That single statement, posted on Twitter by famed writer/journalist/filmmaker dream hampton set off a firestorm of controversy this week the likes of which hip-hop hasn't seen since Pac claimed he slept with Biggie's wife. To allege that Nasir Jones, a rhymer who's on many hip-hop fans' short list of the Greatest MCs of All Time, didn't write his rhymes on a bonafide hip-hop classic like Untitled was absolute blasphemy.
C'mon ... really?
Of course, Untitled is far from a classic. So it's not like this was a slam at some hip-hop masterpiece. Also, ghostwriters have been a part of hip-hop since Grandmaster Caz penned “Rapper's Delight” for the Sugarhill Gang, so its not like we haven't heard of this before. And sure, Nas is one of the most gifted rappers ever, but its not like dream claimed that he didn't write Illmatic; the most memorable thing about the Untitled album was its original N.I.G.G.E.R. title.
For the record, both stic.man and Jay Electronica roundly denied dream's tweet — but whether or not Nas wrote those verses is irrelevant in the wake of the overreaction and disgusting behavior that followed.
This just in from the AP: Atlanta hip-hop producer Shawty Redd (born Demetrius Lee Stewart) has been cleared of the murder charge leveled against him last year after a New Year's Day shooting arrest at his home in Hampton.
In dismissing the charge yesterday Judge Wade Crumbley found that Stewart acted in self-defense when he shot a 35 year-old Detroit man last January. The AP story notes that Shawty Redd's "breakthrough" came when he produced Snoop Dogg's slick "Sexual Seduction," but let's forget about that. Instead, let's take a moment and admire the fucking fortitude of this beat, from Young Jeezy's The Inspiration (most effective with some subs):
Confession: I can't wait to purchase a physical copy of Jay-Z x Kanye's Watch the Throne today, but my conscious is already wracked with guilt over it. Mostly for the same reasons that have been expressed in album reviews, Twitter shit-talk, and even CL blog comments ad infinitum this week.
The first line of Rob Harvilla's Spin magazine review best sums up the sentiment: "They are both obscenely wealthy; you, in all likelihood, are not."
Just in case you didn't already feel conflicted about watching Jay-Z and Kanye spin doughnuts in a tricked-out, deconstructed Maybach, with the stars and stripes as the backdrop, in the Spike Jonze-produced video for "Otis" — so-named for the Otis Redding-sample-heavy first single from their obese pairing, which ironically was released on iTunes the same day that the Dow Jones bottomed out — check out the video response to the single that Chuck D dropped last week, titled "Notice - Know This."
The former Public Enemy mouthpiece says it's not a diss to the reigning kingpins of rap, but a decidedly old-school dose of rap rebelliousness recorded with the hope that "the J & K supergroup can elevate the masses and try a little bit more to reflect OTIS heart rather than swag." [sic]
In other words, stop dangling your diamond-encrusted nuts in our faces when we're the poor unfortunate souls that made you rich. That's basically the rub, right? Like a bunch of Wall Street bankers with boners, hip-hop's ruling capitalists seem to get off on suffocating listeners with their nouveau wealth. And yet, I can't help but feel a twinge of pride while watching "Otis." Because in a sense, rap's rise from the bottom-up represents a countercultural come-up.
Vegan Coke has been sludging through the trenches that is the local prog scene of Atlanta for a good while now. Their progress has become more evident as they've acquired a new bass player to replace the old one, and they've got a live EP available for download on their bandcamp page. Recently they played a packed free show at 529 with buzz band Fang Island and impressed the shit out of Nicholas the guitarist of Fang Island (formerly of techgrind outfit Daughters). In fact, he was spotted wearing a Vegan Coke tee at SXSW. Big deal? Maybe. Word has it that Cathy Pellow of Sargent House Records only signs bands that her current label signees are digging. Take note, Sargent House. Atlanta wants in.
Listen to "Peter Paul and Mary Frippin' Out" and maybe it will help you decide.
Vegan Coke opens for Acid Mothers Temple on April 18. $12. 8:30 p.m. The Earl, 488 Flat Shoals Ave. www.badearl.com.
Big also divulges that one of Daddy Fat Sax's ten tracks is a holdout from the Sir Lucious Left Foot recording sessions, and that it features Raekwon and Janelle Monae. Uh, holy shit. Must. Hear. Now.
Anyway, no release date yet for DFS, though if recent history tells us anything, it'll probably be out around Thanksgiving 2013.
According to gossip site TMZ, the rapper's wife, Tameka Cottle, confirms that the she and Tip got caught getting a little too "frisky" during her latest visit to the Arkansas federal prison where he's serving an 11-month sentence. Apparently, the two were in an approved room together, where inmates are allowed to kiss, embrace and hold hands at the beginning and end of a visit, according to prison regulations, but "the inmate’s hands must remain in plain view of Visiting Room staff at all times."
Have you ever tried having sex with no hands? Unless you're Neo from The Matrix or a tantric sex pro, it's damn near impossible. TMZ claims that Tiny says she was trying to give Tip a handjob. For punishment, T.I. got sent straight to a Special Housing Unit with stricter security and less inmate freedoms. I just hope for his sake that's not where they send all the other fellas who get caught trying to having sex in jail.
Trap going crazy, and, er, so is Gucci? After yet another arrest for probation violation (which is, like, his umpteenth run-in with the law since Thanksgiving), the AJC reports Radric Davis has been ordered to undergo a series of psychiatric tests. (Davis' lawyer filed a "special plea of mental incompetency" on behalf of his client, which, you know, never mind.) Pending the results of said tests, Gucci's reportedly occupying a bed at Anchor Hospital, a behavioral/substance abuse treatment facility near the airport.
Totally weird. I don't know what else I can add to this without being unnecessarily snarky, so I'll just say "get well soon, Gooch."
This just in! Waka Flocka's house in Henry County got raided! Cops found weed and guns! (Illegal, y'all!) Flocka wasn't home! But Gucci was there, just, uh, hanging out, I guess. (Maybe he was feeding Flocka's parakeet?) Anyway, Gucci got cuffed! But then he was released! Where's Flocka?
TMZ also reports that two
unnamed men at Casa de Flocka were arrested and charged with possession of less than an ounce of weed. Seems to be a thing lately.
EDIT: The AJC reports that Henry County police aren't confirming that Gucci was involved in the incident, nor have they confirmed the home in question was indeed Flocka's. But the mention of one of the arrested men, a "Johan Michael Antney, 20, of Jamaica, NY" would seem to indicate it was his abode: Antney is Flocka's mother Debra's last name, and the family originally hails from Queens. (Look, Ma, I'm a detective!) Also, cops say charges are pending on "at least one other suspect." Who, pray tell, could it be?
See update re: live chat at 3 p.m. Tuesday below
Bishop Eddie Long can breathe a sigh of relief this week. The latest would-be homo-scandal involves an altogether different pillar within Atlanta's black community: the venerable Morehouse College.
Today, urban music mag Vibe published the story "Mean Girls of Morehouse," in which writer Aliya S. King profiles several current and former students whose penchant for cross-dressing (Marc Jacobs tote bags, heels and hair weave) doesn't sit well with the suits at the all-male historically black college.
Last October, King reports, the school got a slew of unwanted media attention when it updated its dress code to include bans on caps, do-rags, sunglasses, sagging pants and — here comes the eyebrow-raising part — dresses, tops, tunics, purses and pumps.
What King discovered, after digging deeper, is four gender-bending gay students, deemed "the Plastics" (courtesy the Lindsay Lohan flick Mean Girls), who seem deadset on challenging the school's status quo.
“Morehouse wasn’t ready for me,” says Diamond, who has the word “unbreakable” tattooed on his collarbone and the acronym C.R.E.A.M (“Cash Rules Everything Around Me” coined by rap group Wu Tang Clan) wrapped around his right wrist. “I’m about freedom of expression. I’m about being whomever you truly are inside. I came to Morehouse because of all the historical leaders that attended and impacted the world so heavily. You know, I really wanted to follow in their footsteps. I don’t think Morehouse believes that someone like me—someone who wears heels and dresses—can uphold that reputation. But they’re wrong.”
Hey chumps! Interested in hearing about what ATL no-gooders Black Lips have been up to lately? Then check out this Spin interview with Lips guitarist Cole Alexander, in which he divulges a bunch of information about the band's forthcoming LP, which is yet to be titled.
Among the juicy nuggets Alexander reveals about the new record:
1. It boasts a bevy of "straight country sounds," aided by lap steel and a real human skull;
2. Guitarist Ian St. Pe's vocals will be prominently featured for the first time, and
3. There's a song about Chief Noc-A-Homa.
(Photo via Black Lips)
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