« March 2009 | Main

April 23, 2009

Looking Fly

One of the important features of a rapper is his appearance. He or she needs to appeal to their audience. And directly or indirectly influence their audience's fashion sense. No matter what he or she has to say, the communication would not be complete if the outfit was offbeat. Tattoos have also been added to the list of must-haves for rappers, even for the females. So in this blog, I present the evolution of fashion in rap from the early 90s till today.


Blast from the past





Today -- we can see that a lot of the women in these videos have less clothing on (except for Lil Kim who has always upheld that image). Also, most of these songs feature choreographed dances (or "dances from the hood") that are very ridiculous (thats an understatment) but we all want to get loose, at least once in a while.




And anything on BET tonight would suffice....

April 6, 2009

This Isn't Fair

Everybody wants to be a rapper. Although a lot of KRS-One's 9 elements are featured in rap music, MCing has been a true task for many. Lil Jon failed so I wouldn't even go there. If the true test of a rapper is to make words rhyme, then we give the rap game an A+. But then we see that grade turpedo when performance is compared one against the other. It is important to point out that there ARE different types of rappers. A trained ear can distinguished them by the types of beats and the quality of the words that come out of these rappers. In general, when they are not set apart by their regions or outfits, rappers are either mainstream or underground. It is very common to see a transition from one end to the other. A lot of the mainstream rappers were once underground but became mainstream when a recording company found them. Others go from mainstream to underground when their companies either fire them , they get shunned because they don't actually have talent to survive, (Young Buck), or they just quit (The Game).

It is obvious that a lot (if not all) of these mainstream rappers are trash. It is very unfortunate that the real ones don't get the limelight but it keeps them true to themselves because they don't have to succumb to what big corporations want from them.

By now, we all know the rap recipe - experiences in the ghetto/hood, girls, gear (clothes), alcohol, and money. Some rappers follow this routine. Others don't. I am very new to Black Ice but he's on fire. Mos Def and Talib Kweli are forces, period. Therefore, Lil Wayne should have probably done a thorough research before coming to the conclusion that he is the "best rapper alive." I am very sure he reconsidered that statement after his freestyle performance on Westwood radio, its on Youtube.

I have always wondered why Lil Wayne considered himself "the best rapper alive" when Mos Def, Nas, Jay-Z, Black Ice, and Talib Kweli still hold the torch. After dropping his successful album, "Carter III" Lil Wayne decided to proclaim himself "the best rapper alive, since the best rapper retired." After listening to his song, "A Millie" I blame the alcohol. Alcohol + microphone will never equal skill. The song "A Millie" is believed to be a freestyle effort from Lil Wayne. However, true freestyle should not be only in a rapper's comfort zone (his studio). Since freestyling is a test of skill, a rapper should be prepared to defend his skills wherever and whenever he is called upon to do so - an elevator, in a radio station, TV, in the shower, wherever. One of a rapper's pride is to be able to kill freestyling. Freestyling is an impromptu or improvise lyrics. And that is one of the reasons people respect Jay-Z because he reportedly doesn't write his lyrics during recording. Looking at the list, Mos Def, Black Ice, and Talib Kweli stand out as the infamous ones. But Jay Z, Lil Wayne, and Nas are well-known.

Therefore, this blog presents the freestyles of the aforementioned artists. You be the judge. I know someone needs to drop the mic. Enjoy.

Lil Wayne - Freestyle on Westwood Radio


Lil Wayne Rap City Freestyle


Lil Wayne - A Millie



Black Ice Freestyle on Rap City (excuse the guy that keeps interrupting him, you can find more of him if you want more)


Talib Kweli / Mos Def


Jay-Z freestyle