Watch the new video from Pharrell and Miley Cyrus for the track “Come Get It Bae” off of P’s album G I R L.
Watch the new video from Pharrell and Miley Cyrus for the track “Come Get It Bae” off of P’s album G I R L.
Did you know?…
330. Childish Gambino is a big fan of Disney’s Wreck-It-Ralph.
329. Scott Storch co-produced “Hola Hovito” with Timbaland.1
328. Eminem owns the rare comic “Amazing Fantasy #15,” marking Peter Parker and Spider-Man’s first appearance.2
327. KRS-One is afraid of flying and took a four week boat trip when he visited Australia.3
326. Lupe Fiasco shot a gun for the first time at 4 years old.4
325. LL Cool J wrote a children’s book called And the Winner Is…5
324. Killer Mike’s Run the Jewels was highly influenced by Quentin Tarantino – especially his movie Reservoir Dogs.6
323. Ab-Soul visited Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch as a kid.7
322. Tupac’s dying words were, “Fuck you,” in response to a Las Vegas police officer asking who shot him. 8
_______________________________________________________________________________ 321. Chris Rock came up with to hook to Jay Z’s “99 Problems.” 9
7. [Interview on All Out Show with Rude Jude & Lord Sear. Aired 6/23 on Shade 45.]↩
Check out the new, diverse EP from RZA called Only One Place to Get It. The album is a collaborative effort with Dr. Pepper and features Rockie Fresh, Tinashe, RAC and Robert DeLong.
Watch the new YG video “Bicken Back Being Bool” directed by Alex Nazari off of his My Krazy Life album.
Watch the new self-directed video by Joey Fatts featuring cousin Vince Staples for “Million $ Dreams.” The track is off of his new project Chipper Jones Vol.3 out on Aug 3rd.
Watch the new Vice Mensa video for his song “Feel That” directed by Calmatic. Be on the lookout for a Chance the Rapper cameo.
Watch the powerful new Nas video for “Represent” collaboratively filmed with fans who won his 20th Year Anniversary of Illmatic contest.
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.
Calling in from a studio in Thousand Oaks, Dizaster, delves into his reckless past (which includes burning down his Lebanese high school!), explains why the anticipated battle with T-Rex at Webster Hall didn’t go down and speaks on his respect for Drake as he prepares his upcoming project, The Transition.
Andrea Aguilar: Man, so what happened with the T-Rex battle in New York?
Dizaster: It got shut down by the city council and all this bullshit. It got torn the hell apart by cops. Too many people were showing up. It was outta control. Basically the way I see it, the city saw it as a threat. There was too much Hip Hop people in one area. There were thousands of people in the streets. They broke the whole shit up and made Webster Hall give everybody give back their tickets. It was a mess.
AA: That sucks.
D: Not only that. We got moved. They were like, “Yo, the battle’s still gonna happen, so I was like, “Fuck it. Even though it’s not going to be at Webster Hall, it’s going to be huge as hell.” I was like, “We’ll go to the Gramercy Theatre,” which was in Manhattan also, so we went over there, and the cops followed us there.
D: Yeah! Then they shut that down! We ended up at EODUB which is like The Basement in LA. The underground backpacking spot. We ended up over there at the end of the night, and they were asking me to do the battle. I’m like, “Nah. We’re just gonna wait and postpone it.” I’m going to be back in New York January 13 supposedly. That’s when they’re trying to set up the battle again.
AA: Oh, wow. I hope it goes down this time.
D: I hope they do the promotion right because we had a lot of celebrity attention with the Armageddon shit. That Webster Hall… We had a lot of people coming. I’m talking Busta, Q-Tip, Method Man, Lupe Fiasco, Ghostface. A lot of people were coming to watch that shit. It’s all good. It’ll still be huge. It doesn’t matter, you know what I mean?
AA: Those would’ve been some legends in the building.
D: Yeah! Yeah! Puffy was gonna be there. These dudes watch this shit and really follow it. I wouldn’t be surprised if other people showed up that you don’t know are gonna show up because most people will just pop the fuck up. When Drake showed up to my battle the first time, everybody was tripping out because it was the weekend he dropped Take Care. It was literally when that album was coming out. He showed up. I had talked to him on Twitter ’cause my fans flipped out one day. I woke up in the morning, and people were tweeting me like crazy. They were like, “Drake is following you!” People noticed before I did. So I hit him up. I instantly followed him back. I didn’t say nothing. My buddy was like, “You should DM him because it goes straight to his phone.” So I was like, “Fuck it. ‘Yo, what up? Good lookin’ on the follow.’” He hit me back, “Good shit, bro. I watch your battles. Your shit is fuckin’ crazy. You don’t understand how many hours we spend watching your shit a day.” I was like, “Damn. It’s like that? You should come to an event some time.” He was like, “Yeah. Maybe. I’ve got the album dropping, but I’ll let you know if I can.” That was the last I heard of it, so I never thought anything. Two months later, he just pops the fuck up. The last battle, he just pops up like it was orchestrated. It was like the craziest shit ever.
AA: So Drake shows up out of nowhere. It doesn’t get any bigger than that.
D: A lot of people have a serious misunderstanding about Drake. I got to witness it ’cause I actually got to hang out with the dude too. The dude probably more than anyone in this industry deserves every dollar he has because he really shows love and support for this shit. He really understands it. A lot of people try to act like what we do is some side shit or whatever, but then there’s a lot of people in the industry that really pay homage to it. Lupe Fiasco did a whole blog talking about battle rapping really paying homage to it. Those are real ass cats that understand what we do and have appreciation for it, and they don’t want it to die because this is the last place you will find real Hip Hop.
Canibus tried to jump in the ring with me. He got assassinated. This guy was supposedly a legend. This is not a joke what we fuckin’ do. People that don’t understand it will try to hate on it because they’re alienated from it and don’t understand it, and it’s a threat to them. All like, “I make music! It’s about making hits!’” It’s about having substance. Making hits only depends on what today’s society wants from you or whatever the industry is. That doesn’t dictate the pure form of what you’re doing and how sick it is. You know, you gotta learn from rap shit. You shouldn’t be going backwards.
AA: Truth. Yeah. I saw that battle with Canibus. That was hilarious when he busted out the notepad.
D: Yeah. It’s not even that. Even before the notepad…the dude just doesn’t understand. Here’s an example (and I’ve said this before in a blog), he went through his whole life saying he was some sort of freestyle king. What is a freestyle king? Do people today even understand the difference between somebody in front of you that can stand and make up out of thin air a whole piece about your life that will completely ruin you? They don’t understand the difference between that type of being and somebody who writes and practices it in the mirror for like three months. They don’t understand that. Nobody knows because things have changed so much. I’ve lived this my whole life. I’ve been battling for 14 years. When I was 14 or 15 years old, I started battling.
AA: So when you started battling, were you in Lebanon or the States?
D: I was in Lebanon that year when I just figured out battling, but then I came to the States immediately. I lived in Beirut. Most people are Middle Eastern looking and old tradition, but in my building, there was an African American dude from New York. He was originally Sudanese. He was my neighbor. He was an older dude. He was like 20 at the time. I was like 13 or 14, and the dude just talk started chilling with me. Like, teaching me shit. He gave me an Onyx CD and a DMX CD. I just started listening to them, and I flipped the fuck out. I pretty much became that because of that. I even talked to that dude literally like six or seven months ago. I hadn’t talked to him for like eight or nine years. He hit me up. He couldn’t even believe what I became because he’s the one who introduced me to rap shit. I was like, “This is all because of you, bro. This is all your fault.” He was laughing his head off and shit. It was pretty crazy.
I played soccer at the same time. I was supposed to be a fuckin’ star at that shit. I used it as my excuse. I told my parents I wanted to go back to the States to play, but I knew I wanted to rap. As soon as I got here, I stopped playing soccer. I couldn’t tell them I wanted to move back to rap. They wouldn’t bring me back. It was crazy. We were going to be stuck there forever, and the situation was getting worse and worse. There were all these bombings and crazy ass shit. We had just arrived there from like five years before that because of the war, so it was already in ruins. They wanted me to stay there. My dad thought he had a great job, you know, like slave shit. I made them move me back by pretty much causing havoc all over the city. No school would accept me. It just became really bad, and they had to move me out. Put it this way. I destroyed the whole school when I was in Iraq. (laughs)
AA: You burnt down the whole school? You are insane.
D: I did it because… The thing is I was the class clown in middle school and high school. I used to stand in class and imitate the fuck out of the teacher and tell jokes. I was so entertaining in school that no kids really wanted to study anymore. Teachers had a lot of trouble controlling that. I would just bust up the whole class laughing every time I spoke. I was that dude every time I said something, the whole class died. It was to the point where it was really bad. At my parents’ meeting, my mom came there. I can’t believe I’m telling you guys all this. (laughs) She was in front of all the other parents, and the principal just told her, “You have the most horrible kid ever,” and she made my mom cry in front of everybody. She humiliated my mom basically, so I fuckin’ snapped. I set the whole half of the school on fire from behind the school. You want to know the funniest part about the whole situation? It’s that I did it when…This is the most fucked up shit ever… I did it when they had a big celebration, and they were like, singing, and they had choirs and shit! (laughing)
AA: I feel so guilty for laughing with you. Madness. How did you discover battling?
D: I’d be at home writing. I would just write offensive shit. Everything I wrote was an attack to someone in front of me. I was in this battling mind state, but still hadn’t caught on to the fact that there was battling. I was writing punch lines, but then I found out about battling. I was like, “Wow! There’s a sport for this? I’m getting into this.”
Honestly, the first battle I stepped in, I lost. I don’t really remember it exactly, but the second time, that’s when I went ape shit. I completely wrecked him so bad. I remember taking his girlfriend. I humiliated the kid. Completely murked him. Exposed him for cheating on his girl and then took his girl. I won that battle. I was in love with battling ever since. It gave me an adrenaline rush seeing people get crushed while other people are being entertained. At the end of the day, it might be offensive to people… What we’re saying, but the positive outweighs the negative ‘cause even though you’re saying really bad shit to the person in front of you, there’s 1000 people watching having the time of their life. You are bringing happiness and laughter to the millions of people online while one person gets his ass whipped morally. He’ll heal from it eventually. It’s okay. It’s not a bullet wound. At the end of the day, it’s a really positive thing that we do if you look at it the right way.
AA: What’s your track record like anyways?
D: Honestly, I don’t really have one, but if anyone has one, I have the greatest one on the planet. You probably have like 45 a cappella battles. No one’s decisively beat me like that. I’ve choked in one battle back in the day, and that really made me. It’s like some Eminem shit. If you watched 8 Mile, it was the same shit.
AA: Was that the Locksmith battle?
D: Yeah. Yeah. Exactly. And people don’t understand… Everybody knows what the hell I’d do to that guy if we ever battled. He’s a dope artist, but he has like three or four battles that he’s ever done in his life. I have billions of battles. I’ve destroyed people countlessly back-to-back without stopping. I’ve put out millions of bars of content. Nobody battles as much as me and has the stamina as much as me. I’m known as the dude that goes the longest. You cannot battle me. People have to time their battles with me. They are like, “Two minute rounds. Please, Dizaster.” Nobody ever wants to get in the ring with me and just let the time clock go. No one would dare do that on the planet.
AA: Aren’t you working on an album? I heard about Fuck Everybody.
D: I don’t know if I’m going to actually call it that. That’s a mixtape idea. I have a project that I’m calling The Transition. I don’t really know exactly what songs I want to put on it yet, but I have a nice selection from what I’ve already made, and I do have a lot of stuff. I’ve just got to fine-tune and clean up a lot. I’m almost done. I was going to put something out with the battle, but it’ll just have to wait.
AA: Do you have a favorite Hip Hop battle or beef record of all time?
D: KRS-One versus MC Shan. “The Bridge Is Over.” That was monumental. Supernat and Juice was incredible. Supernat and Craig G was incredible. Those are like the old school ones, but if you’re talking about beef records, Nas and Jay-Z are definitely on top and Pac and Biggie of course. Pac and Biggie was not like a real lyrical battle record. To me, that was like some serious fuckin’ hatred, so I don’t even look at that as a battle. Pac was serious about fucking him up when he was yelling on that track. Nas and Jay-Z was a real battle. I have a weird outlook on that battle. I feel like Jay-Z beat Nas in the long run, but in that battle, Nas fucked him up. There was a deeper meaning to what Nas was saying versus what Jay-Z was saying. If you listen to “Ether” on the surface, you would think it’s just a fuck you record. It’s not just a fuck you record. It’s a fuckin’ spiritual attack. It’s on some deep, mental, intellectual shit. Ether is what they used in Egypt to remove curses from souls. Nas calls himself the son of God and Jay-Z calls himself Hov. The whole thing was painted as a good versus evil thing. He’s basically telling him that he’s on the other side and fuck you. I don’t care about this battle. Nas fucked him up on the battle, but Jay-Z fuckin’ murdered everything, so that’s how you got to look at it. Jay’s untouchable. You can’t really fuck with Jay-Z. Who could go against Jay-Z right now besides Eminem? That would be a crazy clash of the titans if they ever beef.
AA: Anything else you’d like to say?
D: If anyone’s reading this, people should pay attention to what we’re doing. We are the last form of real substance. We really live this, and we really don’t have nothing else but this. We live by this, and this is what we do for life. This is it. We’re battle rappers. We respect the rhyme. We are pioneers of this shit. We’re all about creating a new way to rhyme something. It’s all about moving forward and not rhyming the same words that have been used before. Creating new and finding new angles, levels and dimensions of the actual rhyme itself. That’s what being a poet or rapper is based on. The actual art of rhyming. Hopefully people will see this and respect it and not dwindle off and die like the 95% of it that’s gone already. Hopefully we could save it.
AA: You guys are doing that. I see it getting bigger and bigger. I don’t see it dwindling.
D: Honestly, I think in about a year, it’s going to be out of control. I’m about to go on a frenzy again. I can sense it. I’ve been kind of laid back. I’ll probably lose my mind and loop it around 2013 and go on a killing spree across the globe like I did all over again. Back to Sweden, back to Holland, back to Australia. This time I’m going to go to the fuckin’ Philippines and to South Africa. Body bags. Those are some crazy ass areas too, but we’re going to go over there because that’s where Hip Hop lives. Wherever it is, we’re going to find it and bring it to the light.
Listen to another gem from Statik Selektah’s album What Goes Around out August 19. The track features Action Bronson, Royce Da 5’9 and Black Thought of The Roots.
Did you know?…
320. Dr. Dre got piano lessons from Burt Bacharach when he was working on Detox. 1
319. Chance the Rapper’s parents love The Rolling Stones, but he admits he isn’t personally a big fan of the band. 2
318. French Montana has a pet monkey named “Julias Ceasor.”
317. Busta Rhymes executive produced Raekwon‘s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… Pt. 2. 3
316. The first album August Alsina bought was Lyfe Jennings’ Lyfe 268-192. 4
315. Alicia Keys’ style icon is Bianca Jagger. 5
314. Andre 3000 would dye his hair orange or turquoise as a teenager to stand out. 6
313. Warren G produced a record for Michael Jackson, but the song was archived in Michael’s vault. 7
312. Before he was famous, Twista worked as a shoe salesman, factory worker, security guard, barber, and a fast food employee. 8
311. T3 from Slum Village created a non-profit organization called Mind Over Matter that brings awareness to mental illness in the black community. 9
9. [http://www.blackmensdossier.com/blog/2013/06/17/slum-village-grows-musically-and-personally#sthash.zK9YZMEA.dpufSlum Village]↩
Check out the new track “How I Feel” from Minty Burns and Rockie Fresh. Produced by 17-year-old Wondagurl, the song is off of his new summer project The Golden Ticket due this summer.
Listen to the latest project from West Covina, CA duo Blakface. Notorious for being influenced by Golden Era Hip Hop, FunkLogik and Kaleem drop their demo I’ll Be Back today.
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$$ sampled beat produced by Curtiss King and DJ Dahi.
Like Dead Prez, he attempts to entice women with mind sex on the J. Cole produced “Sapio Sexual” and trades bars with Rick Ross on the dense “Nevermind That” juxtaposed by B.J. the Chicago Kid’s silky voice on the hook.
The venomous verse by K Dot on “Kendrick Lamar Interlude” revisits Section 80‘s jazzy “Life Is a Traffic Jam” and provides one of the record’s most memorable moments before leading into the heart-wrenching “Closure.” The song touches on the loss of his soul mate and failed relationships as he prefers to solemnly sing instead of rap. “I don’t regret a second that we shared, hell no/In fact I often wish that you was here, right now,” he emotes.
The album ends on a strong note as Ab-Soul spits lines like, “Don’t I flow like I don’t bleed? Every cut is just dumb/After me there will be none I told you there is only one” on “W.R.O.H.” before hidden interview snippets and freestyles close out the work.
Overall, These Days…is well-executed and contains lyrics that definitely resonate. Listeners can delight in diverse production ranging from Skhye Hutche’s buttery smooth “Feelin Us” to the ghoulish Haunted Mansion influenced “Ride Slow” produced by Mac Miller under alias Larry Fisherman, but content-wise, it shies away from what made Control System great.
“Hunnid Stax” with ScHoolboy Q pales in comparison to their former “Druggys with Hoes” collaborations and “Twact” sounds like a generic club hit thematically similar to “I’m Faded.” If you’re looking for political commentary or rebellious lines like “Motherfuck the government, motherfuck the system,” keep a copy of Control System on deck.
Listen to the collaborative album from Buckshot and New Zeaand producer P-Money BackPack Travels. Features include Joey Bada$$, CJ Fly, David Dallas, Raz Fresco, Steele, Chelsea Reject and TNah Apex.
Listen to the new album from Ab-Soul called These Days… here.
1. God’s Reign (Feat. SZA) [Prod. Purity Ring]
2. Tree of Life [Prod. Curti$$ King & DJ Dahi]
3. Hunnid Stax (Feat. ScHoolboy Q) [Prod. Kenny Beats]
4. Dub Sac [Prod. Dave Free & Tommy Black]
5. World Runners (Feat. Lupe Fiasco & Nikki Jean) [Prod. Tae Beast]
6. Nevermind That (Feat. Rick Ross) [Prod. SoreK]
7. TWACT (Feat. Jinx & Short Dawg) [Prod. DNYC3]
8. Just Have Fun [Prod. Like & Blended Babies]
9. Kendrick Lamar’s Interlude (Feat. Kendrick Lamar) [Prod. Terrace Martin]
10. Closure (feat. Jhené Aiko) [Prod. Sounwave]
11. Sapiosexual [Prod. J. Cole]
12. Stigmata (Feat. Action Bronson & Asaad) [Prod. Rahki]
13. Feelin’ Us (Feat. Jay Rock & RaVaughn) [Prod. Skhye Hutch]
14. Ride Slow (Feat. Danny Brown & Delusional Thomas) [Prod. Larry Fisherman]
15. W.R.O.H. (Feat. JMSN) [Prod. Tae Beast]
Listen to Big Gipp‘s new song featuring Cee-Lo “Shine Like Gold” from his new album ZAGGA.
Watch the cinematic music video for Common and Vince Staples‘ “Kingdom” directed by Hype Williams.
After recently sharing a studio with Kendrick Lamar, appearing on “Sway in the Morning” and achieving rotation on MTV Jams with her “Mobbin’” video, it is safe to say that the 22-year-old rapper has been making waves in the vast sea of Hip Hop primarily commandeered by men.
Unlike most up-and-coming rappers of her stature, the Oakland MC is in genuine awe of her steadily budding career. Though she was exposed to the music industry as a child playing with keyboards at her parents’ recording sessions and attending rehearsals, Nacolbie Jane had no desire to be an artist. Her mother, rapper Nic Nac, toured with Ice Cube and her father, Dangerous Dame, was a member of Too $hort’s crew, but she denounced Hip Hop as a career and even looked down upon the genre.
“I didn’t think that Hip Hop was represented well. I didn’t think the content of what I heard at least at that time was something I wanted to be a part of, and I was just really conscious and biased on the matter until I started getting older and learning culture,” she explains.
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
Hip Hop music, concerts and events in and around Los Angeles.
Read my interview with the Bay Area legend E-40 here:
Whether 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.
Click here to read about my experience at Casey Veggies’ El Rey show. Surprise guests included Kanye West and Tyler, the Creator.
Read about how I defended Eminem as a teenager and eventually got the opportunity to meet him after creating my own fan site: