Although a lot of events went down in the world of Hip Hop this week (everything from Eminem‘s new track, “Rap God” blowing up the Internet to Master P getting divorced; in all actuality of the latter, he should of just made her say ugh) no story is as sad as this: Q-Tip has announced that A Tribe Called Quest‘s last show will take place on November 24 at Madison Square Garden.
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Now that the BET cyphers for 2013 are over and the the fans have given their two cents (let’s be honest, it’s the only reason to watch the awards show, unless you truly enjoy seeing Rick Ross dressed as the Cookie Monster) let’s take a look back at 1994-aka one of the best years in Hip Hop. With the Southern sounds of Outkast‘s Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, the street poet Nas dropping the legendary Illmatic and Common going straight to the dome with Resurrection, it’s safe to say that it was a good year.
But 94′ also had another “B.I.G” album that cannot be ignored. The Notorious B.I.G.‘s Ready to Die, an album that stole the thunder from West Coast acts and put the focus back on New York, is considered to be one of the best works in Hip Hop history. Before the album blew up by going platinum 4 times, Biggie Smalls joined the ranks of Craig Mack, Rampage, LL Cool J & Busta Rhymes, four acts that were already established. Throw in some shots of Diddy doing his signature shimmy dance and you’ve got the remix for “Flava In Ya Ear.”
What’s interesting to note is this was before Biggie blew up. Sure, he had some success with “Party & Bullshit” and on some remixes with Mary J. Blige, but whenever “Flava In Ya Ear” is talked about, everyone puts the focus on Biggie’s verse. The DJ’s always play his verse for good reason; his loose, but memorable rhyming scheme perfectly matches the simple, yet effective instrumental.
In a bittersweet move by Diddy, Craig Mack and Rampage stood on the sidelines as the monumental success of Frank White shadowed their own fame. Ironically, Rampage’s line, “I’m gonna live long in this rap game” was short lived when he faded into obscurity (sure he was involved in Busta Rhyme’s “Woo Hah!! (Got You All In Check)” but they’re cousins so it doesn’t really count.) But they shouldn’t be mad, UPS is always hiring.
Check it out down below and relive one of the best cyphers of all time:
After being delayed and pushed back Pusha T‘s My Name Is My Name finally has dropped.
Greg Grease – “Forward”
If you’ve managed to get this far during the week, you probably deserve a break. And what good timing to introduce Greg Grease‘s latest video for “Forward”, a stripped down, less-is-more banger that doesn’t need to be overdramatic to get it’s point across. Directed by Adam Dunn as a part of his #LABB (Lights and a Backdrop) series, the visuals are as minimalistic as it gets, allowing the Grease, his DJ and his turntable to play centre stage. Check it out and be sure to pick up Greg Grease’s Black King Cole EP if you don’t already own it.
Blu & Nottz (feat. Rashad) – “End of the World”
CJ Fly (feat. A La $oul & Phife Dawg) – “Seek Well”
Boldy James (feat. Earl Sweatshirt, Da$h & Domo Genesis) – “Reform School” (prod. by The Alchemist)
Danny Brown (feat. Scrufizzer) – “Dubstep”
Black Milk – “Dismal”
Alterbeats (feat. Guilty Simpson & The Rockness Monstah) – “Fruit Punch”
Snow Tha Product (feat. CyHi The Prynce) – “Hold You Down”
Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – “Harold’s”
Childish Gambino – “Yaphet Kotto”
Stan Ipcus – “Wifey Material”