I'll jack your gold-plated pen knife, bitch, and that's reality, you better lose you pre-9/11 mentality
Tony Silver, the director of the groundbreaking hip-hop documentary Style Wars passed last night. He was a family friend of mine, and had been sick for several years with a irreversible brain condition. Style Wars is considered by some to be the best hip-hop film ever made, and by everyone to be the first. It was shot at the very start of the 1980s, when graffiti was still hip-hop's dominant form, and the idea of graffiti as art was brand new. I recommend checking out the deluxe DVD edition of the film Tony put together a few years ago after many years where it was only available as an expensive educational-only VHS, but you can also check out the 1hr 10m version on Google Video.
In the 1980s, some artists successfully managed the transition from punk rock to rap. Others, not so much.
Watch Sam Harris read "Soulja Boy" in....a unique style. (YT, slightly NSFW due to language) (skip to 0:15 for the actual video) And the original song. [more inside]
Weng Weng Rap is a musical tribute to the Philippines's beloved 2' 9" tall superspy, the star of such films as For Your Height Only (audio clips). (Some lyrics mildly NSFW.)
Suddenly, a man in a vintage hat rides up, hip-hop blaring from a glowing Plexiglas container shaped like a tropical fish set above the back wheel of his bicycle, control lights flashing. Fossil Fool, a rolling rapper from San Francisco who rides the college circuit preaching the benefits of peddling, grabs his microphone, cranks up the volume and starts to rap. Paul Freedman, aka Fossil Fool, is one of the founders of Rock the Bike, which makes Soul Cycles -- bicycle-based, often human-powered hi-fi and PA systems -- for "playing clean, powerful, uplifting music at street festivals and off-grid parties." RTB recently made a mobile DJ booth for Austin's DJ Manny; here's how. Attention, party-throwers: In 2008, you may well be able to rent or borrow a Soul Cycle for your own shindig.
Roxanne Shanté may be the only person whose Wikipedia entry lists her occupation, truthfully, as "rapper, psychologist." In the credits for the Beef 3 DVD she explains how her record contract's throwaway education clause paid for her to get her PhD. She also shares the backstory of Roxanne's Revenge. Some more classic Shanté: with a skinny Biz Markie in 1986, BDP vs. Juice Crew, an old Wack It video. [via]
2007 is the year of Weezy. In just 10 months, Lil Wayne has recorded more tracks than many artists will in a lifetime; beat Radiohead to the punch by giving away not only the best rap album of the year, but some runners up as well; found a spot on MTV's "Hottest Rappers" list and become the darling of street-heads, hipster fanboys and even highbrow cultural pundits across the nation. [more inside]
Bo Fo' Sho' [youtube] My name is bo fo sho, a born bostonian, aryan librarian at the WORDsmithsonian
Record your bad (or good) raps, share them with the world and add to other people's raps at RapHappy. Via Projects.
Socially conscious rap and hip hop may be making a comeback, but it seems to be doing so at the expense of stereotyping and bigotry. Videos like Read a Book (hilarious) and Serve Below Zero may be intended to send a “good” message to the black community, but it’s hard to ignore blatant racist undertones (or overtones) in the lyrics and images. [more inside]
What's It Gonna Be? NSFW language (Single link music video). On the website of Chicago's Schadenfreude comedy troupe.
Tried to do some research about this technology called Trisenx, it's even been mentioned in the blue back in the day. But honestly I gave up, because the video and all you may extrapolate from it says everything. And yes, that's George Clinton.
The Pardoner's Tale - adapted to rap by Baba Brinkman, who has been rapping Chaucer tales for a few years now. He's also released The Rap Canterbury Tales, a book that presents raps side by side with Chaucer's original Middle English. Both video and book are illustrated graffiti-style by his brother Erik. Discussed in a previous post by fatllama on hip hop classics.
Hip hop history— It's the Rub! Along with a handful of other shows, Brooklyn hip hop lovers The Rub compile a history of hip hop. Eleven parts through 1989.
Wordsworth... for the YouTube generation is a rapped version of ' Wandered Lonely As A Cloud' The squirrel is the stuff of nightmares
Stop the War video performed by Speak the Hungarian Rapper. Try not to laugh. Fan page with lyrics and song analysis.
Youtube stars NSFW MC Mack, Little ***king Kev and Ginger Joe getting more fame then they could have possibly imagined. More inside...
The 50 most underplayed and under-appreciated rap tracks according to ohword.com, all in one download. Some of my favorite hip-hop music blogs. For those who aren't hip-hop fans, an exhaustive list of MP3 blogs.
I've seen sampled rap videos, old school rap videos, new school rap videos, materialistic rap videos and geek rap videos but then there are just odd rap videos.
The King Dream Chorus and Holiday Crew Twenty years ago various rap artists got together to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (taking some inspiration from Artists Against Apartheid). You'd think Grandmaster Melle Mel, Kurtis Blow, and Run-D.M.C. would be enough. But you'd be wrong. Lisa Lisa, Teena Marie, Fat Boys, and El DeBarge wanted in, too. All kinds of youtubey goodness here, including Ricky Martin as part of Menudo, and several solos by a scrumptious Whitney Houston. Lyrics are here, and you can buy the single here
"Post 9/11 Blues" by MC Riz, a.k.a. Rizwan Ahmed. The single isn't getting much airplay. You may remember Ahmed as the British Muslim actor who was illegally detained while coming home from the Berlin Film Festival.
Mr. Magic's Rap Attack. An important figure in the world of hip-hop radio, Mr. Magic debuted in 1983 on WBLS-FM in New York City with the first exclusive rap radio show to be aired on a major station. Billing itself as Rap Attack, Magic's show featured Marley Marl as the DJ and Tyrone "Fly Ty" Williams as the show's co-producer. You can get down on it via this classic episode (realmedia) from December 1986, courtesy of WFMU's Aircheck archives.
Kill Dash Nine by Monzy, the next big thing in Nerdcore. Wired interviews some of the figures, including the better known MC Plus+ (previously). Monzy's latest clever, well-informed lyrics stand in stark contrast to Weird Al's latest proof that he wouldn't know a geek if he bit one's head off.
50 cent disses Oprah...says chat show host is insufficiently "street".
Aries Spears channels some living rappers.
A new documentary on the Jonestown Massacre (YouTube) raises a few key questions about The People's Temple and mass suicide; yet the most pertinent quandary at the moment (posed by New York Magazine) has little to do with tainted Kool-Aid and instead focuses on an unfortunately named rapper from Harlem. This week, it's Jim Jones versus Jim Jones.
The Kings of Myspace. I wanted to hate this, but it's actually very funny. (youtube)
This was the music of my childhood, along with massive infusions of Psalty the Singing Songbook and the Donut Man. During adolescence, my musical range expanded only slightly to include nashville country, teen pop, and the odd intersections between the two. YouTube has been an invaluable resource for expanding my previously limited horizons, from the productions which marked Michael Jackson's rise and fall to the birth and growing pains of the west coast rap scene. My favorite Youtube musical discovery thus far, however, is this pseudo-impromptu live rendition of Arthur's Theme.
Banned in D.C., not to mention the rest of the U. S. A. --British-Sri Lankan rapper M. I. A. (myspace page, with music), aka Maya Arulpragasam, has apparently been denied entry into the United States to record her next album, a follow-up to the surprise success of her first major release, "Arular." Could it have been this album that pricked the ears of immigration officials? Or maybe these lyrics ("Sunshowers," available at myspace)?
Down with the Clowns? The Juggalos have been having a bit of a hard time lately. Perhaps it's because they lack a spiritual grounding. Though, lo, like many nascent faiths, the Juggalos strain for acceptance. No word yet on the details of Juggalo eschatology.
The FEMA Rap for Kidz! (RealPlayer audio)
When was the last time your country's minister of Justice expressed his policies in rap form? Here's the Dutch justice minister's Piet Hein Donner's debut on the mic (mp3). [more inside]
Rap Producer J-Dilla Dies; Kidney Failure Suspected J-Dilla, born James Yancy, was a member of Slum Village and worked with various Hip-Hop artists including Kanye West, Busta Rhymes, A Tribe Called Quest and Common's Grammy-nominated album, BE.
MC Jelly D freestyle rapping donut. (video inside)
Everybody knows that gangsta rap promotes sexism, homophobia... and fascism. Take Bushido, for instance - the Berlin rapper of Tunisian descent that all the neo-Nazis love. Confused? (nyt) Well, so are the Germans. And then we're not even talking about Fler, whose "This is black-red-gold, hard and proud!" nationalist lyrics never fail to piss off the German papers (in German), and who likes to pose in his videos with a nice symbolic eagle. (Then again, Helmut Kohl didn't mind.) Still, Fler's flag-waving, eagle-loving rhymes are no match for Bushido's "Salute, stand to attention, I am the leader like 'A'". The A stands for Adolf, you know.