Sunday, April 26, 2009

Where's the Inspiration??

Blog I wrote some months back.....

I was reading a comment from a post on a hip hop site. I can't remember what the subject was about. But you know... the same ole comments to usually comes in any blog or story related to hip hop.....


1. Pac this.... Pac that. Pac was the Greatest.... Pac Pac . Pac Pac Pac Pac Pac..... Top 5.... Pac...Pac Pac. Pac Pac..... I call these commenters the The Shakur Rooster for 2 reasons.....

1. they can't get off of Pac's cock in any subject regarding hip hop. and....

2. When they talk, they sound like a chicken.... bak bak bak bak bak bakkkkk! Except with them it's pacpacpacpacpacpac PAAAACCC!!!!

(SIDENOTE: I ain't hating, I was a huge Pac fan in the 90's, but DAMN!)

2. Old school vs. New School. (Sick of this debate. B/c some times, neither Golden age old heads nor 106 & Park knuckleheads are checking out nor supporting good music outside of the radio, b/c old heads are stuck in the past & new heads are letting soundscan dictate what's hip hop.)

But one thing a commenter spoke on that I truly admire was about the difference in rappers from different eras that made a lot of sense to me.

If you go back to old interviews of rappers from back in the days.... most of their influences expanded outside of hip hop from P-funk to James Brown & soul music. Then you had jazz that inspired rappers like Guru & Rakim, Stetsasonic, The Roots & so many others. Had reggae (Bob Marley) that influenced KRS-One... Rock inspired Run DMC, Ice T & Black Sheep. Alternative Woodstock type samples is what got De La Soul categorized as hippies during the Daisy Age.

Even spoken words from Gil Scott Heron & The Last Poets were influential for Public Enemy, as well as conscious soul music from cats like Marvin Gaye, Donnie Hathaway, Stevie Wonder. Even The Jacksons. But if you ask a lot of these new rappers what they're musically influences are.... hardly does it goes outside of hip hop... Which leads to the Shakur Rooster pac-ing..... What's sad is listening to their music, you don't hear the Black Panther influenced side of Pac or the emotional side of Pac. The bruthas got to fight & come together Pac. The anti-media telling the world what they need to hear Pac. NO!!!!! .... You hear the Bad Boy Killa Pac... The beefing with every rapper Pac. The Thug Life Pac. The we're selling millions over here Pac. The later Pac that I detested that probably contributed to his death. And for some reason, that's the "Pac" that these new rappers gravitate to when with the problems we've been having, we could really use another 2Pac (before Death Row) that was inspired by the Panthers & Malcolm X. But with all these Shakur Rooster, that part of him is never exposed.

The beauty of hip hop back then was its diversity. And that came from each artists being inspired by so many other forms of music that it was beautiful, & not just biting off what their neighborhood celebrity's doing. That's one thing that's definitely missing with these new breeds. Their influences doesn't go outside of hip hop. And with so many rappers singing with autotunes or doing singy song rhymes & R&B singers singing rap verses instead of love serenades these days.... you can't tell a rapper from a singer & it's all being attached as "hip hop." Back in the days, many veterans during their times were scrutinized for having singing or r&b on their records. Now it seems today, that as long as it's urban, it's hip hop, which includes r&b & rock (with urban producers). So contemporary r&b & hip hop has become synoymous, b/c rappers are singing & everybody's using auto tunes. Sucks, becuz even though I'm a hip hop head, 70's soul musicians were my biggest inspirations when I started writing. Becuz the soul put in those songs, was the soul that made me feel certain songs. And I think 2Pac had that same soul, but I think a lot of these Shakur Roosters are so caught up in the Thug side, they don't feel it... cuz it's definitely not in their music.

Although there are some real great soul singers out there like Choklate, Eric Roberson, Anthony Hamilton, Dwele... unfortunately they're in the same boat as underground emcees. Either forced to dumb down their music for the masses (See Jamie Foxx, John Legend's "Green Light"... Not hating... I like the song... but it's a Andre "Hey Ya" sequel) or having to settle for zero play on major networks & might get a little spin on the oldies soul station that older ppl (who're so disgusted with the trends, probably don't buy music anymore) listen to. So to me, it's not a question of whether hip hop is dying, but is it music altogether.

To me, the problem with hip hop is not one or two artists. Like T-Pain (for example)... I've actually grown to like some of his music, especially after his 2nd album. Even without an auto tune, it's nice if you listen to it. But it's with too many cats jumping on the bandwagon trying to sound like T-Pain (Like Ron Browz.... & Is it me, but why NY'ers hate on T-Pain but love him & call him the future when he's totally jacking T-Pain? hmmmm. Sounds bias to me.) So what we have in the media are a lot of monotonous music close-minded to anything that's ....

A. not on the radio...
B. not what is considered hip hop (Which is easier now... since all you need is street cred & a Black producer)
C. not "black" enough or ghetto enough (for you ignoranuses.)

Now let me shut up & enjoy this masterpiece I happen to come across. I discovered Nujabes on youtube after they had one of my favorite emcees featured on their joint. I found this by accident thinking it featured Kweli & HiTek (Reflection Eternal).... but I was wrong. ANd glad I was, b/c the music is beautiful & just another example of how good music is being slept on.... & not just in hip hop.

I'm out.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Hip Hop Heads Up Vol. 2 - Supastition/Kam Moye

What up. Another Hip Hop Heads Up. I said I wanted to do something like this every month.

Actually, this year so far has been a little slow when it comes to music, especially since nowadays gotta rely on youtube videos & word of mouth through cybersace (since I'm in the deep South where if it's regionally bias, but eargasmically wack to me.)

I'm from the South, so I'm not hating. (Remember, I did a tribute to Southern hip hop some months back.) But it's this regional sound-bites of one another that drove me away from pursuing rap 10 years ago. My lil' brother's still tryna get me to step to the mic, & I'm like... Although the skills & the love for the music are still there, but the hunger died, when everybody started serving "junk food." Seemed like everyone started getting greedy as soon as Master P got discovered after selling music out of the trunk of his car. Now the radio's constantly promoting crap & giving the South a bad name. While hip hop's gone from the Black CNN to the "Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous." Sadly, it's some dope Southerners that may never see the light of success, b/c they're not a gimmick. And this brutha is one of them..

Kam Moye AKA Supastition hails from Charlotte, NC. Ppl may know him from his works with Little Brother. I've been a fan since the first time I heard "The Williams" joint from the OK Players compilation album & again, after peeping.. "Boom Box" from NBA Live Show on MTV. Immediately after those 2 singles, I went to Amazon & purchased his albums at the time "The Deadline" & "The Chain Letter." Both of those albums were amazing, but I was more hooked on "The Deadline EP", b/c I related so much to the subject matter (e.g. Soul Searching, Nowhere to Run).

B/c his debut, "7 Years of Bad Luck" was out of print, I literally went on Limewire & downloaded every track on that album & burned to CD, in addition to any other song he'd done & burned them into a separate one. Even after 3 years of becoming a fan, I still every now & then & peep his earlier works. I think they did finally re-released the debut & included another favorite that wasn't on the original... "Me Minus U." Btw that & "Mixed Emotions" this brutha got mad heart. That whole album was also

Last year, he dropped a free EP available for download called "Self Centered", which is also the first album he went by Kam Moye, which is his birth name (reason? peep "Where & Why"). I definitely recommend this joint for 2 reasons... 1. It's dope & 2. It's free. And being unemployed, I definitely appreciate that. (click the album cover above or HERE for a free download.) But he also released another EP under his Supa alias called "Leave of Absence." The beauty of both of these EP's, is that if it was 15 years ago, they'd be considered albums, b/c they're 9 to 10 songs & most likely, flawless from beginning to end.

Last I heard, I has a new label affiliated with Koch, so hopefully that will finally put him on ppl's radar outside of the underground, b/c he's definitely an emcee worth checking out. Whether he's repping Supastition the emcee or Kam Moye the man, he's the true personification of what keeping it real truly means. This is the kind of emcee the South should be embracing & stand by proudly.


ALso check out some newer music on his myspace pages. and

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Make UP to Break UP (Top 10)

For those interested, I've posted my Black History of April on my new blogspot page that can be accessed on the banner above (also the banner at top). But anyway...

I just happened to be checking out Global Grind site to read the latest news when I saw someone posted their list for top groups that should've never broke up. Kinda pissed me off b/c 2 weeks ago I wanted to do such a list after finding out Digable Planets disbanded again after reuniting & doing tours.

As a fan, it always suck to see groups break up. But looking at it from a humanistic side, it's worst. A lot of times, they started off as friends & it a lot of time demonstrates how fragile friendships can be when certain factors come into the equation. Whether it's money, fame, women, drugs... whatever.

Who are some of your top favorite groups you wish never broke up?

and also....

Have you had anything to come between your friendships?

Top 10 Groups That Should've Never Broke Up
in no particular order

1. A Tribe Called Quest
2. The Fugees
3. Digable Planets
4. GangStarr
5. Goodie Mob
6. Pete Rock & CL Smooth
7. Black Sheep
9. The Pharcyde
10. Wu Tang Clan

Honorable Mentions:
Organized Konfusion
Brand Nubians
Leaders of the New School