August 25, 2009

Flashback: Aaliyah

Today August 25, marks the 8 year anniversary of Aaliyah's death. Ironically, I just so happened to be listening to Aaliyah's 'I Care 4 U' album and I didn't even realize what today was. I loved Aaliyah, she was a talented artist and like with many died before she could accomplish much. However, her music was great and because of that her songs will last as long as 'men can hear.'

R.I.P Aaliyah Dana Houghton

Flashback to: Aaliyah::

August 19, 2009

Mixtape: P.H.I.L.T.H.Y.

Yesterday, P.H.I.L.T.H.Y. released his EP 'Love Songs for Losers & Ballads for Ballers'. Personally, I like him (his song "Say It" made it on my summer playlist) and I have been anticipating this for a long time. Produced by L.A.'s Jansport J, I think this is one for you, whether you're a loser or a baller, and even if you're neither, you'll enjoy it.

Click here to download P.H.I.L.T.H.Y.'s 'Love Songs for Losers & Ballads for Ballers'

Run This Town - Jay-Z feat. Rihanna & K. West

I hate the song Run This a lot..mostly because of Rihanna's yodeling, but the track list for Blueprint 3 was recently leaked online. It's an album full of features, but I am still anticipating it's release. What do you think about this album?

August 18, 2009

House Party - Earlly Macmillion

House Party

Who's Fli like a Pelican and Finally Famous? That would be Earlly Macmillion, a Finally Famous and Fli Pelican Music Group artist. By now, you should be familiar with Big Sean and if you downloaded UKnowBigSean (like I suggested you do) then you heard Earlly on both "Mr. Incredible" and "Hollywood" (both tracks produced by recently signed Michiganders The Olympicks). Earlly is more than a feature rapper (you know the ones that can't hold their own but kill on everyone else songs?), Party Boy will be dropping this fall and what better time to get to know him. Introducing: Earlly Macmillion

Name: Earlly Macmillion (or simply Earlly Mac)
Role: Rapper
Affiliation: Fli Pelican and Finally Famous.

Alex Washington (AW)
: Who is Earlly Mac?

Earlly Mac (EM)
: Earlly Mac can be defined as an innovator of fun that conveys his artistry through what we call rap. Earlly mac is also a die hard fan of Detroit in all aspects, and some would say he's a silly ass n***a.

AW: How did you get into rapping?

EM: I got into rapping, just by being surrounded by it all the damn time. You know growing up in Detroit during the 90's, there were only a few things introduced to you, and rap was one of them.

AW: Who are some of your inspirations?

EM: I feel guilty when I get asked this question because, as of recent, there aren't any inspirations for me musically. There are outside incentives for doing what I do. But inspirations? No.

AW: What makes you different from other rappers?


Yay or Nay: KR

One of the rappers that Southfield native JFin said influenced him was his brother KR, who actually taught Fin how to rap. So when I received an e-mail with 2 of KR's tracks attached, of course my interest was piqued so I'm sure yours is as well. He will be finishing his mixtape 'Amensia' soon (as in within the next week or so, soon). So what do you think about these tracks? Yay or Nay: KR.

Dumb Dumb


Party & Bullsh*t - Rah Digga

So I've been lagging with the posts..simply because I just finished moving back to school so yeah life = hectic. Back to school time is one where parties are plentiful and as many people are starting to get back into their respective schools and such there are MAJOR parties going on in both Detroit and Atlanta. So below I pulled fliers for the 4 most popular events that I just wish I could attend, 3 are happening this week in the 313 and 1 is in the A. What're you going to?

August 16, 2009

Let the Beat Build - Lil' Wayne

Royalty Ent. and the peeps over at have teamed up to present to you The "Hell of a Night" Remix Contest. If you're not familiar with either, JFin dropped his mixtape 'InFINity & Beyond' last month (and also did a video interview with Tha 'A' Side check that and Scolla's Word is the homie Young Scolla's blog (with the help of Binks).

The goal is to remix JFin's song "Hell of a Night" there's an open verse on the version Scolla posted and which leaves you aspiring rappers and such an opportunity to display your skills. Here's the official lowdown from Scolla's Word:

Participants have until 8.23.09 to submit to their remix versions to "Hell Of A Night".
The top 4 remixes will be chosen and JFin will choose the final two verses to make the official remix live on ustream. The Final remix will be placed on the 1st Official "ScollasWord Mixtape" as well as blasted to the ScollasWord Web List (Over 100 major blogs)

*Participants will judged based on production/recording quality, creativity, delivery and track presense.

Interested? Well download the contest mix for "Hell of a Night" here and get started.

August 14, 2009

Summertime - Fresh Prince & DJ Jazzy Jeff

Summer is over.

Sunday I'm moving back to school which pretty much signifies the end of the year. Maybe you've seen my gripes, but for the first time in like...EVER, I don't have a summer song. Usually it's the most catchy song of the summer but seeing that "Best I Ever Had" has been playing in my life since December....yeah that's a no go.

This year I have come to love Detroit's a scene like no other. I guess because it's so "new" to me that I'm so intrigued by it. So naturally about 85% of this playlist is Detroit artists. So what songs have I been (poorly) singing all summer?

1) Epiphany - Chrisette Michele
2) Transformers - Yung GooD
3) Victory 2009 - 101 (aka Marvwon, Ron Dance and Ro Spit)
4) Neon - Amanda Diva
5) Cloud 9 - Slum Village feat. Marsha Ambrosius
6) I Get Crazy - Nicki Minaj feat. Lil' Wayne
7) It's Nothin' - Detroit CYDI
8) Poke(h)er Face - Kid Cudi feat. Kanye West
9) I'm Good - Fly.Union
10) Solo Dolo - Pat Piff
11) Lean a lil' bit - P.L.
12) Marathon Sh*t - JFin
13) Say It - P.H.I.L.T.H.Y.
14) As I Em - Asher Roth feat. Chester French
15) Friends With Money - Drake
16) Infatuation - Young Scolla & K-Bunz
17) Jump Rope - Cool Kids
18) Billionaire - Big Sean
19) Just Ain't Gonna Work Out - Mayer Hawthorne
20) Rock-A-Bye - iLLite
21) First Date Sex - Mike Posner
22) Gettin' Down (Hoodrats) - NGC
23) Still Love H.I.M. - Mae Day

Want my playlist? Download it here.

Everytime the Beat Drop - Monica

First there was the announcement of Def Jam's Rap Superstar, then DJ Jazzy Jeff's DJ Hero, now famed producer Timbaland has developed his own video came..doing what he does best...producing. Yes, much like Guitar Hero or Rock Band, the game gives players the chance to play producer. According to XXL Timbaland had this to say in a press release:
I’ve worked closely with Rockstar Games to make something completely unique. Beaterator is like taking my music studio and turning it into a suite of tools anyone can use. We can’t wait to hear the beats people make and share with the world.

If you're not familiar with Rockstar Games they came out with the classic Grand Theft Auto series for Playstation (loved that BTW). The game is slated to hit store September 26, perfect for all you refund check getters. I must admit I'm starting to think that these music games are getting out of hand. Guitar Hero and Rock Band are fun, but don't you think they are going to start pushing real instruments into ancient history as well as neglect the actual mechanics of it all?

Flicks: Drake's "Successful" Shoot.

Well after the ummm 'video' that is now affectionately known as "Breast I Ever Had" it appears Drake is doing his best to redeem himself. He is currently working on a video for his second single "Successful" which features Trey Songz. This time around the video is shot by Jake Davis and actually judging from the photos looks to be better than the previous one. Peep the stills below.

August 13, 2009

Yay or Nay: Will Grinden

Young Scolla turned me on to this guy and I wanted to know what you all thought (don't I always?). His voice to me sounded like Gucci and Jeezy (maybe it's his kind of raspy voice?). Don't know much about him except that he's from Detroit, U.S.R, and currently working on something. (I guess I know enough). I'm posting two tracks by him, one track features Young Scolla (who also wrote and sings the hook). YAY or NAY: Will Grinden.

"Swagger Right" feat Young Scolla.

"The Business"

*Edit (11:57p) So Will Grinden hit me up and informed me that he sang and wrote his own hook. Well, him and Scolla both did I was half-right. lo siento ;)

Flashback: Back Like That - Ghostface Killah feat. Ne-Yo

I love this song, It may be a guy talking to his now ex-girl, but the message is dope. Ghostface Killah is an often slept on rapper (in my opinion anyway) and this song is off his fifth album 'Fishscale'( which was as slept on as he is) . "Back Like That" was his second single, features Ne-yo, sampled Jay-Z's "Song Cry" and had K. West on the offcial remix. Flasback to: "Back Like That" - Ghostface Killah

August 12, 2009

Music Video: "Actin' Normal" - Slum Village

Slum Village's newest video featuring the late Baatin. The video was directed by Dwele and produced by K. Riggins. Now I'm not sure if this was the video that was filmed the week before he passed or not, but it's a dope song and video. The song "Actin' Normal" is going to be on SV's 'Villa Manifesto' album slated to be released next month.

*Edit (6:57p): This is the aforementioned video that Slum Village had shot roughly the week before Baatin passed. Thanks Mos :).

Music Video: Neon - Amanda Diva

"Diva, Diva y'all," Don't know who Amanda Diva is? look for the chick with big hair wearing spandex, rocking nice kicks in neon colors. Let's see on her resumé are TV hosting gigs, radio personality, host of her own show, DivaSpeak TV, artist, bag designer (which I'm having the hardest time deciding between the Boom Bap bag and the Beat Locks bag), and of course singer (she replaced Natalie in Floetry). I wouldn't classify her as a singer...but not a rapper...she's much like Mike Posner, leagues of their own. ANYway today she premiered her video for "Neon" one of my favorite tracks off her FreEP 'Spandex, Rhymes & Soul' Video is very In Living Color, Martin, A Different World....basically think of the theme song clip from your favorite 80's/90's shows and you have "Neon". Check it out below.

August 10, 2009

Music Monday: Slaughterhouse

Lyrical Murders feat. K-Young

When Joe Budden, Crooked I, Royce Da 5'9, and Joell Ortiz announced that they were forming the group Slaughterhouse, I must admit I was really skeptical. Individually these guys are some of the most talented underground (and underrated) artists and often times when you take too much of a good thing it becomes just okay. Well tomorrow, August 11, Slaughterhouse is releasing their self-titled debut album (if you have managed to get a hand on your own copy, chances are it's because your music store released it early.)
It was roughly a year ago that the foursome said they were going to do a project together and throughout the summer they have been steadily recording and working on their album. This summer the slaughterers were one of the headlining acts on the Rock The Bells 2009 tour (which I was lucky enough to go to when it came to Detroit). The one thing I find interesting is that Joe Budden and Royce da 5'9 have managed to put their mini-beef aside to get this product done.
Their first official single "The One" premiered online and got a nice lil' buzz going for them back in July.
In all honesty hearing four voices on every (or almost every) track can get overwhelming, but their skill and wordplay definitely makes up for it.
Despite being a quad there are still featured artists on this record, including: Fatman Scoop, K-Young, and The Royals.
Do I think 'Slaughterhouse' is a pre-party/club banger? not at all. 'Slaughterhouse' is an album that you listen to, not just hear; and songs like "Pray" and "Rain Drops" are nothing short of lyrically mind-blowing to say the least.
Album production? crazy, (the good crazy) but I'm not surprised though. The beats bang indeed. lol. Some of the producers listed are Alchemist, DJ Khalil, and StreetRunner.
Strong verses, great beats, and eh/okay/mediocre hooks make up this album. Though some people deny it, or choose to ignore it, a good hook can make or break some songs. Some may say that lyrically challenged songs are the only ones that need hooks, but actually that's not true. Between the somewhat complex nature of their bars, the fellas of Slaughterhouse could have added a hook on some of their tracks. I don't know how any of you feel about this but at some point my mind needed a break.

RESULT: ♫♫♫♫ (of 5)

'Slaugherhouse' is something that I can see myself working to or just kicking back and listening to. However, I personally need breaks...I can't really listen to the album all the way through in one sitting without becoming overwhelmed. It does seem that Joell , Joe , Royce, and Crooked take a mixtape approach to their album which (to me) means that they clearly could care less about being mainstream. (*sidebar: I'm quite sure they could give two rusty pennies about being mainstream , but there are some artists who say it and are secretly hurt by not being mainstream, feel me?) Plus I don't think mainstream could handle them. Lyrics are dope, beats are fire, I wish this would have come out when it was initially supposed to be released because it would have been the perfect summer album to listen to. There's always next year.

August 7, 2009

Yay or Nay: So Maejor - Big Shan

Have you ever heard Chrisette Michele's "On My Own" off of her 'Epiphany' album? Or maybe LeToya Luckett's new single "Not Anymore"? Or how about the first couple of tracks off of Trey Songz's 'Trey Day' album? Well if you have, then you have indeed heard a Bei Maejor produced track. I told you before, that Detroit rapper Big Shan is in the studio working on his newest project 'Big Shan vs. Bei Maejor" and the finally maejor artist leaked this track on Twitter today and it's produced by...well Bei Maejor. so, YAY or NAY: "So Maejor" - Big Shan.

Yay or Nay: Finally Famous edition.

Finally Famous. Chances are if you're in Detroit you've heard of them. Maybe you've been to one of their parties or you've seen Big Sean perform in concert. There are a few people that would say Finally Famous rides Sean and that none of them know how to do anything (lie if you want, but you've heard these rumors/claims as have I). Well that's not really true. I've been slacking a lot and I've meaning to post these for a minute, and I got an e-mail today with another track so I decided to do one BIG Yay or Nay. Below you'll find 6 tracks from some of the fellas of Finally Famous. Some have other responsibilities with FF, but they still drop a bar or 16. What do you think? Do you think that they are skilled enough to stand on their own? or without Sean will they fall? YAY or NAY: Finally Famous edition.

"Oh Space (freestyle)" - JayJohn: He's a producer..and just so happened to have produced this joint he's going in on.

"Despicable Me (remix)" - Pat Piff: Once Big Sean's partner in rhyme, he's now doing his thing solo dolo and his new mixtape "Hungry as a Hippi" drops at the end of August.

"I Get Up" - ADubb: President of Finally Famous' street team.

"Japeto" - Earlly Macmillion feat. Terriyaki Tone & JayJohn: Earlly Mac is a Fli Pelican x Finally Famous artist.

"Will" - Pat Piff

"Stuntin" - Adubb

August 6, 2009

Let Me Twitter Dat - Andy Milanokis: Addiction

So me and Gena (aka @Gigi_Kiara) were talking about today's "tweet-out" and we realized we may possibly be addicted to Twitter. 140 characters to say what you need, can cause so much heartache when it's out for two hours and you are incredibly bored. Thing is, we're not alone; CNN posted a story about the Twitter situation and even admitted that people felt like their lives were missing a chunk:

Some Twitter and Facebook users expressed near-panic that the sites were not working properly. Others reacted with ambivalence.

So Gena and I came up with the 10 ways you KNOW you're addicted to Twitter

You're addicted to Twitter if:

10) You actually felt that your world was crumbling when Twitter was out today. If you checked EVERY Twitter app that you have (UberTwitter, Twitterific, Social Scope, TwitterFon, Tweetdeck, Tweetie, Seesmic, etc. ) on your phone AND computer every five minutes to "see if it was back." you have a problem.

9) The first thing you do in the morning, even before washing your butt or at least getting the crust out of your eyes is grab your phone or computer and check your may be addicted.

8) Twitter is your homepage/most visited site AND bookmarked on your desktop.

7) Do you consider Twitter a 'movement'? You are addicted.

6) You start one trending topic a week; either you have just that many followers or you tweet that much to the point it IS a trending topic.

5) You have just been pulled over by the police, held up at the bank/ATM, or just been robbed (or in the instance of @PerezHilton you get punched by pop star's bodyguard) and you tweet it before calling're dumb AND are addicted.

4) You Tweet someone (via your phone) instead of texting/calling/BBMing them as the main source of communication with them.

3) Talk to your Tweeps and Twiggas more than you talk to your real friends. (kind of lame actually....)

2) You keep tally of how many followers you have on Twitter and if you lose even one it results in a tweet such as.
Oh well, I just lost a follower must be too real for these Twitches.

1) You refer to people by their Twitter names and use the '@' symbol before names/places that DO NOT even have Twitter pages. You are REALLY addicted if you use that symbol in your blog, Facebook status, text messages, reference letters or actually say : atMom, do you need help with anything?

*EDIT (8:12 p.m.) - You are also addicted if you are offended by any of this, do any of this, and actually took the time to evaluate what is being said here.

August 5, 2009

A Matter of Time - Mike Posner: The Signing

Ok so everyone heard the news that Mike Posner signed with J Records/Sony. Well on his managing company's blog they posted this video of him signing the contract (and breaking a champagne glass). Very cool thing for him, seeing as he got a deal off of one mixtape. still weird, because Mike Posner was not only the first hip-hop/pop musician that I had interviewed, but the subject of my first interview for MichiganHipHop. ANYway, Congrats and Kudos and well wishes to him.

August 4, 2009

Keep Holding On - Slum Village

The passing of Baatin is really taking a toll on Detroit, especially the hip-hop community and the people that were close to him. Yesterday, Hexmurda posted his first column on and it was dedicated to Baatin. Not only did it raise many internal questions about life and death, it included Hex's own memories as well.

The last time I saw Baatin was at a clusterf**k in L.A. called "The Breaks." Some real amateur bulls**t. He was with Slum Village, I was with Black Milk and Guilty Simpson. Bunch of acts, n***as not gettin' paid, security about to body the promoter, Psycho Realm fans about to riot, the promoter slithering out the back, sheriff's in riot gear, that type of s**t. When we realized we weren't going to get paid, n***as prepared to go back to the hotel, (which is another story in itself) and to Bishop Lamont's gig and H.O.B. Any n***a that knows me or Tim Maynor knows we ain't gonna have our clients do s**t for free. We were all like "f**k it." We got the deposit, free money let's bounce.

Not Baatin.

Baatin said, "Man,we're here. We got fans here. Let's just do it, give them a show." We all looked at him like he had a toaster for a head, and he returned our looks like we were wearing lampshades.

Well today, producer Black Milk posted this video on YouTube about Baatin in his own words. Apparently Baatin was the one that discovered that Black Milk had skills as a producer. Peep It.

Slum Village Lives On.

*Edit (1:26 p.m.) Talib Kweli made a blog post today about Baatin as well. In it he discusses how Slum Village as a whole influenced hip-hop culture, not just Dilla's beats.

I learned on Saturday that we lost another bright shining light in Hip Hop, Titus "Baatin" Glover passed away, leaving T3 as the only surviving member of the original Slum Village. Slum Village has had an incredible influence on me as an artist. When that Fantastic Volume 1 cassette was making the rounds in the industry, their style was so free and musical, it made me re evaluate my approach. Many assume that Dilla beats and were the main reason for SVs ascension into hip hop greatness but that assumption does a disservice to the rhyme styles of both T3 and Baatin. T3 would sometimes mumble, maybe not even complete the rhyme before he shifted gears, but it was so funky and in tune with the music it made me realize I could grow by having more fun and bending my voice to the music. J Dilla, like most producers, found the perfect vocal tone and flow to fit his tracks, he was like an anchor when he rhymed. Baatin, however, would take you to outer space. While T and J were rhyming about a 3 Screw, Baatin was rhyming about tantric sex. While the underground was hailing SV as saviors of pure hip hop, Baatin was like "fuck this rap shit I listen to classical." His spiritual references, willingness to approach unheard of subject matter and his incredible energy on stage, made me an instant fan. I had the pleasure of touring with the whole crew on the Okay Player tour in 2000 and again with the addition of the prolific Elhzi this year on Rock the Bells. He was a gentleman and very passionate about everything he said and did. He will be missed, for real. RIP Baatin.

Yay or Nay: Me N My - Eve

FACT: I was THE Ruff Ryder fan as a kid: DMX, The Lox, Drag-On, Swizz Beatz, Tony Sunshine...I was fans of them all. Well an alleged single by Ruff Ryder's first, and actually only, lady Eve was leaked in the wee hours of this morning. From what I've read the single is from her new album Flirt slated to be released either the end of this year or the beginning of the next. The buzz single from the album Tambourine was released two years ago in the Summer of 2007. Maybe it's the return of the late 90s/early 00s heavy hitters, seeing as Murder Inc.'s Ja Rule just released HIS new project (that also had a two year old single) Mirror: Reloaded online. Anyway, what do you all think? Yay or Nay: "Me N My" - Eve.

Yay or Nay: Say It - P.H.I.L.T.H.Y.

So there's this rapper by the name of P.h.i.l.t.h.y, pronounced like 'filthy' but his name has kind of a deeper meaning: Phenomenal Hip-Hop Individual Living Through His Years. He's from Michigan (I believe Lansing however I could be very wrong) and attended Michigan State. According to his Myspace page he's supposed to be going to Africa this fall (DOOOOOOOOPE!) I heard of him earlier this year through Ketchum and have been looking forward to the things that he has coming. He leaked this song on his Twitter at midnight and naturally I had to post it on here. Yay or Nay: Say it - P.h.i.l.t.h.y.

August 2, 2009

Where to now - Drake

This guy Iman is perhaps best known for his spoof of Barack Obama as Beyoncé back around the time of inauguration. Well, he never stopped making spoofs and today uploaded this spoof as Drake, for his hit single "Best I Ever Had". I know all brown skinned dudes don't look alike but it's kind of funny that a change in haircut made him go from resembling the 44th President to Young Money's newest compadre.

August 1, 2009

Cloud 9 - Slum Village feat. Marsha Ambrosius

Detroit as well as the entire hip-hop world are in mourning today as the news broke that Titus Glover, better known as Baatin of Slum Village, had passed away. The news is not only devastating but shocking to many; this is the second member that Slum Village has lost. The first being famed producer, and one of the founding members, James "J. Dilla" Yancey, who lost his battle with lupus in 2006. How exactly Baatin passed away, remains unknown as of now. In 2004, he was diagnosed with schizophrenia, depression, and bipolar disorder and as a result left Slum Village leaving it a duo, T3 and Elzhi. (via mlive) SV recently reunited and the trio filmed the video for their new single "Cloud 9" featuring Marsha Ambrosius (of Floetry fame) last week and are scheduled to release their new album, 'Villa Manifesto', September 22. They were seen performing on this summer's Rock The Bells tour, little was known that these performances would be Baatin's last.

I discovered Slum Village in 2002, "Tainted" was my song of the summer and that was the first time I discovered Detroit Hip Hop. I wasn't as into music then, and for a while 'Trinity' was the only thing I owned by Slum Village, but it didn't matter much to me. One of my personal goals this year was to interview the newly reunited Slum Village, that hasn't changed but it is sad that it will be only two.

I said this on Twitter, I'm not a rapper, producer or DJ, but Slum Village has influenced me and my career so much and I really feel for everyone that is directly hurt by this.
I have gotten asked this, like how can music influence me if I'm not a performer or even in that industry. Well truth be told, the whole reason I got into journalism is because I believe that artists, especially rappers, can only say so much in 16 bars, I want to know more. Slum Village was one of those groups that everything from their beats to their lyrics were amazing but to the average person they were just catchy.

I know a few people who think that Slum Village was just a "Detroit" thing, when in actuality they were global. J. Dilla, T3, Baatin and ELZhi have touched the lives of your favorite musicians, like Common, Dwele, Diddy, Talib Kweli, Busta Rhymes, Erykah Badu and The Roots, as well as contribute to and help shape what is known as neo-soul.

There will be a benefit concert to help Baatin's family with some of the expenses. It's going to be tomorrow, Sunday August 2. at the 5 Elements Gallery on 2125 Michigan Ave. in Downtown Detroit (Corktown) The event is free and will be hosted by Miz Korona and have performances by Sicari, K-Fresh and a few others. Donations will be accepted there as well as through a PayPal account set up by Detroit Renaissance Soul.

PLEASE if you are going to attend the event be mindful and respectful as to why you are there. Yes there will be musicians, producers, and others there, but this is not the time to push your mixtape or project. Honor and respect his family and friends and just be there to cherish Baatin's memory.

Slum Village is the group that taught me that you don't have to be the most popular or have stacks of awards to be great and respected.

Baatin leaves to cherish his memory his son, Michael Majesty Ellis, 9; his daughter, Aura Grace Glover, 1; his parents Howard and Grace Glover; and his sister, Tina Glover, all of Detroit. (via Freep)

Rest in Peace: James 'J. Dilla' Yancey and Titus 'Baatin' Glover, your music and influence will forever live on.

Hugs and Prayers to the families and friends of both and especially to T3 and ELZhi.