You know what time it is . . . it's time for some news:
• The skinny on Memphis rap (Three 6 Mafia and producer Jazze Phaementioned, among others).
• Ruff Ryders Rides A Virgin. Drag-on Breath, er, I mean, MIA rapper Drag-On (remember him?) and newbie Jinn are set to drop their new albums this fall. Ho-hum . . . NEXT!
• Maaaagic Lincoln!
Lincoln signs Earvin "Magic" Johnson to multiyear endorsement deal.
DEARBORN, Mich. (B&R) – Basketball great/Businessman Earvin "Magic" Johnson has signed on to be a pitchman for Ford Motor Co.'s Lincoln Mercury vehicles. Magic will appear in television and print commercials and other cross-promotional materials, in which the company hopes will attract young buyers (30-40 year-olds). But don't call Magic a coporate sellout, just yet. The former Los Angeles Lakers legend has eyes on a much bigger prize. "I didn't come here to get a 'Magic' vehicle," he says. "I'd rather have a dealership." Ahhh, business before pleasure.
• Oh, by the way, Little Brother's debut CD The Listening is the best hip-hop CD of 2003 . . . so far.
Little Brother has appeared in Rolling Stone magazine, XXL and The Source, but the North Carolina-based trio wish they could make a name for themselves in their own home state. According to [Little Brother member] 9th Wonder, part of the reason for the lack of recognition is that people don't support local artists. "They're not liking us because we're not played five times a day [on the radio]," he says.
• Speaking of supporting indie artists: Big-ups to my girl Jean Grae. She just signed with Babygrande Records, an indie label with artists like ex-Diggable Planets rhyme-slinger Cherrywine, lyrical dynamo Supernatural and the still-scornful rapper Canibus on their roster. Jean is expected to drop her second CD -- her follow-up to her brilliant 2002 disc Attack of the Attacking Things -- by the fall. You go girl! If you are like me and you're dying to hear a new track from Jean Grae, then clicky, clicky THIS. It's only a minute long but this song is so fabulous . . . so exclusive . . . so extravagant.
Hip-Hop Site of the Day: Arbitrary
"I'm grateful that I could be a late adolescent of hip-hop and know pre-hip-hop consciousness. I'm grateful because the hip-hop consciousness that we're forced to take up today is so heavily commercialized. To only have a commercial derivative of your culture to draw on is a horrifying thought to me." – Hip-Hop Professor/Lecturer/Thinker Tricia Rose, author of Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America (Music/Culture). Tricia's newest book Longing to Tell: Black Women's Stories of Sexuality and Intimacy is in stores now.