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Hip-Hop History: 10 Dates that Helped Define Hip Hop in 1996

Posted by Billyjam, June 28, 2010 07:24pm | Post a Comment
Mr Cee (RBL Posse)
There were numerous hip hop albums released in the year 1996, countless rap concerts & related events, plus many news worthy incidents in the genre that occurred. Here are just ten hip hop dates/events that helped shape the genre in that twelve month period fourteen years ago, and from a Bay Area perspective.

Jan 1st: Mr. Cee of popular San Francisco rap group RBL Posse was brutally shot and killed  on Harbor Road in the Bayview / Hunters Point district. He was only 22 years of age. The tragic incident marked the unfortunate  beginning of a year where  Rap = Violence became the all-too-convenient equation for the mainstream media's sensationalist portrayal of an entire genre. Unfortunately the one event that overshadowed everything else in 1996, the death of Tupac Shakur, merely reinforced this stereotype.

Feb. 27th: Death Row Records released the first of two 2Pac albums for the year, the rush-recorded double CD set All Eyez On Me, which debuted at number one on the Billboard pop charts, sold five million copies in its first three months alone, and cemented the ever controversial ShDr Dreakur as the poster boy of 'gangsta rap.' Even before his tragic death, the rapper/actor's ever newsworthy life and times blurred that fine line in reality rap between life and art. 

March 20th: Dr. Dre, the veteran LA producer with the Midas touch who both shaped NWA's sound and mainstreamed 'gangsta rap' with his 1992 multi-platinum album The Chronic, made headlines by exiting Death Row Records. Reportedly he was sick and tired of the Suge Knight dominated record company's all-gangsta format. "Then Tupac coming to the label was the straw that broke the camel's back," partner RBX told Vibe in the October issue that year. As if to prove the point, soon after his departure Dr. Dre declared "gangsta rap dead" and went about setting up his own label, Aftermath Records, releasing "East Coast West Coast Killas" as its first single, which called for an end to the then still very prominent East versus West coast rivalry.

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STARTIN' SOMETHIN': DEATH STARTS NEW CHAPTER IN MJ's CAREER:

Posted by Billyjam, June 27, 2009 05:40pm | Post a Comment
MIchael Jackson R.I.P.
"What hit me most about hearing the news of Michael Jackson dying was only then I realized just how much he meant to me, how much his music was such a part of my life," confided my friend Eboness from New York by phone on Thursday evening, just hours after the shocking news of the pop star's passing had clogged all channels of communication. 

One of the many friends and acquaintances who seemed compelled to reach out and talk MJ on Thursday and in the days since, Eboness is 38 and lives in Harlem. Like so many people out there, she grew up on Jackson's music.

She said she and her mom had just come from 125th Street, where a growing crowd was gathering en masse outside the Apollo Theater to spontaneously mourn alongside total strangers in the shared sadness. As Jackson's music boomed from speakers up high, the teary eyed crowd below, with sunken shoulders, sang along to every lyric.

Thursday afternoon's shocking news of MJ passing caught everyone off guard it seemed. When I got that first text on my phone sometime after 3pm from my friend Timi D... which read "Michael Jackson just died???" I thought that maybe it was some of kind of prank or inside joke about the oft mocked star. Maybe it had something to do with his string of upcoming UK concert dates, I theorized as my Google search quickly confirmed the tragic news, with reports citing either the LA Times who broke the story or leading gossip news site TMZ that simultaneously reported on the same story. And when I next logged on to my email, my inbox was overflowing with messages with MJ's name in the subject box. I then clicked on the Amoeblog, where I saw that Whitmore had just posted the news. That was about 3:15 or 3:20 pm on Thursday; by then the news had already spread like wildfire via news and gossip sites and of course via Twitter, Facebook, and every other social network. Michael Jackson thriller

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MOTHER: 2PAC, JOHN LENNON, SINEAD O' CONNOR & ROGER WATERS

Posted by Billyjam, May 10, 2009 08:40am | Post a Comment

2Pac - "Dear Mama"


John Lennon performing "Mother" live at Madison Square Garden


Roger Waters & Sinead O' Connor "Mother" (The Wall Live in Berlin concert)


The Pharcyde "Ya Mama"

AMOEBA MUSIC HIP-HOP WEEKLY ROUND UP: 04:10:09

Posted by Billyjam, April 10, 2009 07:22am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music HFloRida Rootsollywood Hip-Hop Top Five: 04:10:09

1) DOOM Born Like This (Lex)

2) Flo Rida R.O.O.T.S. (Poe Boy/Atlantic)

3) UGK UGK 4 Life (Jive)

4) Jim Jones Pray IV Reign (Columbia)

5) Madlib Beat Konducta Vols 5 6 (Stones Throw)

Miami pop rap act Flo RIda is In the number two slot this week with his just released second album R.O.O.T.S. The record includes the already major hit "RIght Round" -- the unavoidably popular track that reworks Dead Or Alive's mid-eighties synth-pop hit “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)” to which it owes its phenomenal success. Despite contributions from the likes of Ne-Yo, Akon, Wyclef Jean, Pleasure P, and Nelly Furtado, this sophomore album on Poe Boy/Atlantic, while better than Flo Rida's debut, comes off as hollow and ten years from now will most likely forgotten. The problem? Like most mainstream hip-hop, it doesn't sound like it is coming from the heart or soul but instead comes off as music manufacturejim jones pray iv reignd out of a desire to score a quick pop hit.

Meanwhile, Harlem artist Jim Jones' delayed latest album, Pray IV Reign -- his first for Columbia -- is a superior record and sounds like it is made from the heart. But it too suffers from a common problem in rap these days, the derivative factor. In this case, the former hype-man is constantly channeling 2Pac, not only copping Shakur's whole rhyme flow and inflections, but going so far as to even loot some of his trademark phrases ("Keep your head up," he spits on the new album track "Let It Out").

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Longtime Sacramento Hip-Hop Artist C-BO is Truly Gangsta Rap & Despite a Career Interrupted by Long Stretches Behind Bars, He Has Remained Highly Prolific

Posted by Billyjam, February 25, 2009 02:27pm | Post a Comment

c-bo
Rapper C-BO has long been known for his no-holds-barred, shock-filled, self-described "killer style" of gangsta rap. Ever since his debut album Gas Chamber sixteen years ago, the Sacramento rapper has been consistently satisfying his dedicated legions of hardcore rap fans with both controversy and countless releases. In addition to a string of solo albums, he has also collaborated on songs or albums with the likes of first cousin E40, 2Pac, Yukmouth, Killa Tay, Spice-1, Master P, Brotha Lynch Hung, as well as his crew Mob Figaz, to name but a few.

Unlike so many self-described "gangsta" rappers, Shawn "C-BO" Thomas is genuinely 'gangsta'. Growing up in the notorious gang-filled Garden Block of Sacramento, the artist became a member of the Crips while barely into his teens, and openly admits his past involvement in drug dealing and other gang related crimes before he became a full time recording artist. His rap name stands for Cowboy: "I got the name cowboy from being around guns all the time," he told me in a 1997 interview.

Not surprisingly, that lifestyle resulted in C-BO's spending several periods of his life incarcerated from his teens onwards. It was in jail in 1993 that he first met Killa Tay, who he would later collaborate with. And it was also during a separate stint in the Sacramento County Jail that he collaborated with fellow inmate X-Raided on writing some music. In fact, it was X-Raided who wrote the song "Deadly Game" for C-BO, a song that later landed C-BO back in jail and caused a national controversy -- drawing attention and outrage amongst freedom of speech advocates while simultaneously only further fuc-boeling C-BO's notorious reputation amongst hardcore rap fans.

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