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October 2003

Posts from September 2003

Say Yes!

"Give me my money and trust me. If I were an A&R [person], I'd sign me. I'm like a big fucking dollar sign here, with Adidas on."
– Jean Grae

The Gifted Lyricist Jean Grae

Hip-hop heads will definitely "say yes" to this:

Newly signed to Babygrande Records, lyricist Jean Grae is getting ready to drop her first release for the label titled The Bootleg of the Bootleg EP on Oct. 7.

The first single from the EP will be the "Hater's Anthem." Guest on the project includes the venerable underground rap group Cannibal Ox.

Now how fantastic is this, huh? As many of you know, Jean Grae is one of my favorite femcees in hip-hop. She's a rap powerhouse with lyrical skills out the yay-o. Simply put, she can't be fuck with on the mic, end of discussion.

Do you want proof?

To listen to Jean Grae's exclusive freestyles of "Green" (over a Nas track), and another freestyle of "U Don't Know" (over the Kayne West beat), click THIS.

Then check out Jean's lyrical dexterity at, where she spitted fire lyrics over Jay-Z's "Excuse Me Miss" beat. It's hot to death! And also peep Jean's sinister track, "Very Bad Things."

Repeat after me . . . Hot Shit!

But on the real, y'all need to see Jean Grae live on stage and watch how Jean rips it on the mic. It's an awesome display of poetics and showmanship.

Check out Jean Grae's Fall Tour Dates and mark your calendars:

10-1 - New York, NY: S.O.B.’s Jean Grae w/ Kanye West (Roc-A-Fella Records artist)

Jean Grae w/ Cannibal Ox

10-20 - Boston, MA
10-23 - Detroit, MI
10-24 - Chicago, IL
10-25 - Minneapolis, MN
10-28 - Seattle, WA
10-29 - Portland, OR
10-30 - Eugene, OR
10-31 - San Francisco, CA
11-1 - Los Angeles, CA
11-2 - San Diego, CA
11-3 - Tempe, AZ
11-4 - Tucson, AZ
11-6 - Austin, TX
11-7 - Dallas, TX
11-8 - Oklahoma City, OK
11-10 - Kansas City, MO
11-11 - St. Louis, MO
11-12 - Cincinnati, OH
11-13 - Pittsburgh, PA
11-14 - Baltimore, MD
11-15 - Philadelphia, PA

Also, don't forget: OutKast's Speakerboxxx/The Love Below double-CD will be in stores on Tuesday, Sept. 23. Please go cop it!

Again, support great rap music.

Hip-hop is not dead . . . it's just in another spirit.

In the R&B world:

The Floetic Duo Floetry

Floetry fans will "say yes" to this:

The R&B-poetry duo will release a live CD titled Floetry Live on Nov. 18. The disc also will include a new track and contain a bonus DVD of their July 3 concert performance in New Orleans. And if you haven't seen their video for their latest single, "Getting Late," then click THIS.

Meanwhile, Nas's future baby mama Kelis will bring her brand of delectable R&B with a new CD called Tasty, which is scheduled to hit stores on Nov. 11. Top producers the Neptunes, P. Diddy, Raphael Saadiq and Dallas Austin have blessed the diva with hot tracks.

Fall is looking pretty good to me.



I Want My EMptyTV!

MTV logo

The Weekly Wrap-Up :: On MTV

** – Question changed by Trent

  1. What was the first music video you remember seeing? What was memorable?

    I would have to say the "Rapture" music video by Blondie. It was memorable for me because I liked the song "Rapture" a lot when it came out. So in the video, I adored Debbie Harry because she was wearing that sexy black dress with her hot legs, looking like a cheap hooker. I watched that video for hours. I also loved the "dancing black guy" that was wearing an all white outfit with the top hat near the end of the video.

    I also have to say that the "King of Rock" video by Run-DMC was also another clip I watched all the time when I was a teenager. That video was memorable for me because it was the first time I ever saw Run-DMC perform. Melvin "Bud" Mellman (the short bespectacled old guy from the David Letterman Show) had a cameo in that video and I thought he was hilarious. More importantly, Run-DMC was the only black faces on MTV at the time (besides VJ J.J. Jackson).

  2. What was your favorite music video as a teenager? Why?

    Gee, there were a lot of music videos that I loved watching as a teenager. I went ga-ga over the videos by R&B group Cameo (like "She's Strange" and others) because they would always feature hot-looking ladies wearing spandex. I also loved watching Michael Jackson's music videos because they were like mini-movies. And every rap video that appeared on Yo! MTV Raps.

  3. How often did you watch MTV as a teen? How often now? Why has this changed, if at all?

    I used to watch MTV religiously when I was a teen. Back in the days, I was watching Yo! MTV Raps every day. In fact, I still have some of their shows on videotape. (I used to record the show on my VCR, whenever I couldn't be home to watch the series.)

    Today, I watch MTV periodically. Lately, I have been watching Making the Band 2 and seeing Bad Boy Records' rap group Da Band look like fools on TV. Prediction: 2 albums and it's a wrap – Da Band will . . . be done. They are a nice group of kids, but I don't think they have a long future in the music biz. I hope they have enough sense to save their money, while they are still getting that paper.

    As a music channel, MTV is a corporate machine that plays music videos by popular artists. They are very selective when it comes to artists getting airtime on MTV. I don't see any music videos by indie artists on there anymore.

    Whatever happened to 120 minutes?

    BET (Black Entertainment Network) is now my MTV. But BET has got to do something with their programming. This music channel likes to show the same music videos all day, every day. And all of their VJs suck, including Big Tigga. Free and AJ on 106 & Park are cool people. I like Free, she's a hottie.

  4. Did "video kill the radio star," as The Buggles asserted in their 1980 song of the same name? Why or why not?

    Without question, music videos have killed the rap star. Today's rap videos are nothing more than an excuse to show tits and ass. I don't mind a little T&A, but how about a little creativity in these rap videos. The video girl seem to get more screen time in the videos than the rapper.

    What's missing in today's rap videos?

    Visual art is what missing in today's rap videos. Aside from a few videographers – like Dave Meyers who directed Missy Elliott's "Work It" clip – there's no one out there today bringing any unique visuals to the rap videos.

  5. ** What are some of the best music videos ever made? Why?

Michael Jackson – "Beat It" and "Thriller"

Both videos featured awesome choreography and a story line. MJ had a couple of great videos – "Billie Jean" clip was hot; and the underrated "Bad" mini-movie was a nice video, as well.

Any videos directed by Hype Williams.

Hype is a visionary auteur. I think his best video was Busta Rhymes' "Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See."

Filmmaker Paul Hunter's captivating clips for Tamia's "Unofficially Missing You" and Tyrese's "Signs of Love Making."

Both are two great voyeuristic videos. The clips are both sensual without being to overtly sexual at the same time.

Police – "Every Breath You Take"

A classic clip for a classic song; the video featured the best usage of black and white imagery, and it was gorgeously shot.

Unconscious Mutterings For Week 32 ::

  1. Wedding:: bells
  2. Roach:: motel
  3. Expense:: account
  4. Fight:: club
  5. Air:: travel
  6. Protect:: and serve
  7. Glance:: at me
  8. Boo:: scared
  9. Steamy:: white rice
  10. Caviar:: don't eat that shit


Purple Recognition

The Beautiful One Prince

The venerable R&B/rock star Prince is among the hopefuls picked as a nominee for the 2004 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. This is the first time he has been eligible for induction. In order to be a nominee an artist must be 25 years past their first major recording.

Prince (real name: Prince Rogers Nelson) released his debut album, For You, in 1978. Since then he has been a prolific superstar with a long list of hits, including "Adore," "Little Red Corvette," "Controversy," When Doves Cry," "Diamonds & Pearls," "Kiss," "1999", "Let's Go Crazy" and so many more. Not too mentioned he has produced, performed, and or written songs for the Bangles, Apollonia 6, Shelia E, Maceo Parker, *Chaka Khan, TLC, Cyndi Lauper, The Time, rapper Benzino (yes, that corny motherfucker who co-owns The Source magazine) and SO MANY OTHER ARTISTS.

Prince also can be heard playing guitar on Common's CD Electric Circus. He currently has a new DVD in stores titled Prince Live at the Aladin Las Vegas. A music video was released from the DVD - a performance clip of "Gotta Broken Heart Again." You can catch that video on BET's Midnight Love - my favorite late-night video show.

I don't know what the criteria is for an artist to be finally inducted, but it would be wise for the RRHOF voting committee to induct Prince into the Hall of Fame. I mean, let's keep it real – Prince is a musical genius. He is the Beethoven of R&B, and it's about time that we show "The Purple One" some love. Prince is the one who really put the "R" in R&B.

We'll see in December – that's when the inductees will be announced.

And speaking of R . . .

R. Kelly

In the October issue of Blender magazine, embattled R&B singer R. Kelly – who was indicted last year on child pornography charges – now compares himself to the reclusive terrorist Osama bin Laden.

"People can say whatever they want about you without knowing the facts," says the R. "They can criticize you without even knowing you, and hate you when they don't even know you. All of a sudden, you're, like, the bin Laden of America. Osama bin Laden is the only one who knows exactly what I'm going through."

Not really, pied piper. You see, Osama is in hiding because he knows that our President, George Bush, wants his old-ass dead. As for us, we just want to cut your balls off.

"I have three to four years' worth of work you've never heard in the vaults. I've come up with at least 20 to 25 albums."

That's good to know. So when you get sent to prison for child pornography; and you're getting cozy with your cellmate Bubba, Jive Records can release one album per year for the next 25 years. Hey, that's not a bad deal.


News Headlines

Y'all know what time it is . . . read on

"Rap star Nelly has his own sports drink called 'Pimp Juice'. Don't we already have that? Isn't it called Colt-45? In fact, Ludacris is coming out with his own energy drink. [It's] on the market today. It's called Yo-Ho. Now with vitamin B-oootch." – Jay Leno

"I like Nelly. He's like a businessman now. [Nelly] says [Pimp Juice is] full of vitamins. [Is] that a big problem now in America – vitamin deficient pimps? [Mimicking a pimp] 'You know, I'd like to smack my [bitch up], [but] I just don't have the energy. If only I had a drink . ." – Jay Leno

Jay-Z And His Bootylicious Girlfriend Beyonce

A rift between Jay-Z and Sean Paul? ::

Jay-Z is so "crazy in love" with Beyoncé, that Jigga BARRED Sean Paul from performing with Beyoncé at the MTV Video Music Awards. Sean's pre-recorded vocals were used during Beyoncé's sizzling-hot VMA performance of "Baby Boy (her due with Sean). But when the bootylicious diva went into her "Crazy In Love" routine, Jigga performed his vocals live right beside his boo, Beyoncé.
Sean Paul was indeed in the house. In fact, he performed earlier at the event and presented a moonman trophy. "I don't know whether it was jealousy or a professional threat," says Sean's manager Jeremy Harding about the Jigga snub. Jeremy also claims that after Beyoncé's VMA performance she tried to apologize to Sean who reportedly told her that "it was all right." Jayoncé's reps had no comment on the matter.

Damn Jigga, you sure are protective of that big booty. Personally, I think this is ridiculous. Jigga should have kept his ego in check and humble himself. Let Sean perform with Beyoncé – Sean only has, like, a 30-second cameo in the song. And let's keep it real: No one was looking at Jay-Hova's corny ass with that corny suit jacket – the audience was looking at Beyoncé. Woo-wee she was hot!

• Rapper Nelly's "Pimp Juice" energy drink is coming under fire from a North Carolina minister who warns that the drink is liquid poison for the African-American community.

"The black community is in danger, right now," says Reverend Paul Scott, founder of the Messianic Afrikan Nation in Durham, North Carolina. "As black men we should be building a nation of strong black leaders, not a nation of super energized, drunk pimps."

Word. Can I get a witness?

50 Cent is into yoga.

Yeah, right. And I'm in the P.I.M.P. game. Where's my goblet, beeotch?!

The Neptunes respond to allegations that they are CLONING other people's beats.

Say it isn't so, Pharell. I think the Neptunes are great beatmakers and couldn't possibly have stolen other people's beats. I think this is a case of "creative coincidence." In the meantime, the Neptunes new music video for "Lite Yo Ass On Fire" (featuring Busta Rhymes) is one of the funniest clips I have seen this week. It's total eye candy and I love it. Please watch this video, right HERE.

Kool Keith, the enigmatic rapper of the legendary group the Ultramagnetic MCs, came thisclose to joining the list of celebrities vying to replace embattled California Gov. Gray Davis.

Governor Black Elvis? (one of Kool Keith's many alter egos)
Hmmmm . . . that has a nice ring to it. Kool Keith would have been the first hip-hop governor if he ran and won the election.

• J Records may sign a white rapper from Virginia who speaks three languages and has a college degree.

Oh shit. Music mogul Clive Davis is on the prowl looking for a white rapper. Everybody in the music industry thinks Clive has the "Midas" touch.

• Ooooh Serena Williams, we LOVE you so much. You go girl! [Attention fellas: nipple shot!]

Weird Stuff

• Tens of thousands of bare-breasted young maidens danced in front of King Mswati (of Swaziland) hoping to catch his eye, and become his next wife.

That's it, I'm moving to Swaziland!

Doggone It! ::
Crafty dog eats groceries while people wait at bus stops.


Is hip-hop anti-gay?

Give Me Body ::
The Beyoncés and the Ashantis are invading pop culture in extreme states of near "butt-nekkidness" to promote their summer CDs, but is this limiting or liberating?

Website of the Day :: Singapore HipHop Community

A hip-hop website for rap heads in Singapore. It features music reviews, articles and an online shop for those who want gear. Check it out!

Hip-Hop Quote of the Day

"At first it did get frustrating when people would send us emails telling us that they loved the music that they heard on the site but they couldn't find the album [The Listening] in stores. You receive all of these [critical acclaims] but people can't find your album on the shelf. That's one of the hardships of being on an independent label though. If you don't have a hit video on BET or a major to back you up then it's hard to get recognition." – Little Brother member Big Pooh explaining the struggle – as an indie rap group – to get their music heard to a worldwide audience.