Thanks for your informative newsletter. You and I are of the same class. Staunch hip hop heads who lived on the music, especially from the mid to late 80's. We both in it, and both conduct ourselves with professionalism and common sense, inspite of the dumb shit that perpetuates hip hop today. I think we both just 'normal' people. Don't care to be the hardest MF walking the street, just at peace with yourself.
I can completely feel you on Big Daddy Kane vs. Master P mix. Now, I admire Master P as a business man, and since I MUST play his music, some of it has even grown on me a little bit (well, at least it's tolerable). But this man taught me more about making and slangin' crack in '97 than I ever cared to know about. His music is just fucking ignorant. Seriously, I could use Ghetto Dope to give me a pretty good blueprint on how to make crack. And what's really fucked up, he used Rakim's beat for this foolishness. Talk about blasphemy! It's disgusting that people in general put up with this bullshit, and then, not speak out against it because of the fact the little kids will be listening to it. Ghetto Dope was just TOO graphic. But you know what, when LL let him rhyme on 4, 3, 2, 1, I was like oh shit, Master P is about to hit the hip hop mainstream. But now that Jay-Z is giving him props on songs, and Def Jam put him on a single with Montel Jordan, it's safe to say he's already there. I feel like I've been invaded by a foreign country.
I would be Ok with it if he did something ala Ice Cube on Death Certificate. A Death Side with all the bullshit, and A Life Side with how we should be thinking. It's obvious that death, destruction and sex sells. So if you gotta put out that bullshit to make your paper, put something else on the album to show the other point of view. Shit's ridiculous. I don't want to hear about you building community centers and what you're doing in the hood, YOU NEED TO PUT SOMETHING ON THE ALBUM!.
P.S. - If you want to blow the roof off the club, next time play 'Make Em Say Ugh'
wazzup davey d, first off i absolutely dig your shit, best site, best newsletter and news from all over about the hip hop scene. we really need that in seattle where there is no real hip hop radio station. you wanted to know why people hate puffy. i hate him too, and i hate him more then fugees for several reasons: of course both have been stealing songs from 70s and 80s, but fugees keep their mouth shut about it, in a way that is a recognition of the original author. puffy on the other hand has been braggin about his money and all, and how great he is, all his videos are a show off, but he always fails to mention, that himself he has no talent at writing music. mase even has more. i think that if someone can't write music, but is a good video maker, or say a manager, he/she should go into managment and video making, but if they don't and borrow others' ideas they have to be real modest about it, because they can't claim themselves as hip hop singers in the full sense of it. just to prove my point, i got no problem with snoop hailing about his dough sacks because he is been making himself from bottom up, borrowing songs did not make him (as it did puffy).
hi dave! i finally got around to reading your (already 6+ months old) piece about gays in hip hop. it's really great! thanks for writing it. what i wanted to tell you - i published a gay music magazine called "outpunk" (which was also a record label) for five years, just finished the final issue. i did an extensive article on gays in hip hop which you may or may not have seen/heard about. if you haven't, can i send it to you? and if so, where should i send it? i am also running a new label called "queercorps". i'm releasing an album by a gay female emcee named cyryus. the album should be out by april. we've been working on it all last year. i can send you a tape of that as well if you're interested. in any case, i just wanted to drop a note and say thanks for the support. ok. talk to you later - matt wobensmith
I am writing in response to seeing the survey on "Who or what has done the most to harm or ruin hip hop culture." I think it is funny that people put such answers as Puff Daddy. Granted he is no hip hop artist; in my book he is pop, if that. Personally I do not even consider him a musician. Therefore he cannot be blamed for what happened to hip hop in my opinion. But the thing that most disturbed me was the blame on "commercialism," which received the second most votes on the poll.
The reason I say this is because I do not believe that people understand what commercialism is, but more so do not understand the differences between commercialism and "selling out." Commercialism is good for hip hop. It promotes our music to a wide generation of people who were not exposed to it before. It gives artists a medium in which they are able to receive the financial support that helps them survive in everyday life. If it wasn't for backing from major labels of their artists, success of artists on independent labels would be virtually impossible. Major labels brought hip hop to the forefront and paved the way for indies and others to make the money that they are today. I am personally a big Wu-Tang fan, and everytime someone tells me they went commercial, I agree. Making money -- what's wrong with that?
Now this is where the problem comes in; and this is where i separate commercialism from selling-out. By no means has Wu-Tang Clan sold out. They went commercial, i.e. they put resources into making themselves known, hence becoming popular with a wide range of people. All of this was in order to make more money. Selling-out, however, is a completely different story. Selling-out is when an artist changes his or her style in order to become more popular or to be seen more. I like to use the example of Wu-Tang Clan because they never changed their style in order to appeal to a wider range of people. True their second release was different from their first, but evolution must occur. They did not, however, change to please people.
My trademark example of someone selling-out is Nas. Do you remember back in '94 when "Illmatic" came out? That was and is still one of my favorite albums of all time. But when "It Was Written" came out, we started to see a change in Nas. All of the sudden he was becoming this big mafioso who ran drugs from Colombia and flew lear jets around the world, sipping M–et non-stop. When The Firm's album came out, this was even more evident, and I quickly rid myself of all Nas connections I had. One might say something along the lines of, "What about those other gangster wannabe rappers?". To them i say if they had used that particular style since Day One, then I don't really have a problem with them. It is only when an artist drops his or her style in order to be cooler in the eyes of all the teens out there, etc.
Personally I do not listen to many commercial groups, but I am a Wu-Tang Clan fan and will remain one, as long as selling-out doesn't occur. I wish all artists success and happiness, but being yourself is most important. I'm sure I could have sold all kinds of albums if I portrayed myself as some gangster running drugs in lear jets, but why bother? I'd rather focus on what hip hop is and what it should be: artists expressing themselves by how they feel or what they think, not by what other people want them to. Artists are poets, and poets don't acknowledge hacks. I hope all our artists on our label gain fame and fortune, for no one in the world starts a profit-making business if they weren't in it for the money. We must concentrate on keeping hip hop true to itself most of all, and stop focusing on ideas that go against the wishes and dreams of our pioneers.
Thank you for your time Dave, I appreciate it.
Ryan W. Waxenberg
23 Degrees Media
Ill Logik Entertainment
Red Ant Entertainment
Did Snoop really leave Death Row? And if so where did he sign? Aftermath with Dre? Also is NWA reuniting? I heard they have a new song on the Players Club soundtrack. Are they gonna drop a full album?
Yes Snoop did leave Death Row... However, he is still under contract for 5 or 6 more albums with Death Row.. It'll be interesting to see how he gets out from all this... As for your second question, Snoop and Dre are supposedly hooking up... I'm not sure on who's label their project will come out on... Finally, yes NWA has some songs coming out on The Players Club soundtrack
Hi there Davey D,
I was reading an article in the February, 8th Datebook section of the Sunday San Francisco Examiner&Chronicle--Facing Forward: Bay Areas Blacks in the Arts series titled,"Rebel With a Hip-Hop Cause" and a quarter way through the article noticed it mentioned your website. So I immediately got on the net an "whala" here I am. I would have to say that yours is one of the more detail oriented websites out there. I really appreciated the interview with Tupac's mom. Keep up the good work... Plus, I want to congratulate you on the success of your radio program. I know you've probably been through alot over the years at the station but your still standing tall my brotha':-) Hope to here from you soon.
i just recently discovered your amazingly comprehensive site. it's hands down quite the bomb and definitely bookmarked in my netscape. although i agree w/ your insight into the decline of bay area hip hop, i must note that you have managed to overlook some of the positive side of things (unfortunately, it's not that many but...) Peanut Butter Wolf and his whole crew are definitely coming up in the underground. Rasco, one of the artist on stones throw is about to release a new album this spring and so is persevere. the whoridas are managing to do extremely well on their new album as well. although they flaked big time when i approached them to do an article on them, their management (south paw) were really apologetic and sincere regarding the situation.
the cream of beat guys do another party (i forgot what it was called) which is more low key. less frontin'(i.e. g's and shot callers) and pretty much local heads. unfortunately, it's almost too low key which results in low turn out. however, i think dj mind motion and the crew wanna keep it that way as a direct result of the deteriorating social condition in the bay area hip hop scene. i know for a fact that the cream of beat guys do not encourage their friends to continue attending their main event anymore because of all the bullshit. now that's really sad. there's also a descent party on sat nights @deco called funkside which has featured local djs j-boogie, wisdom, and freestylin by jamalski.
anyhow, keep up the amazing work w/ your site. you should check out a really great article written by billy jam for the skateboard magazine i write for called 'strength'. it's a quarterly magazine out of ohio. billy managed to do a great overview on the bay area underground!
Madd propps to you and your staff for your awards. Your survey gave props to underrepresented heads like Common and The Roots. I will have to take exception, however, on your total trashing of the Firm. As a fan, I do have to swallow my pride and admit that some of the tracks on the album were straight bootie...and I mean that with a capital ass crack!!! On the other hand, that album gave us some very unique cuts like Executive Decision/Desperados and Phone Tap.
With exectutive decision and desperados, the use of the Latin guitar sample adds a touch of intrigue and originality to the track in addition to some butta ass lyrics. With phone tap, the script is totally flipped as the traditional means of storytelling in emceeing, the narrative, is suspended and an actual conversation is flipped on a cell phone instead of a mic. All of this adds to the aura and realism of the track. I think you splept on this jewel. I think that Phone Tap is a classic for its non-conventional storytelling method.
The Jersey Drummer
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