When people look at A.D. the VOICE’s educational background the first thing they usually ask is “why is that guy a rapper?” A.D. was the first black Rhodes Scholar to graduate from Colgate University. He then moved on to Oxford University and Harvard Law. Hip-Hop, however, and the art of MCing, called to him the entire time. “I think for me Hip-Hop boils down to being the ultimate form of self-expression,” he explains, “and there is nothing I enjoy more in life than expressing myself.” After an impromptu appearance on stage with The Roots during a show at Colgate A.D. the Voice was hooked and Hip-Hop became added to the holy trinity of things he had done growing up in Schenectady, NY - books, basketball, and church. This week I caught up with A.D. the Voice to find out how higher education and Hip-Hop mix.
In a recent article on www.ballerstatus.com Nas revealed that 2007 is going to be his year. Nas has been telling MTV among others that he's halfway done with a new album and the first single will come out on October, but he won't yet reveal the title. MTV is also reporting that a Nas greatest hits album will come out in November before the album of new studio material drops. Nas: "They say the fourth quarter is for big dogs. I been doing the fourth quarter for years, so I guess I'm at home in the fourth." Stay tuned to RapReviews.com for more coverage of this album as the year draws closer to an end and we'll see if Nas makes his fourth quarter goal on time.
In this latest MySpace blog entry Steve 'Flash' Juon takes VH1's "Hip Hop Honors" to task, particularly their section for awards honoring online hip-hop websites. You'll definitely want to check this one out. For more updates from the founder of OHHLA and RapReviews.com be sure to check out www.myspace.com/originalhiphop or subscribe for direct updates.
With artists having such a hard time generating album sales it’s a wonder they haven’t taken a harder look at how to properly utilize downloading to their advantage. I’ve previously written about the potential advantages to having at least one song on an artist’s MySpace page being available for download, but former Artist of the Week Conscious has one-upped me by putting together an entire EP, A Side, B Side, and offering it up for free via download. A lot of folks, especially artists, may think that’s quite a lot of work to be giving away for free, but when one takes a closer look at it they’ll realize the idea is brilliant.
In an update from our good friends at www.ballerstatus.com Kanye West says he's fed up with MTV and NEVER coming back. The Chicago native hip-hop artist feels he didn't get the treatment he deserved at this weekend's MTV Video Music Awards and the Associated Press is reporting that West "lost it" backstage. His beef appears to be that hiss performances throughout the evening were performed in the Palms Hotel & Casino's suites instead of on the main stage where Justin Timberlake and others were featured. An anonymous backstage source was quoted this way: "Kanye was watching the closing performance [a medley featuring JustinTimberlake, Timbaland and Nelly Furtado] on a closed-circuit monitor,and he started getting upset. He started asking anyone who'd listen why he wasn't allowed to perform on the main stage. 'Why did I perform in just a suite?' he was saying. 'Justin's my boy, but even he gets to perform in both a suite and on the main stage? Something's wrong here.' " It was after this outburst that he vowed never to return to MTV again - strong words coming just 24 hours before the release of "Graduation," potentially his biggest album yet. Stay tuned to www.RapReviews.com as we unveil a review of this album at tonight midnight EST, 11:00 CST along with 50 Cent's "Curtis" and an advanced look at Chamillionaire's "Ultimate Victory."
A lot of people point towards 1996 as a landmark year for Hip-Hop despite the murder of 2Pac. What seems to fall through the cracks in the discussion, however, is that 1996 was also one of the greatest years on record (pun fully intended) for R&B / Soul music. So while everyone else has taken you through what made the year such a great one for Hip-Hop, today I’m going to take you on a ride through the soulful side of ’96.
There’s been a pretty constant rhetoric for the past half decade about how Hip-Hop needs saving. Everyone is quick to anoint new artists as the next big thing, or the potential saviors of Hip-Hop. The truth of the matter is no one can live up to such initial pressures and in the past few years a number of artists have failed miserably under such conditions. Today I’m taking a look at five of those artists.
It was supposed to be a fairly easy evening. This past Friday all I had to do was drive up to Webster Theatre in Hartford, say I’m on the list, get in, see an act I’ve wanted to see for a while now in Tech N9ne, and two acts that people wanted me to cover, Kottonmouth Kings and Ill Bill. Unfortunately, very little about covering the show turned out to be as easy as it should have been.
This story was sent to us by www.killedthat.com - at the Madison Square Garden "ScreamFest" concert last night Kanye West and Jay-Z performed several hits together while 50 Cent stood on stage with them, nodding his head to the music. That's not the interesting part - the big scoop is that when they were done performing 50 threw up the Roc diamond (the same one Jay-Z and Diamond Dallas Page settled out of court over). This may be the end of the alleged "feud" between the two over their new albums coming out on the same day, or perhaps Jay squashed it himself by inviting 50 onstage to make him an honorary member of the Roc. We encourage you to go to www.killedthat.com and check out their photos from the show.
Just days after we learned that Foxy Brown was leaving Def Jam she's already gotten herself into ANOTHER jam. www.urbanworldwireless.com reports that Inga Marchand b.k.a. Foxy Brown was sent to Rikers Island for violating her probation. Apparently the judge overseeing her case heard about her allegedly smacking a neighbor in the face with a Blackberry and traveling out of her jurisdiction despite being on probation, and these were the final straws. Marchand will now sit in jail until her next hearing on September 6th.
Meanwhile it's all coming up roses for her ex-beau Ricardo Emmanuel Brown, better known as Kurupt. www.ballerstatus.com reports that Kurupt and Gail Gotti tied the knot on August 20th during a private ceremony held in Philadelphia, PA. The hip-hop couple exchanged vows in front of 170 of their closest family and friends at the Rittenhouse Hotel, just eight months after Kurupt proposed to Gail. Congratulations to the newlyweds!
Bad news for Amy Winehouse fans though - her label reports that due to the rigours involved in touring she has been advised to postpone her upcoming September US and Canadian tour dates. All ticket holders may obtain refunds at their point of purchase. Ironically Amy's European and UK tour dates in October and November remain in place but until then Amy has been ordered to rest and is working with medical professionals to address her health. You know, that's just no good.