I was about one year and nine months old when The Low End Theory was released in September of 1991. I am not exactly sure what music I was listening to at that age if any. I was living in another country and I couldn’t even walk! However, a few years down the road of life I would come in to contact with this album and furthermore the group known as A Tribe Called Quest. From that point on my life and music tastes would change forever. The Low End Theory was my introduction if you will into Jazz music and an alternative form of Hip-Hop that I never expected to hear from such a masculine and flashy genre. Forward to the present times and the tribe is no longer together, the group hasn’t released a single album in over ten years, and Mike Rappaport is making his directorial debut in his first documentary following the tribe.
The main reason for the documentary follows the concept on why the Tribe broke up despite a 2008 reunion tour to help raise money for Phife Dawg’s kidney transplant. The film is sincere and honest to what is really going on between the members. At the tipping point you have two childhood friends, Q-tip and Phife Dawg, at each other’s necks due to their budding interests within and outside of music. Then you have Ali Shaheed Muhammed, the member stuck in the middle of the two disputing members, as well as, Jarobi, the man who opted out of the group early on and choose a path that coincided more with his personal interests, a chef. A majority of all of the narrative is given by Tribe members and numerous musical celebrities sharing their memories and feelings about Tribes impact on their lives. ATCQ‘s impact on Hip-Hop and people’s lives is nothing short of legendary. If a young guy like myself who was barely almost 2 years old when Tribe released their second album can speak of the album as if I was there the day it was released then that speaks far louder than any words I can ever type to describe their impact.
Mike Rappaport is able to showcase Tribe’s history as a group, as individuals, and as members of society. The documentary truly resonated with audience members like myself because we got to witness the members as far more then entertainers, but rather human beings with real-life issues. In these days and times it is difficult for people to view celebrities and entertainers as something more then what we’re used to, but at the end of the day these are people just trying to make a living just like us.
Q-Tip and Phife Dawg’s relationship is witnessed as a struggle between two musical artists on one hand Tip is the perfectionist who embodies and incorporates music into his everyday life, on the other hand, we have Phife Dawg a forty year old diabetic who wants nothing more than to enjoy time with his family and watch his favorite sports like any another average American male. The two are great artist in their own rights, but you bring these two forces together and you create the legendary group we know as A Tribe Called Quest.
This documentary catered to fans old and new of the tribe and even included a deeper more detailed look into the groups history and group dynamics as a whole. This film was a treat for any music fan that featured a full fledged dispute between band mates as audiences have never witnessed before. Although, the Tribe may not be acting like one at the moment, I am happy with the fact that deep down Tip and Phife truly do still care about one another. Besides you got to remember A Tribe Called Quest still has one album left to record on their contract with Jive Records!
It’s finally here everyone! The Wu-Tang Clan and Fugazi mash-up known as Wugazi has finally dropped! Fans who grew up listening to either musical act can now listen to these head nodding tunes brought to you by the founding member of the Hip-Hop group Doomtree Cecil Otter and his friend Swiss Andy. This concept has grown immensely popular in recent times thanks to artists like Girl Talk and The Hood Internet, yet Wugazi is able to breath a fresh breath of air into an over saturated genre. To have two groups from opposite ends of the musical scale and mash them up into their own original sound is impressive! Be sure to download your copy of the project or stream it below!
Music videos played a huge part in Hip-Hop artists careers in the 1990s era. There was absolutely no way you were going to have a successful rap career and reach the masses if you did not have a video to showcase your music through. The Hip-Hop audience was a lot more attentive and sought out visuals that complemented rap artists’ lyrics. If an artist had a single it was inevitable that a music video would soon accompany the single. With that being said, Harold Williams, better known as, Hype Williams, was the music director to be in the 1990s! Hailing from Queens, New York Hype was one of the most sought after music video directors throughout the 1990s where he built up much of his impressive resume by directing videos for artists such as The Notorious B.I.G., 2Pac, Jay-Z, Craig Mack, Missy Elliot, Nas , Ol’ Dirty Bastard, and even directing the film, Belly. If you are a fan of Hip-Hop and you have not watched any of Hype’s videos then you have A LOT of catching up to do! Now for your reading and visual pleasure I will break down a couple of Hypes videos and why they stood out to me.
Craig Mack – Flava In Ya Ear Remix Featuring The Notorious B.I.G., Rampage, LL Cool J, & Busta Rhymes
From The Warriors inspired intro to the full star studded line-up and multiple artist cameos, the Flava In Ya Ear Remix is nothing less then monumental. Watching this video when I was younger I could not help but just be taken in by the lyrics and visuals that were plastered all over this music video. The fact that the video was shot completely in black and white just adds to the finesse of this song and the captivating presence that visuals have on a viewer.This video was the blueprint for many of the “in-your-face” and “me and my click” style of videos that would be rehashed over and over again in multiple rap videos throughout the 1990s (this style holds a soft spot in my Hip-Hop loving heart). This music video will forever be a fan-favorite of the rap genre and serves as the perfect blend of originality and the “don’t fuck with me” type of attitude that has always pumped through Hip-Hops veins. Indeed, an amazing song that got a well-deserved video to match its level of energy.
The Notorious B.I.G.– Warning
A song so compelling and rich in story that it deserved the short-film treatment. Biggies‘ “Warning” video plays out exactly like a mobster film that you would see on some late night movie channel. Taking influence from films like Scarface, The Godfather, and other famous mobster films this video truly portrays the lavish and hostile life that comes across in Biggies lyrics. Hype was able to translate the songs message through this video with club shots of a guy lurking in the shadows and showing Biggies anxiety with the situation throughout the video. The shoot-out at the end is the icing on the cake for this classic and well-executed video!
2Pac – California Love Featuring Dr. Dre and Roger Troutman
The Mad Max version of the California Love music videos was one of the coolest looking videos I had ever seen when it was first released. It featured a cool desert terrain, a hilarious Chris Tucker cameo, and all of the hype that the West Coast and Death Row was riding on for the last couple of years on screen! It was the arrival of a new era of big budget and flashy videos! Money was abundant and so were the parties when it came to the West Coast scene so why not splurge and showcase this through music videos? Death Row was reigning SUPREME for a good few years until Pac‘s untimely death, Dr. Dre leaving as a result of a money dispute/the creation of his own music label as well as Snoops departure that would land him on the NO LIMIT RECORDS label. Although, this dream team of a record label is long gone past it’s glory days, Death Row lived it up in memorable-big budget videos like the one you see before you!
Well that is it for now, perhaps I will do a couple other videos in a future post. Thank you all for reading!
Many of you may hear people always say ” Yeah, I make beats” well I have a little gift for you all today in the form of music! My close friend and buddy Daniel aka Deo Adeolux really does MAKE BEATS (great ones at that) and he has recently been releasing a lot of unheard material. He composes mostly beats with his own “space” and “somber” like feel that makes for an original and refreshing sound. I have been listening to this mans beats ever since he composed his first few simple tracks and I have proudly watched as he has progressed his sound to bring you all an original mixture of space-hard-hitting-hip-hop-esque beats! Below are a couple of his tracks so be sure to check them out and let him know what you think! You can also visit his blog HERE
Here is a new track titled “M.A.R.S” that was just dropped yesterday. It’s an amazing little mash up that will have you bobbin’ your head in sync with the music.
A nice little old school reminiscent tune called “Mr. Wave Presents: Graffiti Jackson and the Flashmore Breakers”
And one of my personal favorite tracks “(Intro) Digital Diamonds”
Be sure to check out his Sound Cloud for more tracks!
I was FINALLY able to set aside some free time to hit you guys off with a quick recap of the Malice event that went down at VCU. It was an amazing day out, but nothing compared to what Malice was sharing with all of us in attendance. He spoke about his book and was more then happy to answer all of our questions no matter how odd or random they were. Malice even got so comfortable with us to the point where he spit a couple bars for us all just to show us that hes still got it! This was my second time seeing the man speak and I have to say the guy is a genuine person! If you get the book you will get to know another side of the Hip-Hop industry that you rarely ever see. The book is deep and it is very real! Honestly, don’t take my word for it, just go and cop the book then read it and realize the struggles Gene Thornton. Jr. has been going through in his life and hopefully it will help open some of your eyes to what is really going on. I don’t do much reading anymore, but I HIGHLY suggest you go out and get this book AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!
Here are a couple photos of the event courtesy of theworstkids
This past weekend was as hectic and chaotic as it gets! From getting the word out about the Nitty Scott, MC show to simply making sure the audio and sound was perfect for the Malice event. After it all is said and done both events have definitely been a growing experience for me and the way I will be working/handling future projects in my life. First off, Nitty Scott, MC and ALL the opening acts held it down which included Millz, Corey Smith, and Sleaze! Nitty came out, guns blazing, with her infamous “Deep Cover” track and kept the crowd moving with tracks off her brand new mixtape, The Cassette Chronicles! She even spit a freestyle for us and really showed us all in the crowd what we can expect to see in the near future from her…that is nothing but some real raw and true to the heart hip-hop music! Pay attention to this young and intelligent female cause she is going places! Just remember SHHO was there since the start!
And now here are a few photos taken by Megan Goss
The extended SHHO family over at UVA is doing it big this April 23rd by bringing all you lucky UVA students and surrounding residents the homecoming of the mighty CLIPSE. Virginia’s most well-known brothers are reuniting again after a little time of separation. Malice has been promoting his book Wretched, Pitiful, Poor,Blind,and Naked and Pusha-T has released his first solo mixtape, Fear of God. Well now it’s time to see the two great brothers reunite and bring the roof down along with the help of all YOU! You will NOT want to miss this special event! Hope to see you all there on April 23rd, it is going to be a memorable night, so come through and enjoy the show with the SHHO crew!
Yep, that’s right folks! ODD FUTURE is finally doing a somewhat full tour of the East Coast! I will be attending the DC show at The Rock N Roll Hotel. I suggest that ANYONE and EVERYONE who can make it to at least one of these shows does so! So if you think your physically capable of surviving an ODD FUTURE show then lace up your shoes and get ready to scream at the top of your lungs…TINA PERM YOUR FUCKING WEAVE! I think i’m a little frightened to go now, however, I will be there in tears of joy, or out of fear for my own life!
Here is a little sample of what you can expect to see and experience:
Yonkers Live at Santos in New York City 2.15.11
Live at The Roxy in Hollywood, CA 12.22.10
Tina Live at The Roxy in Hollywood, CA 12.22.10
Bastard/French Live at Webster Hall 11.8.2010
The Student Hip-Hop Organization just dropped new photos of their Heritage Clothing line in time for the upcoming launch of their online shop opening on APRIL 9TH!!! These photos include various photos of a group of women who are simply hanging out at their apartment eating junk food, drinking a few beers, and chilling with Mary Jane! You know hood things! haha. But seriously this is a well put together promo for the upcoming online shop which is reminiscent of older Freshjive and Stussy ads of the 1990s. The photos also include some of Bryan Woodland’s illustrations which add an awesome playful look to very mature activities :). Peep the video/photos and try not to get your keyboard dirty you sickos!