Faniel paints a detailed, nuanced and colorful account of the movers and shakers, as well as the seminal moments in the development and evolution of Houston's hip-hop scene and culture. I spoke with Mr. Faniel about the intersection of hip-hop and homophobia.
At the AMAs, rapper Macklemore spent much of his precious acceptance speech time discussing the injustice behind the Trayvon Martin verdict. Here's a radical idea: if Macklemore is so disgusted by the Trayvon Martin ruling, he should be the one to lead Stevie Wonder's list of artists boycotting Florida until the Stand Your Ground Law is repealed.
At best, one would expect to get a brand new bag out of The Funk Embassy. But instead, a fusion of Blues, Soul, Rock, Jazz, R&B, a bit of hip hop, and a bit of rap is what one gets.
I can at least tell you about one guy, posted up in the back corners of the club, who still does it for the love of the game. Immanuel Smith is his name, and he plays for the Best of Both Offices team.
When we played superheroes and the other girls wanted to be Wonder Woman or The Bionic Woman, I always wanted to be MC Sha-Rock or Pam Grier. Sha-Rock made me feel like I had a voice, and I could and would be heard.
The stories have a warmth and familiarity to them, almost as if you are sitting in a room listening to an old MC talk about the first time he rocked a party, or how he had the loudest pair of speakers in Queens.
MMLP2 is one rapper's statement on growing up alongside a diverse, tech-oriented and multi-generational society that's going through profound growing pains.
If you're asking me, well...look: No cultural product is as fraught, practically dead on arrival, as the sequel. It's the rocky shore on which artists seem always to be washing up after their time.
November is officially Hip-Hop history month! It's also the 40th anniversary of The Universal Zulu Nation, and the 39th anniversary of Hip Hop. Let's take a trip to the South Bronx of the 70s, which was a melting pot for both music and people...
This week's Real Talk With Rob Smith takes on homophobia in hip-hop, Russia, and Chelsea Manning. ...
While Wu-Tang and Tribe's sound could not be further from each other, they showed that hip-hop, still in its early years, did not have boundaries. They showcased what could be done and how to do it.
I wrote to Sia on Twitter and expressed my disappointment. I wasn't expecting a reply, but, to my surprise, she responded and thoughtfully listened, and we proceeded to have a lengthy (by Twitter standards) conversation.
In recent years, I've grown tired of hearing people who would classify themselves as music lovers offering vaguely snide comments about rap and Hip hop artists making the grade in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
For example, if you happen upon your trusted fiancé embracing another, for an instant you may rationalize that the other person must be a relative, a friend, i.e., a non-threat to your relationship. It's too uncomfortable to consider the obvious.
Drake was recently announced as the new "global ambassador" for the Toronto Raptors. In doing this, Drake showed loyalty to his hometown NBA team. He also took a critical step in building his personal brand. This was a terrific move to add breadth to his career and leave open a path for a post-music career.
My mother once said that we must understand where we are coming from in order to better understand who we are in this life. It took me many years to understand what she meant.