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!

What’s up guys! I’m back with some very impressive, shocking and interesting news. Puff Daddy, P. Diddy, Diddy, hip-hop mogul, whatever you would like to call him just launched his new official TV network called “Revolt”. Puffy claims it is the ‘ESPN of music’.

Very exciting! You never ever hear about new networks being aired on TV. So often you hear about new TV shows sprouting up here and there, but never a new fresh network. The last network I can remember that was created was Oprah’s OWN, I believe? Anyways the most interesting thing about this, is like I said it is ran by P. Diddy, a large figure in the Hip-Hop community.

Puff claims this brand new TV network will only be about music. It will be airing new music videos, having panel discussions, feature news, etc. If this network really meet its hype, oh my god…

(Courtesy of allhiphop.com)

(Courtesy of allhiphop.com)

I am very excited for it. As a 21-year-old hip-hop head, the only real rap viewing I get is through on-demand media outlets such as YouTube or Worldstar (which can sometimes get boring too). Growing up, researching and combing the internet for rap  since I first got addicted to hip-hop at 15-years-old, it is something that I’ve been looking for without knowing it.

I remember watching YO! MTV Raps clips on YouTube, wishing that I was in that era to be able to turn on the TV and see Wu-Tang Clan, Mobb Deep, NaS and 2pac freestyling, having fun and discussing music.

(Courtesy of vh1.com)

(Courtesy of vh1.com)

MTV has been so saturated with reality shows and some game shows (that end up really being reality shows), that you forget that MTV stands for Musical Television. Well I am glad Diddy stepped up to the plate and created his own network strictly for the music and nothing else.

If this network really does blow up and keep its integrity as Diddy claims, it would change hip-hop. Underground and unsigned acts would see recognition probably 4 times quicker than it would take them via the internet. It will be interesting to see how this network goes, if it goes under I will be extremely upset; If it’s consist and not just a gimmicky ploy for greedy corporate suit-and-ties to put their hand in  TV’s “cookie jar” then I would 100% support this channel. Hopefully this network would deliver and keep the tradition that MTV had back then…and also not have too many Ciroc commercials every 2 minutes. Shout out to Puff.

Take that, take that…

#RapNerdsUnite

(Courtesy of diaryofahollywoodstreetking.com)

(Courtesy of diaryofahollywoodstreetking.com)

– Norman Galang

Terrar aka King Push aka Neighborhood Pusha aka 1 half of the infamous Virginia duo, Clipse, has just dropped his long-awaited debut solo album properly titled “My Name Is My Name”

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This album is pure, uncut, raw (pun intended), unfiltered Hip-Hop music from Track 1-12.

The amazing thing about the Virginia rapper’s music is that he never compromises his artistic ability; he understands, acknowledges and respects the Hip-Hop culture and importance to the fullest; he is a lyricist first before anything else; and is the perfect example of it’s not what you do, but how you do it.

 

 

King Push’s been rapping for over 10 years and has always rapped about drug trafficking and dealing cocaine, a very common topic ever since Rap was created over 30 years ago. But, Pusha takes it somewhere either the lazy can’t or don’t know how to. Push is able to make something as grimy, filthy or even simplistic as drug dealing and make it lyrically artistic. His writing style is so dense that you forget he was even rapping about drugs in the first place.

For instance:

“I let you into my diary to admire me
The make up of this man, I let you see the higher me
The self-righteous drug dealer dichotomy
I’m drawing from both sides, I am Siamese”

“A birds eye view got me channelling my vision
Turn one to two, now the kilo’s got a sibling”

“Cooked white turn to tan, so the world’s Snooki

School of Hard Knocks, look at where the game took me”


Cleverly digusting lyrics, every real rap fan has to appreciate and the lyrics are synonym to the extremely well done production.

If you’re looking for your next raw fix, pick up Pusha-T’s solo album “My Name Is My Name”

P.S. only Push can successfully put a huge worldwide pop artist like Chris Brown over a dirty but powerful beat and still have it make sense.

#RapNerdsUnite

– Norman

Going back to J. Cole’s Power Trip production video made me really think about all the gems the Roc Nation and Dreamville made as a producer.

 

 

A lot of people only see him as a ruthless MC that they forget that the Born Sinner himself actually made some crazy beats as well!! And to anyone doubting it, I put together this nice list for you

My top 5 J. Cole beats go like this:

5. Too Deep For The Intro – The smooth drums and crisp but subtle high-hats really made this one of the smoothest tracks Cole produced. And the Eryka Badu vocal sample (I believe), is an amazing touch to an already incredibly soothing beat.

 

 

4. HiiiPower – Although this is an instrumental that Cole did not rap on, it is one of his best and most different beats. Perhaps it is because this beat was made for Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar. This appeared on K.Dot’s highly-acclaimed mixtape “Section.80” and probably one of the best songs on the project. The hypnotic and rapid keys is what really highlights this amazing song other than King Kendrick’s raw lyricism.

 

 

3. Crooked Smile – Cole’s 2nd single off his recent sophomore release “Born Sinner” is the perfect balance of both organic and commercial appeal. Like his fan-favorites “It Won’t Be Long” or “Lights Please”, this song defines J. Cole to the absolute fullest, goes against the trends and still be considered a radio smash. The church-like claps, triumphantly happy pianos, droopy bass guitar and subtle violin is really hard hitting while having the power to uplift.

 

 

2. Power Trip – Oh, man. I wish I was more instrumentally savvy so I can pin-point each instrument being used. There is so many funky sounds being incorporated that just mesh so well. The only place where I can begin is the crunchy and ominous guitar-loop which dominates the entire song. What I wish there was more of is the flute that you can hear clearly in the beginning and at the top of the chorus before Grammy-award winning Miguel sings. If that particular loop is more present in the song, this would have been my No. 1 J. Cole beat, ever.

 

 

1. Nobody’s Perfect – Only the best song on J. Cole’s first album “Cole World: The Sideline Story”, amazing. Very 90’s r&b influenced, it’s ridiculous how he was able to capture this perfect without it sounding forced. Cole and Big K.R.I.T. really are the two new producer rappers that I can say make the most organic and heartfelt music. But anyways, the bass in this record is hash but heavy in a good way, the drums are crunchier than a stale granola bar. What steals the song is the smooth and light pianos keys that add the best touch to complement everything. Without them the song would be short from classic.

 

 

With everyone still hyped over the huge streak in amazing rap albums and mixtapes, it is hard to digest all the music at the same time. As much as I love sitting with one album at a time, I am too much of a hip-hop fiend to not want to listen to 3 or 4 projects all at once. As much as it depreciates the album’s moment, it is definately nice when you revisist and re-fall in love with the music. Thank you J. Cole

And thank you for reading.

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#RapNerdsUnite

– Norman