Is it really fair to put anyone against Rakim? If there is one consistent name that appears on lists of greatest MCs of all time, hands down, it’s Rakim. We think his contender LL Cool J is up for the challenge. LL may be acting more than rapping these days, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t still have bars. I shudder just thinking of “Second Round KO” directed at Canibus or “To Da Break of Dawn” aiming shots at Kool Moe Dee, Ice-T and MC Hammer. He’s sold 7.5 million albums with five top 40 hits on the Billboard charts. He’s known for popular tracks like “I Need Love” that show a glimpse of his softer side, and “Mama Said Knock You Out” that solidifies his toughness. Do not get it twisted. LL will wax you on wax. Get it?
Rakim is a legendary emcee. Lyrically, he’s so amazing you don’t feel comfortable calling him a rapper — only emcee will suffice. Not only was his debut album with friend Eric B deemed a classic, Paid in Full was considered the greatest hip-hop album of all time by MTV. There’s no sense in even naming the rappers he’s influenced because it’s pretty much everyone worth their rap credentials. Steve Huey of Allmusic.com said, “Rakim is near-universally acknowledged as one of the greatest MCs —perhaps the greatest— of all-time within the hip-hop community.” That said, whereas LL became a household name, Rakim never reached massive mainstream success. With Eric B., he released four albums, only completing three solo projects. He took a 10 year hiatus between his second (The Master) and third (The Seventh Seal) album. He only sold two million records in his over 20 year career. But what Rakim lacked in commercial success he makes up in talent.
This one’s going to be juicy. Vote to advance your favorite Yo! MTV Raps era emcee to the next round. Voting closes on Wednesday at 11 a.m. ET. Read more…
It’s always bitter sweet to see the ladies pegged against one another since so few female emcees break through the glass ceiling of hip-hop. Queen Latifah and MC Lyte proved that women had something to say, something worth listening to, and ultimately demanded the same respect as their male counterparts. That’s why precisely why they’ve been chosen for their fans to vote for the Greatest MC of the Yo! MTV Raps Era.
MC Lyte’s critically acclaimed first album, Lyte as a Rock, debuted in 1988, while Latifah’s All Hail the Queen was released a year later. “Ladies First” was one of the most popular songs from Latifah’s first project, and still gets crowds bumpin’ when it comes on in the clubs today. MC Lyte’s breakout singles include “I Cram to Understand U (Sam)” and “Paper Thin;” the latter topped the Billboard Rap charts at #1. Lyte made a name for herself with her uncensored lyrics, and we loved every minute of it. Both women continued to make records throughout the 90s, but by the mid 90s, Lil Kim and Foxy Brown had changed what it meant to be a female rapper with their explicit lyrics and barely there outfits.
You can’t mention female emcees without noting the contributions of both Latifah and Lyte. That said, whether it was the woman empowerment vibe Queen brought, or MC Lyte’s unapologetic no nonsense hardcore lyrics, you can only pick one. Vote for the femcee you want to advance to round two. Voting closes Wednesday, April 25 at 4 p.m. ET/PT!
Are you excited yet about Round One of Bracket Madness featuring your favorite emcees of the Yo! MTV Raps era? In this corner, we have the pioneers of this rap thing: Chuck D vs. KRS-One. With their well respected contributions to hip-hop its kind of hard to choose between the two. Both bred in the ghettos of New York in the 60s and 70s, their lyrics reflected the awareness of the world they saw around them. But one would be highly mistaken if they attributed the consciousness in their rhymes for weakness. Each one of their flows are undeniably raw. So who do you vote for? Here’s three reasons to vote for either one.
CHUCK D 1. Two words: Public Enemy.
Dude was a member of Public Enemy. Need we say more? A rap group like that doesn’t come around twice in a lifetime. “Public Enemy #1″ was a classic track from their debut album Yo! Bum Rush the Show in 1987. From 1988-1991, the dynamic group released three platinum albums. The same group gifted the world with “Fight the Power.” This song is better than some cats’ entire catalog. I’m just sayin’. Public Enemy went on to sell four million albums throughout their career. Plus, anyone that could put up with the clock rocking Flavor Flav, has to be one hell of a guy.
2. Distinctive sound.
No one in hip-hop has a voice like Chuck. It’s so distinctive it couldn’t even be duplicated. He raps, you listen. From the flow to the tone to the speed, Chuck D has a full command of his sound.
It’s great that Brian McKnight wants to share his new creative ideas for his upcoming “adult mixtape,” an idea that surfaced after chatting with his fans on Twitter. But we were not expecting the R&B veteran known for hits like “Anytime” and “Back at One” to, err, sing about showing a woman what to do with her vajayjay. (Hey, we’re giving you the PG-13 version.)
In case you’re wondering, this video is not safe for work (NSFW). What starts off with McKnight sitting at the piano in his studio expressing his desire to tackle certain sexual topics ends with a shocking snippet of a new song. “If You’re Ready to Learn,” jumps right into it with some rather vulgar lyrics. “Let me show you how your p**** works. Since you didn’t bring it to me first. I have lots of things to show you if you’re ready to learn.” No, god no. Don’t ruin McKnight for me…for forever.
Apparently there has been a lot of public opinion (read: criticism) about what he’s now calling a parody video. Over on the TheYBF.com, they’re reporting McKnight got wind of the chatter and took to Twitter to say this:
I was just having some fun and look what happened…it’s for all those women who keep getting disappointed by their partners period it was a parody about that
It’s funny how we listen and let our kids listen to songs about killing people and selling drugs and calling women bitches…I wrote this song crude as it may be about satisfying all women and look what happened…I’m not being defensive it’s just sad to think that one parody could wipe out 25 years of work
He has a point. Lighten up, people. Geeez. Of course it was a little weird to hear the 42-year-old musician I grew up listening to sing about women’s private parts. But it’s funny! In the office its been said,”this is going to become a karaoke anthem.” Bring on the “Let me show you how your…” karaoke nights. We’re so ready. Read more…
The saga continues like a played out soap opera between Azealia Banks and T.I. In the latest episode of Azealia/Azalea gate, Bossip reports that T.I. stopped by Chicago’s Morning Riot to promote his new album Trouble Man, and once again he commented on the “beef” between his artist Iggy Azalea and Azealia Banks. In a non-politically correct move T.I. added his two cents. When asked about the girl drama T.I. responded with a rather interesting response:
“Now you see the thing is about that. Guess what. I didn’t even know nothing about it to just now. I ain’t even see it. Now I know they going through they thang. But the fact that she’s speaking upon me and mine. And I never, I ain’t even see it. That is what I consider and excuse my language, but that’s bitch sh*t. I’m a man. You ain’t got no business addressing me. You got a man, get him to address me and he and I can speak on it. But you and me – naw, keep dealing with that woman. Y’all handle that. Me and you we ain’t got nowhere to go with that. I do what men do.
Everyone needs to just breathe. Remember: “No comment” is a sufficient answer. Use it; it is your friend. Not one to stand by idly while being talked about, Banks took to Twitter and replied to T.I. directly. And she did not bite her tongue, calling T.I. both a clown and a snitch.
Performing at Coachella for two consecutive weekends must be intense for artists. They understand that each show is different, as is each audience. Doing an exact repeat performance of a set that has already been viewed around the ‘net by thousands of fans could be career suicide. (Well, at least Coachella career suicide.) Frank Ocean, an artist whose reputation has been built up by the Internet, is definitely someone who recognizes this, so he made sure to switch things up a bit this weekend by covering Lauryn Hill’s beloved “Tell Him” right out of the gates. The minute the crowd recognized the words, they went crazy. Not just because they were familiar, though, but because of the way Frank took the slow steady route, singing smoothly over the mellow instrumentals.
Ocean also gave the crowd another treat with his new song, “Forrest Gump,” which he explained to the rabid crowd as being on “one of his new jams” from his upcoming LP.
Now that you’ve had your nostalgia fix with 40 Greatest Yo! MTV Raps Moments, we’re letting you decide the eight greatest emcees of that era. It’s the ultimate face off! You vote for your favorite contenders hoping they advance to the next round. But only one will walk away with the coveted title of “Greatest MC of the Yo! MTV Raps Era.”
In Round One, Chuck D. takes on KRS-One, and Ice Cube is matched up against Fresh Prince. Both Chuck D. and KRS are said to be at the top of any lyricism list. That will be a close call. With Ice Cube and Fresh Prince you have a west coast, former N.W.A. member versus the fun “Parents Just Don’t Understand” creator. We’re not even sure if that’s a fair match up. How will you decide between LL Cool J vs. Rakim? And, of course, we couldn’t leave out the women of hip-hop with Queen Latifah vs. MC Lyte.
Vote for your favorite emcee if you want to see them take the crown! Round One is open from 11 a.m. today to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, April 25. Round two opens from 4 p.m. on Wednesday, April 25 to 4 p.m. on Friday, April 27. The final round voting opens at 4 p.m. on Friday, April 27 and closes at 4 p.m. on Monday, April 30. Check back daily to see who is on top.
Jilly from Philly is still churning out singles from her Billboard No. 1 album The Light of the Sun that was released last June. “Blessed” is Jill Scott’s soulful fourth single, her way of singing her gratefulness for all of the blessings in her life. Boy, does she have a lot to be grateful for, including her album, which was indeed a commercial success. The success is all the more sweet following a four year hiatus, where she worked on movies like Why Did I Get Married, and Hounddog, not to mention a starring role in The No. 1 Ladies Detective Series. She collaborated with producers Terry Lewis and JR Hutson for the album and will be promoting it with her Summer Block Party tour.
On May 21, she will kick off VH1′s 16th season premiere of VH1 Storytellers. In the meantime, she is fabulous as ever. How cute is the dressed up moose, an ode to her son, whom she sings about in the first verse. Singing in her Biggie t-shirt, Jill reminds us why we love her. She is working those different hairstyles (three to be exact. Duh, we counted). Bow down to Ms. Scott.
Tupac’shologram resurgence at Coachella last weekend has spun into an otherworldly pool of ideas of what other deceased celebrities should be resurrected. Super producer Dr. Dre was the visionary behind the concept and has finally broken his silence. Judging by his interview with TMZ, we can surely expect more artists to pop-up from the dead in the near future.
TMZ caught up with the Doctor as he was leaving dinner. There’s been mixed reactions about whether or not the hologram was a brilliant idea or if it was totally creepy. Well, Dre is happy with the results and said, “I think everybody’s in love with it right now, so we’re having fun.”
Not only is he having fun, he hopes other artists will create their own spin-off of his idea and bring back their favorite artists. “Hopefully, different artists are able to bring out their favorite artists,” he said. “Hopefully, we can see Jimi Hendrix and Marvin Gaye. Let’s see what happens.”
Suge Knight is bugging all the way out after Tupac’sCoachella appearence. Technically, we don’t know for sure he’s watched the hologram, but he’s either smoking some killer kush or he’s a little coo coo. TMZ reports dropped by 93.5 today in LA to chat with radio hosts Tatoo and Cee Cee and addressed the long standing rumor that he had something to do with Pac’s murder. Suge wasn’t having that, at all, saying, “I got a 45 bullet in my head, into my skull by grabbing Tupac pulling him down.” If you say so, Mr. Knight. The interview goes all the way left when he gets the heat off him by suggesting, wait for it…Tupac is really alive! Boy, that’s some good kush he’s smoking on 4/20.
Suge claims everyone knows what really happened to Pac. He names Biggie and Puffy right before he explains, “The hit was already paid for to kill Tupac.” Then he switches gears and implies people are focusing on the wrong thing.