Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
For Immediate Release
(Toronto) – Toronto's own superproducer Rich Kidd took home the winning title for the official North By North East Beat Battle at Revival, on Sunday June 22nd. Among 24 competing producers and an intense panel of judges, a $500 grand prize was at stake and some of Canada's most notorious industry shakers were in the audience to watch how it played out. Going through his collection of instrumentals in four rounds, Rich Kidd placed top spot for his ability to architect samples and melodies.
Rich Kidd is a young producer/emcee inspiring a generation. His resume includes production for artists such as Busta Rhymes, Drake, Andreena Mills and K-Os; he will be releasing a full length album in Fall 2009.
For all production inquiries:
For all press inquiries:
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Tara Muldoon on OTA LIVE!
Tara Muldoon on Tyra Banks!
Tara on Kenny vs. Spenny:
Interview with Joe Budden:
Interview with Royce da 5'9:
Interview with Richie Sosa:
Interview with RA The Rugged Man:
Interview with the Cool Kids:
Interview with Yo Ev!
Interview with DeuceDeuce:
Interview with myself, Lady Noyz & Priya (Urbanology):
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Monday, December 15, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
HipHopCanada: [Laughing] It looked like it. You've been very open with showing your girl off, especially online. While she's stunning, you don't feel weird about that?
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
My HipHopCanada.com Interview with Richie Sosa
"And every so often, an artist comes along that changes hip-hop"-
Jeff Chang, Can't Stop, Won't Stop
Toronto, ON - Richia Sosa is the first to let you know he's got "it", but also the first to tell you he's still building his empire. Lyrically talented but also business-minded, he first came onto the hip-hop scene dropping mixtape verses and guest appearances. He now has a house-hold name in Canadian urban music and is expanding- in a big way. Richie Sosa (Real Ignorant Curb Hustling In Effect Son Of a Street Animal). first sat down with HipHopCanada two years ago [click here to check that article]. Check out how far he has come and where he's going. Also, be sure to look for the question regarding Richie Sosa's upcoming collaborative release with HipHopCanada's new label, HipHopCanada Digital.
HipHopCanada: The first time HHC caught up with you, two years ago, you were building a name for yourself. That has obviously changed quite a bit . . . update us!
Richie Sosa: I've been on the grind, getting situated with the right tools. I've been working hard to be larger than life, working on that game plan which is piecing itself together. Even before the last interview, "I Bang" was done -- that track is over three years old, imagine what I've got stored now. I'm trying to motivate everyone coming up and hyped for my own projects; be it mixtapes (Banned From America, Sample Me) or an upcoming debut album which I'm always working on.
HipHopCanada: Stolen From Africa did an interview with you during the Stylus Awards where you commented on how DJs made you who you are. How has the mixtape game influenced your career?
Richie Sosa: DJs have definitely helped to positively impact my career. You see, no one really cares about how good you are. At the end of the day it's about business savvy and connections.. Take Kardinal for example, I've been listening to him for almost 15 years and he's only now busting out on an international scope? People started to catch on with me when the Big Mike or the DJ Drama mixtapes came out. Society is so superficial, sure some of my fans were there from day one but in the case of popular culture, especially when you're dealing with the masses, they usually don't support you until you have been co-signed by someone of influence/power. So, with that being said, it's important for me to acknowledge the DJs who supported me since day one: Asiatic, John J, P Plus, DJ Ritz, Ill Kills. It all starts with the DJ.
HipHopCanada: "I Bang" had international support, including on SHADE 45 and Hot 97. Was that the pre-meditated or did the track blow up off the strength of it being a banger?
Richie Sosa: It was both, you know? An artist always hopes for the utmost amount of support off the jump. In the case of "I Bang" we pushed that record as hard as we could. It's funny, 'cause the first version we put out featuring Knoxx Hoffa received very little response. But, the second I put an American on it, people took notice and supported the record. And as a Canadian, I feel that, that's the sad part.
HipHopCanada: As a Toronto hip-hop artist respected across the country, what do you feel separates you from the rest?
Richie Sosa: The main thing that separates me from the rest is quality and consistency. Those are two elements of my work ethic that I really pride myself on. There's a lot of people who are satisfied putting out the bare minimum, or the expected status quo . . . but not me. When I put out a record every element of it is going to be at the best possible quality and so will every record that follows it. I'm a perfectionist and I try to surround myself with individuals who strive to do the best. That’s why I love HipHopCanada forum posters - they are so critical and it keeps me motivated.
HipHopCanada: You've been working a lot with Remo da Rapstar. How did you connect with him?
Richie Sosa: Well, Remo was working with Zale on some things and he connected us. From there we both clicked on a musical and business minded level. We both respected each other's music and we knew that us working together would help us both cross over into markets (countries) we were previously not as prominent in.
HipHopCanada: Dope. In 2006, you said Canada had yet to enter its own Golden Era. Do you feel we're on the verge of getting close?
Richie Sosa: Canada is definitely on its way. It's a small pace but people don't want to work. No one wants to pay and support. When Kardi's album dropped everyone in the country should have supported, even if you're not a fan. That was a big opportunity for urban Canada to prove to the world and ourselves that we can succeed when put on a bigger pedestal. Problem in Canada, actually in the industry itself, is that we have a me first mentality; people on the whole don't value and respect music or the grind anymore. When everyone and their mom stops wanting to be a rapper and decides to support things will change drastically for the better.
HipHopCanada: [Laughing] So true. Who are you feeling out of Canada right now?
Richie Sosa: Anyone working hard. It's not easy in this city and people are pushing hard. I'm feeling everybody - Luu Breeze, Mayhem, Drake, Famous, PB, everyone . . .
HipHopCanada: What's in your CD player right?
Richie Sosa: THAT JEEZY. I still buy CD's . . . I recently went on a rampage and bought everything. But that Jeezy album is dope.
HipHopCanada: What's your favourite track to date that you've done?
Richie Sosa: "Sick In The Head Part 2" definitely. It's produced by Big Pops.
HipHopCanada: Anything you've learned in this biz you wish someone would have of let you know?
Richie Sosa: Definitely, knowledge is power. Music, as in any business endeavour is about knowing your target demographic as well as the consuming environment. Right now, blogs and the Internet hustle are a major component of the industry. I've learned that it's all about applying what you do know while keeping an open mind to what you don't know.
HipHopCanada: How can you be reached?
Richie Sosa: Get at me! Ineedsosa@gmail.com or hit up the MySpace - www.MySpace.com/RichieSosa.
HipHopCanada: One last question, how did the upcoming digital project that you and HHC Digital are releasing next month come about? Shameless plug!
Richie Sosa: I have had a good relationship with HipHopCanada.com since day 1. They have a firm belief in my work ethic and my music. So it was only right that they contacted me to be involved with their union with Koch.
HipHopCanada: We'll definitely have more information on this release available soon. Thank you for your time, Richie Sosa. Do you have any shout-outs?
Richie Sosa: Thanks to HHC. Shout-out to CMC, Soundsmith, MegaMan, Boi-1da, Zale, Esco, Dragz, everyone at Diamond Factory Studios, TrunkHustlers, Remo, All City, every DJ and radio station (local and abroad). And finally, EVERYONE supporting, peace to the Gods. Also make sure you download Banned From America!Editor's note: For more information on Richie Sosa, check out http://www.myspace.com/richiesosa. Also, in case anyone is interested, this is HipHopCanada's 500th published interview!
Friday, October 24, 2008
He hates Obama and thinks the country will go to shit if he gets in. While it'll officially be posted on HipHopCanada in the next few days, here is a quote:
"RA: McCain is the fighter and the American Hero going against the billion dollar Obama campaign. He's not that glitz and glamour, he's a do-er. To any Americans reading this: You don't have to vote Obama because of hip-hop or because you don't want Bush again. McCain is not like Bush- that's not real. "
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
Richie Sosa & Art of Fresh for HipHopCanada.com.
Both were so professional- I really wish others would take note.
A-Trak was dope, too. Look for the "My 5 Fav Things" article coming soon!
Royce da 5'9 & RA the Rugged Man
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
01. Wake Up New York (Intro)
02. Most Kings
03. Hades (Lucifer Pt. II)
04. Eternal Jewels (ft. Jay Electronica) [prod. by Jay Electronica]
05. Blueprint 3
06. Lucy (ft. Chris Martin)
07. The Audacity of Dope
08. Swagger Like Us Pt. 2 (ft. Nas, Andre 3000, and Young Jeezy)
09. Election Night (We believe in Obama)
10. Just Memories
11. Apostate (ft. Eminem) [prod. by Eminem]
13. My Brothers Keeper (ft. Scarface)
14. Brooklyn Lost
15. Weeds & Concrete
16. Without Rain
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Sadat X- This Is Your Life
One of my fav tracks of all time is Sadat X- Million Dollar Deal. Most of my hip-hop backpacker friends hate him because of his lazy flow, but you can't tell me nottttthin' about Sadat X.
That being said, the track is blah. 4/10.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
Tara: You’ve been doing this for a while… how did you come up to being the main DJ on the Masterplan Show?
Yo-Ev!: I started off like everyone else, learning the basics. It was my ability to throw good parties at such a young age that started to really set me apart. Pretty fast things like corporate sponsorships and regular club nights started being presented to me. I learned from those around me, even their mistakes. I was smart about my moves and I really enjoyed what I was doing, it was natural – everything else with hard work falls into place.
Tara: What equipment do you use?
Yo-Ev!: I use Tech 12's, Rane Empath (but really want one of the new joints they got), SP404, Mac Pro/Desktop, Protools…
Tara: Are you all digital? Any vinyl left?
Yo-Ev!: I don’t think that I’ll ever sell any of my vinyl but it is definitely more sensible to be digital. Although vinyl has little benefit to me now other than sampling, I did benefit from many years of its use.
Tara: How so?
Yo-Ev!: It taught me how to be organized and think ahead and [it] improved my physical ability handling equipment. Mp3s are so easily attained and produced now that you are able to quickly get your hands on and customize infinite amounts of music. The era of tangible vinyl and CDs demanded a lot more time/leg work. Taking this labor out of the task of DJing, this puts us at somewhat of a paradox.
Tara: What do you mean?
Yo-Ev!: “Everyone’s a DJ my Grandma, she DJs, everyone’s a DJ with a lap top band.” Ya dig? Everyone is a DJ now- largely due to the increased accessibility of spinning, because they have a computer and a simplified program and a line on a mediocre music blog or file sharer. That defines a significant number of the DJs filling spots in Toronto’s main club district. It shortens the learning curve, reduces the amount of musical knowledge and research needed, as well as neglects many aspects of the science of DJing by taking much of the manual labor and thought out of the activity.
Tara: So you’re not playing clubs anymore?
Yo-Ev!: I love playing clubs but I’ve come of age and grown to realize the limitations often when you choose to do so... the audience dictates what the DJ will play at most venues unless the DJ is dictating who the audience is... is the person there to see the DJ and listen to good music? Or are they there for the two dollar drinks and inexpensive cover.
Tara: How do you deal with that as a DJ, what do you do? How do you get paid if you’re not in the clubs?
Yo-Ev!: You have to work on building a following of people who “get it”, people that appreciate you for what you are bringing to the table. Often that doesn’t equate well with a big business plan, but it is much more satisfying knowing you are building your own identity. In recent months I have been more selective of what work I do, I consciously booked more shows out of town and special events more off beat from what I had been use to in the past; I’ve grown much fonder of releasing material online (recently What it Is).
Tara: How do you feel about the state of Canadian hip-hop?
Yo-Ev!: Although hip-hop and rap as the dominant genre of young peoples seems on the decline, Canadian artists are attaining higher levels of success and exposure than ever seen before in my opinion. While some can be quick to rag on Kardi or write him off as been done, he is still gaining more success on a world scale daily. The noticeable amount of talk around the world on message boards regarding Drake as artist is evidence that Canadian’s can still come up. All in all the professionalism of our industry is coming along. While some artists may still be struggling with their production and brand – HHC has their digital label launching, Soze dropped me a line over the Stylus weekend that the Mayhem project was going to be seeing a new outlet, and other local group acts are now in positions to release music with large distributors.
Tara: Your Monday Mixes are being widely received in the dance music scene. Are you leaving hip-hop?
Yo-Ev!: (I) could never leave hip-hop, I’ve spent way too many years of my life living and breathing it. I grew tired of being pigeonholed as only one type of DJ despite having always grown up around such a broad selection of music. There was a period in my life when having headphones on was like wearing horse blinders and I was tight casting what I was listening to but it was only a brief moment of my adolescence. Changing technology has had a significant impact on the way we listen to music. There are few excuses for having a narrow selection of music, unless flat- that’s just your personal taste. Say goodbye to CDs, Vinyl… It’s not like back at the record store where you knew you had to spend money on that hip-hop track before dropping coin in the house, or reggae section. I’m a DJ that appreciates a good beat, call the beat whatever you want.
Tara: What advice can you give artists who want to get their music played?
Yo-Ev!: Djevstarr@masterplanmovement.com with the subject: Tracks For Masterplan/DJ Ev Starr. If I hit you back I’ve got to be honest – please don’t catch feelings if it’s not what you want to hear and I stress that people send music they’ve taken a good listen to (mixing and mastering is all part of the product, don’t just lay that vocal and call it a day). Also, check out http://www.myspace.com/djevstarr.
Tara: What’s next?
Yo-Ev!: Touring Europe, more Monday Mixes, the Radio, more Parties, the launch of Masterplanmovement.com. And just more work.HipHopCanada: Shout-outs?Yo-Ev!: DTS, Deeks, JB – The whole Masterplan fam, Rated R, Jug-E, Strizzy (What The Blogclot?), Richie, Chris J., Y.B.S.P, St. Woods. Clubbangaz.com and all those that have supported me/wouldn’t want their names listed here. Monday mix available at: http://doesitlooklikeigiveafuck.wordpress.com.
Editor's note: For more information on Yo-Ev! AKA DJ Ev Starr check out http://www.myspace.com/djevstarr and http://www.myspace.com/themasterplanshow.
Tara: Peace Nelson, Peace Harvey. Thanks for speaking with HipHopCanada.com this afternoon! In 2002 we featured you in an article as "up and coming", and then in 2005 we did our first Deuce-Deuce article. Introduce where you're at now, three years later.
Nelson: We are the exact same in terms of us being 50/50 in our business. We've definitely matured and learned a lot from our own personal ventures, we've grown in music and in our own lives. I'd say we're the same, just grown with crazier energy.
Harvey: We're good right now. We're bringing the energy and making music that's been defining who we are, plus we've been on the grind. A lot of people assume we have investors because of our lifestyle but we don't. We make music and get money. It's in a position now where it's do or die for us, this is our future...we've got so much more on the way.
Tara: “So Fly” is the new single, which was released at the Stylus Awards. The response has been wild – Hakeem featured on the track, Beat Merchant on the production. How did it come about?
Harvey: Beat Merchant produced "So Fly". Shout out to Beat Merchant! We've been working ridiculous with him... in the studio 4/7 days of the week. We've got 100-plus Beat Merchant tracks that are still unreleased, plus the 22 that are on Double Or Nothing. As for Hakeem, we banged the track out at 6AM, no sleep, just a bottle of water and some Grey Goose with no chaser. The response has been bananas, people are in love with the track. [Click here to listen to “So Fly”]
Nelson: We've put our work in, the response has been effortless. People just love it, people are feeling it. It speaks for itself. We've got more joints about to drop too, I'd say that are even better than “So Fly”.
HipHopCanada: You were both full force at the Stylus Awards with your camp in the “So Fly” t-shirts. Any plans of getting into the fashion game?
Nelson: Definitely, definitely. Our company, D&D Music Group, covers music and fashion. For fashion, we’ve got Shake Safari who is crazy in the fashion game, his vision is bananas. Veno from Incradouble Inc. is the dude who turns our ideas into real life.
Tara: What else does D&D Music Group handle?
Harvey: We don't hold back. We've got the A&R's, production (Beat Merchant), stylists and artists. The entire team is set, so fly.Nelson: We don't do things small, that’s not our style. We're full force.
Harvey: We're ready for all opportunities.
HipHopCanada: We see that. Another opportunity you've been making use of is the mixtape. With so much controversy surrounding 'em – what's your take?
Nelson: The mixtape is a beautiful thing. The mixtape DJs job is to promote and push new music 150%... that's their hustle. Where else do you get that mass scale promotion? We started coming up in mixtapes, we got to pick and chose what went where. Mixtapes are a beautiful thing that we definitely use.
Tara: How have mediums like college radio and the internet advanced your careers?
Harvey: We had the options to push our music elsewhere first but we go right to leaking it on the internet, then college radio. We could have pushed our tracks right to Top 40 radio but the politics are too much. The internet is our tool though… just Google "So Fly- Deuce Deuce" and see what's up. You'll see search results from international sites pushing our tracks… international.
Tara: What's your take on the state of Canadian hip-hop right now?
Harvey: We're at a stand still. Everyone is stuck in 1998's NY era – we're supposed to be growing and it's stuck with limitations. Why is everybody afraid to grow? Don't get me wrong, we love our Nas and Tribe but we also need to grow to offer what we are. We're a breath of fresh air, using our creativity giving the best we can .We don't want to be labeled as just a Canadian group, our music speaks for itself.
Nelson: We obviously learned from the Golden Era of hip-hop… that's where we learned our foundation. I will, we will, always pay homage to that but it has to evolve. Hip-hop isn't dead; it's very alive and making money. In the 90's we weren’t where we were in the 80's, and right now we need to be in 2008 not the 1990's. We understand both sides.
Harvey: As for Canadian hip-hop, we need to catch up. Everyone is afraid and embarrassed to talk like we don't have the same money and culture as in the States. I don't get that... has anyone been in a club in Canada? People are making up their own moves and dances here just like across the border.
Nelson: We have the same hustle as well. I really don't get it... people have money, have flashy cars, have girls just like America. I'm sure you know people who sell drugs to get by, it's everywhere. How come we're afraid to talk about that in Canada?
Tara: Got you. As a crew making national noise, do you have any advice for those looking up to you?
Nelson: Nothing happens without a lot of work and motivation. We can't express enough how a strong team makes a difference, everyone needs that. Don't stop evolving and keep working.
Tara: What's next for Deuce-Deuce?
Harvey: We've been working with Papoose, Uncle Murda, Mayhem, Trinity Chris, Andreena Mills, Rochester, lots of people. We work with everybody, we’re real cool people.
Nelson: We’re confident and I think people think we’re too cocky but we’re real people. Get too know us, we’re cool.Harvey: “So Fly” is officially out and Double Or Nothing will be out this summer. We’ll be releasing a new single every two-three months; next is “Keep It A Secret” with Adreena Mills.
Taraa: Dope. Thanks for speaking with us today. Any shout-outs? Where can you be found at?
Deuce-Deuce: Shake Safari, Malcom the Mac, Beat Merchant, Veno, Incradouble Inc, Neville Paul, Hakeem, JP, Colin & Pistol Pete, Won-Elevan. Make sure to check out the websites: http://www.deucedeucelive.com/, http://www.myspace.com/deucedeucelive and even hit us up on Facebook: Deuce-Deuce Live. “I'M SO FLY, YOU SO FLY!”
Thursday, September 25, 2008
I'm shocked this didn't get more attention- however, I don't like it.
1. The intro
2. Are you ready?
3. Nina Ross
5. And I Love It
7. It’s For Real
8. Marry Me
9. Love the Way
10. Murs Inatra
Hipsters and hiphopsters alike gushed at the Cool Kids show last week on Queen West, but little do they know how excited they made Mikey and Chuck.
“I just closed my eyes and eased into it. There’s an art to crowd surfing, you know.”
For a duo with world tours and leaked albums under their vintage Gold and A Pager tighten belts, crowd surfing would seem like a given. They proved me wrong. I had an early morning interview with the guys after their sold-out show on the way to their next stop in Australia. They were exhausted yet extremely considerate and easy-going, filling me in on the new found fame.
Chuck: We like Toronto.
Mikey: Last night was crazy.
Tara: And you had to drive here, didn’t you?
Chuck: Yeah, man. But we did it..we don’t disapoint.
Tara: Crowd surfing?
Chuck: I did it!
Tara: What don’t you guys do?
Chuck: Ha. We’re in a good place right now, lots going on.
Tara: Break down the label situation.
Mikey: We’re with an indie label in Chicago.
Chuck: Yeah. That’s a whole other situation. Suits see money, they’re our means to get what we want but their bottom line is dollars. We’re in control though.
Tara: The leaked album, how does that feel?
Mikey: Means we’re hot.
Tara: What else do you have coming up?
Chuck: We’re collaborating with Joe Madden, working on our live set, touring.
Mikey: But we still check our MySpace!
Chuck: Yes, down time is My Space time.
Tara: You write back to all your fans?
Mikey: Oh yes. We hit everybody back on there- and on Facebook too if you can find me.
Tara: You guys met on the internet.
Chuck: Yes, yes we did.
Mikey: Ha! Seriously, though, I hate changing my Facebook status
Tara: What are you going to change yours to today?
Chuck: Crowd surfing in Toronto!
Canadian Top 5 Fav:
- Pull Up-Rochester// Boi-da is a monster on this track, Rochester pulls off the energy live as well
- Hell In A Hand Basket-Crown A Thornz// Bone-chilling hook gives me goosebumps
- T.O/O.T-Point Blank// Infectious Canadian anthem
- Don't Holla-Tona & S Roc// FINALLY.
- DueceDuece-Paper Chaser// This song makes me pop my collar..yesssir
The biggest disapointment for me was Wu Tang, Beanie Sigel and KRS ONE but I was surprisingly satisfied with Freeeeeeway!
Best concert of the year wasn't even a concert..it was Large Professor. The crowd didn't even know who he was-it was a surprise-but he played Live at the Barbeque.
Songs of the Year
- **Outkast- Art of Story Telling P4When DJ Ev Starr first played it on The Masterplan Show, that Andre 3000 verse had callers going craaazy. That verse, and the "Player's Anthem" verse made 3000 one of my fav lyricists all over again.
- **Can't Tell Me Nothin-Kanye WestThis song was the reason I made some of the moves I made in 2007. Line for line, it's easily one of Kanye's best EVER.
- **C'mon Baby-SaigonSOOOOOO much better than the remix, Saigon KILLED it. Too bad "the greatest story" will never be told. Just Blaze, you get a white-girl thumbs up for this. Too bad the video bombed.
- **Ignorant Shit-Jay ZI feel like everyone had their own "OH THATS MY SONG" on American Gangster. Mine was easily Ignorant Shit..G'head Jay Z, show em Beyonce didnt take away your swagger.
- **Little Girl Gone-Lil Wayne/Devin The DudeWhile I thought this was the weakest of Lil Wayne verses on his 483093tracks this year, I still liked the track. Can't go wrong with Devin The Dude. Dream collab.
- **War-Kardinal Offishall/Marco PoloDJ Miss Kittie and I were stopped at a traffic light in Manhattan BLASTING this, and the car next to us rolled down their windows, nodding their head. That sums this track up. Beat is bananas, Kardi's energy kills it. I love Canada.
- **Sound The Alarm-Black MilkMaybe because I have the hip-hop taste of a 17 year old boy, that I love the aggression of this single. I didn't like the album as much as media hyped it up, but thought this track was fiiiyah.
- **Man's World-Guilty SimpsonPlain and simple, I like the raw emotion/honesty.
- **Push-Pharoahe Monch Sidenote: If you haven't seen him LIVE, do it. do it. do it.The whole album was one of my favs, but this song stands out to me with the horns + Showtyme.
- Honorable Mentions: Long Way To Go- Joe Budden, Hip-Hop- Joell Ortiz (RMX),Gutted-Beanie Sigel, Can't Forget About You-Nas
By Tara Muldoon
N.O.R.E. has been putting time into the hip-hop game for over a decade and like many of his colleagues, switched to an independent label to experiment with a new sound. With his signing to Babygrande, the anticipation grew for his comeback, especially with word of the Kanye West, Jadakiss, Peedi Peedi and Three Six Mafia appearances. Noreality starts with the welcoming banger "Set It Off," produced by Swizz Beats, which matches the quality of the only other standout track, "Throw 'Em Under The Bus." The rest of the 13-track disc tries to cleverly be creative and fails, especially with its more aggressive reggaeton influence. "Pop A Pill" and "Drink Champ" are lacklustre attempts at being comedic, while "Paternity Test" just suffers from downright bad lyricism. However, Noreality does earn bragging rights with its roster and selection of singles. The old N.O.R.E. charisma peaks out occasionally but the rest of the album sounds like he's having an identity crisis. (Babygrande)
By Tara Muldoon
Chamillionaire has definitely been a recent music industry shocker: he won a Grammy, made a public announcement that he'd reduce swear words in his music and has created a worthy sophomore album. Ultimate Victory is surprisingly smart, with an array of features and content. "Hip-Hop Police" and "Evening News" attack those who blame hip-hop for social destruction, "Rock Star" is the shinning club track, while "Pimp Mode" is unexpectedly haunting about relationships. Although a common theme to the album is bitterness — at money, at girls, at the industry — it's not redundant. The downfall to Ultimate Victory is that the top-notch guest spot verses from Lil Wayne, Devin The Dude and Slick Rick outshine Chamillionaire. Ultimate Victory is by no means a classic but Chamillionaire pulls off being mediocre in a refreshing way. (Universal Motown)
Souljah Boy- Souljboytellem.com
By Tara Muldoon
Souljah Boy would be easy to dismiss if he wasn't on every media outlet possible but unfortunately, he's the new teen sensation of crunk music and he's embracing every catchy beat of it. Lead single "Crank That" is based around steel drum production, which represents the sound of his debut album Souljboytellem.com At 17 years old, Souljah Boy is making music his friends can snap, pop and drop to. Souljboytellem.com is 14 tracks deep of wholesome subject matter ("Booty Meat," "Donk") and is ultimately a bass-heavy party album laced with simplicity. Check out Souljah Girl and please, avoid the temptation to listen to "She Thirsty." The catch to Souljah Boy is that he produced and wrote almost the whole project. How many artists, let alone 17 year olds, can take credit for that level of creative control? He's clearly an ambitious young man and should be respected for that, if nothing else. Save him while he's young. (Collipark/Interscope)
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
Saturday, September 20, 2008
First Of All
By Tara Muldoon
In an era where everyone appears to be a rapper, it takes more then a dollar and a dream to be respected as a new artist. Enter the cocky and brilliant Shawn Jackson, the California bred MC who openly knows his role: “I’m not really tryin’ to bring hip-hop back — that ain’t my responsibility.” Instead, he raps like he doesn’t need the credibility and it works. “Strategies” featuring Guilty Simpson is a huge boom-bap track and lead single “Feelin’ Jack” is a banger. First Of All has the perfect variety of lyrical content, humour and production. This is easily one of the best entrances I have witnessed from a hip-hop artist. It’s refreshing to know he has the best kind of talent — so raw he doesn’t even have to try. (Tres)
I interviewed Mr Jackson about how it all feels.
Feelin' Jack- Shawn Jackson
T: "Feelin' Jack is such a hot video, break that down.
SJ: Ah the director gets all the credit for that. Actually, one of the girls in the video leaked that vid before it should have been.
Tara: Who is your current business team?
Shawn Jackson: Believe it or not, Tara, I manage myself.
SJ: Yeah, it's good and bad. I like having that control.
T: I can imagine, but doesn't it get to be a bit much?
SJ: Not really, I'm definitely not new to this game. I've been in it for a long time and I'm pretty used to it- in fact, I did a track with JD Era from your side of the world with Frank and Dank a few years go.
T: Damn, I haven't heard it. What else can we expect from you?
SJ: The same ethic and cleverness, just more in full force.
T: Can't wait!