September 12, 2009

H to the Izzo - Jay-Z

Last night Jay-Z started his Blueprint 3 tour with a 9/11 benefit concert in Madison Square Garden. Along with the proceeds going to families of victims, Jay-Z brought along special guests, including Pharrell, John Mayer and his wife Beyoncé. Missed it? That's ok..Peep the full concert below.

Hustler Musik - Lil' Wayne

VH1 brought back it's Behind the Music series (I must say I THINK I'm happy about this). Their first show was Lil' Wayne, no matter how much I may think he's gone off the deep end his story is an interesting one. It goes into detail about his 11-year-old sex and drug life, him shooting himself, his admitted drug use and of course his music career. Now when VH1 did Behind the Music in the past, they never (to my remembrance) actually spoke to the artist (often anyway) and usually was told from the accounts of others close to them. However this time, Lil' Wayne pretty much tells his own story. IDK if it is because he IS so open about his past or not. I know the Steelers game was on as well as the Real Housewives of Atlanta, so if you missed it, it's ok check it below.

September 11, 2009

All Eyez On Me - Tupac

This week in Hip-Hop History, the hip-hop world and urban America sat silent as we learned that Tupac Amaru Shakur was shot and killed leaving a fight in Las Vegas. There are many speculations about who killed Tupac and why. Many urban legends say that it was an inside job by owner of Death Row Records (Tupac's label) Suge Knight (especially after the death of Bad Boy Records' and well-known rival (former ally) Notorious B.I.G. 6 months later).
Shakur was an actor, poet, and rapper having won many awards for his albums and gone platinum several times (even after his death).

Tupac stepped onto the 90s rap scene as a part of Digital Underground before releasing his first solo project 2pacalypse Now in 1991 on Jive/Interscope Records. From then on he went to release a total of three solo albums on Jive before getting arrested and serving time for violating probation (Tupac had several legal problems including being accused of rape, a wrongful death suit, and attacking an employee).

After his release, he then made the West Coast switch to Death Row Records owned and operated by Suge Knight with clients that included Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg. His first album on Death Row, All Eyez on Me, went platinum (multiple times over) and began to shine a light on him and his affiliates.

Within a year of being signed to Death Row, Shakur was gunned down by an unidentified shooter after leaving a fight in Las Vegas and posing for this picture a few minutes earlier:

Tupac influenced a generation, he was more than a "thug" and convict, he did a lot for his community and left an everlasting mark on the hip-hop industry.

Since You've Been Gone - Day 26

So while I was out, two mixtapes I had kind of been waiting on dropped.

KR's 'Amnesia' and Pat Piff's 'Hungry as a hippie'.

KR was NOT kidding when he said 'Amnesia' would be finished within a week of me posting his leaks, because a couple of days later...I was e-mailed a link to download his mixtape.

It's dope, I love his style and my favorite track would have to be the cover of "Maybach Music" featuring Dizze and JFin (Fin's his lil' brother BTW). The beat on "Burn" reminds me of an early 2000's rap track (can't think of which one but I think it reminds me of a Ruff Ryders joint..IDK). If you're expecting this to be just like Fin's 'Infinity and Beyond' you fail. Though there are some similarities their deliveries are different.


After one pushback, Pat Piff FINALLY released 'Hungry as a hippie.' The reason I like Pat Piff is because his delivery and style is so different from a lot of the rappers I've heard. I know him and Big Sean rapped together back in their Cass days, and yes they're both talented (have you heard 28 Grams Later?), but I couldn't imagine them being a rapping duo because of their styles.

Anyway, the features on this tape are dope and include some local faves like Mike Posner, Big Sean, and Earlly Mac. From "So Round" with it's Arabic inspired back beat to the previously leaked "Despicable Me" Pat shows off his own skill as yet another talent from the Finally Famous camp.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD PAT PIFF's '28 Grams Later Vol. 2: Hungry as a Hippie'

Yay or Nay: JWan

Said it once, twice, three or four times maybe, but Finally Famous does not revolve around Big Sean (surprising to some of you). A lot of these guys are talented rappers as well who so happen to be friends (emphasis on this word since many people forget what friends are) with a talented rapper that just so happens to be signed. I've been away for only 3 weeks, but a lot of dope leaks have come about (including Jay-Z's BP3 which had to change release dates, but w/e) and this one by Finally Famous' JWan leaked maybe a week or so ago. It's called "You" and was produced by Detroit's own Bei Maejor (who has produced hits for Trey Songz, LeToya Luckett, and Chrisette Michele). The other is called "I Promise" and was leaked close to 2 weeks ago. (told you I was behind) What do you think about it? Feeling it? loathing it? Sound off below.


I Promise

Without Me - Eminem

Guess who's back....

back again....

Alex's back....

tell a friend...

It's been roughly 3 weeks to a month since my last post and I first must say thanks to those who have STILL been checking out the blog.
Also, special shoutout to those who asked where my posts have been, that is the coolest thing ever. Knowing that people actually read/value what I have to say is kind of humbling (in a weird way).
So where have I been?
Well, Summer has ended and school has began, and for the past couple of weeks I've been getting back into the university life. It was a weird transition (even weirder/stranger/more uncomfortable than freshman year) but it's good to be back.
ANYWAY, I realized I never did my summer recap, and I actually had one all written up nicely but I decided to change it up after reading Cliff's 5:03 today (mine was similar to his; it was everything I learned).


One Word, 3 months, life-changing, epiphany.

That pretty much sums up summer 2009 for me. I have been taking "baby steps" into the Detroit entertainment scene. The weirdest thing about it is as much as I have been watching other people, people have been watching me.

I don't mean that in a "creepy, stalker, 'Marvin' from Player's Club" kind of way. There are so many talented people in the city, who I truly admire from Rick and Ro of Burn Rubber, Cliff, Slapz, DJ Mo Beatz, James over at DSE, Dante Marshall, Tommey Walker, the list goes on for a while.

At the same time there are people who give ME, props and kudos on my writing and I don't think many realize how much it actually means to me. (mushy, I know, lol).

Over the summer I:

-Fell in love with hip-hop all over again.

-Interviewed a Sony/J Records musician from Southfield who is currently filming his music video.

-Went to Burn Rubber, DSE @ Grand, and Spectacles (granted went each place once, but I will go more I promise)

-Fell in love with Detroit and what it had to offer

- Was introduced to Detroit hip-hop (who by the way have talent beyond the Tone Tone/K Deezy I was used to)

- Officially made a name for myself as a blogger with the Fli Pelican v. Juan Neal (not really versus but you get it) series..

- Think I may have possibly burned future bridges with that series (though I never took sides and have no hard feelings against the Pelicans).

- Ended my sophomore year with a 3.5 GPA (which is double and half where I was after freshman year).

-Wrote and contributed to two web sites (beside this blog)

-Had my first 'angry rapper mad at me because I didn't post his song and try to slander me' incident, which pretty much messed him up big time with other bloggers and rappers. (sorry, but it did).

That sums it up, lol those were the highlights beside meeting the most awesomest (made up word, yes?) people ever and appreciating the ones that were already in my corner.

This summer has taught me two important lessons:

1) Patience and practice are the two key components of success. I know everyone's definition of success varies, but NOTHING happens overnight and practice makes perfect. I was born to be a writer (I'm quite sure of it, lol) just like Kobe was born to be a NBA superstar, Oprah was born to be a billionaire, and Michael Jackson was born to entertain 5 generations of people. However, no one would have gotten anything done if they didn't practice their craft and hone their skill.

2) Acquaintances are not friends. (I feel there's no explanation needed for that one).

All in all, I had a fantastic summer in the city. I guess some people would say I found myself after losing a big part of me for a minute.

Ending this with: Expect dope things from me...No clothing lines, no mixtapes (well maybe I'll do an A Side mix but we'll see), no production...People can do dope things without rapping, dj-ing, or singing....and I shall.

Happy Friday

<3 Alex W.