With this being the last Heroes & Super Villains post of 2012, we thought we’d use this space to reflect a little on the past calendar year. Like Elliott Wilson discussed in his recent episode of The Truth, hip-hop has had its fair share of low points these past 12 months: the passing of Beastie Boy Adam “MCA” Yauch and beloved industry man Chris Lighty, not to forget 19-year-old Pro Era MC Capital STEEZ who apparently took his own life this past week; the split of legendary groups (seriously Havoc and P, sort it out!); and rap icons shaming themselves live in battle (oh, we haven’t forgotten just yet, ‘Bus). With that said, we figured it’d be wise to take some notes to make sure hip-hop doesn’t unnecessarily incriminate itself heading into 2013. Here are three resolutions for hip-hop in 2013:
1. No more Twitter beefs
Rappers, either settle things like grown men (with words, not fists, fellas) or dead that shit. Beefs are only kinda cool when they fuel competition on the mic, not when they leave bitchy remarks in another man’s mentions.
2. Labels, less of these multi-million dollar record deals for one-hit wonders, please
Okay, it worked with A$AP Rocky, but that doesn’t mean every “rapper” with a grossly over-hyped YouTube clip deserves a deal. Encourage artists to craft a solid body of work before waving the check and maybe this culture won’t be viewed as such a get-rich-quick scheme (word to Nas).
3. Cut the catchphrases
“Swag.” “YOLO.” “Trill.” How about “GetTheFuckOuttaHereWithThatBullshit”? We’ve already got enough suburban boppers forcing the lifestyle, we don’t need to give them another corny phrase they can print on their non-Mitchell & Ness snapbacks.
Rant over. Before all that though, let’s recap the past week as normal with five of the best releases you might have missed. Enjoy offerings from Statik Selektah, Planet Asia, Curtis Williams, Nature and Scotty below.
1) Statik Selektah Capital STEEZ Tribute Mix
Having lent production to Pro Era‘s recent PEEP: The aPROcalypse mixtape, Statik Selektah paid tribute to perhaps the crew’s most intriguing MC, Capital STEEZ, who tragically passed away on Christmas Eve, with a 23-minute mix on his ShowOff Radio spot. #RIPSTEEZ.
2) Planet Asia – “Gift Rap Medallions”
Directed by: Topaz Films
The first video from Planet Asia and Gold Chain Music‘s Everyday Is Christmas EP came this week. Filmed in an apartment hallway, the visuals are hardly spectacular, but the audio itself, with that classic D’Angelo sample, is good enough for us.
3) Curtis Williams (feat. Robb Bank$) – “Bare Essentials”
Having enjoyed a breakout year himself, Trillwave’s next-in-line Robb Bank$ throws fellow freshman Curtis Williams a rope for his new joint, “Bare Essentials.” Judging by this, both Bank$ and Williams are two names to watch for next year.
4) Nature – “Welcome To My World”
Directed by: Porter For PorterVision
Nas‘ old buddy Nature keeps Queensbridge pride strong heading into 2013 with this rich, soul-sampling gem, “Welcome To My World.” It comes correct with visuals of Nature spitting rhymes in the booth and his DJ doing his thing on the 1s and 2s. Take it back to the basics, kid.
5) Scotty (feat. Big Sant) – “Bucket Seats”
Drawing influence from O.G.s like UGK, while cut from the same cloth as Big K.R.I.T., Atlanta newcomer Scotty forged ties across the Southern belt for his new track, “Bucket Seats,” featuring Mississippi’s Big Sant. These smooth, nostalgic sounds are presented by respected scribe Maurice Garland.