Posts Tagged ‘Music’

Episode # 7 is live as we’re joined by Hip Hop artists Ill Camille, Hip Hop publicist DeeDee Branch, Associate Director of Urban Talent at ASCAP Mir Harris, and 14 year old aspiring rapper Page Stevenson. This all-women panel discusses everything from Hip Hop culture and the music business to community activism and social justice. They went deep, spoke truth, and had fun doing it! Also, check out new music by Ill Camille, Akua Naru ft. Dynasty & Sa-Roc, Priest, and Sean Price(RIP). And don’t miss our young MC who spits a dope verse over a classic beat. As always, you can contact both hosts on Twitter at @SebIsHipHop and @ or on InstaGram @TakeNoPrisonersRadio. Spread the word!

Episode # 5 is on fire as Camille and Seb discuss Baltimore, civil unrest, institutionalized racism, and Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill. Iconic Hip Hop artist Masta Ace also joins Take No Prisoners Radio to talk about his journey in the rap game, his classic verse on the Symphony, his impact on the culture, and his latest album with EMC. Also, check out new music by Smoothe Da Hustler, Rapsody, Oddisee, Bad Lucc and EMC. Special shout out to sponsors: RapRehab, Makena Electric, Platformz and Maseed Productions. Feel free to share your thoughts with the hosts via Twitter at @SebIsHipHop and @_CamilleH. Don’t forget to share this episode! Peace.

On the 4th episode of Take No Prisoners Radio, Seb and Camille H are on fire (especially Camille!) as they discuss Kendrick Lamar’s new album and how media is now jumping on the “conscious” rap bandwagon, This leads into a discussion about Hip Hop education as well as an EXTREMELY fiery conversation about the “New Black” and recent controversial comments made by Common, Raven-Symone, Pharrell and Lee Daniels. In this episode, Seb and Camille just ain’t really giving a fuck! Tune in and you’ll see why. This might just be their most heated show yet!! Also, check out music by Rapsody, Ras Kass, Ghostface Killah and Wise Intelligent. Feel free to share your thoughts with the hosts via Twitter at @SebIsHipHop and @_CamilleH

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Hello Azealia,

Your interview with Ebro, your beef with Kendrick, T.I. and Iggy, and your public Twitter war with Lupe piqued my curiosity and compelled me to reach out to you directly.  You’re everywhere these days. Half of the posts on my Facebook timeline are about you.  Music blogs report every little thing you say and everything you tweet, hyping up the drama, but overlooking the deeper points you make.  As a Hip Hop culture critic and writer, I’m much more interested in those deeper points that cornball bloggers and dime-a-dozen racists seem to gloss over.

Truth is, I didn’t know much about your music except for that “212” joint you dropped a few years ago.  It wasn’t really my thing.  I’m more of a traditionalist so if it’s not Boom Bap Hip Hop, heavy on dusty chopped up samples and grimy kicks and snares, it usually doesn’t resonate with me.  But out of fairness, I decided to check out your latest project before writing this letter and sharing my unsolicited 2 cents. While your album didn’t really move me, as someone who grew up with House music, I respect what you’re doing and recognize that it’s light years ahead of the trash on the radio.  But at the end of the day, I’m just not the audience for it.

With that said, after having read countless comments from people calling you crazy, a bitch, a dumb hoe, and other derogatory terms for simply voicing your mind, I want to let you know that I’m proud of you for boldly speaking up about the bullshit plaguing mainstream rap music. Too many popular rappers use their platform to spread mindless gossip rather than sharing thought-provoking ideas.  Everything you’ve been saying about Iggy, cultural misappropriation, and the state of Black culture is worthy of public discourse and likely to motivate your fans to do some research…even if the part about Black people being “Naturally Born Seers, Diviners, Witches and Wizards” may confuse a whole lot of folks.

While your delivery may be “rough around the edges”, given a little bit of time and experience, I trust you’ll be able to express your views in a much more polished manner.  Still, I agree with your stance on Iggy. I agree with your perspective on the watering-down of rap music. I agree with everything you said regarding Black culture around the world being erased. This shit has been going on for a long time.  And for many years now, rap artists have been silenced, muted, neutered, and verbally castrated by mainstream media for speaking about social issues and challenging the status quo . It’s good to know that things are changing with artists like you leading the way.

Surprisingly, your music doesn’t reflect your social awareness…or maybe I’m missing something.  However, now that you have the world’s attention, it’s the perfect time to infuse some of your insight and socially relevant themes into your music. While promoting your new album, it would be dope to release a few free joints on the side, basically speaking on the issues you seem passionate about (i.e. reparations, African traditions, etc). It would be a perfect opportunity to educate your younger listeners, and even adults who may not always understand what you’re talking about on Twitter or your various radio interviews.

We’re at a point in Hip Hop right now, at least in the mainstream world, where rappers with meaningful content are becoming more accepted. I hate to bring up the same rappers that everyone keeps naming but Kendrick Lamar and J Cole are two artists who are definitely at the forefront of bringing lyricism back to mainstream rap.  Of course, I know you’re not feeling Kendrick but it’s hard to deny the fact that he’s impacted popular rap in a big way…even if you feel he’s a sellout. Bottom line is, the world is sick and tired of hearing the same garbage that commercial rap has been selling us for the past 15 years. That’s why I think it’s a perfect time for you to rap about the issues you unapologetically express outside your music. I’m sure you’re probably tired of hearing people giving you their opinion about what they think you should do, but please believe me when I tell you that I have your best interest at heart.

Even though some people have ridiculed you for being emotional during your interview with Ebro and Rosenberg, I really felt your spirit, and I was happy to see you being so open and unafraid to be who you are. With all of these frontin’ ass rappers out here, talking loud and saying nothing, your vulnerability was a breath of fresh air and proved that you have a bigger heart than most of these industry clowns.  In a world where artists, especially rappers, are being constantly dehumanized, it’s refreshing to see someone who isn’t afraid to be human.  Don’t let the industry ever take that away from you.

Peace,

Seb

This article is also published at http://raprehab.com/open-letter-azaleia-banks/

Welcome to the first episode of Take No Prisoners Radio hosted by Camille H & myself. In this episode, we discuss Ferguson, Police Brutality, misogyny, white supremacy and racism, and the state of Hip Hop. For the Hot Seat segment, we’re joined by an anonymous music industry executive who believes that the music industry should NOT be held accountable for the type of rap music it promotes. The conversation gets pretty heated! Also, check out music from J Cole, Pharoahe Monch, Rah Digga, ZotheJerk, and Rapsody. For info or feedback email SebastienElkouby@gmail.com. Peace.

Every month, I’ll be picking my top 5 favorite Hip Hop related items.  This could include artists, videos, songs, events, books, shows or anything else that represents the best in Hip Hop culture for that month.  Keep in mind that my picks are strictly a matter of opinion.  In no particular order, this list is just my way of celebrating what’s right with Hip Hop.  Readers are free to agree or disagree. Don’t hesitate to share your feedback. Enjoy! Peace.
 
1. The Masters of Ceremony Hip Hop Reunion

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When was the last time you got to see EPMD, Slick Rick, Doug E. Fresh, Big Daddy Kane, Rakim, Biz Markie, Naughty By Nature, DMX, and more together on stage? Kicking off this July, the show will hopefully make its way to your city soon.

2. Chuck D Interview on the Combat Show

This is possibly one of the best interviews I’ve heard in a long time. Listen to Chuck and Keith Shocklee from the Bomb Squad share insight about Hip Hop culture, the origins of Public Enemy, the music industry, their work with other artists, and everything else you’d imagine the perfect 3 1/2 hour Chuck D interview to sound like!

 

3. Interview with Bob Power, the man behind the sound of A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, The Roots, Erykah Badu, and more.

Legendary recording engineer Bob Power talks about how he helped create the sound that some of Hip Hop’s most iconic artists are known for. If you’re into what goes on behind the scenes, this interview is a must!

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4. Sa-Roc’s new album, “Nebuchadnezzar”

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Craving conscious Hip Hop? The Goddess Sa-Roc doesn’t disappoint with a full-length offering featuring the likes of Wise Intelligent and David Banner. Can’t think of too many other MC’s who can touch her right now! Stream it and buy it here.

5. Jay Electronica at The Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival

The always anticipated Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival celebrated its 10th anniversary with many performers including Jay Electronica who repped the Nation of Islam to the fullest and surprised the audience by bringing Jay Z on stage to do an almost 15-minute set. I wasn’t there but here’s the video.

You can also find this on RapRehab at http://raprehab.com/the-top-5-hip-hop-picks/