June 30, 2006
June 26, 2006
As one of the founding members of Brooklyn, NY’s MINDSpray crew, which now has nine MC’s in all, C.O.N.C.E.P.T. has worked with a myriad of artists. From Def Jux all-stars like Aesop Rock, Cage, Mr. Lif and EL-P to members of Stronghold they’ve all shared stages with C.O.N.C.E.P.T. A dual citizen, C.O.N.C.E.P.T., who was born in America but raised in Toronto, enjoys the massive amount of travel that comes with being an MC. He’s rocked stages up and down the east coast of the U.S., including his monthly stage time at Style Factory at The Knitting Factory in NYC, and even Canada, most notably being on MTV Canada. The MINDSpray compilation Shot In The Dark was released in 2004 and this year he and LEFTist, the other founding member of MINDSpray, are readying the release of their album, Intervention. The duo just finished recording the mix-CD that will act as a preview for the album. All in all C.O.N.C.E.P.T. is a man who’s working hard to make quality Hip-Hop music and with his visionary ideas it only seemed logical to make him this week’s Artist Of The Week. Read it...
Fenway Park, Aerosmith, Tea Parties, Baked Beans, stranglers. The city of Boston conjures up many idea's. Sadly Hip Hop is not one of them. Okay, okay, there's Mr. Lif (who was recently named an Okayplayer Artist.), Akrobatik, and DJ Fakts one who make up indie darlings The Perceptionists. There's Guru, who mostly claims NY and then there's ... Benzito. Anyone living outside the cities walls would be scratching their head to think of anyone else. So I asked Boston beat maker Demo to put me up on the hip hop of his hometown. Read more...
On Wed. June 14th Nelace, Pete Wurthy and J-Coleman were guest speakers at The Ketchmore Kids Foundation Youth Empowerment Workshop/ Seminar held at the Salvation Army Women & Children's Shelter in Charlotte, NC.
During the seminar they discussed topics with the children ranging from reaching their goals, staying in school and out of trouble, to respecting their elders. Afterwards they served food and played games with the children. Check it out!
Have you ever found a story where there were so many things wrong with it you just didn’t know where to start? That’s the way I feel with the news, if you can call it that, that Jay-Z is boycotting Cristal. At first it seems like something we should all just say “OK, fine, whatever” to, but when one takes a closer look at the Def Jam President’s comments they’ll quickly see how out of touch he is with both Hip-Hop and his audience. Read it...
June 22, 2006
June 21, 2006
Pikahsso is weird. What else can you say about about a rapper that goes by aliases such as: Pikahsso Allen Poe, Clayface, Pikahssablanca, Dr Kahssenstein, Pik James (B****!), Osshakip, Boo Boo Boy, Odarius Mayweather, First Round Draft Pik, Pik On Someone Your Own Size, etc? What do you call a rapper that describes his sound as if "Mel Tourme got in a fight with George Clinton and slapped the sh*t out of The Pharcyde while playing virtual thumps with A Tribe Called Quest as Stevie Wonder played his mental harmonica in your sub conscious mind?" Read more..
June 20, 2006
Les-tor is back. Where he actually went, no one really knows, but the important thing is he's written something new on his blog. Check out his post about Justus League rep, Chaundon. There are a couple of songs and a message for Hiphop heads. Read more...
June 19, 2006
Influenced by artists such as Public Enemy's Bomb Squad and NWA's Dr. Dre, Ope, also known as O-Asiatic, started doing production work in 1990. Six years later he started his own company, Ope Entertainment, to further his career. Since then he has worked with numerous artists, some of whom he's gotten airplay for on New York's Hot97. Ope's own work includes the 2001 release GET SHORTy! which was bootlegged overseas and used in the independent film Kingston High. In 2003, after rapper Substantial asked Ope to manage him, Ope turned Ope Entertainment into an artist mangement company and merged it with Substantial's company to form Unlimited Vinyl Ink (UVInk)/ Ope Entertainment. The company is home to Ope, Substantial, Insanate and Fresh Daily, among others. Oh yeah, and when he's not busy with his own company he's working up at 1515 Broadway at a little place called MTV. I met Ope a handful of years ago at a Boo Yaa Tribe album listening party, and today is your opportunity to get to know this rising star. Read more...
Something that used to always bug me back in the day was when people would say all rap music sounds alike. When I was growing up this couldn’t have been further from the truth and my friends and I had lists of artists we could reel off at a second’s notice whenever someone came to us with this half-assed assessment of our favorite musical genre. A Tribe Called Quest sounded nothing like Boot Camp Clik, which sounded nothing like Dr. Dre, who sounded nothing like The Fresh Prince, who sounded nothing like Busta Rhymes. The list went on and on. The idea that all rap music sounded alike was simply an untrue statement, unfortunately it may have been prophecy. Read more.
June 17, 2006
This week Ice Cube has joined the short list of rappers who have publicly blasted Oprah Winfrey for not having Hip-Hop artists on her show, or, in the case of Ludacris, having them on and then reportedly treating them poorly. Let me just say I’m not a huge fan of Oprah’s interviewing style, I think she takes the spotlight away from her guests a lot of the time and puts it on herself. That being said I do respect the way she’s built her empire. It’s clear why someone would want to be on her show, all she has to do is recommend a book and it becomes an instant best seller, but do rappers really think Oprah can work the same magic for them?
For the full article click here
June 15, 2006
Conscious: Who are you and why should we be interviewing you in the first place?
Butter: I'm one of the main outlets to
Conscious: One of the main outlets huh. So without you, I assume a whole lot of kats wouldn't get heard. What makes you different from the thousands of would be DJ's throughout the nation. What defines your signature style?
Conscious: Okay but what about you. What makes you stand out amidst the large number of DJ's putting out mixes. How does one identify your work?
Butter: I take artists to the studio. Make beats, Run my own label, Crazy Noise Productions. I dropped my own albums, Kill The DJ, Shithappens, Welcome To Shitsville on my imprint. These albums show my A & R skills, productions skills and how I bring unity with
Conscious: So with this grind what methods have you found to be the most successful to get the music in the hands of the listener?
Butter: Doing what the radio station here doesn't do. Become a home for the rappers. Using the internet, just letting other DJ's know worldwide that Detroit Hip-Hop exist. I'm working on some mixtapes with DJ's from
Conscious: How far do you go back, as far as physical cassette tapes?
Butter: I've been putting out mixtapes for over 15 years. I was one of the first dudes to throw Eminem and D-12 on my shit. The late Proof used to help me sell my joints out the Hip-Hop Shop. There were only a few cats doing Hip-Hop mixes in
Conscious: Aight so you take it back. A real OG. What are you fondest memories back in the days of the cassette?
Conscious: Yeah, Clue used to have that hustle out the trunk going strong in NY. I couldn't imagine anywhere else in the country even understanding how crazy the mixtape game was early on. So, you produce. What are you working with?
Butter: I work on a Triton, Motif, MPC 2000. I watch movies for sounds, listen to breaks and samples on albums, and make the sounds hard to trace as much as I can.
Conscious: So with production how would you say you stand out?
Butter: I like to take the oldest sounding drums, and lace some up-tempo heavy bass lines. I may jack some old Steady B or Jungle Brothers drums and make it funky on some 2006 shit.
Conscious: Is it just me or do a lot of producers in the D straight sound like J Dilla clones?
Butter: Naw. You have people like Sick Notes, Whitemike, Nick Speed, Black Milk that make their name known, with their own style. J-Dilla did create a lot of babies under him, because he worked hand and hand with a lot of
Conscious: Similar to a Large Professor. That's one dude that doesn't get enough mention in terms of his contribution to Hiphop music and his coaching producers that grew into well known figures in the game.(Yeah Kayne admits jackin Dilla's drums. I'm sure a lottah kats did that. Or are still doing that.)
Butter: J-Dilla was ahead of his time---He really put his soul into a drum machine
Conscious: And into the instruments as well. I don't think folks really, really know that that man wasn't just a beat maker he was a musician. I think he surpassed his peers on so many levels. He pushed that bar waaaaaaaay up.
Conscious: What's going on in the D as far as live events? Do you spin anywhere?
Butter: I spin at a few spot dates, hired parties, but mainly the Hip-Hop shows. I'm working on a show now with our old school rappers. I mainly throw my own parties. You can catch me on college radio here sometimes also.
Conscious: I've been talking to a lot of folks about emcees and their live shows, and how for the most part a lot of guys just aren't impressive. Stage shows these days even for some of our favorite artists’ just plain ol’ suck. Who would you say, from all the acts you've seen over the years has the most enjoyable on point stage show?
Butter: Gang Starr and Busta Rhymes are the illest.
Conscious: This is probably the worst question I've ever asked anyone because it's so standard and predictable with most interviews, but what artist would you like to one day produce for outside the D?
Butter: Kool G. Rap and maybe
Conscious: Man G Rap is that dude. Are you doing any production that is not Hiphop these days?
Butter: I wanna do some jazz, laid back stuff. Maybe some soft rock stuff. One day!
Conscious: Aight man. It's time to shut this one down. I just wanted to point some light in your direction. Hope we help you reach some new folks online and off through this interview. Anything you wanna toss out there for we wrap?
Butter: Be on the lookout for my new album, "Badussy" dropping in January of 2007. I'm currently in the studio producing my dude, Wesley Valentine. If you haven't heard my stuff visit: www.mixtapedetroit.com www.myspace.com/djbutter
Butter: Thank U
Conscious: No doubt, thanks for your time. Keep making music...
June 14, 2006
Another Mix-Unit drop starring Brooklyn’s self proclaimed king of the city, Maino comes your way with more violence and gunplay then you can shake a stick at. Guest appearances include Scott Storch, Jae Milz, Lil Kim and Nicole Wray to name a few. If you’re into ignorant thug music to ride to, then this would be the definite article to put your hands on. The King of The City is the prelude to Maino’s forthcoming album, ’Death Before Dishonor’. Release Date: TBA
Yes indeed, we've added a photo blog folks, because we know how you all love looking at pictures. Well we decided this would be yet another great way to share with the work of some talented folks that we feel should have a little light shined upon them. Take a look. Post a comment or two. If you like what you see, communicate with the photographer. On to the photos
I love the fact they are putting cameras into the subway to stop people from spraypainting and doing graffiti. That's awesome. It's great so the homeless person shitting and pissing herself across from me doesn't have to be offended. It's also great to see all the sexually frustrated foreigners looking up at the Bud Light ads and wondering, why can't I be a model? Read more...
June 13, 2006
If you don't know it already, Bun B is no slouch. He has to be just about one of the best to do it, out of Houston and he gets extra props for this tribute to one of the greatest boxers to ever enter a ring. Though some may debate the previous statement, all would have to agree that Bernard Hopkins is one of the hardest working boxers in the game and has overcome many obstacles that would topple a lesser man. This tribute is well deserved. Congratulations Bernard Hopkins on your recent victory for light heavyweight title.
June 12, 2006
A few weeks ago I bumped into Rack-Lo at the Boot Camp Clik listening party in NYC. It had been years since I last interviewed Rack and as it turns out he’s up to even more now than he was back then. He has an album w/ Thirstin Howl III, Lo Down & Dirty, due out this summer, a concert DVD, Skill or be Skilled, on the way which will feature footage from Norway, London, Amsterdam, Miami, Ohio, NYC, San Francisco and Boston, he’s hosting his own internet radio show and he has a line of t-shirts and custom sneakers on the way. Rack also has two books ready to be released, one being his autobiography and the other is a coffee table photo book on Brooklyn’s “Lo” fashion movement. Rack, a founding member of the Lo Life movement, is one of the busiest men in the biz, and he’s this week’s artist of the week. Read More...
June 9, 2006
June 7, 2006
June 6, 2006
It's been quite some time since the consciousness of hip-hop music has raised its fist with any type of sustained overt resistance. Enter Hasan Salaam and his debut "Paradise Lost," This gravel voiced mc creates a vivid multilayered path of provoking thought over tight and varied production. Read more...
In Hip-Hop the rings MC’s and producers are looking to sport right now have nothing to do with jewelry. In 2006 it’s all about rings of a different kind as the latest wave to sweep the Hip-Hop world involves music blasting out of one’s phone rather than a set of speakers. Yes, for many artists it’s all about the ringtones. brokeMC of the Mindspray crew jokes that for artists “it's the new gold chain.” His fellow Mindspray crew member Domer reasons “ringtones are the new radio, or the new mixtape. They're broadcast in a semi-public, semi-personal way. They’re selected by individuals but heard by many.” While they may be heard by many how valid is the idea that people will be searching for new music with their ringtone in mind? Read more...
June 5, 2006
Renaissance man. It’s a phrase that isn’t used very often in 2006, but how else could one possibly describe Conscious, a man who’s an MC, producer, painter, poet, actor, Jask clothing model and internet entrepreneur? Very few people can say they’ve performed poetry for those incarcerated in our prison system and rocked shows with the likes of Hank Shocklee and Immortal Technique. Conscious, however, is that man, which is why I caught up with him this week to feature him as my Artist Of The Week. Read it...