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Monthly Archives: November 2013

The Breakfast Club. A couple things come to hip-hop heads’ mind when the name gets mentioned, and none of them have to do with Molly Ringwald. Funny, real, mean, nice, informative, conversational are some of the words that race through my mind when I think about that station.

Power 105.1 and The Breakfast Club is everyone’s most loved and hated hip-hop morning show, not only because of the great mixes done by DJ Envy, not only because of the beautiful Angela Yee, but the interview style and honest questions and comments they make. A lot of it is attributed to 1/3rd of the collective, Charlamagne Tha God, who is brutally honest but very valid with his comments. Sometimes they’re so upfront that they get misconstrued as slander. Which I don’t believe it is, I think the media is just so used to coat riding, most interviewers will dodge any question that may be heard as controversial. Even though most of those “hesitant” questions are the ones that 90% of the audience is wondering anyways. I certainly believe that it is not what you say, it is how you say it. As long as you are respectful in the manner which you are asking questions, entertainers or anybody for that matter should respect it. Plus, they don’t have to answer anything if the interviewee does not like to, they can just say pass or next question.

Anyways, back on the subject! Yeezus himself has decided to do a 42 minute and 20 second interview with The Breakfast Club. That’s 42 minutes and 20 seconds longer than I expected! I would have never in a million years thought ‘Ye would be up on there and allow himself to become a target of the quick line of questioning. But, Kanye really proved himself that he really in his own lane, he is comfortable with what he stands for and  is ready to justify any thing he says or does! Which from the outside looking in is A LOT considering that he is scrutinized every time he moves a muscle. (No pun intended with the photo)

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(Courtesy of cdn.idolator.com)

In the interview, one of the things Mr. West talks about is doing a new venture with Adidas and speaks on his past deal with Nike and how he received no royalties for the Air Yeezys. Kanye said that Nike couldn’t give him shoe royalties because he isn’t a professional athlete. I’m very surprised that there are still categorical barriers between the celebrities or entertainers that Nike does business with. Just like how consumers look up to athletes as far as what they’re wearing, they do the same for rappers! The sneaker game is no longer a basketball thing, just like how it is no longer a rap thing. It is a fashion thing! There are probably just as many people who are concerned about dressing nice and fly, as people who watch basketball and listen to rap! Kids rock what their favorite athletes are wearing and a lot of the time they are jackin’ what rappers wear. Hip-Hop contributed to the popularity of Air Jordans, there has to be at least one shoe song every two weeks that makes kid think they need to step up their sneaker game.

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(Courtesy of highsnobiety.com & bossip.com)

I hope the Kanye West and Adidas collab works out and they come out with a dope product! And P.S., it better not be another 200 plus dollar pair of shoes again.

#RAPNERDSUNITE

Follow me, bro! Twitter: @NormBatez | Instagram: @normangalang

– Norman Galang

OVO and Young Money’s own Drake announced that he will release five new records before 2013 ends. With the year winding down and the best holidays coming up, I personally think it is the perfect time to release music. People will be inside more because of the cold and what’s better than chilling (no pun intended) and listening to the music we love? We also tend to talk to family more during this time and good music becomes the soundtrack to memorable times. Holidays are perfect time markers for the year.

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(courtesy of Billboard.com)

Coincidentally, I believe Drake’s non-album leaked songs make for some of his best records. For example “Girls Love Beyonce” featuring James Fauntleroy, “5 a.m. in Toronto”, “Free Spirit” with Rick Ross and “Club Paradise”. All excellent songs that I believe can be better than some of the tracks on his official albums.

According to Vibe magazine, Drake said he will probably release “Trophies” by Hit-Boy which he previewed during a performance along with dropping three or four other songs he hasn’t announced yet. (http://www.vibe.com/article/new-music-alert-drake-plans-drop-five-unreleased-songs-2014)

I really hope Drake finally releases the Wu-Tang Forever (Remix) with the Wu members on it, that’ll be sick. I am also excited to hear the club banger that him and Compton MC, YG recorded. Drizzy has some of the best verses over up-tempo clubby records, like on Migo’s “Versace (Remix)” or “The Motto” featuring Young Money boss-man Lil Wayne and Los Angeles spitter, Tyga.

I’m excited to see what he has for us and happy that he is still down to release free music once in a while. I admire that he isn’t one of those artists who would rather let his or her new solo work be heard only every couple years to promote a new album.

And I think it is safe to say that Drake hasn’t released a terrible song, yet. Keep it up, kid!

Make sure to follow me on Twitter: @NormBatez and also hit up my Instagram: @normangalang

#RapNerdsUnite

– Norman Galang!

Waddup y’all? I just wanted to come through and tell all the underground hip-hop heads that the long awaited “Knock Madness” by Hopsin is not only releasing on the 26th, but he decided to upload the album for free-listening here! http://www.youtube.com/user/Hopsintv?feature=watch

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(Courtesy of Faygoluvers.net)

Hopsin has been shaking up the underground rap scene ever since he dropped his debut “Gazing At The Moonlight” LP on Ruthless Records in 2009. That doesn’t seem like a long time, but with the amount of promotion and buzz he’s been gaining through those short 5 years, you would have thought he was a veteran with 10 years under his belt.

Now he created his own independent record label called Funk Volume, been signing artists, performing all over the map and now is ready to drop his 3rd long awaited LP, “Knock Madness”.

The growth between this record and his 2nd album “Raw”, is astonishingly dope and interesting. His message is on steroids and continues to present his story-telling-past-experience-learn-from-this flow. This album is pretty much darker and more emotional than his previous one.

He incorporates every side of Hop with sappy down-and-out songs to humorus tongue-in-cheek records to hard hitting “raw” rap bangers.

The concepts on these records are more surprising and original. The most stand out song off the entire 18-song album is “Nollie Tre Flip”, which is a song bragging about his skateboard skills. To my knowledge, nothing in Hip-Hop has this been done before. Lupe Fiasco’s “Kick, Push” does not count because, yes it was about skateboarding, but he wasn’t spitting skate skills and using skateboard cultural slang like Hopsin. Even with this song being about shredding skateparks and being an ill skater, he simultaneously proves his MC craft with metaphors and flow that sounds like he is fighting back the head breaking beat.

Amazing song.

Another dynamic of this LP is the topic of females trying to advantage of him along with the cost of fame, which seems to be a occurring theme throughout the album.

The song “Gimme That Money” is about becoming famous and attracting fake friends and old girlfriends with their hands out.

Although this topic is sad with a hint of loneliness, he perfect finds a way to inject humor with the different impressions, quirky beat and infectious chorus. I think this type of song is Hopsin in his element, making fun of his own dark past experiences and turning them into funny records. Like “Baby’s Daddy” off his previous CD.

Through the first listen, the album seems solid. More depressing and moody records on this album than I was expecting, but I believe that’s where Hopsin gains the most fans. No one said the truth was pretty.

Full review of “Knock Madness” coming soon!!!…..

Follow me!! Twitter: @NormBatez | Instagram: @normangalang

#RapNerdsUnite

– Norman Galang

“Mustard on the beat” has been the catch phrase or tag line that has been in all the intros of your favorite club bangers!! DJ Mustard has just recently signed to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Management. Dijon “DJ Mustard” McFarlane has been infamously the main contributor to this era’s “turn up” and “ratchet” movement and sound.

Mustard has been blazing not only the streets, but the radio as well with his infectious bay-area sounding club bouncing beats. Despite being from Los Angeles and having his own regional sound, his production has resonated in every region. Almost every rapper from all areas has reached out and got Mustard to bang out a beat either for their single or mixtape.

I personally love the bay-area sound, it captures the West Coast vibe perfectly for me. The difference between the California club sound versus all the other region’s sound is that Cali’s music, more specifically the Northern Cali scene, produces records that are the perfect balance of bounce without being too obnoxious, hype without it being too repetitive and street and grimy without the intimidating violence-provoked energy. It is just plain up-tempo fun. Which to me is what the West West is all about.

In the video above with JAY-Z’s Life+Times, he talks about signing as a solo act to a record label and how he wants to do shows like David Guetta. This is will be very interesting to see because most Hip-Hop producers do not go out of their realm and perform live shows, they usually stay in the production lane.

I believe Mustard has enough talent and energy to pull it off. He has the track record to prove that he knows what the club hoppers want to hear when their drunk with their crew on the weekends, while having enough of those to keep his name consist while maintaining a specific sound and swing flowing in his music that everyone recognizes as soon as you hear “Mustard on the beat, hoe!”

Congrats to DJ Mustard on the signing and I hope much success is on the way!

My Top 4 DJ Mustard produced songs:

2 Chainz – I’m Different

This is the record that proved that he was able to produce catchy infectious club bangers and still keep it minimal without incorporating or using trendy “typical” radio samples or sounds.

B.o.B. Ft. 2 Chainz

The whistling sound in this beat is genius. At first I couldn’t tell this was a Mustard beat which makes it even better, it lets you know he can still make bangers with a different vibe by tweaking it a little.

Kid Ink Ft. Chris Brown – Show Me

I believe this is DJ Mustard’s first cross over r&b borderline club record. And he does it well. Kid Ink is known for delivering free spirit, cali-love, catchy records and Mustard’s beat matches that perfectly. If Mustard can continue to produce more hits like this, he could possibly be one of the biggest producers outside the club scene.

Young Jeezy Ft. 2 Chainz – R.I.P.

This beat is classic mustard. Something about this beat sounds so full and with the help of Jeezy’s raspy and loud voice yellin’ all over the chorus makes this a great record to set off the club.

Remember to follow your dude! Twitter: @NormBatez | Instagram: @normangalang

……mustard on the beat!!

#RapNerdsUnite

– Norman Galang

A topic that has been currently grasping the Hip-Hop community, as well as myself, is Lord Jamar of the pioneer legendary group, Brand Nubian, stating that white people are “guests” in the house of hip-hop. Jamar said white people can participate in hip-hop, but they can’t redecorate the house without the permission of the “owners”. Jamar believes since black people created hip-hop, they are the ones who allow white rappers to come into the game to make their music, get recognized, but he stated “don’t push it too far.”

In an interview with DJ Vlad of VladTV, Jamar boldy said that homosexuality has no place in hip-hop. He also spoke on the song “Same Love” by Macklemore, who is a caucasian MC. He the first rapper, to my knowledge, to have a pro-gay hit song not only on the internet, but radio as well.

Jamar said “making a song like that, is like feeling that you have the same footing as any other hip-hop artist, and to me you don’t”

He compared white rappers to people who are living in a  foreign country on a visa. They can’t vote on domestic affairs. He said just because white people live in the house of hip-hop, they truly aren’t a part of the core.

Independent underground rapper sensation Hopsin, spoke out against Lord Jamar’s statements and claims his comments are racist and anyone can do whatever they want. Hopsin also said “it’s 2013, racism shouldn’t even be an issue anymore. Like, Hip-hop has evolved, life has evolved, and there are still racist people out there but that’s just so stupid to say.”

(Topic @ 8:04 timemark)

Shady Records’ recording artist Yelawolf, also had similar opinions to Jamar’s statements. The Alabama rapper said that Hip-Hop is music and people can talk about anything they want to and that is the beauty of it all. He also stated that if the song is a hit record, then a lot of people must feel the same way.

(Topic @ 5:33)

I respect Lord Jamar and Brand Nubian to the fullest. They have classic singles and made their mark with timeless music.

But, in my opinion, hip-hop is for anyone. At the end of the day it really is an art form and just like anything else, it is used as a way of expression. I believe as long as you are dope, and you know and respect the culture, then you are allowed in this house of hip-hop.

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(courtesy of sacredstitch.com)

Art imitates life and life imitates art. I believe as people evolve, so does the art. As society goes on, there are people who grow to accept things more openly, while there are people who grow to discourage things. For example, a rapper in the 90’s and early 2000’s could have gotten away with using the word “fag” in their raps, but nowadays I believe if a rapper uses such derogatory words, he or she would be under severe scrutiny and criticism. The only rapper that can get away with it is Eminem, but that’s only because he clearly stated in interviews that he does not mean to offend people with that particular word. He was just so used to saying it coming up in the rap battle scene that it was thrown around as slang.

If you still think Slim Shady is homophobic, remember this?

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(courtesy of rapradar.com)

Although I disagree with Lord Jamar’s statements, I completely understand and respect his opinion and point of view. His perspectives on subjects and topics concerning hip-hop are very interesting, and I hope VladTV has more interview clips of his that have not yet been released.

Remember to follow me! Twitter: @NormBatez and Instagram @normangalang

Peace and love, y’all!! And remember, #RapNerdsUnite

– Norman

Yes, yes, y’all and It don’t stop! Sup guys?! Sorry about the two week absence, school has be busier and more stressed than ever, but thank god I have this blog. Updating my personal blog, is just that, personal. It really forces me sit down, relax, listen to what I believe is the best music ever created and speak on my opinion about. A very therapeutic process which I enjoy very much.

A lot has been going on in hip-hop from new mixtape/album release dates, arisen controversial topics and the leak of dope singles. But, the biggest thing being talked about in the Rap world is the return of Marshall Mathers aka Slim Shady aka arguable the most controversial artist in hip-hop aka Eminem!

Image(courtesy of http://www.aceshowbiz.com)

Just yesterday on Nov. 5, 2013, the Detroit MC released his 8th studio album dubbed “The Marshall Mathers LP II.” A very brave move by Em to make a sequel to a very critically acclaimed classic made 13 years ago. Subconsciously, fans everywhere are automatically going to compare The MMLP2 to the first one, without a doubt. Not saying it is entirely a bad thing, but it can really block your ears from hearing all the good this album has to offer when you are already having unrealistic expectations.

It is safe to say that everyone from the age of 18 to 28 and even people in their early 30’s grew up on Eminem’s music. Not saying everyone between those ages was a fan, but similar to Michael Jackson’s music, it is everywhere and has been for a very long time. I feel that everyone in my generation at least has an idea of who he is, what he represents in his music, can name 2-3 songs of his regardless of if they ever owned any of Em’s albums.

What I love about this album is that it is just like every other classic Eminem album, minus all the negativity and more emphasis on the MC craft. Not to say the darker and more violent music wasn’t good, infact it was great, but this LP is another audio chapter of his life that can be differentiated from the rest of the book. This is probably his first album where he seems to be just happy with no real grudges. Not only is he content with life, but he seems to be more passionate about rhyming than he’s ever been. From the personal heart felt, tear jerking rhymes apologizing to his mother, silly sounding love songs, the straight unfiltered hardcore punchline-heavy raps, to even rapping like Yoda; this album proved to me if I had any doubt in the past if Em still enjoyed the craft of MC’ing, I was dead wrong.  If you were to ask me as a fan, on a scale of 1-10, how much does Eminem care about his rap skills? 1 being “I could care less, ehh whatevz” to 10 being “sharpening my craft is needed more than DMX needing a chauffeur,” than the number would be all the times Slim Shady has ever said the F-word in his music, his personal life, business meetings when they tried to shaft him in the beginning all combined. Literally, that would be the number. Which is dope.

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(courtesy of arntrnassets.mediaspanonline.com)

More specifically what I like about the MMLP2 is that I can tell he’s been reminiscing about the rap he grew up on when making this album , which is probably why most of the album cuts seem more technically written with complex rhyming. For instance his first lead single, “Bezerk”, is a very Beastie Boys sound, not only with the beat but with his flow cadence.

One of the biggest tribute or homages made off the entire album is from a song that is not even on the album, technically it is a bonus track called “Don’t Front”.

It is a remake of “I Got Cha Opin” by Black Moon originally made in 1993.

I didn’t even know Slim was influenced by Black Moon, but after hearing his whole album and then this it made sense.

Em not only polished up the beat and increased the quality, but if I’m not mistaken the lead MC of Black Moon, Buckshot went in the studio with Shady and re-did the chorus.

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(courtesy of hiphopdx.com)

Eminem’s “Don’t Front” can be heard here:

http://www.hiphopearly.com/Eminem-ft-Buckshot-Dont-Front-Full-t21121.html

He did more than an excellent job on remaking a solid boom bap hard hitting 90’s classic. It’s everything you would want a 2013 MC to do with a song that came out 20 years ago. Keeping the dirty and crunchy snares, the droopy bass loops, incorporating DJ scratch and cut samples throughout the song, upping the studio quality and getting the ORIGINAL artist to re-do the vocals is the best reach out an artists has done in years (Besides Nas making “Made Nas Proud”, of course). “Don’t Front” will go down as one of the most memorable rap remakes. Songs like these make me even reminisce on a time I never had and listen to early rap frontin’ like it was something I grew up on too.

eminem-with-an-wu-tang-tshirt

(courtesy of justshady.com)

For real though, all jokes aside, when you feel like the underrated 90’s golden-era rap heroes are getting slept on and almost forgotten, gems like these drop. It must put a smile on the artist’s face to see one of the biggest rappers in the game, if not the biggest musical artists period, pay homage and shed some light on who motivated him to pick up the mic (see that rhymed, that’s tight, real #RapNerdsUnite).

– MC Norman Batez, kid.

P.S. Make sure you follow me! Twitter: @NormBatez; Instagram: @normangalang

Peace & thank you!