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Posts from May 2012

Remembering Adam Yauch, a.k.a. MCA, of the Beastie Boys


Adam "MCA" Yauch (1964-2012)

We can we please have a moment of silence for...

Adam Yauch, one of the founding members of the influential rap group The Beastie Boys. The 47-year-old rapper passed away on May 4 after a three-year bout with cancer. In 2009, Yauch was diagnosed with cancer of the salivary gland and had to undergo surgery. At the time, Yauch described the cancer as "very treatable."

Yauch reportedly was hospitalized on April 14 in New York, and his condition deteriorated rapidly soon after. His wife, Dechen Wangdu, and 13-year-old daughter, Tenzin, were at his bedside Friday when he died.

Not only was Yauch a great emcee he was also a great humanitarian having help organize the series of the Tibetan Freedom Concerts and being an avowed Buddhist. In addition, he was a phenomenal filmmaker, helming many of the band's videos (under the alias Nathaniel Hornblower) and directing the 2008 high school basketball documentary Gunnin' for That #1 Spot and most recently the short film, Fight for Your Right Revisited.

As for the music, with fellow members Michael "Mike D" Diamond and Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz, the Beastie Boys produced several chart-topping albums including their classic 1986 debut LP License to Ill and their 1989 sample-heavy masterpiece Paul's Boutique.

"Adam was incredibly sweet and the most sensitive artist, who I loved dearly," said Russell Simmons who signed the Beastie Boys to Def Jam Recordings. "I was always inspired by his work. He will be missed by all of us."

"The music world has lost an Icon and I lost a brother," said DJ Mix Master Mike who work with the Beasties on their 1998 Grammy Award-winning album Hello Nasty. "I give thanks to Adam Yauch for allowing me to be apart of the Beastie legacy. I am so honored to have graced the stage with my idols for 15 historic years. My Condolences go out to the Yauch family."

Yauch is survived by his wife Dechen and his daughter Tenzin Losel, as well as his parents Frances and Noel Yauch.


I think LL Cool J's eulogy sums up how the hip-hop community feels about the loss of Adam Yauch.

Continue reading "Remembering Adam Yauch, a.k.a. MCA, of the Beastie Boys" »

New Video: Kanye West x Ruth Hogben - "Lost in the World"


Lost in the Clouds: Kanye West


And this is why Kanye West is a Hip-Hop Genius.

Kanye unveiled his new video for "Lost in the World," one of my favorite songs from his last album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Alternative rocker Bon Iver (he sings the Auto-Tune-laden chorus) doesn't appear in the black-and-white clip and 'Ye doesn't get much face time either. It's all about visuals provided by the video's director Ruth Hogben. Strobe lights, big cities and fast women -- get lost in Kanye's new video.



Production team Urban Noize comes through with another hot Kanye West remix. This time they flipped Yeezy's lyrics from Drake's "Forever" and mixed it with the Vega Choir's vocal cover of Radiohead's "Creep."

But don't worry, there's nothing creepy about this track. It's a pretty good blend. The song will appear on Urban Noize's Kanye-centric project Mr. West.

New Music: Apollo Brown + O.C. - "Just Walk"


Trophy Winners: Apollo Brown and O.C.

Let the trumpets blow!

Detroit producer Apollo Brown just released a phenomenal collaborative album with veteran rhyme-slinger/D.I.T.C. member O.C. called Trophies. One of the standout tracks on the LP is the trumpet-driven "Just Walk."

Brown chopped up Issac Hayes' classic song "Walk On By" and sprinkled it all over a fist-pounding beat. Meanwhile, O.C. gets brolic on the mic and reminds dudes not to cross him or else. "Big in the heart though I'm 5'8 / You Schwarzenegger muscle heads don't mean a thing / I don't scare easily / Matter fact, all it will take is an icepick to make ya big ass fall," he spits.

Cop Trophies now via

New Music: Chief Keef - "I Don’t Like" (Remix) [F/ Kanye West, Pusha T, Jadakiss & Big Sean]




Rap newbie Chief Keef is making a lot of noise with his ubiquitous street track "I Don't Like." At only 16 years of age, the Chicago native has the music industry buzzing with his ignorant rap music (that's a genre, not a critique).

Fellow Chi-City representer Kanye West remixed the song and brought along his G.O.O.D. Music brethren to the mix -- Pusha T, Jadakiss and Big Sean. The beat is tougher than an overcooked steak and Yeezy, Pusha, 'Kiss and Sean spit some brolic lyrics over the track.

Unfortunately, the producer of the original song, Young Chop, don't like the remix and plans to "sue the shit out of Kanye." Can someone please explain to Young Chop what a REMIX is.

Anyway, check out the track below:

New Video: Ab-Soul - "Empathy" (Featuring Alori Joh and jaVonté)


Technicolor Soul: 'Empathy' Video


California rapper Ab-Soul is a fan favorite here on BEATS and RANTS. His debut LP Longterm Mentality was one of the Best Hip-Hop Albums of 2011.

He recently dropped this beautiful video for "Empathy" featuring Alori Joh and jaVonté. Ab is singing this time around and he's able to pull off some vocal ability.

The clip is also a tribute to the late songbird Loriana Angel Johnson (aka Alori Joh), who committed suicide on Feb. 6 in Compton, Calif., according to the Boombox. The voice and the song is a testament to how talented and important she was to the Los Angeles music community.

Ab-Soul will drop his second effort Control System on May 11.