Rhymes & Reasons Interviews Jasson Perez About the Hip Hop Songs that Changed His Life

Rhymes & Reasons proudly presents Chicagoan Jasson Perez, activist and sometime member of the rap group BBU.  We’ve  known Jasson a long time, but since our interview we’ve held him in even higher esteem.  Jasson talks about Tupac’s “Keep Your Head Up,” Outkast’s “Rosa Parks,” and how hip-hop’s made him a better father.
Check out the interview below:

Rick Ross Raps About Committing Date Rape in New Song

Rapper Rick Ross is turning heads (and stomachs) with a couple lines from new track ““U.O.E.N.O.” (you ain’t even know it)” that seem to describe and make light of date rape.

A featured guest on the song, Ross raps: “Put molly all in her champagne, she aint even know it. I took her home and I enjoyed that, she aint even know it.

Molly is a form of ecstasy notable for its purity.

Happy 71st Birthday to The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin

Today is the 71st birthday of the undisputed Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin!

Not much to say about Aretha that hasn’t already been said. The woman is a force of nature. Arguably the greatest voice in the history of popular music, Franklin’s vocal chops are legendary and her impact on rock and soul untouchable.

Back in 2008, Rolling Stone named Aretha Franklin the no. 1 Greatest Singer of All Time. Mary J. Blige wrote a wonderful editorial for the feature:

From Rolling Stone:

You know a force from heaven. You know something that God made. And Aretha is a gift from God. When it comes to expressing yourself through song, there is no one who can touch her. She is the reason why women want to sing.

Chicago Nightclub Shooting: What Was 13 Year-old Rapper Lil’ Mouse Doing There?

Yesterday morning, the city of Chicago was shocked to learn of a shootout at a record release party on the city’s South Side that left at least 7 people injured.

Even crazier, it seems controversial 13 year-old rapper Lil’ Mouse was among the featured performers at the event.

His manager claims Mouse performed and left before the shootout.

Still, what was a 13 year-old doing at a nightclub on a school night?

Common Discusses His Efforts to Give Back to His Hometown

Rapper/actor/activist, Chicago native, and BYP supporter Common recently wrote an editorial in the Chicago Sun-Times about how he plans to continue to give back to the youth of Chicago.

In a time when the news about Chicago’s youth seems devastatingly bad, it’s nice to know that celebrities are giving back in various ways and that they are using their resources to provide services to youth who need it most.

In his article, Common discussed his goals for his Common Ground Foundation:

Rhymes & Reasons Interviews Yoli Zapata About the Hip Hop Songs that Changed Her Life

Rhymes & Reasons presents Yoli Zapata.  

When hip-hop is fun, our interviews are fun; when hip-hop is powerful, we never forget. Artist and advocate Yoli Zapata talks to Rhymes & Reasons about the four songs that got her through the toughest of times.

She discusses R. Kelly featuring Nas with “Did You Ever Think?”, 2Pac’s “Can U Get Away”, Lauryn Hill’s “Doo Wop (That Thing)”, and  Aaliyah’s “One in a Million.” This is testimony.

Check out the interview below:

Lupe Fiasco Releases ‘Jonylah Forever’ (Jonylah Watkins Tribute)

Chicago emcee Lupe Fiasco has released a song dedicated to Jonylah Watkins, the 6 month-old infant gunned down on Chicago’s South Side earlier this week.

The track – “Jonylah Forever” – tells the story of a young girl growing up in Chicago who goes on to be happy and successful; a future Jonylah will tragically never realize.

Check out the emotional tribute below:

N.J. Cops Under Investigation for Making Gangsta Rap Videos

Four New Jersey police officers are under investigation by their department for making gangsta rap videos.

Their lyrics contain homophobic slurs and violent threats. The videos show them rapping inside of luxury vehicles and brandishing firearms.

Their department says they hold their officers to on and off-duty standards of behavior, and that their antics may have violated those standards.

Meanwhile, one of the rappers – Gat the Great – says these songs are harmless, and the controversy is a result of bias against Hip Hop music.