Long gone are the days everyone waited for an official statement from celebrities’ publicists. With social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, celebrities can use 140 characters to instantly send a message for anyone to see. Today, the death of Adam “MCA” Yauch of the Beastie Boys is a tremendous loss to music. With the impact MCA made in music, it was inevitable celebrities would tweet their condolences as they, too, mourn with the rest of the world. Celebrities who honored Yauch via Twitter ran the gamut of everyone from Jonah Hill to Q-Tip to Cypress Hill. Judging by his peers, MCA was a well respected musician, father, husband and human being. We’re happy these stars decided to share.
Today may indeed be Earth Day, but the date 4/20 means something else entirely to people who are proud owners of medical marijuana prescriptions (and maybe a few of you lawbreakers out there, too). April 20 is an unofficial national holiday for weed enthusiasts, and since we know that a few of you out there partake in the occasional puff puff pass session, we thought we’d take some time to update the list we created back in 2008 of Dope Tracks: The 20 Best Songs About Weed. That list focused exclusively on the rap community’s obsession with Mary Jane, so we thought we’d branch out a bit and put together a brand new Spotify playlist for you that incorporates the sticky-ickiest songs from not just the hip-hop universe, but also from classic rock, reggae, and folk music. So, without further ado, we present to you this brand new collection we’re calling Dope Tracks: The Top 25 Songs About Weed.
We’ve got our complete guide as to why we selected these songs for you below.
The gang’s all here this beautiful Wednesday morning as the second day of rehearsals for Hip Hop Honors kick off. Some say hip-hop runs on its own time, but Fat Joe, Jim Jones and the Gym Class Heroes are all here, right on time, to honor Cypress Hill. To have such a collection of talent under one roof is amazing, and that’s not lost on the honorees themselves. While walking around surveying the set, B-Real happens to whip out the same digital camera your loyal bloggers have to record the moment, as a decidedly less portly Fat Joe walks over to pay his respects.
It’s obvious Fat Joe’s been doing his homework, as he tears through a flawless rendition of “The Phuncky Feel One.” Jim Jones has a little work to do before the show, as he seems more interested in watching the dancers than the words to “I Ain’t Goin’ Out Like That.”
Appropriately, plumes of smoke wreath Cypress Hill as they run through “(Rock) Superstar.” Moments later, Cypress Hill, Jim Jones, Mack 10, Gym Class Heroes are up on the mezzanine, answering our questions about Cypress Hill and a particular herbal remedy the group are fond of (coming soon…). Mos Def swings by and tells us which honoree he’s most excited to see, which we’ll have for you later today.
Check back for tons of updates from hip-hop’s front lines, and be sure to tune in Monday, October 6th at 10 p.m.
Roll through hip hop’s old school and you quickly get goosebumps: the array of innovative artists that helped establish the music is daunting. Our annual salute to the masters who gave rap its early achievements has become a great tradition. This year, VH1’s Hip Hop Honors is saluting five wildly creative acts, Cypress Hill, De La Soul, Naughty By Nature, Slick Rick, and Too $hort. Each brought a wealth of ideas to the table, guiding the music to the next level.
The show is hosted by Tracy Morgan. It premieres on October 7 on VH1.
“Hummin’, comin’ atcha…” B Real and his buds Sen Dog and DJ Muggs put asses in gear and had dudes glancing over their shoulders when they busted out of L.A. in 1991 with a wildly aggressive debut. They were weed-smoking bangers who loved all sorts of funk. Sometimes rapping in Spanglish, sometimes letting their anger dominate, and always explaining their frustrations, they made tracks like “How I Could Just Kill a Man” sound like chilling reports from the ‘hood.
A Brit raised in the Bronx, Slick Rick had MCs all around him during his teenage years. He’d bang beats on the school desks and freestyle through the afternoons. The borough was rap’s Mesopotamia, of course, and superhero Doug E Fresh help Rick get a leg up. Almost instantly the party people were constantly shouting one of his improvised refrains. Hip-hop, most assuredly, would be a lesser place without “La Di Da Di.” Turns out the MC had compelling way with a narrative, too, and “Children’s Story, from 1988’s The Great Adventures of Slick Rick is one of rap’s masterpieces.
If everyone’s zigging, maybe it’s best to zag. De La Soul’s 3 Feet High and Rising sounded like nothing hip-hop had heard before when the Long Island trio dropped it in 1989. Nothing. If rap had fashioned itself into a music that was perpetually hard, Trugoy the Dove, Posdnuos, and Pacemaster Mase came on like flower children. Indeed, with their iconoclastic debut declared hip-hop’s “daisy age” to be in full effect. Oddball samples, unusual flow, giddy subject matter – the guys brought a sense of frolic to the foreground, and it was utterly refreshing.
They took a Jackson 5 sample, turned it inside out, layered some glib sex talk on top, and came up with one of hip hop’s catchiest tracks, 1991’s “O.P.P.” Three Jersey kids – Treach, Vinnie, and Kay Gee – knew how to make party music, no question. They came up under Queen Latifah, and in no time had New York bobbing its head to some dope beats. There was a tough side to the Naughty boys, but by the time they dropped “Hip Hop Hooray,” everyone knew they destined to celebrate, not intimidate.
“I met another girl/her name was Ann/all she wanted was to freak with a man/when i met Ann, I shook her hand/we ended up freaking by a garbage can.” Too $hort was just telling it like it was when stepped out of Oakland onto the national scene in 1987. He let everyone know he was born to mack, and his rhymes were filled with the action of dope fiends, sex freaks, and pimp problems. Radically stark, the music behind his performances was woozy and ominous. But something about it was addictive, and it remains so to this day.