“CHECK THE RHYME”

I’ve been waiting to see this film for a while now. A lot of interesting views being touched on in this trailer. A lot of younger artist will look at this and think one thing… “HATING”. Open up your vocabulary, ears & mind…and understand what this information means to your existence as a hip-hop artist or fan. Check the trailer…

2011′s Best Albums/Mixtape(s)

2011 is done. It was a fantastic year for hip-hop! For all the “hip-hop is wack” talk, I’d say LOOK CLOSER. This year provided a lot of inspired material from artist. I have 5 albums/mixtapes that stood above the rest. It would have been easier for me to do a top 10 but top 5 is more interesting in my opinion.  Plus, I like putting the pressure on myself. Lol! I can say without a doubt, THESE WERE THE BEST FOR THE YEAR 2011

Here is MY top five  hip-hop albums/mixtape(s) of 2011:

Kendrick LamarSection .80

“Talk about slept on. I heard the snippets and was completely uninterested. Then I decided to give it a full listen after hearing so many people talk about it. Needless to say, I came away extremely impressed (snippets are never a good idea).  I wasn’t only impressed by Kendrick’s various flows but the consistency at which this mix-tape album moved.  This is the type of young mc that old heads say doesn’t exist (fix ya glasses old head). This is a “throwback” album. Well placed skits, hard tracks, flows, and a conscious tone/concept. Just take a listen to the track “Keisha’s Song” and you’ll realize he’s just not here to spit. Kendrick Lamar is a force to be reckoned with in 2012. Believe it. I do.”


Elzhi & Will Sessions
Elmatic

“How do you do that? How do you remake one of the greatest albums in hip-hop history? It has to be a recipe for failure. Right? NOT AT ALL. (Not to be compared) Elzhi & Will Sessions’s Elmatic is a classic in itself. I know. How is that even possible? This tribute was sooo on point. First, Elzhi does an excellent job of paying tribute without trying to imitate Nas. He actually builds upon the classic lyrics by providing his own perspective (i.e. Detroit State of Mind). It works well. I tried to hate but COULD NOT FRONT. On the beat front, the band Will Sessions does a superb job of keeping the essence of the original tracks and injecting the original sample in most cases. It is a masterful job that doesn’t draw comparions (or shouldn’t) to the original classic…Illmatic. This was in my top 5 from day one. If you don’t feel this…well…hip-hop is not for you. WORD.”


Big K.R.I.T.
Return to 4eva

“I knew absolutely nothing about this dude going in. I caught wind of his name a couple of times but thought he was just some dude the internet hyped up. I saw how much people were anticipating his mix-tape so I figured I’d give it a listen. I love when I get “pleasantly surprised” in hip-hop. While some fans tend to invest all of their energy in the anticipation of their  favorite artist, we miss out on the dudes coming up.  Big K.R.I.T. is yet another example of a young artist who cares about his lyrics. This mixtape is NICE! Think young Outkast/UGK. Not only does he do a decent job lyrically, the production is perfect. This doesn’t feel or sound like your average mixtape, and that alone leaves me excited for his debut album in 2012.”


Phonte
Charity Starts At Home

“I didn’t even know this was coming out. Serious. I was so busy looking at lesser albums, when my favorite mc from one of my favorite groups (Little Brother)” was about to drop an album.  Talk about total package. While others were a little disappointed with Drake’s album (not I), I was still listening to one of Drake’s inspirations. Not only is Phonte a waaay better rapper, he is a waaaaaaaay better singer. Really. This album contains the perfect balance between the two (though heavier on the hip-hop side). Reuniting with 9th Wonder on a couple of tracks feels like Little Brother all over again (sorry Big Pooh). Phonte’s clever lyrics combined with dope beats, and his familiar comedic monologues make this album an easy choice for my top 5 of 2012.”


Common
The Dreamer, The Believer

“As far as I’m concerned, if it dropped before the New Year’s Ball… it’s a candidate for 2011.  I couldn’t have done this list without hearing this album.  Three hot singles, and re-teaming with NO I.D.  could only mean good things.  THIS ALBUM IS F@CKIN’ HOT!  Not only does he make up for that dud of a last album, he proves that he is still relevant on ALL fronts. Is it a classic? I don’t know. Only time will tell, but right now I’ve listened to it several times. I can’t move on to anything else right now.  This album is so satisfying. This is a case where the supply exceeds the demand. Like all the other players on the list, you can tell that there was a goal in mind. Kanye and Common have a dope chemistry together but it has nothing on Common and No I.D. With features from the likes of Nas, John Legend, and even Maya Angelou… Common closed out 2011 just right. “


Honorable Mentions:

Saigon “Greatest Story Never Told
Raekwon “Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang
Game “The R.E.D. Album
Pharoahe Monch “W.A.R.(We Are Renegades)
The Roots “Undun” 

Peace….

“This Can’t Be Life”

"I got to return this Dynasty CD."

What does this mean exactly? Hard times? They caught me on my off day? IDK. I’m guilty of hitting the supermarket early mornings looking like a fiend with old tims and a bum ass hat. Who doesn’t shop at Walmart?

Is there a rule against having wealth and not spending it in Walmart? Sorry to say but, all of those excuses melt away as I stare at this photo. Were I in his position would I have been in Walmart looking like a cab driver? HELL NO!

I don’t know what Beanie’s financial status is, and you can’t draw conclusions from a photo. I’ll tell you this… THIS IS NOT A GOOD LOOK

P.S. “A hot new mixtape will change all of it…I hope.”

Rap Genius…

Ever wondered what the f@ck your favorite rapper was talking about? Are you one of those hip-hop fans that loves a rap artist for their voice and cadence but get lost in the lyrics? Well, somebody has made a site for YOU.

Rap Genius is a Wikipedia for rap lyrics. The site is run by, well, US the fans. There are verses and songs with lyrics broken down into “simple” terms. Now ya moms will understand why you say Lil Wayne is the best….or maybe why people say he is trash.

Check this breakdown of Lil Wayne’s hit single “A Milli

I think a site like this is good idea, but I can’t help but feel like it’s a cheat. Part of the allure of hip-hop music is figuring out the lyrics on your own. I’ve gone as far as to research things myself. I guess this site will make it easier for the casual hip-hop fan. Here is one of Jay-Z’s greatest lines for which I think needs no explanation: “…Like short sleeves, I bare arms.” - Brooklyn’s Finest

Anyhow, here is a quick breakdown of what the site is all about:

What is Rap Genius?
Rap Genius is your guide to the meaning of rap lyrics (basically the internet version of the nerd-ass “rap dictionary” dorm-mate you had in college).

You can listen to songs, read their lyrics, and click the lines that interest you for pop-up explanations – we have thousands of canonical rap songs explained (2Pac, Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z – even the beginning of the Torah..)

Peace…

This Is 50

Well, it’s about time he’s said something worth listening to. 50 Cent is frustrated with our government, and the way that we as a society turn a blind eye to the problems of the world. One can only hope that his efforts will influence more to recognize and act (i.e. entertainers, athletes, politicians, and us). One thing’s for sure, his music will need to change in order to avoid the inevitable “rapper contradiction”. Here is 50 Cent’s PSA:

“The world is so f***** up
People don’t seem to care anymore

People seem to have distanced themselves from other people’s problems, they have been programmed not to care!
Politicians are corrupt…So many companies are corrupt and taking excessive profits in certain sectors…….and we keep allowing this s*** to happen
There are 1 billion plus people living in extreme poverty. You know what that is? You don’t know if your getting your next meal, no shelter, no medical. You have no chance of hustling your way out of it!
We have been programmed to not give a s*** about these people!

Well I have woken up and Im not turning a blind eye anymore!

Im not playing the game anymore. Our Company CEO’s and politicians want us to keep our heads down and not ask questions. Not demand the truth
they don’t want us to care, they have trained us to turn a blind eye!
Because they control us and profit from us this way!
to push back at them questions and threatens their lifestyles.

Children are dying everyday from hunger. Its f***** up, its wrong and I am angry
Im not going to shut up or give up – f*** the system, its wrong.
wake up we are being used!

Innocent children are dying each day…. we need to shout out to companies, politicians that we aren’t playing their games anymore
We are waking up to their lies and deceitful dealings

Im angry, Im going to make a difference and no one is going to stop me
Join me if your tired of being used and manipulated
Make this world fair for everyone” – 50 Cent
Street King

One2FlowOn Podcast “HIP-HOP CRITIC”


“Everybody’s A Critic…”

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