Album Stream & Download: Ty Dolla $ign – “Sign Language”

Listen to and download the new mixtape from Ty Dolla $ign called Sign Language before his long-awaited studio debut Free TC drops.  The album features Rich Homie Quan, Rick Ross, Dom Kennedy and more.

signlanguage

Random Hip Hop Facts Part 34

Did you know?

340. When Kendrick Lamar was 21, he claims a vision of Tupac appeared to him and said, “Don’t let the music die.” 1

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339. Tyler, The Creator doesn’t eat the skin on apples.

(0:25 mark)

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338. Q-Tip was responsible for informing Kanye West about blood diamonds in Sierra Leone. 2

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337. When Tupac misbehaved as a child, Afeni Shakur would make her son read The New York Times as punishment. 3 

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336. Swizz Beatz sampled video game Golden Axe for Jay Z‘s “Money, Cash, Hoes.”

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335. Snoop Dogg  is a fan of Bollywood music – especially the artist Singh. 4

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334. Pharrells brother, Cato, is a pro-am skater. 5

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333. Amy Winehouse wanted to start a supergroup with Questlove and Mos Def.

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332.  Puff Daddys “Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down” beat was originally created for Foxy Brown6

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331. Prince and Eve have a song together called “Hot Wit’ U.” 7

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References:

1. [http://www.gq.com/moty/2013/kendrick-lamar-men-of-the-year-rapper?currentPage=2]
2. [http://www.complex.com/music/2014/04/20-things-you-didnt-know-about-q-tip/blood-diamonds]
3. [http://www.nme.com/blogs/nme-blogs/20-things-you-might-not-know-about-biggie-2pac-0#3JVl29DQBzH3uElp.99]
4. [http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/1hgnhk/i_am_snoop_lion_back_again_ask_me_anything_pt_2/cau4qgn]
5. [http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2008/nov/23/pharrell-williams-neptunes-sport]
6. [http://www.complex.com/music/2014/07/magnum-opus-the-making-of-puff-daddy-cant-nobody-hold-me-down-f-mase (3:30 mark)]
7.[http://www.mtv.com/news/517823/best-of-99-rapper-eve-finds-paradise-on-albums-chart/ ]

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

dizaster

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.

dizasterdrake

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…

soulo

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.

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. 

devintrees

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

YeT

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

http://www.hiphopdx.com/index/editorials/id.2155/title.between-you-me-yeezus-meeting-kanye-west-tyler-the-creator

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

standrea

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

http://www.hiphopdx.com/index/editorials/id.2132/title.just-the-two-of-us-chronicling-defending-meeting-eminem

LA Hip Hop Landmarks

Map of Hip Hop landmarks in LA. 

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