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Is Kendrick Lamar A Top Ten Rapper of all time?

Kendrick Lamar is arguably the greatest rapper of this generation. Since 2011, mainstream media has fallen in love with the Compton native for his lyricism, honestly, and overall complete artistry. He has won seven Grammy’s and appeared in songs beside music heavy weight’s like Beyoncé, U2, and Rihanna. On one of his latest songs The Heart Part 4, Kendrick out right says, “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, I am the Greatest Rapper Alive.” And he probably is right. But is he top ten all time in the history of rap? The answer is, not yet.

Kendrick Lamar is arguably the greatest rapper of this generation. Since 2011, mainstream media has fallen in love with the Compton native for his lyricism, honestly, and overall complete artistry. He has won seven Grammy’s and appeared in songs beside music heavy weight’s like Beyoncé, U2, and Rihanna. On one of his latest songs The Heart Part 4, Kendrick out right says, “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, I am the Greatest Rapper Alive.” And he probably is right. But is he top ten all time in the history of rap? The answer is, not yet. damn

Earlier this month, Kendrick Lamar dropped his 3rd major studio album Damn. Social media was ablaze with compliments and praise for 14 track LP. Like his other two classic albums, Good Kid, M.A.A.D City, and To Pimp a Butterfly, Damn seems to have lasting messages that will reveal itself over time. It’s too early to call his latest installment a classic, but it sold 603,000 units its first week, making it the fastest selling album of the year thus far. Kendrick is probably on his way to his third straight classic album. Which is in addition to his classic Section.80 album, that was released under Top Dawg Entertainment.

These are all great accomplishments that cannot be taken away from Kendrick, but the sample size isn’t large enough to compare to other rap legends just yet.   k dot

Lets look at others who he would be competing against. People like Jay-z, Eminem, Tupac, Biggie, Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, DMX, Jadakiss, LL Cool J, Nas, and Scarface. That’s just to name a few. These artist all have more extensive musical catalogues, time put in, and bigger legendary acceptance than Kendrick does at this junction in his career. There is no denying K dot’s talent and his incredibly high ceiling. However, at this time I think it’s unfair to place him up against these greats. He simply needs more time.

Though, in 10 years I don’t think the discussion will be is Kendrick Lamar top 10? I think it will be is Kendrick Lamar the greatest rapper of all time? Only time will tell. But what do you think, is the man they call Kung-fu Kenny Top ten right now? Comment below!

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LOL: IF Y’ALL DON’T LEAVE UZI ALONE

The meme’s and joke’s I’ve seen on Instagram over this picture has had me laughing for days now. I saw one where the post referred to Lil Uzi Vert as a new age aunty. I saw the shade room call Lil Uzi “sis.” I even saw one where people say that when you get a bunch of money you start dressing like a weirdo.  First, let me say that I am here for all of these jokes. Naturally, I love to roast people so uzi has to get these jokes.

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On the flip side, I did see a lot of genuine hate for this picture and the person in it. Obviously, a lot of this came from a homophobic place and the fact that a lot of people don’t like him as a rapper. People always seem to have a problem when a man chooses to dress in clothes that are deemed acceptable for women. To those people I would say, “Who cares?” Does it matter what a person wears when they are living their own life? I certainty don’t care. I’m just here for the jokes. He does look like the aunty on drugs but that’s his business. As for the music part, I don’t listen even so I’m not going to try and defend it. To each’s own right?

 

I think the message here is to accept people for their individually and uniqueness. Lil Uzi a weird little dude. This is a true story, but it is who he is and I’m ok with that. Truth be told I’m no stranger to a tight jean or two back in my day. People would clown me all they want to. It’s fine because they know I was killing the game so whatever. If uzi has that mentally which I believe he does, he will be ok. For everyone else let big sis rock lol. Please comment below and let me know what you think? If it is a good joke I promise you I’ll respond lol. Is Uzi’s outfit over the top? or should we just accept the him as hip hop’s rock star aunty? Thanks for reading guys!

DRAKE’S BILLBOARD NIGHT IS GREAT FOR HIP HOP

Twitter was a buzz over Drake after watching him take home a record 13 billboard awards last night. I even have to admit, the scene of seeing Drake with his whole entourage on stage in a room full of people who rather listen to Miley Cyrus than Jay z was extremely fulfilling.  I think I almost cried when I saw Lil Wayne throw corn chips on Drake’s all white outfit as the presenters announced that Drake broke Adele’s record for most win’s in a single night. It certainly was a great night for the Toronto born star but even better one for Hip Hop.

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Lets be real. The billboard awards is a predominately white pop centric show. Hip Hop stars are rarely successful at these show because they aren’t pop stars that fit in the mold the billboards would want you to. They even announced Drake as a Superstar. This is true, but he is a Superstar rappper. There is a difference between the two. I’ll leave it to you to tell me the difference.

Anyway, back to the point of the post. Drake may be seen as a pop star to some now. Me included, but he is now and forever will be a rapper that comes from Hip Hop. That means that is win is a win for Hip Hop. That scene of him on the stage with his crew and bottles of Virginia Black was so Hip Hop I almost thought I was watching the BET awards. It was amazing and a good look for Hip Hop. Congrats Drake, even though he will probably never read this. But let me know what you guys think. Is this a win for Hip Hop? or do you think I just full of it? either is fine just let me know why. Comment below and let the kid know!

People Don’t Buy Music, They Buy The Brand

Instead I kept my eye on him and watched in the coming months to see if that performance was reflective of the artist I perceived him to be. In the coming months J Cole proved to me he was just that. I officially became a fan and purchased my first concert ticket to his Forrest Hills drive tour and never looked back.

Everything seems to be in reach in our internet driven world. One of those things is definitely music. Music streaming like Apple, Spotify and Soundcloud have made it easier for fans to get the music they want. Often times for a discounted or free expense.  The point here is that people don’t buy music anymore because they don’t have to. So how does an artist thrive in this environment? The way to do it is to sell yourself, not just your music.Spotify-Hero-1

Now of course there are people still buying music the traditional way. Also, artist do get paid from streaming but it is a substantially low amount. I think 10,000 streams is equal to one sale. In any case selling your music on its own won’t pay your bills as an artist. Instead you have to sell yourself as a brand and get people to invest in you.

Think about why people really love music. It isn’t because it just sounds good, its deeper than that. The music speaks to them or their experiences. It is important to the customer because they live their lives to this but they still don’t have to buy your music. However, if the customer believes in you, they will buy tickets to your show or merchandise that you own. That is the art od branding and that is what people buy into today. J.Cole-Fan-Cierra-Bosarge.png

I always like to give the example of J Cole when talking about branding. Before 2014, I was a some what fan of his. I knew he could rap and he made good songs but I didn’t feel like I knew him. It made me hesitate to really buy into him and I kind of dismissed him as another rapper I didn’t care about. Then I saw him perform a song called “Be Free” on the Dave Letterman show. The song talked about police brutality and need for black people to be heard. I felt the emotion and pain in his voice as he sang and then rapped. I was blown away. But not enough to be a complete fan. Link to performance. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VzpCmRtCL0resizedimage

Instead I kept my eye on him and watched in the coming months to see if that performance was reflective of the artist I perceived him to be. In the coming months J Cole proved to me he was just that. I officially became a fan and purchased my first concert ticket to his Forrest Hills drive tour and never looked back.

I never purchased a J Cole song in my life but his brand earned my loyalty. That is something money can’t buy.

It Isn’t Cool To Be A Thug In Hip Hop Anymore

Tupac ruined the rap game when he tattooed “Thug Life” on his stomach. This isn’t to say that he was the first thug or gangsta of hip hop. But that image of that tattoo was seen worldwide and let everyone know that this is hip hop.  It was great for the 1990’s when that kind of life style was seen as cool or the norm in hip hop. Today, however I see kids on social media trying to be gangsters and thugs and it isn’t right. tupac_shakur

I use Tupac as an example because he was such a powerful figure in the culture. He was truly special with how he was able to reach people by being authentic to himself. He is like god to most people who listen to rap, but he is flawed like anyone else. He was not a perfect person and lived a reckless life that was brought about by his self-proclaimed “thug lifestyle.” We celebrate Tupac like he is the man and he is. The problem is people saw this and thought they could be him. The reality though is you can’t. There is only one Tupac and he unfortunately is not here anymore.

In 2017, Tupac should be an example to everyone that being a thug doesn’t have a good end.  I understand that everyone grows up in a different environment and some things are hard to escape but death isn’t one of them. Being a thug will get you death or jail. Both aren’t very cool.thug

The cool thing to do today is going to school and get your college degree like J cole. Or up lift people out of bad situations like Kendrick Lamar. Or become the biggest rapper in the genre like Drake, by dedicating yourself to your passion and nothing else. These are hip hop’s representation today and we are in a better place for it.j c

Again, I want to say that Tupac is amazing and was a uniquely special human being. However, he wasn’t perfect and we all can learn from his mistakes and short comings. As a long time fan of hip hop we have made a habit of celebrating the thugs. Hopefully this new generation could change that standard.

Rapper’s Are The Rock Stars Of Today

Rock and Roll was considered the rebel music of its day. Young people  naturally gravitated towards it, and older people rejected it. It was flashy, in your face, and counter-culture. It simply was the new wave of its time. Fast forward to today and that all has changed. Hip hop and Rap is now that wave.rock and roll

I grew up listening to a lot of different music, but hip hop and rap was always the coolest. It was the music that your parents didn’t quite approve of but somehow resonated with you the most. It was more than just music too, it was a culture that you lived and breathed. I spoke the dialect, I dressed the part, and I lived through the music. And I wasn’t the only one. I had a whole generations of kids beside me doing the same. hip

Look at some of the biggest artist in Hip Hop right now.  Artists like Drake, Kendrick Lamar, and J Cole have created such an impact that kids are growing up wanting to be just like them. When either of these artist drop an album it feels as if social media stops for a minute to bask in their greatness. And their shows are simply ridiculous. We are talking arenas, stadiums, even a sighting on the street garners such great attention. The fans live through their music and that is the power of hip hop’s rock star power.fo

On the flip side though, these are mega stars. So it makes sense they would get this kind of attention. What about rappers who aren’t as popular? Well I can tell you from first hand experience it still is just as ridiculous.

I have gone to many small clubs and venues to see rappers who were famous but not at the superstar level yet. Rappers like G Eazy, Mac Miller, Bas, and Logic. The reaction and love these artist got were crazy. People would stand 5 hours in line just to get into these places, then stand 3 more hours for a show. It’s crazy, but that’s rock and roll or should I say Hip Hop. asap-ferg-21

Kanye West once told Zane Lowe in an interview that “We are the new rock stars.” Kanye was of course referring to rappers. Usually Kanye is a little off in his judgements but he got this one right. Rappers are the new rock stars and we are just living in their world.

50 Cent is Hip Hop’s Pettiest Man

50 Cent never misses an opportunity to be petty. Recently, 50 flexed his petty habit on instagram against long time foe Ja Rule. 50-Cent-Ja-Rule-Instagram-Shots-640x448.png

50 posted a meme of President Trump appointing Ja Rule as secretary of festivals. This was an obvious shot at Rule’s Fyre Festival that was cancelled and failed to meet the hype of the next great festival.  50’s meme:https://www.instagram.com/p/BThKru1FEpF/

On the surface this is a light shot for 50, who has done must worse in the past. 50 has literally feuded with almost every rapper to come out of New York in the ealry 2000’s.  However, a deeper look will tell you that 50 can’t and will not let old grudges die. 50 has feuded with Ja rule since anywhere from 2001- 2003. I was maybe 5 or 6 at the time this became public. It is 2017 and I am now 21. Maybe, just maybe, 50 should let this one go. He won’t though, because he is the pettiest man in hip hop and isn’t that part of what makes him great though?

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It is and in reality we wouldn’t want 50 any other way.

 

Hip Hop Radio Needs A Young Voice

Everyday I go on Twitter or Instagram, I see young people like myself who have a desire to be heard. I’m talking about young people who range from 18-25 and have valid opinions on the culture we love so much. The problem for many of us is we feel like we are being shunned for being young. We feel judged by the people who came before us because we weren’t around for their golden ages. The ultimate consequence being that we have to wait our turn to be heard. Well this blogger isn’t waiting any longer.o-ANGIE-MARTINEZ-facebook

I have realized that doors don’t just open for people. In fact, people most of the time will try their best to keep them closed. I see people like Angie Martinez, Funk Master Flex, and Charlamagne tha god, at the top of their professions. I hear their stories about how hard they worked to get there and the time that had to be put in. I admire and respect them tremendously for that dedication. However, in that same breath, I feel like there is a notion that young people today don’t want to put the same work in. Which is a notion I completely reject. c ha

Are their people today who aren’t willing to put in work? Of course. Similarity to how their were people back then that didn’t want to put in the work.  Angie, Flex, and Charlamagne are special people of their time and there are special people today that will make themselves known in the future. funkmaster-flex-bomb-theverge-1_560

I personally have applied and was turned down from two radio internships. I couldn’t get on my school radio station cause I refused to be buddy buddy with people I didn’t respect. I could have quit on my dream and sometimes I do it get low on myself. However, refuse to let anybody decide my fate. I started my own YouTube channel  RealTalktv, when the internships fell through. I stayed in college and focused on finding another way into radio and eventually made it on my school radio station WHCR 90.3FM. Finally, here’s the kicker, in maybe a month I will start my own podcast with my friends called the 1-5-0.

My point here is young people want to be great too. Just give us time and you will see.