New Jersey’s Kosha Dillz, born Rami M Even-Esh, is an emcee who is a first generation American son of Israeli immigrants. When he felt most alone Hip-Hop helped him find a place in the world. In 1998, after a significant amount of time rhyming with his good friend Yak Ballz, Dillz entered Braggin’ Rites, where he remembers “I stepped to Stronghold's Big Mike the Terror. I caused a big hoo-rah since he was twice my size. People were bugging out.” It’s no surprise the Jewish emcee says he’s always been a fan of shock value. Dillz’s latest project, Freestyle vs. Written, is a combined effort with Stronghold’s C-Rayz Walz. What makes the project unique is that Dillz wrote all of his verses for the album while Walz freestyled all of his in a marathon 24 hour studio session. Freestyle vs. Written will hit the net this month and stores nationwide later in the fall. In the meantime Dillz is touring with Yak Ballz, Aesop Rock and former Artist Of The Week Luckyiam from mid-August through September. Before he jetted off for that, however, I caught up with him to find out more about his work, how trying to fit in nearly cost him his life, and how he uses both his music and his heritage to reach out to people.
It's the song that's got the whole nation talking and not just because Luda calls Hillary a bitch. That's right, your favorite rapper's favorite punchline rapper next to Skillz and Chino XL just dropped a bomb on the whole election process with his new street single "Politics (Obama Is Here)." While this may have originally been a track for a DJ Drama mixtape promoting his upcoming album, the song has quickly spread far and wide beyond its origins thanks to colorful lyrics like these:
"Yeah I said it cause Bush is mentally handicapped Ball up all of his speeches and just throw 'em like candy wraps Cause what you talkin I hear nothin even relevant And you the worst of all 43 Presidents"
If you want to hear the full track BlackVibes.com has a link to it HERE.
The FCC finally did something useful. Instead of censoring public airwaves and limiting the 1st Amendment guarantees of the Constitution, it actually PROTECTED freedom of speech and the right to open and unfettered access to the internet. You can read a press release from FreePress.net about the FCC punishing Comcast here or you can watch the YouTube video embedded below.
I was having a conversation with DJ Riz of Crooklyn Clan the other day and for a few minutes we got curmudgeonly about Hip-Hop. Like a lot of folks who are reaching, or are already in, their 30’s, we lamented the lack of knowledge younger Hip-Hop fans have of the old school. Riz, however, also brought up the interesting point that teenagers today have their own version of old school and it may surprise a lot of people to see which artists fall under their “old school” classification. If you’re around my age the list will also make you feel really really old.
BUN B TO PERFORM INTIMATE MYSPACE RELEASE SHOW IN DALLAS, TX, AT TORCH ON AUGUST 1 NEW ALBUM II TRILL IN STORES NOW ON RAP-A-LOT/ASYLUM RECORDS
MySpace Music is proud to announce that Bun B will be performing a free show for his MySpace friends at Torch in Dallas, TX on August 1 - a show being powered by Saints Row 2. Celebrating his recently released album "II Trill," Bun B will be returning to his home state of Texas to showcase his newly-christened material. Attendance is free for 21+ adults for the performance on a first come, first served basis starting at 10 p.m. on August 1.
Emerging from Port Arthur, Texas, as one-half of UGK (Underground Kingz) alongside the late Pimp C, Bun B has also made a name for himself as a hugely-successful solo artist in the hip-hop game. The three years between his debut solo album "Trill" and the present time have been turbulent for him but have provided inspiration for the wordplay featured on the highly-anticipated sequel "II Trill." Since Pimp C's death in 2007, Bun B's solo career has taken on an entirely new meaning, and the new album, along with his continued popularity, are a testament to the type of impact he continues to have on Dirty South music and beyond. Featuring guest shots from the likes of Lil Wayne, Sean Kingston and others, "II Trill" is a statement that Bun B is able to carry on the spirit of UGK despite the absence of his partner in rhyme.
Musical Artist Lil’ Wayne Signs Lucrative “Branded Liquor” Deal
Cash Money Records superstar Lil’ Wayne, a.k.a. Dwayne Michael Carter Jr. signed the speculated multi-million dollar deal with Straight Up Brands, Inc. Straight Up is one of the many “luxury line” companies to which Lil’ Wayne is contracted to collaborate on the development, branding and marketing of a product. The deal was brokered by Raymond “Raydon” Coleman, CEO of A Team Entertainment and Ron “Black” Baptiste, CEO of BlackCole Entertainment and partner of A Team Entertainment.
Straight Up Brands Inc. is a public company that develops, produces, markets and promotes branded alcohol beverages through collaborations with artists, DJ’s and other influential celebrities. The company is a vehicle through which entertainers and other well-known leaders in the entertainment industry have the ability to create personalized beverage products that are unique to their style and enticing to their fans. Lil’ Wayne will be among a select few chosen by the company to participate in such a relatively new concept in liquor marketing. The diverse celebrities with whom Straight Up has developed products have well-established names and audiences. A few of theseentertainers include: Lorraine Bracco, Jim Jones, Cam’ron and Big Tigger and Lil Flip.
The exact details of the Straight Up/Lil’ Wayne deal, including launch date and estimated retail price, were not publicly available at press time. However, industry buzz indicates all parties involved are excited to begin this endeavor and enthusiastically anticipate the national marketing and promotional campaign.
I don't know how long these links will be active for, so get 'em while they're hot - two exclusive new tracks from the forthcoming Joell Ortiz album "Free Agent" entitled "Good Times" and "Memories." Enjoy!
(New York, NY - July 28, 2008) - The Hip Hop Caucus, www.hiphopcaucus.org, and Multi-Platinum, Grammy Award Winning Superstar T.I. have joined forces to launch a powerful new voter registration and Get Out the Vote campaign that combines the power of celebrity and media with 21st century grassroots organizing tactics to mobilize and educate young people between the ages of 18 and 29, who are not in college. The campaign slogan, "Respect My Vote!" and t-shirts were unveiled today at a press event in Washington, DC, with DJ Green Lantern, Dawn from Danity Kane, Young Berg, Maino, Wale, Young Steff, Washington Wizard Etan Thomas, Olympic Gold Medalist Anthony Killieberew, Immortal Technique, Pleasure P, World Class Sprinter and Champion Michael Walton, BET Executive Vice President Stephen Hill and many others turning out to support.
The campaign, led by T.I. will employ other celebrities, athletes and high profile influential figures to get out the vote in a variety of ways including PSAs for radio, television and online use; in person appearances; press events; mobile and email alerts from celebrities themselves; and an aggressive online campaign. Famed photographer Jonathan Mannion has been exclusively tapped to shoot portraits of the famous faces adoring the "Respect My Vote!" slogan and t-shirt produced by forthcoming AKOO clothing line as well as direct and produce the PSA's. Confirmed participating talent will be announced throughout the campaign leading up to the November election.
Grassroots voter registration activities will be led by Hip Hop Caucus community-based street teams in seventeen (17) cities across the nation: CA (Bay Area), FL (Miami), GA (Atlanta), IN (Indianapolis), MD (Baltimore), MI (Detroit), MO (St. Louis); NC (Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham), OH (Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus), PA (Philadelphia), TX (Dallas-Ft. Worth, Houston), VA (Richmond), and DC (Washington, DC).
Hip Hop Caucus President, Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr., who helped create VOTE OR DIE! with Sean "Diddy" Combs in 2004, explains "No matter who wins in November, if large numbers of young people do not vote, then we all lose. It does not bode well for the future of our country, and our Democracy, if young people, particularly those who are not in college, are not engaged or involved in the electoral process. This campaign is critical in strengthening our Democracy and thus protecting our freedom."
Half of young Americans ages 18-29 have never enrolled in college. According to research done by the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), a non-partisan research center, nearly 80 percent of the young voters who turned out on Super Tuesday had college experience. The disparity between college educated and non-college educated young voter participation is also evident by their turnout rates: one in four eligible young voters with college experience voted on Super Tuesday, compared with one in 14 eligible young voters with no college experience.
Based on these statistics, the Hip Hop Caucus and T.I. have elected to focus on engaging those individuals who are part of the larger scope of the non-college and non-voting community.
T.I., who is gearing up for the release on his highly anticipated new album, "Paper Trail" (Grand Hustle/Atlantic Records) on September 30th and has grown to truly be one of his generation's most captivating speakers explains, "It's an honor and a pleasure to be involved with the Hip Hop Caucus and be a part of such a worthy cause and important campaign. I look forward to urging the masses to take advantage of the right that I no longer have."
This campaign will build on what worked in 2004 by using proven market outreach strategies in an electoral context. With programs including bus tours, street teams to register voters, voter education events during the Democratic and Republican Conventions and other events, we will integrate the audience building capacity of celebrities and media, and the data management and technology available for political organizations. The campaign will provide insights and data into the political behavior of this generally unengaged citizenry, and build sustainable community participation.
The Hip Hop Caucus was established in September 2004 by activists and organizers who were working to get out the vote. In organizing and mobilizing around the 2004 elections we realized the critical need for a sustainable political organization that empowers the Hip Hop generation to participate in the policymaking process. Through the Hip Hop Caucus we are challenging the demonization of a generation and culture by creating a space for young people to speak up - to discuss and debate a new vision of a society and a government that works for all of us. We engage the Hip Hop generation, those born after 1964, through issue campaigns, events, and voter education.