Hopefully everyone is enjoying their holidays and getting some good downtime…Unfortunately I wasn’t as on point as I needed to be to organize the hip-hop secret Santa exchange. My plan was to have all the rappers who mess with HHG draw names out of a 59/50 and then do a diss track to them. Yeah, it’s the holidays, but what’s a holiday without some sort of beef? I’m sure everyone can remember at least one Thanksgiving or Christmas where the weird uncle or aunt brought some sort of ruckus along with their fruitcake. What better way to celebrate Christmas if we have a bunch of rappers dissing the crap out of each other? I did think about having the rappers buy each other something, but then I remembered how cheap these guys are. A little formula I’ve learned is that the more an underground rapper talks about how much money he has, the less he actually has.
Some families are probably not in the mood to celebrate the holidays this year after their dogs have mysteriously gone missing. If your dog recently disappeared on you, don’t bother checking at the SPCA and hanging flyers all over your town offering a $25 reward. Don’t waste your time. Sparky or Lassie or whatever you named your dog is probably chilling at the Sean John factory, where he’s probably been made into one of those coats that have that roadkill-looking fur lining the hood.
See, Sean John recently had to pull two different styles of their hooded jackets from Macy’s after it was discovered that the company had used “raccoon dog” fur instead of the fake fur they claimed to have used. The Humane Society had tested the furs and found Puffy’s people may have made a mistake when they bought the fur. “First, these jackets were falsely advertised as faux fur, and then it turned out that the fur came from a type of dog,” Wayne Parcelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States said.
Parcelle also said that it is an “industry-wide problem.” Great. How many kids are walking around their neighborhood with a leash taping “lost dog” posters on all the streetlights? Is Marc Ecko walking around some neighborhood with a pocketful of doggie treats? Is Kimora scouring the streets looking for puppies of Baby Phat caliber? What if you actually bought one of the doggie jackets and now you’re stuck with an expensive jacket that you know came from someone’s dog? Do you still wear it?
Diddy the Dog Catcher said he was unaware that it was raccoon dog fur and had all the jackets pulled immediately off the shelf. What I really need to know is that when he called Macy’s to have them taken off the shelf, did he scream into the phone “Press Stop!”?
Word on the street is that Sean P’s listening party on that big party bus went off without any writers suffering any physical or mental injuries of any kind. At least that’s what Dru Ha wants me to believe when I asked him about it. “Sean was in a good mood,” Dru told me. Dru Ha could not comment on whether or not Sean P was a fan of the 1st Amendment, but he assumed he was.
I guess the holiday spirit has all the angry rappers telling each other to hug it out, bitch. First Baby and B.G. squash their problems. Then apparently Cormega and Nas squashed their beef as they were scheduled to do a show together. Nas did say something about destroying and rebuilding on Stillmatic, but I don’t think any of us actually thought it would happen.
Nas’ ex Carmen may have to think about changing the title of her new book to My Smut Book is Dead or Plagiarism is Alive, as another woman is claiming to have written the soon-to-be literary masterpiece. I know people love gossip and all that, but if you spent your hard-earned money on Superhead’s “book” or plan to spend your money on Carmen’s “book,” then that pretty much makes you a loser. And there is no gray area here. It’s pretty black and white. If you help support groupies and encourage that type of behavior, you are a loser.
Is RZA’s The Afro-Samurai Soundtrack going to be the album to have in ’07? That’s hard to answer, but so far he’s shooting a solid 2 for 2 with the Kane and Q-Tip songs.
Busta just remixed Jeezy’s “I Luv It” and Ciara’s “Promise.” What I love about Busta is that when he’s not the king of the official remix, he’s the king of the unofficial remix. He did the same thing to Ricky Ross’ “Hustlin’”. And as much as I like Busta, it still looks funny to me that Rah Digga and the rest of Flipmode Squad isn’t on The Big Bang.
JR Writer is one MC, along with well-rounded superstar K-Fed, who says Cristal is still good. On his new track, “Get ‘Em,” the writer of writers says, “Prefer the Cris even though the Mo’ gets me dizzy.”
And if Jay wants to really get back at JR and his fellow Dipset friends, all he has to do is make a call to whatever club the Dipsetians are partying at and shut down the bathrooms. JR exposes his Achilles Heel when he raps, “Get the drift, the party will be pissed/When I buy the bar and only leave water on the list.” Jay and everyone else who has problems with Dipset can finally stop paying for studio time to make songs calling them “fake” and talk about their pink and purple clothes. If you really want to get back, just deny them access to the restroom. If the club refuses to shut down their restrooms, just go drop a roll of toilet paper into the stalls or something. It’s time for rappers to get creative. I mean, if the Dipset is drinking all that stuff, it’s got to come out sometime, right? And as soon as the plan is set into motion, said rapper who shut down the bathroom should have a “Piss-set” diss track ready to go. Piiiisssssiiiinnnnnnnnnn!
In other news, I finally got around to checking out Trick Daddy’s new album, Back by Thug Demand. It’s been a minute since I checked out TDD, but I got the album and figured why not…Trick Daddy is the best at naming albums. Everyone has their own gifts, and Trick Daddy’s is coming up with album titles. Trick could drop albums without songs and I would still buy them. He doesn’t even have to have any artwork and I’d be fine with a slim case as opposed to a regular jewel case. How can we forget Trick’s album WWW.THUG.COM, which came out way before the internet boom, which may suggest that Trick helped invent the internet with Al Gore. Then there was Thugs Are Us. Toys R Us sells toys, so does Thugs Are Us sell thugs? But then Kids R Us sells kid’s clothes, so does Thugs R Us sell thug’s clothing and other thug paraphernalia? Plus Thugs Are Us, for reasons I don’t understand and don’t want to understand, was one of my favorite albums when it came out.
Thugs Are Us was followed up by the gold-selling Thug Holiday. I’m not sure what day a thug holiday would fall on and I’m not sure exactly how to celebrate a thug holiday (or if I’m allowed to). But apparently after enough thug holidays, thugs fall in love, possibly with the idea of being a thug, and that leads straight to Thug Matrimony, TDD’s 2004 platinum-selling effort. What’s the difference between regular matrimony and a thug’s matrimony? At the wedding, instead of throwing rice at the bride and groom, do you throw bricks? Do you have to steal the wedding cake instead of eating it? Instead of buying wedding rings, do you and your thugstress have to steal them from the guests and then give them to each other in front of the dude and dudette who just got jacked? These are all important questions and I think only one human on the face of this earth can answer these.
Plus I have the utmost respect for Trick’s single “Tuck Ya Ice.” Trick Daddy has found a million different ways to tell me that I am not iced out but he shines like a lighthouse. I have already accepted the fact that I have cubic zirconium ice while he has diamonds and that I have to rent my cars on the weekend and he buys houses and then rents them off when he wants to, but part of me is not completely believing some of his threats. Trick warns me that I’m “going to fuck around and get gangrene at the arm.” Although your chain is crazy and mine is fugazi, I am not sure if my back-of-the-Source ice comes equipped with gangrene. I’m not sure where Trick used to buy his fake ice before he made it big where he could afford objects to make him shine like a lighthouse, but hopefully he saved his receipts.
For the record, when I want to shine like a lighthouse, I strap a floodlight over my head, stand in the middle of busy intersections and rotate slowly in a circular pattern. Sometimes humming adds to the overall effect and atmosphere. I also alert all traffic in my loudest voice to tuck their ice in because they’re not iced out and I shine like a lighthouse. If you choose to do this, it is important to scream out “lighthouse” as loud as you can. If you don’t, the whole standing in the road with a floodlight over your head kind of loses its effect.
And if Trick is really shining like a lighthouse, maybe when he’s done promoting Back by Thug Demand the Coast Guard can stick him out on a jetty a few days a week to alert incoming ships. Think of how much money the government can save on electricity with Trick and his untucked ice standing on a jetty. I’m not sure how all those lighthouse workers will feel about this, but they do have every reason to be concerned for their jobs. With more and more rappers’ sales dropping like the Giants’ playoff hopes, they may make more money warning tugboats of rocks than telling us on records how they sell tugboats of rocks.
Trick loves the ships.
Anyway, I’m not sure where Trick buys objects that are not floodlights that help him shine like a lighthouse, but what I, along with Jack Bauer, need to know is where did Trick buy his fake ice before he could afford to have lighthouse-like qualities? Where on Canal Street were people selling those dollar-sign necklaces with gangrene-infested cubic zirconium diamonds. Trick needs to come forward and tell us where his fake ice was once bought, because I’m not sure if he is aware of just how dangerous gangrene on fake ice is. See, gangrene is “necrosis and subsequent decay of body tissue caused by infection of thrombosis or lack of blood flow. It is usually the result of critically insufficient blood supply sometimes caused by injury and subsequent contamination with bacteria.” The jewelry that is causing this epidemic needs to be taken off the market. Maybe the hip-hop police can investigate before the hip-hop community suffers a nasty gangrene outbreak. What if someone buys a piece of gangrene-infested jewelry and takes it to the house? Now would be a good time for all those who say Trick Daddy is not a prophet to (uh huh, okay, what’s up) shut up.
If you haven’t checked out Nas’ Hip-Hop is Dead yet, maybe you can ask Santa to make another stop by your house ASAP. That album lives up to everything I thought it would be and more. Is it better than Illmatic? That’s the $64,000 question that has no answer. And really, if you’re worrying about if Hip-Hop is Dead is better or worse than Illmatic, then you have too much free time on your hands. Go shine like a lighthouse.
I got the album at the local Best Buy, since that is the best place in my area to cop new albums. Not to be picky, but the packaging of the album disturbed me. The little sticker they placed on the plastic wrapping only talked about the features Nas got for his album: will.i.am, Kanye, Snoop, Game and Jay-Z. The funny thing about that whole sticker, at least to me, is that those tracks are the weakest on the album (except “Hip-Hop is Dead”). Nas is best when he shines alone. All the collabos pale in comparison to “Who Killed It?” That’s classic Nas storytelling at its finest, even if he does sound like he’s doing his best Sadat X impression.
“Let There Be Light” should definitely be a single. That song also brought up one very important question? Where was Quan on Hip-Hop is Dead? Granted, not even one of the Bravehearts were on the album, but “Let There Be Light” sounds like it was made for Quan. If that’s not a tailor-made track for Quan, I don’t know what is.
Songs like “Can’t Forget About You” and “Money Over Bullshit” also shut down the Kanye assisted “Still Dreaming” and the Snoop collab on “Play On Playa.” But that sticker on the outside of the plastic on the CD definitely has and is playing a role in why hip-hop is dead. In hip-hop, names > quality. I’ve never seen an interview with an established rock and roll artist and they’re asking him who he got to sing with on the album. “Well, I had to get Bono from U2, Dee Snider did a verse on a song, Axl was supposed to get on…” There’s this thing called chemistry, and it actually matters in most aspects of life, except in the marketing of hip-hop albums. Nas’ album would have been almost perfect, if not perfect, had he kept the guest appearances to a bare minimum. I actually would have been happy if he didn’t even have any, including Jay-Z.
And speaking of guest appearances, I’m really surprised the Snoop collab made the album. On “Play On Playa,” Nas is talking about how much he misses his deceased mother, among other things, while Snoop-a-Loop is talking about “spitting game on the finest females.” I guess I’m just sick of MC’s working together. Because it’s done so often, it’s really lost all of its appeal.
One thing I absolutely hate is when young artists talk about all the people they’ve “worked with.” Spitting a 16 over an old Jay-Z beat and then having a similarly crappy peer spit another weak 16 over the same old Jay-Z beat does not qualify as working with someone else or collaborating, especially now since almost all collaborations are done through the internet. “I’ll do my thing and you do your thing and we’ll call it a song.” Stop trying to build up your discography and try to make powerful music. The key word in that last sentence is “try.”
It’s the same with producers though. Why pay someone with a name for a throwaway beat when you can pay someone on the come-up for one of their best beats? For example, if I’m working on my album and I had $5000 put aside for beats, I would not call one big name producer, get a throwaway track with no help and then email everyone telling them I was working with Buckwild or 9th Wonder or Rsonist (for example)…It’s just wack, especially when the song doesn’t come out all that hot. The best advice I can give to any up-and-coming artists is similar to what 9th says: get hot and people will notice.
And this isn’t to say that all collaborations are wack. “Peruvian Cocaine” on Immortal Technique’s Revolutionary Volume 2 worked because everyone played a different, important role and it came together in a great story. But then you have Rick Ross’ “Hustlin’ (Remix)”, for example, and that just sounded like a shitstorm. Jay was going at Cam, Ricky was talking something about Miami and drugs and Jeezy was doing ad-libs with a verse laid behind it. Collaborations are a good way to make an attempt at stealing another artists’ fanbase (that he probably stole as well), but it can also be a really, really simple way to perfectly ruin a good song.
“Ain’t got nothing to do with old school, new school, dirty South, West Coast, East Coast…It’s our thing…This came from the gut, from the blood, from the soul…I say what I say and I mean it…Take it how you want to take it…’Cause if you’re asking “Why is hip-hop dead?,” there’s a pretty good chance you’re the reason it died. It’s a pretty good chance your lame-ass, corny-ass is the reason it died” (Nas – “Hope”). You can love or hate what Nas says here, but I agree with him. Everyone who’s saying hip-hop is alive and all that are just afraid they’re going to lose fans. If I was banking on rap as my only career besides Burger King, I would really not want to think hip-hop was dead either. It may not be completely dead, but as a whole, the game is 90% wack.
And if you don’t agree with what I wrote about collaborations being overrated, just take a look at Styles P’s new album Time is Money. “Can You Believe It,” featuring Akon and produced by Lil’ Jon, has as much chemistry as an English classroom. Whoever was A&Ring this song must have fallen asleep on crunk juice because I do not believe this song should have made it out of the studio. And just because you have it in your budget to pay for Akon and Lil’ Jon does not mean that you should do it. I’m pretty sure Angie Stone would have come back for another song as long as SP didn’t make her run on a treadmill. That would have cost a lot less than Akon. And if you have enough bread to pay Lil’ Jon for a beat, I’m pretty sure DJ Premier or Just Blaze would have fit into the budget somehow. I know “Can You Believe It” is old, but I never really listened to it, for obvious reasons, and I was really surprised when it made the album.
Some other questions I have about Styles P’s Time is Money album:
Why didn’t J-Hood get credit on the tracklisting on the back of the album for his verse on “G-Joint,” especially when everyone else got credit on every other song?
Why is there a song going into 2007 named “G-Joint”?
Was Styles P’s first verse on “Testify” a leftover from Jadakiss’ “Why (Remix)”?
Since Talib Kweli is talking about freeing Pimp C on “Testify,” shouldn’t he have redone his verse?
What does the ultrasensitive 50 Cent think about Styles working with Havoc on “How We Live”? It seems like Havoc is a cool guy, as he got on Littles’ Reloaded even after the Prodigy beef, and Havoc is not signed as a solo artist to G-Unit, but if 50 can start a beef with Jadakiss and Fat Joe for working with Ja Rule, then what would he do to his own artist when he’s working with “the enemy”?
Why did “Who Want a Problem (Remix)” make the album?
Props to Vinny Idol for “Burn One Down.” I think that’s the best song on the album. And despite the questions I have about the album, I really do like most of it. “G-Joint,” “Leave a Message” and “I’m Black” are great songs. I don’t really care to hear SP and Jagged Edge talking about “kicking it like that”, but at the same time I can’t really hold it against the Ghost for trying to attain some commercial success in 2007 and sell some records. Talking about songs like “Kick It Like That” wouldn’t do a lot of good here, because those songs are not ones I choose to listen to. However, I do think SP could have reached the females without making such a blatant attempt to.
One of the Mara’s recently flipped when an Eagles fan was running smack on the Giants on the trading floor of the NYSE. Apparently the Eagles fan, a 57 year-old grandfather, was celebrating the bullshit victory his Eagles were given by the Giants and Chris Mara didn’t like it. Apparently he picked up the grandfather and threw him into a wall or something, all the while screaming, “It’s not a game. It’s my f-ing family!” I think it’s great that at least someone related to the Giants organization has showed some fight in the last eight weeks. I’m sure the grandfather will be okay. What really matters is how Chris Mara celebrated throwing the old man down. Did he or did he not do a jump-shot while the grandfather was trying to get up? Baaaaalllllin.
This past Sunday was a great day. Why? The Disseminator played his last game at Giants Stadium and I was there to see it. I know Tiki put up great stats throughout his career, but he needs to go. Ever since he announced to the world that he’s retiring at the end of the season, he’s been concentrating more on what six-syllable words to drop in interviews than gaining yards and finding that thing they call the end zone. A lot of Giants fans may not like Coach Coughlin, and he may have lost control of the team, but Coach Coughlin also taught Tiki how to stop fumbling, since no other coach taught Tiki Time how to hold a football. And how does the Disseminator repay Coughlin? By throwing him under the bus twice, once after the Carolina playoff game last year and once after the Jacksonville game this year. And Tiki, I never played football at the professional level or college level, but I have been around football my whole life and one thing I have learned is that if you don’t have a great run-blocking line and teams expect the run, it makes more sense to pass. I don’t know what network would be dumb enough to hire him, but at least now I know why every remote control comes with a mute button.
The most exciting thing that happened at the Giants-Saints game at Giants Stadium that day was a somewhat nasty fight in the stands in the fourth quarter. Apparently some beer was thrown followed by some punches. I’m actually trying to get a copy of the tape of the fight to send to Carmelo, because he definitely needs some pointers on fighting before he should be allowed to step back onto an NBA court.
Something else happened at the game that was rather disturbing. This old man, who either drank way too much brewski or had the worst stomach bug in the history of stomach bugs, crouched into the aisle and threw up for about five straight minutes. I think I missed the first couple of rounds, but by the time I caught on to what was going on, I watched him vomit, stare at the vomit for about a minute, and then add more vomit to his vomit puddle. The female he was with looked more interested in the Saints running up the score than her dude puking up his insides. She half-heartedly patted his back while he continued to heave and puke, never taking her eyes off the field for more than five seconds. I’ve never been great at estimating, but I’m guessing he was standing in a gallon of multi-colored vomit by the time he was finally done (keep in mind the bathroom was right outside the gate). By the time dude finally realized all his cookies were tossed, he slowly walked towards the gate, splashing half-heartedly in his own vomit as he made his way up. He looked a little confused, but deep down I think he was pretty proud about all the vomit he produced. When the Disseminator was told that it was his crappy play that led to the old man violently barfing like he had just seen Rosie in the shower, Tiki Time responded with a string of six-syllable words that he probably had either made up or learned when he should have been studying his playbook and watching gamefilm.
And just because the old barfman was gone, that didn’t mean the ordeal was over. The excess throw-up (remember, it was estimated at being a gallon) had leaked over into the seats in the row ahead. This meant that a female Eagles fan’s Eagles backpack was completely soaked in human vomit. Most people probably would have left the bag (which looked like one of those free ones you get for filling out a credit card application) right where it was, but, being an Eagles fan, she proudly carried her vomit-saturated bag up the aisle, completely oblivious to the millions of bacteria swimming in the vomit and invading her nylon mini-backpack. Nice job, Eagle fan.
It’s about to be rushhour. Time to go shine like a lighthouse.