Archive | December, 2009

Memphis Bleek’s “The Process” Album Cover hits the Net

31 Dec

This album was announced in 2006 by Memphis Bleek. He said that this album would be the one where he finally took charge. The year of 2006 came and went so fast and Bleek stayed dormant while his album was set for a 2007 release. After a two year hiatus, Memphis Bleek was going to take the game over. The only thing that took over was the buzz surrounding Jay-Z’s new album, again Bleek remained dormant.

Memphis Bleek has started off the past few years in the same manner, speaking of The Process. But, by the summer of 2009, the album was almost thought of as a myth. Early in every year, Bleek would talk about this classic album that he was working on. When asked about a release date, he would say that late summer. But, when the date came, there would not be a new album from the Brooklyn rapper. Some people were beginning to think that he would never come with another album.

Even when Memphis Bleek set his current release for The Process, there were some who still did not believe that the album was coming. After all, he has yet to release a new single off of the official version of the album. Plus, he had yet to reveal any cover art. The only thing that Bleek would provide each year is another promised release date. But, when he announced his new album for a 2010 release, he finally released the official cover for his fifth studio album, The Process.

Currently, Memphis Bleek is expected to release The Process in March 2010 on Get Low Records and Mass Appeal Music.

Mims still wants to work with Justin Timberlake

31 Dec

When Mims was out promoting his debut album, Music Is My Savior, he participated in many interviews. Among those interviews, he spoke with MTV.com. One question that he was asked by the website was an artist that he wanted to work with the most. It had been said many times that Mims was a big fan of Jay-Z.

Because of the fact that Mims was a big fan of Jay-Z and his flow was reminiscent of Jay’s in the 1990s, many thought that he would say Jay-Z. He did not, instead, he shocked many by saying that he would love to work with Justin Timberlake more than any other artist. The Washington Heights rapper said that he was a big fan of Justin’s music and it would be an honor to record with him. At the time, Timberlake was still promoting his highly-successful album, Future Sex/Love Sounds, while Mims barely had a foot in the door.

One year later, Mims began working on his second album. At the time, it was set for a 2008 release, so he began promoting the album early in the year. Again, the question was asked about who he would love to work with. Just as he had said the previous year, Mims wants to work with Justin Timberlake. He let that be known that he would love to either appear on one of his albums or have him appear on his next album.

Now, Mims is gearing up for his third album. He wants to release this album in the fall of 2010. Again, Mims is being given the chance to make his album guest wish list. Now, coming as a surprise to no one, Mims would love to have Justin Timberlake on his album. It is rumored that Mims will be working with The Neptunes for this album. They are also working with Justin Timberlake and Game. Timberlake heard some of Game’s new music and jumped on his album.

Maybe, Mims’ fortunes in hip hop will finally change and Justin Timberlake may also choose to jump on his album. That is, if the rumors of Mims working with The Neptunes are true. Mims is working on his third studio album and it should be released in 2010 on American King Music and Capitol Records.

AZ prepares for “Doe or Die 2”

31 Dec

In 1995, AZ made his commercial debut with Doe or Die. In the time since the release of that album, he releases new albums on a frequent basis. But, like most rappers, his diehard fans feel that his 1995 debut is the best album that he ever created. Not only do people feel that this is the best album in his long discography, they also feel that this is one of hip hop’s classic albums.

For this debut album, AZ collaborated with fellow Queens native and rhyming partner, Nas. He was fresh off of his classic debut album and he was still eager to make a name for himself. The hunger that both artists displayed add to the vibe of Doe or Die. Production on the album came from L. E. S., Pete Rock, DJ Period, and Buckwild.

As the 2000s rolled by, AZ released quite a few albums. Given his talent, it can never be said that he has released a bad album. He knows how to pick the right beats and he knows how to make an album. But, no matter what he does, people feel that it will never be enough to tough what he did on his debut album. Because of that, AZ wants to return to his debut album to see what he can create.

The follow-up to his 2008 album, Undeniable, will be Doe or Die 2. This time around, he wants to reunite with Nas and get all of the people from his debut album on board. He badly wants to recreate the sound that he had in 1995. Despite the fact that he is trying to recapture the sound of the mid-1990s, he also wants to work with some of hip hop’s current top acts. Aside from the production on the original album, he also wants to work with DJ Toomp and Kanye West.

Now that Dr. Dre is back at his job, producing for new artists, AZ also wants him to work on his upcoming album. He hopes that Dr. Dre’s style can mix with that of Kanye West and DJ Toomp into his original Doe or Die album to create the first classic album of the 2010s. AZ hopes to begin working on this album sometime next month. Once he begins recording the album, he will try to create a single.

Currently, he is reaching out to all of the people mentioned above. AZ hopes to release his eighth studio album, Doe or Die 2 on E1 Music (formerly Koch Records).

Missy Elliot readies First Single off of New Album

31 Dec

After years of forcing the public to wait, it appears that Missy Elliott may be coming with some new music. Initially, she had planned to release a new album in 2007. But, for unknown reasons, the album was pushed back until 2008. It was then that she offered the fans a chance to vote for the title of her album. The fans chose Block Party as the album title.

While the album has gone through a number of release date changes, the title has remained one constant. The initial track list for Block Party had Lil Wayne as a featured guest. For the past four years, Wayne has been on a tear. Starting in 2006, he released numerous mixtapes and he has been making appearances on music from every artist in the game. The frequent push-backs of Missy Elliott’s album have not stopped that.

The initial collaboration between Missy Elliott and Lil Wayne will not take place. Instead, they have recorded a new song together. For this new song, Elliott returns after five years with her traditional style of rapping and singing. Wayne, however, has shown his return to rap before he goes rock and he lays down what could be one of the hottest verses of 2010. The new song is called, “All 4 U” and it is the official lead single off of Block Party.

Most recently, the album had been set for a summer 2009 release. That has now been pushed back to become an early 2010 release date.

Hip Hop Vibe’s Album of the Decade: Jay-Z’s “The Black Album”

31 Dec

When speaking of the best hip hop album in the 2000s, people automatically think Jay-Z’s The Blueprint, Nas’ Stillmatic, Ja Rule’s Pain Is Love, and 50 Cent’s Get Rich or Die Tryin’. All of those albums were great albums and they were defining points of hip hop in the 2000s. One album that is often overlooked is Jay-Z’s final studio album.

People always credit Jay-Z for The Blueprint. They deem the album as a classic and one of the best albums in history. The album was all of those things, but it is not the best album of the decade. For that matter, the album is not even the best from Jay-Z. That honor would have to go to The Black Album. At the time, Jay-Z had grown tired of hip hop and he decided to call it quits.

Since it was his last album, he went all out for it. He tried things that he had never tried before, after all it was his last album. When a person knows that they are leaving, they experiment. Then, Jay-Z was certain that he would never release another album, so he was not afraid of damaging his brand with such songs as “99 Problems.” Had Jay-Z planned to return with another album in 2004, that song would have never been recorded.

Frequently, this album is lost in such a long discography. While his best creative effort came only a few months ago, he was at his lyrical peak with The Black Album. Jay-Z came with signature Jay-Z style, but on beats that he had never tried before. Never before had there been an album that was goodbye-themed. It was not so much his lyricism that makes this album so great, it was the fact that Jay-Z was leaving.

He spoke almost directly to his fans. Finally, he opened up and told, fully, of his past as a drug dealer, and he spoke of his strained relationship with his father. On this album, Jay-Z reminisced about the good times and even shed light on the bad times. It was all because this was his last time out doing this. Never before had a rapper been so candid on an album. This album also affected the hip hop world, because there have been too many rappers to count that have planned “retirement” albums.

It is not even that, once Jay-Z released The Black Album, there were so many mixtapes that were named after colors. They were all based off of this album and they featured remixes of the songs that made up this album. One phrase that has been thrown around for the past few years has been the “Best Rapper Alive” phrase. It originated from this album and the single, “Dirt Off Your Shoulder,” has been sampled by too many artists to count. For three years after the album was released, it was also a popular slang term.

One of the biggest Jay-Z detractors of the decade has been Compton rapper, Game. But, even he pays homage to The Black Album. He does this on his 2006 album, Doctor’s Advocate. The album has been such an inspiration to Game that he is titling his 2010 album, The R.E.D. Album. On top of that, many other artists have paid homage to The Black Album.

With as many albums as Jay-Z has released, it is hard to pick a favorite. For some reason, this album is always lost among such titles as Reasonable Doubt, The Blueprint, American Gangster, and The Blueprint 3. In their own way and in other opinions, these are all Jay-Z’s best albums. But, it would be unfair to pick any of those albums as album of the decade. First off, Reasonable Doubt was released in the 1990s and the other two albums did not affect the hip hop culture the way that The Black Album has.

Before the release of this album, rappers only talked about retiring. Without the release of this album, the phrase, “I have 99 problems, but a b*tch ain’t one” would not be as popular as it is. Right now, Game would not be in the studio preparing The R.E.D. Album and there would not be as many rappers retiring as there are. Plus, many rappers would not have had hit singles because they could not have sampled “Dirt Off Your Shoulder.” T.I.’s buzz would have never grown the way that it did and Juvenile would have fallen off long before 2006.

Hands down, The Black Album by Jay-Z is the album of the decade.

Skillz wraps up 2009

31 Dec

Every year, right before New Year’s, Virginia rapper, Skillz, wraps up the year. He makes a long rhyme that details everything that happened over the course of the year. While he does this from a hip hop perspective, he branches out into politics and black entertainment. As wild as 2009 was in every facet of entertainment, surely Skillz had a crazy rhyme.

The year of 2009 was known for the inauguration of the first black president with Barack Obama. Immediately following the Obama inauguration, the second Stimulus Package was supposed to be delivered. Then, the summer months came and Michael Jackson died. Chris Brown tried to stage a comeback and Tiger Woods’ infamous incident occurred.

In the past, his rhymes are known to get a little outrageous. With a year as outrageous as 2009, the best rhyme yet was expected from Skillz. He did not miss a beat, he rapped about Drake and said that his So Far Gone mixtape was the album of the year. The rapper also touched down on the issues surrounding Lil Wayne, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, T.I., Jay-Z, the Black Eyed Peas vs. Perez Hilton, and Lady GaGa.

Among the crazy things that happened in 2009, one of the craziest was the congressman interrupting President Obama’s speech, calling him a liar. Skills rhymed about that. Each year, someone pulls a crazy stunt at some award show. This year, it was the MTV Video Music Awards and they were fortunate enough to have two. First, Lil Mama walks up on Jay-Z while he performed his future chart-topper, “Empire State of Mind” and then came the infamous Kanye West incident.

Another wild year was 2009. Skillz watched from the background, obviously taking notes and his wrap-up of 2009 was one of his best wrap-ups, yet.

Drag-On talks Ruff Ryders and DMX

31 Dec

Ever since the Ruff Ryders first rose to prominence, behind DMX, Eve, and The L.O.X., Drag-On has been right there. Despite the fact that he has been the most loyal member to the Double R camp, as they are fondly called, he as never quite had his chance to shine. Maybe, if he had been, the crew would not have fallen off after DMX and the rest of the crew went on their hiatus. The big comeback year was supposed to be 2007, but issues happened and their comeback is set for 2010.

With a new decade, the camp has branched out in many ways. Drag-On said that he will always be a part of the Ruff Ryders’ movement, but he is branching out into his own. Not only is he a member of the Ruff Ryders, but Drag-On is also the head of his own record label, Hood Environment. No longer is Drag signed to the Ruff Ryders label, instead, he is signed to the distribution branch of the label, Ruff Ryders Indy.

This new spin-off of the original Ruff Ryders Entertainment will distribute his Hood Environment label. The first album under this deal will be Drag-On’s upcoming album, My Life, My Legacy, My Melody. After the release of his album, he will decide when the other artists signed to his label will release their new music. Not only will this album be the first off of his new imprint, but his last on the original Ruff Ryders label. After this, he is signed to a 50/50 venture with the label. He is now more than an artist.

The main reason that Drag-On decided to go ahead and start his own label was because all of the other Ruff Ryders artists were off doing other things. It became lonely with Drag being the only person on the label actually recording music. Because of that, he went back to the streets and started his own crew. But, when Swizz Beatz reached out, the entire crew reached back and they decided that they should record another album for the Ruff Ryders’ crew.

Due to the success that Drag-On has had on the street level, Swizz Beatz wanted to sign him to his other label, Full Surface. They reached a deal, but Drag will first have to release his final album on the Ruff Ryder label. His Hood Environment will be distributed by Ruff Ryders Indy, but all of Drag-On’s releases will come through Swizz Beatz’ Full Surface label.

For the past two months, Drag-On has been hard at work on his new album. He wants to get many of the Ruff Ryders together for this album. More than anything, he wants to work with DMX. But, due to the legal trouble that X is going through and his plethora of lawsuits, Drag understands why the dog has yet to get back with him. However, he did say that DMX is in the studio every chance he gets and he is recording his new album.

Kid Cudi says that he is Unstoppable

31 Dec

This has been quite a year for Kid Cudi, his mixtape single, “Day ‘n’ Nite,” finally became a radio hit after two years of floating around. Once the single became a hit, Kanye West began taking Kid Cudi seriously and gave him an album release date. All that Cudi needed was a release date because when he recorded his album, it ended up being one of the most-acclaimed releases of the year.

Despite the fact that Kid Cudi achieved such success in a relatively quick manner, he has still had his share of struggles. When Kanye West took his hiatus from making public appearances, he was removed from the Lady GaGa tour. In his place, Kid Cudi was the man who filled his spot. Right after he joined the tour, Cudi made news when he punched a fan for throwing something at him while he was performing.

Initially, Kid Cudi had not been looked at as a symbol of violence in hip hop. Kid Cudi filled the backpacker role in hip hop and his album, Man on the Moon, was the ultimate backpacker album. But, after his fan-punching incident, Kid Cudi was arrested while in Los Angeles on tour with Lady GaGa. He was arrested for burglary, but later it was revealed that he was a victim of mistaken identity.

Now that all of this has taken place, the image that people have had of Kid Cudi has changed. When he used to be looked at as a rapper that takes a comical view on things, he is now looked at as another violent, ignorant rapper. In response to those who feel that way, Cudi has proclaimed himself as the poster boy for realness, honesty, and anarchy. He said that he does not give a f*ck about the industry.

It is apparent that Kid Cudi is upset with the hip hop game, in general. Ever since he rose to success, earlier this year, he has become a punching bag. Most rappers take shots at rappers like Kid Cudi because they know that he will not respond. This has not gone unnoticed by Cudi. He said that he has never taken a shot at any rapper on any of his music. Because of that, he feels that other rappers should respect that and leave him alone.

Not so long ago, Kid Cudi was the average hip hop fan. He would search online, going to the many hip hop websites to get the news about his favorite rappers. When they released a new album, he would be right out there, ready to purchase their latest release. Badly, Kid Cudi wanted to break into the hip hop game to work with some of his favorite artists. Now that he is in the game, Kid Cudi no longer has too many favorite artists.

When speaking on the actions of some of the artists that he used to look up to, Kid Cudi said that this entire music industry is a business. He said that the power players in the game will try to destroy an artist if they do not comply. This would make most artists nervous, but not Kid Cudi. He feels that he is just fine, as long as he has his fans and they continue to purchase his albums. The Cleveland rapper went on to defend his peace-keeping ways.

Hip Hop Vibe’s Biggest one hit wonder of the Decade: Huey

30 Dec

It seems that after D4L hit with “Laffy Taffy” in 2005, the one hit wonder became unstoppable. The year of 2007 was the biggest year of seemingly one hit wonders. While many of the other artists that debuted in 2007 have come with new albums and more hits, one artist that has not has been Huey. Ironically, of all of the 2007 new artists, at one point, he had appeared to be the most promising.

Coming from St. Louis, Huey was expected to become the third successful artist representing the city. In 2006, he signed to MempHITZ’ label, Hitz Committee label. Right after signing to the label, Huey released his debut single, “Pop, Lock, & Drop It.” At the time, Huey was only 18 years old, so his music was a little high school-themed. Soon, his song reached the top ten in the Billboard Hot 100.

Following the single’s success, in 2007, the debut album, Notebook Paper, was released. The album never quite caught on as it debuted at number 26 on the charts. To date, the album has only sold 300,000 copies. What once appeared to be a promising career now looks like one boy’s ticket out of the hood. After the failure of his second single, “When I Hustle,” Huey has been relatively quiet.

The only thing that kept his name out there following the release of his debut album was his issue with Nelly. When he was still working on his album, he had run into Nelly. Everyone knows what Nelly did for St. Louis rappers. Because he was from the same city, this was one of Huey’s idols. Having a chance to meet him was a dream come true. He offered to Nelly a chance to appear on his debut album, in return, he was snubbed by Nelly.

After Nelly never responded to the slight jab from Huey, a new album set for a late 2008 release was announced. While an album was announced, there was never any music released to support this. Because of this, Huey ended up not releasing a new album. Before the end of 2008, his name had been completely forgotten. For the entire 2009, his name has barely been mentioned.

While Huey may never become a rap star, he has been recognized as the biggest one hit wonder of the decade. Looking at all of the rappers that came out and only hit once this decade, this is quite an honor.

Snoop Dogg ft. Soulja Boy – “Pronto”

30 Dec

Earlier this year, Snoop Dogg apologized for the negative comments that he had made about Soulja Boy. In return, he offered to give advice to the youngster and even begin to work with him. The final result ended up being Snoop Dogg working with the teen rapper on his album, The DeAndre Way. Their creative vibe was so strong that Snoop also invited Soulja Boy to appear on his album.

The product of this collaboration ended up being the fourth single off of Snoop Dogg’s tenth album, Malice ‘n’ Wonderland. “Pronto” has been gaining more and more airplay for the past few weeks. Not that the song has finally charted on the Billboard Hot 100, it has been officially released to radio. With that also comes a music video.