Erk Tha Jerk Announces November 9 Release For Nerd's Eye View + MP3
SMC Recordings And Erk's Own Red Planet Music Group Partner To Release Solo Debut
(October 28, 2010 – Brooklyn, NY) Bay Area rapper Erk Tha Jerk is proud to announce the release Nerd's Eye View. The album, which serves as the official debut for Erk, who also produces and directs videos for himself and others, will be released November 9th as a joint venture between Bay Area staple SMC Recordings and Erk's own label Red Planet Music Group.
Erk, born and raised in Richmond, California, is part of a supremely talented rising class of rappers coming from the Bay. He' also holds the distinction of being one of the rare few from that class with the ability to appeal to the underground while at the same time receiving mainstream radio play. "Right Here," the self-produced melody- and synth-filled sex anthem released earlier this year as the lead single from Nerd's Eye View, is one of the most-played songs on Bay Area powerhouse radio station 106 KMEL in the past year; the song subsequently broke into Billboard Magazine’s Hot 100 R&B/Hip-Hop chart, has been added to rotation on MTV Jams, and amassed hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube, asserting Erk as a force to be reckoned with both in the cipher and on the radio, alike.
For Erk, Nerd's Eye View was a long time coming. Crafting the album over a two and a half year period – Erk released a handful of mixtapes of EP's during that time – Erk was in no hurry to rush out lackluster product. "Long nights, weed, and honesty is my formula," says Erk. "I just tried to zone out and capture moments. I didn't want to make 'party' music or 'goon' music. I wanted to capture what I felt at the specific moment in time." The result, a 13-track album on which Erk produced six songs (Traxamillion, Bedrock, and The Invasion handle the rest), finds Erk discussing the failed relationship with the mother of his child, while attempting to explain the situation his young daughter ("How Do You Love Me") with the same ease, maturity, and lyrical clarity as making braggadocios boasts ("Can't Stop Now").
With Nerd’s Eye View, Erk, who will be featured in XXL Magazine's upcoming Show & Prove section, shows great range; Erk has spent time in higher education, holding down 9-to-5's, and holding down corners, and the multitude and variety of those experiences are reflected throughout the album. "I wanted the title to be clever yet familiar enough for people to relate to," says the bespectacled rapper, whose cleverness extends throughout the album. "The concept was 'music from my point of view;' not nerd as in 'I know how to do math well,' but nerd as in 'not part of the in-crowd'."
Erk Tha Jerk's Nerd's Eye View will be available November 9, 2010 via Red Planet Music Group/SMC Recordings.
Debunking the stereotype of what a West Coast rapper should be is what got a very fickle hip-hop audience to initially notice Erk. His streetwear heavy fashion sense, trademark black eyeglasses and hood nerd persona all worked in his favor. Being from a “bad place” yet knowing that there are non-hood things out there is what has shaped Erk’s approach to life and music. “I went to college for a couple years, I’ve worked 9 to 5 jobs and I’ve sold weed and none of those things quite worked out so I’m kinda like a hood nerd.” His satirical anti-hyphy anthem "I'm So Dumb" and "Plane in the Air" featuring Too $hort defined him as an artist but it was 2009's "Right Here" that put him on the map. The censored version became one of 106 KMEL's (San Francisco) most played songs, charted on Billboard's Top 100 Hip Hop/R&B, and the video is currently in rotation on MTV Jams. In addition to producing and directing videos for other artists, Erk is currently working on his first full length album titled Nerd’s Eye View due on November 9th.
The SAS (Streets All Salute) duo have gone from battle rapping in Staten Island (NY) in their early years to collaborating on tunes with Young Money’s Nikki Minaj, The Diplomats Cam’ron and Jules Santana in the years that followed.
Lately a lot of people have wanted to know my opinion on BET's "Top 10 Rappers of the 21st Century," with the rappers who qualified having released work since 1999. Now considering we're only one-tenth of the way through the century it is undoubtedly early to call them the greatest rappers of the ENTIRE century, so for the sake of their list let's just call this the "Top 10 Rappers of the Last 10 Years." Here's the list that BET's expert panel came up with.
1) Eminem 2) Lil Wayne 3) Kanye West 4) 50 Cent 5) T.I. 6) Ludacris 7) Drake 8) Young Jeezy 9) Jadakiss 10) Rick Ross
I'll start from the top - I don't have a huge problem with #1. He's commercial, no question. He's a marketing phenomenon, no doubt. The problem is that with all the hatred he gets for both of those things, he can still rap his ass off. With the "Recovery" album in particular really impressed me because he had a point to prove after "Relapse" and I think he showed that he's still one of the best not just with punchlines but storytelling and lyrical dexterity.
Now I probably would have had Lil Wayne in there somewhere, but definitely not #2, so we'll come back to that. The Kanye West question is a hard one to settle because a lot of "experts" think he has a ghostwriter penning his raps. Should that automatically disqualify him from the top ten? Even if you have a ghostwriter (A.) they have to be good and (B.) you have to be good at delivering what they wrote. For both reasons I'm not going to hate on Kanye being #3 because he's one of the most memorable and quotable rappers going today and certainly one of the most fascinating people in hip-hop in general both as an artist and a producer. On my own list he's #2.
For Nas to not be anywhere in the BET top ten is simply RIDICULOUS. He's automatically #3 on my list and fits every criteria of the "Top Ten of the Last Ten" you can come up with. Consistently dropping great albums - check. Large and loyal fanbase - check. Always in the hip-hop media - check. Mainstream awareness - check. Notoriety and controversy - check. Highly respected lyricist - CHECK CHECK CHECK. You have to question the "expertise" of this panel for him to not be in there at all. If you can listen to "Street's Disciple," "Hip Hop Is Dead," "Untitled" and "Distant Relatives" and not put him in there you're smokin' something.
#4 wouldn't have been questioned a few years ago but 50 Cent has slipped significantly in both acumen and popularity of late. HOWEVER, since BET's list is "this century" even though we're only one-tenth of the way into it, he deserves it for his total body of work. Much like Eminem, 50 Cent is one of the most commercially successful rappers of the last 10 years total, and for at least a couple of those years may have been the most popular and/or influential. "Get Rich or Die Tryin'" may seem like ancient history these days but in a decade filled with rap albums, this one alone could carry 50 to a top ten list.
HOWEVER on my own top ten I would put T.I. ahead of 50 Cent so my list so far reads (1.) Eminem (2.) Kanye West (3.) Nas (4.) T.I. (5.) 50 Cent. The trajectory of his career from "Trap Muzik" to "Paper Trail" is astounding because he got better almost each time out, which with all due respect can't be said about Curtis Jackson. If it weren't for all of his legal and incarceration problems slowing him down he could actually have been even higher on the list.
#6 through #10 seem to be the ones that people are having some issues with in their e-mails. I'm absolutely fine with Ludacris at #6 though and arguably he could even be moved up into the top five based on commercial success and continuing popularity. As much as I like Drake though it seems +WAY+ too soon in his career for him to be on a top ten decade list. He's young, he's growing, and in another 5 years would probably be top ten on any list - just not yet. I'm putting Jay-Z in that #7 spot instead. We all know he never really "retired" and his popularity has never waned. Lyrically he's far superior to several people in the top 5 but "The Blueprint 3" was only a "good" album and by his own standards not quite up to par - but still highly enjoyable. The body of Shawn Carter's in the decade still stands tall as does his career overall.
#8 is simply out of the question for me. Jeezy is a very popular and entertaining rapper but at this point in the list commercial sales alone shouldn't qualify you for consideration. If that were the case we'd be putting Gucci Mane and Waka Flocka Flame in the top ten and who would take this list seriously if they're "Top 10" of the century candidates? Jeezy is a better rapper than either one but he's no Jay-Z let alone Lil Wayne.
On my list we're going to split the difference between commercial success and rap prowess and put Black Thought in there at #8. I don't think he has penned one whack verse on any Roots album the last ten years. His distinctive style, powerful delivery, lyrics that mean something and The Legendary Roots Crew that help him get the point across mean even a Roots album that only goes gold is more important in the last decade than a Jeezy album that goes platinum or double platinum.
I'm tempted to keep Rick Ross at the #10 spot since he has shown as much or more artistic growth album to album in the last decade as anybody on this list. Wayne checks in above him though as an artist in general and as a huge commercial crossover success, even more surprising for him given how far he's come since his early career. He has slipped lately with his experimental albums like "Rebirth" and "I Am Not a Human Being" but his total body of work in the last decade still qualifies. For sheer lyricism I have a #10 who fair or not to Rick Ross knocks him out of box and could easily knock ANYBODY on this list in sheer rapping acumen - but he's a tough sell commercially. So to round out my top ten:
1) Eminem 2) Kanye West 3) Nas 4) T.I. 5) 50 Cent 6) Ludacris 7) Jay-Z 8) Black Thought 9) Lil Wayne 10) Talib Kweli
That's a comprehensive list taking into account artistic ability, commercial credibility, mainstream popularity, and critical acclaim for their music. There are certainly better rappers that are not on this list (Gift of Gab) and more intriguing rappers (Sage Francis) that are not on this list, but if you're going for what BET was going for with their panel the "Decade List" is ultimately not the greatest emcees - it's the ones who will be most remembered ten years from now for what they did in the last ten years prior.
PS: I received a note from a reader named Paul who mentioned that BET's list was predicated on rappers who DEBUTED since 1999, which is why Nas and Jay-Z among others were precluded. I appreciate the clarification but since they decided to call their list the "Top 10 Rappers of the 21st Century" I'll still stand by mine, because I don't think you need to have debuted this century to be the best in it (and since their list includes 1999 they're already acknowledging that fact).
“I spent thousands of hours creating ‘A World With No Skies’. I want it to be a vivid picture of my dreams, nightmares, and psyche. I refuse to compromise my vision for a project that means so much to me,” commented Slaine. “I have recently had some success in a way that unexpectedly put a mainstream light on me. I could give a fuck less about that kind of attention. What I do give a fuck about is maintaining the integrity of my album, so I have had to deal with sample clearance issues which caused it to be delayed until early 2011. In the meantime while I rework the album, I am giving you my new mixtape ‘The Devil Never Dies’ for free. At the end of the day fans dont give a shit about red tape nor should they, and I wanted to put out new music now. I locked myself in my studio for two weeks and this is what I came out with.” – Slaine
1. The Religion (prod. By Silvamore) 2. My Girl, My Wife, My Mother My Bitch (prod. By LuBalz) 3. The Deadzone (prod. By Stoupe Cuts by Reel Drama) 4. Black and Blue Flag feat. Jaysaun (prod. By Silvamore) 5. Thru The Rain feat. Blacastan (prod. By Silvamore) 6. Off The Sidewalk feat. Cyrus Deshield (prod. By Falside) 7. Going Down feat. Jaysaun (prod. By Silvamore) 8. The Worst (prod. Statik Selektah) 9. Old English II feat. Esoteric (prod. By Esoteric) 10. Burn feat. Amadeus & Chilla Jones (prod. Sicknature) 11. Envy feat. Termanology (prod. By Moss) 12. It Ain’t Happenin feat. Amadeus & Blacastan (prod. By Falside) 13. It’s Too Late feat. Amadeus (prod. By Double Chamberz) 14. Science Of The Trife feat. Ill Bill & Q-Unique (prod. By C. Lance) 15. Settin It Off feat. Reks, Jaysaun & Steven King (prod. Statik Selektah) 16. Trail Of Blood (prod. Statik Selektah) 17. Outro 18. Mind Of A Criminal remix (prod. By LuBalz)
An extensive magnitude of current events have lead many to panic as if the sky is falling. It is daily playing in the media, from natural disasters to the GOP. Now Fel Sweetenberg blesses us with his unique perspective on his latest single "Skyz Fallin," off his recently released album The Sophomore Jinx on SoFlo Entertainment/Break Bread Projects.