Tag Archives: Hip-hop

The #NationHood Mixtape

I just dropped a new project: The #NationHood Mixtape on SoundCloud and RPM.fm…really happy with how this one came out.

With a 90s NWA-style cover and a kick-ass lineup of Indigenous and allied hip-hop artists from around the world who got down with contributing music to make it happen, it’s been amazing to compile, it’s re-ignited my love for hip-hop as a global language for liberation, and it’s been amazing to see the response so far. Respect to everyone who’s supported and been involved.

Download listen share and enjoy: 


Also, RPM is back online! Support #Revolution2 and the return of Revolutions Per Minute—the only Indigenous music site of its kind.

And for your listening pleasure, here’s the previous mixtape I compiled for the Indigenous Leadership Forum last spring—the #ILF2013 Mixtape. It’s maxed out on SoundCloud downloads, but you can still stream it below:

Show and Prove: The Tensions, Contradictions, and Possibilities of Hip-Hop Studies in Practice

Show and Prove: The Tensions, Contradictions, and Possibilities of Hip Hop Studies in Practice: a two-day event featuring panels, films and discussions featuring new work in the “burgeoning field of Hip Hop Studies”. The event is free and open to the public, and will contain many thought-provoking talks by scholars, authors and participants in hip hop music and the study of hip hop culture. The symposium was held September 18-19, 2010 @ NYU.

I was offline all summer and missed this completely, but I would love to hear more about it. If you attended or know more about it please drop me some comments or hit me w/ email.

Hip-Hop scholarship is advancing at a rapid rate — and I’m glad to see that there are now quality investigations into its possibilities and limitations as an area of academic interest.  As an ambivalent academic and passionate rap addict, I’m immersed in the paradoxical pursuit of hip-hop praxis within the world of graduate studies and there are indeed many tensions as well as exciting areas of opportunity.  So I hope there are more opportunities like Show & Prove to bring together scholars, artists, activists, and community members to dialogue and exchange ideas about where hip-hop is headed and how the work we do up in the Ivory Tower can remain relevant to the streets — wherever and however you live.

Redux Deluxe: Early 90s Hip-Hop Classics

From the Department of True Classics…

Big ups to @shappy, The Aesthetic Poetic, and James Chutter.

Keep it movin’, y’all.

Gang Starr – “Mass Appeal”

Lords of the Underground – “Chief Rocka”

Das EFX – “Real Hip-Hop”

Common – “Resurrection”

The East Flatbush Project – “Tried by 12”

Keep reading! More bangers after the break

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Get Bubbly: Lil Wayne To Launch His Own Line of Champagne

You’ve got love the excessiveness and inanity of hip-hop artists at their most materialistic: so Weezy’s getting his own line of bubbly. And I just love that ‘Halo’ has already had its own cameo in one of Lil Wayne’s videos. Will Weezy’s Halo be able to outsell Fitty’s Vitamin Water?

Lil Wayne will continue his journey from MC to mogul this autumn as the platinum-selling rapper readies his own line of champagne, dubbed “Halo.” The champagne had previously cameoed in Weezy’s “Lollipop” video. Four different variations of “Halo” will be bottled: Halo Brut, Halo Brut Vintage, Halo Rose and Halo Pinnacle, each with its own mix, taste, blend and texture. “Champagne is for celebrating,” Lil Wayne said. “I’m ready to put my foot in a new door. There are so many different business opportunities; I want to take advantage of it all.”

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Hip-Hop Political Convention Set to ‘Rap the Vote’

Prior to the DNC and RNC gatherings in the United States at the end of this summer, a decidedly different group will gather to discuss politics, voter engagement strategies, and hip-hop culture.

The National Hip-Hop Political Convention will be held in Las Vegas from August 1-3, 2008 and promises to deliver an exciting mix of conferences, entertainment, workshops, and exhibitions “to address the issues and concerns affecting hip-hop culture and the hip-hop Generation”

I wish I was able to attend, it sounds like a fascinating series of events.

MCs and activists are preparing to Rap The Vote. In an election year where young voters are seen as key players, the hip-hop nation has been at the forefront of issue and voter organizing activities. This summer will see several historic gatherings bring together grassroots activists, non-profit youth organizations, voter engagement groups, and conscious artists in an effort to unify the hip-hop nation’s election voice.

To be held in Las Vegas August 1 – 3, the National Hip-Hop Political Convention opens with a pre-convention gathering July 28 – 31 titled “The State of Hip Hop” before its main kick-off event. The pre-convention event will include a film festival, concerts, art exhibits, academic symposium, and bboy/bgirl battles. Main convention activities will include conferences, entertainment, cross-cultural exchanges, workshops, film screenings, and exhibitions to address the issues and concerns affecting hip-hop culture and the hip-hop Generation.

Confirmed guests and speakers for NHHPC 2008 include Byron Hurt (Beyond Beats and Rhymes), Unspoken Heard’s Asheru, Hard Knock Radio’s Davey D, Rev. Lenox Yearwood, The Coup’s Boots Riley, Rosa Clemente, Camp Lo, Haiku D’Tat, author Jeff Chang, Gamblers Crew, Knucklehead Zoo, Popmaster Fabel, Rebel Diaz, The Welfare Poets, Supernatural, and more to be announced.

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‘King of Bling’ Jacob the Jeweler Sentenced

Notorious hip-hop and celebrity bling maker Jacob the Jeweler has been sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison for lying to investigators about his involvement and affiliation with the Black Mafia Ring, during a federal drug ring investigation.

Apparently, when Arabov’s not laundering $270 million, he makes watches and necklaces that sell for roughly the same price.

The New York businessman known in the hip-hop world as “Jacob the Jeweler” was sentenced Tuesday to 2 1/2 years in federal prison for lying to investigators looking into a multistate drug ring.

Jacob Arabov, 43, pleaded guilty in October to falsifying records and giving false statements as part of a deal with federal prosecutors, who asked U.S. District Judge Avern Cohn to impose a minimum sentence of three years and one month.

But Cohn decided to shave off seven months from that recommendation, citing Arabov’s extensive charity work.

Cohn also ordered the Russian immigrant to pay a $50,000 fine and to make a $2 million forfeiture payment to the government.

“I feel ashamed that I broke the laws of this country, a country that has been so good for me,” Arabov said. “I will carry this shame for the rest of my life.”

Arabov was arrested in 2006 at his Manhattan jewelry shop. Authorities accused him and others of conspiring to launder about $270 million in drug profits.

Prosecutors dropped the money laundering charges in the plea deal.

Well, the 2 1/2 years of jail time is a definite setback, but the $50k fine and the $2 million penalty levelled against Arabov is a paltry pittance when compared to the cost (and hefty profit margin) of one of these babies:

I find it quite entertaining to note that a jewelry maker has found his way into the bling-branded lexicon of popular culture simply by getting name-checked in hip-hop and R&B lyrics. If you have any doubt about the scope of his influence and notoriety, check this list of just a few of the songs that reference Jacob and his blindingly opulent wares:

  • 1999 “Girl’s Best Friend” by Jay-Z
  • 2000 “Put it On Me” by Ja Rule (Feat. Vita)
  • 2000 “Pullin Me In” by Wyclef Jean
  • 2000 “Round Up” by Lady May (Feat. Blu Cantrell & RV)
  • 2001 “Get Out My Way” by Cormega
  • 2003 “Thoia Thoing” by R Kelly
  • 2003 “Smellz Like A Party” by B2K
  • 2004 “Breathe Freestyle” aka in 2005 “Collecting Taxes” by Canibus
  • 2004 “All Falls Down by Kanye West (Feat. Syleena)
  • 2004 “Never Let Me Down by Kanye West (Feat. Jay-Z)
  • 2004 “We Don’t Care” by Kanye West
  • 2004 “Ain’t No Click” by Lloyd Banks (Feat. Tony Yayo)
  • 2004 “Pop That Booty” by Marques Houston (Feat. Jermaine Dupri)
  • 2005 “Da’ Facelift” aka “Full Battle Rattle” by Canibus
  • 2005 “Poppin That Booty” by Marques Houston
  • 2005 “Curious” by Tony Yayo
  • 2005 “Project Princess” by Tony Yayo
  • 2005 “Stay Strapped” by Young Jeezy
  • 2005 “In My Hood” by 50 Cent
  • 2005 “Hate It or Love It” by The Game
  • 2005 “Diamonds From Sierra Leone (Remix)” by Kanye West
  • 2005 “Touch the Sky” by Kanye West (Feat. Lupe Fiasco)
  • 2005 “Get In My Car” by 50 Cent
  • 2006 “Yakub Da Jeweler (Skit)” by Lord Jamar
  • 2006 “Mr. Me Too” by Clipse (Feat. Pharrell)
  • 2006 “Innovators” by The Beyonders
  • 2006 “Say Word” by Uno Dos (Feat. Lakey The Kid, Cormega, & Cuba)
  • 2006 “Money Over Bullshit” by Nas
  • 2006 “Hip Hop is Dead” by Nas
  • 2006 “A Week Ago (Part 2)” by DJ Clue, The Game & Mario Winans
  • 2006 “Upgrade U” by Beyoncé Knowles & Jay-Z
  • 2006 “Wamp Wamp (What it Do?)” By Clipse (Ft. Slim Thug)
  • 2006 “All I Want is Mine” by Inspectah Deck
  • 2007 “Diamonds On My Damn Chain” by Fabolous (Feat. Lil Wayne)
  • 2007 “Slap it On” by Da G Street Kidz
  • 2007 “Ding!” by Royce Da 5’9″
  • 2007 “Pull It” by Joe Munro
  • 2007 “I’m Not Going Anywhere (I.N.G.A)” by Young Argo (Feat. Common)
  • 2007 “Real Playa Like” by Fabolous
  • 2007 “Trapstar” by Young Jeezy
  • 2007 “Success” by Jay-Z (Feat. Nas)
  • 2007 “I Get Money (Billion Dollar Remix)” by 50 Cent
  • 2007 “House Around My Neck” by Ya Boy
  • 2007 “Baby Don’t Go” by Fabolous (Feat. Rihanna)
  • And Jacob’s list of diamond-hungry celebrity clientele is just as glam and glittery:

    JACOB & Co. boasts a celebrity list of owners from Angela Bassett, Jimmy Fallon, Gisele Bundchen, Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, Enrique Iglesias, Justin Timberlake, Verne Troyer, Fred Durst, David & Victoria Beckham, Sir Elton John, Karl Lagerfeld, Carmen Kass, Naomi Campbell, Stefano Gabbana, Mya, Busta Rhymes, Nelly, Wyclef Jean, Nas, Tyrese, 50 Cent, Sharon & Ozzy Osbourne, Madonna, Jennifer Lopez, Bono, Michael Jordan, Tyson Beckford, Britney Spears, Sharon Stone, Beyonce Knowles, Rudolf Giuliani, Lenny Kravitz, Jessica Simpson, John Mayer, T.K. Hong Kong, and the list goes on.

    It’s going to be a long couple of years for these diamond-starved celebs to countdown the minutes they’ll be waiting for their next million dollar timepiece. Do you think Jacob gets his Diamonds from Sierra Leone?

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    Internet Rap Drama: Ice-T vs. Soulja Boy

    We know this much is true: Ice-T has no love for Soulja Boy; and Soulja Boy has no love for Ice-T. Factor in the internet, and what do you have? A rap web meme made from the public webcam disses of two questionably famous rappers of questionable talent.

    Who’s realer? Who’s fresher? Watch Ice-T’s original post and Soulja Boy’s response and Ice-T’s response to Soulja Boy’s response and then decide.

    Or let Kanye convince you. Either way, it’s pretty entertaining to watch a clichéd rap drama (d)evolve into YouTube webcam beef.

    After less than a week, nearly a million YouTubers have watched Soulja Boy’s video response to Ice-T.  Soulja Boy was notably upset when Ice-T suggested he was ruining the industry and that Soulja Boy should, ‘eat a d__k’.

    In this video, Soulja Boy jokes at Ice-T’s age, trash talk and name.  Perhaps the most entertaining part is when Soulja Boy says, “I wickapedia’d this n___ and this n___ was born in 1958!’ He then continues to make fun of Ice-T’s age, highlighting the generational gap.

    And, of course, no 2008 rap webcam battle would be complete without Kanye blogging about it:

    Soulja boy is fresh ass hell and is actually the true meaning of what hip hop is sposed to be.  He came from the hood, made his own beats, made up a new saying, new sound and a new dance with one song.  He had all of America rapping this summer.  If that ain’t Hip Hop then what is?  A bunch of wannabe keep it real rappers that ain’t even relevant, recycling samples trying to act like it’s 96 again and all they do is hate on new shit?  Niggas always talk about the golden age but for a 13 year old kid, this is the golden age!!!  That song was so dope cause everything he said had a hidden meaning… that’s Nas level shit… he just put it over some steel drums which is also some Nas shit if you had the 2nd album cassette with the bonus track “Silent Murder” on it.  In closing… new niggas get ya money$$$  Keep this shit fresh and original…. ain’t no fuckin’ rules to this shit and that’s what real hip hop is to me.

    UPDATE | 11:15am PST — Today, music site AllHipHop.com published their exclusive interview with Ice-T in which he responds to the controversy and claims he never meant for his comments to be used for mixtape promo.

    I’d also completely forgotten about that Pee Wee track. Touché, Ice!

    “I’d like to clarify how all this [expletive deleted] jumped off,” Ice-T explained. “I was in the recording booth doing a mixtape, and the cats in there doing the promotion were [expletive deleted] with me. They were saying things about ‘Soulja Boy this, Soulja Boy that’ and basically I went on one. It wasn’t meant to be evil, it was basically that Hip-Hop [expletive deleted] that’ stance.”

    “I didn’t expect them to use that clip to promote their mixtape,” Ice-T reasoned. “So I’m in the crib and [expletive deleted] is calling me talking about Soulja Boy is replying to you on the Internet. And I’m like ‘replying to what?’ So I see it and I’m like ‘man here we go.’ It was a statement made behind closed doors, not meant to be an attack on this [expletive deleted].

    “I didn’t even know dude was 17 years-old,” Ice continues. “I felt bad. I know I came hard at the [expletive deleted], but at the end of the day that’s just an old school, passionate Hip-Hopper trying to keep this thing 100. I’m not trying to disrespect Collipark or even lil homie [Soulja Boy]. Of course I overreacted…it’s not meant to be harmful. Bottom line is I would like to see rappers of today step their game up.”

    Many fans also pointed out that they felt Ice was being hypocritical by criticizing Soulja Boy, especially since he appeared in the video for Joe Ski Love’s “Pee Wee Herman,” a dance oriented 80’s track.

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