For years before the Rodney King beating, hip hop had been talking about the way young black males were being mistreated by the police departments in their neighborhoods. With the exception of the fans of the art, and those living in those communities, their cries were widely ignored. The most well known track about the relationship, N.W.A.’s “Fuck The Police”, got the attention of the federal government who would send a cease and desist letter to the groups' record label. The news of this only made the group more popular, and to make matters worse, their music was becoming more and more popular in the suburbs.
At the same time another group of citizens headed to the LAPD head quarters downtown. What ensued is something out of movies, officers rallied inside, but were clearly outnumbred. As rocks, and garbage cans begin to fly in the direction of the plated glass windows that extended throughout the exterior of the buildings structure. Residents wanted answers, and if they would not be given, it could gladly be taken in blood.
Throughout my years as a hip hop junkie the NEVER ending debate of who was/is the BEST MC has been the topic of discussion. Wheather it was me and Lil Rob (RIP) arguing who’s better between Mobb Deep or 2Pac, the Grandmaster Caz vs. Melle Mel debates of the early 80s, the Rakim or Kane of the late 80s, or who can forget LL and Kool Moe Dee. Some of these fan rivalries resulted in verbal sparring, but more times than not the battle has been soley faught by the followers of a rapper and not the actual artist themselves.
It's the norm now, but at the time of Illmatic, most rap albums production was handled in house, Illmatic changed that. This was the first album that brought the BEST producers on the east coast and put them on one album. DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Large Professor, and Q-Tip formed a dream team and there's still room for an unknown producer, L.E.S. to shine bright. He would go on to become a frequest collaborator with NaS throughout the 90s and early 2000s.
This is healing music. We’ve been convinced that we can ONLY be beautiful as long as we abandoned our physical and ancestral traits. This album is the celebration of EVERYthing black. This is the African drum in its purest form.
We first encountered The Real Ligit at Lovely's Chaos open mic in Brooklyn. We were definitely impressed with his message and wordplay...reminded us of a young T.I. in fact! Check out his story below...
"People have always trusted me and I've always been that person where my friends come to me for advice..."
Scroll through your instagram, Facebook or Twitter feed, and it's very likely you'll find quite a few seemingly #selfie obsessed young women between the ages of 16-25 years old.
While everyone seems to be focused on the fact that Dr. Angelou made Tupac cry (how shocking - he was a human being!) it is her consistency of courage that should momentarily leave us in awe and serve as lifelong inspiration.
Stop being hood rich. Be nation rich. Don't spoil something that came from nothing. Hip hop could build a charter school right now.We gotta own some things.
Clearly, hip hop is no longer a music genre or culture by teens, for teens. We have all grown up, and the 35-45 year old parent driving to pick up their child from school is less frequently bumping Boyz to Men but Biggie. It's time to return to our roots, and give these at risk youth something to connect to as Cudi so eloquently put it. Not just behind the scenes, but also in your day job - your lyrics and your message.
1st Concert of Sicko Mobb multi-city “Fiesta Tour”
Reggie’s Rock Club, 2150 S. State Street, Chicago IL on March 26, 2014 7pm
Dawud Knuckles' exhibition brilliantly ushered visitors into making the connection between fine art and hip hop. Each selected art piece was presented as Biggie's lyrics personified!
I am often reminded that during my father’s time, teachers in classrooms all across the world taught that Africa and her people had no history pre-Enslavement—before the bondage of Black people. The older men of my father’s day tell me the beauty of Malcolm was that for the first time in their lives, they heard good things—honest and accurate facts—about who they were as men
Jada spoke frankly about her friendship with the late, Tupac Shakur, "Pac was one of the first male figures that I had in my life that saw the beauty and talent in my intelligence separated from sex."
Black History Month is halfway gone, and on the eve of this year's NBA All-Star Weekend, we thought we would examine the rich history of Basketball and Hip-Hop.