nothing , take the negative everyday b.s. and make something beautiful out of it .Thats what I try to do with my music . My creativity is also often inspired by the people closest to me, i.e. All the folks listed above . Also by anyone who is original and not afraid to be themselves.Public enemy /RAKIM / ERIC B / KRS ONE / BDP / PRT / BIG DADDY KANE / KOOL G RAP / RUN DMC / SLICK RICK / DOUG E FRESH / LL COOL J / NWA / WU TANG / NAS / JAY Z / THE ROOTS / COMMON / MOS DEF / KANYE WEST / OUTKAST / THE FUGEES / A TRIBE CALLED QUEST / DE LA SOL / MF DOOM / SOULS OF MISCHIEF / JAY DILLA / DIAMOND D / PETE ROCK / CL SMOOTHE / HEAVY D / SALT N PEPPA / MC LYTE / LAUREN HILL / BIGGIE / PAC / L.O.N.S / DITC / THE JACKSONS / MR WONDER / MARVIN / AMEL / SADE / AL GREEN .. too many to list Backstory (How’d you get in the game? How did the group form? What work did you put in before getting signed to a label?) By being just a dreamer …lol watching yo mtv and rap city … wishing it was me instead of them …Met some kids in Hischool who use to write rhymes and that’s when I started…like yo …i can do this …me and Anon decided shortly after that that we wanted to make music ..from my moms basement in like ’93 to this day we haven’t stopped …and it was only out of the love for the music …we hooked up with our boy Mike El who had some equipment and we just started having freestyle/smoke sessions any free moment we could…just having fun rhyming about whatever was on our mind …after years of that we had compiled so pretty decent recordings and we decided we wanted to get them on cd. So Mike El introduced us Anonymous and I to Inisight…=Insight heard the freestyles and the rest is history as they say …lol …he said he wanted to do a new project and thought we would be dope for it …from that we from the group “Electric”. We met Moe Pope and Dagha thru Insight …we all clicked instantly and then we started on our way … Current project (What are you pushing right now? What can people expect from it? Feel free to just hype your album here…why did you name the album that name? Was there a theme? Any funny stories during its creation?) As of right now we are still pushing the Project Move album (love gone wrong/Butterfly theory) and just preparing for the spring release of my Solo project called “BoomBox”on Brick Records , Produced By Raydar Ellis and featuring Project Move and Raydar Ellis . I think people can expect more of that Good shit that they have been missing the last few years …if you are familiar with any of the people I roll with then I think I know what u can expect . More freshness !!! . I got some feel good party jams …some more reflective personal songs …some love songs …a lil something for the ladies … some social political songs … Purpose (What kind of impact do you hope to have on the game? Do you just want to go platinum or is there something more?) I Just hope people can respect what I is im trying to do as an artist …staying true to the art while staying true to myself …in all honesty I could care less about platinum status in this industry …ive realized that being slept on has a certain level isn’t the worst thing in the world … Is hip-hop really dead? (Wax philosophical here, break down what you think of hip-hop today or compare it to when you were coming up. Good? Bad? Break it down!) Hip Hop is like good verses evil …there are the good guys and there are the bad guys …ill leave that up to you to decide who is who …i think if your willing to look outside the tunnel vision mainstream you will find that Hip Hop is very much alive ,kicking and banging loud !!!…in my humble opinion there is a difference between Hip Hop and Rap… 9 out of 10 songs on the radio and in the tv videos aren’t hip hop…they are Rap …to me hip hop is more organic , grounded with more of a message of substance…i like to consider myself a hip hop artist. Three wishes (If you had three wishes to change anything within hip-hop, what would they be? Bring someone back to life? Get a Kanye West beat? Make snap music disappear?) : I simply wish she (Hip Hop) would love me and my people as much me and my people love her ….thats all for now …i still got 2 to go .
Artist: D-Tension Reppin’ (What city you reppin’?): Lowell, MA Affiliation (What crew or artists you roll with?): Los Wunder Twins del Rap aka D-Tension & Effect with DJ Gleek Influences (Who inspires you? Not limited to just hip-hop): KRS ONE, The Clash, Cat Stevens, De La Soul, Billy Bragg, Run DMC. Backstory (How’d you get in the game? How did the group form? What work did you put in before getting signed to a label ?): I started producing beats 12 years ago and started to sell them to rappers, which got me more involved in the music scene. At that time I also fronted a live hip hop band The Unforgettables, which opened a lot of doors for me. From there I’ve done many hip hop related jobs from booking agent to journalist, promoter and radio personality. Current project (What are you pushing right now? What can people expect from it? Feel free to just hype your album here…why did you name the album that name? Was there a theme? Any funny stories during its creation?): I am finishing up the debut album from Los Wunder Twins del Rap, which will include a DVD with 6 music videos and a full length film. I am also working on my next solo album "Sell Cocaine to the Kids" which is about the pimping of ourselves and our culture with total disregard to the consequences and our future. This is handled in a humerous way and no actual cocaine was sold to any actual children. I’m also in the middle of writing a screenplay for a Wunder Twins movie, which is hilarious. In addition I am directing music videos for bands and hip hop artists. Directing is definetly my next career. Purpose (What kind of impact do you hope to have on the game? Do you just want to go platinum or is there something more?) I want people to see that you can do things your own way and have success. The major label formula isn’t really for artists, it’s for rap stars who aren’t very concerned with making art. They want money and will do anything to get it. You do not have to go that route and can still pay your bills. Ask Mr. Lif or Atmosphere. I’ve even cashed a check or two and my music is not exactly for Da Clubs. Is hip-hop really dead? (Wax philosophical here, break down what you think of hip-hop today or compare it to when you were coming up. Good? Bad? Break it down!) Hip hop isn’t dead, but rap music sucks. I had this concept for an album and released it before Nas. However I was careful to distinguish the difference between rap music and hip hop. I didn’t want to disrespect hip hop by saying "hip hop sucks" because it doesn’t suck. Rap music is the problem. I do agree with Nas’s basic thesis but, no, hip hop is not dead. It just has cancer. Three wishes (If you had three wishes to change anything within hip-hop, what would they be? Bring someone back to life? Get a Kanye West beat? Make snap music disappear?): 1. I wish young people understood the history of hip hop. If they did, then half of the crap on the charts right now would not exist. I find it interesting that when a kid takes guitar lessons and wants to be a rock star, he learns what today’s music is all about but he also studies The Beatles, Chuck Berry and Robert Johnson. But most aspiring rappers don’t have any sense of history, tradition or culture. They just want the quick fix and imitate what’s hot right now. Your average 17 year old has no idea what "Criminal Minded" was or what "3 Feet High and Rising" is. They live for the moment and since "the moment" passes and is not timeless they gain very little from their CD collection. They don’t go back and listen to an album that was hot 2 years ago because it’s old and irrelevant. Most of these modern rap records have no staying power where as I can still listen to The White Album or The Low End Theory and still think they’re as great as they ever were. 2. I wish Major Labels would choke on their own vomit. That is slowly happening as technology makes the indie artist more viable. At the same time, if a major wants to give me money to make an interesting album, I’m all ears but I ain’t holding my breath. 3. I wish people would quit doing that stupid arm swing dance while saying "yoyo" when I tell them I rap. I mean, who actually does that
By Quibian Salazar-Moreno DJ Rob Swift left turntablist crew the X-Ecutioners shortly after the release of their 2004 album, Revolutions. The crew, who had already lost Mista Sinista a couple of years before, dwindle down to two and a couple of replacements but hardly heard from. Swift went onto release more solo projects, including War Games and several mixtapes. Now he’s releasing a DVD titled, As the Tables Turn, that not only documents he start as a DJ and his rise within the industry, but also the real story of what happened within the X-Ecutioners. “The complete story of the X-ecutioners is addressed in ‘As the Tables Turn,’” Swift told HipHopCrack.com. “There are exclusive interviews with Roc Raida and Mista Sinista candidly speaking about all of the events that affected the group. Will there be a reunion? Watch the movie and find out…” The DVD is set to hit stores on February 27 and also features performances and interviews from DJ Q-Bert, Mix Master Mike, Shortkut, The Large Professor & Neek the Exotic, and Bob James. Swift said that most DJ documentaries only focus on the technical side of DJing and hardly the career-side so he felt that this was a great angle to dive into. "As the Tables Turn’ revolves around all of the pivotal moments in my career,” Swift said. “From winning my first battle to hitting the mainstream with the X-ecutioners to ultimately leaving the group and pursuing my solo career. It’s an in depth look into the events (good and bad) that brought me to this point in my career.” Check out the trailer here:
By: Hot Gossip Gal Golden Globes went to J Hud, Forest Whitaker, Jamie Foxx and our gal B was beat out by Helen Mirren.Swizz Beats and wife Mashonda held baby shower for their new super producer in the making in NYC. Mary J celebrated her 36th birthday at Mr Chows in LA, party hosted by hubby Kendu. Misfit the cutesy Brit rapper on Ego Trips The Next White Rapper Show was booted off last night which takes the shows sex appeal to freezing point. NY Giants Michael Strahen got stung WITH a pre-nup by wife for $15.3 mill..maybe these sports stars need a lesson or two in money managing. The Brits have landed, Posh Spice and soccer husband David Beckham are actively house hunting in LA after the sexy soccer star signed a $250 mill deal with local team The Galaxy.
By:Rizoh Times are hard for R&B siren Toni Braxton. Braxton has severed ties with Blackground/Universal, after releasing two discs–2005′s Libra and Un-Break My Heart: The Remix Collection–on the label. The 38-year old singer is also taking her former personal manager Barry Hankerson to court, claiming he owes her at least $10 million for deceptively convincing her to leave Arista and join Blackground, according to reports. The suit states: "Hankerson actively sought to destroy Braxton’s relationship with Arista through underhanded ‘double-talk,’ telling Braxton that Arista was not interested in working with her anymore, while telling Arista that Braxton no longer wanted to record for Arista." When her new label proved unproductive, Braxton claims she attempted to fire Hankerson but that he turned against her. Braxton released a good portion of her catalog on LaFace between 1993 and 2004. LaFace was later acquired by Arista via a merger in 1999.
By: Quibian Salazar-Moreno Ever since Three 6 Mafia won the Oscar for their song, “It’s Hard Out Here For a Pimp” from the movie, Hustle and Flow, everybody has been wanting to get a piece of the Memphis crew, even though they’ve been doing the same thing for over a decade. It seems like MTV is the first ones to get a piece as they announced “Adventures in Hollyhood”, a reality show starring Three 6 Mafia. The show is set to premiere on March 14 and will follow Juicy J, DJ Paul and their crew as they leave Memphis and try to make their mark in Hollywood. There’s no word on what they’re actually trying to do in Cali, since the group are multi-platinum artists and have a deep southern following; and they have already experienced success. Fans will be able to follow their adventures on HOLLYWOODMTV
By: Hot Gossip Gal All I can say to Whitney is make sure you keep the cameras out of the bedroom. The 43 year old singer is reported to be dating Ray J, the younger sibling of Brandy. He was recently media crushed for trying to sell a sex tape of he and Kim Kardashian, gf of Nick Cannon. Although maybe the two plan on making money of their sexual antics if they really are a couple, we all know Whitney is broke and why else would Ray J be selling home movies if he wasn’t in need of some money?
By: Rizoh Beyonce’s Oscar dream suffered another blow, as the singer was snubbed at last night’s Golden Globe Awards. "Dreamgirls" snatched up three prestigious awards for Best Musical or Comedy, Best Supporting Actress (Jennifer Hudson), and Best Supporting Actor (Eddie Murphy). "I had always dreamed, but I never ever dreamed this big," Hudson said as she accepted her trophy. "This goes far beyond anything I could have ever imagined." "Wow," said Eddie Murphy during his own acceptance speech, "I’ll be damned." Based on a Broadway play, "Dreamgirls" chronicles the rise of a fictional trio of female singers resembling The Supremes during the early 1960s. Beyonce, who was also snubbed at this year’s Critics Choice Awards, will have to wait till January 23, when the Oscar nominations are unveiled, to find out if she’s among the event’s big nominees. The Oscar ceremony takes place on February 25. Here’s a complete list of winners: MOTION PICTURES -Picture, Drama: "Babel" -Actress, Drama: Helen Mirren, "The Queen" -Actor, Drama: Forest Whitaker, "The Last King of Scotland" -Picture, Musical or Comedy: "Dreamgirls" -Actress, Musical or Comedy: Meryl Streep, "The Devil Wears Prada" -Actor, Musical or Comedy: Sacha Baron Cohen, "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan" -Supporting Actress: Jennifer Hudson, "Dreamgirls" -Supporting Actor: Eddie Murphy, "Dreamgirls" -Director: Martin Scorsese, "The Departed" -Movie Screenplay: Peter Morgan, "The Queen" -Foreign Language: "Letters From Iwo Jima," USA/Japan -Original Score: Alexandre Desplat, "The Painted Veil" -Original Song: "The Song of the Heart" from "Happy Feet" -Animated Film: "Cars" TELEVISION -Series, Drama: "Grey’s Anatomy," ABC -Actress, Drama: Kyra Sedgwick, "The Closer" -Actor, Drama: Hugh Laurie, "House" -Series, Musical or Comedy: "Ugly Betty," ABC -Actress, Musical or Comedy: America Ferrera, "Ugly Betty" -Actor, Musical or Comedy: Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock" -Miniseries or movie: "Elizabeth I," HBO -Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Helen Mirren, "Elizabeth I" -Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Bill Nighy, "Gideon’s Daughter" -Supporting Actress, Series, Miniseries or Movie: Emily Blunt, "Gideon’s Daughter" -Supporting Actor, Series, Miniseries or Movie: Jeremy Irons, "Elizabeth I" -Cecil B. DeMille Award: Warren Beatty
By: Hot Gossip Gal So we had the beef between the Dips and Jay Z, now it takes another turn where LES rapper Tru Life has got involved and started a verbal attack on Jimmy and Cam as well as a pretty good photoshop one. His new mixtape hosted by J Love has the Dip Set in outfits that would warrant them a spot on Mr. Blackwells worst dressed list. However the Dips didn’t take this public humiliation with a pinch of salt. Tru Lifes myspace was hacked into and Dip Set promotion ran a mock all for a few hours. Is this getting a little out of control or is is just plain childish?
Independent Label Profile Label name: Nature Sounds Founded (Date): 2003 Founders: Devin Horwitz Backstory (What’s the story behind the launch of the label? How was it launched? Why was it launched?): The label started almost by accident as the label founder (aka Dev 1) released a couple 12” and a compilation with tracks he produced with various underground artists. Many established artists quickly came to the label in search of a new artist friendly home. Greatest Achievements (What are the label’s proudest moments? Going platinum? Releasing a classic? Signing a legend?): Releasing Masta Killa’s debut solo album (after 10 years of anticipation) & signing Havoc of Mobb Deep. Current and Future projects (What current projects are you pushing and what’s planned for the next year?): Currently pushing Beat Kings DVD, Hell Razah “Renaissance Child”…coming up debut from Strong Arm Steady, new album from Pete Rock called “NY’s Finest”, debut album from Havoc of Mobb Deep, GhostDOOM collaboration album. Goals and Purpose (What kind of impact are you hoping to make on the industry? What goals do you have for the label?): Prove that the indie model can be successful and just to continue to put out great music with the integrity hip-hop had in its golden era. Within the Game (How does the label fit within the current climate of hip-hop? Or does it even fit in at all? What’s the label’s personality in relation to the rest of hip-hop?): We are a healthy balance between the streets & the underground, between mainstream and independent. We work with artists who make competitive songs but don’t have to follow anyone’s formula to do it. CLICK HERE TO READ HELL RAZAH INTERVIEW CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO HELL RAZAH
Artist/Group Name : HELL-RAZAH/ SUNZ OF MAN – KILLAH PRIEST, PRODIGAL SUNN, 60 SECOND ASSASAIN. SHABAZZ THA DISCIPLE,AMBASSADOR. Reppin’ (What city you reppin’?): RED HOOK .BROOKLYN,NYC Affiliation (What crew or artists you roll with?): GHETTO GOVERNMENT, MACCABEEZ Influences (Who inspires you? Not limited to just hip-hop): THA TRUE AND LIVING GOD,MY FAMILY, KING SOLOMON, MOSES, DAVID, MESSIAH, MARVIN GAYE, CURTIS MAYFIELD, RICHARD PRYOR, BIG DADDY KANE,KRS-1, RAKIM ALLAH, BRAND NUBIAN, BOB MARLEY,EARTH WIND N FIRE. Backstory (How’d you get in the game? How did the group form? What work did you put in before getting signed to a label?) I GOT IN THA GAME DOING BLOCK PARTY’S AND JAMS IN RED HOOK IT WAS ONLY A FEW ILL MC’S AND MY OLDER BROTHER WAS ONE OF THEM SO I FORMED A GROUP CALLED LIVE AND DIRECT AND STARTED DOING SHOWS WE PRESSSED UP SOME VINYL INDEPENDENT AND STARTED GRINDING IT WAS ME AMBASSADOR, SHABAZZ THA DISCIPLE AND SUPREME WE WAS THA M.A.D. M.O.B. BACK THEN "BAZZ HOOKED UP WIT RZA AND THE REST WAS HISTORY…. THE GROUP FORMED IN 92 WHILE WE WAS IN THA STUDIO WITH WU-TANG WAITING TO RECORD. I PUT IN WORK FROM SPENDING MY OWN PERSONAL MONEY FOR STUDIO TIME TOO WRITING THA HOOKS AND SONG CONCEPTS EVENING OUT SELLING MY OWN MUSIC. Current project (What are you pushing right now? What can people expect from it? Feel free to just hype your album here…why did you name the album that name? Was there a theme? Any funny stories during its creation?) THA CURRENT PROJECT IM PUSHING NOW IS "RENAISSANCE CHILD" MY FIRST OFFICIAL SOLO RELEASE…PEOPLE CAN EXPECT A CLASSIC ALBUM THEY DIDNT HEAR IN A WHILE.. FROM BEGINNING TO END IT’S GOOD. THE CONCEPTS THA STORIES,POLITICAL,SPIRITUAL,REAL LIFE, IT WAS THE PERFECT TIME TO HAVE A REBIRTH OR RENAISSANCE BECAUSE HIP HOP HAS CHANGED ALOT..I CAME UP WIT THA TITLE WHEN WE WAS OVERSEAS TOURING IT WAS A DEEP JOURNEY…I CAME BACK FEELING LIKE I NEEDED TO BE REBORN AGAIN TO THESE LISTENERS AND I NEVER CAME OUT SOLO. SO THE THEME WAS TAKING IT FROM THA WOMB TO WHO I AM NOW..I WANTED CLASSIC ARTWORK TO GO WITH IT… Purpose (What kind of impact do you hope to have on the game? Do you just want to go platinum or is there something more?) MY PURPOSE IN THIS GAME IS TO ENLIGHTEN ANYBODY I CAN BY SPEAKING ON THA REALEST SITUATIONS I CAN THINK OF..THEY MAY SAVE ME ONE DAY..GOIN PLATINUM JUST MEAN IT’S A MILLION PEOPLE LISTENING AND FOLLOWING YOUR MESSAGE IN YOUR MUSIC. Is hip-hop really dead? (Wax philosophical here, break down what you think of hip-hop today or compare it to when you were coming up. Good? Bad? Break it down!) DEATH IS A HIGHER PLANE OF LIFE SO IF ITS DEAD THAT MEANS ITS TIME FOR A CHANGE. TOO MANY OF THA SAME STYLES AND SOUNDS ARE OVERLY PROMOTED. FOR EVERY ORIGINAL THEY CAN MAKE A MILLION COPIES.. AINT NO MORE RAKIM’S AND KANES OR KOOL G RAPS AROUND…DJ’S PLAYIN MP3′S NOW U GOT PRO TOOLS IT’S EITHER DEAD OR BECOMING DIGITAL… Three wishes (If you had three wishes to change anything within hip-hop, what would they be? Bring someone back to life? Get a Kanye West beat? Make snap music disappear?): 3 WISHES 1.MAKE HIP HOP A CLASS IN SCHOOL 2.MAKE ALL CONTRACTS PERFECT 3.BUILD A HIP HOP MUSUEM..
By: Hot Gossip Gal OK after publicly dissing the video vixens in his Kanye West collaboration Wouldn’t Get Far and then inviting them to be a part of the the video, Compton rapper The Game’s personal request for their presence obviously fell on deaf ears. The only female from the list to actually make her cameo was none other than Gloria Velez. No shame, no pride? I guess it is Gloria after all.
By: Ari Goldstein On air during his Shade 45 Sirius Streetsweeper Radio Show, DJ Kay Slay expressed extreme anger at Koch Records for not paying him his monies due under contract. The infamous Street Sweeper stated, "I’m about to roll a steamroller over their fucking heads…they’re trying to pull fucking scams when it comes to paying…back end money. Alan Grunblatt [Koch Records GM] is playing dirty pool. I’m going to make their life miserable. I’m gonna use every fucking outlet I’ve got to bury your fucking ass." Kay Slay then called Dipset’s Cam’ron who made the anti-Koch campaign formal stating, "We’re about to make a real public statement against Koch." Cam’ron said. "At the end of the day they gotta really give up what they owe to people." LISTEN HERE
By Quibian Salazar-Moreno Over the summer VH1 took rappers Paul Wall, Raekwon and Tego Calderon to Sierra Leone, West Africa to explore the effects of the blood diamond trade for the documentary, “Bling’d: Blood, Diamonds and Hip Hop”. Blood diamonds, sometimes called conflict diamonds, were mined and sold by African militia rebels and revolutionary military groups to support their cause and bring terror to different communities throughout Africa. They sold the diamonds in exchange for weapons, food and drugs. Civilians were forced by these rebel groups to mine for the diamonds or risk losing their life or losing a limb if they didn’t meet a quota or worked too slow. Even though hip-hop’s interest in blood diamonds are about 10 years too late (there are hardly any blood diamonds on market nowadays), the documentary captures the hip-hop nation’s glorification of diamonds and jewelry and how it could have contributed to the civil wars of the 90’s. The documentary also features interviews with Kanye West, Big Daddy Kane, Jadakiss, Juelz Santana, Chris Aire and Mr. T. Look for the documentary to air on February 22 on VH1.
By: Rizoh The Game, who recently released an entire album dedicated to Dr. Dre, has unleashed a new track supposedly dissing his former mentor. On the new track titled "Breathe Eazy," the erstwhile Aftermath signee raps, "Ask Dre who the next ni**a/ If he don’t say the west coast Don/ I’ma have to DMX ni**as/ Bark on him, let the .38 spark on him/ Let him take his last breath, then put the chalk on him." Sounds like a cry for attention from a man whose Doctor’s Advocate LP is permeated with a gazillion Dr. Dre shoutouts? You be the judge: CLICK HERE TO LISTEN
iHipHop Blog Team