Phonte (Little Brother) Leaks his own album!!!

October 15, 2007

So the new Little Brother album leaked and word on the internets is that Phonte put it out there himself.

Included with the mp3’s is a text file that reads as follows:

If you enjoy what you hear, please purchase it on 10/23 or come check us out on tour.

Catch our tourdates and all other updates at http://www.myspace.com/littlebrother

Thanks for your support.

I’m fitna go eat some waings and watch Mad Men…

One Love,
Tay

I love it. I actually saw this last night, but I didn’t want to completely blow up Tay’s spot. But hey, it’s all over the internet now and he did sign his name. At first I thought, well that’s a nice parting fuck you to Atlantic, but the album actually dropped on ABB records. I’m not posting a link though, so go fire up Google.

Related: XXL reviews Getback

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Official Review of Jay Z’s “American Ganster” Album

October 14, 2007

 

Though I am not easily impressed, yesterday proved to me that even an old-school music journalist with a tape recorder the size of a car battery could be moved by the kindness of a rapper. Though I can’t reveal the “why” of my meeting, I was summoned to a Chelsea recording studio to interview Jay-Z for an upcoming piece.

Walking into a room that was perfumed with the scent of strawberry candles, Jay sat by himself at the mixing board and greeted me kindly. Though I had not interviewed him since a piece in The Source ten years ago during the “Streets are Watching” days, I had seen him a few times over the decade.

In the process of putting the finishing touches and flare to the upcoming American Gangster companion album, the tracks that Jay played this Harlem boy resonated in ways that the film didn’t touch. “I think this record plays like a movie as well,” Jay pointed out in the beginning of our discussion as the flick played overhead.

Given that the first single “Blue Magic” has been in heavy rotation at Gonzales Manor since I saw a screening three weeks ago, I was ready for the 8-track flashback of Hova’s journey. Indeed, there were moments when I felt the songs like “Party Life” (which, as Jay points out, “has that seventies soul feel”) and “Success” (with its ill organ) interpreted the legacy of Frank Lucas and the yesteryear landscape of Harlem better than the big screen version.

The fact that Jay-Z is a New York City boy who grew-up hearing hustler legends about uptown characters like Lucas and Nicky Barnes (while also reading Iceberg Slim novels and looking out his bedroom window) truly comes out in songs like the hardcore head bop of “Rock Boys” and the equally hot “Pray.” Both tracks, produced by Puffy and the Hitmen (who have five songs on the album), have the kind of superfly swagger that is pure 125th Street.

From the suites to the streets (I never tire of that one), the Frank Lucas of Jay-Z’s imagination combined with the stark realism of his own autobiography reshapes the character in a kind of musical/textual metamorphous that is truly inspiring. American Gangster is what us Jay-Z fans who once rocked “Cashmere Thoughts,” “D’evils” and “Song Cry” have been waiting for since he first announced he was going back to rock the mic.

posted by michael a. gonzales @ 12:27 PM


T.I. ATL home raided and arrested hours before BET Awards Performance

October 14, 2007

Rapper T.I. Arrested Before Awards Show

ATLANTA (AP) — Grammy-winning rapper T.I. was arrested Saturday — just hours before he was to take the stage at the BET Hip-Hop Awards — after federal officials said he had paid his bodyguard to buy machine guns and silencers for him.

The arrest resulted from an investigation that began this month when a federal firearms licensee contacted the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives about a man inquiring about buying a machine gun without registering the weapon as required by law, according to a criminal complaint filed Saturday in U.S. District Court in Atlanta.

After trying to buy several machine guns from an undercover ATF agent, the unnamed person began cooperating with the government and said he was buying the machine guns and silencers for Clifford Harris, T.I.’s given name, the complaint said. According to the bodyguard, he had bought about nine firearms for T.I., and the rapper had given him cash to buy guns four different times, it said.

Harris brokered the deals through the bodyguard because he is a convicted felon, the complaint alleged. It is against federal law for a convicted felon to have another person get firearms on their behalf.

The 27-year-old rapper had arranged to pick up the weapons just hours before he was to take the stage at the Hip-Hop Awards, being taped blocks away, according to the complaint.

Sydney Margetson, a spokesman for T.I.’s label, Atlantic Records, declined to comment Saturday.

As the Hip-Hop Awards were being taped in Atlanta on Saturday night, federal authorities were searching T.I.’s home in East Point, about 15 miles southwest of the city.

Half a dozen agents were still searching well into the night, removing boxes and envelopes from the large, red brick house with white columns and ornate glass windows, removing boxes and envelopes.

T.I. had been expected to perform at the BET show, which is to be broadcast Wednesday, and was nominated in nine categories. Instead, the rapper was noticeably absent from red carpet festivities before the show began at 6 p.m., though he was at the center where the show was to be taped.

Saturday was supposed to be a day of revelry for T.I., the co-chief executive of Grand Hustle Records. The self-proclaimed “King of the South” won three awards at last year’s inaugural BET Hip-Hop Awards and received nine nominations this year, including CD of the Year, Lyricist of the Year and MVP of the Year.

The rapper’s sixth album, “T.I. vs. T.I.P.,” was released July 3 and debuted at No. 1.

In May 2006, T.I.’s best friend, Philant Johnson, was killed and three others were injured in a gun shootout after a post-performance party in Cincinnati. The killer remains at large, and T.I. was briefly locked up a few days after the funeral on suspicion of failing to perform community service stemming from a 2003 arrest.

T.I. grew up in Atlanta and was selling crack by the time he was a teenager. After years of hustling to launch his rap career, recording demos and flying back and forth to New York shopping for a record deal, his first taste of success came with his 2003 album, “Trap Muzik.”

But the next year, warrants were issued for his arrest on probation violations for a drug conviction, and he was sentenced to three years behind bars. It wasn’t clear Saturday how much of the sentence he actually served.

T.I. hit the big screen in his debut movie, “ATL,” in March 2006. He has a role opposite Academy Award winners Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe in “American Gangster,” set for release Nov. 2.

T.I. also appeared in a commercial for Chevrolet in which he rapped and raced alongside NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr. He has also won two Grammy Awards.


Unlocking Fiascogate (Lupe Fiasco is BUGGIN’ OUT!!!)

October 10, 2007

lupe

Taken From:

EXCLUSIVE: Unlocking Fiascogate
By: Linda Hobbs
POSTED: 17:50 EST, October 9, 2007

After screwing up his rhymes during a tribute to A Tribe Called Quest on VH1’s Hip Hop Honors awards show on Sunday, rap star Lupe Fiasco has quickly become a blogger’s whipping boy in a drama now referred to as “Fiascogate,” with new allegations from Q-Tip that Lupe was never asked by him to perform at the VH1 ceremony at all.

The 25-year-old rapper claimed Q-Tip personally asked him to perform “Electric Relaxation,” off 1993’s Midnight Marauders, an album critics and rap heads alike have called Tribe’s best effort. But Lupe, an artist with a predilection for positivity, shot himself in the foot when he flubbed the lyrics to Phife’s verse.

The screw-up fell in line in the great tradition of award show lyrical bloopers, from Kid Rock’s flub during a cameo performance of Jay-Z’s “99 Problems” at the 2004 BET Awards, to Nas butchering a Tupac song during his tribute performance to the slain rapper at 2005’s Hip Hop Honors. But unlike these fumbles, Lupe’s mistake resulted in blog crucifixion – Fiascogate.

­The day after the show, Eskay of t­he popular hip hop blog Nahright left the rapper a rebuke: “Lupe, I fucks with you my dude, but you were wrong here,” he wrote. “I think you should take a close look at how­ this whole situation played out and what went wrong­ and use it as a learning experience. To me, it’s unacceptable that any professional rapper could have never heard Midnight Marauders. Parti­cularly one whose work is so Tribe-esque.”

But Lupe never hid the fact he missed out on the early-90’s Marauders mania, something he revealed on the nouveau soul hip-hop site, Okayplayer way before his current backlash. And though he was asked to pay tribute, he ironically never expressed open interest in Tr­ibe, who were a part of the late ’80s / early ’90s collective Native Tongues Posse, which brought whimsical and so-called righteous hip-hop to the mainstream.

Lupe wasted no time addressing the VH1 mishap on Okayplayer. Under the screen name FNF Up Up And Away, he causticly wrote in all caps concerning the performance, “When it was initially offered to me, I turned it down because I felt it was out of place for me to be honoring them because while I was fully aware of their impact in hip-hop, I wasn’t really aware of their music like that . . . but guess who wanted me to be apart of it . . . hmmmm . . . how about . . . Q-Tip!!! . . .”

But according to Q-Tip, that wasn’t the case. On the gossip blog of Miss Info, Q-Tip was reported as saying, “I’m not trying to make this any bigger than it is. But I just want to clear up one thing. . . We never hunted him down and begged him to be a part of the show or anything like that. His name was pitched to us by VH1, and we said, ok cool. The only time I spoke to Lupe about the Hip Hop Honors performance was on a conference call, which we did with the other artists too, like Busta and Common, to plan the performance.”

The legendary rapper and DJ added: “When VH1 brought his name up, based on what he had said about us before, I thought it was ironic and it kind of humored me. All that stuff he said about never listening to a Tribe album before and having no interest in doing so, it doesn’t make sense to me.”

In the past, Roots drummer Questlove has criticized Lupe for never having heard Marauders. Most recently, Phonte of the group Little Brother gleefully added fuel to the fire. “You fuckin up, my nig. Straight up and down,” Phonte posted on an Okayplayer message board. “What’s even more amazing is the same cats on this site defending your arrogance and ignorance on this topic . . .you forgetting the lyrics to a classic song from a classic group on national television while paying tribute to them, the 2nd plane has officially hit the tower.”

Lupe aired out his grievances exclusively to VIBE concerning the backlash to the revelation that he missed out on Marauders. “[Tribe] didn’t sell 10 million records, so why would people think they had a blanket on the world like that? MC Hammer was way more popular to me than Tribe Called Quest.”

It’s all about hip hop vanity, Lupe explains. “Because there’s kids in Harlem who right now would never ever listen to Midnight Marauders, I don’t give a fuck what you do, they’ll never listen to Q-Tip and they want to be rappers and they want to talk about positive things. So why would you shoot them down?”

His voice rises. “It’s like, ‘Oh, you ain’t never listened to Midnight Marauders? You ain’t expanding your horizons? Oh, you ain’t real’ cause they did that shit to me! ‘Oh Lupe, that’s fucked up man, I don’t fuck with you now, I’m not buying your next album’ and be dead serious! It made me feel like, ‘You dirty bastards. Like how dare you.'”

Overall, the rapper appears to be more hurt than furious from the blog butchering. And he claims he’ll still “never” listen to Midnight Marauders, though he’s criticized for denying the fact that groups like Tribe opened doors for the lyrically-PG, happy-go-lucky form of rap he’s known for. But no matter how you look at it, Lupe’s refusal to throw on some headphones and pop in the album isn’t about Midnight Marauders, or lack of interest at all: it’s about defiance.

And his power comes from being unapologetic to critics. “Those hip hop elitists who think [Tribe] hold the crown and the copyright to hip hop,” he says. “I listen to 8Ball & MJG and I think they’re better than you [Tribe].”


Phife Dawg of Tribe speaks on his fight against Diabetes.

October 9, 2007

phife

A Tribe Called Quest is being celebrated for their ingenuity and creativity tonight on Hip Hop Honors, but one of its members, Phife Dawg, gets extra respect for the courage he’s brought to his battle against diabetes. The ailment afflicts a big chunk of the African American population; reports tell us that 13 percent of blacks over the age of 20 suffer with the condition. Phife, one of the Tribe’s founding members, is fighting the condition with dialysis, and a recent switch in treatments has made him feel much better, one of the reasons he was able to participate in the Honors show.


“For the last 3 yrs I’ve been a dialysis patient,” says Phife. “The first two years I was on peritoneal dialysis, which caused me to gain a great deal of weight. For the last seven months I’ve switched over to hemodialysis, which has caused me to lose weight and has me feeling a whole lot better. Most people aren’t used to seeing me at this weight. Initially, I weighed too much for my size and height and now I’m where I need to be.”

As for his future outlook, Phife says: “My best friend and manager, Rasta Root, volunteered to be tested as a potential kidney donor, and he passed the screening process. It’s great news for me! Hopefully that will happen sooner than later. It’s been a tough year, but things are looking great for me.

I am grateful that my group is receiving this honor, and would like to thank friends, family and fans for their prayers and well wishes.”

Hip Hop Honors CO-Executive Producer Fab 5 Freddy was thrilled that his friend’s current condition allowed for full participation. “Working on this year’s show was a labor of love, our best ever, and Phife’s health was constantly on our minds as we re-worked shoots and interviews to accommodate his good days and bad days all the while hoping and praying that he’d have a good day on show day so the world could nod there heads once again to A Tribe Called Quest, one of hip hop’s most unique and creative groups. They were prime representatives of young black artistic intelligence throughout the 90s, a rare commodity in today’s hip-hop landscape. Phife had a great day at Hip Hop Honors and Tribe closed the show with a big bang.”

Here’s some information about fighting the disease. You can also call 1-800-DIABETES.


A Tribe Called Quest Re-unites on stage @ The Vh1 HIPHOP Honors!!

October 8, 2007

Tribe

Peace Everyone! it’s ya boy John Robinson! Fresh off the Vh1 Hip Hop Honors show last Thursday in NYC @ The Hammerstein Ball Room. I must say it was a Great look all the way around! This years honorees included: Missy Elliot, Teddy Riley and the new jack swing movement, Whodini, Wild Style: The Movie, Snoop and my Highlight of the evening ATCQ!!!
Wow how refreshing it was see all original members together in the building and on stage too!
Common set it off during the Tribe segment spitting “Bonita” which was crazy and then he was followed by Pharrell and Lupe sharing verses on “Electric Relaxation” which led up to probably some of the most energy I have ever seen on stage live in person… None other than “Busta Rhymes”!!! Wowsers Bus came out to Rock his “Scenario” Verse Please watch the joint if not for nothing else but the Tribe Set. Very serious Bizness!!!

Here is an official report from Rolling Stone:

Inside the Hammerstein Ballroom, the folks up front looked like they were hired to be there, going wild and rapping line-for-line along with each set, paying tribute to pioneers who were popular when many of them were toddlers. “You can call Missy Elliott a lot of things,” actress Kerry Washington said while introducing the first honoree of the night. “Visionary, genius, hot girl and a force. She stands among the guys.” Timbaland strutted across the stage while Eve and Keyshia Cole performed Missy’s “Hot Boyz,” before Nelly Furtado, in a skintight black dress and fully exposed gold bra, broke out the “Get Ur Freak On” remix. Ciara showed off her flawlessly long legs and equally flawless choreography on “Lose Control,” and in her signature Adidas jacket, Missy stood grinning and clapping from the audience.

nelly furtado

As Diddy took the stage, the crowd began to chant “Bad Boy” so loudly, it felt contrived, but the label impresario was clearly honored to introduce the Teddy Riley New Jack Swing tribute. “Teddy let you know how it felt to be from Harlem. His swagger was impeccable. He’s the reason I started wearing shades,” Diddy said. Doug E. Fresh warmed up the set before T-Pain took over with Guy’s 1987 number-one hit “I Want Her.” In a three-piece suit, Kool Moe Dee kept the crowd in ’87, delivering his classic “How Ya Like Me Now” as if twenty years haven’t passed. Then Ne-Yo and Keyshia Cole went head to head with a sexy duet of Michael Jackson’s “Remember the Time,” the best song off of 1992’s Dangerous. To top it off, Teddy Riley and Aaron Hall performed renditions of “No Diggity” and “Rumpshaker.”

KRS

LL Cool J looked like a Bedazzled rock star as he introduced a tribute to Charlie Ahearn’s 1982 movie Wild Style. The older set gave it all they’ve got — Chief Rocker Busy Bee, Grandmaster Caz, and KRS-One sped through freestyles and new verses. Next, Chris Rock introduced fellow Brooklynites Whodini. Nick Cannon rapped with four guys in nerd gear (thick glasses, argyle sweaters) dancing behind him, and Nelly performed “One Love” before Whodini came out singing their 1984 hit “Friends” and the crowd sang along like they’ve all been stabbed in the back before. At the end of “The Freaks Come Out at Night,” Jermaine Dupri breakdanced onstage.

Caz

Suddenly, it got gangsta. Reservoir Dog Harvey Keitel introduced Snoop Dogg. T.I. took the stage with former Cash Money Hot Boy B.G. hollering, “187 on an undercover cop!” Pharrell performed “Nuthin’ But a G Thang” with Tha Dogg Pound’s Daz, then the always pimped out Ice-T Crip walked onstage performing “Gin & Juice” while Keyshia Cole waved her hand in the air, rapping along from her seat, “We don’t love them hoes!” As Ice-T sauntered offstage, he called out, “Crips in the muthafucking house tonight!” Befittingly, Snoop then took the stage in a blue plaid button down, rapping “Rat-Tat-Tat-Tat” before Pharrell joined him for “Drop It Like It’s Hot.”

common

For a total change of pace, Common hit the stage with A Tribe Called Quest’s sweet rap ballad “Bonita Applebum.” Pharrell and Lupe Fiasco joined him for “Electric Relaxation,” and the Tribe tribute was in full swing when Busta Rhymes stormed the stage like a Dungeon Dragon for his verse on the classic crew cut “Scenario.” Busta was rocking a cartoonish neon-pink and green outfit straight out of his early Leaders of the New School days. “He’s bezzerk!” a guy in the audience screamed. “Best moment of the night!”

Soon, all four members of Tribe — that’s right, even the mystery member Jarobi was in the house — were onstage with their fists pumping along with “Check the Rime” and “Award Tour.” Although it didn’t sound quite as fresh as it did back in the early Nineties, the music felt just as fun.

tribe2


Fresh Press Media, Nature Sounds and Shaman Work CMJ 2007 Official Flyer

October 5, 2007