Brookline Stand Up


Hov, Is This About Something Else?
April 16, 2010, 6:46 pm
Filed under: Jay-Z, News

Jay-Z is suing David Ortiz of the Red Sox for naming his club in the Dominican Republic “Forty/Forty”…essentially the same name as Jay’s international 40/40 bar franchise. One of my favorite rappers vs. one of my favorite baseball players. Awkward.

vs.

Jay-Z obviously has every reason to take legal action. I mean, seriously Big Papi? You literally named your nightclub the SAME thing.  But I’m suspicious. It’s no secret that Jay-Z is a Yankees fan. Not only does he hail from Brooklyn, but he’s constantly pictured wearing Yankee’s hats, references the Yanks in many a song and has released numerous tracks touting his home state. I wonder if Jay-Z, as a Yankee fan, is secretly getting a kick out of suing one of Boston’s most beloved baseball players. I know I sure would enjoy watching Sox player Dustin Pedroia take a legal whack at the likes of Yankees hotshot Alex Rodriguez.

Maybe I’m letting my Red Sox fanhood take over, because when I’m being rational I realize Jay-Z probably would’ve sued anyone who stole his club name, Sox player or not. I’m just wondering if it would be quite as newsworthy if baseball loyalties weren’t involved. And I’d really like Jay-Z to admit that he’s kind of loving the fact that he’s suing a very well-known Red Sox player. Come on Hov, we’d all understand.

So my questions to you all are: Who do you think should win the case, do the baseball affiliations make it more interesting and is Jay secretly loving this or what? Let me know what you think.



Guess Who’s Back, Back Again? (In June)
April 14, 2010, 8:02 pm
Filed under: Eminem, Just Blaze, News

Looks like Eminem thought we needed a little controversy.
(Props if you got the reference, sorry I know it’s corny.)

I read earlier today on hiphopdx that Eminem announced via Twitter that he was stopping production of his highly-anticipated follow-up album Relapse 2. Of course, as a public relations major, I immediately thought: another Eminem publicity stunt. I mean, Relapse sold 608,000 copies in its first WEEK, so it wasn’t surprising that a simple tweet saying “There is no Relapse 2” caused a ruckus.

He later clarified that rather than sacking the project altogether, he’s just changing the name of the follow-up album to Recovery. Phew. And, according to hip hop producer Just Blaze, it’s going to be sick.

Well, if this whole thing was supposed to be a publicity stunt, it worked. Not only has it generated significant media coverage surrounding the album and its impending June 22 release, but I know it’s gotten me to re-visit my old Em tracks and wonder what to expect from him next. He’s a pretty unpredictable guy.

What are you hoping to hear on Eminem’s Recovery?



Just Sayin’
April 14, 2010, 6:56 pm
Filed under: Damian Marley, Loves It, Nas

I love this collaboration from Damian Marley and Nas. Not only is Nas’ sound a bit more mellow than usual, but Damian Marley’s reggae influence gives the song a really unique, relaxed feel. Enjoy!

“Road to Zion” – Damian Marley feat. Nas



Get Your Grits Ready

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a special place in my heart for all things southern. I long for the hillbilly accent I once had at age 3 (I’m originally from Charleston, West Virginia), nurture a dream of one day living in a sprawling plantation house below the Mason-Dixon line, have a weakness for southern gentlemen and can often be found listening to the likes of Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers when I’m not getting down to my usual hip hop.

So, it should come as no surprise that I think southern rap is the shit. I’ve already established that I am in a serious, long-term relationship with New Orleans’ Lil Wayne, and honestly who hasn’t heard of/doesn’t love T.I. and Ludacris from the ATL, so I thought I’d dig a little bit deeper into the depths of southern hip hop and serve y’all something you may have never heard before.

In order to compile this list that I am about to bestow upon you, I consulted several of my closest friends and colleagues that I consider experts in the southern hip hop field. Combined with my existing knowledge, I carefully selected several artists from the Dirty Dirty that I deemed worthy of checking out.


UGK (Underground Kingz)
City: Houston, TX
Members: Pimp C, Bun B
Perhaps You’ve Heard Of Them: Featured on Jay-Z’s hit track “Big Pimpin
Suggested Tracks: International Players Anthem, Top Notch Hoes



Da Back Wudz
City: Decatur, GA
Members: Big Marc, Sho Nuff
Perhaps You’ve Heard Of Them: Were one of MTV’s Fab 5 in Summer 2005
Suggested Tracks: You Gonna Luv Me, Makin’ Money Counting Hundreds



Rich Boy
City: Mobile, AL
Members: N/A
Perhaps You’ve Heard Of Him: His hit single “Throw Some D’s” was later remixed by Kanye West (I personally like the Rich Boy version better)
Suggested Tracks: And I Love You (feat. Big Boi & Pastor Troy), Drop


Slim Thug
City: Houston, TX
Members: N/A
Perhaps You’ve Heard Of Him: Featured on Beyonce’s hit track “Check Up On It (along with Bun B of UGK)
Suggested Tracks: Problem With That, We Boss Hoggin’


Nappy Roots
City: Bowling Green, KY
Members:
Fish Scales, Skinny DeVille, B. Stille, Ron Clutch, Big V. Oakland and R. Prophet
Perhaps You’ve Heard Of Them:
Their 2002 album Watermelon, Chicken & Gritz was the year’s biggest selling hip-hop album
Suggested Tracks: Awnaw, Po’ Folks


Juvenile
City: New Orleans, LA
Members: N/A
Perhaps You’ve Heard Of Him:
Who DIDN’T back their ass up to his 1999 hit single “Back That Azz Up“??
Suggested Tracks: In My Life, Bounce Back


Obviously this is just a sampler of southern rappers/groups, so feel free to contribute any artists or songs that you feel deserve a listen. Big shout out to Frank, Ryan and RJ for aiding me in my research!



Vintage Weezy
April 13, 2010, 1:17 pm
Filed under: B.G., Big Tymers, Birdman, Cash Money Records, Juvenile, Lil Wayne

Every time I hear an obnoxious auto-tune laden track from Lil Wayne, I listen to this song and remember why I became a Weezy fan in the first place. Check out this vintage Weezy track (from his 1999 debut album Tha Block Is Hot) featuring Cash Money Records sweethearts Big Tymers, Juvenile and B.G.

Start listening at the 3:35 mark to hear Weezy F. Baby spit some flames of realness on “Loud Pipes.”

Soooo vintage Weezy vs. modern-day Weezy…thoughts?



Remember That Time Snoop Dogg Was Gangsta?
April 12, 2010, 8:48 pm
Filed under: Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Unsolicited Advice

I don’t know how many of you have checked out Snoop Dogg’s latest album Malice N Wonderland (2009), but for those of you that haven’t, I’ll save you some time. It sucks. Other than the fact that he sniped the album title I had waiting in the wings just in case I ever became a female rapper (my name is Alice FYI), this album just makes me sad. Poor little Snoop just sounds bored and tired, a far cry from his early days as a straight up G repping the West Coast.

The album was so bad, in fact, that I had to listen to my vast collection of vintage Snoop for about an hour to get the bad taste out of my mouth. Immersed in classics such as Gin & JuiceWhat’s My Name and Serial Killa off his debut album Doggystyle (1993), I began to reflect on Snoop Dizzle’s career and where he’s ended up.

Discovered in 1992 by Dr. Dre right after Snoop’s release from a 3-year stint in prison for cocaine possession, his laid-back style and unparalleled flow catapulted his debut album Doggystyle to quadruple-platinum status and sealed his fate as a rap legend. Since then, he has been accused (and subsequently acquitted) of murder, released 9  additional albums and been credited with the practice of adding the suffix -izzle to just about every word in the English language.

So, he’s an accomplished guy and probably has enough money to last him and his family a couple of lifetimes. The sad part is that instead of retiring and letting his existing collection of work speak for itself, he keeps DOING things. Take his E! reality show Snoop Dogg’s Father Hood, for example. I don’t know about everyone else, but I don’t want to see Snoop acting like a responsible dad much less a normal person. I prefer to think of him as the gat-toting, crip-walking G from back in the day. His BAMF persona is part of what gave his music so much appeal. Even his pre-reality-show-hoopla album Paid Tha Cost To Be Da Boss (2002) still has some badass flavor. In fact, one of my all-time favorite Snoop Dogg tracks “Paper’d Up” is off that album. Listen to it below.

See what I mean? Not only does Snoop Dogg sound AWAKE, but the beat is so sick that he even lets it stand alone (plus some DJ scratches and that random girl moaning in the background) for a full 20 seconds. Compare this to the popular single “Sexual Eruption” off his 2008 album Ego Trippin’.

Auto-tune much? If T-Pain or Chris Brown had released this song, I would totally love it, but it’s Snoop. I don’t want to hear you sing, Dizzle. Thankfully, Malice N Wonderland isn’t saturated with auto-tune tracks, but it’s just missing that kick that most other Snoop albums have. Even the songs that I semi-liked (“Upside Down” and “Gangsta Luv“) were so boring that I had to stop listening halfway through.

In my opinion, Snoop Dogg should either get back in touch with his old school roots or sit back and reap the benefits of his successful career. Check out Malice N Wonderland and let me know know if you agree.



3 Reasons to Love Chiddy Bang
April 12, 2010, 1:52 pm
Filed under: Chiddy Bang, Loves It

I like to think of myself as a music sponge. I am constantly reading about and listening to new artists, taking recommendations from friends and mulling over their tracks as I go for a run, walk to class or ride the T to work. Every once in a while, an artist comes along that is just SO effing good, they are all I can listen to for days or weeks on end. As you can probably guess from the title of this post, my ensemble du jour is Philly-based group Chiddy Bang.

My good friend and fellow hip-hop blogger Frank only just introduced me to this group a couple of weeks ago. Therefore, I won’t pretend to be an expert and will just fill you in on the top 3 reasons for my current obsession.

1. Two words: Fresh. Beats. I feel like I use the term “fresh beats” a lot, and I realize it makes me sound like a tool, but sometimes that’s just the best way to describe an artist’s repertoire. Obviously lyrics and overall sound are important when it comes to evaluating artists, but as long a song’s got a good beat, I dig it. Hell, I even like V.I.C. and Soulja Boy Tell Em’s abominable “Get Silly” simply because it’s so heavy on the bass. But I digress. Chiddy Bang’s unique amalgam of electronica and hip hop goes beyond booming bass. One of my favorite beats of theirs pairs tight snare with a sample from reggae group Desmond Dekker & the Ace’s “Israelites.” Check out Chiddy Bang’s “Get Up In The Morning” below.

2. Speaking of sampling… This statistic is in no way based on any actual research, but I would guesstimate that 95% of rappers and hip hop groups have sampled from other songs at some point in their careers. Some do it more than others (ahem, KANYE) and some just flat out can’t pull it off. Chiddy Bang does a masterful job of not only incorporating other artists’ music into their tracks, but selecting groups from outside the hip hop/R&B/soul categories. Their first and probably most well-known single, “Opposite of Adults” expands upon MGMT’s “Kids” but their best, in my opinion, samples from Radiohead’s “Reckoner.” Check out my favorite Chiddy Bang track “Because” below.

Chiddy Bang also collaborates with Passion Pit on “Truth” (another personal favorite of mine) and The Roots’ Black Thought on “Slow Down.”

3.  They’re just a couple of youngin’s. If you’ve been reading/listening to everything in this blog post thus far, you have undoubtedly realized the powerful talent this group brings to the hip hop genre. Now get ready for me to drop a bomb…they are FRESHMEN IN COLLEGE. That’s right. Frontman Chidera Anamege and DJ Xaphoon Jones’ EP The Swelly Express documents their journey as two Drexel University freshmen who were discovered by “the industry” after performing at a couple of parties. Go back and listen to them again, this time keeping in mind that these guys are 18-19 years old. If they’re this awesome already, imagine where they’ll be in a couple of years.

So there you have it. Let me know what you think of them so far – are you feeling Chiddy Bang or no?