Wednesday, November 25, 2009

New Sammy Sam feat. Big YO "Concret Jungle" (Sammy Sam and the Case of the Ashy Robbers)

Anyone been wondering where Sammy Sam is? Well, here's a new song from him, "Concrete Jungle" featuring and produced by Memphis/Atlanta rapper/producer, Big Yo.

I met Sam in the early 2000s through the late great Bill Davis of Fi Records. He was a character then and is a character now. Word is, he's dropping some new material with Oomp Records next year.

Anyways, it's funny because a couple of days before this song was recorded, Sam was robbed and shot in the arm. That's not really the funny part, obviously.
It's funny, because Sam, who has no issues with holding his tongue, told the robbers that they were "ashy" and looked like some pimps in their wore out gators. He was clowning them as they told him to get on the ground and was so funny that one of the robbers couldn't help but burst out laughing. This angered his burglar friend, so he shot Sam in the arm. Good thing it was just the arm. As I said, Sam is doing swell now. Damn recession.

Anyhoo. "Concrete Jungle" is below. He even mentions the Case of the Ashy Robbers in his verse.

"Concrete Jungle" Sammy Sam feat. Big Yo (produced by Big Yo)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Bobby Creekwater in Creative Loafing

I interviewed Creek about two months ago at his studio. It was a great interview. Then I lost it, and had to interview him again. He was really swell about it.

Of course, I've been waxing poetic about the brilliance that is Bobby Creekwater for many moons now. Here's my little blurb on him that I did for Creative Loafing.


"Ms. Atlanta" feat. Mykel

Cunninlynguists "Yellow lines" Feat. Phonte & Witchdoctor

I'm about to interview Kno from Cunninlynguists (again) and in honor of the occassion, decided to post one of my favorite songs from them, "Yellow Lines" off of Dirty Acres. Phonte + Witchdoctor = Strangely Jamming.

Love these guys. Speaking of Kentucky... I need more Nappy Roots.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Cory Mo, Troublesum, Pill & Mike Flow- "Beats & Lyrics"

Here's a new ditty, courtesy of my homeboy, Cory Mo. Does pressing the record button a couple of times qualify as engineering? Yeah, I didn't think so. Anyways, I was around while Cory was dropping his verse (hit the record button a couple of times) and was supposed to hop on it. Unfortunately, I was bullshitting that day and promptly got bumped.

Anyhoo, Pill, Mike Flow and Troublesum also show up on this track. I think Troublesum might have the best verse too. Girls rule.

Formidable Female Emcees

Per your requests, here is a quickie list of formidable female emcees. Notice how I did not say, "femcees"? I hate that word, even though I've used in a few articles myself, admittedly. For one, an emcee is an emcee... period. If you say femcee, why not say mancee? Because "mancee" sounds retarded. And so does "femcee."

Anyhoo. This is a quickie list (emphasis on quick). Everyone on here isn't super polished, some have indie deals, others are doing it solo-dolo. Also, please note that all of these women are not under 25. Guess what industry people? You don't have to be under 25 to rap and be a female. Hell, if dudes can get on at 36 (Plies, Rick Ross) and still be rapping at like, 53 (Jay-Z, Young Jeezy) then why can't women?

But yeah, please feel free to add to this short list if you sponosor a dope ass female rapper....

Eternia- She's super dope. Dope flow, good storytelling... just dope.
Check out: "Nowhere No More," "Bang"

Boog Brown- I first really heard her go on "Midwest Kidz" after my homie Small Eyez (also featured on the song) sent it to me. She killed it. Been diggin her ever since. She's a really, really great, introspective writer, and flow is ill. She may be my favorite listed.
Check Out: "The Mirror," "Midwest Kidz Rmx"

Miki Vale- Found her on Myspace back in the day and have been following her ever since. Has a good following, especially out in Cali. Nice flow, great writer...
Check Out: "Bringitback"

Brittany Street- Back when I was music editor at Rolling Out it seemed like she was featured at least once a month, mostly because our Chicago editor (Gavin Godfrey) at the time was in love with her. She's diverse, ain't afraid to be a girl and still spits.
Check Out: "Gone"

Toni Hickman- A little biased here maybe, because I've worked with her a few times. But Toni is dope, formerly signed to Suave House. Very point blank style, street intelligent music.
Check Out: "Obstacles"

Jboogie aka Lois Lane- Yes, that's me.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Plight of the Female Emcee: 3 Kinds of Rappers That Annoy Everyone

I've often contemplated why female emcees have gone the way of the wholly mammoth. I've also wondered why to be honest, I don't really like most female emcees.

Most of my musings have focused on industry politics and insider's refusal to take chances and reinvent the wheel. You don't know how many executives I've spoken to who claim that female emcees won't sell, have no real audience, and require too much effort to market. Um, excuse me, but isn't that your job? These executives are so spoiled by these "ready-made" emcees that they no longer even understand the concept of real marketing, artist development and grooming a project to make audiences understand why they need the music in their lives.

Anyhow, this time, I've decided to focus on the actual female emcees, not the system. These are the emcees that need to re-evaluate themselves and get focused on making good music. They are the types of female rappers that annoy everyone (even if they won't admit it).

The Mood Ring Emcee.
If I wanted to hear about solar eclipses, how the moon has affected my life and mood and the galaxy, I would google "astrology" or buy a damn telescope. Seriously, the hell ya'll be talking about? And yes, this applies to men as well. I think because so many female emcees got their start writing poetry (another annoying cliche) they tend to be all Mother Earth-ish in their rhymes. Rapping about the Milky Way and linear equations does not make you deep. Spare me. Please.

The Butch Emcee.
This is a complex issue. This category is probably the most cliche as well. You damn near have to be gay to rhyme these days if you're not being a whore. And before you get your draws in a bunch, no, I'm not anti-gay. I'm just sayin. Somebody needs too.

The truth of the matter is, I've never understood overtly gay female emcees. In fact, if you're a female emcee and are overtly gay, you're probably wack. At the end of the day, I don't want your sexual orientation/presentation to override your music, and for too many Butchy emcee's, it does. When you hit the stage, the first thing that pops into my head should NOT be "wow, she's extra gay." It should be "wow, she's dope" or "this song is jammin." Agreed? The same would apply to dudes, if any of them ever publicly came out of the closet. Nothing wrong with being proud about who you are, but your sexual orientation shouldn't define who you are as an artist, your music should.

Not only that, but too many of these newer Butch Emcees spend so much time trying to prove how dude-like they are, they forget their female audience and lose themselves and their message in the process. I mean, at the end of the day, I don't need you trying to prove to me how hard you are to overcompensate for your feminine qualities. I could just go listen to Chingy or Lloyd Banks if that's the case.

I understand that hip-hop culture damn near breeds gay women. Hell, hip-hop hates women (as it's repeatedly proven) and over the years has insisted that we deny any real femininity in favor of overtly perverted sexuality. I also understand that there are a plethora of gay emcees who have rocked long before the 2000s... I don't need to name them, since many are still semi-in the closet. But even with those emcees, their sexuality wasn't flamboyant. They were just women who rocked, pure and simple. If they happened to be gay, in addition to being a dope emcee, cool. Again, the focus was on making good music... Let's get back to that.

The Rapping Whore.
Out of all of my little categories, this is probably the one that pisses me off the most, for a number of reasons. I think the main reason is because the majority of these women don't even write their own lyrics and do not have any real control over their packaging. Therefore, they become the real-life projected image of what some warped, chauvinistic, controlling man thinks and wants a "woman" to be. Sick shit when you think about it.

I once wrote a piece for a book (that to my knowledge has yet to be published) about how Lil Kim's Hard Core change female emcees forever. Now, I'm not going to blame Kim for killing female rappers, the same way that I won't blame Master P for killing "real hip-hop" when he got on wax and proclaimed that he wasn't a rapper, but a hustler and proceeded to sell millions of records worldwide. I will say that both P and Kim are probably the most tangible examples of the inevitable change that took place.

After Kim dropped and experienced so much success, the blueprint was set. Take a cute female with low self-esteem, get a popular rapper to write her rhymes and make sure she is dressed like a hooker at all times. The female emcee became the physical manifestation of many men's most warped fantasies about what a woman should look like. She became the physical manifestation of what some men believed women secretly coveted-- their money (using sex as weapon to achieve their goals).

Basically, the female emcee quickly lost any traces of real femininity. She lost her voice. And she hasn't really gotten it back since.

The Rapping Whore is probably the most dangerous out there, because she's the only one who has experienced a great deal of commercial success. We all know how imaging can affect and influence people, damage their perceptions of what's real and kill self-esteem. This is a prime example.

I said all of this to say female emcees, for too long, have not represented real women...average women, like me. And that's why we're losing. Again, I understand that the industry machine is like, 97 percent of the problem. You can't even get attention unless you're endorsed by a click of men. I understand that. But for a second, let's forget about men and what they want. Hell, they've totally forgotten about us on the mic, with few exceptions. Just be honest and don't be afraid. It's hard, but it's necessary for women to ever be properly represented in hip-hop again.

***On the bright side, there is a small movement of female rappers across the country starting to sprout up again. They're focused, they're perceptive and they're making good music. If you know one, please, please sponsor her before she makes a break for Europe or Japan.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Freddie Gibbs featuring Pill "Womb 2 the Tomb" VIDEO

Okay, here's the video for my favorite ditty of the summer, "Womb 2 the Tomb" by Freddie Gibbs feat. Pill (produced by the Super Incredible Mr. Lee). I dig it. I never actually like, for real looked at Freddie Gibbs either... um, cute anyone?

I think this new breed of rappers that can for real rhyme are actually good looking: Blu, Freddie, Pill, Mikkey Halsted, J. Cole... makes you actually want to watch videos again. Hee.

Anywhoo. If I ever shoot a video, I will officially have a scene where I get my hair done under a bridge, or next to a grafitti wall. If the guys can get their hair cut in abandoned warehouses, why can't we do the same? I'm just sayin.

"Wonderful Life" Sean Falyon feat Playboy Tre & Scar

Wee! Excited about this ditty. Playboy Tre is quickly becoming my favorite rapper (if you still haven't downloaded Goodbye America or Liquor Store Mascot your speakers are probably mad at you).

Of course, ya'll know how I feel about my longtime buddy, Scar... he's poised to be "next" and is a phenomenal writer (John Legend, Mario, Jamie Foxx, etc).

Kudos to Sean Falyon for a jamming song-- Sean Falyon BE Everywhere coming soon.
"Wonderful Life" produced by the Weathermen: