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Friday, December 30, 2005 

The Rap Up 2005 - Skillz

Skillz - The Rap Up '05 [Thanks Howie]

I thought Skillz said The Rap Up series was out the window after the 2004 edition. This latest entry is sprinkled with witty one-liners about :

I'm not impressed by his choice of beats (except the first one which jacked "Come Close"). I'm also worried that Skillz has been relegated to these comedic annual soap series, while heads (and ears) stay shut to his music skills. Whatever happened to Confessions of A Ghostwriter the album?

Quotes from The Rap Up 2005
"Ciara and Bow Wow, they started dating, right/I mean he's three feet there's no way that he's laying the pipe//" (my point exactly)

"Eve had a porno, but if you blinked it was gone"

"Nas and Kelis said 'I do'/Eddie Murphy got divorced but he was married to a dude//"

"I'm beefing with Mickey D's man, y'all dead wrong/ talking about paying rappers to mention Big Mac'son a song// We do rap from the heart y'all better have some respect//Alright Big Mac, Big Mac, Big Mac, now where's my check//"

On Cam'ron: "Botched car-jacking, nah fam that was wrong them dudes was trying to shoot themselves cause they liked 'The Whistle Song' "


Thursday, December 29, 2005 

T.R.U. Top 10 Songs of 2005

After much deliberation, disagree-ation, and termination of some unseen Rap Up staff, and consultation with Hip Hop honchos, we came to the following conclusion:

10. Geto Boys – The G Code: Although Scarface has been spreading the same I Never Snitch -and-if-you-snitch-I’ll-bitch-slap-yo-momma message for the past 100 years but it still sounds so good to hear him say it again. Even if that would mean locking up Willie D and Bushwick in the basement so he can do the song solo

9. Young Jeezy ft Akon – Soul Survivor: Ex drug-dealer meets ex car-jacker. Who the hell said crime doesn’t pay?

8. Kanye West ft Adam Levine – Heard ‘Em Say: One of the reasons, Kanye vowed to break down and cry on prime time TV if anyone other than himself is awarded a Grammy next year.

7. Jay-Z – Dear Summer: The re-invention of he “murdered you on your own joint” with Jigga supplying the best track on Bleek’s slept-on disastrous album.

6. Fat Joe – Safe 2 Say (The Incredible): A piece of advice to Fat Joe – If you’re serious about losing weight, try working out to this song three times a week.

Image hosted by 5. Aasim – Hip Hop 101: Before all you mainstream enthusiasts burst out: “Aa-who?” peep Bad Boy’s official roster. Please believe!

4. The Game ft 50 Cent – Hate It or Love It: Who was the genius behind the title of this song? They definitely have some questions to answer.

Image hosted by 3. Common – Be: “From the land of the frozen sun, where drunk nights get remembered more than sober ones”. This title track/album opener/Nike commercial jam is evidence that Common returned to making classic cuts on Be. Who would a thunk it!?

2. Styles P – I’m Black: The post-Public Enemy anthem for negroes everywhere.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com1. Zion I ft Talib Kweli – Temperature(mp3): Yay area favorites solicit Kweli’s lyrics of fury for an octane-fueled classic.

So there you have it, feel free to throw microwaves and refrigerators my way for leaving out your favorites.

Saturday, December 24, 2005 

Your Top 5 Albums of 2005

Stylus Magazine just ran their Top 50 Albums of 05 (featuring my Top 20). If you have ample patience, scroll down to see my list - the first on the staff/individual picks section of the page.

20. Livin Legends – Classic
19. Self-Scientific – Change
18. CunningLynguists – A piece of Strange
17. Amel Larrieux – Bravebird
16. M.I.A. – Arular
15. Sean Price – Monkey Barz
14. Damian Marley - Welcome To Jamrock
13. The Game – The Documentary
12. One.Be.Lo. – SONOGRAM
11. Little Brother – The Minstrel Show
10. GZA/Genius vs DJ Muggs – The Grandmasters
9. Quasimoto – The Further Adventures of Lord Quasimoto [did this
really drop in 05?]
8. Slum Village – Slum Village
7. Depeche Mode – Playing The Angel
6. John Legend – Get Lifted
5. The Perceptionists – Black Dialogue
4. Common – BE
3. Gorillaz – Demon Days
2. Kayne[sp] West - Late Registration
1. Stevie "I featured Aisha on my album" Wonder - A Time 2

I've just realized that I left out some note-worthy albums like The B.Coming, DangerDoom, Chain Letters ,and True and Livin' (one of the reasons I hate lists like these). But, hey I get a second chance next week.

So, tell me, What are your Top 5 albums of 2005? I'll gather your answers to create a T.R.U. Album of the Year post sometime next week.

Friday, December 23, 2005 

Pharrell: Skateboarding With an Angel

Pharell Williams - Angel(mp3)
Pharrell Williams-Angel(Instrumental)
Factoids: Length - 2:45/Album - In My Mind(Star Trak/Interscope)

If this is what the rest of Pharrell's In My Mind album sounds like, then I don't want no parts of it. Alas, Skateboard P's faux-crooning takes a backseat to the Neptunes' nostalgic production. P's mid-tempo romps often work when another artist (preferably a rapper) is present just in case his not-so-exquisite singing needs some drowning off. But, for now, you just have to make do with 100% Pharrell. Feel free to fall back on the instrumental for sonic relief.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005 

Benzino VS Ozone Magazine

Benzino Voicemail Assault(mp3)

Grandad Benzino is at it again. After seeing the above article on Ozone Magazine, the most innovative gangsta rapper the Black community has left called up Ozone publisher/H.C.I.C., Julia Beverly to express his not so friendly words. I mean words like: %^$#*, $#&%?!, and words like &*(!^$*))_!!?! - if you get my drift. Take heart JB, undiluted in-your-face journalism is an uncharted terrtory, and a risky ground to tread on. Just ask Hater. And if Ray-Ray decides to seek out your residence for a retaliation, i'll hide you in my closet (if Matt's place is full and over-flowing that is).

But, I'm sure it was the Paul Wall "Realest Nigga Award" (supposedly a joke) that really got Granpa riled up. Is this even the right platform for such a joke?

Sunday, December 18, 2005 

Henry Does Not Care About Hip-Hop

Just like Usher does not care about gay people (or Burt Bacharach for that matter), my boy does not care about Hip-Hop, even though his dad writes, drinks, eats, and sleeps Hip-Hop, and capitalizes both H's when spelling Hip-Hop. Maybe it's too early to tell whether my 2-week old would grow to love the music that brought so much fun, friendship (and fame?) to his old man. (Being a dad makes you feel old, folks...really).

What Henry jr. does care about is Jazz. My 'Cannonball and Coltrane' playlist Itunes puts him to sleep faster than a bedrock(whatever that is). Miles Davis' Tutu and Mazzy Star's So Tonight That I Might See also have the same charming effect on Lil' Riz, after hours of rocking him in aching arms, lullabying(beware: this has a counteractive effect if your singing voice is more Macy Gray than Enya!), and other baby-soothing rituals. You know the drill.

I'm inclined to point out that he also cares about some other genres which I wouldn't dare categorize (to keep the politically incorrect boogey in me from jumping out of this screen).

I don't intend to follow in the footsteps of GZA and Peter Gunz, by handing him a rhymebook way before he can lift his head on his own, but I hope that one day he'll grow to learn and appreciate the ubiquitous Hip-Hop culture that is damn near inevitable in every Black man's lifestyle nowadays. Presto, KRS-One!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005 

New Nas Interview With XXL

[props to Spine Magazine for the update]

Worth reading:

Monday, December 12, 2005 

Gov Schwarzenegger Rejects Clemency for Tookie

Tookie dies tonight at 1:00 am. Arnorld Schwarzeneggar, the only one who can play God in this case has said NO to clemency for the crips founder, who allegedly killed more humans than satan himself.

Question of The Week: Would You Spare Tookie Williams' life if it was up to you?

Caption this!


Bun B Trill Review

I've been sitting on this review for a minute. But here's my 2 cents (since everyone's been writing and asking me to review Bun's solo joint)...
By the way , if you've been cajoled into viewing Trill as a southern classic, stop reading right now!

The sudden explosion of southern rappers in 2005 has helped buoy the reputation (and of course sales) of Houston artists. The formula is simple: flash your grill and you're certified platinum. Or if you're a little more daring, repeat yourself as often as possible and you've got yourself a multi-million dollar contract. So what does Bun B who's got nothing but a UGK legacy to die for have to offer to the southern rap scene?

That's a question the introductory " Inauguration" attempts to answer as Bun declares himself president of the south: "From this moment I run the south and everything down here" over marching keys and anthemic drum rolls. But as president, Bun does nothing to address his most thriving problems; he allows a plethora of guest artists to relegate him to a sidekick on the Jay-Z and Jeezy-blessed posse cut "Get Throwed"; Mannie Fresh, Trey Songz and Mike Jones - featured "Hold You Down", and eleven other songs.

As the album progresses, overwhelming odes to flossin' and guilty pleasures make way for introspection and occasional storytelling. Young Jeezy reappears alongside Scarface on "Pushin" as all three trade rhymes about clandestine street activities. (You'd think Jeezy's paid more just for his adlibs: yeeeaahh). On "The Story", which is a soulful 'audiobiography' of UGK, Bun recounts the up's and down's of his crew complete with shady managers, cold shoulders from Jive Records, and the commercial success of "Big Pimpin". The unnerving organ arrangement and revving 808 on "Trill Recognize Trill" sprinkled with amusing one-liners courtesy of Ludacris help restore faith, if only for a short while.

Forgettable songs like "I'm Fresh" produced by [surprise,surprise, Mannie Fresh] and "I'm Ballin" both reveal sonic similarities and lack of content. Things plunge downwards sonically, as the Ying Yang Twins-featured "Git It" is an embarrassing rehash of "The Whisper Song".
While it's definitely going to take more than "Free Pimp C" gears to actually let the incarcerated Pimp loose, Bun B's attempt to rewrite the UGK recipe may require his potna's physical presence to do it convincingly. You know what I'm talmn'bout?


Sunday, December 11, 2005 

Richard Pryor Dies of Heart Attack

Richard Pryor, arguably the greatest comedian of all time(and I aint just saying that cause he dead) has passed away gracefully.Classic Quote:

"God blessed me," he said. "There were shows I never remember, towns Inever knew
I was in. Somehow I was always able to perform. I respect performingtoo much
ever to do a bad show." - Richard Pryor

It'll only be a couple of days before rappers start rocking Richard's picture shirts. And if you’ve never heard of Richard “I Aint Dead Yet” Pryor then you’re either:

· A-living under a rock for the past two decades
· B-not a Jay-Z/Hip Hop fan
· C-too coked up to remember that you've heard of him before.

Friday, December 09, 2005 

And the 2006 Grammy Nominees Are...

Grammy Nominees...
(the ones you care about that is). The Rap Up top picks are highlighted.

Record of the Year
  • Mariah Carey - "We Belong Together"
  • Gorillaz - "Feel Good, Inc."
  • Green Day - "Boulevard of Broken Dreams
  • Gwen Stefani - "Hollaback Girl"
  • Kanye West - "Gold Digger"

Album of the Year

  • Mariah Carey - The Emancipation of Mimi
  • Paul McCartney - Chaos and Creation in the Backyard
  • Gwen Stefani - Love, Angel, Music, Baby
  • U2 - How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb
  • Kanye West - Late Registration

Song of the Year

  • Mariah Carey - "We Belong Together"
  • John Legend - "Ordinary People"
  • Rascal Flatts - "Bless the Broken Road"
  • Bruce Springsteen - "Devils & Dust"
  • U2 - "Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own"
Best New Artist
  • (Uncle) Ciara
  • Fall Out Boy
  • Keane
  • John Legend
  • SugarLand

Best Rap Solo Performance

  • Testify - CommonTrack from: Be[Geffen]
  • Mockingbird - EminemTrack from: Encore[Aftermath/Shady/Interscope Records]
  • Disco Inferno - 50 CentTrack from: The Massacre[Shady/Aftermath/Interscope Records]
  • Number One Spot - LudacrisTrack from: The Red Light District[Def Jam South]
  • U Don't Know Me - T.I.Track from: Urban Legend[Grand Hustle/Atlantic]
  • Gold DiggerKanye - WestTrack from: Late Registration[Roc-A-Fella]
Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group
  • Don't Phunk With My HeartThe Black Eyed PeasTrack from: Monkey Business[A&M Records]
  • The Corner - Common Featuring The Last PoetsTrack from: Be[Geffen]
  • Encore - Eminem Featuring Dr. Dre & 50 CentTrack from: Encore[Aftermath/Shady/Interscope Records]
  • Hate It Or Love It - The Game Featuring 50 CentTrack from: The Documentary[Aftermath/G-Unit/Interscope Records]
  • Wait (The Whisper Song)Ying Yang TwinsTrack from: U.S.A.: United State Of Atlanta[TVT Records]

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration

  • 1,2 StepCiara Featuring Missy Elliott[LaFace/Zomba Label Group]
  • They Say - Common Featuring Kanye West & John LegendTrack from: Be[Geffen]
  • Soldier - Destiny's Child Featuring T.I. & Lil WayneTrack from: Destiny's Fulfilled[Columbia Records/ Sony Urban]
  • Numb/EncoreJay-Z - Featuring Linkin ParkTrack from: Collision Course[Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam/Machine Shop/Warner Bros.]
  • Rich Girl - Gwen Stefani Featuring EveTrack from: Love. Angel. Music. Baby.[Interscope Records]

Best Rap Song

  • Candy Shop - Curtis Jackson & Scott Storch, songwriters (50 Cent Featuring Olivia)Track from: The Massacre[Shady/Aftermath/Interscope Records; Publishers: 50 Cent Music, Scott Storch Music, TVT Music.]
  • Diamonds From Sierra Leone - D. Harris & Kanye West, songwriters; (J. Barry & D. Black, songwriters) (KanyeWest)[Roc-A-Fella; Publisher: EMI Unart Catalog.]
  • Don't Phunk With My HeartWilliam Adams, Printz Board, Stacy Ferguson & George Pajon, Jr., songwriters;(Kalyanji Anandji, Full Force & Indeewar, songwriters) (The Black Eyed Peas)Track from: Monkey Business[A&M Records; Publishers: Careers-BMG Music, Zomba Enterprises, Saregama India, Music, Cherry River Music, Printz Polar Publishing, Songs Of Universal, El Cubano Music, EMI Blackwood Music.]
  • Hate It Or Love It - Curtis Jackson, A. Lyon, Jayceon Taylor & M. Valenzano, songwriters; (Baker,Felder & Harris, songwriters) (The Game Featuring 50 Cent)Track from: The Documentary[Aftermath/G-Unit/Interscope Records; Publishers: Black Wall Street, Each1Teach1, 50 Cent Music, Dade Co. Project Music, Zomba Songs, Golden Fleece Music, Mured Music.]
  • Lose Control - M. Elliott, C. Harris & G. Isaacs III, songwriters; (J. Atkins, R. Davis & C.Hudson, songwriters) (Missy Elliott Featuring Ciara & Fat Man Scoop)Track from: The Cookbook[Goldmind/Atlantic; Publishers: Mass Confusion Music, WB Music, Royalty Rightings, Warner Tamerlane Publishing, Big Colorado Music, Deep Space Music, Publishing Corp. of America, Pure Energy Music Publishing.]

Best Rap Album

  • Be - Common[Geffen]
  • The Cookbook - Missy Elliott[Goldmind/Atlantic]
  • Encore - Eminem[Aftermath/Shady/Interscope Records]
  • The Massacre - 50 Cent[Shady/Aftermath/Interscope Records]
  • Late Registration - Kanye West[Roc A Fella]

Now as far as Kanye's threats, my man Eskay has already pointed out that the Hip Hop Police is at an all time high alert, because of West's past history of violence. No arguments there.

But let's not forget that Kanye owes Shirley Bassett a lot of money (and respect) for the success of his "Diamonds" single and remixes, yet he failed to credit the work to her in any way. Besides, dead.prez was the first to use that sample so let's not even start with the innovative bullysh*t(to paraphrase Quasimoto).

Anyway, I'll post the R&B list if i'm not too tired tomorrow.

I'm ghost.

Thursday, December 08, 2005 

"Back Like Cooked Crack in a Crockpot"

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[courtesy: fader]

Damn. A lot of things done changed since we last spoke: from people getting sued for obscene hand gestures (forcing others to copyright their farts and footsteps), to the Viagra market celebrating the acquittance of their hippest customer(who else? Irv).

On the flipside, somethings have will never change...what's up with all the hysteria over Chappelle's return? He's not really back, what you're getting is the so-called unaired, never-before-seen-or-heard exclusive footage. Deal with it.

Cut Chappelle some slack folks; everyone falls off at some point. Just ask this rapper who's taken the first step toward joining Dave in celebrity purgatory by performing at Bat Mitzvahs(the hardest part of that last sentence was spelling "mitzvah" Phew!)

Now, you've really fallen off when as a rapper, you openly cite writer's block as a possible reason for putting down the mic permanently.

"I'm at a point in my life right now where I feel like I don't know where my
career is going," he said. "This is the reason that we called it 'Curtain
Call,' because this could be the final thing. We don't know." - Eminem
Maybe it's such display of creativity that convinced Rakim that Eminem's the best rapper alive. Of course, Em would still spew occasional lyrics of fury if he was black, but placing him and Muhammad Ali in the same sentence is sacrilegious.

And who the funk told this kid to pick up a mic in the first place? What kind of pathetic, ignorant, disastrous phenomenon is this? LOL at the boy putting his weird act to an abrupt end as soon as his sister walked in. Kiddo, you better get on that ice cream bribe cause she will tell on your punkass.

That kid should be busy celebrating Ether Day (spotted via Fresh)
Image hosted by

Mixtape Monday? Yawn. (I just made hundreds of people yawn, didn't I?)

The Plug (Independent Music) Awards is on. They need your Hip Hop VOTE

Sunday, December 04, 2005 

So Just Like That....I'm a Dad Now

I'm fresh off the delivery room where I'd gone to welcome my little man. Well...he's not that little (7.15) but definitely not as big as this heavyweight rapper(who's got the same birthday as my son).

O-dub gave me some golden nuggets on parenthood the other day(gracias!). But damn... this whole fatherhood thing...awkward. I swear it's gonna take some getting used to.

Any other Hip Hop parents out there?

What are the things I should know during the first few months.(I mean other than poop doesn't stink till month 6) ?

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[he even got that rapper style]

Friday, December 02, 2005 

Mr. Scarface Is Back

I Never Snitch (My Homies II) - Scarface (mp3)

Move over you Houston amateurs, the ruler's back!

I was starting to think that Scarface's first solo release in four years had eventually gotten shoved to the side like the now inexistent search for Bin Laden. Amazon had been advertising the upcoming Koch-helmed album as The Product for a minute.

So, did Face part ways with Rap-a-lot or what?

Nope. From the email/press release I received, the official King of the South is still down with Rap-a-Lot(it's called Rap-a-lot 4 Life b$@#es!) and the album is tentatively titled My Homies II. Now, I'm not saying that's a trill ass title but hey, I can't complain as long as he makes some dope music.

And for the 58 freeloaders that copped The Game's final word from this site, you've got Obi to thank for The Rap Up Media Player that you now find on the right hand corner. Thanks, can share my cristal.

Comments on the Scarface single "I Never Snitch"?

Thursday, December 01, 2005 

Who Wants Huey Freeman Dead?

While teenagers and adults alike have shamelessly declared their love for The Boondocks, there are a few others who strongly object to the edgy Adult Swim show. So much that they've formed an organization complete with a logo and an anti-Boondocks website. The show has improved Adult Swim viewership from a wolly 500, 000 to 2 million.

Do you think the focus of The Boondocks(racism, societal issues,politics, etc) is inappropriate in any way?

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