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: Kanye West x Jay-Z - "H.A.M."


H.A.M. Single

It's finally here! The official single from Kanye West and Jay-Z's collaborative album Watch the Throne, which is due in March. The dark anthem "H.A.M." was produced by the in-demand hitmaker Lex Luger who is Waka Flocka Flame's right-hand man.

Reactions to the song have been mixed from a marginal "Like" to an overwhelming thumbs down.

Personally, I didn't like the song. Luger makes rowdy beats, so, if you are going to spit rhymes over his thunderous productions then you better bring the ruckus. Yeezy and Jigga didn't go ham or hard (*PAUSE*) enough on the song. If Waka Flocka was on this track, he would have went berserk  . . . not ham.


Kanye West & Jay-Z -- "H.A.M."



Yeezy and Jigga's single "H.A.M." is available for download via H.A.M - Single - Kanye West


New Video: Marsha Ambrosius - "Far Away"




Marsha Ambrosius tackles the growing social epidemic of gay bullying in her new video for "Far Away," the second single from her upcoming LP Late Nights, Early Mornings (due Feb. 22). In the clip, a gay man is a victim of constant harassment because of his sexual orientation, which tragically leads him to commit suicide.

For Ambrosius, the story line is based on real-life experiences. "I lost a friend to suicide," the songbird states in her video. "I'm asking all of you to support alternative lifestyles. Don't put up with or join in with bullying. Take a responsibility to make a difference. So if my music can save one life, I've done my job."


Marsha Ambrosius -- "Far Away"