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October 2006
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December 2006

Posts from November 2006

Hat Tip To J Dilla!

J Dilla may be gone, but he hasn't been forgotten. Dilla Dog's posthumous releases Donuts and The Shining were clearly the best hip-hop albums to come out in 2006.

Baseball hat/apparel giant New Era will release two commemorative J Dilla "Shining" New Era hats on Nov. 24 in remembrence of the late studio genius who died in February of lupus. There will be two caps released -- one crimson (red) and one black (pictured above) -- both costing $74.00 each ("74" is the year that J Dilla was born). The black hat boasts a copy of The Shining instrumental CD, while the crimson hat will include a copy of The Shining CD. Only 144 caps of each colorway have been issued for this event. All proceeds from the sales of the hats will go to the J Dilla foundation.

The caps will be available via Okayplayer and at these fine retailers:

United States:

New York -- Union NY (172 Spring Street, Tel.: 212-226-8493)

Los Angeles -- Union L.A. (110 South La Brea Avenue, Tel.: 323-549-6950)


Toronto -- Goodfoot (431 Richmond Street, Tel.: 416-364-0734

Montreal -- Goodfoot (3830 St. Laurent Boulevard)

Calgary -- Goodfoot (736 17th. Ave. SW Unit B [Upper Unit])

Vancouver -- Goodfoot (Ransom 36 Powell St.)

Meanwhile, the good folks at J Dilla iMeem social-networking community will premiere on Dec. 4 a new music video for "Won't Do," a beautiful song from Dilla's The Shining disc. The clip was directed by Mazik Saevitz (a member of the '90s rap group Blood of Abraham) and it features cameos from Common, the Roots' Black Thought, Black Eyed Peas' mastermind, Talib Kweli, Karriem Riggins and others.

(Via World's Fair News)

Rest in Power, J Dilla.

Stay Strong!


Easy Ed

Can we please have a moment of silence . . .

For veteran 60 Minutes correspondent and journalist Ed Bradley (1941-2006) who died of leukemia Thursday morning. He was 65.

Before there was a Tavis Smiley or an Ed Gordon or a Bryant Gumbel . . . there was Ed Bradley aka "Easy Ed." He was called "Easy Ed" by his colleagues because he made it look so easy. Ed was a journalist of the highest regard who had integrity and credibility. "My formula for success has three elements: the talent you're given, the hard work you do to get better at whatever it is that you do, and a certain amount of luck," he told the Communicator, a magazine by the Radio-Television News Directors Foundation. "I will not go into a story unprepared. I will do my homework, and that's something I learned at an early age."

**That's a life lesson folks, please take notes.**

I had the previlege of attending two Ed Bradley's lectures when he visited Temple University to talk about his career as a journalist. This was around '92 or '93, I was a journalism student at the time and listening to his lectures inspired me want to pursue this very unstable profession. And of course, his top-notch reporting on 60 Minutes also helped -- I never wanted to miss any of Ed's stories.

Every African-American journalists in television today owes a debt to Ed Bradley. Always remember and never forget.

Tributes for Easy Ed are everywhere on the Internet. Here's a few that you should look at:

Columnist/Journalist Richard Price Remembers Ed Bradley

The Ten Things to Remember Ed By

TV/media critic Eric Deggans writes a thorough tribute on Ed Bradley

A video and audio history of Ed Bradley's career

Rest in Power, Ed.

You will be missed.


Ain't Nothin But a G(ame) Thang

The Game's highly anticipated second effort, Doctor's Advocate, was leaked on the Internet last week. Bloggers and critics alike have been weighing in on what they thought about the collection. So far, from reading a lot of responses and critiques, it looks like Game has a near hip-hop classic on his hands. I listened to a few tracks from Game's set, and I liked some of the joints. There's no sophomore slump to speak of with Game's LP, but I don't think it's a hip-hop classic. In my humble opinion, it's a good LP, but not great. Yeah, that's a vague overview, but that's all I have right now. It's a dope CD, I can't front. Plus, I think the Game has proven that he doesn't need help establishing himself in the rap game.

Nevertheless, here's what some bloggers are saying about Doctor's Advocate.

Journalist/blogger Jeff Weiss proclaimed in his music review that Doctor's Advocate is the "the best West Coast hip-hop album of the last ten years."

Jeff states:

"With his second album, the Game has done what seemed impossible: making a great West Coast Gangsta Rap album with the feel of 1994, in the year 2006. The Doctor's Advocate is a worthy sequel to albums like The Chronic, Straight Outta Compton and Doggystyle. Such high praise may seem like hyperbole, but when the dust settles, Doctor's Advocate will be regarded as a touchstone of West Coast hip-hop."
Freelance music writer William E. Ketchum III of "speech is my hammer" blog also gave Doctor's Advocate a big thumbs up. William cites Game's hunger, "Californication" lyrics and the LP's top-notch producers -- Kanye West, Swizz Beatz, Just Blaze, and others -- with helping Game maintain his West Coast swagger.

William spits:

"The Game has proven himself as an able MC that doesn't need [Dr. Dre], 50, or the Aftermath machine to make dope music; the only question is if fans feel the same way. Fuck an over-extended G-Unit beef, ugly basketball shoes, and subpar acting skills: when it comes to rap, Jayceon Taylor knows what he's doing."
And much like his last disc, The Documentary, Game continues his infamous "name-droppings" in his songs. Hip-hop blogger Jay Smooth calls it "namedropalicious." (LOL!)

Blogger JJ of "Still Music" blog, actually compiled a list of the high-profiled celebrity names that the Game mentions throughout his LP. Just to give you a brief rundown of the "namedropalicious": Game said "Dre" 34 times, "Snoop Dogg" eight times, "2Pac" seven times, "Eazy-E" six times, and "Jay-Z" and "Biggie" five times each, among many other name droppings.

I did manage to find one reviewer who was not too thrilled with Game's CD. Writer John Burnett of the hip-hop website "Nobody Smiling" thought the collection was okay, but certainly not worth the hype.

He writes (or types):

"The Game spends most of his early album attempting to revive West Coast gangsta rap with his exaggerated West Coast bravado, which, in turn, translates into lackluster/repetitive lyrics and tracks with very limited subject content."
And he ends it with:
"The Doctor's Advocate is not worth half the hype that was made for it but is an okay listen. Game still has potential but without [Dr. Dre] mentoring him it's a wrap. Hopefully Dre will hear this album and accept hip-hop's prodigal son back."
John did liked some of the tracks on the set including the soulful "Why You Hate the Game" (featuring Nas) and my personal favorite, the Kanye West-blessed banger, "Wouldn't Get Far." And this song "Compton" is b-b-b-b-bangin!

We'll see how well the Game does sales-wise with Doctor's Advocate when it hit stores on Nov. 14.

**BONUS**: The Game recently dropped a 12-minute all-star "It's Okay (One Blood)" remix featuring guest appearances from over 20 rappers. Game definitely broke a World Guiness Record with this track. Wow!



"Bring That Back/ What Was That
Oh My Lord/ She Got Back
So Precise/ So Intact
Oh My God/ Who Is That? . . ."

-- "Concentrate" by Xzibit

This lovely woman -- who named herself after the gambler's paradise Las Vegas -- proclaims to be "The Total Package." With her 36D-27-40 gorgeous frame, whose going to question her ass-ertion?

She is a down-home southern girl -- born in Birmingham, Ala., and was raised in Atlanta and Jackson, Mississippi. This full-time collegiate started modeling as a hobby, but two year ago, she took a gamble and became a full-time Internet vixen. You'll probably will see her soon in the print world, as well. To check out her "Package," click THIS and surf over to her MySpace website.

Stay focused!


Time To Re-Up!

Wamp Wamp! What it do, homie? Check out my new music poll on your top left.

The Set-Up: The holiday shopping season is coming up and several of your favorite rhyme-slingers are dropping albums like a bad habit.

The Question: Which rap album are you checking for the most? There's the Game's The Doctor's Advocate, Snoop Dogg's Tha Blue Carpet Treatment, Jay-Z's Kingdom Come, the Clipse's Hell Hath No Fury and Nas's Hip-Hop Is Dead . . . the N.

My Thoughts: Honestly, I'm not interested in hearing what Jay-Z has to say, at all. He came, he saw, he conquered. Jigga did it the best and now I think he should focus on being a Presidential MC over at Def Jam. Jay says he's the Michael Jordan of recordin', and I think to myself, "I hope he doesn't go out like he did." Sir Air Jordan came back . . . and back . . . and almost tarnished his legacy playing all banged up with the Washington Wizards. Stay out the game Hov, maintain your "King" status.

And that goes for Snoop Dogg, too. Althought his album looks like its going to be a banger, I truly believe that the Doggfather should retire. Snoop's rap career is Hall of Fame worthy, and with him pooping out albums and rehashing old gangsta themes it only does a disservice to his legacy. Snoop is the the king of West Coast rap, and he has nothing to prove -- step away from the microphone, dog. And that goes for Ice Cube, too. Step away, just step away.

So I'm more interested in listening to what Nas is bringing to the world this time around. It helps that he titled his album Hip-Hop Is Dead . . . the N. Niggas keep scratchin' their heads and askin' "What the fuck is he talkin' about?" So I hope Nas brings some food for thought. And I also want to hear the Clipse's album Hell Hath No Fury only because it's been four long years since their last release Lord Willin'. I want to hear what the crap-rap verbalists is cooking up this time. And I heard a few Game tracks from his forthcoming collection. My thoughts: Eh, they are okay. Some of the songs on Doctor's Advocate are download worthy though -- particularly that Kanye West-produced joint that has been floating around the 'Net.

My iTunes store is going to get hit up hard in the coming weeks.

So, go ahead and vote. Let me know what you think.

Holla! Wamp! Wamp!