Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Trials and Tribulations of Gunplay

Sigh. Gunplay, Gunplay, Gunplay. This guy is one of my favorite up and coming rappers out of my hometown. Because he's fucking crazy. He clearly has one foot in the streets and one foot in the music business, which is always entertaining. But it can prove to be trying.

I watched the video posted on TMZ showing a light-skinned, dreadlocked, tattooed man "assault" a dude with a pistol. I'm pretty sure its Gunplay. But I have to call BULLSHIT when its possible that he could get life for that. LIFE, SON????

When I heard that Gunplay was wanted for assault and armed robbery, and that it was captured on tape, I thought I was gonna see a video of this nigga robbing a bank and beating the shit out of the teller. Wrong. He smacked a dude with a pistol and took something that wasn't his.

I'm not saying he doesn't deserve to be punished if he was careless enough to be caught on camera. But life??? He does not deserve life in prison for that. If T.I. can buy all them damn guns, get 8 months, get out and then go back again on a drug charge, for 1 year, AS A REPEAT FELON, Gunplay can get out in a reasonable amount of time. No one is dead. The guy wasn't even bleeding.

I'm sure the "life in prison" report is what they have to say when considering how these charges sound, and how they look on paper. But we see what he did on worldstar everyday. Give me a break. I'm also pretty sure this isn't his first charge, so that would also explain why he might get a little more time. But LIFE, SON? I hope he's got a good lawyer.

Even though what he did was completely reckless and stupid, I hope he pulls through this one. He's had a ROUGH month. First he gets jumped, maced, and robbed, all in one night. Then he gets detained for armed robbery and assault. Sigh. I was so looking forward to his music. Oh well.

The Stigma Of Boom Bap

Make no mistake. Boom bap rap is dope. But it often times is credited as the foundation of hip hop. Lets not forget that many of the early rap records were party records, i.e "Rappers Delight," "Planet Rock," LL Cool J's "Radio," several of the Run DMC records, almost all of the Beastie Boys records, and the list goes on and on. Even songs that were "conscious" sounded like party records, like "The Message" by Grandmaster Flash and NWA's "Express Yourself." The point is, we don't over criticize old school rap for lacking substance, and today's "lyrical" rap cant rock the party.

There's too much of a divide between lyrical rappers and non-lyrical rappers today. The music either sounds good with little to no substance, or sounds bad with all the substance you could hope for. Being from the south, I need to bounce. I'd rather be turnt up to ignorance than patronized by knowledge.

Not only do our lyrical contemporaries talk down to us, but they also sound dated and boring while doing so. At least the new ones. One example is Joey Bada$$. He can rap, but the lazy, circa 90s production bores me to death. His subject mater, from what I've heard, is heavy and serious all the time. Then there's Kendrick Lamar. I'm getting used to his nasally, staccato flow, which was very off putting at first, and sometimes his production knocks, but he feels so preachy. Rapsody is a DOPE lyricist with a a minor following because she raps so hard, like she's trying to prove she's the illest son. We get it. You're dope. Now make something I can ride to while being impressed by your superior verses.

"The Definition" had a poignant message, but you could still have fun to that song. Dead Prez's "Hip Hop" is a revolution on wax, but that bass line is sick and it sounds like a blast. 2pacs "Wonda Why They Call You Bitch" is conceptual and dance-able at the same time. Don't get me started on Outkast records. Pick one. Many of them are extremely lyrical, yet banging. Lyrical rappers today are so focused on saying something meaningful that they forget to make your head nod.

That's why they're not on the radio.I used to believe that there was some corporate conspiracy to inundate us all with ignorance through music so we could destroy ourselves. Then I realized how pretentious that opinion really is. Truth be told, I like a lot of the records on the radio. Future's "At The Same Damn Time" and "Turn On The Lights" are great songs. Rick Ross makes quality music. Cheif Keef's "I Don't Like" is infectious, and akin to "Knuck If You Buck." Just because I may not agree with a lot of the.messages behind the music doesn't mean I can deny its impact.

Being able to rap isn't even half the battle. Its less than half. Being visible in this game is about what you say, how you say it, how it sounds, how you look saying it, when you say it, and who's behind you. I'm sure many rappers that haven't gotten their due shine are happy where they are. But lets be real. Anybody would want to be successful at what they do. Anybody would want accolades. Anybody would want timeless music that could be played at barbecues and parties from here until eternity. Why wouldn't you? If a rapper says they want to be underground and out of the spotlight, and that they don't care if they don't make money, they're a damn lie. And if they ain't a lie, they a damn fool. 

When the more studied linguists of this game stop trying to make records straight out of the 90s, and start saying something meaningful while making your head knock, all those rappers that your favorite blogger deemed underrated will shine. Belee dat. There's my 2 cents on this annoying subject.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fredro Starr Disses DMX In a Live Freestyle

Drake might not respond to DMX's incessant verbal threats, but Fredro Starr ain't scurred. The Onyx rapper dissed X in a off the top freestyle, mostly likely stemming from X's comments on the Breakfast Club. During an interview with Power 105, DMX claimed that Fredro Starr was jealous of X for sleeping with one his jumpoffs. Check the interview below. The comments about Fredro Starr begin at the 24:54 mark.

Missy Elliott Feat. Timbaland-Triple Threat

This is what I'm talking about! This is my favorite of the two tracks recently released by Missy Elliott. The production on this is bananas. I can't wait for the video. She's back. 

Missy Elliott Feat. Timbaland-9th Inning (Full Version)

The full version finally arrives! To be honest, I did hope that the beat would drop with a snare and kick eventually. But then again, I understand why it didn't. The whole song is about innovation and daring to be different. So I get it. I'm still satisfied with the single. I can't take another Lex Luger riff. 

Timbaland And Missy Sit Down With The Breakfast Club

Missy Elliot and Timbaland stopped through the Breakfast Club for a much needed interview. Among the topics discussed are the redundancy of today's music, whether or not the Drake-commissioned Aaliyah album is a sensationalized rumor, and Missy's struggle with Graves disease.

Another topic worth mentioning are the glaciers on Missy's ears. Brr!!! Check the interview below.

Game Feat. Chris Brown, Lil Wayne, and Wiz Khalifa-Celebration (VIDEO)

This is a really fun, well shot visual. Shoot me, but I think this does great justice to the Bone Thugs original. Its a completely different vibe with identical cadences. I dig it.