Own a Piece of "Wild Wild West" in Kool Moe Dee's Royalty Auction

Categories: Rap

Jive Records
Kool Moe Dee
Rapper Kool Moe Dee, whose famous 1981 battle with Busy Bee may be the most influential moment in rap history, is auctioning off some of his royalties. Famous for legendary early '80s singles with his group The Treacherous Three as well as his unprecedented solo work in the later half of the decade that includes battles with LL Cool J as well as tracks like "Wild Wild West," the one later remade by Will Smith for the film of the same name, he's one of very few hip-hop artists to transcend the late '70s pioneer days through the explosion in the late '80s.

Moe Dee's unique perspective on the event horizon of hip-hop culture through the dawn of the rap industry has seen him also have a better understanding of the financial side of what artists are due, whether from the fledgling independent labels in the early days of rap or the major labels that put his music in every record store. Now he's looking to educate the hip-hop nation about royalties through his auction at Royalty Exchange. The auction had a starting price of $36,000 and currently has 33 approved bidders.

With the auction ending tomorrow, we spoke to Moe Dee, as well as Royalty Exchange's Vice President of East Coast Sales Preston Sullivan and Vice President of Marketing Sean Daley about exactly what is up for auction, what the winner is entitled to, and how such an auction is profitable for both the artists and the winning bidders.

More »

Hip-Hop Trends That Need to Stop in 2015

Categories: Rap

Julia Altenburger via Wikimedia Commons
Iggy Azalea "Performing."
Hip-hop moves fast. Granted, life moves fast and our every increasing quicker access to media has made all entertainment move progressively faster each year, but hip-hop being a youth culture has always seemed to operate as pace that sees the entire game change three times over since you began reading this sentence. While this offers us plenty of new and exciting music on a regular basis, another less-publicized advantage of this is how quickly it means rap fads pass. Granted, we all have our favorite eras that we wish could last forever, it does mean that a lot of trends we don't like often suffer quick deaths, never to be heard from again until the inevitable nostalgia-based thinkpieces 20 years from now. So until then, here's five Hip-Hop Trends That Need to Stop 2015.

More »

The Best Gay Rap Songs

Murs- Animal Style
Scrolling through our past Weekly listicles, we noticed that there is a topic that we haven't touched. Gay rap. Hip-hop is riddled with many topics, many different voices, and in case you didn't realize, some of these rhymers lacing tracks with sick flows are openly gay. So with that, we're stepping into that very arena with our breakdown of the Top 5 Five Gay Rap Songs.

More »

Def Jam's 5 Greatest Album Covers

Categories: Rap

Def Jam Records
Imagine seeing this on vinyl for the first time!
This week's celebration of 30 years of Def Jam has been a reminder of how much the landmark hip-hop label has meant to all generations of hip-hoppers who've been turned on to their output in its wake. The last three decades of record stores would look quite different without Def Jam releases on their shelves. While the standard maroon Def Jam sleeve has been a source of comfort for rap fans over the years, the label's also been responsible for some of the most unforgettable album arts in the genre's history. Here's our picks for the top five Def Jam album arts of all time.

See also: Def Jam's 5 Most Iconic videos

More »

Def Jam's Top 5 Most Underrated Videos

Categories: Rap

YouTube Screen Capture
Jay-Z, Bounce With Him...
Yesterday, in honor of Def Jam's 30th Anniversary this week, we brought you our choices for the Top 5 most iconic Def Jam videos of all time. As great as those are, and believe us they are, it's only right when looking back at three decades of dominance to acknowledge all the less heralded gems in the Def Jam Video Vaults that never seem to get their due. Here are our picks for the Top 5 Most Underrated Def Jam videos of all time!

More »

Def Jam's Top 5 Most Iconic Videos

Categories: Rap

YouTube Screen Capture
LL Cool J's Mother Requested that He Render You Unconscious
This week landmark rap label Def Jam Records celebrates its 30th anniversary.  While the label's always been on the cutting edge of what's happening in hip-hop, tributes to the label's storied history often overlook how many iconic rap videos can be found within the label's catalog as well. It is with our glasses raised to Russell Simmons that we name Def Jam's five most iconic videos of all time.

More »

YG - The Observatory - September 09, 2014

James Brunt
The Observatory

Before doors opened for the second YG show of the night at the Observatory on Tuesday, an extensive line snakes from the front doors ending just yards shy of Harbor Blvd. People of all sects stand in their version of fly summerwear from hipster looking girls in long white Coachella-type dresses to your casual t-shirt and baseball cap-wearing dudes among the predictable concertgoers; chicks in tanks and high-waisted shorts and bros in tanks and shorts that look odd if they're not clad with anchors. Simultaneously, the venue is experiencing a mass exodus. Moments before, the first of two YG shows had just concluded and the indomitable energy lingering after a great performance oozed from early crowd.

"Y'all betta turn the fuck up when y'all get in there" demands one young lady as she heads towards the parking lot. Her demeanor resembles a young emcee looking to get the crowd hype.

One year ago, a YG show would not have been as big of a ticket. But on this Tuesday night those who may have forgone his opening performance at UCI's fall concert last year, would not miss a second chance to ride the wave. As the affinity for using the word "ratchet" whenever possible has grown, so has the chance to vibe to the tunes that accompany the trending rap vernacular.

See also: YG's Listening Party Was a Bompton-Style Rager

More »

The Best OC Hip-Hop Shows in July

Categories: Rap, Top Five

Rittz--See July 26
There's no doubt that this summer is highly saturated with hip-hop concerts. But even if you might not be all too enthusiastic for the Drake and Lil Wayne show in September, maybe some of the shows in the upcoming month can fill a share of your summer leisure time and dough. Conveniently, the always busy, always awesome Observatory is hosting all the shows on our list. And if scraping ticket money together is a problem for you, one of the listed shows costs less than a Li'l Caesar's Hot-n-Ready. Here are our picks for the best hip-hop shows in July.

More »

A Beginner's Guide to Open Mike Eagle

Categories: Rap

Andy J. Scott
This month saw the release of Dark Comedy, the critically acclaimed new album from Chicago-born, LA-based rap artist Open Mike Eagle. Walking the tight rope of an outstanding technical proficiency with his rhymes coupled with a flow that alternates between melodious and avant garde with lyrics that tackle real struggles featuing a dash of self-depricating humor and subtle pop culture references hidden to the point of being Easter Eggs, he's a unique entity that's as accessible as esoteric gets. In the event you're not yet familiar with Eagle, we've assembled a quick crash course of five songs to bring you up to speed. This is our Beginner's Guide to Open Mike Eagle.

More »

Future - The Observatory - June 26, 2014

Categories: Rap, live review


Three light panels clutter the undersized stage as the rising star, Future, rocks the Observatory. Ironically, the venue's title fits the rapper well, as the bulk of his work up to this point consistently refers to the cosmos. Early in his set, he vows to take the crowd to the moon. The panels flash to the bass hits of the 2012 single "Same Damn Time," with a magnitude high enough magnitude to blind the whole building. Now, like the majority of his time on stage, Future hops from stage left to stage right, searching for his most hyped fans. Next, the Men in Black Neuralyzer type lights create a silhouette of Future pumping his arms to Pharrell-featured single "Move that Dope."

But before getting into the smash hit, Future stops to thank the crowd for making the track one of the biggest in the country, in a lower toned, raspy, Southern voice resemblant of an SEC linebacker's. The 30 year-old's remarks show how happy he is to be in his position and just how much he's enjoying the night in Cali, yet he wore a expressionless face throughout the night, mustering a smile only when he shakes a fan's hand in the front row. Even when pausing to take a hit of his DJ's blunt onstage, Future doesn't seem relieved by the exhalation, standing stiff to face the crowd.

More »