Tell Jay Z To Keep His “Old Man Raps”

Change is good, evolution is necessary. However not all things need reassignment. Some stuff in life is just fine the way it is.

Some time ago, everybody’s favorite drug dealing rapper, Jay-Z, released his 4:44 album. Though the album was scrutinized and highly criticized by the female listeners, for a lot of different reasons, it is still regarded as a milestone in rap music. To most people, it marked Jay-Z’s attempt at ushering in a more mature attitude towards the music. This wasn’t the first time a rapper attempted to crossover, but this isn’t just a rapper. It’s Jigga. And let’s be honest; what Jay-Z does we all follow. Overall, the album was basically Shawn Carter’s admission of having flaws and making his way through life as a man. 75% of Hiphopolis praised Jay-Z for his effort. And for what it’s worth, I predicted this album before it dropped.

Continue story here.

Words by Tony Grands

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LL Cool J, The Copycat Hustle, and Why They Sell FUBU at Walmart

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In the late 90’s, I worked in an urban haberdashery…

That means I sold clothes to black folks.  The store I worked in was an odd mix of inexpensive ($125 each or 2-for-$200) suits of cheapish materials against moderately expensive ($650+) ones with accessories matching each price point.  We also had urban wear at the end of the Karl Kani era and beginning of FUBU and the likes.

Bookmark that FUBU thing, it is coming back up shortly and will be on the exam.

One of the things I noticed working in that store that I would later find applicable in music and life in general is that urban folks LOVE a copycat hustle…

Watch me…

LL Cool J helped Daymond John and the FUBU cats out with some cash (<– allegedly) and a HUGE boost by wering one of THEIR hats in a Gap commercial (!!!) back when Gap commercials were a thing.  Now an urbanwear company is a thing on a larger scale than ever before.  Normal companies existed, but next thing you know, Nas is behind one (Remember Willie Esco?), Fat Joe is behind one (FJ560, anyone?) we all know about Sean John, which is the only one that has exhibited any staying power.

Shit, later in the game, when higher-end gear started to come out with Iceberg History emblazoned with cartoon characters, FUBU turned copycatted with their “Platinum” line, featuring Fat Albert and them.  We could probably see this as the beginning of the end (or sign of the times, honestly), because you can get FUBU in Wal Mart now.

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In the years that would follow, it felt like EVERY rapper, wannabe rapper, hood thot, zesty college junior dude and club promoter would try to shill their own clothing line because they had seen a FEW people do it before them.

Not an original idea, but it was attempted time and time and time again, some continuing on into the 2010s still (poorly) going at it.

I left that store so I could get a job with a more consistent schedule so I could go back to college, just as I ripened into drinking age.

After shamelessly promoting expensive-but-mediocre vodkas like Grey Goose and Belvedere, someone got the bright idea:

Why don’t I latch on with one of these distribution companies and put my name behind one of these things?

(Phlip note: none of these rappers actually OWN their liquor companies, they simply have a deal with the people who do to appear that they do)

I want to say it was Jay-Z and Dame Dash who did that shit first, but once they started talking about it in their songs and people FLOCKED to go buy it, every one with a record deal and a little bit of attention went to get a new revenue stream.

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Diddy made them all look foolish when he linked with the same company that distributes Crown Royal (please Google the name Diageo).  Then the arms race was on, and now AGAIN we have people in a mad dash to append their names to semi and ultra-premium liquors.

2003…
50 Cent releases his “debut” album Get Rich or Die Trying.  The central theme of the promotion of it was conflict with people who might have disagreed with his previous attempt to break into the industry, but more direct were his shots DIRECTLY at people by name.  AND IT WORKED!!!  At that point, and for several years since — ESPECIALLY by Curtis himself — it was unheard of to release an album without starting some shit with someone, with or without reasoning.  TO THIS DAY people are playing this tactic, even when it blows up in Meek Mill‘s face repeatedly.  Their labels will not be bothered with stopping this clownshow because the publicit is as good as anything that they could have paid good money for and the only real risk is their artist getting beaten, stabbed or shot.

And we all know that dead rappers get better grass-roots promotion just for being dead.

2016…
This past Wednesday, we saw the largest powerball jackpot in history.  My FB wall was lined with people discussing what they would do WHEN they won.  To boot, mine included what would transpire IF I did.  People claiming the money “in Jesus’ name,” a couple of resignation letters already written.

“But where is the copycat in that?” you ask…

In four days, the jackpot went from an already record 700something million to ONE AND A HALF BILLION.  Not only were the people who normally play — and yes, I spent the same $6 I normally allow myself every couple of weeks for it — but lines out of the DOOR in stores nationwide for everyone who didn’t establish a reasonable retirement strategy to shine on their “haters” in the face of karmic irony served for even having such thoughts.

At the end of it all, tons of people are guilty of this behavior, in the real world and all over.

Let someone win $50 on a scratch off and post about it on the networks, dozens of friends are buying them.  Let a miserably single person mention they met someone, their miserably single friends want to know where so THEY can go there.  Say you found $20 bucks in a parking lot, people will LITERALLY go to that same fucking parking lot seeing if perhaps the person lost more!  Perhaps it is human nature?

Perhaps we’re all a little fucked up.

Words by PHLIP
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Meet Eastside Crackhead. He May Be the Realest Rapper Alive (And That Is Terrible)

eastside-crackhead

Words by Cordrick Ramey

Apparently I spend waaaaaay too much time on the Internet trying to find stories to tell. I browse. Make a decision. Browse some more. Find an angle. Sometimes I find dope shit. And sometimes, I just find…..niggas on dope. This latest find, I can’t even decide if it’s is real or not.

Courtesy of VladTV, I present to you Eastside Crackhead. Now this is just an interview, but its the wildest nine minutes and forty-nine seconds I’ve seen all week. Matter of fact, if this is real… I just located the realest dude to ever grace a recording booth. While we sit and listen to tremendous tales of moving keys and breaking down pounds….this is the recipient of such due diligence. So, Yo Gotti, Jeezy, Gucci Mane, TI, Rick Ross, Pusha T and any other rapper  who has moved crack or dope or smack….this is yall fault. And you should be ashamed.

Hilarious, right?

Not so much. I laughed, I was entertained, but this isn’t the proper way we should be displayed. And furthermore, our glorification of the spoils from turning people into fiends, isn’t anything to be celebrated either. But here we are. I’m old enough to remember Ol’ Dirty Bastard OD’ing, Pimp C dying from codeine and Chris Kelly from Kris Kross dying from cocaine and heroin. This ain’t the life. This is death.

635800040649724421-KniccaAs I write this, Koopsta Knicca from Three Six Mafia passed today. It is listed as a brain aneurism and a stroke. I just pray drugs were not involved. We gotta do better people. Life is precious and should never be taken for granted. Perhaps, when real live addicts start telling their stories, the objectification and glorification of such a destructive lifestyle will take a backseat to caring for the average human being. We all have friends and family who may have made the decision to try something that was detrimental to their health at some point in life. You may not look down on them due to the connection, but I’m almost certain you have ignored, ridiculed or turned your nose up to someone you don’t. But just imagine, for every Escobar tale, there was a Pookie song to match it.

Message.

Listen to Killer’s verse.

Words by Cordrick Ramey

Visit Hip Hop Full Circle for more from Cordrick.
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Stolen Spotlights: 4 Featured Rappers That Outshined The Star

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Words by Cordrick Ramey

Greetings world. I was out with the family earlier today and of course we were listening to the radio. The new K-Camp song “Comfortable” came on and I was thinking to myself “Damn this dude blew up out of nowhere.” But that is not true at all. Most artists had to take lesser positions in order to gain their current status. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with paying dues.

But this article isn’t about that.

This article is about the artists whose dues were paid, but are no longer with us. Artists who literally aren’t here anymore to even consider.

Case in point, I just mentioned K-Camp. Nice string of hits, guest features, he’s doing his thing. But that’s now. Do you remember the first time you heard K-Camp? Well this was my first time.

Mykko Montana featuring K Camp- Do It

What in thee Hell happened to this Mykko guy? If you lived in Atlanta in 2012, you are familiar with this song. K Camp only did the hook. Mykko Montana had this song and…… Now I’m not here to clown on guys who didn’t see the success they expected, it’s just a general observation. So where is he now? I searched the internet for features, shows, new music….anything. I found him hosting a few open mic events in the metro Atlanta area. Still a far cry from what he wanted I’m sure. But I did find this posted on Twitter as of that day.

Now, do you remember this tune?

YC featuring Future- Racks

Holy shit! 2011, if you were not putting your hands over another climbing towards the ceiling, what the fuck were you doing? The potential for his career was huge. This song was in strip clubs, on the radio and on every popular mixtape during this time. Only problem is, the other guy capitalized off of it the most. Some dude named Nayvadius, literally and figuratively, stole the fuckin show. His name is Future now. This may not be the first time you heard him, but that second generation Dungeon Family album doesn’t count. He was destined to win, Rico Wade is his cousin. But just for extra measure, I have a Future song from when his name was Meathead. He stayed across the street from my cousin, still in high school. He rapped then too.

Lower Dec- Don’t Impress Me

I actually helped them to get this song on a Ghetto Mafia album. Meathead Future raps first just in case you needed to know. For the surviving members of this group, they now work regular jobs. Nothing wrong with that. Let’s continue.

This next one is a no brainer and quite difficult to dispute.

Jaz-O featuring Jay-Z- Hawaiian Sophie

Damn, talk about paying dues. But to his credit, it was 1989 and a lot of music had horribly corny themes. Jay-Z was actually Jaz’s protégé for awhile. Taking him on tours, allowing him to feature on songs, basically showing him the ropes of the industry. This was a simple situation of student not only becoming better than, but far surpassing anything the teacher could even imagine. I don’t have to run down the list of Jay-Z’s accomplishments, while Jaz’s greatest accomplishment was giving us Jay-Z.

Boyz N Da Hood – Dem Boyz

Now this wasn’t actually a feature, as Young Jeezy was apart of this group. You DO know he used to be in a group right? Kinda hard to tell I’m sure. Unfortunately, the careers of Jody Breeze, Big Gee and Big Duke never took off. Jeezy immediately followed up their first album with his own mixtape, Trap or Die hosted by DJ Drama, and the rest is history.

This is the way I see things for certain rappers: some have more talent, grind, and hustle than others. Some have other abilities, like networking skills, enabling them to make the proper connections. Either way, some thrive and survive. Others don’t.

Words by Cordrick Ramey
@CordrickRamey
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Quickies: A Brief Glance At Hip Hop’s 6 Favorite Foods

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Chances are that no matter how successful your favorite rapper is, he’s still hungry. It never fails. No matter how much cheese and lettuce these guys acquire, they forever remain incapable of making enough food to adequately feed their teams and themselves.

In reality, rappers stay eatin’ and dropping random bars and hints about what they snack on. Act like you know.

Shout out to Action Bronson for making food a viable thing in Hip Hop.

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Seafood – Rick Ross and/or Plies had you trying to take off your shirt off at Red lobster at least once. Jay Z’s “Lobster & Scrimp” was low-key your jam that summer. Try and count the amount of rappers you’ve ever heard rhyme “pimp” with “shrimp” or “mobster” with “lobster.”

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Cake – Whether cup-cakes like Nicki Minaj’s or cake-cake like Jay Z’s ever-expansive bank account, this is apparently the snack of rap dudes and dudettes everywhere, in various forms.

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Beef – As much rap beef that occurs, how could steak & hamburger not be on the menu? Not many rappers rap about being vegan or vegetarian (or mulatto).

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Chicken – Easily the most Hip Hop food of all time. What better to go with chains & whips than chicken? Wonder Mike had it at his friend’s house, even though it taste[d] like wood. Rick Ross fantasizes about flipping chickens – a term used in reference to selling dope, but in actuality, legitimately flips chickens via his WingStop restaurants. Sweet urban irony. And it tastes like BBQ sawse. (See what I did there?)

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Pizza – Every important NY rapper has name dropped a “slice” from their favorite local joint. Apparently pizza from NY is the next best thing to pizza from wherever the hell it originally comes from. In Los Angeles, you’d have to travel all the way to Venice Beach for a single slice, which is coincidentally the most Hip Hop beach in Cali.

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Beer -Due to a yeast factor, we’ll call it a food. Before rappers were sipping “Lean,” they were sipping brew. DJ QUIK made his affinity for Miller Genuine Draft known long before Ice Cube started peddling the suds on TV. There’s even a rapper named 211. Oddly, I’ve never heard him rap about sipping 211. What a gyp.

Words by Tony Grands
@Tony_Grands

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