Last week, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of A Tribe Called Quest’s seminal album, The Low End Theory, and after spending quality time with the LP, it became clear that many artists may have snagged sonic gems from the trendsetting hip-hop quartet over the years. If you’re a fan of rap music, you already know that sampling and re-working existing songs is commonplace in the creative process; similar to contemporary art’s idea of the “readymade,” producers will lift elements from one song and add them to a new canvas to re-envision their use. But what happens when the same thing is done with lyrics?
One little-known fact: Lil’ Wayne’s“A Milli” is a slowed-down sample of one of Phife’s lines from a remix of “I Left My Wallet in El Segundo” off Tribe’s first album, 1990′s Peoples’ Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm. Sometimes referred to as swagger-jacking, a rapper re-purposing the bars of artists before him or her can in other circumstances be seen as a salute-beckoning sign of respect. And in Tribe’s case, it should be! In addition to sitting down with ATCQ for their first joint interview since 1998, we also got to chat individually with in-and-out, behind-the-scenes group member Jarobi White to scoop his brains for memories on the group’s incredible second album. In honor of its Album-Versary, we present you with Jarobi’s exclusive interview clips, and the Top 5 Recycled Lines From The Low End Theory.
VH1 debuted the latest countdown in our long-running The Greatest series, the 40 Most Shocking Hip Hop Moments, this evening. If you missed it, don’t worry; it will rerun tomorrow night, Monday, September 19, at midnight. If you’re looking for the complete list, look no further. Here are the 40 Most Shocking Hip Hop Moments … so far!
40) Nicki Minaj gets butt slapped by Regis Philbin
39) Wyclef runs for president of Haiti
38) 50 Cent shockingly thin Twitter pics
37) Lil Wayne goes to prison and gets grillz removed
36) Redman?s shocking Cribs episode [WATCH]
35) Cam?ron?s anti-snitching 60 Minutes interview
34) Dr. Dre?s shocking transformation at VMAs
33) Sir Mix-A-Lot?s raunchy ?Put ?Em on the Glass? video
32) Lil Mama crashes stage during Jay-Z and Alicia Keys VMA performance
31) Suge Knight knocked out
With such an oversaturation of music from ?up-and-coming? rappers these days, it?s a constant struggle to differentiate the rookies with potential from the mediocre flashes in the pan. Every day, it seems, there?s a new solo artist, duo or squad that you’re compelled to listen to, and just keeping track of the influx of talent calls can be exhausting for listeners. If you?re a rapper or emcee trying to penetrate ?the game,? it must be intimidating, right? Now imagine you?ve got an extra handicap: You?re British.
With an alley-oop assist from Eric Turner?s booming ?Written In The Stars? chorus, the Capitol-drafted English import rapper Tinie Tempah is gaining early momentum on this side of the pond, and remains determined to do something that very few UK spitters have done before: “break” in America. Tinie has done quite well for himself in his native U.K., as his most recent album Disc-Overy debuted at #1 on the British charts and launched four Top Five singles (including two number ones), and was England’s top-selling debut album by a Brit in 2010. Two BRIT Awards, a recent BET Award for Best International UK Artist and a well-reviewed performance at Glastonbury later, it appears the young rapper is getting on the board fast. But even with those accolades under his belt, finding quick success in America isn?t a given, and Tinie knows that. Between breaking the barriers at crossover radio without getting “too pop” while also getting acclimated with our snooty, regionally-structured hip hop scene, it would appear that his path is a bit steep.
When we sat down to interview Tinie earlier this month, he told us all about his transitional journey from overseas thus far. Lucky for him, some friends of ours helped him mentally prepare for this moment. While supporting The Script on tour in Australia, Tinie received a much-needed pep talk from the band that had experienced some tough American crowds of their own when they first made the North Atlantic journey. ?Just brace yourself,? they told him, ?some of the shows are going to be a little bit gun-wrenching.? The coached warning was helpful and wound up serving as an airbag when Tinie performed before crowds of ten to twenty thousand people one night, and then under one hundred the next. ?It has been fun, and more than anything, it?s a humbling experience ?cause is just shows that, you know, that you?ve never really made it until you?ve made it, and there?s always something more you can be doing, so, yeah, I like it? it?s all part of the game.?
Rapper DMX was arrested – again – this weekend trying to purchase some coke n’ weed from an undercover police officer. After asking the cop for “30 Powder & 15 Weed,” the Ruff Ryder handed over $45 and was immediately arrested. This is the fourth – yes, FOURTH – time DMX has been arrested since May 7th, when he was popped for reckless driving, among other charges. On May 9th he was nailed for animal cruelty and drug possession, and just last week on June 23 he was popped driving without a driver’s license.
Does this guy have any friends to look out for him (besides his abused dogs)? Can’t the Lohans and the Spears clans rally round this guy and haul him off to rehab, starlet style? [TMZ]
Rapper DMX, who once was at the top of the music game, has been arrested AGAIN. Is he trying to break some record or just beat his personal best? He was picked up yesterday on an arrest warrant for driving on a suspended license. Aw, that’s nothing! That’s like G-rated, compared to all that dog abuse crap from last year. Maybe DMX is trying to make a comeback?
Anyway, now would be a fun time to guess how many time’s DMX’s been arrested. What do you think?
a) 3 times
b) 17 times
c) 10 times
d) all of the above
Answer under the jump!
We are addicted to “Barack Obama-sistible,” this amazing parody of all the good, bad and ridiculous campaign music videos haunting the Web these days. The band is Detroit Octane, fronted by longtime Late Night with Conan O’Brien writer and performer Jon Glaser (creator/star of our fave web series, Tiny Hands) The band’s musically mocked Mike Huckabee as well, to the tune of Wham’s “Everything She Wants.” We can only imagine what kind of genius Clinton and McCain will inspire.
We’d suggest DMX collaborate with Detroit Octane, but he doesn’t seem to be following the campaign AT ALL. In an interview with XXL the rapper reveals that he’s not just oblivious to our country’s current political saga, he’s never even heard of Barack Obama.
XXL: Are you following the presidential race?
DMX: Not at all.
XXL: You?re not? You know there?s a Black guy running, Barack Obama and then there?s Hillary Clinton.
DMX: His name is Barack?!
XXL: Barack Obama, yeah.
DMX: What the f*ck is a Barack?! Barack Obama. Where he from, Africa?
Finally, the album we’ve been waiting for all our life! DMX is putting out a double album – with one disc full of hip hop tracks and the other – solely gospel-rap songs. His combined masterpiece will be called Walk With Me Now and You’ll Fly With Me Later, and DMX claims that the gospel portion with be “without cursing ? how ’bout that one? No songs about b—-es, no songs about robbing, just straight ‘Give God the glory.’ ”
Amen. When asked why he decided to put out a gospel record, the rapper said, “Destiny, I guess. I just go with the flow.” Thus, we’ll just go with our flow and drop some suggested tracks.
- Religious Ruff Ryders
- All Dogs Go to Heaven
- What These Angel B*tches Want (featuring Sisqo)
- Get Me a God
- It’s Bright and Heaven is Hot, But Not as Hot as Hell
Could animal abuse be the new DUI for celebs? It’s completely horrible and wrong, yet more people seem to be doing it. DMX is the latest star to possibly get nailed for mistreating pit bulls, after 12 pups were removed from his Arizona home in poor condition. Police also removed a large number of weapons from his crib, and a search of his backyard turned up the charred remains of at least one dog.
The rapper’s attorney defended DMX, stating that “He loves and lives for his animals.” But this is not the first time her client’s name has been associated with abusing dogs. In 2002 the Ruff Ryder pleaded guilty to charges of animal cruelty after a 1998 raid of his house turned up thirteen neglected pit bulls. Seeing as this case comes on the same day as football star Michael Vick’s guilty plea in the dogfighting case against him, it kinda makes you wonder – when did hurting animals become the cool thing for these stars to do? [VH1 News. Image: Getty]
Michael Vick Pleads Guilty, Headed To Jail
Michael Vick Faces NFL Suspension and Trial Alone
Michael Vick Faces Time for Dogfights