Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Def Jam's Secrets to Succes

I was wondering how Rick Ross beat out Snoop Dogg for the top album in the country.
This is pretty funny. I will definitely have to pay more attention to these cats at

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Monday, March 24, 2008

Ashkon - "Hot Tubbin"

One of the top featured videos on YouTube right now. Filmed entirely in Santa Cruz. Ashkon's doing pretty good for himself these days.

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Friday, March 21, 2008

Paint It Gold: Episodes 2-4

Episodes 2 through 4 of Atmosphere's Web series "Paint It Gold." This is a promo series in anticipation of their next album, "When Life Gives You Lemons, Paint That Shit Gold." Can't hardly wait.

Episode 3

Episode 4

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

50 Cent Is A Meanie

Man, oh man, is this funny. I love the part where the dove's are released.
It was noted on the board that 50 is sporting a Harvard cap. Also hilarious.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Lupe Fiasco - "Hip Hop Saved My Life"

I love this song. Video is dope as well.

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Monday, March 17, 2008


N.E.R.D. at the Levi's®/FADER Fort from The FADER on Vimeo.

Remember these guys?Apparently, Chad and Pharrell have re-organized the N.E.R.D. imprint into some sort of alt-rock/funk review. This song sounds very interesting and promising. I'm bummed I can't see them on the "Glow In The Dark" tour.

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Listen To My Voice! with Too $hort

It's been a minute since I posted one of these, but here it is: "The Beat" interviews the one and only Too $hort.
I can't describe how geeked I was to do this. It shows with the obvious sucking up I drop throughout the interview. To his credit, Too $hort is an extremely cool cat over the phone.

Too Short still a major player on rap scene
Marc Cabrera The Beat

It took me a week of pestering his assistant, but I managed to hook up with Oakland rapper Too Short a few days before his Saturday night performance in Salinas.

To say I was geeked about the whole thing would be an understatement. Too Short has been a fixture on the rap scene since I was in third grade. My first exposure was one of his original underground tapes that a neighbor friend had stolen from his older sister.

The yellow cover had a simple design: the words "Dangerous Music" with a big circle and line going through the print. This was Too Short's first record label and the music was bass heavy and obscenity laced. I hadn't heard of half the things he was talking about.

He would eventually sell enough of those underground tapes out of the trunk of his car to catch the ear of label executives at Jive Records. His albums "Born To Mack," "Life Is ... Too Short" and "Short Dog's In The House" pretty much provided the soundtrack to my mid-teens. His style was easy to rap along to and the bass was heavier than an old school stretch Cadillac.

Too Short has maintained his foothold on the rap landscape, using his pimp pedigree, nasty rhymes and street hustler acumen to remain a major player in the rap game more than 25 years after he first started selling homemade rap tapes. Here is a long excerpt from my interview, which can be heard online at


Q: How you doing today?

A: All right. I'm just out here in New York, doing some work with Snoop Dogg.

Q: You got the video for the song "Life of the Party" popping off now. How's that going for you guys?

A: You know, he's got the big budget out here, so I'm doing a bunch of promo stuff. I just came out to support this since he did put me on his song and we shot the video. It was a lot of love on his part to do that. So I'm just out here supporting it.

Q: Let the folks know where Short is at these days.

A: I work with The Pack, my young group from the Bay. They're actually going back into the studio and working on a new album. I'm also working on a solo album, but I've also got a band I put together. It's really in the development stages right now, but we've recorded the bulk of the album. We haven't really named it or named the group or anything. It's just me, a couple of singers and a live band.

We did some really nice music for the album. It's sort of Too Short flavored, but it's really not vulgar or explicit. It will be a little more like a soulful, R&B album. I'm looking forward to that project.

The next Too Short album is going to be the first album I release that's not on Jive Records since 1988. The last 20 years. There's a very good chance I might put this album out independent and get back to my roots.

Q: Is it going to be another Dangerous Music (his first independent record label)?

A: Yeah. The new label is called Up All Night Music, because if we're not up all night working, we're up all night partying.

Q: You're coming out to Salinas. You familiar with the area?

A: I've been through there. I did some radio promo stuff when (his last single) "Blow The Whistle" came out. You guys are supporting the hip-hop scene out there. I'm glad to be able to come and do a show because I know you've probably driven to a San Jose show or a Monterey show to see me. So I'm glad to be coming out to that area.

Q: I want to have some fun with this interview. I'm going to throw out some of the trends you've set and I want to get your first impression when these things pop up. Just the whole concept of selling independent records out of the trunk, you invented that pretty much, no?

A: Well, I wouldn't say we invented it. But I think we popularized it in Bay Area hip-hop. Our options were you like, either you sit at home and listen to it, or you get out there and you sell it. There was no label to put it out there, there was no distribution company saying "Here. We'll put this out for you." We basically would take (cassette tapes) to the stores ourselves. Eventually they sold so many copies around The Bay the big record label called. It all started because you just do it yourself

I used to sell a lot of tapes. Even before I did studio sessions, I was just making homemade tapes in my room. We would get out in the streets, me and my buddy Freddie B, and we would sell tapes. We'd go around to where the drug dealers were selling drugs. We'd just walk up to therm and sell them music. We knew they had cash in their pockets. It wouldn't be a problem for them affording the music we were selling. We just had to make good music.

That was my M.O. from Day One. From the early '80s to when I first started making professional recordings, it was always just drive up there and sell it to therm.

Later in life, when other guys started to put together their own independent labels in The Bay, they would come up to us and say "How did you guys do it?" We were the kind of guys that we didn't mind passing down that knowledge. We gave everybody the formula

I recognize that I had a lot to do with it as far as being inspirational, but I know Luke Skyywalker was selling his own records in Miami and Geto Boys was doing it in Houston and everybody was doing their own thing. But where I come from, I put a hell of a stamp on the hustle.

Q: Another trend you set: You were the first rapper to publicly retire and subsequently unretire.

A: In the early days, it was these misconceptions that rap was this young thing and it was only for kids and it wasn't for grown people. A lot of rappers who have been around, they weren't maturing well into their 30s and continuing into their career. It was just looked upon as "Why be an old ass rapper?"

I looked at it, like, I'm on top, everything I drop is platinum. I'm 30 years old. I got 10 albums. Just quit right here and retire. It's a good memory, quit at 30 years old and retire.

But like we all found out, the rappers who retire come back. I think this hip-hop thing is addictive. It's like a drug. It gets into you whether you're a listener or the performer. I'm 41 pushing on 42 and I cannot stop rapping. I was on stage last night, rapping in front of a crowd and I was loving it. That's just what I do.

Q: There were rumors that you were dead and you used that in your marketing campaign.

A: (laughs) It was sort of a serious thing at the time and it was sort of a joke in certain places. The fans really got to know Too Short. They felt like "That's my boy." And there were millions of fans and they heard these rumors: that I OD'd on cocaine or I got shot up in the crack house. All kinds of crazy rumors

It did a few things for me. One thing, it gave me a surge in sales. I think we sold 500,000 records on the rumor. The album was at 800,000 records sold and they put a rumor out that I passed away and it went to 1.3million in no time.

When I came back on the next album, I just made a song called "Dead or Alive." It was classic interaction with the fans. A rumor starts with a rapper and he talks back to the fans. People have always had that relationship with the music.

They were having memorials for me out in Texas (laughs). They were having a moment of silence on Houston radio. It was pretty much a rumor to stand out there for a while without being disputed.

Q: You probably get bombarded with this, but the word "bitch" has become a part of part of American vernacular now. People like Dave Chappelle use it as a punchline. How does it feel to be the foundation for that.

A: Well, the word "pimp" has become pop culture friendly. If you use it in the right context, you can refer to yourself as a pimp or something being very pimping as a compliment. That's something I brought to the table, with the whole little Too Short pimp swagger and with the help of my homie Snoop Dogg. He backed it up and put it out there even more in the pop culture than I did.

The same as the word bitch. The way we said it, it was me and my rap partner Freddy B, in 1981, '82. We're sitting in there, yelling this word on our little homemade tapes, then selling them in the streets. When I got older and started selling records, I still continued our signature call. Bitch. ...

It just spread all around the world. It's been used on sitcoms and it's just a part of pop culture. I just look at it like that's my gift to pop culture. I know it, we all know it. It's not a problem. It's like something to be proud of in my eyes.

People say "If you had copywritten it, you'd be rich off the word." I'm like, if I had copywritten it, then it would have been just my word and nobody would say it. (laughs). It wouldn't have been popularized the way it was.

I'm proud of it, man. It's not even like "Hey, go out and call all females bitches."

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Del The Funkyhomosapien - "Workin' It"

DEL the Funky Homosapien- "Workin It"

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Del's new album, "11th Hour," is out today. I plan on copping it in a little bit, possibly doing a review.
Del is an important figure for me in rap because he was one of the first artists I really got into that wasn't a gangsta/thug, and wasn't from the east coast. I remember his songs "Sleepin' On My Couch" and "Mistadobalina" coming out when I was in high school and I couldn't get enough of them. Then Souls of Michief came out and I was hooked on the whole Heiroglyphics movement.
Now I'm feeling nostalgic. Here's the video for "Mistadobalina." Gosh, I love the internet age. Childhood memories right at my fingertips.

Glory Hella Stupid!

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Monday, March 10, 2008

Lupe Fiasco "Superstar" remix w/ T.I. and Young Jeezy

A new remix featuring ya boys T.I. and Jeezy. T.I. sounds particularly refreshed on this one. A good improvement on the original, which I admit I didn't like at first, but has grown on me over time.

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Friday, March 07, 2008

Ras Barak featuring Lauryn Hill - Hot Beverages in Winter

This showed up mysteriously on the internets today. No time stamp or indication of what this is all about. Ras Baraka is a spoken word artist and Lauryn Hill is, well, Lauryn Hill.

I fucks with this, for reals.

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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

New song from The Roots - “Get Busy”

My favorite band in the whole earf has a new song, “Get Busy,” that is absolutely great. I know I've been bombarding you with stuff from these guys of late, but keeps feeding us the goods, so I eat it up.

Off their forthcoming album “Rising Down.”

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Monday, March 03, 2008

New Gnarls Barkley

"Who's Gonna Save My Soul"

The new Gnarls Barkley album is shaping up to be another winner. Questlove from The Roots premiered the second single, “Who's Gonna Save My Soul,” off their upcoming album “The Odd Couple.” He also shot the video above. That dude is crazy.

The video for the first single, “Run,” debuted last week. Here's the clip below:

Both are courtesy of

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