Hip Hop: It may be unfair, but Rick Ross has surpassed Biggie

Let the debate and hate begin. After listening to ‘Rather You Than Me‘ it’s clear to me that Rick Ross has surpassed Biggie in terms of talent. To many, Biggie is the King of Hip Hop, however, I was one to believe otherwise. BIG was nice but to call him the G.O.A.T. was a bit far-fetched. His library wasn’t extensive enough to hang with the heavyweights that came before him like Rakim, KRS-One, Big Daddy Kane or Kool G Rap. Hell, you could even go as far to say that he wasn’t on the same level as Nas. But, that’s just me.

If BIG never passed away then this would be a different story. However, looking at their body of work it’s pretty much the same style of flow and lyrical content. BIG was witty, funny and deadly and Ross is the exact same way. BIG was labeled the greatest for bringing the East Coast back after Snoop and the West Coast had taken control. Then he passes and his catalog stopped. BIG wasn’t known to do many guest features so his voice lives on mostly through two albums. They were both great, but to think no one would surpass him one day was downright foolish.

Jay Z and Nas are on another level. If BIG is the G.O.A.T then Nas and Jay are GODS.

What I heard from Ross in Rather You Than Me took me back to Life After Death. Ross hit every bar with a passion that’s lacking in Hip Hop today and poured his soul on each track. ‘Triple Platinum’ was a track that I had to listen to three times due to the way he spoke his thoughts. On the’ Powers That Be‘, Ross went toe-to-toe with Nas and more than held his own. However, it was the track ‘Idols Become Rivals’ that sent chills up my spine the same way ‘Who Shot Ya‘, Long Kiss Goodnight’ did for me.

Ross held nothing back on this track as he attacked his idols in the game. But, it wasn’t until he went after Baby of Cash Money that you got the same feeling when BIG went after Pac.

Knew that you would never visit BG
Turk came home, take that boy a three piece
Shootin’ dope, usin’ coke, movin’ like you the Folks
Sacrificin’ half our life for your new music cult
You would give us self esteem and motivate our drive
But was in our pockets by the time we count to five
I pray you find the kindness in your heart for Wayne
His entire life, he gave you what there was to gain
I watched this whole debacle so I’m part to blame
Last request, can all producers please get paid?

The similarities are so close that it’s hard to separate the two. How can we discredit Ross after 9 albums and making it big off this rap ish the same way BIG did? It’s a different time in terms of money but look what Ross did with his MMG label and the successful acts he had in Meek Mill and Wale compared to Junior Mafia.

How many rappers can say they held their own on tracks that featured Jay, Nas, Busta Rhymes, Fabolous, Drake, Lil Wayne and more? Ross is not too selective when it comes to guest appearances as he will spit 16 with anyone. How many rappers can say they have survived a war with 50 Cent and still has a career? Ross has staying power in this game and he’s only getting better.

Biggie’s flow will forever be engraved in our hearts but Ross is carving his own lane and by the looks of it, he’s not finished. Two albums to 9 can be debated if it’s BIG to Gucci Mane but to say that Ross does not deserve a spot on Biggie’s heels is a disservice to his skills and longevity.

I’m sorry, but I cannot label you the greatest with only 2 albums to date. Biggie Smalls was the illest, in his time but that’s long gone now. A rapper from Miami has paid his dues and has earned the right to sit at the table with the heavyweights. And when the food is passed around, he should get his before BIG does.

Just my opinion.




Did Lil Wayne, Drake and Nas just get involved in Nicki Minaj and Remy Ma beef?

Hip Hop is and always will be about the battle. With the new beef between Nicki Minaj and Remy Ma finally heating up, three of Hip Hop’s biggest artist may have been pulled into something they need to stay out of. Maybe they had no idea that Nicki would spit those bars but, being around her for so long and with the way Remy Ma crushed her soul on ShEther  Lil Wayne and Drake should’ve seen this coming.

However, this is where the entire situation gets a little suspect.

When the song was mastered and listened to, did either Wayne or Drake not hear Nicki’s bars? Did they walk out the studio? Have they not listened to the song since it has aired? And better yet, was Nicki lying on Drake when she said.

“What type of bum bitch shoot a friend over a rap?/ What type of mother leave her one son over a stack?/ Lil’ boogie down basic bitch thinkin’ she back/ Back to back? Oh, you mean back to whack/ Back to back? Me and Drizzy laughed at that”

If this is indeed true then this turns the battle into something entirely different just off those bars alone. It was stated earlier in the week that the reason ShEther has died down is because Nas shut it down. Nas owns the rights to Ether,  Nicki Minaj called Nas and asked for him to shut the song down to the point that Remy can’t perform it ANYWHERE. One of the hardest diss tracks in Hip Hop history is shelved because Nicki Minaj feelings got hurt.

Nas, you should have kept your ass out of this as well if these rumors are indeed true.

No one jumped in when you and Jay Z were going song for song but you had to stick your nose in this. As for her Young Money crew, they better be careful. Wayne nor Drake is not the level of battling that Remy’s husband Papoose or Fat Joe are on. Young Money can scream they make all the cash in the world but as Canibus told LL Cool J years ago “You might got mo cash than me/ but you ain’t got the skills to eat a niggas ass like me”. This is the only thing that Nicki can spit. In terms of lyrics, she lost.

What makes this attempt even more pitiful, is that fact that it was done to a Pop record. Like damn shorty, you don’t even know how to drop a diss track? Remy may have used the Ether beat but it was done as a clear message. At least come back with Jay’s Takeover or something. If what Nicki did say was true and Drake did indeed share a laugh then he’s now involved in a lyrical war that could end his career.

Remember a while back when he tried that shit with Eminem and wound up putting his foot in his mouth? Then he defeated Meek Mill and since then has been feeling himself something strong. Now, you got yourself involved in a FEMALE beef that could turn ugly for the singing N**** real quick. Pap is not Meek. Why didn’t anyone warn him?

As far as the song No Frauds go. Both Wayne and Drake had no business on that track and Nicki Minaj had no business responding to Remy on a song that featured another artist. It was like Remy punched her in the face and she ran home and hid for two weeks until her brothers came to help. This just proves that she’s not as bold and thuggish as she thinks she is. It’s cool to admit you’re not with the REAL hardcore music but damn girl, have some pride.

Nice response but you’re still losing the battle.

 

 




Hip Hop: Nicki Minaj has to respond to Remy Ma or her street cred is dead

It was only a matter of time before the subliminals stopped and someone actually said another’s name. Hip Hop has been waiting for Remy Ma to finally come back for her throne as top female MC since she was released from prison. But first, she had to tie up a few loose ends. Now, that she has stepped back into the underground, the gloves have come off and she’s ready for war.

Her first target, Nicki Minaj.

Many will tell you that Minaj is the top MC in the game but that depends who you ask. See, Minaj is not a Hip Hop artist. She’s more will.i.am then she is MC Lyte and that alone puts her in the danger zone. Female MC’s have taken shots at Nicki before but, what Remy did with ShEther was a brilliant move.

In Hip Hop a battle means everything but Minaj has not really engaged anyone. Most of the ladies she looked up to may have a problem with her but they’re well past their time, audience and Nicki never viewed them as a possible threat. With the way Hip Hop is set up now, everyone wants to sneak attack and offer private jabs instead of being upfront. That was until Remy decided to pull a Jay Z and put the subs to bed.

To be fair, you can’t compare Remy and Nicki as they each represent different aspects of music. Remy is Hip Hop while Minaj is rap. 

For months they have reportedly traded shot at one another but it was Remy who delivered the first real blow. Now, the question is; will Nicki respond and if she does will she pull a Meek Mill move as he did with Drake and wait almost an entire week with a return track? However, the timeframe it takes her to respond, Minaj must be extra careful. Hip Hop does not claim her but, in all honesty, she’s the face of female MCs. Her career doesn’t hinge on how badly she disses Remy, but in a certain way, it does. Nicki is still from the hood, grew up on Hip Hop so she knows and understands the rules and consequences that comes with battling.

If she drops something that is wack, there goes whatever hood standing she has and quite possibly her grasp as lead female MC. Remy, on the other hand has a lot at stake as well. If Nicki comes at her hard then the Hip Hop community will look at her like “how did you let Minaj beat you”?. It’s the same that happened to seasoned battle rapper Meek when he let commercial artist Drake destroy him in battle. Needless to say, his career has not been the same since. And maybe that loss was one of the reasons that he and Nicki are no longer together.

Rap/Hip Hop needed this. It’s not that I hate Nicki but, it was just time that someone went at her. It’s easy to make a layup when no one is in your face but what happens when a defender is standing in front of the rim? Nicki has to step her game up or step out the way.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBL_tW8hTo0

 




Jay Z was perfect choice for Songwriters Hall of Fame

Congratulations are in order for Hip Hop artist Jay Z as he was picked to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame Thursday. What’s huge about such an honor is that he’s the first Hip Hop artist to be chosen. That’s big considering the content of his lyrics. 

Of course, there are naysayers but those same people may have never listened to a song of his. They may have heard a song but listened to, no. There is a difference. 

Country, Classical, Jazz and other genres get respect because of their lyrics so why should Hip Hop not receive the same recognition? Jay Z lyrics may not appeal to Susan or John that lives in Beverly Hills or Buck who grew up in Kentucky but, to the African-American culture who grew up in any urban setting in the world he spoke directly to us and for us.

It’s easy to view his music as violent, crime-infested talk but, that’s the life we see every day. We don’t shop on Rodeo Drive, drive 4-wheelers or kill deer for a living. We live in a place where drugs are sold, murders happen, Chinese food is a 4-course meal and where the police are afraid to patrol. 

Jay Z speaks from the heart. It doesn’t have to be what he went through per say, but it’s the message and the tone in which he says it that gives us a voice. 

When we hear Jay rap it’s like seeing Barack Obama with his hand on the bible. We know where he came from and how he fought to get there. That’s the power of Jay’s songs. Does it glory violence and drugs, yes, but, it sheds light on the culture. 

They say the good die young, in the hood where I’m from
I only got one question to that – why the fuck am I here?
I look to the air, I ask God, “Love me please,”
But in reality, only people that hug me is thieves
Same niggas that send shots through my rugby sleeves
They wanna, slug me and leave, I’m thinkin it must be me
Please shed light, the hood’s dark
I did my dirt but got a good heart
Shouldn’t that count for somethin?
I was told I’d amount to nothin, most of my childhood
Liked by folks it was stuntin my growth
Seperated me from the shit I was wantin the most
Felt myself comin close to pumpin them O’s
Lump in my throat, chest poked out, face was poker
Tryin to, erase my ghostes, chase the smokers
Got demons on both shoulders
Tryin to chauffeur my life through the streets
In other words nigga my will was weak
Please feel what I speak
This ain’t your average ordinary jargon
Weak rap niggas be talkin
This shit is deep, from the mind of Busta, ‘X and me
To all my fallen soldiers, rest in peace, til we meet niggas

Right there is why he belongs in the Songwriters Hall of Fame. You just read that and thought “How the hell”. That’s the point of Hip Hop. It’s there to make you think. Jay Z is the king, he’s the same as Garth Brooks, Micheal Jackson or any other person that you can place in the Hall of Fame. 

No need to judge his lyrics or his lifestyle. Just applaud the man for the letting you enter our lives. This is an honor that’s long overdue for the culture. Jay Z was a perfect choice. 




How MTV ruined the music industry.

MTV used to reign supreme. At its height, the music channel helped launch the careers of many superstars of its era. Video Killed the Radio Star rocketed music into a revolution. Now, you have to stay up late or get up early to see videos on the once Music Television channel.

They say music piracy has hurt the industry. While this may be true, nothing has hurt music more than the loss of MTV. One of the main platforms for artists was their music videos. Not only was an expression of free will it gave the artist exposure. So much so that music videos quickly became feature film quality productions.

Then came the reality tv era.

Gone were the days of rushing home to watch Total Request Live. The countdowns were gone and so was the artist’s exposure to the fans. People traded in music for cookie cutter shows all with the same concept. No longer could you get the latest music and entertainment news between a block of your favorite songs. Video premiers used to be a huge thing. MTV even still does Video Music Awards. Are there any music videos in sight?

Nope. Now we’re stuck with Real World knockoffs and Teen Mom.

Saying that illegally downloading music is the alternative to paying is ridiculous. Programs like Spotify, Pandora and Apple music offer subscription based services. Proving if it’s good enough, people will pay for it. Even today there are still youtube channels and apps dedicated to music and bring artists to the forefront. Unfortunately for the music industry, none are as successful as the music giant.

Country music was almost never seen on MTV. Coincidentally, CMT still plays country music videos. So why is country music at an all time high? There hasn’t been a huge culture change. Country music is dominating because there’s still a means to get the artists seen. Music and performing go hand in hand. The artists who blow up big are the ones who can put on a good show. Any artist with a hit song can get 15 minutes of fame. Stay power came from the ones who can be put in front of a crowd and perform.

MTV killed off that connection to the audience. Sure everyone loved when a new song came on the radio. Fans just wanted more. Maybe people aren’t sitting down to watch videos anymore. Maybe Youtube has killed the market. Or maybe MTV fell into the trap that ESPN has and have a limited amount of material for an all day affair. The same old videos, hundreds of times a day, day in and day out gets old. So what did they do? Killed it off altogether. Piracy might be wounding the industry, but MTV is killing it.




Music: Metallica, Lady Gaga to collaborate in the future?

We are almost two months into 2017 and I am about to say a pairing that we could be seeing some time in the future that I never thought I would be saying. There are rumors floating around that Metallica could be teaming up with Lady Gaga for some future work.

Recently, Metallica had a duet with Lady Gaga at the 2017 Grammy Award show and it seemed that they were working very well together. Apparently, they were working so well together that even Lars Ulrich said in a recent interview with Rolling Stones magazine that she essentially is the fifth member of the legendary rock band. He dropped hints that the two can either do an album together or even go on tour together.

While a part of me does not see this working out at all, I have this odd feeling that we could be seeing this happen more often. It should be noted that any future work between the two acts won’t happen for quite some time as both Metallica and Lady Gaga are set to go on major tours. However, Ulrich told Rolling Stones that the band has already fast forwarded to the next chapter with hopes of doing more collaborations like they did with Lady Gaga at the Grammy Awards.

As someone who is a fan of Metallica, I don’t get the point of the collaboration, but stranger things have actually worked well in the past. One upside that could come from a future collaboration between Lady Gaga and Metallica is that they can possible bring in new fans. The die hard Metallica fan base won’t go and buy Lady Gaga music and vice versa with die-hard Lady Gaga fans when it comes to Metallica music.

If this actually happens, it will be interesting to see if they just do a tour or a collaboration album down the road. Metallica is set to go on a North America tour to promote their newest album and Lady Gaga is set to go on tour as well.




Can they please move up the Tupac All Eyez On Me movie?

As a huge Tupac Shakur fan, I am excited that we will finally get to see his biopic hit theaters in 2017 after so many delays. But, why the wait? I get that releasing it on his birthday is symbolic but I’m tired of waiting. Don’t blame me, blame the success of the New Edition Story.

After seeing the movie on BET it struck me just how much we have become accustomed to horror, superheroes and unbelievable action moves we have been forced to watch. All Eyez On Me will not win an Oscar but this is a movie the world is anticipating. With a summer release it will have to do battle with a slew of superhero movies from DC and Marvel and while the audience may be ready, the studios should have thought it through better.

All Eyez On Me will be epic in what it means not only to Tupac fans but moviegoers in general. See, what BET was able to do with the New Edition story was prove, that if given the proper outlet that a beautiful story could be told and have fans wanting more. Right now, it’s all about Spider-Man, Captain America, Superman and the Justice League while Pac has been placed on the back burner. It’s like a new TV show debuting at the same time The Walking Dead comes on. It’s not a great situation to be placed in.

The success of the NE story should have had the studio push All Eyez On Me up to cash in on what was a monumental win for the African-American experience to go along with Fences and Hidden Figures. At that point, after the success those movies had, the studio should have put out a press release and said the film is moved up to April.

This may just be the rant of a fan but I’m ready. I’m tired of watching grown men in tights, non-funny comedies and Vin Diesel flipping a car 100 times and walking away without a scratch. I need something real in my life. I need All Eyez On Me.