Category Archives: Hip-Hop

Hip Hop Thursday: Lupe Fiasco – Bitch Bad

I’ve been waiting to get on this for a long time.

Some of you may not have heard this song by Lupe, or you may have listened to it but didn’t give it much attention. It is definitely not his best track musically, but the message is very strong and has some very interesting analogies.

The most striking of themes in this is the comparison between ‘blackface’ and racialised gender stereotyping in rap culture. Blackface, although cringing and horrible to watch old footage nowadays, was a fully accepted art form in it’s time. The link between this and a few modern day rappers (Lil Wayne and Nikki Minaj come to mind from the video) are essentially wearing a blackface in the way they present themselves to sell music.

The fact that it shows the artists wiping off their blackface in tears gives this a more dramatic effect.

The story itself plays a lot more into how gender plays its part in the mask of fake imagery. It is almost as portraying a ‘bad-bitch’ is pretty equal to being blackface in modern times. With the woman growing up to emulate a ‘bad bitch’, the negative gender stereotype is enforced and she emulates that. This affects guys too as it gives both genders a false perception of reality. The only thing that isn’t so clear, is that although Lupe is definitely not promoting the ‘Bad-bitch’ persona (later reversing that and giving props to Nikki Minaj) he doesn’t give any hints at what a female model worth emulating actually is.

This is a very fascinating song and is a clear example of why I love Hip Hop and it’s possibilities. I hope you like this.

 

J

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Hip Hop Thursday: Talib Kweli – 2000 Seasons

I am very lucky to have stumbled across this song. I am a big fan of Talib Kweli, but missed this track when I found him. I’ve chosen this song not because of its lyrical content, but more to do with the beat. I found it on a Freddie Joachim podcast mix, and out of the blue I heard this, and Talib’s style is very unique so it was obvious it was him. At a later date I think I will put up some more of Talib that actually highlight him as a rapper, but for now, I will post this. I hope you like it.

 

J

Hip Hop Thursday: Flobots – Stand Up

These guys are pretty well known, with ‘Handlebars’ being the most recognisable. This is another big track by them that got very popular in both the US and the UK. Very strange experience seeing them live. Flobots do wrap their music around themes of political activism, and seeing the amount of people in the crowd wearing headscarfs to cover their face like cowboys was just ridiculous. But that’s not knocking Flobots, their music is very meaningful and powerful and well placed. Hope you enjoy it.

J

Hip Hop Thursday: Pete Philly & Perquisite: Lazy Remix

I couldn’t move until about 3pm. Thursday has got to be one of the worst days I’ve had in a long time, too sick to eat but hunger pains. I feel so old with my hangovers now. I needed some chilled out songs, and seeing as it’s Hip Hop Thursday, this track fitted my mood perfectly.

I haven’t heard anything from these guys, the non remixed version of this song has a nice beat but this remix is so much more chilled I prefer this. One of the few things I know about them is that they have collaborated with Talib Kweli, and the song is so chilled too so was tempted to post that, but maybe for another time.

J

Hip-Hop Thursday: Burning Bright – Apathetic

Another youtube find, I think it was a mate Saul who had this on his facebook and I checked it out. This has had so little views but is a really chilled track. I’m especially a fan of the beat but the guys style is pretty tight too.
Nothing else to say on it as I don’t know anything else apart from you should check out Ellingtopia by this guy, the beat for that is amazing and samples Duke Ellington.

J

Hip Hop Thursday: Mystro – UK Rap Up 2012

I should have posted this on the first Thursday of the new year, but no worries.

It’s only fitting that for my first Hip Hop post of 2013 I show you a summary of last year in rap. This British MC known as Mystro (or @Mysdigga) has been making a ‘rap-up’ of the previous year for the last few years, and this one does not disappoint. There is an American MC who does the same thing for US news and current events, but Mystro focuses on the UK.
Quite a bit of material for him in 2012, some I’d forgotten, some pretty unforgettable. Hope you like it.

Edit: Thank you Timmy for sending me the music video!

J

Hip Hop Thursday: Brother Ali – Mourning In America

Another Hip Hop track for you guys, and once again its from the Rhymesayer’s label. These guys aren’t too well known especially in the UK but their roster is getting more and more impressive. My prediction is that Wax may make a move to Rhymesayers unless he does it all himself. But that’s just my hunch.
This guy here is a rapper that goes by the name of Brother Ali, and at first I wasn’t a fan of his. I didn’t really connect with his earlier works. Now I have found him again and his songs all seem to have much more of a point and his delivery seems a lot tighter I’m looking forward to getting a hold of his latest album. Seeing some of his interviews he seems so humble as he talks about the pressures of trying to create an album and writers block and other issues. He seems like a pretty solid guy.
This song is pretty out of the ordinary for him, although he does express his views a lot in his previous works. This shows a lot more aggression and frustration, which is understandable given the content. The video is pretty decent too so I hope you enjoy it. There will be quite a lot more of Rhymesayers on here in the future.

J

Hip Hop Thursday: Canibus – No Return

There is always such a huge debate in hip hop about who is the ‘best rapper alive’ or the best lyricist. Well, not if you happen to be called Wokka Flocka Flame who actually got offended when he was accused of being a lyricist. Fucking Idiot. I don’t think there’s going to be an answer, but there are definitely shortlists. This guy, although I don’t listen to his music that much, is extremely high on my list (I don’t actually have a list, but I can’t think of many more lyrically adept people than Canibus).
Welcome to Canibus. I found out about this guy through his Eminem beef. I think I also heard about him in an old Wyclef Jean interview. Apparently Canibus had his album coming out produced by Wyclef that turned a massive flop and he got dropped by the label. That’s why he’s not heard of much. This guys freestyles are crazy, and some of his trains of thoughts are incredible. The song I put on here for you is a story telling style track he released that showcases his lyrical style. I was going to show you 100 bar freestyle, it was a close call.

There’s quite a lot I like about this song. The first verse it just incredible, and I’ll recccommend people to chekc out RapGenius to see where he gets his inspirations and ideas for the concepts. I also like the hook, as for so long I thought it was English but I just couldnt understand it. Turns out it’s this:

Adon ‘olam, ‘asher malakh,
(Which is Eternal Master, who reigned supreme)
b’terem kol y’tzir niv’ra
(before all of creation was drawn)
L’eyt na’asa v’kheftso kol,
(When it was finished according to His will,)
Azai melekh sh’mo nikra
(then King his name was proclaimed to be.)

Through all this, and despite his raw verses, he has fucked up. I can’t even bring myself to look at the video of it. At last summer jam, the biggest battle rappers showed up to put on an incredible showcase of battle rapping. Iron Soloman, Loaded Lux, Murda mook, Serious Jones etc were all there, and Canibus made an appearance to battle. It was hyped up so much, everybody knows how hard Canibus can go in, so was one of the most anticipated battles at the show. Now I haven’t actually seen the video, because I can’t bring myself to watch it, but I’ve been told and read that midway through one of his turns he forgets his lyrics, shakes the opponents hand to concede, then proceeds to whip out a notebook and start rapping his written down bars, in front of a huge crowd who came for a battle rap. I’ve seen a few scenes form it, but I can’t believe somebody would do that. He’s lost so much respect in the scene now and I doubt he will ever go to battle again. If you do want to check it out, here’s the link, but I won’t be watching.

Enjoy Canibus (but maybe in moderation)

J

Hip Hop Thursday: Ill Mind Of Hopsin V

Welcome to the ill mind of Hopsin (where real life’s an option). I found this guy a few months ago, and the more I listen to him, the more I like his style but recently I’ve been starting to get unsure of him. When he first came out with a tape it was the Ill Mind Of Hopsin laid out in different parts. This is Part 5 and happens to be my favourite, hence me showing you. In this track he goes after both male and female youth culture stereotypes and the mentality of rappers. Rather than all youth culture he mainly he goes after fans of hiphop and how they treat the music and culture.
This track itself is raw. He seems to be anti-rap but goes in hard like it should be done. First verse he lays into young guys who don’t seem to do much and blame everything apart from themselves when things don’t go their way. Second, goes after club sluts. Third he goes after street thugs who he looks down on.
What I question about Hopsin is that he criticises about how rappers show off/brag and ‘swag’ etc but then he seems to do exactly the same thing. I don’t get what part about his whole image isn’t fitting into the whole hiphop scene, he seems to blend in while saying he hates everything about the scene. This is questionable and shouldn’t take away from this track, although it doesn’t make him the rescuer of rap. I don’t know who will be. Anyways I hope you like it.

J

Hip Hop Thursday: Zola – Mdlwembe

A Little bit unconventional, but this is still Hip Hop. In 2006 I went on a service project to South Africa with school and those 10 days were crazy. It was the first of a few trips abroad over the last few years that truly opened my eyes (even though that’s clique). At the school we were doing service projects out from we met some awesome students there all with backstories. While we were out there we watched a SA film called ‘Tsotsi’ which shows the life of a male youth growing up in the slums of Soweto. I recommend checking the film out if you haven’t seen it, its very powerful and it held more significance for us because one of the guys at the school grew up in Soweto.

Anyway, one of the characters in the film is this guy Zola. He plays the local gang leader/Kingpin in Soweto. Out of the film, Zola is a South African Rapper (slightly different style to Die Antewoord). This track Mdlwembe is the soundtrack to the film, and even though I have no idea what he’s saying it still sounds good. Check out the film, and I hope you like this.

J