Slang Rap Democracy

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Don’t Free Max B

How much can I record before sentencing?

How much music can I record before sentencing?

So Max B a/k/a Wavy Crockett was found guilty of murder conspiracy and robbery charges today. It looks like Biggavelli will be facing life with his sentencing set for July 31. Max’s downfall, besides plotting to rob two dudes, which ended up with one of them getting murked, was his girlfriend dropping dime on his criminal enterprise, if you can call it that.

Okay, so homegirl is a snitch. Duh. That still doesn’t change the fact that everyone involved was in on getting someone killed. So all the “Free Max B!” chants that are sure to have already started are asinine. Hip-Hop listeners—I won’t say it’s a “Hip-Hop” thing, per se—are quick to be on some Free (insert incarcerated rapper’s name here) ish despite the said MC possessing dirtbag tendencies which determined his or her incarcerated fate.

foxy-brown-mug-shotTwo examples: Foxy Brown had anger management issues coupled with unmatched narcissism that made her think assaulting nail salon workers was all good while Remy Ma put two hot slugs in her homie’s gut over some allegedly missing cash. [more after vid]

Why all the glorification of degenerate behavior? People in the hood—or the world in general, really—have long had a fascination with the criminal element (think Menace II Society to The Godfather). Most people aren’t built to live a life a crime, so the next best thing to idolizing actual criminal masterminds is blindly adoring musicians who usually act out their own illicit fantasies via music.

Also, saying “Free Max B” makes for a nice catchphrase, which is too prevalent in Hip-Hop (i.e. Stop Snitching, Hip-Hop is Dead, Keep it Real, etc.) Either way; do the crime, do the time. Lastly, considering considering his commentary below and at Rap Radar, Max’s lawyer has failed.

June 9, 2009 Posted by | Hip-Hop, Lamewatch, Music, News | , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Mos Def X Malcolm X

Nice hat(s).

Nice hat(s).

“You’re living at a time of extremism, a time of revolution, a time when there’s got to be a change. People in power have misused it, and now there has to be a change and a better world has to be built and the only way it’s going to be built is with extreme methods. And I for one will join in with anyone, I don’t care what color you are, as long as you want to change this miserable condition that exists on this earth. Thank you.”–Malcolm X

Mos Def uses the above quote in the intro song, “Super Magic,” off his latest album, The Ecstatic, which actually is dropping Tuesday, July 9.

Not the first, or last time a rapper will quote Brother Malcolm, the statement is the conclusion of his speech at The Oxford Union Debate on November 23, 1964. The topic of the debate was “Extremism in the Defense of Liberty is No Vice; Moderation in the Pursuit of Justice is No Virtue,” with Malcolm speaking for the affirmative position. [more after video]

Mr. Def, a Muslim, has never been one to mince his words when it comes to his politics. Black Dante’s mention of “tall Israeli is running this rap s**t” on “The Rape Over” from his The New Danger (2004) album is only one of those examples.

It’s probably coincidence, but the release of Pretty Flaco’s new album is almost 50 years since The Hate That Hate Produced, a 5-part look at the Nation of Islam (NOI) originally aired (July 13 – July 17, 1959). Co-produced by the esteemed Mike Wallace (60 Minutes) and the inspiring Louis Lomax (an African-American excelling in TV journalism in 1959? Incredible), the documentary offered an inside look at the “gospel of hate” being preached by the NOI. The entire documentary is on YouTube and thoroughly worth watching. [more after video]

The issues raised in the The Hate That Hate Produced, whether implicitly or explicitly—Black vs. White, Muslim vs. Christian, Jews vs. Gentiles—are still present today, contrary to anyone claiming some nonsense about the U.S. being post-racial thanks to our President being a Negro with the middle name Hussein. The fact that yesterday (June 2) Barack Obama made a speech in Cairo attempting to begin mending strained, to put it lightly, relations with the Muslim world is a testament to that reality.

Thanks to shady business like Donald “Halliburton” Rumsfeld seeding Biblical quotes into top-secret White House briefings, it won’t be an easy road. But we’re at least on the path.

By the time Malcolm made his speech at Oxford in ‘64, he had formally split with the NOI in March of the same year and made his pilgrimage to Mecca a month later. While his Hajj made Malcolm essentially rescind his divisive—or empowering, to many—rhetoric of years past, with hope that Islam would be a means to unify different people, the underlying themes of even his most fiery and incendiary of speeches remained. The disenfranchisement and oppression of the weak at hands of the powerful was unacceptable and could only by remedied “by any means necessary.” That’s the language they get. Word to KRS-One.

RELATED:

Mos Def “Casa Bey”

Mos Def Reads Malcolm X Speech [via Urban Daily]

1959: Sex, Jazz, Datsuns [via NY Mag]

June 4, 2009 Posted by | Freshness, Hip-Hop, Music, News | , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Cory Gunz “Shut Em Down” Video

Vodpod videos no longer available.

I’ve been blessed to work with the homie Tee Smif—who directed the above Cory Gunz video (spotted at Nah Right)—for the past few months on BET’s The Deal. The brother is a highly underrated director and did his thing with this clip from The Bronx MC.  Shout out to the Kings County Cinema Company.

I distinctly remember Cory’s pops—Peter Gunz, hopefully you knew that—grabbing the mic and killing the block parties on Vyse Ave (I grew up on 174th & Longfellow) back in the day.  That said, I still feel a ways that Lord Tariq & Peter Gunz couldn’t get to shoot the video for “Deja Vu (Uptown Baby)” in the old Yankee Stadium (location: The Boogie Down) so instead used the late Shea Stadium (location: Queens). Not a good look.

June 4, 2009 Posted by | Freshness, Hip-Hop, Music, The Boogie | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Who?: Sporty Thievz X Major Coinz

TK

King Kirk, Marlon Brando, Big Dubez

The name Sporty Thievz may elicit a blank stare from naïve, or indifferent, Hip-Hop fans, but this other Yonkers, NY trio (King Kirk, Big Dubez and Marlon Brando) had some late 90’s heat. While their lyrics were certainly capable, the biggest thing they had going was beats courtesy of Ski.

With Original Flavor getting smaller in his rearview, Ski was killing the beats with joints for Jay-Z (“Politics As Usual,” “Dead Presidents”) and Camp Lo (basically all of Uptown Saturday Night). Sporty Thievz were part of a deal the producer had negotiated for his Roc-a-Bloc imprint that was housed at Ruffhouse Records (The Fugees, Cypress Hill) via Columbia Records.

sportycheaperWhile Sporty’s debut album, Street Cinema, got some notable propers, it was their re-working of TLC’s “No Scrubs” into an anthem decrying the proliferation of chicken heads in the hood, “No Pigeons,” that garnered these brothers the most acclaim.

But one of my favorite Sporty Thievz tunes was “Even Cheaper (Cheapskate Remix)” (video below, which I never even knew existed ‘til like, yesterday). I remember first noticing this cut when it was just labelled “Cheapskate (Remix)” on the b-side to a promo only vinyl of their “Cheapskate” single.  [more after vid]

The sparse but exotic groove (not much like the Soul loops Ski was winning with at the time) let the MC’s get loose on the remix. Mocha Latte (the chocolate complexioned sista with the slick bars) used to run with Timbaland and Missy Elliot (try to remember Nicole Wray’s “Make It Hot.”) for a quick minute, but lately has been hawking books. Liz Leite (the light-skinned female MC with the last verse) was the part of that fabled* group called Major Coinz with Amil [hence the “featuring Amil (of Major Coinz)” when describing her turn on Jay-Z’s “Can I Get A…”].

Since then, circa ’98 – ’99, no one is sure where Liz went after she signed to Chris Schwartz’s RuffNation in ‘05, while Amil, due to an un-ceremonial Timberland to the rear courtesy of Roc-a-fella, has gone on to become a rap punchline. For example, “I’m like Jay, I’m tryna drop me a mil,” says Redman on “Hey Zulu” on the recently released, no pun intended, Blackout! 2.

A couple of years back Amil was talking about rejuvenating Major Coins with a white female rapper and recently was supposed to be starting a FEM Movement with Lady Luck, Babs and Rage.

As for Sporty Thievz, Marlon Brando was killed in a freak car accident in 2001. The tragedy effectively stalled the group., though they recently released some product independently.

*have you ever heard them on a track together? I can’t even confirm if its “Coins” with an “s” or “z,” or if the group was a duo or trio.

June 1, 2009 Posted by | Freshness, Hip-Hop, Music | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments