Previous month:
February 2011
Next month:
April 2011

Posts from March 2011

Essay: My Proudest Moment In Hip-Hop


What a Feelin!: Flashdance Poster



One of the proudest moments I've seen in hip-hop was in the 1983 film Flashdance. The hyperbolic dance movie was about a female wielder named Alex Owens (played by newcomer Jennifer Beals) who strives to achieve her dreams of becoming a ballet dancer in a prestigious dance repertoire. In one exciting scene, she encounters a b-boy session on the street and watches the phenomenal Rock Steady Crew pop-locking and break-dancing to Jimmy Castor's "It's Just Begun." The song is a seminal urban anthem, which mixes rhythmic Latin horns, guitars and drums with an infectious chorus, "Watch it now, it's just begun."

For me, that scene marked that the hip-hop movement had arrived. It showed me that hip-hop was more than just an urban phenomenon; it was a cultural art form ready for absorption into popular culture.

"Watch us now . . . we've just begun."

-- Excerpt from an essay I wrote in college (circa 1992) about the emergence of hip-hop culture.



Rock Steady Crew -- "Hey You" (The Rock Steady Crew)


New Music: Jermiside - "The Cookout" (F/ Donwill & Spec Boogie)




Cincinnati rapper Jermiside dropped this tasty gem featuring fellow Lessondary members Spec Boogie and Donwill (of Tanya Morgan). The Von Pea-produced track "The Cookout" will appear on Jermside's upcoming mixtape Live & Let Die, which hits online in May.

Jermiside -- "The Cookout" (Featuring Donwill and Spec Boogie) [Produced by Von Pea]

Spotted: kevinnottingham | download


G.U.R.U. Clothing Line: "Summer 2011" MC Keithy E Collection


Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge


As previously reported, the X Label has teamed up with Listen clothing to establish the G.U.R.U. apparel line with a collection of T-shirts honoring the late rapper Keith "Guru" Elam of Gang Starr.

A selection of new T-shirts from the "Summer 2011" MC Keithy E Collection were posted on the X Label's blog with no additional information provided. Among them:

The "MC of the Year" shirt, which boasts "MC Keithy E" handwritten in graffiti.

The "Stars Above" olive-colored tee features a star wrapped in chains, which symbolizes the Gang Starr brand.

The "Ill Kid Records" T-shirt represents Guru's once-fledging indie label whose roster included Group Home, Big Shug, Bahamadia, True Master and others.

The "Arena" shirt boasts Guru's image from the front cover of Gang Starr's classic 1991 Step in the Arena album.

As of the previous T-shirts, which are available for purchase, they should retail for $26. As of yet, no release date has been set for the shirts.


Nate Dogg Laid To Rest At Hometown Service


Snoop Dogg and Wife at Nate Dogg's Funeral(Jeff Gritchen / Press-Telegram)

On a dreary Saturday morning, Nate Dogg (real name Nathaniel Hale) was laid to rest during an emotional "home-going" ceremony at the Queen Mary Dome in the late crooner's hometown of Long Beach, Calif. Among the 1,500 mourners in attendance were rap heavyweights Snoop Dogg, Warren G., Dr. Dre, the Game, DJ Quik, Daz Dillinger, Kurupt and Mack 10.

The hours-long funeral was accentuated with heartfelt eulogies and stories about the Grammy-nominated singer. A visibly distraught Warren G. reflected on his friendship with Nate, which started in high school when they formed the rap group 213 along with Snoop Dogg. "It hurts me so much to see this," he told mourners. "We been through a whole lot and that was my dog. He stayed down with me from the bottom to the top. I didn't ever think I would have to sit at a funeral for one of my dogs. All I can say is that was my friend, me him and Snoop was 213 from the balls to the walls. The music industry lost an incredible artist."

Snoop added: "He was a loving caring individual. If you listen to his music, he took church melodies and flipped it with hip-hop. I'm so honored, so happy that you gave me the opportunity, God, to know Nate Dogg. I want to stand here and cry, but I have to have the strength for you Nate Dogg. It's 213, DPG for life."

Following the funeral, Nate Dogg was buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Long Beach.

Nate Dogg, who was the "Golden Voice" of the G-Funk era, died on March 15 from complications related to two massive strokes he suffered in 2007 and 2008. Snoop Dogg has established a memorial fund for Nate's surviving children and family.

Nate Dogg leaves behind a family that includes his mother, Ruth Holmes; father, Daniel Hale Sr.; brothers Samuel Hale, Emmanuel Hale and Daniel Hale Jr.; sisters Pamela Hale-Burns and LaTonia Hale-Watkins and six children.

Regulate In Peace, Nate Dogg.

New Video: Freeway x Statik Selektah - "The Flow"


No Static: Freeway & Statik Selektah



New visuals from Freeway and Statik Selektah for "The Flow," one of the few standout tracks from the certified hip-hop banger Statik-Free EP. The clip was directed by James Curtis for Gorilla Flix. If you haven't check out the Statik-Free EP -- you are late! It's on iTunes, GO GET IT!

On a sidenote: Yo Statik, can we get an Statik-Free Insrumental LP?!