RHYMEFEST: So You Want To Be A Rapper?

“So You Wanna Be A Rapper?” by Che ‘Rhymefest’ Smith

When you ask most inner city black boys what they want to do, they say one of two things: rap or hoop.

It’s not a surprise because those are the two careers that are associated with fame & fortune. The truth is, there are very few people who make it to the pros and even less who become platinum selling artists. So if you’re interested in becoming a rapper, be sure to have another career option related to the music industry.

Lauryn Hill Is Facing PRISON TIME; Where did it all go wrong?

With a rollicking, well-received pair of performances in NYC this weekend, Lauryn Hill seemed to have finally pulled it together.

Amid the hooplah over Nicki Minaj’s set that never was at Hot 97’s Summer Jam concert, there was also a good deal of internet clamoring over a seemingly happy and focused Lauryn Hill performing with Nas, and serving up a by-all-accounts amazing set at the Highline Ballroom in Manhattan.

But all that hope and excitement turned to shock and dismay when news broke that Lauryn Hill is now in the crosshairs of the IRS; accused of tax evasion. If convicted, our beloved L-Boogie faces a $300,000 fine and significant time in prison.

Where in the bloody hell did it all go so very, very wrong?

WHY EVERYBODY HATES DRAKE, and Why They're Wrong…

Drake is clearly the most divisive figure in Hip Hop today.

And I’m trying to figure out why.

Now the easy answer is folks just ain’t feeling his music. But I’m not convinced. I know so many Hip Hop fans that really just don’t like Drake. By that I mean the very idea of Drake. Half white. Canadian. Middle class. Kinda clean-cut. Child actor. Always crooning. And pouting. And emo and shit. He’s almost the exact opposite of what our concept of an emcee has always been.

And that’s what’s so interesting about him. Like it or not, he’s breaking the mold. And he’s winning.

So don’t fight the feeling. And get comfortable.

Because Drake is coming into his own; and he’s about to go to the next level.

And here’s why…

Are Black People Willing To Call Eminem The Greatest Rapper Of All Time?

As a Black person, are you afraid to call Eminem the greatest rapper of all time?

Or perhaps just unwilling.

Me? I’m not so sure.

I don’t think I’m opposed to Slim Shady being the GOAT; he’s just not my choice. Despite what many might assume from some of my prior articles (like this one or that one), Jay-Z has always gotten my vote as the greatest rapper of all time.

But I would never exclude Eminem from the conversation entirely.

Others…not so much.

“I am the Baddest Bitch” LA Basketball Wives: Colorism, Draya vs. Laura, and Overall Worthlessness

So, I will admit I watch Basketball Wives. Yes, I do. However, I think I have to draw the line at LA Basketball Wives. It’s too much. In particular, it’s the colorism of the show that is the most glaring issue for me. On the very first episode, all the light-skinned women (i.e. Gloria Govan, Laura Govan, Imani Showalter, and Jackie Christie) had “beef” with one or two of the darker-skinned women (i.e. Maylaysia Pargo, Tanya Williams, and Kamisha Artest). And, then to add “insult to injury” they, meaning Shaunie O’Neal, removed two of the darker sisters—Kamisha Artest and Tanya Williams—from the show leaving only Malaysia.

So, in some ways, the color issue is resolved. However, now the issue of “acceptable” sexuality rears its ugly head. Draya Michele now becomes the bull’s eye for the women on the show.

MUSICNEWS: Ice-T Doesn't Like Hip-POP, Record Execs Trafficking COCAINE, and Rihanna's New Album

Gangster-Rap-Godfather Ice-T is really unhappy with the mainstreaming of Hip Hop. And outside the premier of his new documentary “Planet Rock: The Story of Hip Hop and the Crack Generation,” HE WENT IN.

On Rick Ross:

He thinks he’s [Freeway] Rick Ross, he thinks he’s Larry Hoover, he thinks he’s Big Meech, he thinks he’s MC Hammer, he thinks he’s Tupac. Like, who the f*ck are you really, dude?”

 

On Lil Wayne and Hip Hop Going Pop:

“Rap was a counterculture that went against pop. But when you have Rihanna singin’ on your records and you’re doin’ records with Katy Perry, that’s no longer rap. It’s pop music, pop using rap delivery. When you hear Lil Wayne sayin’ ‘I got a chopper in the car,’ you go, ‘Yeah, right you do.‘”

Dayum.

Why You Should Be Taking Tyler, the Creator and Kreayshawn Seriously

Last Saturday night, Kreayshawn and the White Girl Mob played a sold-out gig in Hollywood. And according to Spin Magazine, it was an insane show.

“…the audience rushed the stage where they proceeded to completely freak out — bouncing, stripping, cooking, and flipping into the crowd — until the music was done and they were forced bodily from the limelight by the venue’s security. It was intensely electric.”

The next day, she hit the VMAs, where she was nominated (and a favorite) for the Best New Artist Award. She lost to like-minded and equally controversial Tyler, the Creator. Like Kreayshawn, Tyler and Odd Future rose to prominence through YouTube, blogs and social media, don’t fit in any radio format, and have sharply divided critics and fans.

A lot of people aren’t taking Kreayshawn and Odd Future seriously. And that’s understandable. When something comes along that is so alien to mainstream standards and tastes, it always gets dismissed.

But don’t be fooled. Their success is organic and real; not some record label’s scheme. The rise of artists like Odd Future and Kreayshawn (as well as Lil B and Waka Flocka Flame) is subversive to Hip Hop’s status quo. And it might end up being a big deal.