Tag Archives: hip hop

Lost Rapper of the Month (December 2011): Gucci Mane

It pains me to do this.

I mean it really causes me extreme discomfort to do this to a man who admittedly, is one of my favorite rappers that I’ve had the pleasure of being a fan of.

But it’s time to induct the man who had a good run as my favorite rapper from 2008-2010, Radric “Gucci Mane” Davis.

Remember this Gucci?

This was 2007-2008 Gucci Mane. Underground sensation. Creative legend in Atlanta. As Radric gained more and more success, the hits kept coming. If you were a fan of Gucci, you appreciated his work ethic. You appreciated that he never sold you any garbage;everything Gucci was saying was possibly true. From chickens cooking in the kitchen to an asphalt-colored Aston Martin being washed by a crew of crack junkies, everything coming from his mouth was believable. Secretly though, fans were worried that success might turn Gucci Mane into a lesser artist.

These fears were realized when this new “Gucci Mane” emerged in 2010:

A perfect example of what I’d like to call, “The Gucci Mane Theory.”

The Gucci Mane Theory: An artist who is loved before reaching mainstream success but hated once they reach the mainstream, even though the music quality has gotten better or hasn’t changed

Gucci wasn’t the first, but one of many artists to have this same issue. Gucci’s problem? The penal system of the United States. Gucci Mane left prison for the 47th time in January of this year and walked out into a new chapter of the book entitled Radric Davis’ career. A new chapter where he had lost most of his popularity. Where he was no longer regarded as the future of trap music, but as another troubled waste of a rapper in the eyes of “purist” fans.

Thus the ice cream tattoo…

Thus the quality of his music dramatically declining; There was a time when although he had his critics, there was a significant portion of rap music who viewed him as incredibly creative and consistent…

And now, we have a collaborative album with V-Nasty. And no I’m not lying.

I’m sure Gucci probably wants a check, Warner Brothers want a Gucci record and V-Nasty wants some fame but did this need to happen? And the worst part about it is I’m going to have to at least listen to it. Mostly because of the magic of Zaytoven beats & Gucci Mane, I’ll give it a listen. Will I like it? Probably not. But if Gucci doesn’t care enough about his career enough to stay out of a correctional facility and make better music, I doubt it if he REALLY cares if he sells more than 50,000 copies.

At this point in his career, the former So Icey boss is more concerned with a check than achieving real relevance in the rap game. This lack of passion has led me to induct Radric “Gucci Mane” Davis as the Lost rapper of the month for December.

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Rap’s Most Valuable Player: 1985

Every year since the early beginnings of rap music, we’ve watched and danced as the genre has grown and branched away from sitting and having fun rhyming on your street corner or school bus. We’ve seen the incredible rise of rappers over the years (Master P, Eminem, Ja Rule) just as we’ve seen the disappointing falls (Canibus, Ja Rule, 50 Cent) of some of our favorite emcees.

It was during the discussion of these trends in rap music that I decided to take a look back over the years and find the MVP from each year.

As 2011 heads into its final turn, each week I’m going to take a look and list the Most Valuable Rapper from 1985-2011, one year at a time. Continue reading

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Random Thoughts on Hip-Hop and Sports

Here are 20 of the most random, current thoughts I’ve had on Hip-Hop music and sports within the last month:

1. The game needs T.I. Never thought I would say that but it does.

2. Big Sean is growing into his own as an artist.

3. Jeezy is going to push back TM103 once again. #shotsfired Continue reading

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Battle of the Posse Cuts: Lil Wayne’s “Outro” vs. Lil Jon’s “Grand Finale”

Who doesn’t love a good posse cut? Launching the careers of rappers such as T.I., Busta Rhymes and Nas, the posse cut has always been a beloved piece of hip-hop history. As a fan, who doesn’t appreciate a group of emcees coming together amicably to make good music? And the best part is that everyone brings their best rhymes! No one wants to be outshined by another rapper on a track. Everyone wants to have the memorable verse that has men and women across the world trying to figure out the words and spit verses while riding down the freeway.

While listening to the new favorite album of suburban teenagers everywhere, Tha Carter IV, I was intrigued by the final track that Wayne leaves us viewers with. Continue reading

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HELP! I’m Lost and can’t find my career..Lost Rapper of the Week: 8.22

Denzel as Malcolm X – I’ve been clean for eight years.
Friend – Eight years?
X -Eight years.
F – My trouble is, I love pigs feet and white women too much. So I damn sure can’t be no Muslim.
X – That’s because you’re lost, brother. That’s because you’re lost.

There comes a time in every rapper’s career where he or she has to take a look in a mirror and ask themself…”Am I doing everything I can in order to be successful?”

Sometimes the answer to this question can be hard to figure out and sometimes it can be simple. Busta Rhymes has managed to stay relevant and alive by posting memorable verses and freestyles alongside popular artists of each time period(See DJ Khaled’s “All I Do is Win (Remix)” or ” Chris Brown’s “Look At Me Now”). Call it what you want but I call it an artist finding other ways to reinvent him or herself.

But for every Busta, you have a Juelz Santana. Continue reading

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W.I.L.T. – What I’m Listening To 8/11/11

It’s been a big week for music. This Tuesday saw retail releases from hip-hop heavyweights Jay-Z and Kanye West, Atlanta trappers Gucci Mane & Waka Flocka Flame and another release from DJ Khaled’s protegee Ace Hood. Today, I’d like to share some of the songs that have kept my Ipod burning over the past week in a series I’d like to call, WILT. What I’m Listening to. Continue reading

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Derrick Rose adidas; New Gucci Mane mixtape; Watch the throne

Over the weekend, I finally saw this Derrick Rose-Adidas commercial that I’ve heard so much about.
“Remember this number….9.8
That’s not the time on the shot clock…
Or the seconds left in the game…
It’s not the number of times I will light you up…
Nah, 9.8 isn’t any of that. It’s ounces. And that makes this (adiZero Crazy Light shoe) the lightest ever.” Continue reading

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Thoughts from last night’s Hot 93.7 Jam concert

Last night I attended 93.7’s 10th annual Hot Jam concert in Hartford, Connecticut inside of the XL center. Advertised for the show was YC, the New Boyz, J. Cole, Dj Khaled and friends, Big Sean, Jeremih Lupe Fiasco, Fabolous & Lloyd Banks. Although not a huge fan of any of these artists, was I excited? Claro! I’m always up for hearing new music. Underneath the many Connecticut basketball & Hartford Whalers hockey banners, the musicians performed to an eager crowd of what looked like 3 or 4,000. Here are some of my observations:

*NOTE* – I arrived late and missed J. Cole performance.

— The show opens with Jeremih singing a melody of songs that no one over the age of 12 can sing.

— Okay, so he plays the piano. I can honestly say I had no idea so that’s a +1 for Jeremih in my book.

— Jeremih is done, lets see who’s next……the New Boyz? What dance song did they make again?

— I swear I get the New Boyz and Cali Swag District mixed up. Honestly, if Travis Porter didn’t have a multitude of songs I find catchy, I’d confuse them also.

— Although I didn’t know any of their songs and they had to resort to performing the songs of other artists, I did slightly enjoy some of their newer stuff. Seemed like it was catchy and Big Sean made an appearance during one song. And they did say “R.I.P. M-Bone(member of Cali Swag District killed on May 15th) so that was a positive.

— Next up is DJ Khaled and the crowd is obviously excited more for the “and friends” billing he received.

— And his “and friends” portion was exactly who people expected: Ace Hood. I was excited because I like Ace’s new material.
Funny Moment: When Ace Hood made his entrance, he came out wearing clothes that a certain purp-sipping, dreaded, multi-platinum rapper wears and completely fooled the crowd.

— DJ Khaled should never be booked alone as a performer without at least 2 of the rappers in his group songs. Never.

— Lupe Fiasco came out next in what was a surprise considering YC or J.Cole (less popular rappers) had not yet appeared. He opened up with “Kick Push” and sadly, I was maybe 1 of 25 people who knew the song.

— I had to make a mental note to find the song “Out of My Head” with Trey Songz. Super-catchy and Trey Songz is a plus.

— He finished with “The Show Goes On.” Fitting. Although not a fan of the song personally, the crowd seemed to really enjoy it. I find Lupe’s success to be refreshing and interesting considering he’s not your typical mainstream rapper.

— Okay maybe J. Cole and YC will not be performing because it’s 10 p.m. and Fabolous is up next. F-A-B-O comes out and performs some of his hits from his underrated “Loso’s Way” album.

— Good thing I listened to “The Soul Tape.” When Fab mentions the tape, I think a ton of the crowd think he’s referring to some kind of blunt. Then again the average age of the crowd is probably 18.5. They go NUTS when he introduces his special guest Trey Songz to perform Trey’s hit, “Say Aaah.”

— Trey received the loudest reaction of the entire night. BY FAR. It is great to see him reach new heights as a musician and bona fide star. Shout-out to @sungz_on_point for putting me on Trey in 2007 before he truly exploded.

— Fab has easily had the best performance of the night. Even inspired to pull out my “Loso’s Way” CD out and play it on the ride home. Probably will have to re-listen to the “Soul Tape.”

— Lloyd Banks comes out and closes the show. Other than some of his new hits, Banks even plays some of his notable mixtape songs that only us older fans of hip-hop know.

— Banks brings out Juelz Santana for a decent ovation as they perform “Beamer, Benz or Bentley.” The night ends like this as the crowd seems geniunely upset that the show is ending. Either that or 3,000 fans really wanted to see a YC performance.

Overall I found it to be a pretty good show. I am still wondering why we never saw one of the billed performers or why Wiz Khalifa couldn’t show up so that he and Big Sean could perform “GangBang.” Time constraints probably were the issue here.
“Hot Jam 10” receives an 8/10 from me. A good time and although it doesn’t compare to Hot 97’s famous “Summer Jam,” it was a good time for hip-hop fans in the New England area. After such a tragedy in Springfield, Massachusetts only one day prior to the show, it was nice of the artists to attend and be a part of a successful show.

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Throwback Thursday: “Chain Gang”

State Property Presents: "The Chain Gang, Vol. 2"

After purchasing Maybach Music Group’s “Self-Made” this morning at my local Target, I went to my car to do my usual ritual of opening a new album and playing it immediately. You don’t get the full appeal of an album unless you play it “in the whip.” As I reached over and ejected “The Doggumentary” out of my cd player, I noticed a cd case laying on the floor of my 2006 Toyota Camry. “State Property Presents: The Chain Gang Vol. 2.”

Until that moment, I had completely forgotten I ever paid cash for that album. Released in 2003, it was the second album from a group of rappers that I didn’t care about at the time. Beanie Sigel(You feuded with Jadakiss, you were feuding with me), Freeway(didn’t care), Oschino(no thanks), Sparks(no thanks again), Young Chris(I liked his verse on the single “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop”), Neef (I didn’t like his verses on said single) and Peedi Crakk(never heard of him at that time).
Charter Cable’s rap channel featured a few of the songs and ironically enough, I enjoyed the small sample of songs. Even though I may not like an artist, if I hear good music I’ll buy it. After spinning this cd in my car for the entire day, I realized something: this album is/was a banger!

Playing almost like a glorified mixtape, “Chain Gang” sports at least 12 out of 17 possible heaters. It’s amazing this album peaked under “Gold” status. Not only did I gain respect for the rappers featured, I also became fans of Young Chris and Peedi Crakk. I wanted to give to some time to spotlight my top five favorite tracks and give the LP a moment in the sun.

In Descending Order:

5. Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop – The lead single from the album makes this list because of catchy, vibrant raps from Young Chris. Completely overshadowing Neef, Chris just takes control of the song and leaves his partner in the dust.
4. Just Another N**** – Perfect cruising song. You would have to have a heart of stone if you listened and didn’t have the urge to belt out this smooth chrous. Only problem is the rappers on the song, Beanie, Oschino and Sparks provide forgettable verses. Chorus is so strong I’m willing to forget the forgettable.
3. Temporary Relief – Sparks is on this song but lets forget about that for a second. Peedi shines on this joint! Quotable lines galore, the energy that Crakk shows is contagious. Definitely a standout track that Crakk should have fought to put on that album of his that never came out.
2. Blow – Twista comes through with a show-stealing verse on a great song. If you want to see how to knock a verse out of the park, look no further than this track. If you can rap this verse like I can, use it to impress your friends. Side Note: Young Chris had the weakest verse I’ve heard from him.
1. When You Hear That – FLAMES. Beanie Sigel started the track out with a great verse that ended up being my least favorite on the song. The real stars are Dirt McGirt(the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard RIP) and Peedi Crakk. The police sirens are a little weak but you don’t notice too much because of the charisma of ODB. It was one of his last and best appearances and if you ask anyone about the best verse to rap along to, most will say this verse. Peedi comes through and gives another standout appearance. “Respect Mine, the tech nine ain’t my thing, I defeat the purpose of teflon with one – riiiiing!!! Make the place vacate, I can’t wait…” There is magic all over this track.

Give this album a listen sometime, whatever way you know how. Or better yet, give all of your old albums a listen sometime, you might discover a gem in a pile of rocks.

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