Tag Archive: hip hop


On April 19, 2010 Hip-Hop pioneer Guru joined Tupac, Biggie, Jam Master J and a host of others as fallen marters in Rap Music. At the age of 43 he passed away from complications due to cancer. Guru had been hospitalized several times in the past year for various health problems including a heart attack that left him restricted to Good Samaritan Hospital until his death.

Guru is most known for being 1/2 of the group Gang Starr founded in the late 80’s, including himself and the World renowned Producer DJ Premiere aka “Premo”. But the group had many shaky times leading to its eventual public split in 2004. Controversy began to emerge as fans and family became suspicious of new-found ally DJ Solar, suspecting him of controlling Guru’s visitations preceding his death. The drama peeked after Solar released a statement claiming that Guru wanted nothing to do with DJ Premier even after his death. The letter, supposedly in the words of Guru read…

“I do not wish my ex-DJ [DJ Premier] to have anything to do with my name likeness, events, tributes etc. Connected in any way to my situation including any use of my name or circumstance for any reason and I have instructed my lawyers to enforce this. I had nothing to do with him in life for over 7 years and want nothing to do with him in death. Solar has my life story and is well-informed on my family situation, as well as the real reason for separating from my ex-DJ.”

Whether or not Guru was actually behind the letter or not it definitely will leave a bad taste in the mouths of many Gang Starr fans in a genre where beefs and grudges thrive many times until death. Nevertheless Guru is a Rap pioneer often pushing the limits of social awareness and history. Guru’s solo career produced a Hip-Hop and Jazz fusion series entitled “Jazzmatazz” collaborating with legends such as Roy Ayers and Donald Byrd. Guru’s impact and legacy will live on for generations, inspiring and strong, he will be remembered as a legend.

"Guru" 1967-2010

-Erik

Last night, the supergroup of Jay-z, Rihanna, and Kanye West performed Run This Town on the premiere of Jay Leno’s return to late night talk tv.  They all did their thing.

-Ron

beyonce

Is there anything Beyonce isn’t good at? LOL but really is there?  She sold countless album w/ her group Destiny’s Child and has had great success as a solo artist.  This year she was named “Woman of the Year” by Billboard magazine.  She will receive her honor on Oct. 2nd at Billboard’s annual Women in Music Event in NYC.  This year alone, Beyonce starred in the #1 movie Obsessed, had her own arena tour, and sand at President Obama’s inaugaration.

Associated Press

-Ron

news

Via NYDailyNews:

Roxanne’s revenge was sweet indeed.

Twenty-five years after the first queen of hip-hop was stiffed on her royalty checks, Dr. Roxanne Shante boasts an Ivy LeaguePh.D. – financed by a forgotten clause in her first record deal.

“This is a story that needs to be told,” Shante said. “I’m an example that you can be a teenage mom, come from the projects, and be raised by a single parent, and you can still come out of it a doctor.”

Her prognosis wasn’t as bright in the years after the ’80s icon scored a smash hit at age 14: “Roxanne’s Revenge,” a razor-tongued response to rap group UTFO’s mega-hit “Roxanne, Roxanne.”

The 1984 single sold 250,000 copies in New York Cityalone, making Shante (born Lolita Gooden) hip hop’s first female celebrity.

She blazed a trail followed by Lil’ Kim, Salt-N-Pepa and Queen Latifah– although Shante didn’t share their success.

After two albums, Shante said, she was disillusioned by the sleazy music industry and swindled by her record company. The teen mother, living in the Queensbridge Houses, recalled how her life was shattered.

“Everybody was cheating with the contracts, stealing and telling lies,” she said. “And to find out that I was just a commodity was heartbreaking”…

For full-story click here

Let this be a lesson that whatever the situation you find yourself in, you always have options.  Also uses the things around you as tools to get to your next step in life.  Roxanne could have easily let her surrounding get the best of her but she was persistent and now is a doctor who overcame the odds of teen pregnancy and living in the projects.  I always say look at life like a game of chess, think about every move you make and how each will get you closer to nabbing the king (or your goal in life).  That’s how you win!!!

-Ron

Do Your Pants Hang Low…

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 Let’s face it, sagging pants are everywhere.  High fashion clothing ads, hip hop music videos, and on street corners you’ll always notice someone sagging his or her pants.  Most kids today sag their pants because they see there favorite artists doing it all the time and because people around them in the neighborhood sag.  But although hip hop artists glorify the trend, let me drop some knowledge on where it began.

Sagging pants started as a trend for those in jail.  Prisoners would wear their pants low because belts are a popular way to commit suicide (hanging yourself or others), and/or serve as a weapon.  More importantly, if the pants are below a man’s bottom, it is to introduce to other men that he is homosexual.  Today things have changed and the youth sag their clothes and buy baggy fitting clothes mainly b/c they want to reproduce what they see as cool (i.e. hip hop).  Youth today wear there jeans a certain way b/c friends do the same, its a way to rebel against authority, and they are able to fit-in.  But if people can see your butt, boxers and sometimes more, when is enough…enough?

Will this trend ever stop or will people just except this style of dress??

Currently, certain areas like Miami and small parts of Louisiana have ordinances in place geared toward eliminating youth from sagging there pants (i.e. fine of $500, and/or jail time).  Many adults agree with the punishment arguing that this way of dress leads to a destrucitve lifestyle.  Proponents for sagging pants argue that you cannot legislate self expression and these laws only are geared to target certain groups (young people).  So I want to know, do you agree w/ the sagging laws that are trying to get passed?  Also why do you and/or your friends sag your pants?

-Ron

RUNDMC met RunDMC bf 081.jpg

Darryl “DMC” McDaniels who is 1/3 of the legendary Hip-Hop group Run-DMC recently spoke to a group full of educators and teachers at the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame about the potential value in making Rap music a part of their curriculum. He spoke about how true Hip Hop crosses all racial and social backgrounds calling it  “information, education, communication, and motivation.” When you dissect the lyrics to a lot of classic Rap songs you find similes, metaphors, personification, hyperbole, symbolism, and many other creative writing tools just as you would if you broke down a novel or a play from Shakespeare.

Although it wouldn’t be the first time rap music was used for the purpose of learning (Syracuse English professor Greg Thomas teaches a class called “Life and Times of Lil Kim” ), it could be an idea of how to reach younger generations and get them interested in both creativity and improving their writing skills.

Click here to learn more

-Erik

3 Feet..No Pressure

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I remember when I was about 12 years old and got my first basketball hoop in the backyard. Any time somebody would D’ Up on you real good on an inbound pass you could just say “3 Feet No Pressure!” and they had to back up. They knew they had to give you some space. But most the time when you’re under pressure it aint that simple.

 My family had moved from the South Side of Chicago to South Suburban Riverdale when I was 8. At the time I had never even heard of Riverdale ,or been to a suburb ,or even had a conversation with a person who wasn’t black other than a teacher. Alot of that changed real fast. My dad had been in  jail since I was 4, me and my mom didn’t have the best relationship, and to make it worse I was an only child (sorta) with no cousins within 10 miles or 10 years close to my age.

My only release was when I went back to the city to visit my God Brother Chris and his family. The problem was to them I was an outsider now. Like anybody else I wasn’t trying to be considered the lame of the group so proving myself was a constant thing. They all were great at sports but physically I wasn’t gonna be able to compete. My outlet became music. Hip-Hop, or Rap (whichever you wanna call it) to me was more than what my parents saw it as. Yeah it was a lot of reckless examples of violence, drugs, degrading women etc. But what wasn’t mainstream was the art form in it. The skill, the cleverness, the wit, the passion. The beat, the mic, the crowd, the delivery, the flow all showed me I could do me and didn’t have to be like anybody. I would still hoop  but writing became my release, it was my 3 feet no pressure.

What’s Yours?

-Erik