Just at the start of the new millennium the monument that was Wu-Tang seemed close to cracking down. After a genre defining group debut and a streak of highly acclaimed albums by individual Clan members the Clan seemed to have run out of power. The second wave of solo album was panned by critics and had people seriously asking if the Wu dynasty had come to an end. It was Raekwon’s tag team partner Ghostface Killah who eventually put the Wu back on the map by releasing his second solo album Supreme Clientele. And it wouldn’t be the last time that he acted as the alleged savior of the group. Ironically, Supreme Clientele draws much less form the usual Wu-Tang formula than his previous solo effort Ironman which is heavily featuring the Clan, especially Raekwon and laid over some RZA signature beats full of banging soul samples. Supreme Clientele has various producers and surprises with more energetic and in a way more progressive beats which differentiate a lot from the established, dusty Wu sound. This album basically served as the blueprint for Jay-Z’s The Blueprint which in turn is praised for its innovative production and laid the foundation for the sound of mainstream Hip Hop for the years to come. It is not for nothing that Kanye West stated that he and Just Blaze had Ghostface in mind while creating the beats for The Blueprint. Happy bday to the God. #hiphop#hiphopculture#hiphophead#hiphopscholar#hiphoppa#rap#mc#emcee#lyricist#music#ghostfacekillah#wutang#supremeclientele
Back at the mothership today with the strict resolution not to leave until I've finished my first draft of the cursed Literature Review 😳 Having spent the last year reading literally everything and anything within my topic, I'm finding this part of the writing process highly intimidating - how do you condense everything you've critiqued into one succinct piece of writing? If any PGRs have any advice, I'm all ears 👍🏽
Some Of Tonight’s Class Notes: “Slavery Is A Choice...”- @kanyewest . Was/Is it? My students and I take the time and consideration to address and ponder the difficult and current issues in society in my Humanities 219: Hip Hop Culture & Music course at @spscc . Mental slavery (ie New Slaves) are a real thing (my position) and the students made compelling thoughts come alive tonight. I wonder how the world would respond if the European Jewish Holocaust, The Japanese-American Internment Camps and Indigenous North Americans being subjugated to ‘reservations’ or the massacre of the Armenians in 1915 - and any/all inhumane/dehumanizing terroristic atrocities/crimes were trivialized as ‘CHOICES’ in such a simple and vague fashion? We examine THESE questions, possibilities and complexities. We also completed the awesome documentary #80BlocksFromTiffanys and covered the original meanings of the ‘Swastika’ symbol and the act of #CulturalAppropriation . #SlaveryWasAChoice ? #HipHop#HipHopCulture#DJLife#DJVida#Rap#TheBronx#SynergyOfHipHop#HipHopScholar#AmaZulUniversity#TempleOfHipHop#ZeGee#ProFRESHA @luvvaj
An excerpt of my short meditation “Losing Kanye” that I wrote November 2016 and submitted over a year ago and is set to be published this summer in a peer reviewed journal... but talk is brewing and people are coming to the realization that we’ve lost one: #KanyeWest
For those who know me, you all remember I was slated to write a full-length article about him and had written enough to make a difference, the problem was, as a hip hop scholar, I sensed in my heart something just wasn’t the same. Whenever I went to write my heart and fists clenched up, I felt betrayed, guilty and confused. So I scratched all my work and began to wrestle with the idea that he was gone already. You see I’ve already grieved this loss. I knew it was coming. I cried when I heard @poetjasminemans beautifully epic poem #FootnotesforKanye and cited her chilling words and ancestral voice in this piece.
I yearned for him back for a short while, and “mourn[ed] him like a slain rapper we lost in his prime.” Full piece will be linked when the journal is published.
During my degree so far I've found that it can be really difficult to boil down the bare bones of my study when there's so much pressure to write 'academically'. Personally, I've found it useful to keep writing about the issues I'm most interested in the way that comes most naturally (journalistically) as a way of easing that pressure cooking and focusing my brain back to my core arguments. The lovely ladies at @galdemzine let me touch on some of my Masters discussion for an article for them, and it's really helped refocus my efforts ✨ (full link in bio)
23 years! Blessed with some of the finest beats in Hip Hop and a flow that perfectly matches those beats, Mobb Deep was one of the defining acts in all of Hip Hop. Emcees like Kool G. Rap and Ice T got a lot of praise for the way they vividly told street stories and made you feel like you were right there on the ghetto battlefield, and Mobb Deep followed through with their own vicious blend of masochism, consciousness, violence, and absolute conviction. Their first album, Juvenile Hell, wasn't very well received despite being a commercial success, but in a delicate act of "Fuck you" to the critics, they went and crafted what is rightfully considered one of the greatest Hip Hop albums ever made. #hiphop#hiphopculture#hiphophead#hiphopscholar#hiphoppa#rap#mc#emcee#lyricist#music#mobbdeep#theinfamousmobbdeep
You already know the bio: Long before the Glaceau Vitamin Water partnership, before the Reebok G Unit sneaker deal, before the video games, the albums, the mix CDs... even way before he got shot, 50 Cent wasn't "50 Cent." Born Curtis Jackson, 1975. Raised by a single mom in Jamaica, Queens, who got murdered when he was eight. Adopted his nickname after hearing about the exploits of a Brooklyn street legend named Kelvin "50 Cent" Martin. Caught a few cases before he was 18. Six months in a prison boot camp. Got out, dabbled with emceein', linked with Jam Master Jay, and eventually made his way to a connection with production team the Trackmasters and Columbia Records, where he recorded "Power Of The Dollar." And then he got shot. Nine times, point blank: hip, hand, arm, legs, chest, and face. Read that again: He got shot in the face. If post-gangsta rap has made it a prerequisite to have lived a little some-some of the street life you write songs about, then working the corners at the age of 12 and catching a string of gun and drug cases before you're 18 should bump you past Intro 101, right on up to a sophomore class. But getting shot? In the face?! Live through that, and you shouldn't be wasting your time with registration you should be teaching the class. And though 50 Cent might not exactly be professor material, aspiring students of emceein' and mogulizing alike can get a PhD's worth of education by studying not so much how he survived nine 9-millimeter slugs, but how he transmogrified all the trauma that comes with the territory mixing equal parts street smarts, business acumen, and Robert Greene's 48 Laws Of Power into one of the most talked-about success stories in Hip Hop. Call it 50 Cent's Three-Step Master Class On How To Change The Game. #hiphop#hiphopculture#hiphophead#hiphopscholar#hiphoppa#rap#mc#emcee#lyricist#music#50cent#getrichordietryin
True story: A “friend” told me that “people” were telling her that I have no credibility in Hip-Hop and no one takes my comments serious 🙄. After I quickly reminded her that you can 👏🏾 not 👏🏾 come to me with what the fuck “people said” all I could do was laugh because I know though there’s more work to do, my track record is solid and I’m proud of all that I’ve accomplished at the tender age of 29 💅🏾🤸🏽♀️ ..Fast forward... A real friend who I loveee (hey Lauren girl 👋🏾) tagged me in this photo yesterday and it reminded me of that bull shit ass convo I had with the fake friend. I’m hella hype 🤸🏽♀️🤸🏽♀️ and grateful as HELL! Seeing my name in a mother fucking HIP-HOP ENCYCLOPEDIA ..that will be here on this earth many yearsssss after I AM no longer here in the physical is bananas. What makes this moment even better is I took a hugeee paycut accepting my current position at NC State (like 50% 😩) so when this opportunity came through it was right on time! Like the universe was like I knowww you can use these extra coins girl!! 💅🏾 I’m aware social media typically only shows the highs and everything looks perfect! I try my best to be as transparent as I can. What y’all can’t see is how writing often causes me anxiety (real bad 😤). Having your writing critiqued (torn apart) by editors is DREADFUL . . What y’all also can’t see is how I worked 12-14 hours writing these entries & I missed some deadlines 😩🤦🏾♀️ and wasn’t even able to finish two of my assigned entries 😐🙃. All that stress though was absolutely worth it!! I would do it all over again (of course the next time I would meet the deadlines 🤗). Oh yea, make sure y’all silence the fuck outta bitter envious folks and pay noooo attention to what “people say” . .shit is made up. They don’t exist! #hiphopscholar#publishedwriter#englishprofessor#celebratingallwins#clapforyourself#justthebeginning#dontdimyourlightforothers
A new Drake single has joined the roster of material to critique through a feminist lens💪🏽 Nice for What samples Lauryn Hill and is a celebration of womanhood, shot by a female (Karena Evans, the same director who made “God’s Plan.”) and featuring cameos from a host of influential women including Issa Rae, Misty Copeland, Tiffany Haddish, Yara Shahidi, Zoe Saldana, Syd, Rashida Jones, Jourdan Dunn, Tracee Ellis Ross, Olivia Wilde, Elizabeth Lejonhjarta, Victoria Lejonhjarta, Letitia Wright, Bria Vinaite, Michelle Rodriguez and Emma Roberts. Could this be a new era for #feministdrake ?
Apologies for the radio silence- March has been a crazy month! Felt a little like I was slacking on the uni front with everything else I have going on, but I've managed to complete my pilot survey and the first draft of my abstract and introduction and it's not total crap ✨ Felt very nervous to show it to my supervisor but thankfully he can see where my thought process is heading and gave some really useful feedback. It's so nice to no longer be staring at a blank word document- feels like this thesis is really getting going 🙌🏽
Never blinded by the klieg lights of Hollywood, Queen Latifah represented herself, her mama, and Hip Hop, the whole way. She casted Black women in her films, featured them on her albums, included them in her Cover Girl deals, proved the power of their voice, market, and beauty. A legend in her own time, La has remained loyal to Black women. We believe her, and thus never lost the respect she demanded from the beginning. All hail the Queen. Happy Bday!! #hiphop#hiphopculture#hiphophead#hiphopscholar#hiphoppa#rap#mc#music#queenlatifah
One of the most underrated Hip Hop projects. First of all, the production on this album is out of this world. Most of the beats are produced by J Dilla, making these some of his first production credits. I can't even begin to explain how much I love these beats. I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that The Pharcyde were only going to use one Jay Dee beat for "Runnin'," but they liked his beats so much that they ended up using him for several songs. I'm really glad that they did because he produces the best beats on the album. Unfortunately, he only produced about half of the album. It might've even been 5 star material had he produced the entire album. Luckily, the rest of the beats are clearly influenced by him. If you've ever heard any early Jay Dee beats, you know that the beats on this album are jazzy, smooth, unique, original-sounding, boom bap beats with perfect percussion on every song. #hiphop#hiphopculture#hiphophead#hiphopscholar#hiphoppa#rap#mc#emcee#lyricist#music#thepharcyde#labcabincalifornia#jdilla