Archive for September 10, 2011

Article: The Lucrative Side of Hip-Hop Beef – 10 Rap Feuds That Fueled Sales (2 of 10) by Alexis Garrett Stodghill

Lil’ Kim vs. Nicki Minaj
What can we say? Nicki Minaj has come out of nowhere and taken over the game as the leading female in rap. Not that this is stopping Lil’ Kim from trying to hold onto her queen bee status. When Minaj released Kim responded with her own mixtape, “Black Friday.” Nicki’s opus went on to sell 1,564,500 copies, but “Black Friday” has received a less stellar reception. Critics stated that Kim’s mixtape “lacks consistency, edge, and originality,” . That did not stop the media from of a female-driven hip-hop beef. Nicki’s sales benefited from the social validation and always valuable attention any good beef brings. And even though Kim can’t really compete with the album sales, awards, make-up endorsements and other goodies Manaj has acquired in recent months, she did get one thing – recognition that she is even a player in the game. For a woman who has not had an album out since 2007, and hasn’t had a hit in years, this is a respectable dividend.

Winner in this beef: Lil’ Kim for remaining relevant despite her lack of a recent top-notch album.



Article: Jay-Z vs Lil Wayne Reveals Hip-Hop’s Generation Gap by Duane L. Lawton

Jay-Z and Lil Wayne

Lil Wanye sold close to a million copies of his Tha Carter IV album in the first week of its release. Congrats to Weezy. It’s a great accomplishment for the young MC. Clearly, Wayne is the hottest MC in the rap game right now. But some people have jumped to conclusions about his status in Hip-Hop and true standing in the pantheon of great MCs. Some have basically anointed Lil Wayne as King of Hip-Hop. Case in point: I’ve heard some fans and critics claim that “Jay-Z’s reign is over”. Well, allow me to put Lil Wayne’s success, Jay’s legacy and their recent conflict with each other in perspective.


Here’s a news flash for the Hip-Hop community: Jay-Z’s true “reign” on top of the rap game faded years ago. I think Lil Wayne has been on top of the rap game since the release of Carter III and the emergence of his Young Money crew. These statements might surprise some of you being that the words are coming from me- a big Jay-Z fan who has written a book about his lyrics. True, Jay is without question my favorite Hip-Hop artist but I’m a fan of Hip-Hop itself- first and foremost. Besides, my statements are not a slight against Jay-Z, it’s simply the way it is. Let me further explain:

While Hip-Hop music and culture is not confined to the youth, its core demographic (for a lack of a better word) are “kids” between the ages of 16-24. This doesn’t mean if you’re older than 24 you can’t live Hip-Hop culture and listen to Hip-Hop music. I’m 34 years old and I still have love for Hip-Hop. But, the truth is the future of the culture is in the hands of the youth. Even those who are most committed to the culture are basically forced to play a reduced role as they get older, mature and become involved in other interests.

Jay-Z still has love for the rap game but his personal and professional interests stretch beyond the recording studio and the stage. Jigga is in his early 40′s. Do any of us really expect him to be completely focus… ed on rap music domination? Hell, the fact that he can still compete is remarkable. Jay often compares himself to Michael Jordan, which I think is a near perfect comparison because the latter stages of Jay-Z’s music career and the emergence of his business career mirrors Jordan’s accomplishments in sports and business. Like Jordan did, Jay-Z can still give you “30 or 40 points” anytime he steps into the booth or on stage. He can still be the best MC on the mic on any given performance the way Jordan could be the best on the court on any given night when he played for the Wizards at the end of his career.

Jordan wasn’t the best player in the NBA in his last few years but in no way did it taint his legacy as arguably the best ever. Jordan retired from the NBA as one of if not the best ever and that status hasn’t changed. Jordan’s business career has made him even more successful than when he was playing. I think the same can be said about Jay-Z and Hip-Hop.

I believe that the last time Jay-Z was truly on top of the rap game was 7, 8 years ago during the release and promotion of the Black Album. At the time, I thought the Black Album should have been Jay’s last musical effort. Why? I figured Jay-Z should retire and leave the rap game on top.

Jay-Z’s overall career has flourished since the release of his “retirement” album. The Black Album was supposed to be his last album but he has gone on to release three more solo albums and two collaboration albums, Watch the Throne, his album with Kanye West being his latest. His profile has gotten much bigger. In fact, I would dare say that he’s the biggest Hip-Hop personality in the world. Does he really need to be on top of the rap game if he’s on top of the world?

Peasey head still get paid
I’m combing through G’s
Please, we ain’t focused on naps
Cause I don’t run rap no more
I run the map…

What We Talkin About

Jay-Z’s career is far more than just his music. He has achieved great accomplishments way beyond platinum albums. But he’s not on top of the rap game anymore not because he fell off (he didn’t), but simply because the youth movement (the 24 years old and younger crowd), which is the driving force of Hip-Hop’s future, is rolling with Lil Wayne and other MCs.

Lil Wayne is on top of the rap game…but his career is still years away from even coming close to Jay-Z’s.

As a Jay-Z fan, I think Jay has had an incredible run that does not appear to be ending any time soon. Watch the Throne is a good album that has performed well in terms of sales and buzz in its own right. One listen to the album and it’s clear that Jay hasn’t lost a step. Lyrically; he still has it. Musically; he still has it. Swagger; he still has it. Insight; he still has it. Influence; he most definitely has it….

But things have changed- sort of. Jay-Z’s core fan base (like myself) have gotten older while rap music’s core fan base has stayed the same (in their teens and 20’s). Lil Wayne now appears to be the leader of this new school of Hip-Hop.

I’ve written before about how I was surprised and impressed with Lil Wayne’s rise. Lil Wayne (who is damn near 30) has been around almost as long as Jay-Z. He came into the game as a kid and is much younger than Jay. He may be the leader of the new school but he’s a veteran in the game who has paid his dues. He’s a prolific recorder. It took him awhile to have a career-changing breakthrough but clearly he has now claimed his spot at the top. He deserves his success.

With that said, personally, I’m not really a big fan of Wayne’s. I like his music but I don’t need a “daily dose” of it like I do Jay-Z’s music or Nas’s. I respect Wayne’s lyrically ability but I can’t get with his swagger. What do I mean by this? Lil Wayne is talented but I think he’s too caught up in trying to be a rock star opposed to a rap superstar. In other words: Lil Wayne’s seems to be following the 80’s rock star model (exhibit A: His performance on MTV’s VMA).

I came from an era where Hip-Hop stars shined brightly for our culture. Many of today’s artists, led by MCs like Lil Wayne, seem to embrace transforming themselves into rap-rock stars (we can hear it in the music, and see it in their swagger right down to their clothes and shoes). I just don’t recognize some of these cats as Hip-Hoppers anymore. In my day, MCs and street hustlers looked and sounded the same. Nowadays, youngin be on some other ‘ish. But, to be fair, I understand that it’s just a generational thing.

I think Jay-Z and Lil Wayne’s so-called conflict (if it actually exists) is evidence of the generation gap in Hip-Hop. Those of us well into our 30’s and older are rolling with Jay. Why? Because he’s really one of very few still standing in Hip-Hop in terms of our generation. He looks like us. He sounds like us. He thinks like us. He represents how we grew up; what we saw and what we did. Those who are under 30 are rolling with Lil Wayne because he seems to be the one leading (or following- take your pick) what’s hot on the streets nowadays in terms of style and swagger.

Now, there are plenty of Jay-Z fans under the age of 30 and plenty of Lil Wayne fans over the age of 30, and both of them have fans of different ethnicities and nationalities. But Lil Wayne’s typical fan is in a different place in his life than Jay’s typical fan. The typical Jay-Z fan has a different mindset than a typical Lil Wayne fan. The typical (or at least the most loyal) Jay-Z fan has lived Hip-Hop and listened to rap music for well over 20 years. He is Hip-Hop personified. But, the typical Lil Wayne fan is the future of the culture and have the passion, influence, expert use of technology and sheer strength in numbers to redefine the game.

That’s what we see happening right now. The youngins are changing the face of the game, which is why brothers like me don’t recognize it anymore. But like Tupac said, “I ain’t mad at cha”.

See, fans and critics alike want to turn Jay-z vs. Lil Wayne into a battle for Hip-Hop supremacy. “Who is the King of Hip-Hop?” That’s the question many think should be answered based on diss records and statements in interviews. But the bottom line is: Jay-Z and Lil Wayne are not even in the same league…

They want me to disappear, like it’s gon’ shift for them
They say that I’m in the way, they want me to sit for them
But what they admitting is, they ain’t got shit for him
And really the fact is, we not in the same bracket
Not in the same league, don’t shoot at the same baskets
Don’t pay the same taxes, hang with the same bitches
So how am I in the way?
What is it I’m missin’?
Nigga, I been missin’
Nigga I been gone…

Already Home

When Watch the Throne came out and received so much buzz and critical acclaim, I told someone that today’s MCs must be really tired of Jay’s “old ass”! Of course, he’s not all that old to me because I’m in my mid 30’s, but my point is: I can see how the leaders of the new school like Lil Wayne might be irritated with Jay’s current standing in the rap game. He’s not on top like he was ten years ago in ’01, but he’s still very much relevant. His presence looms over both established and up-and-coming MCs who think it’s their time to shine.

I think some in the new school respect Jay-Z but just wishes he would go away…

Now, let me be clear: Lil Wayne is doing his thing. No one should sleep on that dude on a lyrical tip and he has a lot of room for growth. For example, I think he delivers lyrics that are full of wit but empty of insight. Does that last sentence seem contradictory? Here’s my point: Lil Wayne’s lyrics have that “rewind factor” but you rewind to admire his cleverness and not necessarily to absorb his profound perspective about success, struggle and hustle. Lil Wayne’s lyrics amuses more than it inspires. But that’s ok because his core fan base does not have the kind of “lofty lyrical expectations” (meaning: they don’t expect to hear the “blueprint for greatness” in his words) that Jay-Z’s core fan base demands. Lil Wayne lyrically delivers what his fans want; he just rarely gives them what they need.

(To be fair and to keep it real: Many critics have said the same thing about Jay-Z’s lyrics, which partly is what compelled me to launch this blog and write my book. I think that as Wayne grows lyrically- beyond clever punchlines-his fans’ growth will follow. Who knows- maybe one day someone will write a book about his lyrics.)

Lil Wayne will be very fortunate (and lucky) if he gets close to having the overall career that Jay-Z has had. Frankly, it’s very unlikely that anyone currently in the rap game will have a career comparable to Jay’s. Jay-Z’s run is a once in a generation or two…or three, kind of thing. He’s the “Michael” (“Take your pick: Jackson, Tyson, Jordan, Game 6”. Jay’s lyrics fromNiggas in Paris) of the rap game and Lil Wayne is like Hip-Hop’s “LeBron James”-he’s the best in the game today but he’s still “ringless”, trying to win his first championship. He’ll eventually win 1, 2; maybe even 3- in a row! But as of right now, Wayne can’t be “mentioned in the same breath as him”.


Article: Hip Hop Charter School Blew Its Book Money on De La Soul Endorsement

In Portland, Oregon, one parent’s bright idea and several years of planning and government grants had made the —a high school with a recording and arts program based in hip hop culture—a near reality. Do not insert easy joke here! The idea seems good. The execution was… embarrassing.

 that the school might not open on schedule Monday because it’s only signed up 48 students, rather than the 160 they’d projected. Also the school building isn’t finished. Or furnished. They spent all the money on… other stuff.

From March 2010 to this July, for instance, Jayasuriya got $68,000 for her work trying to get the school off the ground. And Troy McNair, the Florida-based brand manager for the Grammy-winning hip-hop trio De La Soul, was paid $79,000 to design curriculum units to help students create a record label and to sign on artists including De La Soul’s Maseo to endorse and advise the school.

That left school organizers without money to buy desks, textbooks, computers or more than a smattering of recording equipment. They were hoping a hip-hop label or philanthropist would make a hefty donation, school leaders say, but none came through. They hoped to get donations of used desks or chairs but didn’t.


1. Pay the founder’s salary (duh lol).
2. Pay De La Soul’s manager.
3. Get other stuff for free.
4. Summer!

It always looks smart on paper.



Industry Tips & Advice: Why Music Seems To Be “FREE”!

How to market your music. Music marketing is based on perception of value in battling piracy.

What and why most people think the way they do about the value of music and how it might affect the future of the industry

Industry Tips & Advice: Music Street Team Marketing Tip # 5:Team Goals

Build a music street team to promote your music so you can sell more music and get more people to your shows. This tip shows you how to manage your street team. To learn more tips, go to: http://www.musicsuccesscoach.com/musicstreetteammarketingplan/ Distributed by Tubemogul.

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Music News: Lil Wayne, Kanye West, Wiz Khalifa lead BET Hip-Hop Award noms by Gerrick D. Kennedy

Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, Rick Ross and Kanye West lead the nominations for the 2011 BET Hip-Hop Awards, which the network announced Thursday.

Fresh off of  Wayne leads the pack with a record-breaking 18 nods, including a nomination for the MVP of the year trophy. He’s also nominated in top races such as best live performer, best lyricist, track of the year and viewer’s choice.

West and Khalifa garnered nine nods each, and will compete against Wayne in the MVP race, along with Nicki Minaj and Ross, who scored six and eight nominations, respectively.

The Rookie of the Year award, the BET Awards’ version of best new artist, will be a showdown between Khalifa, Big Sean, Diggy Simmons, Big K.R.I.T. and two Odd Future members, Frank Ocean and Tyler, the Creator.

Other races worth watching include the Sweet 16 award for best guest verse — will Minaj’s venomous spot on West’s “Monster” or Busta Rhymes’ tongue-twister rhymes on Chris Brown’s “Look at Me Now” take the crown?; two verses from Khalifa and one from Wayne round out that category — and track of the year, which features “6 Foot 7 Foot,” “Black and Yellow,” “Look at Me Now,” “I’m on One” and “My Last.”

Comedian Mike Epps will host the sixth-annual awards, which will be pretaped at the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center in Atlanta on Oct. 1, and will be broadcast on the network Oct. 11.



Article: Hip-Hop Films To Be Featured During 15th Annual Urbanworld Film Festival by Morris Moore

 (AllHipHop News) A number of Hip-Hop related films will be spotlighted during the 15th Annual Urban World Film Festival, which kicks off next week in New York City.

 movie “All Things Fall Apart,” “Planet Rock: The story of Hip-Hop and The Crack Generation,” “I Want My Name Back” and the controversial film “Outside In: The Story of Art in the Streets” will be among the films featured during the five-day event.

“All Things Fall Apart” stars 50 Cent as a college football player who realizes he has a life-threatening illness midway through his season, while “Planet Rock” is a documentary that explores the impact of crack cocaine on the Hip-Hop generation.

“I Want My Name Back” is the true story of the rise and fall of the original members of and was directed by Roger Paradiso, while “Outside In” is a banned film that celebrates the history and evolution of graffiti art lensed by Alex Stapleton.

After the screening of 50′s movie “All Things Fall Apart,” the film’s director Mario Van Peebles and actress Lynn Whitfield will host a Q&A about the making of the film.

“We are proud to enter our 15th year of celebrating the artistry and genius of multicultural films and filmmakers from around the globe,” said Stacy Spikes, founder of Urbanworld. “Once again, BET’s and HBO’s invaluable partnerships will allow us to bring more than 17 world premieres to a national audience.”

The Urban World Film , which is billed as the nation’s largest competitive multicultural film Festival, will screen 59 films, including 17 world premieres, including Diane Parageses’ and Nelson George’s movie “Brooklyn Boheme.”

The Urban World  takes place September 14th-18th at the AMC Theater on 34th Street in Midtown Manhattan.

The screening and Q&A for 50′s movie “All Things Fall Apart” will take place on Friday, September 16th at 7:30 PM.

For more information visit: SOURCE:



Music News: Cox Media Group launches classic hip hop station by Evan Belanger

Cox Media Group has launched another new radio station in the Birmingham market.

The media group converted last week its neo soul station, WENN-AM 102.1, to a classic hip hop and R&B station called Power 102.1.

The new station format will include music from acts such as Run DMC, LL Cool J,Beyonce and Usher.

The stations carries a syndicated morning show featuring comedians Rickey Smileyand Ebony “Arrington” Steele from 5 to 10 a.m. It broadcasts on 102.1 FM and 1320 AM.

“The station will provide an affordable option for advertisers and a fresh new product for listeners said David DuBose, Cox vice president and marketing manager.

The new station is the second new Cox station to hit the Birmingham market since the company retooled its new country station, The Buck, as a 24-hour sports-talk .



Article: NYC Accuses Damon Dash Of Running Unlicensed Club Outta DD172 Gallery Space by Allen Starbury

Damon DashDamon Dash ran into some new issues this. Following all the talk about his financial struggles over the past several years, the once predominant hip-hop mogul has been hit with a lawsuit from the City of New York for serving liquor without a license.

According to , Dash’s DD172 gallery space in New York City’s Tribeca area — which was touted as a gallery, photo studio, and rehearsal space — was also used as an “unlicensed club,” which residents of the area called a nuisance.

On Wednesday after noon (September 7), authorities served the property with a court summons and order to show cause.

Dash and his associated are being accused of six counts of storing and selling alcoholic beverages without a license, which is detailed in court documents obtained by the Voice. Apparently, DD172 was caught violating the liquor code for the first time in November 2010 and as recently as May, according to the affidavits of police who investigated the club.

The docs say the violations “were conducted in an open and notorious manner and the operators of this establishment appear to have evinced a ‘business as usual’ attitude in the subject premises.”

Also, the repeated violations are used as evidence that the club’s actions constitute a public nuisance.

DD172 was shut down in June of 2011, but some of Dash’s former neighbors are still mad at him.

“Damon Dash was a terrible neighbor. It was always super loud, super noisy, tons of garbage in the street. All these 18-year-old kids smoking and drinking — real thugs. They were disrespectful to the neighborhood,” one neighbor told the paper, who claims that “the owner rented to Damon Dash to f*** with the neighbors.”

“This isn’t a club neighborhood,” another resident said. “It used to be, but it isn’t anymore. If it was an industrial neighborhood, it would be fine.”




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