Check out my latest hip-hop commentary: WHO STOLE THE SOUL?
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Ah, Snoop…I don’t know what the hell to make of you at this point. Has he run out of sh*t to rap about? Is this a gimmick to gain attention? Is this just a reason to continue to smoke weed (I thought he quit)? Or was he truly inspired by the Rastafarian Religion? I have no idea.
Part of me was skeptical because Snoop has proved in the past that in order to continue as a viable rap artist, he had to expand his horizons. He couldn’t just be the “Gin & Juice” Snoop, he had to also be the “Beautiful” Snoop. Then he became the “Sexual Seduction” Snoop. Sh*t, he even did a record with Willie Nelson of all people. I’m not mad though.
He is here. He’s not on a “What Ever Happened to…?” show. He has survived a lot. He really shouldn’t be as visible as he is today. There are rappers who debuted last year that don’t have as much buzz. I mean, his career is one hell of a roller-coaster ride when you think about it. Somehow I feel like this could be his last ride.
I’m saying, what kind of insensitive dude would adopt a religion as another means to sell records (Ma$e?). If Snoop Lion was to return as Snoop Dogg, he would be forever scrutinized. Not only would the Rastafarian community sh*t on him (They already have in some circles), but his fans wouldn’t respect him. Do they respect him now? Are Snoop Dogg fans now Snoop Lion fans?
Has his fan base evolved with him? The messages contradict one another. The music/lyrics are about peace and spirituality now. Not “B*tchez ain’t Sh*t”. Honestly, more people should be happy for him. More fans should applaud his music. Is this not the kind of music people say is lacking in today’s hip-hop? Is it hip-hop?
Honestly, I still don’t know what to feel about the whole situation. I am not a die hard Snoop fan, but I have a couple of albums. This Snoop Lion isn’t my cup of tea. Why? I just don’t think he is any good at Reggae. Whatever makes the man happy though… Salute Bruhda.
THE EVOLUTION THAT IS SNOOP DOGGY DOGG -> SNOOP LION:
Things got slow for a little while but we’ve had some decent hip-hop in recent weeks… Here’s what I’m currently rocking:
Big K.R.I.T. ”King Remembered In Time“
“Though I was a little disappointed by the album, Krit’s best work has been in the mixtape game. King Remembered in Time is a little different from his previous work. The tone is more aggressive than the laid back, conscious heavy tracks of his prior works. I still think he could trim a song or two, but overall it’s business as usual. Hip-Hop with messages. Add this to your rotation.”
Durag Dynasty ”360 Waves“
“I was totally surprised by how much I liked this album. My initial attraction to the project was the cover art. I’m sayin’… Pat Riley with a durag? Lol! I love the whole vibe of this album. The beats are dope, the rhymes match the tone. This is just hip-hop spirit. Cop this…NOW!”
Adrian Younge & Ghostface Killah “Twelve Reasons To Die“
“This is not the Ghostface album you came for. This is something different…and I like it. I love when artist choose to go left for inspiration. Ghost rhyming over the haunting score of Adrian Younge is golden…at times. There are those tracks that sound forced. The chemistry isn’t always there, but tends to be consistent throughout the project. This is an interesting union and it works as something different yet familiar from Ghostface. Check it out…”
Styles P. ”FLOAT“
“I feel like I say the same thing about a Styles album. This one produced by Scram Jones is just hard. You know what your getting into when you hit play. The album does contain more guest appearances than usual. That helps put a different perspective on some of the records. When you listen to a Styles P album it’s generally all about Weed, Guns, and Conscious Commentary. I’d be lying if I said i didn’t like it regardless. Cop that.”
Inspectah Deck with 7L & Esoteric “Czarface“
“I’m still riding with this one. This is my way to be trapped in the 90s without listening to old 90s albums. That 90s sound, that old wu sound…but it doesn’t feel old. Try this one out.”
Man, what the hell did J. Cole do to Jay-Z? You would never know that he was signed to his label (Roc Nation). Not only is he absent from J. Cole everything (i.e. Songs, Pics), now Hov does a remix with his man Kendrick Lamar? The cover of the single is a pic of Kobe and Jordan together. What?! If I was J. cole, no disrespect to Kendrick, but I’d need answers.
Jay-Z has barely endorsed J. Cole publicly. Ok, so Jay Cole was on Blueprint 3. That song was completely forgettable. I understand allowing your artist to make a name for themselves, but this feels like more. Jay did a entire album with Kanye. Kanye didn’t need it. Hov seems more than willing to share some lime light.
I understand that Jay-Z likes to gravitate to the “hot” side of the room but damn. Your little man is drowning under the pressure of his peers Drake & Kendrick. It doesn’t help his cause if you draw more attention their way. I’m not totally against the way Jay-Z has handled J. Cole. I felt he got in Memphis Bleek’s way on Roc-a-Fella.
Once again, this is a case where you have a dude who is just as talented as his peers but he needs that one hit. He obviously is unable to craft it himself. Those radio records wouldn’t chart if he was on some bullsh*t label like Mack Town Records.
Who knows? Maybe J. Cole’s sophomore album will tell a different tale. He better hurry up. Drake’s 3rd album is right around the corner.
Oh how soon we forget the laws of the land until we are reminded of the iron fist that is REALITY. I have my opinions on the “latest trend” but that’s not what this post is about. It’s about how an underground producer’s song becomes a national craze and ushers in more than a million downloads….AND THE SAMPLES WERE NOT CLEARED. Oh boy.
Now, this is no fault of Baauer (the producer)…we’ll maybe a little bit. How would he have known that this song would become so big (It’s not really the song, but the videos…but they go hand in hand)? He used various samples from songs and people around the net hoping to get a couple of hits. This is not a uncommon practice in this day and age of producers. The internet is the biggest dig site for samples. You better believe that if you sample (on any level) and you want to sell that track….without clearing samples? Those moments of creative euphoria will eventually bite you in the a$$.
Not every song is a potential dance craze/video foolery hit, but the point is…YOU NEVER KNOW. I mean, that is why you create and then post to the net. Correct? It’s the hope that many people will get to hear it. Anyway, Reggaetón artist Hector “El Father” Delgado and Philadelphia MC Jayson Musson have been sampled in the creation of Harlem Shake and they want their cut. It is only right. Unfortunately for Baauer, this is a bittersweet lesson in fame and misfortune.
Here is a more detailed explanation of this story: The Verge
2013 has had some decent hip-hop…already! …Here’s what I’m currently rocking:
9th Wonder & Jay-Z “Black American Gangster“
“This one hit early. January 1st to be exact. I liked the original album but this 9th Wonder remix breathes new life into it. It even make songs I didn’t like better. You need to add this to your rotation if you haven’t already.”
J. Cole “Truly Yours“
“This dude makes some of the best mixtapes around. This Ep is hot! The beat selection, the topics, and his sincere delivery combine for a thoughtful mixture. If only we could get a album from him on this level. I’m hopeful. Check it…”
Inspecktah Deck + 7L & Esoteric ”Czarface“
“I wasn’t expecting this one. This is for the hip-hop heads. The album feels like the 90s (or a 90s Wu album) but doesn’t sound dated. There have been similar projects butthey tended to sound dated. Idk. Dope lyrics combined with head nodding beats = heavy rotation.”
Vado “Slime Flu 3“
“I just like this dude. Period. I’m a fan. I have no rhyme or reason as to why (I’ll take a crack it though…). His confidence makes mediocre songs sound interesting. His beats are always on point. The Slime Flu series has been dope. If you are a Vado fan, you’ll be more than happy with this one.”
Curren$y “New Jet City“
“I never get tired of this dude…when I should. His subject matter is the same. His delivery is the same on every track, and his music can be categorized as “weed-hop”. He just makes good music to vibe to. New Jet City is perfect for those who want to take a mental break from the technical wordplay in some hip-hop. It’s just chill, and features some dope guest appearances. Check it out…”