Tuesday, November 08, 2011

The Heavster - 1967-2011

Heavy D died today.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

D'angelo back to the stage?

Micheal "D'angelo" Archer, the troubled R&B singer who hasn't released an album since the end of the Clinton administration, appears to have scheduled some concert dates. The native Virginia is set to perform at the Paradiso in Amsterdam on Jan. 30 and Jan. 31., according to the venue's web site.

As any fan of the man and his music knows, dates don't mean much to D'angelo, unless he's going to court. The release date for his third album has been pushed back so many times you can't see it without a telescope. But maybe this time it'll be different. We can only hope. But how long before we turn into this guy, waiting for that wonderful, magical mythical thing that never comes?

UPDATE: When asked if the alleged dates are valid, an official representative for D'Angelo said, "Nope."

Friday, October 21, 2011

Beats, Rhymes and So-Called Life

This week, Sony Pictures Classic's documentary on A Tribe Called Quest, "Beats, Rhymes and Life," comes to dvd shelves and Redbox this week. Which means it's a great time to second guess the choices of first-time director Micheal Rapport, now that we're over the joy and wonder of seeing someone treat at a hip-hop group with the same critical perspective reserved for rock bands. So, here are the top 7 things that I would've like to have seen in the movie and didn't thanks to the guy from Zebrahead.

1. Tommy Gun There was a rumor about Q-Tip and Mariah Carey back in the day. Supposedly, her husband Tommy Mattola, a record executive who allegedly knows some tough guys, got wind of this and was pissed. As the rumor goes, a contract was put out on 'Tip's life and he made himself scarce for a few months until things cooled down. I do know of a rapper who was waiting for the abstract rapper to executive produce his debut record around this time, but had to go on without him because he couldn't be found. Just so I know in case I'm on the run from the mob, where was he hiding?

2. Eye Patch Another rumor about Q-Tip, this one about an alleged altercation with Wrecks-N-Effect, a group as dated as their name sounds. Did one of their members nearly blind Q-Tip? Is that really why he wore a mask in the video for "Hot Sex"?

3. Mystery of Q We learned a lot about Phife in the film. We saw his house, his wife and his struggle with diabetes. But what about the group's leader? Q -Tip remains a mystery before and fafter the film.

4. After the Fire Selling part or all of your record collection can be an emotional experience. This guy talks about it on several of his podcasts. Imagine what it's like to have your collection, along with all of your belongings, destroyed by fire. Q-Tip knows, but he's not telling.

5. Who is Ali Shaheed Muhammad? He was almost an background artist in this film about a group he was in.

6. Beats, Rhymes and Life Rapport thought enough of this ATCQ album to name his film after it, but the film barely acknowleges its existence.

7. Rhymes & Fights Phife's brief solo career goes unmentioned, which is odd, since the director seemed driven to exploit the conflict in the band. Aside from the alleged shove in the film, Phife's video for Flawless is the only visual evidence of tribal discord.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Mos Def won't be Mos Def next year

Get More: Sucker Free

Mos Def has given us notice that he's changing his name in 2012. Unfortunately, his new music will still be known by it's previous name, "wack."

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Infamous Interviews

More than decade has passed, not since I've updated this blog, but since Mobb Deep's Prodigy and I talked. We caught up a few weeks back for this article in last week's Style Weekly. Strange headlline, huh? Peep my 1995 interview with him below.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Prodigy responds to rumor about LL Cool J's daughter

Queensbridge native and half of the legendary duo Mobb Deep, Prodigy, made the top a popular gossip blog today. The site suggests that the 37-year-old's alleged online conversation with the 15-year-old daughter of LL Cool J may have been "inappropriate."

Asked about the report today, Prodigy said he hadn't heard about the story and laughed after it was explained to him.

"That's interesting," he said.

When asked for a more elaborate response, he didn't offer one.

"That is my response. 'That's interesting.'"

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Cassidy Arrested, Suspected of Murder

Cassidy was arrested for violating his probation yesterday by New Jersey Police. Police say that the rapper is also a suspect in a murder and two attempted murders in Philadelphia.

The rapper has faced serious charges before. In 2006, he was charged with murder, attempted murder, reckless endangerment, aggravated assault, conspiracy and weapons possession. He was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and spent some time in Pennsylvania's Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility.

Here's the rapper in better times, appearing on Wavelength with Yasmine in 2005.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Philadelphia's Freeway

Found this lingering on the hard drive of my fading G5. This is likely one of the last shoots we ever did in Richmond, where Freeway stopped while on a promo tour for "Philadelphia Freedom," in 2003.

In 2004, Freeway suffered a crisis faith after the Jay-Z retired and the incaceration of label mate Beanie Sigel. After a few years off and a trip to Mecca, he returned with sophmore album, "Free At Last." His lats project, "Philadelphia Freedom 2," was released in 2009.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

DJ Megatron Shot Dead

DJ and televison host, DJ Megatron was killed today in New York City. From MSNBC:

Urban radio and TV personality
DJ Megatron, who built a career at hip-hop
and R&B radio stations from Philadelphia to
Boston and told viewers of a popular music
TV show "What's Good," was shot to death
early Sunday, according to his manager and

The BET cable television segment host was
killed while heading to a store near his home
on New York City's borough of Staten Island
around 2 a.m., his manager Justin Kirkland,
known as J. Smoove, said.

Police say the 32-year-old deejay, born
Corey McGriff, was found dead with a
gunshot wound to his chest. No arrests have
been made.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Captain of the Hook - Nate Dogg RIP

Snoop Dogg won't be coming to my hometown this week. The 39-year-old rapper is taking some time off to mourn the passing of his friend and frequent collaborator, Nate Dogg. Nate died from congestive heart failure on March 15. He was 41.

I can't think of another singer that could leave a legacy like Nate Dogg. His trademark baritone was a vital element of the West Coast rap sound and his distinctive delivery elevated the music of one hip hop's greatest beatmakers, Dr. Dre. But listening to a local radio station attempt to pay tribute to the singer outlined the negative side of his voice. Most of his popular lyrics, usually heard as the chorus to rap hits, were bleeped out.

Nate Dogg, born Nathaniel Dwayne Hale, was a gifted singer who used his voice to talk about dicks, hoes and drugs. He made misogyny sound good. He might not have made you smoke weed every day, but he made you sing about it. He mirrored the lack of morality and irresponsibility of the rappers he worked with, echoing their adolescent fantasies of sex and violence with his melodic monotone. It was a dangerous and delicious concoction, one listeners never got tired of, no matter how many hooks he hung his bowler on.

After one of Nate Dogg's recent strokes, the news of his condition was passed on to the media by a member of Innate Praise, a gospel choir he had formed. Perhaps a Dogg can learn new tricks.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Chris Brown wrecks a Good Morning

Since his court-ordered anger management classes for beating and biting R&b singer Rhianna, Chris Brown shown that he isn't equipped to handle the pressures of being a pop star. Especially one with a damaged career.

In April of last year, Chris Brown cut short an interview with one of his hometown radio station after he claimed that they weren't playing his music enough. His recent twitter targets include Wal-Mart, which he alleged wasn't selling his CDs and alleged molestation victim Raz-B, who was the target of homophobic rants from the singer.

Now this. According to TMZ, Brown "exploded in rage behind the scenes at "Good Morning America" this morning ... smashing a window and storming out without a shirt." Sources tell the web site that the singer was upset with questions from show host Robin Roberts.

If his Demolition Man haircut didn't make it clear, this young man needs help. For the rest of his career, he'll have to answer questions about his behavior, his arrest and the restraining order. But those questions will come less if you can show that they don't bother you. After today, he'll have more explaining to do.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Friday, January 21, 2011

Grandmaster Caz - Live on the Internet

The man behind some of the verses of one of the first hip-hop songs, "Rapper's Delight," will appear on a internet radio show based here in Richmond this week. Grandmaster Caz is known for giving a book of rhyme pages to Big Bank Hank, one of the three members of the Sugar Hill Gang, who used Caz's lyrics and the rest is history.

Caz will be appearing on Go Live radio on Saturday on ustream. Listen here.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

2010 is a Wrap-Up.

Here is Skillz' annual recollection of current events and pop culture from the past year. It will cost you this time.