In 1991, Ice Cube was a force of nature. The idea that he could someday star in Are We There Yet? was inconceivable. Still, commercialism wasn't foreign to him. He shilled St. Ides malt liquor as furiously as he called out the police.St. Ides, manufactured by Pabst Brewing Company, targeted young black people. They built an advertising strategy around rappers and hired DJ Pooh to produce beats and commercials. Rappers responded with zeal. [more inside]
Hip Hop Zelda. It's a booty call from Hyrule, a love letter in rhyme to your childhood featuring some of the best independent and mainstream Hip Hop artists. MF Doom, Edan and Aesop Rock get tossed together with Dr. Dre, Common, and Jay Z in this surprisingly compelling mashup of old Legend of Zelda tunes. If the TriForce Rules Everything Around You, hit up the link above to stream the album, or download it for free here. [more inside]
From reviled to revered. A lot has changed since N.W.A. formed twenty years ago this month. They brought gangster chic Straight Out of Compton (NSFW Youtube) and said Fuck the Police in 1989. Then came squabbling and diss tracks. Founder Eazy E died of AIDS a decade ago. Ice Cube still raps and makes movies. Dr. Dre went on to discover folks like Snoop Dogg, Eminem, 50 Cent and The Game and still produces. Both are superstars. Some other former members, um, aren't (NSFW audio). Want to learn more? Their manager Jerry Heller just wrote a book. [MI]
Dr. Dre is in the news again, as he is being sued by Lucasfilms for what? You guessed it, copyright infringement.