Next month:
August 2003

Posts from July 2003

News Headlines

Y'all know what time it is . . . it's time for some News:

Heather Hunter

• Porn star Heather Hunter is spitting rhymes instead of cum; She's working with producers Timbaland and DJ Premier on her own solo rap joint!

• Baby Dy-no-mite! Congratulations to my homegirl Ms. Dynamite. She delivered a healthy baby boy on Thursday in a London hospital. Dynamite, her boyfriend and their newborn are all doing well.

• An honor long overdue: Billboard magazine will recognize the extraordinary careers of DJ Grandmaster Flash and singer Betty Wright with its Founders Awards, for their achievements in hip-hop and R&B music. The appreciation will take place at the 2003 Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Awards show on Aug. 8.

50 Cent's long-lost redneck cousin Ford F150 Cent has released a hot new remix of Fiddy's thug-ballad "21 Questions."

• The Real M&M.

Hip-Hop On Jay Street

Who is Jay-Z's hip-hop violinist?

• Hip-Hop is everywhere – even in a small redneck, hillbilly town:
Local music mogul hopes to put area on the map

Upstart label executive Jasper W. White is head of a hip-hop label based not in New York City or Los Angeles, but in Fredericksburg, [Virginia] – a place where good ol' boys yell for rap songs to be turned off between innings of summer ball games, and where one is more likely to hear the crooning of country star Toby Keith on a passing car radio than the rhyming of Jay-Z.

You Gotta Shake That Jelly!


• Is Hip-Hop Endangering Black Lives?
In the Boston Herald, Les Taha, author of the book The Architects of Rap: Poison in Our Culture, believes rap music is causing psychological harm to the youth and endangering our lives. He then goes on to slam 50 Cent and says he's poisoning the youth with his lyrics.

"That's what's hurting us now,'' Taha says. "Not the fact that some waitress won't wait on you in Denny's. Our biggest problems are the family and crime. But then you see rap music and videos that are cheerleaders for these problems. I'm just shocked that more leaders aren't speaking out. I'm convinced that Martin Luther King and Malcolm X would be speaking out against this.''

Weird News

Passengers, this is your captain speaking and welcome to United Airlines. Our in-flight entertainment for today is a naked man dancing in the aisle. Enjoy and have a wonderful trip. Shake your booty, it's your birthday.

What stupid people will do for money: A man hires a limo to drive him to a San Francisco bank so he can rob it.

Hip-Hop Site of The Day: Move The Crowd

Hip-Hop Quote of The Day:
"To be quite honest I think KRS-One and Public Enemy are the two cats who really inspired me to be the person that I'm striving to be."
– '80's Canadian rapper Maestro Fresh Wes


Shades Of Madlib

Madlib's New CD Is Hot! Go Cop It!

I'm really, really digging Madlib's latest CD Shades Of Blue. It's a wonderful collection of what I like to call "jazz-hop" by a bonafide beat maker, or shall I say, hip-hop maestro. Madlib did some serious crate-digging and raided the vaults of Blue Note Records to come up with 12 of his favorite jazz songs to remix. Listening to Shades of Blue, it reminds me of Guru's old Jazzmatazz compilations (both Volumes 1 and 2), which I truly enjoyed from the GangStarr frontman.

My music review on Madlib's CD is on the way. I'm going to combine it with another review of jazz trumpeter Russell Gunn 's equally pleasing jazz-hop disc Ethnomusicology, Volume 3. These two artists have a lot in common but come from two different musical spectrums. I highly recommend both CDs.

But back to producer-extraordinaire Madlib:

I can't wait to hear Madlib's next project. This is hip-hop at its finest. Check it:

Producers Madlib and Jay Dee have collaborated together on a project called JayLib, which will be release on Stone Throws Records sometime in the fall.

The JayLib project is a conceptual album – it draws on the production and lyrical talents of sonic-crafters Jay Dee (who has produced tracks for A Tribe Called Quest, Slum Village and Dwele) and Madlib (who has produced tracks for the Alkaholiks, and indie stalwarts Lootpack, Yesterdays New Quintet and MF Doom). Jay will produce one half of the record with Madlib spitting rhymes on all of the songs. On the other half, Madlib's production will be featured and J-Dilla (Jay Dee) will spit rhymes on those tracks.

JayLib Album Cover

The first single from the compilation is "Official" b/w "The Red" and it's a dope introduction to what I believe will be an awesome album. The b-side "The Red" is produced by Jay Dee with Madlib spitting rhymes or rather taunts at fake thug MCs who don't have any lyrical skills. The banger is getting mad airplay on commercial radio out on the west coast – probably because the beat resembles Dr. Dre's G-funk vibes. Nonetheless, it's an awesome head-nodding inducing track. On "Official," J-Dilla is rhyming over Madlib's jazzy-looped track. It's not a headbanger, but it's definitely a toe-tapper. The JayLib project will definitely show that Stones Throw Records is one of the most innovative record labels out in today's indie (undie?) rap circles. More importantly, it also shows that Jay Dee and Madlib are two underrated but never-duplicated super producers in the music game right now.

I can't wait for this album to come out.

In the meantime, here's a nice interview with Madlib and fellow producer Profuse 73 in XLR8R magazine. Check it out:

Madlib (known to his close homies as Otis Jackson Jr.) and Prefuse 73 (the main production alias of soft-spoken Scott Herren) are changing the sound of hip-hop by pushing the boundaries of modern production. Between Prefuse’s trademark staccato push-button edit style and Madlib’s dubbed-out jazz loops and dirty drums, these cats are revolutionizing sampled music with each new project.


I nominate Madlib for Producer of the Year.

These ears don't lie, y'all!


News Headlines

Movie News:

• Journalist/online diarist Lynne d Johnson is feeling Bad Boys II starring Will Smith And Martin Lawrence:

"In Bad Boys II, you have fast cars and big guns, and some believable (though all not totally so) action scenes that display beautiful cinematography. The comedic timing of both Smith and Martin is so on point, even if you don't want to laugh at their overuse of the word nigger you find yourself in stitches. For the most part, I believe that folks have been waiting patiently these past eight years for the return of this duo and trust me it's well worth the wait . . ."

But columnist/writer Ray Pride of MovieCity News disagrees and thinks Bad Boys II is disgusting beyond reasoning:

"Yes, [there] are lovely "go-boom" practical stunts . . . [but] the movie readily pranks over the line into high-octane decadence and it can't be called anything but disjointed swill."

I'm Neva Scuurred

Possibly The Hottest Movie Of The Fall Season

• A local filmmaker and a former Miss Black USA pageant winner have teamed up to helm a fictional film about a R&B musician.

The story tracks 50 years in the life of Derk Jerome, a black East Side (Buffalo, N.Y.) resident who rises to pop-music stardom in the 1950s. The film not only follows Jerome breaking through the music industry's color barrier, but also the bittersweet story of a Buffalo family.

Now let's get back to some Hip-Hop News . . . shall we?

Get Rich and Start Dressin' Like Fiddy: 50 Cent is launching his own clothing line this year called G-G-G-G G-Unit Clothing Co., and it's backed by Ecko designer Marc Ecko. Some initial gear are heading to stores just in time for the holiday season.

• Hip-hop diarist Madison of Diesel Nation is not impress that Harvard educators have added Hip-Hop to the University's curriculum.

2Pac 101: The written word of the late rapper Tupac Shakur will be analyzed and discussed in a college class called "The Text Appeal of Tupac Shakur" at the University of Washington in Seattle. The fall course will examine the literary influences of Tupac's lyrics via a selection of writings including works by Sun Tzu (The Art Of War), Machiavelli (The Prince) and Shakespeare.

WOW! – Part 2

• Nominees for the Chickenhead Awards, er, excuse me, the Soul Train Lady Of Soul Awards were announced last week. Floetry leads the pack of nominees with four mentions, including Best R&B/Soul Group Or Duo and Best R&B/Soul Album of the Year for their debut CD Floetic.

• On Method Man's 1996 debut album Tical, Meth says on the song "Bring the Pain":

"Of course it's the Method Man from the Wu-Tang Clan
I be hectic, and comin' for the head piece protect it
Fuck it, two tears in a *bucket, niggaz want the ruckus . . ."
* -- bucket also means "raggedy car."

Top 20 Things You Seldom Hear Rappers Say

Russell Simmons' Defining Moment


Is Big Business Raping Hip-Hop?

Hip-Hop Site(s) of the Day:
Hip-Hop Hot Spot
Verbal Mutilation Hip-Hop

Hip-Hop Quote of the Day:

"When I did 'Baby Got Back,' I did it to be unpopular. Really . . . I did it to piss people off. The establishment didn't embrace the song, which is what kept me from being the next pop guy to fizzle out and get laughed at, get dissed on TV. That helped save me. The fact that MTV banned the record – it made the record, in a weird way."
– Chief Boot Knocka Sir Mix-A-Lot

Still Tinkering With This Thing

I'm still messing around with this TypePad thing.

I think I will design a brand new Beats & Rants layout over the weekend. Just one more layout before I make a final decision on what B & R will ultimately look like from now to next year . . . I guess.

Whew, it's tough being a perfectionist. I'm never satisified.

Show the Toe

Via Stephen Silver

A Smoking Toe!

Hey ladies!

Do you want to really show off your camel toe . . .

Well then . . . try the all new and amazing Camel Toe Cup!

That's right ladies, impress your boyfriend, lover or construction worker with your visible camel toe.

Act Now!

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In the meantime, check out Fannypack's latest video for "Camel Toe," right here.