Alternate Cover “This Is An American Love Story”

•June 1, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Done by the homie Gemz @GemsofGemz ….be on the lookout for Gems and Samples, official H+D merch coming soon!

Prota “The American Love Story”

•June 1, 2011 • Leave a Comment

This Is An American Love Story. Enjoy.

L.A.-”The Presentation”

•April 6, 2011 • Leave a Comment

The Presentation from Brandon Brathwaite on Vimeo.

Ladies and Gentlemen, meet L.A. And when you’ve finished getting acquainted, download her mixtape of the same name.

UcancallmeLA.com

The Album Is Dead. Welcome To The Show.

•April 5, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I won’t even go as far as to say hip-hop is in a bad way, like most people would. I actually think we are in the 2nd Golden Age of the Hip-Hop movement. Only problem is, the Hip-Hop community is is denial like I’ve never seen before. Every man is entitled to his/her own opinion, but that doesn’t make the facts any less true than they are. The Album is an artifact of the music business. These days, you better have a good character to portray, lest you find out the hard way that the perfect platinum album equates to nothing these days. Yeah, you need great music, but these days we can all get it for free. I wouldn’t expect anyone to pay for any music these days, if they do, they are true aficionados of the Compact Disc/Vinyl/etc.

I saw it all coming with the rise of file-sharing. In 7th grade, a friend and I downloaded DMX’s whole catalogue (at the time), off of Napster, and most times got album leaks ahead of time. When the bite came to Metallica’s ass, and Lars Ulrich threatened to sue for damages, I knew the game was already changed. As hard as Steve Jobs tried to save the majors with iTunes, we saved free music with bit torrents. Actually, we get free EVERYTHING through bit torrents. That’s another story though.

My inspiration behind this post was looking at Wiz Khalifa’s “Rolling Papers”, and its reception among hip-hop heads. I admit, it should be billed as a pop record, and not shopped as hip-hop, as is also the case with Drake, but that label is more suited to the fact that 16 bars with a rhyme scheme is technically, a rap. I’m not mad at any of them. What I’m mad at, is how at this point in time in music, people can still feel as though first week sales are a precursor to success. These artists are all platinum plus….if Hulkshare was recorded by Nielsen. But it’s not. The kid still packs out shows from state to state, and that, my friends, is great success these days. In an industry that’s suffered a recession and a death-defying drop in sales revenue, Hip-Hop has become indie/underground music again. So instead of being judgmental, go out there and get yourself some shows, and see how many “recorded sales” your album gets. Remember, if you don’t scan a barcode, the sale isn’t recorded by SoundScan. If you’ve ever been to a show before, and an artist is selling albums out of a backpack, those sales don’t get recorded. Imagine selling them shits state to state. Not saying I’m watching this happen, but in the game most similar to the crack game, anything and everything can and will be done to get the paper.

The Finisher…Why Hip-Hop Needs A Reality Check.

•April 4, 2011 • Leave a Comment

So this past Wednesday, Mr. Cee was taken to jail for lewd conduct. This conduct was concerning a man. In plain English, he got caught up getting head from a man. As if the embarrassment of being arrested for such an act isn’t enough, the hip-hop community has entered heated debate. Cee of course, has not lost his job as DJ at Hot 97. I’m not trying to address his job though. I’m trying to address the little problem hip-hop has with homophobia. You’ll hear rappers denounce homosexuality, with a vicious double-standard not seen anywhere else.

Why judge the man on ANYTHING? Whether his judgment was clouded or whatever the case may be, to each his own. Mr. Cee is not just a radio personality. He is a legend and a staple in New York hip-hop. One you can say is last of a dying breed. As shocked as I was to hear of this little thing, it didn’t bother me at all. It shouldn’t. Homosexuality is prevalent worldwide. Sexuality period is deeper than our little music genre. The genre where we “kill faggots”, but boast on having girl-on-girl-on girl-on boy orgies….is that not alternative sexuality as well? We need a serious reality check, and hopefully channel this fervent aggression to a REAL cause. Remember, Mr “Hope and Change” strategically struck Libya in a “war of conquest”. Do we really all have THIS much to say about a sex act, but absolutely nothing to say about our loss of freedom under the guise of security? There’s just heavier shit, y’all…Cee, Keep your head up. You’re still The Finisher in NYC!

Are these signs of the End of Time? Or the Rise of the Paranoia Market?

•April 2, 2011 • Leave a Comment

We live in uncertain times. Commodities like oil, food, water, and energy have garnered sky-high prices. Unrest covers the world like a smallpox blanket, infecting the Middle East and Europe at an unprecedented rate. Tectonic movement is at an all time high, the moon is closer than its been in 20 years, and people have been reporting cosmic activity as if it actually happens every day. Hollywood doesn’t help either. With such movies like “2012″ and “Battle: LA” have impressionable people preparing for the most incomprehensible series of events in our history; the End of Time.

In the midst of all of this, there are people in politics and media, who are surely certain that bad things are being created by human handiwork. For lack of a better word, “conspiracy theorists” cry out about a dollar crisis being engineered by the Federal Reserve and other banking institutions. They also go as far as to say a long overdue alien invasion is on its’ way, and the government has done a great job of covering up the evidence. One of the more recent standout claims is that the United States is now blanketed in a cloud of spent radioactive material from the Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. Now here’s where my questions begin. They say that our President (one I also voted for), is NOT an American citizen, Or a Christian (not that it matters to me). However, in a country who’s Constitution prohibits such a person from taking the Presidential seat, this has raised quite a few eyebrows, and has been hotly debated on national TV.

Now, the pressing question. Are these really signs of the Endtimes? Or is this some sort of sick joke, or exaggeration of a bad time in history? I’ve got to ask myself, after reading various articles and watching various videos, where’s the action? Alex Jones has been running Infowars.com and PrisonPlanet.tv for years now. With all the mounting evidence against those in charge, why not make a citizens’ arrest on behalf of the people of the United States? If these people are committing untold amounts of war crimes, why are they not being tried and hanged for High Treason? Nobody is standing up for it. And the most glaring of all issues is the fact that with the top completely blown off of Washington and the CIA, why isn’t Mr. Jones dead, as Mr. William Cooper of “Behold a Pale Horse”? Something about this situation makes me wonder what this really is all about.

There has always been that one guy on the corner, with the “End Is Nigh” sign, preaching about the many reasons why society’s demise is at hand. He used to be considered insane. That is, until Fahrenheit 9/11. Michael Moore was the first whistleblower to insinuate that 9/11 was an inside job, and the “paranoia market” exploded. With fuel from “Pale Horse” and the vast amounts of other literature, people began to question their government like they never have before. They also started endorsing and promoting the websites of these people, spreading the word to others like wildfire. Now with the world seeming to fall down around us, why haven’t we seen a glorious revolution yet? Our forefathers did not waste time against England. Why are we wasting time gathering evidence, when we have all the evidence we need? Just something to think about as you watch “Zeitgeist: The Movie” or “The Obama Deception” or “The Deception Project”. Make your own conclusions.

My Top 10 Producers

•August 19, 2010 • Leave a Comment

From: @TokyoPro
Sent: Aug 18, 2010 11:01p

@XXLStaff J Dilla, 9th Wonder, Kanye West, Noah “40″ Shebib (yes, already), Timbaland, The Neptunes, DJ Toomp, Pete Rock, Primo..no order

sent via UberTwitter in reply to @XXLStaff
On Twitter: http://twitter.com/TokyoPro/status/21543837364

I definitely lost my hip-hop card for throwing 40 in the mix….I just felt like going in depth on this topic, because Twitter’s 140 character limit is lame, and so is the TwitLonger app… So here goes.

1. J-Dilla: From the first time I ever got into this man’s work (“The Shining), I felt like this was the quintessential sound of Hip-Hop music. His style was raw, unadulterated, sometimes chaotic, sometimes smooth. To me, this was life in the big city, without a doubt. The mere fact that he made Donuts from his own deathbed solidified my claim that there may never be another producer that can fill his shoes. Just ask any hip-hop producer about their influences, and his name is sure to be mentioned.

2. 9th Wonder: 9th was the closest to Dilla in my mind, and also the sound behind most of the new conscious, or even real rap records I’d heard. Its not so much the instrumentation, because it is rather simple. Its more so the bars and hooks that are laid over his tracks. Little Brother, Slum Village, Skyzoo, even Kanye himself…even DRAKE.

3. Kanye West: The Louis Vuitton Don never fails me. Everything that comes off this guys Pro Tools session is pure gold. His rhymes are not embellishment, but merely fact, when no one else would admit it. His production for his other artists are open for debate, but I don’t think there is a Kanye West album you can say was weak. You can tell the man strives for perfection in EVERYTHING.

4. Noah “40″ Shebib: Yes. I said 40. Yes. Drake’s 40. Why? Because he crafted the soundscape for one of the most exciting new artists I’ve seen in awhile. Isn’t that the job of a producer? To craft a sound behind his/her artists and their records? Listen to So Far Gone, and Thank Me Later. I want beats by 40, but I feel like he’s an album producer. And that’s what puts him in my Top 10. A lot of hip hop heads will hate me for that, but its MY Top 10! Lol.

5. Timbaland: Timbo. One of the most eclectic producers I’ve ever heard. He can take any instrument, and sound, flip it and morph it, and turn it into a chart topper. Straight like that.

6. The Neptunes: Notice I said the Neptunes. Pharrell isn’t the same without Chad, and vice-versa. The Neptunes took all the gritty, hardcore sound out of hip-hop, and made it fresh and fly, and even moreso, FUN…something for the girls to truly enjoy. I also kept in mind The Clipse, and NORE’s work with them…they took gangsta and made it funky all over again…and what they did with Snoop!? Pshhh.

7. DJ Toomp: Another “sound crafter”. 2 names. T.I., and Young Jeezy. He makes big records, and those big records sell. He may not be an All-Time great, but he’s one of my favorites, and ill always give him a shot.

8. Pete Rock: If I have to elaborate, you grew up on Top 40 your entire life. :-/.

9. DJ Premier: Primo provided the backdrop for Gangstarr. Not only sick with drums and samples, but also one of the sickest on the wheels of steel.

10. Since I didn’t mention him in my Tweet. Rick Rubin: Co-founder of the most powerful record label in hip-hop, and the sonic craftsman behind the Beastie Boys. If you don’t know who he is or what he’s done, see #8.

What’s your Top 10! We at H+D would love to know!

 
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