Womyn in Hip-Hop Puts Ladies First in Santa Ana

Categories: Hip-Hop

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Lucero Archuleta
Krudas Cubensi: Poderosxs!
It's been 25 years since Queen Latifah first rhymed, "The ladies will kick it the rhyme that is wicked / Those that don't know how to be pros get evicted!" on All Hail the Queen, her debut album. That very same "Ladies First" spirit lives on and thrives this Saturday in Santa Ana at an event called "Womyn in Hip-Hop," showcasing the talents of women in all elements of hip-hop culture.

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Is Riff Raff Serious?

Categories: Hip-Hop

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By: Jeff Weiss

Riff Raff's hair is a crop circle of braids. His eyes are blue, dilated and deserted. Gold grills glint on his teeth. A boy-band-thin beard zigzags across his face. His chest and neck double as a tattooed billboard for MTV, BET, the NBA, Bart Simpson and Seagram's Seven.
To complete the look, the Hollywood-based, 32-year-old white rapper wears a cherry-red, ruby-laced Icee (as in the frozen drink) chain around his neck. That's when he's not rocking the chain purchased by his label patron, Diplo, the Grammy-nominated DJ/producer and BlackBerry ambassador. Or the gilded, emerald-green chain that Soulja Boy bestowed upon him a couple of years ago during Riff Raff's brief stint on the Atlanta swag rapper's imprint. Over the summer, he released his sophomore album, Neon Icon, on Mad Decent.

Born Horst Christian Simco, Riff Raff was raised on Houston's racially diverse north side and possesses an accent so thick it seems clogged by codeine--more working-class twang than imitated patois. He's the logical spawn of white Texas rapper Paul Wall, but with a better sense of humor. Describing him in print is akin to trying to race piranhas on dry land. His bowl is the Internet, specifically YouTube, where his videos regularly register hundreds of thousands of views.


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Despot Still Wants to Be a Rich Drug Dealer

Categories: Hip-Hop





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On the afternoon of Friday, September 19, El-P decided to let off some steam in 140 characters or less. "this motherfucker @despotroast," the MC tweeted, referencing his friend and Queens, NY-bred, Brooklyn-based rapper Despot, "lives like 10 blocks away AND is driving and is still 42 minutes late. and THAT, kids, is where his album is."

 Despot -- a.k.a. Alec Reinstein -- protests the charges leveled against him. "First of all, El said 10 blocks. He don't live 10 blocks away from me. He lives like, pfft, 20 blocks away from me," Reinstein, 32, says of his current tour mate, speaking from Charlottesville, Va. "And he lives in a shitty-ass fucking part of Williamsburg where you can't park your fucking car 'cause all these dickheads got all the parking spots, and that's what happened. And I was still early!"

Dickheads and automobiles notwithstanding, he soon tries to explain why he actually ends up late so often. "I don't know why. It's 'cause I'm lazy. I don't want to do anything. I don't want to do most things. I was always late to school. Then, I just stopped going. I never really had a real job because I'm late for everything, and I just blame everything on everyone else, so yeah, that leads into the album. I don't have an album out because it's probably everybody's else fault, but I don't know why. It's definitely my fault. I'm lazy."




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Miss Char's Rap Skills Are 'Self Explanatory'

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Photo by KILLcREY
The Queen of Juice County
Miss Char excavates the depths of her soul knowing an unexamined life ain't worth rhyming about. With that, OC's top femcee debuts with Self Explanatory, an 8-song mixtape that only pads the 18-year-old rising rhymer's resume. The title is suggestive of the subject matter as the rapper literally seeks to explain herself. All throughout, Miss Char displays an old school experimental underground rhyme style, delivering dizzying truth sermons before relaxing into a hippie haze. This dynamic is most pronounced on "Wounded," an anti-materialistic anthem extolling the virtues of a spiritually-minded life. "It might seem like a mess, kid / Just watch what you digestin' / Might just go and spread the infection," she warns before going into a slinky chorus. The wisdom from the youngster shows potential and promise for years to come.

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Did Anonymous Force a Release Date for Lupe Fiasco's Tetsuo & Youth Album?

Categories: Hip-Hop

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Lupe Fiasco
Lupe Fiasco found himself in record label purgatory again. He went out on a preview tour for Tetsuo & Youth, his fifth studio album, last year. A couple of songs with music videos from the project dropped, but with no immediate album release date in sight. It felt like Lasers all over again. The Chicago-bred rapper complained that Atlantic Records held the project up because it didn't have a "pop" single.

That's when hacker group Anonymous stepped in this week threatening the label to give a release date or face severe consequences!

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La Coka Nostra's Hostile Hip-Hop Just Might Kill You

Categories: Hip-Hop

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When it comes to cocaine and pop culture, one blow-snorting icon towers above all. In 1983's Scarface, Al Pacino played the iconic Tony Montana, a merciless, rags-to-riches coke kingpin who (spoiler alert) goes out in a blaze of gunfire and blood. Hip-hop worships the character for his killer instinct: Nas named a song after Tony's motto of "The world is yours," and one prominent rapper even takes his name straight from the movie's title.

That said, La Coka Nostra weren't feeling the love in 2009. A Brand You Can Trust--the full-length debut from the hip-hop supergroup featuring members of House of Pain, Non Phixion, Limp Bizkit and Special Teamz--closes with a track called "Fuck Tony Montana." As an unhinged, ominous beat blasts in, Ill Bill's verse is the first fired: "Fuck Tony Montana/We kill kids/If he did, he'd still be alive." Goddamn.


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Nas: A New Doc Looks Back on Illmatic and One of Hip-Hop's Finest Living Lyricists

Categories: Hip-Hop

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Photo by Danny Clinch/Sony Legacy
Nas in 1994.
By: Ian S. Port
One rhyme in particular crystallizes the genius of Nas's 1994 classic Illmatic. It comes in the song "One Love," which takes the form of a letter to a friend in prison: "Congratulations, you know you got a son," Nas raps. "I heard he looks like ya, why don't your lady write ya?"

Did you get that? In 19 words, Nas swings from the perspective-upending pride of fatherhood -- a new human who is part you! -- to the heartache of separation, loneliness, disloyalty. He whispers the knife of betrayal into our gut with a simple question: "Why don't your lady write ya?" Nas paints not just a man in prison, yearning for the outside, but a whole web of relationships decaying in his absence.

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Veteran Rapper Buxaburn Goes 'The Distance' on His Latest Album

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In the never ending race for hip-hop supremacy, Buxaburn is a tortoise if we've ever seen one. With longevity on his side, the Santa Ana rapper has been recording music since 1992 and says he's been inspired by hip-hop culture since 1980. His latest album, The Distance is the 7th solo project for the rapper and 14th overall. It comes with beats laced by Quique Cruz (aka Bo'kem Allah) and guest features like inDJnous on the cuts. Buxaburn comes with skillfully delivered lyrics informed by street politics and often times accentuated by reggae influenced vocal inflections.

From back in the day, Public Enemy's 1987 song "Public Enemy No. 1" gets a gritty make over with Buxaburn turning in some of his finest political diatribes. "The cop on the block / Call him officer nervous / Harassment, brutality / He offers his service." Wrapping things up to the present, the rapper professes his undying love for hip-hop on the title track.

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Five Things We Learned From the 1999 Source Awards

Categories: Hip-Hop

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The Source
An Award Show So Important, it Had Its Own CD!
This month marks 15 years since The 1999 Source Awards were broadcast nationwide on UPN. While at first glance it may seem inconsequential to note the anniversary of yet another award show, these particular Source Awards were a landmark event for many reasons. Recorded at Los Angeles' Pantages Theater, the show marked the first time two major network television hours were devoted exclusively to hip-hop. From paying tribute to the pioneers to offering an accurate snapshot of the entire hip-hop nation, it's a surprisingly well done broadcast.

After revisiting a copy of the original broadcast (complete with commercials), here's 5 Things We Learned from the 1999 Source Awards.


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Emcee Classiq Sounds Off On Ferguson With a Furious Freestyle

Categories: Hip-Hop, politics

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Local rapper Emcee Classiq dedicates an impassioned freestyle against police violence in Ferguson, Missouri. It's been 10 tension-filled days since police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown. The young African-American's death set off clashes in the streets between militarized police and angry residents that continued last night in more arrests and unrest. Like rapper J.Cole's raw tribute song "Be Free," Emcee Classiq took to the mic to express his pain.

"Just reading the news and learning another person, and a young person at that, died by the hands of the law, that was just enough to dive in and finally speak up," the rapper says. Emcee Classiq teamed with Weekly to premiere "Ferguson Freestyle."

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