City High - What Would You Do?


City High was a hip-hop trio out of New Jersey and this was the first single from their debut album back in 2001. They only made one album and broke up shortly after due to romantic conflicts, which is a shame because they had A LOT of potential, as evident in "What Would You Do". This song is about a single mother who resorted to prostitution to be able to feed her son, with an uplifting ending meant to motivate other parents caught in similar situations.

Game ft. Kendrick Lamar - The City


Game teamed up with my boo Kendrick Lamar for this track, which is off his 2011 album Red Nation. It's hands down the best one..the sample and hook are awesome and the outro is pretty cool, but Lamar on the chorus really brings the song together and his fourth verse absolutely KILLS. 

TOB - Love On Top


TOB aka TakeOvaBand is an up and coming DC GoGo band. They did a cover of Beyonce's "Love On Top" and this song cranks. Let me know what you think :)

Geto Boys vs. Big Sean - Mind Playing Tricks On Me


The Geto Boys, who then consisted of Scarface, Willie D, and Bushwick Bill, released this iconic song on their 1991 album We Can't Be Stopped. This song has been the recipient of widespread critical acclaim and tells stories of nightmares, hallucinations, and paranoia. Simply put, it's an integral piece of hip-hop history.

Big Sean covered this song on his 2009 mixtape UKNOWBIGSEAN and it's a little lackluster. He earns a lot of brownie points just by covering this song, for sure, but he dumbed down the lyrics and made them kinda shallow and more obscene. That's just my opinion though, it's up to you which version you like better. I'll post the original + lyrics followed by Big Sean + lyrics. Lemme know what you think.

Common Diss and Thoughts on Drake


I've seen a lot of hate towards Drake lately and I feel the need to say my piece. Drake started out refreshing; he's different. He grew up in Canada and was on Degrassi. He had a cushy life. He didnt live in Section 8 housing out in the ghetto, he didnt struggle, he didn't get into gangs or drugs like so many other rappers. Don't get me wrong, I am by no means dissing this. It's important to have relatable and inspirational music from artists who lived this life and are reaching out to those still in it. Struggles and uplifting are two of the biggest bases for hip-hop. That being said, it's nice to have a change of pace, especially considering some of the big artists in mainstream hip-hop right now. The shallow, materialistic, substanceless garbage on the radio right now is misrepresenting the genre and poorly influencing our youth. I think its great to have someone who doesn't only rap about how awesome they are, how much money they're spending, how many girls they're sleeping with..etc. To have a rapper actually rap/sing about love, relationships, pain, mistakes, aka real shit, is awesome.

I'll admit, I think the game is changing him. The company he keeps is affecting him negatively. His first mixtapes were awesome and had so many sweet songs(see "A Night Off", "Same Mistakes", "Sooner Than Later"),  but I feel he's had a steady decline and I blame it on Young Money. He even acknowledges his changes in songs like "The Resistance" and "Club Paradise".

Bottom line: women love Drake because he shows actual emotion and real shit; he's not entirely chauvenistic. If women love Drake, you better learn to love Drake.

I don't know why Common is going after him. Maybe it's because he's sold out to materialism and indulgence. Maybe it's because he sings on half his songs, so he has one foot in the door of rap and one in R&B, making him "sweet". I've heard that it's over tennis pro Serena Williams. Common and Williams dated on and off for a few years and now her and Drake are involved with each other.

Drake recently subtly took a shot at Common on a remix of "Stay Schemin" with Rick Ross, claiming he is just trying to get into the headlines, since he just released a new record.

Back when if a nigga reached it was for the weapon, nowadays niggas reach just to sell they record
This is exactly what Common wanted--a response. He jumped on the track and added a verse after Drake's, ripping him a new butthole and calling him "Canada Dry" (that was clever lol). He also hinted at something that makes it pretty obvious it's about Serena..

Can’t say my name but rap about a nigga’s wife
Cue Destiny's Child sample (also beast). I don't know what's up with this beef but I think it's pretty stupid. Drake is untouchable right now and I've never known Common to come out and take cheap shots like that. This has to be over a woman! I'll post it after the break. Let me know what you think, for real.

Swizz Beatz - Top Down


Swizz Beatz is a New York producer/rapper/record executive who recently married and had a child with Alicia Keys. He is also the CEO of file-storage website Megaupload, which was shut down today by the government. "Top Down" is from his debut studio album, One Man Band Man, released in 2007.

Jay-Z Vows to Stop Using the Word "Bitch" in His Music


Shortly after the birth of his new daughter, Blue Ivy, Jay-Z penned a poem dedicated to his new addition. In the poem, he promises Blue to stop saying "bitch" in his music, out of respect for her. He also wrote a song for her, called "Glory", which includes sound clips of her crying and cooing. This track entered at #74 on the Billboard charts, making Blue Ivy the youngest person to ever be credited on a charted song. I'll post both the poem and the song after the break!

Tyga - Rack City


Tyga is a 22 year-old rapper from Compton with Jamaican and Vietnamese roots. He's part of Young Money and is due to release his second album Careless World: Rise of the Last King at the end of this month. The album features his latest hit, "Rack City".

The first music video for "Rack City" was just Tyga in a strip club, throwing money on half-naked girls while they gave him lapdances and slid down poles. He released a more MTV-friendly version, which is reminiscent of Grand Theft Auto. It's better than the first video, at least.

Lyrically, I hate this song. It has a cool beat and it's pretty infectious, but aside from that, this song is pretty disappointing. Songs like this prove to me that hip-hop is dead. Superficial, materialistic songs that offer nothing of value climb the charts while artists like Kendrick Lamar, Tyler the Creator, J Dilla, Talib Kweli, etc. who articulately rap about deep subjects get little to no radio play.

If you came here for the lyrics/video/ whatever..I urge you to take a step back from all the girls/money/jewelry/etc that mainstream hip-hop worships and actually look at the content of this song and others like it. This is not hip-hop. This is not real music. This is not art. This is ignorance. This is self-worship and idolatry. This is materialism. Artists like this take the name of hip-hop in vain and are killing the genre.

Screw Rack City, screw Tyga and screw Young Money!

Kendrick Lamar - A.D.H.D.


I've said it before but I'll say it again; Kendrick Lamar is posed to be one of the greatest rappers of our time. He has a great flow and raps about things that are actually meaningful, not egotistical or superficial. This song is a commentary on the over-medication and apathy of our generation. Doctors tend to be quick to prescribe medications for people who may not actually need it and at the same time, we stay drunk/high to, for lack of a better word, self-medicate. This song is Kendrick Lamar's response-- "fuck that".

Lupe Fiasco - Show Goes On


Lupe released his third album, Lasers in 2010 and this was the first single. It's a motivational song for all the kids stuck in the ghetto and I really love it. He released it on October 26th, 2010 and it samples "Float On" by Modest Mouse, which I also liked.

Jay-Z & Kanye West - New Day


Kanye West teams up with the new father Jay-Z for this track, which was released on their collaborative Watch The Throne. It's a dedication to their future children, which is fitting for Jay-Z especially seeing as how Beyonce just gave birth to his first daughter, Blue Ivy, on the 7th. It was produced by RZA and also features a sample from Nina Simones 1965 song "Feeling Good". 

Memphis Bleek ft. Jay-Z - Murda Murda (Murda Marcyville)


New York rapper Memphis Bleek was one of the original artists signed to Roc-A-Fella Records and is a long-time member of Jay's crew. This track is off his 2003 album M.A.D.E. and is a testament to South Philly's rough environment. Jay-Z also takes the opportunity to diss his mentor Jaz-O, specifically in the first verse.

Handsome Boy Modeling School - Holy Calamity


Handsome Boy Modeling School is a collaborative between two of hip-hop's legendary producers, Dan the Automator and Prince Paul, using the monikers Nathaniel Merriweather and Chest Rockwell. They teamed up in 1999 and released the album So...How's Your Girl? followed by their 2004 release White People. The overlying theme of their music is a commentary on the materialistic and vain members of upper class society, and their characters acted as biting satire. 

"Holy Calamity", off the album So...How's Your Girl?, features DJ Quest and DJ Shadow. It's also known as "Bear Witness II", as a sequel to Dr. Octagon's 1996 song  "Bear Witness", which Dan the Automator also produced. 

Clipse - Virginia


Virginia Beach duo Clipse released this track on their 2002 album Lord Willin'. While it was never a radio single, this homage to their home state is still an awesome song and one of my favorites by them.

Game ft. Lil Wayne - Red Nation


Game (formally known as The Game) was born and raised in Los Angeles/Compton and has a very West Coast style. Although raised in a Crip household, he later became a Blood and after an incident in 2001, Game decided to leave the gang life behind and pursue hip-hop as a career. His life growing up and continuing to live in the gang culture inspires many of his songs.

"Red Nation" was the lead single off Game's 2011 album The R.E.D. Album and uses a sample of techno artist Zombie Nation's 2000 hit "Kernkraft 400". It's also featured in the trailer of the upcoming Mark Wahlberg movie Contraband. The music video was banned from airing on both BET and MTV because of its controversial portrayal of gang culture and Game's allegiance to the Bloods. I don't think it's that has a somewhat post-apocalyptic feel and doesn't expressely glorify gang culture or violence. You can see for yourself after the break.