Apr 24, 2018
Jul 29, 2016
May 21, 2015
Mar 24, 2014
Jan 17, 2013
Aug 15, 2012
Here's Thomas Rhett "singing" the song "1994," which will appear on Jason Aldean's upcoming album. You'll get the above graphic if you can make it through this song. Country-rap is here to stay. Sigh.
Aug 8, 2012
Apr 16, 2012
Feb 15, 2012
Nov 9, 2011
Heavy D came from a time when a lot of hip-hop was still fun, and pop rap still had variation in the mainstream. He wasn't afraid to smile or dance in his videos without fear he'd be regarded as soft or a sellout. I miss those days. Rest in peace, big guy.
Aug 31, 2011
Apr 19, 2011
Feb 20, 2011
Any Person Who Says Hip-Hop Isn't Music Deserves a Sackpunch
I'm probably going to step on the toes of a lot of friends and readers with this one, but it's got to be said. Rap, hip-hop, whatever you want to call it, is an entirely valid and artful genre of music. Yes, music. Read this definition carefully.
1 the art or science of combining vocal or instrumental sounds (or both) to produce beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion : he devoted his life to music.
Obviously, hip-hop combines vocals and instrumentals. "Beauty" is subjective, but rap definitely has form. In fact, most rap songs conform to a more stringent form than other genres – 16 bar verses, anyone? Harmony? Rap songs often have background singers or rappers weaving their own vocals around and with the main vocalist. Expression of emotion goes without saying. I could end this piece here. The dictionary entry alone proves my point. Some of you need a little more convincing though (not that the most persuasive argument ever written could change some minds).
I'm not somebody who ever plays the race card, but there's an undeniable racial component to some people's aversion to hip-hop. Black people came up with the first rap songs. So what? Black people came up with the first blues songs and the first rock n' roll songs. They also had a hand in inspiring the earliest country music. Another culture may have created the vehicle, but it's an art form that can translate across bodies of water and colors of skin. The most popular (and arguable most talented) rapper is white.
Beyond race, people have other reasons…
They're just talking, you say. Wrong. They are talking in rhythm, with carefully considered syllables and rhyme. They're talking in a way that fits the tone of the lyric. They're talking in a way that mirrors the background instrumentals. They're talking with well considered word choice, using metaphors and similes. They're using cadence to draw you in and emphasis to denote the important points and emotions. If they're just talking – most people can do so – you try it. Let me know how that turns out.
But they just use canned beats and samples, you say. Wrong. Okay, partially wrong. Many rappers these days are working with bands and musicians live and on record. Have you ever seen a hip-hop artist on Saturday Night Live just standing on the stage with a mic and some speakers? Even the most studio-produced music these days includes guitars or other instruments alongside the beats, scratches and whatnot. And who's to say canned beats aren't music? It takes a lot of musical skill to blend the right tracks together to come up with an ear-pleasing arrangement of drums and accompaniment.
Rap songs all sound alike. Nope. That's a cop-out. Country songs all sound the same to non-fans. To be fair, the most commercial music does tend to run together in a sea of familiarity and milquetoast, but that's true in any genre. Hip-hop runs the gambit, sound and content-wise.
K'naan blends pop and rock into his brand of hip-hop, and raps about love, politics and the problems of his home country, Somalia. He even has some singsongy tracks that most wouldn't even call rap. I dare you to listen to Wavin' Flag or Fatima and not nod your head.
Alabama's Yelawolf, newly signed to Eminem's record label, has a country and classic rock bent. Not hick-hop, mind you, straight up hip-hop that sounds authentically countrified. He talks about the problems of the rural south, broken relationships and economic hardships. Gone will grab your ear from the start.
Cypress Hill, still around, mixes Latino and rock music into their signature sound. Crime and drugs are the focus of their lyrics, but usually in a personal and often humorous manner.
Notice I didn't say any of these artists rapped about bling and booty. Sure, they all get into sex and materialism, but they don't linger on these cliched subjects, like the most visible and commercially viable rappers tend to do.
Like any style of music, you've got to dig around a little to find the best and most creative of the bunch, but it's always worth the effort. Surface is surface. The deeper artists are below the water level.
Yeah, I get that hip-hop just isn't for everybody. That's understandable; everybody's got their own preferences in life and music. But if you're an open-minded fan of art and music, there is some hip-hop that will appeal to you.
For those with a realized or subconscious racial reasoning behind their dislike of rap, or those who won't even give it a chance or those who still say it's not music… you should pull up your Dickies and get ready. My fingers are clinched, my knuckles are white (my soul is colorblind), and a house of pain is coming your way… boom, sackpunch!
Sep 10, 2010
Aug 23, 2010
Jun 23, 2010
"Pretty Boy Swag"
The People's Take: (iTunes Reviews)
Hold up h8ters (jelous a bit??)
Ok this new album Dre is gonna nail it big time he has listend to you haters and now he's rapping buy this now I say 2milli is gonna kill everyone of y'all next single that's gonna come out is "do it big" kills everything on this track too so shut the F** up about he's not a rapper go hug a tree or sumthin cus this is 2010 right here and he's killing it. From were he came from crank that soulja boy to this it's pretty Much beast right here people!! BUY IT
all you haters should be ashamed of yourself. If you don't like it go listen to something else you racist no lifes!!! Go put in a gay rock album or something. leave soulja boy alone u make me sick.
PRETTY BOY SWAG is a good song if you don't like it don't click on it and waste valuable time trying to generate negative energy. no life racist.
OMG SOULJA BOY OMGOMGOMG no
this song is garbage. Sorry for being so nice about it, too. His 'flow' is essentially like a speech disorder which hinders him from making any sense whatsoever.
Ugly Boy Swag
Worst rapper ever, dead or alive.
Listen here (if you dare): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8growuncz0
Before I'm called out as unqualified to review a rap song, while it's true I've never officially reviewed a hip-hop song, I'm a fan of good hip-hop. I like Jay-Z, K'naan, Nas, Game, old Snoop, OutKast, Mos Def, Dr. Dre, Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, 2Pac, Run DMC, Nappy Roots, Eminem, Tech 9ne, Krizz Kaliko, Ice Cube, Notorious BIG, Jedi Mind Tricks, Common, NWA, Eazy E, Cypress Hill and countless others. I think that makes me as qualified as anybody else without a job at Vibe, a music history or journalism degree. On to the review.
This alleged rap song begins with breaking glass then a ring tone-ish beep. That's par for the course with Soulja Boy, who is frequently called a ring-tone rapper by his haters. He goes to great lengths to prove them right with this hook-less drone of a hip-hop track that should have been left on the cutting room floor of even the most quickly tossed off mixtape. The "chorus" (which eats up a good 75% of the song) is an overly repetitive breathy recitation of self aggrandizement entirely lacking of memorable rhymes or even the scant shred of artistic worth. The beat would make Al Gore very happy though, it's recycled, and the beat it recycles is also recycled ∞.
There's nary a line in the song that elicits even the presumption that, one day, Mr. Tell'em might turn a clever phrase. He's got swag, girls are on his dick, they scream his name. Yep. For the explicit version, he curses at the calculated moments that can easily be scrubbed from the radio version. Dre (his name, and the name of his forthcoming million-selling drink coaster) is a product, plain and simple. He has a cult following of teen girls, disaffected suburban youth (read: whangstas) and possibly a few people with actual street cred who follow his Tweets with disturbing stalkerishness. He runs a veritable empire with his gaming website and all the merchandise related to him and his SODMG organization. Apparently, he's a good businessman or hype man. He is not a good rapper.
I'll bite a phrase from one of the iTunes reviewers: "His 'flow' is essentially like a speech disorder." That's not h8er hyperbole. Soulja Boy rides the rhythms like Willie Nelson on a weed bender. And his voice: nearly any drunk guy at the club or the karaoke bar this weekend could easily replicate this flow. Seriously. How he got into the "rap game" is beyond me. I won't say I could rap better - I have the rhythm of a blogger - but I bet most of you could. Seriously.
"Pretty Boy Swag" is chaff. Congratulations Soulja Boy Tell'em. You suck worse than Bucky Covington.
Total Value: .00/.99