Classic Material: Albums by The Wu-Tang Clan and A Tribe Called Quest Turn 25

ATCQ Midnight Marauders Enter the Wu-Tang

Today (Nov. 9) is a great day in music history - two classic albums that shaped and transcended hip-hop turned 25 years old.

On Nov. 9, 1993, the Wu-Tang Clan and A Tribe Called Quest released their seminal albums, Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers and Midnight Marauders, respectively, on the same day giving rap fans endless hours of head-nodding material.

Both albums offered two different musical compositions in rap. On Enter the Wu-Tang, veteran producer RZA delivered a cacophony of sounds that consisted of concrete-breaking beats and sampled vocals from kung-fu flicks. The album's unpolished production sounded like RZA recorded the project in his basement -- gritty and unfiltered.

Meanwhile, ATCQ had already released two classic albums - People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm (1990) and The Low End Theory (1991), an impressive accomplishment from the iconic group. Unlike Enter the Wu, the production on Midnight Marauders was polished as the rap trio continued their creative fusion of hip-hop and jazz. Lyrically, Q-Tip and the late Phife Dawg delivered inventive rhymes that dealt with their day-in-a-life circumstances growing up in Queens, New York.

Both are unadulterated classics and I'm not going to even entertain a debate on which album is superior, instead, let's enjoy them for what they are - timeless masterpieces.

"We at 25 years, we know we have arrived at our destination. We're grateful for everyone that’s been a part of this,” said RZA about the LP's 25th anniversary (via Billboard ). “When we said 36 Chambers, the word chamber was giving everybody an idea that you will go through different chambers in your life. It's many things that you have to pass through in order to master yourself."

The RZA also revealed that the borough of Staten Island, N.Y. (native hometown to most of the Wu-Tang Clan members) will recognized Nov. 9 as "Wu-Tang Clan Day."

On the internet, they are a slew of tributes and retrospectives on both of these albums. Check out the list below (click the link):

Continue reading "Classic Material: Albums by The Wu-Tang Clan and A Tribe Called Quest Turn 25" »

Never Forgotten: 9/11 - 10 Years Later



(photo by Larry Rader via 9/

Today marks the tenth anniversary of the darkest day in American history on September 11, 2001.

I remember it so vividly because I was in New York on that tragic day and witnessed the horror and the chaos in its aftermath up close. I arrived in New York just minutes after the first plane hit the towers and the police were evacuating the train station on 34th street and shutting down ALL subways.

It wasn't until I arrived at my news desk that I saw on television screen the horror that was unfolding that day. I was one out of three journalists who made it into the office early that day. The other members couldn't make it into Manhattan because all transportation in and out of the city were shut down.

I had to report the tragic events to my various radio affiliates across the country all day. By late afternoon, I was totally overwhelmed by all of the television, radio and internet coverage of the disaster. At some point during the day, I became emotionally drained and put my head down on the desk in my cubicle and I cried.

But the day wasn't over for me. The fire marshall order us to evacuate the building and leave the city, if possible. Well, I couldn't go home because every transit system in the northeast was on shut down completely until midnight. So, me along with thousands of passengers were stranded outside of the train station waiting to get home.

It looked like a refugee camp outside as people huddled to find a spot in front of the doors -- they were all hungry, afraid, tired and distressed. I didn't catch a train until 2 a.m. the next morning. In the end, it was a very stressful and eventful day for me to say the least.

Much like Hurricane Katrina, 9/11 is another American tragedy that we must never forget. In addition, many thanks goes out to the brave police, firefighters and rescue teams who rose to the occassion to save numerous lives. And Rest In Honor, to the people who perished in the Twin Towers, at the Pentagon and the passengers who fought back on the plane that crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

I will never forget.

To commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11, State Farm partnered with acclaimed director Spike Lee to film a touching tribute to thank the heroes of New York City. Nearly 150 school children (ages 8 to 11) from the New York area visited four firehouses and thanked the firefighters personally through song.


God Bless, America. Peace.

Eminem & Royce Da 5'9" Cover RESPECT.


'Hell' Raisers: Eminem & Royce Da 5' 9"

credit: respect.


Here's the "official" high-resolution image of rappers Eminem and Royce da 5'9" (aka Bad Meets Evil) on the cover of RESPECT. magazine. As you may already know, the rap tandem is set to drop their new album Hell: The Sequel on June 14 (Peep the tracklisting HERE). The video for LP's first single, "Fast Lane," should be dropping soon (Peep the trailer HERE).

The "summer" issue also boasts an interview with Odd Future headmaster Tyler, The Creator, who will be featured on a special limited-edition RESPECT. cover. In addition, there are profiles on artists Mac Miller, Big K.R.I.T, Killer Mike and DJ Khaled.

RESPECT. magazine will hit newsstands on June 7.



RESPECT. Due -- Rick Ross


Erick Sermon Talks Sheek Louch, Rick Ross Collaborations (Video)


Erick Sermon




Erick Sermon has the Internets going nuts over his collaborative songs with Sheek Louch ("Dodge This") and Rick Ross ("Niggaz Ain't Me"). The viral tracks are the first pieces of music from the Green-Eyed Bandit in 9 years. Music website recently talked with E-Double and he reveals how he secured Rozay's $40K-paid verse and Sheek's feature, as well. In addition, Erick is gearing up to release more music on his own imprint Def Squad Digital. If you've been living under rock, I posted the aforementioned songs below.


Erick Sermon (Featuring Sheek Louch) -- "Dodge This"


Erick Sermon (Featuring Rick Ross) -- "Ain't Me" [Clean Version]



Rick Ross Covers VIBE Magazine's "Sexy" Issue


Seeing Red: Rick Ross


Rick Ross shows why it's very important for men to get in the gym and start lifting weights -- because flabby man-boobs (or "drooping pecs" as Angela Yee affectionately calls them) are not sexy. But if you are "the Bawse" of the hottest rap label -- Maybach Music Group -- it's okay to go shirtless on the cover (50 Cent did in May 2003, remember?). Dripped in all-black diamond-encrusted Jesus pieces, it looks as if Ross is ready to take over the summer. Sexy and determined, that's a good look.

Radio personality Angela Yee talks sex and music with Ricky Rozay and his MMG all-stars Pill, Wale and Meek Mill for VIBE magazine's "Sexy" issue. In addition, there are profiles on Amber Rose, Cory Gunz, Cassie and Lil Kim. The magazine should hit newsstands this week. And don't forget, MMG's new album Self Made, Vol. 1 is in stores now.