On the Rise: Interview with Detroit Producer Jupyter

Rap-3The city of Detroit has become undoubtedly infamous for its deterioration and high murder rates, yet its Hip Hop scene has managed to flourish over the past few generations.  Names like J DillaEminemBig Sean and now Dej Loaf have become synonymous with the area, but 19-year-old, Jupyter, is striving to join the list of aforementioned artists as a revered beatmaker.

Growing up a fan of the classic Funk record “Flashlight,” he was shocked when Parliament Funkadelic‘s Paul Hill revealed he was a fan of his work and immediately linked him with major names.  Now working with Jamie Foxx, the Grammy award winning Alicia Keys has even recorded to one of his tracks.  Influenced by everyone from Timbaland, Flying Lotus and Little Dragon, he has also had the opportunity to fly out to LA to meet with Nicki Minaj and Drake‘s manager.

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OverDoz. feat. King Chip & Childish Gambino – “7,000 Girls”

Listen to OverDoz.’s new melodic and mellow track “7,000 Girls” featuring King Chip and Childish Gambino.  Produced by The Internet‘s Patrick Paige, the group recently wrapped their debut album  called 2008 on Sony/RCA.

BJ the Chicago Kid feat. Freddie Gibbs – “B.A.M.”

Listen to the new song from B.J. the Chicago Kid featuring Freddie Gibbs called “B.A.M.” that will be on his new M.A.F.E. Project set to drop November 19.

Eminem feat. Royce Da 5’9,” Big Sean, Danny Brown, Dej Loaf, & Trick Trick – “Detroit Vs. Everybody”

Listen to the new Eminem song “Detroit Vs. Everybody” featuring Royce Da 5’9,” Big Sean, Danny Brown, Trick Trick and newcomer Dej Loaf. The Statik Selektah produced track is from his new Shady XV album.


Random Hip Hop Facts Part 39

Did you know?

390. Contrary to popular belief, Nas stated that he did NOT write Will Smith’s “Gettin Jiggy With It.” 1


389. LL Cool J once got arrested for humping a couch.


388. Death Row had plans to open an East Coast office run by Eric B. 2


387. Originally, Timbaland, Pharrell and will.I.am were supposed to make a beat for the Shrek the Third soundtrack. 3


386. Eazy-E used to record in the studio with the lights off. 4


385. Vic Mensa was electrocuted by a transformer that sent 15,000 volts of electricity through his body while trying to sneak into Lollapalooza. 5


384. Q-Tip wrote and produced on Mariah Carey’s “Honey.” 6


383. After recording “Two Lips” for J Dilla’s foundation, Joey Bada$$ was given a folder of 30 unheard Dilla beats to choose from to use for his album. 7


382. The entire Junior Mafia Conspiracy album was made on a tour bus. 8



381. Jarobi left A Tribe Called Quest to go to culinary school. 9



1. [http://www.reddit.com/r/Music/comments/233t3x/i_am_nas_amaa/cgt47l9]
2. [http://www.vibe.com/article/snoop-dogg-vibe-cover-story-dec-96jan-97]
3. [http://www.xxlmag.com/news/2014/06/lil-waynes-tha-carter-iii-recounted-through-oral-history/9/]
4. [http://www.hiphopdx.com/index/interviews/id.2312/title.dj-yella-reveals-aborted-eazy-e-tracks-why-dr-dre-shelved-detox-]
5. [http://www.billboard.com/articles/festivals/lollapalooza-festival/6206842/vic-mensa-lollapalooza-near-death-electrocuted-video]
6. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honey_(Mariah_Carey_song)]
7. [http://rwdmag.com/exclusive-interview-joey-bada-talks-the-beats-behind-b4-da/]
8. [http://www.mtv.com/bands/n/notorious_big/news_feature_070305/index3.jhtml]
9. [http://www.hiphopdx.com/index/news/id.19940/title.dres-declares-jarobis-rhyming-debut-light-years-ahead-of-q-tips-jarobi-reveals-real-reason-for-leaving-rap]


Drake – “How About Now”

Listen to a new leaked Drake track called “How About Now” rumored to be either a new track from Views From The 6 or a leftover from Nothing Was The Same.  The song samples Jodeci’s “My Heart Belongs to You” and randomly appeared on a teenager’s Soundcloud from Marietta, Georgia.


Album Stream: T.I. – Paperwork

Listen to T.I.’s new album Paperwork before it’s out in stores October 21.  Executive produced by Pharrell, it features Young ThugSkylar Grey, Usher, Trae Tha Truth, Young Jeezy and Chris Brown. 



Random Hip Hop Facts Part 38

Did you know?

380. Redman developed a foot fetish after working at a women’s shoe store as a teenager.

(1:07 mark)


379. Tupac was planning on opening a restaurant called Powamekka Cafe, a play on the words “power” and “Mecca.” 1


378. Dr. Dre can’t stand N.W.A.’s Straight Outta Compton and says he threw it together in six weeks so that the group could have something to sell out of the trunk. 2


377. Tommy Hilfiger sales reached an all-time high after Snoop wore an oversized shirt by the designer on SNL in 1994. 3


376. Andre 3000 originally submitted the “Rosa Parks” instrumental to R& B group Total4


375. Nas I Am… intro samples the Amityville Horror score.

(0:10 mark)


374. Jay Z’s “Picasso Baby” video was inspired by artist Marina Abramovic’s MoMA performance. 5


373. Queen Latifah named Naughty by Nature.  She also managed the group along with OutKastMonica, Fu-SchnickensSWV, Faith Evans and many others.


372. Kid Cudi used to work at the BAPE NYC store and had to chase customer Kanye West down before leaving the store to take off a clothing sensor. 6


371. Biggie’s “Warning” beat was originally meant for Big Daddy Kane7


1. [http://www.laweekly.com/westcoastsound/2011/09/13/shock-g-and-smif-n-wessun-talk-tupacs-eating-habits-i-never-seen-him-eat-a-vegetable-not-once-in-the-five-years-i-knew-him]
2. [http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/rolling-in-compton-with-snoop-and-dre-20101029]
3. [http://www.biography.com/people/tommy-hilfiger-594098]
4. [http://www.vibe.com/article/what-millennials-should-know-about-outkasts-aquemini-lp?utm_source=sc-tw&utm_medium=ref&utm_campaign=Outkast]
5. [http://www.vulture.com/2013/08/jay-z-picasso-baby-video-mark-romanek-hbo.html]
6. [http://www.complex.com/music/2013/04/a-history-of-kid-cudi-and-good-music/meet-at-the-bape-store]
7. [http://www.hiphopdx.com/index/editorials/id.2562/title.10-crucial-facts-about-biggie-s-ready-to-die-]

“When Dizaster Strikes” – Archived Interview with Rapper Dizaster (Jan 2013)


In recent years, the art of battling has built an impressive following of Hip Hop aficionados around the world with freestyle king Dizaster becoming one of its most notable competitors. Co-signed by Drake, Method Man, Raekwon, Crooked I and Eminem, his almost flawless track record and knack for mercilessly ripping apart his opponents speaks for itself.


With its raw edge and competitive grittiness the URL (Ultimate Rap League) has become the UFC of the rap game.  Trailers for upcoming bouts feature bellowing announcers who promote verbal sparring like Pay-Per-View matches.  It’s no surprise professional boxers and fighters tune into the matches as well.

“It’s just like fighting.  We say messed up things, but fighters beat the shit out of each other, and people respect them.  We don’t even hit each other. This is real grown-up shit. We’re not slapping each other around. We are defeating each other intellectually,” he declares.

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Album Review: Ab-Soul – These Days…


It’s no surprise the word “nerd” immediately came to ScHoolboy Q’s mind when he was introduced to Ab-Soul years ago.  The former AP English student from the suburbs of Carson, California has earned a reputation for being the most conscious member of TDE with his intellectually stimulating tracks and vast vocabulary.

Diagnosed with Stevens–Johnson syndrome at a young age, his music has been both deeply personal and political.  His work has recounted health and financial struggles, slandered the government and mourned the untimely death of his girlfriend, Alori Joh.

Since gaining popularity in the mainstream due to the success of his colleagues Kendrick Lamar and ScHoolboy Q, fans old and new have been left yearning for the rapper’s third studio album These Days… to carry on the group’s blazing torch.

Upon first listening, the introductory track is soft and introspective expressing Ab-Soul’s fear of the future due to his grief-stricken past as labelmate SZA sings, “These Days… God’s Reign/Scared to live, scared to live these days.”

He fuses natural imagery and agile wordplay on his lyrical exercise dedicated to weed “Tree of Life.  “I’m Canibus smokin’ cannabis, sippin’ Actavis,” he spits over a Joey Bada$$ sampled beat produced by Curtiss King and DJ Dahi.

Like Dead Prez, he attempts to entice women with mind sex on the J. Cole produced “Sapio Sexual” and trades bars with Rick Ross on the dense “Nevermind That” juxtaposed by B.J. the Chicago Kid’s silky voice on the hook.

The venomous verse by K Dot on “Kendrick Lamar Interlude” revisits Section 80‘s jazzy “Life Is a Traffic Jam” and provides one of the record’s most memorable moments before leading into the heart-wrenching “Closure.”  The song touches on the loss of his soul mate and failed relationships as he prefers to solemnly sing instead of rap. “I don’t regret a second that we shared, hell no/In fact I often wish that you was here, right now,” he emotes.  

The album ends on a strong note as Ab-Soul spits lines like, “Don’t I flow like I don’t bleed? Every cut is just dumb/After me there will be none I told you there is only one” on “W.R.O.H.” before hidden interview snippets and freestyles close out the work.

Overall, These Days…is well-executed and contains lyrics that definitely resonate.  Listeners can delight in diverse production ranging from Skhye Hutche’s buttery smooth “Feelin Us” to the ghoulish Haunted Mansion influenced “Ride Slow” produced by Mac Miller under alias Larry Fisherman, but content-wise, it shies away from what made Control System great.

“Hunnid Stax” with ScHoolboy Q pales in comparison to their former “Druggys with Hoes” collaborations and “Twact” sounds like a generic club hit thematically similar to “I’m Faded.” If you’re looking for political commentary or rebellious lines like “Motherfuck the government, motherfuck the system,” keep a copy of Control System on deck.

“High Off the Life” – Archived Interview with Ty Dolla $ign (June 2013)

Screen Shot 2013-07-16 at 11.57.04 AM

Wiz Khalifa sits on a bench meticulously rolling his weed when Ty Dolla $ign walks out to the patio dressed in all black.  Drinks are poured and cameras emerge as Karen Civil, Mario and industry elite walk through the Paramount Studio doors in Hollywood ready to hear Ty’s latest project, Beach House 2.  The album is introduced and heads bounce as club-friendly songs featuring Too $hort, Juicy J, Chris Brown and Trey Songz blare through the speakers of the studio and its adjacent rooms.

Ty Dolla $ign, the LA singer responsible for penning YG’s hit “Toot It and Boot It,” couldn’t escape the grasp of music if he tried.  With his dad a member of the R&B group Lakeside and an uncle in The Isleys, he remembers playing with his dad’s keyboard since the age of 3 and recording his first full track around the age of 10.  Using the early musical exposure to his advantage, Tyrone Griffin taught himself to play instruments like the drums, guitar, violin and the Wurlitzer organ.  

tydolla2Taking the name Ty Dolla $ign from his graffiti days, the 28-year-old singer was once part of duo Ty and Kory on Buddah Brown Entertainment and lived all over LA, Utah and New York.  He paid bills scoring films like Biker Boyz and The Cookout until he landed a deal with Atlantic Records in 2012.

Today, he writes his songs off the dome with the intention of composing “real music” consisting of true melodies, bass, guitar and keys.  
As both a writer and producer, he’s composed beats for Trey Songz and Kid Ink while repping his production crew D.R.U.G.S. (which consists of members like DJ Mustard and DJ Dahi).

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Love Is Evol: A Collection of Eminem Songs About Love and Heartbreak

Love has been terribly unkind to Eminem over the years. Read on to discover the evolution of Eminem’s most honest and personal songs about love and heartbreak over the past few decades. ___________________________________________________________________________The Game of Love

In his early days, Em touched on relationships and breakups with these two songs from his first solo effort.

Eminem feat. Eye-Kyu - “Searchin’” (Infinite, 1996) 

The only true Hip Hop love song of his career features a 24-year-old Em romantically gushing, “I got some game that I’m preparing to run/The way your lips sparkle and glare in the sun.”  This is a rare gem that doesn’t result in anguish or violence.

Eminem – “Jealousy Woes II” (Infinite, 1996) 

Em vents about a money-hungry girl who leaves him for another man. “Leaving me in sorrow, Brandy never felt so brokenhearted/I fell apart when you departed,” he vents.

Listen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATL6FCtvDpc

[Click Here to Read the Rest of the List…]

LA Hip Hop Events Calendar

Hip Hop music, concerts and events in and around Los Angeles.


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“Higher Learning” – Interview with Rapper Devin the Dude

devin-the-dudeWhether grumbling about skyrocketing Cigarillo and gas prices on “Almighty Dollar” or the disappearance of weed after a party on the DJ Premier produced “Doobie Ashtray,” Devin the Dude has built a legacy for laying down mellow and relevant tracks since 1992.  Known for collaborations with Dr. Dre on the classic “Fuck You” and Andre 3000 and Snoop on “What a Job,” the Houston rapper has managed to become known as one of the rap game’s most underrated MCs.

As a former b-boy who listened to Slick Rick and Too $hort, the up-and-coming rapper sat by his radio every Saturday recording new songs off of college radio.  The frequent talent show contestant grew up idolizing Scarface, and after graduating high school, Devin Copeland was blessed with the opportunity to become a member of his group Facemob while also forming the Odd Squad aka the Coughee Brothaz. 


After being hesitant about going solo, he decided to go through with the decision in 1998.  The MC, whose named derived from one of his favorite Quincy Jones albums, The Dude, was invited to join Rap-A-Lot records where fellow H-Town legends the Geto Boys were also notoriously signed.  

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HipHopDX Article: Between You, Me & Yeezus: Meeting Kanye West & Tyler, the Creator


Click here to read about my experience at Casey Veggies’ El Rey show. Surprise guests included Kanye West and Tyler, the Creator.


HipHopDX Article: Just The Two Of Us: Chronicling, Defending & Meeting Eminem


Read about how I defended Eminem as a teenager and eventually got the opportunity to meet him after creating my own fan site:


LA Hip Hop Landmarks

Map of Hip Hop landmarks in LA. 

View in a Larger Map Here