Wu-Tang Clan reunions–the official kind, with 9 MCs in physical form and 1 in spiritual essence–don’t happen every day. When they do, it often happens on the set of say a Jimmy Fallon or Jon Stewart show; the sort of celebrity enclave the rest of us can only watch on TV. This weekend however, Wu-Tang brought the motherf*%in ruckus to the L.A. Forum and it seems like the whole West Coast turned out to be a part of it. Some of the Rest Coast too, as you best believe Okayplayer was there in the person of our very own Marketing Director Cali Green–for the rest of us (sigh) Maxwell Benson captured the historic night in words (read on) and images (scroll through the gallery above):
The L.A. Forum has played host to some of the greatest moments in entertainment history. So when a who’s who of MC luminaries was posted on the marquee for September 26, 2014, you knew the great venue would live up to it’s reputation. All 9 member of the Wu-Tang Clan were set to grace the stage backed by DJ Allah Mathematics and supported by an additional army of names like Casey Veggies, Ras Kass with special guest Kurupt, Pharoahe Monch and Talib Kweli–if the roster comprised a small army, the lyrical prowess this lineup carried was the equivalent of an atom bomb.
Read the full article here: http://www.okayplayer.com/news/wu-tang-clan-los-angeles-forum-photos.html
Brooklyn, NY – On July 12, 2014, the world experienced a supermoon, but the stars were aligned in Brooklyn. The constellations at the Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival (by Brooklyn Bodega) were made up of: CJ Fly, CyHi the Prynce, Jay Electronica, and Raekwon (The Chef). The hosts for the star studded night were DJ Rob Swift, Uncle Ralph McDaniels, and Torae of the Barrel Brothers.
The vibe of the festival reflected the intensity of the borough it is named after: Brooklyn. A city that is full of wonderful surprises around every corner and its yearly hip-hop festival has become known for its own surprises. The anticipation of who may be a special guest was only heightened when Elliott Wilson (Rap Radar/ Jay Z’s Life and Times), Ty Ty (Jay Z’s right-hand man), Thirstin Howl III (LO Lifes), Meyhem Lauren, and the legendary Afrika Bambaataa were all back stage. It is also a good sign when the security for an event is Zulu Nation security...
I just don’t like ghostwriting. It is for the simple fact that I like my stories and music to reflect truth. As a fan of the Last Poets—whom I consider the forefathers of modern emceeing—I feel the practice of ghostwriting dilutes an emcee’s message. I always felt the purpose of an emcee was to be the voice of many and talk about what was going on in their community. When I first began writing this piece, I assumed anyone with a general knowledge or appreciation of Hip Hop music and culture felt the same. I originally had a preconceived idea about authenticity and the value of writing your own lyrics. Hip Hop is a communicative language, and I think it should be used to tell your truth about yourself and your environment. I think emcees have a responsibility for the platform that they have been given.
I learned many artists don’t mind ghostwriting and that it’s no big deal to them. I did find some common ground in Killer Mike, when he offered his opinion on the subject in his August, 2013 interview with HipHopDX by saying, “Rap is predicated upon [the concept of], ‘I am telling the truth about my life and my environment.’ So as long as rappers are presenting a rap in that way, they are going to be expected to be a writer of their lives and environment. It is that simple and not hard or overly complex. As long as the stance is, ‘Nigga, I’m real,’ then it is expected for them to be the authors. That’s it.”
The topic of ghostwriting has gained new legs off the strength of Nicki Minaj sending subliminal shots at Iggy Azalea and other emcees during Sunday’s BET Awards. Undoubtedly, when the conversation regarding ghostwriting comes up, the point of how one defines what exactly ghostwriting is should be addressed first. For me, the definition of ghostwriting is when an artist hires an outside lyricist or emcee, has them write an entire song, pays them an upfront fee and gives them no credit on the album liner notes or on the writing and publishing side. If an artist is given credit on the song or shares in the writing and publishing, to me that’s just collaboration...
Read the full article here: http://www.hiphopdx.com/m/editorials/id.2457
Los Angeles, CA – Red Bull Sound Select’s 30 Days in LA is a unique opportunity to see great combinations of artists in different venues across Los Angeles. On November 13, at the Echoplex in Echo Park, the lineup and surprise guest consisting of Thurz, Mystery Skulls, and Run The Jewels was nothing short of legendary.
Thurz set the tone for the night by bringing out a full band with surprise guest DJ Quik rolling through to perform a couple of his classics. Red Bull decided to try and expand the musical pallet of the mostly hip-hop-orientated crowd by throwing Mystery Skulls in the mix, who ran through his electro-pop inspired hit “The Future...”
Read the full article here: http://www.hiphopcanada.com/2014/11/run-the-jewels-at-echoplex-for-red-bulls-30-days-in-la-live-review-photos/
Los Angeles, CA – You can’t get much more deeply rooted in hip-hop culture then when you have two of it biggest cultural promoters in one place. This was the case when Def Jam and Russell Simmons took over The Arsenio Hall Show on March 26, partly in honor of the 30th anniversary of Def Jam as a record label.
More than just another interview by Arsenio Hall, this pairing felt like two old friends sitting on a brown stone stoop in Brooklyn debating who the greatest rapper of all time was. Especially when you add in the fact that legendary West Coast producer / Snoop Dogg’s tour DJ, Battlecat, kept the music running for the entire night...
Read the full article here: http://www.hiphopcanada.com/2014/04/hip-hop-royalty-russell-simmons-def-jam-visit-arsenio-hall-article/