Phora's Fans Stay True at Pachuco Tattoo

Categories: Hip-Hop

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Nate Jackson
Phora signing a poster during the meet and greet at Pachuco Tattoo
It's not everyday you see 800 kids lined up single file on the sidewalk in Orange in the rain at 7 p.m. on a Saturday night. But if there's one thing we've come to know about rapper Phora's fanbase, it's that the words "Stay True" mean a lot. And not just because it's the title of one of the OC rapper's jams on his latest release Nights Like These, or the freshest tat he's got inked on his knuckles. In an age when rappers boast the power of their social media armies, few local independent emcees can gin up support like the tattooed, Anaheim-bred rhymeslinger. Over the weekend, his real-life army showed up outside Pachuco Tattoo on Tustin St. for a packed meet-and-greet that spilled out from the steamy, cluttered hallway of the shop's building and stretched around the block.

"That's what having a solid fan base is about," Phora says. "It's about having that connection with the fans. There's a lot of rappers that feel entitled to something, like it just comes. But a million fans just don't come. I guarantee you all those people waiting in line they got a solid connection with me. They're gonna come up to me like they know me."

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Saba Continues Making Music Outside of His ComfortZone

Categories: Hip-Hop

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Courtesy of Saba
Since his acclaimed ComfortZone project hit the Internet last summer, 20 year-old Chicago rapper Saba continues to build his buzz by the month. His mix of acrobatically-structured verses, soulful production and instrumentation, and maturity as a writer has captured the attention of media outlets across the blogosphere and an eager base of listeners who have attached onto the substance of fellow Chicago rappers such as Chance the Rapper, Vic Mensa and Mick Jenkins. Undoubtedly, national tours like this outing with Mick Jenkins, Pro Era up-and-comer Kirk Knight will help further his career too.We spoke with Saba before his show tonight at the Constellation Room to talk about making music that pushes his artistic boundaries far beyond ComfortZone.

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Five Legit Great Rap Love Songs

Categories: Hip-Hop

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Hot 97
LL Cool J, Needer of Love
Tomorrow is Valentine's Day,  the one day we set aside every year to tell our special someone or someones just how much love and/or unbridled passion we have for them. You can find a romantic ditty in pretty much every genre, all of varying styles and quality, and hip-hop is no different. In case you need help putting together a playlist, here's five rap love songs that are legitimately great.


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Wu-Tang Clan Affiliate Producer Supreme I-Self is the Hip-Hop Group's Secret West Coast Weapon

Categories: Hip-Hop

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Courtesy of LA Branding
Supreme I-Self
After 20 years of East Coast hip-hop dominance, fans of the Wu-Tang Clan are quick to associate their existence with the streets of Shaolin (i.e., Staten Island). But as one of the pre-eminent producers of the Wu's worldwide rap syndicate Killa Beez, Las Vegas and California dweller Supreme I-Self is more than happy to contribute his gritty beats and rhymes from the suburbs of Sin City. In fact, it's the peacefulness of a neighborhood outside of the glitzy big-money debauchery that inspires him the most.

"It's surprising that there's so much stuff there to do outside of the Strip," he says. "There's waterparks, hiking, fishing, and there's snow in Mt. Charleston, so you can go snowboarding. There's a whole world outside of the Strip that I never would have known when I was just performing there as an artist. It's great."

Though he's played a role in working directly with members such as Method Man and RZA, Supreme isn't a household name. But that doesn't mean he hasn't experienced success. When he's not zipping across the country to play shows or maintaining a Las Vegas residency, he's in the studio, helping to craft songs.


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Five Classic West Coast Rap Albums Turning 20 in 2015

Categories: Hip-Hop

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Interscope Records
2Pac was Against the World in '95

While 1994 was undeniably a great year for hip-hop, fans have plenty of 20th anniversaries to celebrate this year as well. Whether getting "Sumpin' New" from the mainstream or seeing boundaries pushed until they "bounce" in the underground, 1995 had something for everybody and its influence is still being felt today.


Here are five classic West Coast rap albums turning 20 in 2015.


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MF DOOM's MM...Food: 10 Years Later

Categories: Hip-Hop

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Jason Jägel
MF Doom, Part of a Complete Breakfast


It's easy to forget that at one point, the MC known as MF DOOM/Doom/Zev Love X was an artist pumping out critically heralded and commercially successful weird hip-hop projects to an ever-increasingly growing cult following. Today his audience is bigger than ever, but there's a big difference between the prolific masked man of old and the masked recluse who only blesses us with new verses once in a blue moon.

The last time we heard from the former was on November 15, 2004 when Rhymesayers Entertainment released MM...Food, the last album of the hyper-productive Doom era. Ten years and a Monster Island of controversies later, it remains one of the strongest statements of who Doom was/is. Here's the story of what happened with previously unknown details from some of Doom's trusted cohorts.


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Rapper Jehuniko's "20 Years Old" Goes Global With Anti-Domestic Violence/Rape Message

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Photo by Forshow
Jehuniko says 'Respect Your Sister'
Domestic abuse and rape rhymes are often spun by rappers without a second thought. Being true to himself, Los Angeles-based Jehuniko is coming on a different tip for "20 Years Old," the lead single off his newly released album Bittersweet ."They say that 97% of rapists are never incarcerated / I hate it / How can this be?" he sounds off on the Spooz produced track where a soulful Middle Eastern bamboo flute soars over boom-bap.

The music video for "20 Years Old' gives the anti-domestic violence/rape message a global echo with Jehuniko's fans holding "Respect Your Sister" signs from all over Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and even SanTana!

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Twitter War Between Rappers is Really a Battle Over the Soul of Hip-Hop

Categories: Hip-Hop

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Meranda Carter
Azealia Banks: Queen of Twitter Tussles
Rappers taking jabs at each other on Twitter ain't nothing new. But after last year's non-indictments for the deaths of Mike Brown in Ferguson and Eric Garner in Staten Island by police, social media wars are cutting straight to the heart of hip-hop. Sensationalist reporting of tit-for-tat tweets miss the point: MCs are battling over hip-hop, appropriation, and the culture's responsibility to the black community that birthed it.

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Top 10 War Sampling Hip-Hop Songs

Categories: Hip-Hop, Lists

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WAR is evolutionary...
The Christmas season in in full-swing, New Year's Eve is just around the corner, and the legendary band War is coming to funk up Anaheim! For the past few years, the classic sounds of singer/keyboardist Lonnie Jordan and crew echo through the walls of the City National Grove after the holidays. This Friday is no different, save for War low riding into Anaheim armed with Evolutionary their first studio album in 20 years since 1994's Peace Sign. Looking back at their acclaimed body of work, the LA-bred band created a living legacy by mixing genres with funk. Jordan calls the concoction "universal street music" and it has withstood the test of time now enjoying a multi-generational appeal.

It comes as no surprise that hip-hop producers and artists dug into the crates over decades to sample from the War. The band even gave their blessing to a 1992 album Rap Declares War dedicated to the practice. The Weekly did its own digging ahead of Friday's show in presenting the 10 best hip-hop samples of War. Enjoy! And don't let no one get you down!

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Warren G Reflects on His Classic Regulate...G Funk Era Album 20 Years Later

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Marv Watson
Mr. Warren G on the board
West Coast hip-hop seemed as invincible as ever when rapper/producer Warren G dropped Regulate...G Funk Era 20 years ago. Released on June 7, 1994, the debut album tapped into the strength of Dr. Dre's The Chronic and Snoop Doggy Dogg's Doggystyle that came before it while offering something distinctive along its path as a hip-hop classic. "Regulators! Mount up!" the title track called out before Warren G and Nate Dogg slickly traded rhymes with perfection over a smooth sample of "I Keep Forgetting" by Michael McDonald.

"Regulate" soared all the way up to No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 list propelling the album to triple platinum status. Although the smash single detailed the gritty side of Long Beach, Warren G perfected a good times G-funk vibe throughout the album, especially with the reminiscing rhymes of "This DJ" and its eternally quotable chorus. Regulate...G Funk Era netted two Grammy nominations in creating a simply defined soundscape "where rhythm is life and life is rhythm."

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