Why some commercial rappers are accelerating hip hop's downfall

While listening to 50 Cent’s crappy Curtis CD or to Kanye West’s worthless Graduation CD, one of hip hop’s greatest poet’s (Nasir Jones also known as Nas) words resonate louder and louder in my head.
A bunch of mainstream emcees, who once maybe put some effort into their work are displaying a shameful image of rap music, summarizing it to weak lyrics, big cars, big chains and nude girls. Of course, their action wouldn’t take place without the complicity of corporate media whose financial motivation is more than obvious.
A lot of underground artists probably start their career with a great dose of sincerity, some good lyrical efforts. Once, they get signed to a mainstream label, they promise to be better than best and to pursue their efforts in reflecting who they actually are. The reality has proven to be very different…once the artist signed his contract, he gets trapped into a huge corporate machine that will force him to please the mainstream public.
So who is to blame? The artist himself, the label, the media, the music industry? Maybe all of them.
Look. Immortal Technique said it in Watch Out. He perfectly knows that a mainstream label would never sign him with his political views:
“100 percent independent I’m the fuckin’ boss
The only unsigned nigga wit a quotable in the source
The hood is not stupid, we know the mathematics
I make double what I would going gold on Atlantic
‘Cause EMI, Sony, BMG, Interscope,
Would never sign a rapper with the white house in his scope
They push pop music like a religion, anorexic celebrity driven
Financial fantasy fiction…”

Immortal Technique’s assertions raise a very important question, which is to consider whether artists should stay independent in order to preserve their freedom of speech and integrity.
Do we really have to watch Black Eyed Peas’ mediocre The Way U Make Me Feel or shall we all switch channel?
I’d choose the second solution as far as I am concerned. Do we have to watch and listen to all that commercial crap TV calls hip hop? Certainly not…because this does not correspond to real hip hop.
Real hip hop begins with street knowledge and the recognition of rap music’s African and Jamaican roots.
How can people listen to suburban rappers when they do have valuable people such as Dirty Red, BG Knocc Out, Dresta Da Gangsta? How can people listen to commercial 50 Cent, Kanye West, Young Jeezy, Jay Z, when they do have DMX, Nas and other valuable emcees?
Because MTV’s dictatorship has decided-for its own commercial interest- that the public didn’t deserve to watch and listen to good hip hop…
It is all up to you listeners, but it is never too late to make the good choice. Open your ears and eyes…rediscover the legends who have made hip hop…dig deep into their lyrics…rediscover street poetry and black history, as Ice T deeply wishes it.
If you don’t dissociate rap music from the culture it originates from, you will discover it as a whole movement.
Then you will be able to see that rap music is merely the continuation of black folks’ history and expression that can be found in gospel, blues, soul, jazz and funk. It will allow you make a real difference between commercial crap and good music.
Copyright 2007 by Isabelle Esling
All Rights Reserved

P.Money Bags aka Mr Broham, the Detroit emcee who symbolizes the green banknotes…

Here he comes, like an impressing verbal typhoon, overflooding your ears with his lyrical ease. Hood hustler, Mr Broham takes over on a very loud, alarming musical background that suddenly closes on bell sounds on his They Don’t Like That song. Among his best qualities, an experience that goes back to the tender age of 12, a nice flow delivery, a conquerror spirit, a strong voice and a good sense of rhythm. Of couse, some rivals don’t like that!
BankknotPimpin features Californian artists JT Bigga and Malik. The complex musical background made of flute songs, swinging keyboard and drum sounds totally enhance the trio’s vocal efforts. P.I.M.P.S are back, hustling around, making cheddar everywhere they go.
King Of The Crack Rap is built on violins and cadenced drum beats. P. Money flows like crazy, his mind on the money and on dirty business. Feel the dramatic atmosphere of the track, the darkness suggested by heartbeat alike drums. Money maker, drug seller, hood boy, P. Money struggles to make his dirty dough. He’s pimping the streets, he’s pimping his beats and you listeners are going to like the king of the crack rap’s talent.
Every Time You See Me is built on soft vocals that totally contrast with P Money’s raw reps. Again a rich musical background is here to please you ears. P. Money definitely knows how to do it.
Discover the talented artist here.
Copyright 2007 by Isabelle Esling
All Rights Reserved

Good Will Hunting (movie review)

Rating of the movie:4 stars
Good Will Hunting is a complex Gus Van Sant movie that came out in 1997.
A lot of people in this world do possess a stereotyped view of geniuses. According to them, geniuses are supposed to be brilliant pupil who pass each exam with an amazing ease and whose path to a brilliant, successful life is already traced.
The reality is often very different. Many real life situations tend to prove that the genius can be hidden behind a guy with no education, the average and ordinary person we won’t even pay attention to.
Will is an M.I.T janitor, an ordinary guy from the Boston hood, who comes from a dysfunctional family. He also has some criminal records at his active, yet he can solve very complex mathematic equations.
The discovery of Will’s brilliant mind could open him the door to brand new perspectives. However, because of his criminal records, Will has to undergo counselling if he wants to be able to work with the professor who discovered his talent.
Through Will’s counselling, the viewer will understand the difficulty of a deeply wounded mind who has been physically abused by his father. Growing up in the hood can leave deep scars into a man’s brain.
As the councelling goes on, Will learns how to understand and to accept his own failures.
He also refuses to turn his back to the place he grew up in, despite the brilliant future his professor promises him-far away from his place.
Matt Damon stars in the role of Will. He unveils for us the true meaning of happiness, which has nothing to do with climbing the hierarchy of social classes, nor does it have to do with I.Q.
True happiness is a matter of acceptance and interior fulfillment.
My advice: watch the movie…it has a lot to teach about real life situations!
Copyright 2007 by Isabelle Esling
All Rights Reserved

Alpha-Bet of Bang On The Table Productions collaborate with Bizarre (Real Detroit Weekly)

Read the original article here.
the zone
by Origix
Producing has been a hobby of Alphabet for the last ten years, but in the last two years Alphabet has become serious about making it a career. On the release of Bizzare’s Blue Cheese and Coney Island, Alphabet found his music featured. “Bizarre and their crew was hearing about me, and most of his album was recorded at Mix Factory Studios, which is the studio I work out of,” Alphabet says. “I.V. Duncan hooked it up to hear my tracks, the ‘Animal’ beat was the first they heard and Bizarre was like, ‘That’s it! That’s the one. I don’t need to hear anything else!’ Then they went right in on recording ‘Animal.’” He also produced most of Lazarus’ album, The Prince Who Would be King, inventing the single “Let the Game Know” with a video directed by Detroit’s Anthony Garth. “I want to produce a track for Royce [da] 5’9″ — something to really challenge his flow, because I think he has one of the best in the game, period,” Alphabet says. Look for The Warm Up: One Take Mixtape with Delo. More: myspace.com/bangonthetableproductions. | RDW
The Zone Radio with Origix & DC airs Saturdays from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. on 89.3 FM, stream audio at whfr.fm; visit myspace.com/thezoneradio.

The return of Sick Notes soldier Dogmatic

It is no coincidence if Kevin Bailey aka Dogmatic chose the dramatic date of September the 11 th as a release date for his Reality Show mixtape: it will take you by surprise like a plane crash and generate an astute word explosion around you.
Dogmatic is probably one of the truest 8 Mile representative. Close friend to RIP Proof who teamed up with the skilled emcee on the Promatic CD, Dogmatic draws you the Detroit hood in its whole dirty and horrendous dimension.
I will offer you the opportunity to discover a few tracks straight out of Dogmatic’s brand new mixtape.
Cry is built on a dark, dramatic violin background that is interrupted with Dogmatic’s declamative “Cry”. Not afraid to attack the commercialized side of the rap game, Dogmatic will get you caught into a powerful ,verbal tornado, an astute lyrical creation of his own. Enter a world of psychosis during which bullets might make you an easy target if you walk by in the Detroit hood.
Meet a spirit of ghetto rage that depicts a world of insecurity. Dogmatic excels in building up terrific punchlines that mark the beginning of a war.
Whut It Be Like features Phive Starr. My ear is particularly sensitive to the soft saxophone sounds that meet handclaps. The jazzy soul background of the track particularly matches with the spirit of the song. Lyrically Dogmatic is taking over with his high quality hip hop.
You Don’t Know Me is a very swinging track featuring J.U.S-Sicknotes Soljo.
The scurillous track possesses that magical dynamism coming from artists who live out their passion. Listen to the OG duo and meet them in the Detroit hood. Well done.
King Of Detroit has some West Coast sonorities. Dogmatic has a powerful vocal presence to offer to his attentive listeners. The excellent artist is an observer of the typical Detroit environment.
Drink Yo Drink is a happy, humorous and rhythmic track during which Matic is drowning into a a world made of alcoholic drinks. Catch Dogmatic with his inventive lyrics and let him transport you into his world.
Flute, violin and loud drum sounds lead you into Dogmatic’s powerful Drama song.
Enemies, be prepared to get laid in no time. Dogmatic punches his opponents with some explosive lyrics.
Track Nr 15, Preview Thug S**t features Proof and another Detroit talent, J-Hill.
Meet them soldiers on the block. The repetitive musical background is strongly contrasted with both rappers’ amazing flow delivery.
Souljer For God starts very softly on some chord sounds, but the noise is ascending with gunshots in the background.The Dogmatic Phive Starr duo carry the wonderful, powerful spirit of two soldiers united in the same fight.
According to what I heard from the mixtape, I strongly advice all of you to give it a listen.
Copyright 2007 by Isabelle Esling
All Rights Reserved

Presentation of a tight French rapper: Alibi Montana

Most of you know I am not that much into French hip hop. Alibi Montana, however, stands out among many French rappers. The man comes up with a sharp, surgical, merciless style of his own. Alibi Montana is a true representative of what is happening in the French ghettos.
With his witty lyrics, his very offensive hardcore style, the amazing emcee truly shows some attitude against the government’s indifference.
From la Courneuve, located in the infamous 93 department (in the outskirts of Paris), Alibi Montana perfectly knows the spleen of the ghettos.
Today my goal is to give you more insight about the authentic, raw rapper’s brand new album, Inspiration Guerrière, Warrior Inspiration.
Alibi Montana is a true representative of gangsta rap in France. Ghetto Rap is built on powerful instrumentals made of harsh drum beats and symphonic violin sounds. Like a soldier, the excellent emcee shoots some very sharp lyrics. It is a powerful outlet for his rage. With the insightful eye of a social commentator, Alibi exposes the problematic of our French ghettos.
Like NWA, he courageously stands against the police who often treats ghetto people as second zone citizens. I know by my own experience that the police often mistreats young people who don’t have the right skin color (this happened to my own son).
Poverty, haineous people who have no chance of a better future, parked in dirty places in which violence and drugs often prevail.
Alibi tells it how it is, no matter if you like it or not.
Street Fight is a beautiful, rhythmic track during which Alibi comes up like a rapper-boxer. He is ready to stomp you out lyrically. Built on chords, keyboard piano and drum sounds, the powerful song allows the talented rapper to spit his venom. He erases everything on his way.
Hip hop lovers will probably enjoy the track.
Honneur Aux Ghetto features French hardcore rapper LIM. It is an hymn to the underpriviledged ghetto folks.
Discover Alibi Montana here.
Copyright 2007 by Isabelle Esling
All Rights Reserved

50 Cent: Eminem won't tour again because of his daughter (Gigwise Dot Com)

50 Cent has revealed that Eminem is reluctant to announce new tour plans because of his commitment to his daughter.
Read the original article here.
The US rapper says that Eminem has vowed to put his role as a parent ahead of his hip-hop career.
“I’ve toured more than him because he has Hailey and he likes to physically be at the house. A lot of people don’t know the reason behind him touring less – but Hailey would put boxes in front of the door thinking this would stop him going,” 50 Cent told MTV.
Story continues below…
“He [Eminem] would fly back on a private plane after the show so he could drive her to school in the morning so for him the tour was exhausting.”
Eminem is understood to currently be recording his new album. The as-yet-untitled project will be his first release since 2004’s, ‘Encore.’

Exclusive DJ Rick interview!

1. What motivated you to become a rapper?
That goes all the way back to ’97-’98 era…way back in high school lol. I had a huge crush on this one chick, she was on top of everything, was well known…she was the one that truely motivated me. That’s when there was racial tensions between whites and Yemeni’s. Me being brown-skinned I got caught up in the mix…the whites were on that shit, felt like the 60’s all over again. Even one of my own teachers was prejudiced against ME, how fucked up is that? True story. The chick that I liked (who was white), she was actually cool with me. Even though she was hella popular and was on the honor’s list, she never came across as arrogant to me. But what really fucked me up was, I noticed whites only hung out with whites! I faced a lot of negativities then…didn’t feel welcome in that school. That ALSO motivated me…I turned to hip hop to voice my opinions and be heard. This is why I’m about this black & brown unity, I’m kinda trying to do it like how Big Pun did when he came up. And also I wanted to prove to the world that just because you’re a minority doesn’t make you lesser of a person. At the end of the day, we’re all equal under God’s eyes. Now back to that chick, we never hooked up, but she knew I liked her……she was already serious with somebody else and I ain’t wanna come between that. So everything I said above, all that right there motivated me…big time.
And of course, that’s when I got into DJ’ing at WHFR 89.3 FM….met up with Skully, who was a guest there………he introduced me to the game, showed me around his basement studio and showed me a few ropes.. I met Madd Flexx, K.O.S. and La Peace then, I used to chill and watch them freestyle in amazement. Them boys was out cold! It was like a whole different world to me. That’s what I liked. Soon enough, Skully helped me record “I’m A Hardhead” –my very first demo tape. And the fact that Eminem/Kid Rock blew up and put Detroit on the map, that right there also motivated me.
2. One of your songs is entitled “Deadly Connects”…can you tell us a little bit about the place you grew up in?
Wow, that song was recorded back in ’03…I’m surprised you still remember that joint lol. I grew up around Detroit my whole life. Moved around a lot, school to school. At one point I lived in Cass Corridor, and at another point I lived in Southwest Detroit. Let me tell you this, Detroit was real fucked up. The Corridor was infested with bums, crack fiends, and prostitutes. I remember seeing this dude beat the hell out of his girl in broad daylight…they were both junkies…now this is when I was 10. I seen a lot of fucked up shit at that age. Violence was out of control. Smashed up bottles everywhere. Southwest Detroit had a lot of gangs. Crime rate was terrible. Every night somebody’s house was on fire. By age 13, my ma ain’t wanna see me go downhill, so that’s when she moved me out to Dearborn. Come to find out, problems were there too lol. But, if it wasn’t for what I experienced, I wouldn’t be where I’m at today.
3. Define your musical style within a few words…
Ummm…….idk……I got a lot of east coast influence….and a lot of Pac influence………I don’t know, it’s like a mixture of everything in one. You’d have to listen to the CD to hear for ya self. But no matter what, I stay hungry on every track possible.
4. What is the biggest challenge you had to face as an emcee?
My biggest challenge………was being on my own. People turned their backs on me, threw dirt on my name…..came across a lot of red flags…seen more down’s than up’s….even ended up broke over this rap shit. But, I survived it all…and that’s what defines DJ Rick.
5. A few words about the Detroit hip hop scene…
Detroit Hip Hop consists of hundreds of emcees, producers, you name it. They say Detroit don’t support their artists, but I disagree. If they sayin’ that, that means they haven’t put in that work. Detroit Hip Hop is alive as alive can be….every emcee has his own niche. The battle scene got played out though. It was doin more bad than good for Detroit Hip Hop. Beef on wax lead to rappers bein killed. I think these days, most artists have been stayin focused with their own shit, which is thee best way to do it. It don’t seem as competitive as it used to be.
6. You know Obie Trice personally. Have you ever thought about a collaboration with him?
I’ma be honest with you on this one. I only met Obie one time in Royal Oak, when I was with this one girl. I did ask him about doin a collabo, but his manager said it was gonna cost me thousands, so I chilled out on that. Dude was humble though. I passed him a CD copy of my old mixtape, which featured Cuban Link. I’m still about doin’ a collaboration with Obie, if the opportunity comes.
7. Who is your biggest musical influence?
My line-up (in no particular order) goes like this:
2 Pac, Eminem, Nas, Jay-Z, Big Pun, Big L, Biggie Smalls….and the list goes on………..
8. According to you, what are your main assets as an emcee and what makes your style unique on the scene?
Main assets……if you talkin about shows, sales……….
I got a good buzz out here…I sold over 2,000 units….did a bunch of shows….relased quite a few projects…and even made the Channel 2 News…they had this Fox Rocks Contest which I entered, and they put my face all over on t.v……that right there was unbelievable.
9. Which artists have you collaborated with already?
First and foremost my Hardheadz crew…Skully & Madd Flexx. Been down with them since day one.
the Almighty Bartek…who now writes for Real Detroit weekly.
I worked with DJ Butter & Wesley Valentine,
My nigga Crusafix from New Jersey,
Cuban Link, Hookdignious, Eloy from Fi*Staarz, local rocker Mr. Yummy, Mey Vidal from Miami,
Cormega & Dona Montana, Minus P from New Jersey, Vizion X1 from Cali,
Tre-LLei, Courtier Giovanni, J-Raided, G-Money,
and the list goes on…….
10. Which artist(s)-mainstream or underground- you haven’t collaborated with yet would you envision a collaboration with?
I’m down to work with anybody but off the bat:
Mainstream: Jay-Z, Nas, Chino XL, B-Real, Twista, Nore on a hook would be banana’s, Mobb Deep, Wu-Tang, Kurupt, Xzibit, Bizzy Bone, T.I…..maybe do a fuck song with Trina lol.
Local (Mainstream & Underground): Royce Da 5-9, Eminem, Esham, Trick Trick, Guilty Simpson, K-Doe, Stretch Money, Lazarus, One Be Lo, Herk, Al Nuke, members of D12, ICP & Cha-Cha.
Underground: Immortal Technique, Saigon, Papoose, Q-Unique, members of Terror Squad, Triple Seis, Termanology, Archrival from New Jersey, Debut from NYC, Copywrite, and thats all I can think of.
11. Tell us about your new CD, Brand New Season 07…
“Brand New Season ’07” is my latest mixtape, it consists of 20 tracks plus 5 bonus joints. This mixtape is the best of DJ Rick up to date. Everybody needs to e-mail me at dj_rick2001@hotmail.com for an advance copy. It’s well worth the $7. “Brand New Season,” “Can’t Be Stopped (Sequel),” “Hate Me All U Want,” & “Dark Dayz” have been people’s favorite tracks out the mixtape. “Ain’t Nobody” is an honorable mention.
12. It is cool and useful to have friends in the music industry. Haters, though, can be a stronger factor of motivation (that’s what I learnt from my own experience)…can you tell us a little bit about the Hate Me All You Want song?
Hate Me All U Want was me lettin out the shit that was bottled in my system. I had this pissed-off feel to me (due to past letdowns), and I felt like I had to shake it off somehow, and that’s how “Hate Me All U Want” was made.
13. Besides hip hop, what other musical genres do you listen to?
I fucks with Reggae, Rock, R&B, Oldies, Funk, a little bit of everything lol.
14. What inspires you most to write your music?
Real life experience…where I been, where I’m at, and where I’m tryin to get at. New album coming soon plus another possible mixtape. I make beats too.
DJ Rick – Brand New Season (radio)
DJ Rick- Hate Me All U Want
www.myspace.com/djrick2006 – DJ Rick Myspace Page
www.soundclick.com/DJRick313 – DJ Rick Production Page
www.dj-rick.com – Official DJ Rick Site
Copyright 2007 by Isabelle Esling
All Rights Reserved

Nas/ Greatest Hits album review

Global rating of the product: 4.5 stars
A greatest hits album is either a way for the fans to re-appreciate an artist s best songs or a possibility for the neophyte to discover an artist whose work he hardly heard about.
Despite his immense talent, Nas doesn t always make unanimity among hip hop s mainstream listeners. Nas lyrical genius is often ignored while some cheap, commercial rappers are often privileged.
May this CD convince all the people who are still skeptical about Nas.
Surviving The Times is taken out of Nas’ upcoming album. The jazzy-soul musical background made of piano, keyboard, drums and trumpet sounds opens the door to ancient memories: flashback to the ancient times during which the young emcee was struggling to get a record deal. Meet Nas and his fellows in the NYC hood. Nas vocal amplitude needs to be underlined: from soft, warm to raw, from slow to powerful, it sets a light on trying times, sharing the emotional dimension with the listeners.
This song definitely belongs to your hip hop library.
Less Than An Hour is based on a dark bass and drum background. Welcome to another brilliant demonstration of indestructible flow during which the emcee blesses the mic. Like a thunderstorm, Nas will break out, stabbing vowels in a merciless manner, leaving free inspiration to his creativity.
It Ain t Hard To Tell is another Nas classic you could barely miss out.
Each single words appears as the skilled emcee’s personal creation. With a witty technique of his own, Nas will allow you to assist to a verbal typhoon.
Bridging The Gap is probably one of the most beautiful raps songs ever.
Not only does it feature Nas’ father, virtuosi trumpet player, Olu Dara, it also writes black folks musical history in its whole emotional dimension.
Bridging black musical genres, that s exactly what an attentive black music loving ear should do. Jazz, gospel, blues, soul and rap music all have common elements. They include black folks pain, sweat and musical creativity. The blues musical background of the song will allow the listeners to travel with Olu Dara whose intervention is enhanced with his son’s hip hop loving soul. I love the spirit, the great sense of rhythm, and the black conscience of the song. Don’t sleep on that one in any case!
Hate Me Now is enveloped with a dramatic musical background. The song features P Diddy. Haters can hate as much as they want, they won’t stop a talented person from reaching the top. The atmosphere is scurrilous, embodied by Escobar’s spirit.
The Nas-P Diddy duo is wittily worked on, lyrically and instrumentally as well.
Who doesn’t know Made You Look? Discover or re-discover the artist’s classic that is fulfilled with rhythmic drumbeats, explosive rhymes and an energizing spirit.
I Can is a song with an educative dimension. Built on Beethoven’s letter to Heloise, the song will progressively guide the listener’s conscience into the ghettos youths problems and aspirations. Addressing to young folks, Nas advices them to stay away from drugs and to work hard towards their dreams. You will go anywhere you want to as long as you work hard at it.
Nas is a giant in the rap game. His Greatest Hits CD summarizes years of hard work and undisputed talent: cop it with no hesitation.
Copyright 2007 by Isabelle Esling
All Rights Reserved