By now should anybody be surprised that major albums leak almost exactly two weeks before they’re scheduled to drop? Here is a list of suspects who could have possibly leaked The Holograms’s Kingdom Come.
Just Blaze – Traded the album for more light sabers and video games
Method Man – Shit happens when Mr. Mef doesn’t get a video or proper promotion
Beyonce – Her album didn’t sell as well as she thought but she sure as hell could sell a few masters of this album to make up for it
Elite – Still peeved about being removed from Diddy’s Top 24, the QN5ist is now out to ruin any and everything hip-hop
Game – Took it upon himself to help The Hologram with his promo, since leaking albums two weeks before they’re scheduled to drop is a good thing to do
Nas – Ether Part 2 (and you thought it was all good)
Memphis Bleek – Two straight Jay-Z albums with no cameos make Memphis Bleek a mad rapper
Beanie Sigel – Because he can
Vinnie Paz and Celph Titled – Because they also can
The inspiration for “Song Cry” – The song crying just didn’t make up for how she got burned by The Hologram
Anybody with an internet connection, Chloe O’Brien skills on the computer and a friend – How freaking awesome is it to be the first one with the album? Whoever had the album first is probably gearing up to camp out a year before the next Star Wars hits theaters. Here, I’ll send it to you, but don’t tell anyone…
It’s definitely the popular thing right now to take a journalistic poop on the album and say how weak it is. Granted, it’s not Jay’s best work, but I’m also not going to jump on that bandwagon. A lot of Jay’s work has to grow on you, so I don’t want to write the album off yet. The best song on the album to me so far is “30 Something.” Some questions/comments about the song:
-If 30 is the new 20, what is 20? The new 10? I think that means that each generation is more immature than the previous
-“I’m old enough to buy the right car but grown enough not to put rims on it” – best line on the album?
-“I might just be getting nicer” – still some rust…
-“Like Mike, I gotta stop playing with these children” – Granted it’s not as vicious as Eminem’s jabs at Macauley’s ex-BFF, but it’ll be interesting to see how Jacko’s wackos respond to this. If those losers are lame enough to cheer at his trial, they’re definitely going to call in sick to their daycare job to protest this album
-“Y’all respect the one who got shot, I respect the shooter” – 50 Cent just got hit with a hip-hop bullet…ouch
-“Y’all go to parties to ice grill, I go to parties to party with nice girls” – I thought you were supposed to ice grill at parties. Why am I just getting this memo? I really thought girls loved a guy with that mean ice grill sitting at the end of the bar playing the PSP with the iPod in a protective case so the pitcher of beer doesn’t ruin it when you spill it after celebrating getting Sonic to level 10. I am now on the line with MTV’s Made trying to get Jay-Z to teach me how to party.
I’m far from ready to give a real review on Kingdom Come, but so far, here’s how the album breaks down for me:
Tracks I really like:
30 Something (the most mature aspect of the album…now rappers can add “mature track” as another obligatory album cut next to “club track,” “girl track,” “street track,” “deep track” and “lyrical track”)
I Made It (props to DJ Khalil for making the album…I remember talking to him last March or April about what was coming up and he said he was “trying to get some placements.” I don’t think he was counting on this one.)
Oh My God (best beat on Kingdom Come?)
Tracks I like:
Kingdom Come (Ill Bill grabbed the beat off MySpace back in April or May…now everyone’s rocking this beat)
Show Me What You Got (Flashers’ Anthem ’06)
Tracks I skip:
Anything feat. Usher and Pharrell (forcing it more than a constipated Cartman)
Hollywood feat. Beyonce (B-Day reject? It’s no “Me and My Girlfriend 2003”)
Trouble (chemistry > name value)
Minority Report feat. Neyo (good attempt at being socially conscious, but a little late…would have been much more beneficial if Jay had done this when Katrina actually hit and sold the song on iTunes to raise money (and help Neyo’s album sales)…that probably makes too much sense)
Do You Wanna Ride feat. John Legend
Dig a Hole feat. Sterling Simms (it’s good until the singing comes in…not a beat or song that needs singing, some scratching would have been much better)
Beach Chair feat. Chris Martin (going for the Linkin Park-type crossover, decent song but a little out of place here, plus Jay claims to have never been on MySpace…that’s a lie…everybody’s been on MySpace at least three times…if Diddy has the time to be confirming friendships and adjusting his Top 24, then so do the rest of us, including Jay...and if life is but a beach chair, what type of beach chair? The one with the wires that you fall asleep in and wake up with a sore back or the kind that leans back and you can wake up feeling refreshed but with a nice sunburn?)
One of the best critiques I heard so far on The Hologram’s latest effort came from a producer who said, “It sounds like the boring songs off Blueprint 2.”
At this point I’m just waiting for the hologram. I think the hologram alone can save hip-hop.
Apparently Joell Ortiz was seen kicking it like a soccer ball in Miami with Vida Guerra. Even if you just bought her a smoothie or asked her for a piece of chicken, props to Joell. Most rappers have to have an album out to talk to Vida. That better be in your next press kit. And whatever went down behind closed doors has to be in the next journal entry.
And apparently Joell’s new journal entry is coming soon. Coming soon. Coming. Soon. It is an actual fact that “COMING SOON” are the two most overused and least meaningful words in hip-hop. Whenever anybody says something is “coming soon,” it really means they have no clue what they’re doing and what’s coming next and saying “coming soon” just means you’re trying to buy some time. “Coming soon” is the college kid’s equivalent of “taking a year off to sort things out and find myself.” That just means you have no ambition/intention of getting a job and you figure you can crash on mom’s couch for a year. The only thing you need to sort out is how to get that second year and every year after on the couch.
Katt Williams is the latest to get caught with a weapon at the airport. Where is that part of your brain that’s supposed to tell you Weapons + Airport = Baaaaaaaaaaaad Idea? For those who either haven’t traveled ever or just never paid attention when you put your bag on that moving belt and take off your shoes and have a disgruntled employee of the airport motion you through a magical doorway, that’s what we call airport security. They have an x-ray machine that looks in your bags for sharp objects and things that go boom. If you think you can outsmart them by not putting it in the main part of your backpack or by hiding it in a laptop or secret compartment in your bag, you’re wrong. They’re airport security. They find everything. And then if you don’t put whatever weapon you feel it’s necessary to travel with in your bag and instead hide it on your person, a creepy guy who with a beeping baton who would rather be out on the beach with a metal detector is going to find whatever it was that you thought you were clever enough to hide. That’s when the staff gathers around and says what 50 said when he kicked a certain rapper out of G-Unit: Game over.
If you really think you can carry a gun on a plane, maybe jail is the best place for you.
Some very surprising news I have to report this week is that famed jobless engineer Ariel Borujow has never seen Tubgirl. Never. I took the liberty of sending it to HipHopGame’s favorite cult hero. This is how the exchange went:
Me: It’s been sent. Enjoy.
Ariel: I’m looking now.
(slight delay as he gleefully pulls up the picture)
Ariel: That is the grossest thing I have ever fucking seen!!!!!!!!!!
(no response, as I am amazed/surprised/taken aback by his negative reaction)
Ariel: That ruined my whole fucking night!
Ariel: I’m leaving the music business.
Note to Poison Pen: That is how you get rid of someone.
Some more surprising news this week is the impending split of pop music’s two biggest icons, B-Fed and K-Fed. You know how some things you look at and you say, “I never saw that coming”? Like when Samuel L. Jackson agreed to do Snakes on a Plane. I never saw that coming. That’s how I feel about this divorce. I never saw it coming.
Killah Priest is big on conspiracy theories so this part of the column is dedicated to him. B-Fed only stayed with K “Papazao” Fed until his personal Illmatic dropped. One of the literate ones on K-Fed’s team did the math. If .5% of Britney’s hardcore fans even considered buying Playing With Fire, the album would be considered a success. And I don’t think the B-Fed divorce is going to put a halt in K-Fed’s career at all. I think by the next album all adolescent males will be trading in their Lupe Fiasco skateboards and/or their Lebrons for a pack of Newports and a boombox so they can practice their dance moves whenever and wherever they please. My prediction is that by 2008 all of suburbia will be an updated version of Westside Story minus the fighting.
And if Bill O’Reilly really wants to kill hip-hop, just start a label and appoint K-Fed as the CEO and Jamie Kennedy as the head A&R. That should pretty much seal the deal on hip-hop.
I picked up the latest Source with Lloyd Banks on the cover. I don’t really understand why it’s the October issue, but it is. Whenever anything doesn’t make sense in The Source, you just have to remember that it is The Source. I guess putting Lloyd Banks on the cover was an effort to show that whole Source v. Aftermath “beef” is gone. The biggest part of the cover, at least to me, was the headline “Race for 5 Mics: Who’s Next to Earn Hip-Hop’s Highest Honor?” Unfortunately that whole 5 Mic thing kind of flew out the window when Lil’ Kim got it. Everybody knew that wasn’t a 5 Mic album, but it was. She coincidently gave them the exclusive story before she went into the big house, only to give it to XXL later…Anyway, I don’t even see hip-hop having a “highest honor.” What honors are there really to get? A BET award? An MTV Video Music Award? A Grammy? Do any of these really matter in hip-hop? A BET Award means you sold out the best. An MTV Video Music Award means you appeal to 12 year-olds better than everyone else and a Grammy generally means you sold a lot of records. 5 Mics in The Source means as much right now as Sally Struthers’ career.
Another problem I have with the 5 Mic caption being on the cover of The Source is that when the rating actually carried some level of significance, Benzino and Dave Mays were at The Source. When they left, the new Source team tried to convince us all that things were changing and that The Source would be “real” again, which was basically disrespecting what Mays and Benzino had done. If you’re going to disrespect them on one hand and say that you’re going to do a better job than them, then don’t gravytrain off their 5 Mic rating on the other hand and act like it still means something. You can’t use what they did while at the same time disrespect them.
They also refer to Jean Grae as a male in the Talib Kweli story (pg. 70). While I’m sure it’s a typo, it’s one of those typos that you really don’t want to miss. The sentence reads: “Bringing in Grae was a no-brainer, as he shares ties with Kweli dating back to the…” When did Jean Grae become the Pat (SNL) of hip-hop?
I think what The Source should really do is just shut it down until January. Catch up on the months, refund subscribers (if there are any…I tried subscribing once and I don’t think I ever got an issue until two newer issues had hit newsstands) or extend their subscriptions and come with some fresh content at the top of the year. The Source is still very behind in content and I don’t think the new team is completely ready to operate on a monthly basis. That’s not a good thing, but it’s worse to continue releasing outdated issues.
There are the rumors that the Def Jam tour is going to happen. Jay, Nas, Method Man, Ghostface, Jeezy, Ludacris and possibly The Roots on one bill has a lot of promise. What will be most interesting to watch is the order in which the artists perform. Should it be based on album sales, potential or who’s got the most fans (because, as Wu-Tang artists know, especially Method Man, albums sales and number of fans are two completely different numbers)? Somebody’s going to get their feelings hurt.
Is it a bad thing that the only album I’ve been consistently playing, despite some high profile leaks, is AG’s Get Dirty Radio? And props to AG for such a dope interview. Thank you for that.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get my sleeping bag ready. I’m going to get one of the first holograms when they hit shelves.