It’s amazing that after almost 30 years since their debut release in 1987, Eric B. & Rakim are still 100% respected and relevant names when considering the greatest rappers of all time in hip-hop. Rakim on the microphone and Eric B. nasty on the tables have become a world renowned entity. After decades since the public was exposed to Paid In Full, a17-date tour was booked between April and May 3 of 2018. This anniversary tour establishes the duo’s place in the honorary hip-hop hall of fame forever and helps us recognize that they’ve inspired and paved the way for hip-hop, rap and the music industry at large. Rakim covers all the verses with bars that are creatively and effortlessly constructed, and insanely relatable for […]

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Born This Way

Cookie Crew Born This Way Cover

Hip-hop has taken over the world. You can’t go a day without hearing some form of hip-hop behind a commercial advertisement, while walking down the street, or whatever—you’re going to hear or see it. For a long time, I thought rap music was just an America thing. Yeah, when I was a young boy you couldn’t tell me there were rappers doing big things in other countries. Nah, rap/hip-hop lived in my boom box! Even then rap had expanded from NY to other parts of the US, and I sorta got that.   But to say there was a duo in the UK? What?! Ok, some dudes are out there doing their thing. Wait, what? Not dudes – women? Say word!? Word. Now I was […]

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There’s an old saying that goes, “If you don’t have nothing nice to say, don’t say nothing at all.” Well, I have a saying and it goes, “The Speakerboxxx album is trash!” I know I’m gonna get flack for this, but I have to stay true to my opinion. Sure, it’s many years old at this point, but I know I’d have felt the same when it came out. I have an immense amount of love and respect for OutKast; however, this album is dreadfully unsettling. These are the guys that gave us that Southernplayalistic ballet and so many more tunes to smoke out and vibe to. When people say harsh things about down-south music, I automatically say, “Nope, OutKast is dope!  Luda is dope! […]

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Black Star

Mos Def and Talib Kweli Black Star Cover

I had always heard good things about the Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star album but was only familiar with the singles Definition & Separation (through their music videos) before listening to the album in its entirety. Black Star’s focal point is thorough knowledge of self – currently and throughout history – that revolves around themes of self-love, originality and unity. Each track reveals an arc in the story of the Black perspective. We feel that we have a responsibility to… shine the light… into the darkness. – Intro Self-Love & Black Love Astronomy (8th light) sets the first arc in motion and celebrates Blackness by redefining how it is seen in society. The song’s lyrics preach self-love & Black love; Talib and […]

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I’m late to this party but have finally arrived at Mac & Devin’s high school. Even though I dig both artists, I didn’t watch this movie when it came out cause I figured How High would never be topped. And it turns out I was right: the movie sucked horribly. I shouldn’t have to smoke some high-grade to find a laugh in a comedy. Now as far as the soundtrack? This thing vibe! If you don’t know who Snoop is by now, you’re either Amish or recently woke from a coma and you’ve been in that coma since 1990. Snoop’s not only a dope emcee, but he’s also a weedologist. Him teaming up with Wiz Khalifa makes all the sense in the world. In fact, […]

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Born This Way

Cookie Crew Born This Way Cover

These chicks compliment each other and come together like yin and yang. UK duo Cookie Crew’s first album Born this Way, produced by Daddy-O, was released by FFRR Records in 1989. The project starts with a smooth and directly-sonic rhythmic staple that accurately represents what positive-minded individuals standing up for equal credit in the craft looked like in the 80’s rap scene. But let’s go back for a second… Hailing from South London, these two young MC’s (known in school as Susie Banfield and Debbie Pryce) bodied every beat with a bass and a drum they were face with. In a world where hip-hop culture was slim but growing and definitely male dominated, these two melodic, fresh female rappers ripped on so many instrumentals. From […]

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Friday on Elm Street

Jadakis & Fabolous - Friday on Elm Street Cover

Two of the best punchline hip-hop artists in the last 15 years are coming together to do what?! To make me remember what it was I loved about hip-hop in the first place? Here we have Jadakiss and Fabolous uniting for what should be an out-the-gate classic titled Friday on Elm Street. Why that title? Because Fab likens himself to Freddy Krueger from the hit horror film Nightmare on Elm Street (he’s a nightmare to emcees/rappers in the game) and Jadakiss likens himself to Jason, the hockey mask murderer from Camp Crystal Lake, NJ. These two emcee destroyed tracks as solo artists for more years than I can count – incredible bar-barians with songs and features that have topped the charts for ages. So when […]

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Dirty Money

UGK Dirty Money Cover

How’s life treating you out there? Good, I hope. As for me? Not so good. Why you ask? I miss the early 2000’s. And ok, I’m not gonna pretend I am or was the biggest UGK fan (In fact I didn’t know who they were until I saw the Jay-Z Big Pimpin’ video. “Big pimpn, spendin cheese,” that song went.), and I’m sure many of you got jiggy wit it, sip’n on your expensive glasses of whatever while taking the most fabulous women home after the club in those years, but me? No. Around that time, I was working at a gas station, trying to find couches to sleep on. In 2001 when Dirty Money dropped, I was in full-blown pimp and hustle mode. Yup, […]

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Paid In Full

Eric B and Rakim Paid in Full Cover

To be honest, I did not know about Rakim until he was featured on Truth Hurts’ song Addictive. “Thinking of a master plan / You know anything you need baby, ask your man.” And it was six years later when I first learned of Paid In Full thanks to Erykah Badu’s cover parody in the video for Honey. #BlameItOnMyYouth Picture Source – Honey Music Video A Homegrown Effort Marley Marl synthesized it, I memorized it Eric B. made a cut and advertised it – My Melody Rakim grew up with music, surrounded by talented women and men. His mother was a jazz and opera singer and his aunt Ruth Brown was known to some as the Queen of R&B for decades of music making beginning […]

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Born This Way

Cookie Crew Born This Way Cover

Outside of Monie Love and Malcolm McClaren’s collaboration with The World Famous Supreme Team Show on World’s Famous, I was not aware of any 80s hip-hop artists from the UK, so it was a pleasure to research and listen to Born This Way, the 1989 debut album from British artists Cookie Crew. Formed in 1983, Cookie Crew (and British hip-hop at large) drew heavy influence and inspiration from the USA.  The group made its radio debut in 1987 on UK house group Beatmasters’ song Rok Da House.  Released later that same year, the duo’s first single Females (their most successful song in the US) combined elements of American graffiti, rap-flow, breakdancing, and DJing.  Two years later, Born This Way was released in the UK, US, […]

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