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Rick Ross, Latest Hip-Hop Bootlegger

paidinfull

So the Bawse, Rick Ross, got called out by the powers that be at Louis Vuitton over those fraudulent specs he sported on his recent XXL Mag cover. Seeing that Ross initially and foolhardedly denied his past as a Correction Officer, the Internets is abuzz over his latest faux pas.

But really, Hip-Hop heads sporting bootleg gear isn’t anything new. O.G. rap fans will remember the infinite shout outs given to one Dapper Dan [via Iced Dot Com]; a Harlem clothing shop owner and designer infamous for his skill at creating Hip-Hop stylized takes on designer labels like Gucci, MCM or even Nike.

followtheleaderFor example, those track suits and jackets sported on the cover of some of your favorite Eric B & Rakim albums, were as counterfeit as the day is long.

Since then the Hip-Hop generation has flexed it tastemaker muscle with artists like Kanye West (Nike, Louis Vuitton) and Pharrell Williams (Louis Vuitton)—can’t forget grand Puba and the Tommy Hilfiger too—getting the official co-sign from and even producing sanctioned lines for some of these brands.

The beauty of Hip-Hop is taking some otherwise milquetoast product, putting our fresh stamp on it, and making it that much more desirable to the wannabes (read: mainstream) hawking our steez.

Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not giving the Bawse a pass on this one. Those frames were hella tacky looking anyway (there is only one Undisputed King of Cheap Sunglasses). And if you think that more rappers than not are rocking the genuine article as opposed to  Canal Street Specials, you’re lying to yourself.

That reminds of another of my greatest fashion peeves. The rocking of some grotesquely horrible piece of clothing with the wearer’s only defense for his suspect garb an excuse along the lines of, “But it’s Polo, yo.” Fugg outta here.

UPDATE: Rick Ross Explanation on Shades [via AllHipHop]

May 11, 2009 Posted by | Clothing, Hip-Hop, Lamewatch, News | , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Gumsole Beatdowns#1: Notorious B.I.G. X Al Green

I'm surprised you run with them...

I'm surprised you run with them...

stillinlovealgreenWhile the late Christopher Wallace’s flow was elastic enough to get busy over any groove, rocking over a flip of Al Green’s “I’m Glad You’re Mine” was so nice that B.I.G. did it twice on “I Got a Story to Tell” from Life After Death and “Dead Wrong” from the posthumous Born Again. The Al Green album, I’m Still in Love with You, that said sample originates from was released in 1972; yep, the same year Biggie was born. The heisted audio (you can listen to it below, but do yourself a favor and buy the entire album because it is vintage, baby-making music) isn’t too long—a sick rimshot that’s a couple of bars long, tops—but many a producer has gotten a good run from it. Here is Biggie’s double dose (not including “What’s Beef?”) as well as a few choice others handy for spreadin’ [Hip-Hop] love, the Brooklyn way. R.I.P. B.I.G.

Al Green “I’m Glad You’re Mine”

Notorious B.I.G. “I Got a Story to Tell”

An album cut that nevertheless gets heavy burn, “I Got A Story Tell” displays B.I.G.’s storytelling ability. Produced by DITC’s Buckwild with co-production credited to Chucky Thompson & Diddy [Note: find out what Buckwild thinks of that], the Rev Green’s drums are the tracks foundation as B.I.G. recounts a tale of infidelity turned to robbery.

Notorious B.I.G. “Dead Wrong” f/ Eminem

The lead single to B.I.G.’s Born Again album was produced by Chucky Thompson, Mario Winans & Diddy (guess they liked what Buckwild did with “I Got a Story to Tell”) and makes that illy rimshot a counterpoint to grizzly drums. The result is a greasy and booming tracks that makes B.I.G. dropping un-PC quotables like “japped her then I asked her who’s the man she said B.I.G., then I bust in here E.Y.E.,” almost acceptable. No Chris Brown.

BONUS BEATS

MC Lyte “Paper Thin”

This beat was so sick that on the Lyte As a Rock album that it appeared on you got to hear the entire instrumental run through after your favorite female MCs last verse. (Shout out to Big Ced.)


Eric B & Rakim “Mahogany”

It’s the R, and Eric. B, coolin’ at the Palladium (Note: I remember in the late 90’s seeing Jay-Z, rocking a du-rag, kick “22 Twos” in that infamous NYC nightclub. Mic Geronimo may have been the headliner. Times change, it’s now an NYU dorm). “Mahogany” is a winner from the Let the Rhythm Hit ‘Em album and jacks Al Green’s track wholesale.


MORE BIG

Machine Gun Funk: Producers Remember B.I.G. [via Nod Factor]

A Dead B.I.G. is Better Than a Living Weezy! [via The Urban Daily]

Think Big [via XXLmag.com]

The Day Biggie Died (Rest in Peace/Live in War) [via Naked With Socks On]

Today Marks The 12th Anniversary of B.I.G.’s Death [via Real Talk NY]

DJ Drama & Cookin Soul Present: The Notorious BIG Tribute (Mixtape) [via Nah Right]

Big Don’t Fold [via Cocaine Blunts]

Wig Out (Puff Daddy) [via Rap Radar]

“Life After Death” The Mixtape Movie [via Notes from a Different Kitchen]

We’ll Always Love Big Poppa [via Combat Jack]

March 9, 2009 Posted by | Gumsole Beatdowns, Hip-Hop | , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments