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Posts from January 2013

New Video: Ty - "Like You Never"

Hip-Hop's Guard: London Rapper Ty

Check out this great video from Ty, a veteran rapper from the U.K. hip-hop scene who has been making inspiring, thought-provoking hip-hop for over a decade. If you're not familiar check out his stellar albums like his 2001 debut LP Awkward and my personal favorite Upwards.

In the "Like You Never" clip, directed by Adam Rogers and co-drirected by Bunny Bread, Ty raps about the uncreative direction of today's rap music. "And now the new school is no school / Because everybody and their mama knows pro tools / Writing raps and recording bad vocals / Being a star is more than being anti-social / I'm more than boastful," he spits.

The London-based rapper is seen walking through a blight environment of abandon buildings and a graffiti-covered playground as to represent the emptiness of the music. At the end of the video, Ty is walking in paradise -- the island Aruba, to be exact -- as he takes a dip in the ocean to purify himself of bad rap music.

The video might be overly symbolic with its message about the problems with today's rap music, but Ty makes some great points in his lyrics. In one line, he raps, "I grew up in a brown-black facade / So I'm not trying to act like I'm that large / But I'm trying to rap like I'm that guard / When it comes to culture, I pulling rap's card like a placard."

The real standout here is the song's productions -- a fantastic pounding beat, turntable scratching and a wonderfully-placed soul sample makes this an instant head-nodding track.

The song will appear on Ty's upcoming EP A Kick Snare & An Idea, which is due out digitally in April on Tru Thoughts.

New Music: Tracey Lee - "It’s About Time"

Times Up!: Tracey Lee It's About Time

Remember Tracey Lee? He was the Philadelphia rapper who had a chart-topping hit in 1997 with the club jam 'The Theme (It's Party Time)." Well, he's back with a new song called "It's About Time."

The rapper-turned-attorney flips Marvin Gaye's classic tune 'Time to Get It Together' into a groovy hand-clapping rap song. On it, Tray Lee insists he can still spit bars and he's ready to shine again.

"My faith in the music over time had diminished / But now I'm more focused, got recommitted / So I figured it's about time / Now bear witness to one of the best that ever did it," he raps over Gaye's sampled vocal riffs.

The song is from Tracey Lee (Esq.)'s upcoming album titled ESQ. under his imprint LLeft Entertainment that he shares with his wife Lori Nelson Lee. "[We are] not afraid to go against the grain of the industry and at our own pace," Lee tells Black Enterprise. "Our motto is 'Whenever mainstream goes right, we go LLEFT!'"

Only time will tell if Tracey Lee can recapture the hype and success he had in the mid-90s. To help you relive those golden days, I posted Tracey Lee's throwback video "It's Party Time" below.

**BONUS**: You know how he gets down...


New Video: Rapsody - "Non Fiction" (Featuring Raheem DeVaughn)

Shine Ya Light: Rapsody

While Azealia Banks and Angel Haze are beefing with each other on Twitter, Rapsody drops a cool visual for her latest single 'Non Fiction.' The song is from the North Calackie emcee's slept-on album, The Idea of Beautiful. Directed by Kenneth Price, the black-and-white video intercuts between Rapsody reciting her witty bars and concert footage of her and 9th Wonder moving the crowd. "Used to ride to N.O.R.E. / Now the people inquiry / About the 5’3” emcee with ovaries / Got a bite on the mic like the likes of ol’ Lauryn," spits Rapsody.

No fiction here -- this is real hip-hop.

New Video: Kendrick Lamar - "Backseat Freestyle"

N---a In Paris: Kendrick Lamar

From Compton to Paris, rapper Kendrick Lamar has come a long ways. In his black-and-white video for "Backseat Freestyle," K-Dot gives viewers a tourist's view of his old neighborhood and the city of love.

Elsewhere in the clip, we meet Lamar's weed-smoking dad (who still wants his damn dominoes) and Sherane, the neighborhood chick from his good kid, m.A.A.D city album. In the end, we get to see Lamar perform the Hit-Boy-produced banger in front of the Eiffel Tower in lights.

Compton kid's dreams have finally come true.

Happy New Year -- 2013!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! I wish everyone a productive and prosperous 2013.

Beats and Rants is still very much alive. I will continue to update the blog on a frequent basis in the new year. Please bear with me, life is hectic right now, but I'm on the web, just look around and you will find me.


Stay safe. Peace and blessings.