Drawing on his own personal experience as both a producer and rapper, Drumma Boy stresses the importance of hard work and sacrifice.
Elders ask questions and learn how to build intergenerational movements, even when they do not understand younger generations. Elders build. Old people? They die. They judge and die. I submit that they kill young people in the process.
In these times when hip-hop is struggling with its own maturation, Domino Effect is one of many examples where an album can live through grown sensibilities.
Growing up in the hip-hop culture, I've battled with loving the music and hating some of the speech at the same time. Hip-hop heads who find themselves staring down the barrel of this conundrum, typically choose to embrace hip-hop while being extremely cognizant of its problematic nature. We're forced to view the music by its totality, and that's the mature way to not only view N.W.A. and Dr. Dre, but most human beings.
It is Raekwon that has mastered unique, digital, and modern ways to celebrate the album and the classic time period of the mid-nineties. There is no doubt that the over 30 tour dates that crisscrossed the U.S. is a fitting tribute all in itself.
The acclaimed Canadian hip-hop artist, producer, and radio host is speaking to me via Skype about his new memoir Wicked and Weird: The Amazing Tales of Buck 65, unaware that he's just made the understatement of the century.
If you haven't noticed, there is a cultural shift taking place in America, and across the globe. The shift is loud, colorful, disruptive, and at times entertaining. Afropunk, the international music festival and community, is part of the alternative cultural shift.
A good film could have been a great film if the men involved, including Ice Cube and Dre as executive producers, would have had the vision and courage to not only tell their story, but to tell it with bold and fearless transparency, even where it would have been an indictment of themselves
Straight Outta Compton, which documents the rise and ensuing events of the legendary rap group N.W.A. is not only being lauded for the well-crafted film, but also the manner in which the promotional campaign tactics have taken a life of its own.
Hip hop isn't merely music, it's a culture. Hip hop is an emotion, a state of being; a frame of mind.
There is a sort of classism in rap now. Now rappers act like R&B divas when comparing how many units their music sales as if that has ever actually bared any legitimacy to their skills within the genre.
The uncensored music videos with women dancing to sexually-charged lyrics were welcomed back with open arms by some. What wasn't considered by that portion of the community was how BET Uncut would set African-Americans back in terms of black women's imagery and sexuality.
The push-pull of their competing visions still fuels our politics, but we live in Hamilton's world, not Jefferson's.
Straight Outta Compton isn't some chump change indie movie about the rap group NWA. Nor is it a should-have-gone-straight-to-DVD after-thought about hip-hop culture. This is an Oscar-caliber film. This movie is a monster. It's big!
Many music festivals are located in outskirts, wildernesses and boonies with the idea of creating a relocated community away from the normalcy of city life. Even city festivals usually take place at a venue that though proximal to city life, makes festival-goers feel as if they are in a timeless and placeless dimension.
Hailing from Eugene, Oregon, but spending most of his time in Oakland and Los Angeles, singer/rapper/producer Lafa Taylor has a heart full of soul and a brain full of music.