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Table of  Contents Cover Stories:


Relationship With  Hip-­‐Hop  

4 R&Bully  



20                                      Fameou$  




Kendrick Lamar  


Fashion Rihanna  

Commerce in  Hip-­‐Hop  

14            Ayun  Bassa  

               13      Dom  Kennedy  



Janelle M  


answers on   33  

Expression. Story Telling. An Escape. A Culture. Unique. A Testimony. Inspirational. These are only a few words that I think describe hip-hop. Busta Rhymes once said “hip-hop reflects the truth, and the problem is that hip-hop exposes a lot of the negative truth society tries to conceal. It’s a platform where we could offer information, but it’s also an escape.” Music has always been a part of my life, but hip hop didn’t become a factor until I was in Elementary school. My family always listened to soft rock or country but once I got around other students and was able to experience things more for myself, not what was on the radio as I went to school in the morning, I was able to get a taste of the hip hop world. As a child, hip hop allowed me to be a little different from my family; in a way, it was my way of being a rebel. My philosophy back then was “My dad hates it, so it must be cool.” but as I sit and really try to write about my relationship with hip hop, I realize so many other things attracted me to the hip hop culture. It was always more than me rebelling. My first experiences that I can remember about hip hop were my hip hop dance classes. I viewed the music as tough, cool, and fun. At my first hip hop dance recital, we danced to “Take Me there” by Mya featuring Blackstreet, better known as the theme song to Rugrats the Movie. I

remember we wore baggy red overalls and red bandanas on our heads. I’ve also taken tap and ballet classes but this was the first class I can recall that had expression, emotion, and substance. The outfits made a statement as well as the moves. My hip hop class was the beginning to my relationship with hip hop. Another stepping-stone in my relationship with hip hop was “Yeah” by Usher featuring Lil Jon and Ludacris. I can perfectly

remember the first time it caught my attention. I was standing at the park right next to my school with my best friends, they were always so good at remembering lyrics to every song, and they kept singing Ludacris’ verse. My friends knew his verse better than they knew their last names, the energy and enjoyment they had while rapping these words, being white girls and all, was exciting. It made me want to learn the words and share a part of their enjoyment, this was when I really began to enjoy other music than just the music I grew up listening to. It was a real turning point for me.


I would have to classify myself in my early years as a band-wagoner. I liked hip hop but I did not explore it. By exploring hip hop, I mean prior to this I listened to nothing but mainstream, whatever was the hottest song on the radio was most likely my favorite. I did not look to see who had the most recent mixtape or wh ich rapper was going to be on top next. I was a band-wagoner I liked what the mainstream media taught me to like. Although that’s who I was, I am proud to say that is not who I am now. As I’ve gotten older I’ve been able to find hip hop that relates more to me and my own opinions, I rarely even listen to the radio anymore. Of course when I’m getting hyped for a party or about to hit the club, Tyga, Too Short, or some 2 Chains may be heard from my speakers. But usually I have something with more substance blasting through my speakers. I am interested in the newest artist. I do look forward to seeing when my favorite artist is dropping a new mixtape. My favorite artist at the moment is Kendrick Lamar. I was a Kendrick Lamar fan when he was still K – dot. I strongly think that if people who are very closed minded toward hip hop would listen to his music, and I mean really listen to what he has to say, they would realize that not every rapper is into the gold chains, “the big booty bitches”, and slapping “hoes”. Some rappers really utilize their talent for good reasons. They have something to say that needs to be heard. Kendrick Lamar is not innocent of never falling into the stereotype of what rappers are portrayed as, but the morals that he stands for and the foundation behind his words do have a

strong and deep message. There are still rappers who talk about pertinent things, and real issues. You can hear the passion in their voices. On “Look out for Detox” or “The Heart pt.2” by Kendrick Lamar you can hear t he emotion behind his words, and you begin to see that he is dedicated to his craft as well as his message. I am still a very versatile listener; the only thing I will not listen to is hard metal rock. So I hear a wide range of songs from all different genres of music. Hip hop and rappers have taught me the most about people, cultures, and actual issues going on in the world today. Jay – Z raps about how being a young black man caused him to go through the struggles of racial profiling. He taught me that cops need a warrant to legally search my car, or anything else for that matter. Asher Roth sings about the election of 2008, and how change was needed. The lyrics in the song “Change Gonna Come” were some of the most intellectual lyrics I’ve heard in any song, not just any rap song. That song alone made me think about issues that America was facing during the time in an in – depth way that only rap songs get my mind flowing. Yes, during the 2008 presidential election everyone was making songs about it, but rappers go about it in a different way. Country singers usually sing about being proud to be an American while not acknowledging issues that Americans face. Rappers don’t hide from the issues they have with society. They rap about them and face them, when there’s an issue you can bet there is a rap song about it. In other genres of music, it is more common to hear simple lyrics that tell stories, some true and some fictional. Rappers paint an image that rivals reality with nothing more than

their words and a beat. The majority of them, or the good ones at least, use intellectual metaphors that are astonishing at times. Hearing the metaphors draw the image in my mind is actually one of my favorite things about hip hop. Most people like to say that people connect with music that they can relate to. I find that false. There are plenty of rap songs that discuss the struggles of gang banging or life on the streets. I still enjoy this music although I have never lived in the ghettos the rappers speak of and I am not a minority so I do not face the same problems as the rappers. Although I have not experienced the things mentioned in some of the lyrics, hip hop is still my favorite genre of music. Happy, sad, mad, or bored, I still will choose a hip hop song to listen to. Hip hop plays a different role in my life too, it is not just music to me. The attire. Although I do have a wide range of different styles I like to choose out of my closet, my favorites have to be what classifies as street wear. So I’m talking about my beanies, my camouflage cargos, and my Jordans. I just began being more comfortable with wearing these clothes because I decided not to care what people say. The majority of the time I get the comment from school peers or coworkers, “Mariah you not black!” But now I’ve come to the conclusion it’s my way of expressing myself, which is that what hip hop is all about anyway. People like to generalize hip-hop to only African Americans. I enjoy proving people wrong, hip hop is for everyone. Hip hop is a culture. Hip hop is a form of expression. I found my way to express myself through the music in my speakers or through the clothes I wear. Many artists found their voice through hip hop. Hip hop became a world and a community that people were able to associate with and express themselves. In my life hip hop

has played its role of letting me see something different than what I was always familiar with. It shows the struggles, issues, and truth of what happens in urban communities. To me it shows real people, not just these made up artist that the media creates. Hip hop is an art, a culture, a voice, a beat, and a sound. It should be heard and respected by everyone.


Chance the Rapper Chance the  Rapper   Age:  20   Hometown:  Chicago,  Illinois     Website:                       Chance  the  rapper  is  a  young  artist  with  a   versatile  flow  and  subject  matter  who’s  on   the  brink  of  becoming  a  bonafide  hip  hop   star  in  his  own  right.  Born  Chancellor  Bennett,  the   young  man  from  Chicago  first  came  into  the  public  eye   with  his  debut  mixtape  #10Day  in  2012.  The  mixtape   getting  its  namesake  from  the  fact  that  it  was   recorded  during  a  10  day  suspension  from  high   school.     Yes,  high   school.  Not  only  is   young   Chance  more   ambitious  than   most   rappers  on  the  come   up,  but   he’s  also  more   verbally   potent.  The  soulful   sound   Chance  has  is     complimented  by   his  choice  in   beats.  #10Day   opens  with  a   heavily                  



Kee ears p your o Cha pen for nc Ra p e t h e per!




http://www.facebook. com/chancetherapper

instrumental  song  called  14,400  Minutes  in   which  Chance  says,  “No  tassle  in  the  spring   but  in  the  summer  I’m  alumni!’”  poking  fun  at  the  fact   that  he  did  not  graduate  high  school.     In  his  most  recent  mixtape  Acid  Rap,  and  better   mixtape  in  my  opinion,  he  opens  with  Good  A**  Intro   where  he  pokes  more  fun  at  not  graduating  saying,   “Did  a  ton  a  drugs  and  did  better  than  all  my  alma   mater!”  You  can  hear  the  growth  in  Chance’s  sound   from  #10Day  to  Acid  Rap,  he’s  moreintrospective  and   musically  adventurous.  He  also  has  a  collaboration   with  Chicago  legend  and  at  one  point  the  fastest   rapper  on  the  planet,  Twista.  Chance  takes  a  lot  of  his   style  from  another  Chicago  native,  Mr.  Kanye  West.   You  can  hear  it,  his  soulful/jazzy  choice  of  beats,  the   sing  –  song  nature  of  most  of  his  songs,  the  reality  he   puts  into  his  rhymes,  it’s  all  Kanye  West.       The  difference  between  Kanye  and  Chance  is  that   Chance  is  still  in  those  Chicago,  or  Chiraq  as  Chance   often  calls  it,  so  you  can  still  get  the  gist  of  what  is   happening  right  now  in  Chicago  through  his  lyrics.       There              is  an  unnamed  second  song  on  Pusha  Man   feat.  Nate  Fox  and  Lili  K  where  Chance  solemnly  says,   “They  murkin’  kids,  they  murder  kids  here.  Why  you   think  they  don’t  talk  about  it?”  it  gets  even  better  after   that  but  if  I  told  you,  you  probably  wouldn’t  listen  to  it   yourself  

Listen Up!

The now  well  known   case  in  which  R&B   singer  Chris  Brown   was  charged  with   felony  assault  among   other  things  for  the   altercation  between   he  and  his  then   girlfriend,  R&B  singer   Rihanna.  The   surfacing  of  this  event   brought  a  lot  of   attention  to  domestic   violence  and  for  good   1 in 4 American women will experience domestic reasons.   violence in their lifetime. Most of these women will   After  this  event,  the   experience it between the ages of 20 and 24. R&B topic  was  open  for   singer Rihanna was 21 when it happened to her. discussion  for     everyone.  What   intrigued  me  about  it   all  were  people’s   reactions,  especially   over  time.  Of  course   who  beats  her  for  whatever  the  invalid  reason   we  vilified  Chris  Brown  immediately  upon   may  be.   hearing  the  news  but  watching  us  forgive  him  and     defend  him  is  where  a  problem  lies  that  I  feel  is   Due  to  the  grand  role  Hip  Hop  now  plays  in  the   overlooked.   life  of  today’s  youth  and  the  unrealistically  high     pedestal  Chris  Brown  has  been  placed  upon  by  his   Society  is  misogynistic.  We  knew  that.  But   fans,  young  women  have  drastically  different   mainstream  Hip  Hop  takes  this  misogyny  to   views  of  domestic  violence.  Granted,  some  do  see   another  level.  Although  both  Rihanna  and  Chris   it  as  bad,  but  some  see  it  as  normal.  I  remember   Brown  are  R&B  singers,  they  are  often  mixed  up   speaking  with  my  then  twelve  year  old  sister   in  the  Hip  Hop  world.  In  her  book  “Pimps  Up,  Hos   about  the  incident,  “She  must  have  hit  him  first!”   Down”  T.  Denean  Sharpley  –  Whiting  describes   was  the  first  thing  she  said.  She  is  sixteen  now,   Hip  Hop’s  relationship  with  women  in  great   these  days  she  badmouths  Rihanna.  Calling   detail,  particularly  when  she  says  women  “were   Rihanna  promiscuous  in  much  more  colorful  ways   either  ‘hot  pussy  for  sale’”  or  “pussy  for  the   although  her  favorite  singer  does  the  same  thing   taking.”  (Whiting,  4)  Rihanna,  superstar  pop   Fast  forward  three  years,  Chris  Brown  is  out  and   princess  or  not,  is  still  a  woman,  therefore  in  Hip   about  at  one  of  New  York’s  best  clubs.  He  was   Hop,  she  is  still  beneath  any  man.  Even  the  man   rubbing  elbows  with  the  likes  of  rapper  Drake  and   NBA  player  Tony  Parker.  There  was  an  altercation  


between Drake  and  Chris  Brown  where  multiple   injuries  occurred  due  to  glass  bottles  being   thrown.  The  altercation  has  since  escalated  with   the  two  young  men  being  very  vocal  about  their   dissatisfaction  with  one  another.  Drake  stated,   “Stop  preying  on  his  [Chris  Brown]  insecurities   man,  his  insecurities  are  the  fact  that  I  make   better  music  than  him,  that  I’m  more  poppin’  than   him,  and  at  one  point  in  life…the  woman  that  he   loves  fell  into  my  lap…”  on  a  radio  interview  in   retaliation  to  Chris  Brown  saying  “And  if  you   started  from  the  bottom  then  come  out  the   closet!”  on  his  verse  in  the  remix  to  Young  Jeezy’s   smash  hit  R.I.P.  Drake’s  single  for  his  new  album   Nothing  Was  the  Same  is  called  Started  From  the   Bottom.     The  overt  retaliation  of  the  usually  subtle  Drake   shows  another  group  among  on  the  bottom  steps   of  hip  hop’s  hierarchy,  the  LBGT  community.  Of  all   the  things  that  have  been  said  about  Drake,  albeit   by  lesser-­‐known  personalities,  Drake  responds  so   outwardly  toward  Chris  Brown  referring  to  him   as  gay.  This  is  the  accepted  way  to  act  toward  the   LBGT  community  in  the  Hip  Hop  world.     Recently,  R&B  singer  Frank  Ocean  came  out  as   being  bisexual  on  July  4,  2012  to  a  great  reaction   from  some  of  the  biggest  names  in  music.  Not  just   in  Hip  Hop  and  R&B.  This  serves  a  great  moment   in  Hip  Hop  history,  to  see  the  likes  of  Nas  and  Jay   –  Z  congratulating  a  bisexual  man  for  not  hiding   his  sexuality.  

Of  course,  the  R  &  Bully  couldn’t  hold  himself   back.  He  and  Frank  Ocean  had  an  altercation  in   front  of  a  studio  in  LA  earlier  this  year.  The  details   are  not  really  known,  but  the  fact  is  the   altercation  did  occur.     Chris  Brown  seems  to  have  gotten  lost  on  the   same  path  the  media  leads  our  youth  down   through  their  control  of  what  we  see.  Hip  Hop  is   not  violent,  hip  hop  is  a  culture.  A  way  to  express   oneself  and  let  others  know  of  the  struggles  their   people  deal  with  on  a  daily  basis.  It  is  not  about   disrespect,  putting  down  women,  or  people  of  a   sexual  orientation  that  you  may  not  consider   normal.  By  doing  these  things,  Chris  Brown  is   feeding  his  millions  of  fans  the  same  corruption   the  media  wants  to  feed  them. 476595439031287?fref=ts @schemeEnt. Scheme ENT or Fameous

Fameou$ From Scheme Ent.

My fix was the first mixed tape that Scheme Ent. Released and as the name implies it is majority about smoking weed and kicking it the homies. The mixed tape has other aspiring rappers back in his circle of friends. The second mixed tape release was mixed tape was Mixed Vibes. Although had the same vibe they talked about who they are instead of only discussing the extra circular activity of smoking. But as well as more reality type feel.

Name: Anthony Urquhart Age: 23 From: North Hollywood Fameou$ first music name started of as Fame. Fuck All My Enemies. Once he got together with his cousin name Jr. aka Yg Bandit, the started a group together called Scheme Ent. He grew up in North Hollywood and moved with family to Canyon Country. Due to the hardships in his life as a young boy Anthony used Hip Hop as a form of art and expression. Fameou$ and his partner at the mic, Yg Bandit have two mixed tapes out; My Fix and Mixed Vibes. Anthony being the prime writer. Vito Antonio produces the creative and enjoyable beats.

Fameou$ roll models in the music industry are Curren$y, the entire group of TDE and Fabulous.

By Willie D. Hammonds III

The Impact of Hip Hop: An Autobiography We all think we know ourselves better than anyone else when, in reality, we do not properly define ourselves until we come across someone or something that allows us to see ourselves in a different light. We all have that one person or thing that came into our lives and changed the way we saw it forever, that is special to us in more ways than we can count, and that has left an impact on us that lasts for an eternity. That thing for me was music. However, I had not gained the love for hip-hop that I have today. Even though all of the music I was around growing up in the ‘90s and early ‘00s was Hip Hop, I was stuck on alternative rock and punk rock. I have a lot of cousins both older and younger; the one I was around most of the time was Tiffanie. Tiffanie is about three and a half years older than me, four school years, and went to private school. So while with her, I would hear all the things thirteen year old girls who went to a predominately white private school would listen to. Backstreet Boys, N*Sync, ‘90s R&B, Brittney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Blink 182, the list goes on unfortunately. Luckily for me, Tiffanie’s mother took her out of private school in ninth grade so that Tiffanie could attend the high school her mother graduated from. The school was called Lynwood High and once Tiffanie went there, I began to hang out there and her taste in music began to change very quickly which of course caused mine to change. From that point forward, I began to look at music in a different light. I already knew hip-hop, but I had no idea about the culture.

My infatuation with hip-hop did not start until about fifth grade. My father was part of a rap duo in the mid to late ‘80s and then started his own record label in the ‘90s. While I was always around the industry, I was never interested in it. I would find myself hanging around my father’s lawyers and accountants more than his artists and producers. I picked fifth grade because fifth grade is when I began to create music using the equipment in my father’s studio. I made beats using drum pads, learned to set tempos, learned my way around the studio a bit, wrote a little for his artists, and even recorded a few vocals for his artists’ tracks. After that a friend and I started a rap group called Lil Soldiers. My rapping name was Chillz and I began rapping with all of theother local kids. I began listening to more hip-hop, including Kanye West who taught me about style. From that point on, I was a different person. I idolized Kanye West and began to experiment with a plethora of different hip-hop artists with different styles. Like Lupe Fiasco I eventually found my place in the underground and alternative hip hop scene. By the time I was in middle school, I learned every word to every verse I had ever heard Kanye perform. I got my hands on my first

iPod in seventh grade, a 256mb iPod shuffle. I loaded it up with my favorite songs, most of which were Hyphy songs as that movement was in full swing during that time. My style would also change a lot with my music and not purposely. Looking back on it all, I feel like my music was one of the main things I used to define me at that time. I was not a very good student, I was not able to participate in any organized sports, and I liked to exclude myself from the crowd. In high school is where I picked up on the aforementioned alternative hip-hop. It all started with Gym Class Heroes.I followed them while they were underground up until about their second commercial album. I loved their sound and style, spending most of my childhood in Paramount and Compton only taught me to listen to hard rap music. We were into Smack! TV battles and the Beef DVDs. We loved 50 Cent’s hard persona, The Game’s defiance, Mike Jones’ hood looks, Keak Da Sneak’s vulgar yet clever lyrics, and of course all of the old school gangster rap from the early ‘90s that blasted out of Chevy Tahoes. But I moved to the suburbs in Palmdale with my father in the middle of ninth grade and picked up skateboarding as a hobby. All of my alternative rock came back; I was caught up in the image of what a skater was supposed to be and not being myself. Going back to Gym Class Heroes, they were the first alternative hip hop group I started listening to while skating. After them came The Beastie Boys, I had a whole mix of alternative hip-hop that kept me going while skating. I loved it. All I needed was my iPod, my

skateboard, and black headphones and I was set. A year later I moved back to my mother’s house in Paramount but I kept the same style I picked up from Palmdale. Skinny jeans, tight T-shirts, and Nike SB 6.0’s. None of my old friends understood it, and when I started introducing them to alternative sounds they laughed in my face. Then it all blew up. By the time high school hit, the underground basically became the mainstream for high school aged kids and the industry flipped. My dad hated the hip-hop game and turned his focus toward the entertainment side of the industry. He always complained about my generation not buying albums. It never occurred to him that a new wave had hit. That wave was the Internet. Once the Internet got over MySpace, added Twitter and Facebook, and rappers got a hold of it. The game changed forever. There were relatively unknown rappers gaining major recognition from fans who were not buying their music but spending money on concert tickets, T-shirts, clothes like the rappers and much more. The fan bases of these new breeds of rappers were very diverse. Those new rappers I’m talking about are Drake, Wale, Wiz Khalifa, Big Sean, J. Cole, and Kendrick Lamar [You can get their mixtapes at if you're interested.] Those rappers are arguably on top of the game right now and in my opinion have classic mixtapes that I would choose over most peoples’ albums. Once they broke onto the scene, they took over. They used sampling to sample songs that weren’t heard of. They rapped better verses than my favorite rapper. Then my favorite rapper went back to the roots of hip hop in order to stay relevant, which worked well for him. That's neither here nor happy hip hop has come hope it keeps moving in this direction. I feel like the consumer is becoming a little more powerful and a little more conscious, at least that's where I'm at with my relationship with hip hop.

there, I'm this far and I

AYUN BASSA Ayun Bass  is  a  conscious  rapper  .  He  has  the   capability  to  create  detailed  images  with  a   simple  metaphor.  Ayun  got  involved  in  music   because  that  what  was  always  around  him.    As  a   young  boy  Dashawn  was  always  intesested  in   lyrics  and  instrumentals.    His  brother  and  a  lot  of   his  friends  rapped  n  their  spare  time  it  was   something  he  picked  up  with  over  time  during   freestyle  battles.  His  music  role  models  are  Jay-­‐Z,   Pharrel,  Mj,  Nas,  Eryka  Badu,  Mos  Def,  Lauryn   Hill  and  the  list  goes  on.       Ayun  Bassa  has  no  particular  goals  he  want  to   reach  with  his  music    he  just  wants  to  beard.  He   wants  to  travel  the  World  and  perform  his  own   music.  He  has  something  to  say  he  want  be  to  be   willing  to  listen.    And  whats  to  rap  about  things   other  people  can  also  relate  to.    To  him  he  feels   like  his  music  means  life.    He  already  has  250   songs  made,  and  many  more  in  the  making.    

When asked  what  does  music  mean  to  you  he   replied  “Music  is  freedom  to  be  creaice  and   basically  say  how  you  feel  at  that  particular  time  or   you  felt.  It’s  a  great  way  to  say  where  I’m  at  ro  what   kind  of  mood  I’m  in  by  the  type  of  music  I’m   playing.”  

“ I fe e bad l like m just y try t music o ke m ep r ea n s l e i mys al conc fe. Good el e p ts o ~Ay and r un B f.” be assa

Name: Ayun  “Dashawn”  Cassell   Age:23   Home:  New  Jersey,  now  lives  in  Santa   Clarita  

What’s A Sellout? Hip hop has come a long way from DJ Kool Herc’s Jamaican inspired sound system and DJ equipment, anyone who has been alive since the ‘70s can see that, but has it changed for the better? Hip Hop is a living, breathing art, community, and form of self-expression, however, it is plagued with backdoor deals because of its extreme popularity in a rapidly changing entertainment industry. Hip Hop reaches millions of ears in and out of the US, where it began. Because of this, corporations see it as an opportunity to sell and promote their products. Most Hip Hop fans refer to an artist as a “sell – out” once that artist has lost their voice to the demands of outside forces, however, artists can sell – out in other more sinister ways. The first thing people must learn is that most artists are not always allowing themselves ortheir art, which I believe the artists respect supremely,

to be manipulated by anyone but their fans. Artists need fans, without fans, a Hip Hop artist cannot be successful. This is also false. In order to find success, one must define his or her own success. Most fans do not know these artists personally; they do not know what the artist has defined as success. One artist may see success as money while another may see it as getting his or her message off of their streets and onto everyone else’s. With that being said, we cannot blame the artists1for Hip Hop’s hegemonic culture. Although the Hip Hop hegemony is very real, it is not what the average consumer believes it is. One cannot mention hegemony without mentioning politics; politics are often discussed in Hip Hop but not the politics that go on within Hip Hop. In Rhyme Pays, a documentary focusing on the culture versus commerce debate in Hip Hop, a marketing executive is shown

meeting with a record label executive to discuss when a certain artist’s album will be released. The discussion gets worse for a true fan of Hip Hop, the marketing executive goes on to state that he can ask for an album to be released at a more convenient time. While it is okay for an artist to write a song about a product he or she may use often or be very fond of, it is not okay for a company to pay that artist to endorse their product without saying they are paying the artist to do so. The fans of the modern day Hip Hop artist come from all different backgrounds and age groups, while this makes the artist a perfect spokesperson for a company, it also means that children are being unfairly treated. Sadly, this is what the capitalist society has forced Hip Hop to succumb to. Capitalism started the culture versus commerce debate the minute it got involved in Hip Hop. The very first commercial Hip Hop song was Rapper’s Delight by The Sugarhill Gang, they were also created in a studio in order to sell records. Shortly after their commercial success, DJs began to go the commercial route also. In chapter 7 of Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop Grand Master Flash talks about leaving the streets to go DJ in clubs because that’s where the money was. It was either DJ at the club or DJ for free. If DJing is your primary source of income, the club is where you had to do it. Since commercialization took over Hip Hop, it has been in a continuous downward spiral and stifling the creativity of some of its greatest minds. The best example of that is J. Cole. J. Cole is a rapper from the poor city of Fayetteville, North Carolina. I began listening to him in 2010. He had mixtapes that spoke of the troubles he had as a young man and the troubles he saw his fellow young men go through. Of course there was a flash of misogyny, it’s America, it’s always there. Note that Hip Hop is only misogynistic because the society it comes from is that way. Fayetteville is that way,

therefore J. Cole is that way and not by choice. He would have to choose not to be that way due to society’s stronghold on the upbringing of poverty – stricken, young males. Racism was also something that J. Cole frequently spoke of, I always found that strange due to J. Cole being biracial with a white mother and black father. When he speaks of racism, he speaks of it from the view of the black male although his white mother raised him. J. Cole was signed to Roc Nation by the time I began listening to him but his mixtapes did not sound like anything a label had their hands in. There were not too many commercial Hip Hop elements in his songs, all of his songs were intellectual. It sounded as if he was speaking neighborhood and all neighborhoods like it, but not glorifying the terrible things that plague it which is what I feel most popular rappers do. Then his album came out. With an album, especially a debut album, commercial songs must be made or else it will not sell well. The commercial single on J. Cole’s album was called Work Out. It featured a sample from Kanye West’s song Kanye’s New Workout Plan and a simple flow that J. Cole was not known for. The music video for Work Out by J. Cole is typical of a commercial Hip Hop video at first glance. Upon further review, advertising and stereotypes can be seen. The biggest advertisement in the video is by Hennessy. The special edition bottle is seen in the end of the video multiple times with the label facing the camera. There are two female leads, both skimpily clad in short clothes baring all of their cleavage. The women prance around a basketball court where all of the African American men, including J. Cole, spend most of their time. After J. Cole and company leave the basketball court, they are seen at a party with even more skimpily clad females who are drinking the aforementioned Hennessy bottle.

The biggest problems in the music videos are not the focus of the video. First off, J. Cole endorses the objectification of women. The whole song is about getting women to “workout” for him. All he does during the entire video is sit around and do nothing, then go to a party. Children could see the video and easily become influenced by the fictional happy lifestyle J. Cole has created although a little research shows that his life was not nearly as easy. The video also endorses drinking, heavy drinking. The party scene at the end of the music video is flooded with red cups and a woman drinking Hennessy’s special edition cognac bottle right from the bottle. These are not the images we need our young women seeing. The only thing giving away that Hennessy may have signed a deal with Roc Nation to appear in the video is that the giant logos on J. Cole’s tshirt are blurred, but the giant logos on the Hennessy bottles were given camera time sans the rapper who should be the star of the short video. All in all, culture versus commerce is a huge debate that should continue because it is very important. There will always be money hungry record labels, but like Salaam said in the Aesthetics of Rap article, indie labels need every song they create to sell nicely in order to stay afloat. Humungous multimedia companies are

able to put out low quality work, thus saturating the market with terrible images and music in order to keep the very group that publicizes the entertainment in psychological chains. The people see and hear what the corporations who own the record labels and airwaves want them to see and hear. J. Cole recently released a short mixtape called Truly Yours in which he goes back to his roots and ditches the commercial feel he had in Workout. However, this mixtape was not nearly as far spread as his album. This is done on purpose in order to keep fans of commercial Hip Hop under the impression that Hip Hop is nothing more than minorities doing things that minorities do. Not letting artists release their best and most meaningful music commercially is downright disrespectful to those men and women who put their heart and souls into this art form during the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. Everything Hip Hop represents is undermined by labels, artists, and unsuspecting fans worrying more about making money, or glorifying the gross amounts of money the artists are claiming to have attained, than making art. Art should be appreciated, not used as a pawn to control the pockets of the people.


Kendrick Lamar is from Compton, California. That is one of the first things this skillful rapper lets you know about him in most of his first mixtapes. Aside from that, you learn about the struggles and triumphs of Kendrick and his peers. Listening to Kendrick Lamar rap is like listening to the streets of Compton personified. He twists words, phrases, and sometimes even entire songs into metaphors ripe with devices that rival your favorite poets. Kendrick’s latest work can be heard on his debut album Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City. The album flows smoothly from the first track to the last, sometimes even fitting multiple songs on the same track without sacrificing quality. His tongue twisting rhymes come at blistering speeds while still managing to make a point. Afrika Bambaataa believes the fifth element to hip hop is knowledge (the first four being the MC, the b – boy/b – girl, graffiti, and most importantly, the DJ.) Kendrick Lamar puts knowledge into the majority of his music.

Age: 25 Hometown: Compton, California

His album opens with a prayer from the mouths of the unnamed young

men who will be the focus of the album, “Lord god, I come to you a sinner, and I humbly repent for my sins…” then the album throws you headfirst into a story about young love and mischief in Compton. Kendrick introduces Sherane in Sherane a.k.a. Master Splinter’s Daughter, Sherane is from Paramount, Ca. A city on the border of Compton. Kendrick falls for Sherane rather quickly and the story intensifies from there. Kendrick treats the listener to dialogue in the dialects he was raised listening to, open – ended explanations as to why young men who grew up with the circumstances Kendrick experienced act the way they do, and an impeccable ear for commercial bangers like Poetic Justice and B*tch Don’t Kill My Vibe. The highlight of the album was the overall sound of it; for me, it was a commercial album with an unprecedented amount of influence from the artist. Aside from the very last song on the album, it sounds like Kendrick. That could be because of his overwhelming presence on a microphone or because of the brilliance of Dr. Dre and his Aftermath imprint, but it is definitely apparent and appreciated.

Drake If you don始t know who Drake is by now then you must have been under a rock since 2009 when the young Canadian actor exploded onto the hip hop scene after a few mi. Drake has delivered hit after hit since his rise to fame and doesn始t seem to be looking to slow down. With his most recent barrage of singles, features, and remixes, Drake shows off the versatility needed by a rapper to stay

Age: 26 Hometown: Toronto, Canada

on top in today始s unforgiving industry. With more rappers getting exposure on VH1 than MTV and BET, it始s nice to see a rapper still making a living off of his craft and not letting money change it. Drake is on his way to dropping his third studio Album Nothing was the Same to much anticipation thanks to the aforementioned string of music. The first song to build hype for the album, mostly because of its EXTREMELY catchy

hook, was Started From the Bottom. The song was an instant hit, spawning remixes from big names like Wiz Khalifa and Soulja Boy the same day it released. It is essentially an anthem that was echoed among his peers. After Started From the Bottom was released, 5AM in Toronto came as the second punch in a three piece that rivals your favorite boxerʼs.

5AM in Toronto sounds like a sequel to 9AM in Dallas, a song released before his first album in the same fashion. 5AM in Toronto is a ballsy track coming from a personality known more for crooning over lost love than taking stabs, shots, and bites out of the competition. “The part I love most is they need me more than they hate me, so they never take shots, I got everybody on safety.” Drake says within the first twenty seconds of the song to show you the road this verbal beat-down was headed down. Before the first minute of the song of the three minute song is up, Drake admits, “[I] Give these ni**as the look, the verse, and even the hook. Thatʼs why every song sound like Drake featurinʼ Drake!” Drake was just featured on Snoop Lionʼs single No Guns Allowed and DJ Khaledʼs No New Friends, I wonder how they feel about Drakeʼs newfound toughness? For the knockout punch, Drake took it back to the crooning that caused him to crossover from underground phenomenon to Grammy winning pop star with his song Girls Love Beyonce. Drake samples Destinyʼs Childʼs classic Say My Name and basically makes a male version of it. An insecure Drake opens softly saying, “Look I know girls love Beyonce, girls love to f**k with your conscience, girls hate when ni**as go missinʼ, and shorty you ainʼt no different.” and goes on in a very familiar fashion for the rest of the song. By the end of the song, Drake admits to searching for a woman to settle down with. The reason the song is so great is because Drake continually makes this song, over and over, yet somehow, we never get tired of it.




Janelle Monae “I try not to get too caught up in who I am,”

Hip Hop  is  a  way  of  life  that  developed  in  the  early  

1970s in  the  Bronx  borough  of  New  York  City.  It  was   an  escape  for  the  youth  and  way  of  expressing   themselves  during  hard  times.  Hip  Hop  is  identified  as   an  African  American  cultural  phenomenon  that  has   swept  the  nation  and  other  parts  of  the  world.  By  the   ‘90s  hip  hop  has  changed  from  what  it  originally  was.   Primarily  it  has  Djs,  b-­‐boys  and  b-­‐girls,  graffiti  artists,   and  MCs.  By  the  ‘90s  the  rapper,  or  MC,  was  the  focal   point.  Record  labels  began  to  realize  the  money  that   could  be  made  so  they  began  signing  the  artists   willing  to  sign  a  deal.  This  began  the  commerce  of  hip   hop.  From  this  emerged  the  notation  that  what  many   people  say  is  the  death  of  true  hip  hop.   Hip  Hop  identifies  primarily  with  the  street  culture   and  is  strongly  affiliated  with  the  urban  experience.   The  urban  appeal  has  been  able  to  withstand  the  test   of  time  and  is  still  a  basic  element  of  the  Hip  Hop   culture.       When  money  became  an  issue,  hip  hop  got  divided   into  mainstream  and  indie  music,  which  is  more  

commonly known  as  underground  hip  hop.  When   record  labels  began  trying  to  record  Hip  Hop,  it  was   first  a  turn  off  to  many  MCs  and  Djs.  Grandmaster   Flash,  a  very  popular  Dj  of  the  time,  was  wanted  by  all   the  independent  Black  record  producers  but  he  was   very  persistent  in  not  giving  them  the  time  of  day.  He   felt  that  as  long  as  he  had  his  weekly  gigs,  he  was   content  with  the  things  remaining  the  same.  It  was   hard  to  comprehend  for  some,  how  can  you  put  hip   hop  on  a  record?  Chuck  D  said  “I’m  like,  record?  Fuck,   how  you  gon’  put  hip  hop  on  a  record?  ‘Cause  it  was  a   whole  gig,  you  know?  How  you  gon’  put  three  hours   on  the  record?”  In  1979,  Rappers  Delight  came  out   and  changed  that  idea  Chuck  D  continued  to  say  “Bam!   They  made  ‘Rapper’s  Delight.’  And  the  ironic  twist  is   not  how  long  that  record  was,  but  how  short  it  was.   I’m  thinking,  ‘Man,  they  cut  that  shit  down  to  fifteen   minutes?’  It  was  a  miracle.”(Can’t  Stop.  Won’t  Stop   page  130).  Hip  Hop  became  something  that  they  can   twist  and  turn  into  a  revenue.  Once  money  gets   involved  into  anything,  the  risk  of  losing  the  true   culture  and  true  elements  of  that  thing  becomes  a  real  

controversy.       Once  commerce  becomes  major  issue  in  any  industry,   huge  debates  tend  to  spawn  from  it.  One  of  those   debates  within  Hip  Hop  is  whether  or  not  an  artist  is   becoming  a  sell  out.  The  idea  of  “selling  out”  gets   commonly  thrown  around  within  the  music  industry.   The  idea  that  once  an  artist  makes  it  “big”  or  becomes   popular  they  must  have  sold  out  is  becoming  a   commonly  known  idea.  When  hip  hop  became   commercialized  around  the  mid  ‘80s,  industries  want   to  get  their  hands  in  hip  hop’s  listeners'  pockets.   “After  several  years  of  ignoring  hip  hop,  corporate   executives  suddenly  recognized  its  growing  appeal   and  widening  audience  base,  leading  to  new   commercial  enterprises  that  simultaneously  boosted   its  profile  and  challenged  aspects  of  artistic   authenticity.”(  This  was  the  spark  that   ignited  the  flame  that  changed  hip  hop.   Commercialism  became  an  antagonist  to  the  original   Djs.  Djs,  who  were  the  a  main  element  in  hip  hop   became  a  background  and  rappers  became  the  only   true  component.  “When  the  top  Bronx  acts  made  their   recording  debuts  after  ‘Rapper’s  Delight,’  they  usually   tried,  and  often  failed,  to  be  true  to  the  experience  of   their  shows.”  (Can’t  Stop  Won’t  Stop,  132).  The  artist   of  Rapper’s  Delight  were  no  name  amateurs.  They   never  had  a  Dj,  it  was  a  studio  creation,  they  never   were  on  stage  until  after  the  song  became  a  hit.  These   artist  were  writing  music  with  “ears  of  the  fans.”   People  began  writing  what  they  knew  would  sell,   what  was  popular  in  the  clubs,  and  it  became  less   about  what  it  used  to  be  about,  as  in  an  art,  and  way  of   expressing  themselves,  and  more  into  what  ever  sells.   An  emphasis  on  partying,  leisure,  materialism,  and   relationships  began  to  become  a  common  pattern  to   of  topics  written  about  in  hip  hop.  

Hip Hop  was  developed  with  many  different  elements.   As  mention  before  there  was  the  Djs,  the  MCs,  b-­‐boys   and  b-­‐girls,  and  the  graffiti  artist.  Everything  within   the  culture  took  the  back  seat  because  music,  the   beats,  the  lyrics  were  able  to  make  a  profit.  They  were   able  to  be  bought  and  sold.  Music  has  a  huge  influence   on  what  is  seen  as  popular.  The  documentary,  Rhyme   Pays:  Hip  Hop  and  the  Marketing  of  Cool,  shows   numerous  examples  of  making  hip  hop  into  a  product.   It  showed  what  was  the  hottest  shoe  or  clothes.  It   showed  how  Run-­‐DMC’s  intentions  for  the  song  “My   Adidas”  were  innocent,  they  made  the  song  because  of   their  true  love  for  the  shoe,  not  for  the  profit.  The  film   showed  the  evolution  of  how  corporations  witness  the   impact  hip  hop  has  on  the  population,  and  so  other   artist  got  endorsement  deals.  50  Cent  got  an   endorsement  deal  with  Reebok  making  his  G-­‐Unit   shoes.  In  the  documentary,  they  were  featured  as  the   newest  and  coolest,  a  must  have.   The  development  of  “gangsta  rap”  in  the  1980s  was  a   landmark  in  hip  hop.  Gangsta  rap  identified  with   urban  criminal  activities.  Gangsta  rap,  to  this  day,  is   highly  criticized  for  its  glorification  of  a  materialistic,   criminal  lifestyle.  Yvonne  Bynoe  wrote  “The  record   companies  encourage  these  young  people  to  tell  their   ghetto  tales  (real  or  imagined)  in  the  crudest  fashion   for  predominantly  White  rap  CD  buyers  [...].  What  the   music  industry  had  done  through  rap  music  is  to   frame  the  ‘authentic’  Black  American  not  as  a   complex,  educated  or  even  creative  individual,  but  as   a  ‘real  nigga’  who  had  ducked  bullets,  worked  a  triple   beam,  and  done  at  least  on  bid  in  prison.”  Gangsta  rap   opened  the  gates  to  or  heightened  the  precept  of   stereotypical  African  American  in  the  urban  city.  With   gangsta  rap  involvement  artist  began  to  focus  on  who   is  the  toughest  rapper,  who  has  the  most  street   credibility.   A  positive  and  captivating  aspect  about  Hip  Hop  was   that  is  demonstrated  serious  social  issues  and  became   a  way  to  express  the  negative  conditions  that   impacted  the  African  American  population.  Record   labels  often  neglect  to  recognize  the  political  aspect  of   “conscious  rap”.  They  claim  it  is  unsuitable  for   commercial  interest.    “In  the  1980  and  early  1990s   major  record  labels  were  often  resistant  to  signing   explicitly  politicized  acts,  suggesting  that  either  the   subject  matter  was  too  narrowly  concerned  with  

black cultural  issues  and  risked  alienating  the  much   Nice  Watch,  and  Can’t  Get  Enough  people  accused  him   larger  white  consumer  market  or  voicing  concern  that   of  rapping  about  songs  that  had  no  substance.  The   the  incendiary  lyrics  of  conscious  political  rap  acts   rumors  of  J.  Cole  selling  out  became  wide  spread.   might  draw  the  ire  of  conservative  cultural  watchdogs   Although  I  am  a  fan  of  the  album,  the  evidence  does   or  politicians  and  jeopardize  the  label’s  reputation.”   persuade  me  toward  believing  J.  Cole  is  becoming  a   (  An  example  of  this  is  when  MC  Paris   sell  out.  J.  Cole  himself  says  “Either  you  play  the  game   was  dropped  from  Tommy  Boy  Records  in  1992   or  let  the  game  play  you,  and  be  the  broke  muthafucka   because  of  his  album  Sleeping  With  the  Enemy.  In  this   talkin’  ‘bout  ‘I  stay  true!’".  So  has  he  played  the  game   album  the  content  was  about  the  assassination  of   or  has  the  game  played  him?   President  George  H.  Bush,  who   In  the  music  video  Can’t  Get  Enough,  it  is   was  the  president  at  the  time.     shown  as  J.  Cole  and  Trey  Songs  rapping   Another  example  is  Ice  T   ”Either you play the on  a  Tropical  setting.  The  part  that  was   criticism  from  the  president  and   captured  on  the  boat  and  at  the  bonfire   game or let the game the  vice  president  on  this  track   were  just  women  in  bathing  suits   “Cop  Killer.”  The  pressure  that   play you, and be the dancing  with  liquor  and  nice  jewelry.   Ice  T  got  from  the  record  label   This  is  where  people  felt  like  J.  Cole   broke muthafucka led  to  Ice  T  removing  the  track   became  a  sell  out,  his  hit  songs  were   from  subsequent  pressings  of  the   talkin’ ‘bout ‘I stay about  the  women  and  how  he  just  could   album.  These  are  only  two   not  get  enough.  The  song  itself  is   true!’" example  out  of  many  that  shows   properly  structured.  The  flow  was  good,   the  effect  the  mainstream   ~J.Cole the  beats  are  on  point,  and  although  the   American  has  on  the  status  quo     music  video  fit  the  song  properly,  the   of  what  should  be  listened  to  and   song  is  not  was  J.  Cole  states  that  he   awakens  a  highly  controversial   represents   i n   h is  mixtapes,  where  he  amassed  his  first     debate.    

[  ]  

The that  major  record  labels  would  not  play  music   based  upon  the  controversy  that  may  come  about  is   the  another  aspect  of  what  leads  to  becoming  a  sell   out.  If  an  artist  who  is  primarily  conscious  hip  hop  but   the  record  labels  are  saying  that  what  the  rapper  is   talking  about  is  too  controversial,  then  how  can  they   make  it  big  without  conforming  to  what  the  label   wants  to  hear.  The  idea  of  selling  out  has  a  mixtures  of   definitions.  The  most  commonly  used  definition  is   when  an  artist  compromises  their  art  for  finical  gain.   Selling  out  always  raises  the  question,  in  such  a   competitive  industry  how  does  one  make  it  to  the   mainstream,  while  teetering  on  the  fine  line  of   becoming  a  label  sell  out?  A  popular  artist  who  is   being  accused  as  a  sell  is  Jermaine  Lamarr  Cole,  or   more  commonly  known  by  his  stage  name  J.  Cole.  His   most  recent  album  released  on  September  27,  2011   named  Cole  World:  The  Sideline  Story  raised  plenty  of   speculation  of  J.  Cole  becoming  a  sell  out.  They   previously  perceived  J.  Cole  rapped  about  “real”  stuff.   His  fan  base  looked  up  to  him  because  they  felt  that  he   rapped  about  deep  stuff,  and  things  that  related  to   him.  When  J.  Cole  released  songs  like  Work  Out,  Mr.  

fanbase. The  message  within   the  video,  I  believe  is  to  have  a   good  time,  partying,  and  live   life  to  the  fullest.  This  video   objectifies  women,  because   the  whole  role  that  women   play  in  the  song  is  they  are   out  for  J.  Cole  fame  and   lifestyle.  Or  as  T.  Denean     Sharpley  -­‐  Whiting   would  say,  the  women     are  using  J.  Cole’s  and   Trey  Songs’  object  -­‐   craving    attitudes   against  them.  Either   way  it  is  a  terrible   look  for  the   commercial  hip   hop  community  in   mainstream   media.   This  

song connects  to  male  primarily  goal  of  getting  the   max  number  of  women.  This  song  empowers  men  to   think  in  a  hyper  -­‐  amsculinity  outlook  towards   women.  In  J.      Cole’s  song  the  hyper-­‐masculinity   message  is  subtle  compared  to  other  artist  within  the   Hip  Hop  industry,  but  it  is  a  silent  message.  I  say  that   it  is  silent  because  he  does  not  come  straight  out  and   insult  women  or  degrade  them  by  calling  women   outside  of  their  name,  but  address  the  degrading  of   women  through  the  images  used  within  the  video.     Hip  Hop  is  known  for  its  way  of  being  a  form  of   expression.  To  this  day  people  use  hip  hop  to  tell  a   story,  address  issues,  or  to  express  oneself.  In  the   early  ‘80s  when  hip  hop  became  a  product  to  sell  the   morals  and  the  messages  behind  what  was  being  said   shifted.  Labels  only  allowed  what  would  sell  to  be   released.  Money  corrupted  what  true  hip  hop  was.  In   present  times  hip  hop  artists  are  skiing  on  a  slippery   slope  of  what  is  selling  out  and  what  is  still  real.   When,  or  if,  people  make  it  big  they  are  accused  of   selling  out.  If  music  is  art,  why  do  corporations  and   other  influences  have  such  a  major  say  on  what  is  on   the  radio?  Today’s  radio  has  eighteen  songs  in   rotation  thus  aggressively  “playing  them  out.”  The   majority  of  these  songs  are  attempting  to  sell   something,  whether  is  embedded  within  the  video  or   the  lyrics.  Hip  Hop  was  unique,  it  was  different,  it  was   fun  with  a  little  competitive  side.  People  in  today’s   world  have  changed  the  game  in  hip  hop.  Hip  hop  is   seen  as  a  way  to  make  money,  instead  of  the  thing  it   initially  was  all  about,  the  fifth  element,  knowledge.   Commerce  has  taken  over  the  music  industry,  artists   and  fans  alike  need  to  fight  for  it  back.          

Joey Bad Ass The golden era of hip hop is coming back thanks to eighteen year old Joey Bada$$ and his Pro Era collective. Born in 1995, Joey skillfully raps about serious topics over bass - heavy beats with his deep voice and New York accent. Joey exploded onto the scene last summer with his debut mixtape 1999, it starts with a introspective rap about his journey up until this point. The first song on the tape is called Summer Knights and begins with “Itʼs been a minute, since they seen a style with no gimmicks...” is the first thing we hear Joey say, big words from the kid. Listen to the rest of the mixtape and youʼll see that Joey is not the only person on the east coast trying to revive that golden sound hip hop had in the ʻ90s, he is a part of a hip hop collective called Pro Era. Of all the features Joey includes from his Pro Era artists, the best verse in my opinion comes from Capital STEEZ on a song called Survival Tactics. The beat is perfect for the hardcore personas the two young men have. The song is laced with conspiracy theories, rants about going against the

government and police, and even scientific similes “ʻCause PE about to take off, with protons and electrons ni**a thatʼs an A Bomb!” 1999 ends with an eleven minute Pro Era anthem named Suspect. This really solidifies them as a hip hop collective to pay attention to. On December 21, 2012 Pro Era released their second mixtape, the first one they received attention for, titled P.E.E.P.: The aPROcalypse. The mixtape is solid and lets listeners know that Joey Bada$$ is not alone in his youth, style, and skill. Most notably were CJ Fly, Capital STEEZ, and Kirk Knight. The mixtape opens with Capital STEEZ and a piano then does not slow down from there. There are cyphers, great DJs, MCs, and an original feel. Unfortunately for us, Capital STEEZ passed away from a self - inflicted injury on December 24, 2012. He was nineteen years old. We will not be able to see that young man mature into the person he would have been. The full details of the story have yet to be made public but members of the Pro Era collective have made comments in interviews and via twitter. Capital

STEEZ was Joeyʼs best friend and in my opinion, the person he collaborated with that brought out the best in his words. Luckily for us, Capital STEEZʼs untimely passing did not slow down Joey Bada$$ or Pro Era. Theyʼve gone on multiple tours and are prepping another mixtape along with Joey

Bada$$ʼ debut album. In the meantime, Joey Bada$$ can be heard on songs sponsored by Ecko Red and on A$AP Rockyʼs album LONG.LIVE.A$AP.


Hip Hop Trivia

“Greetings girl  and  welcome  to  my  world  of  phase.  I’m  right  up  to  bat.  It’s  a  Daisy  age  and  you’re  about  to  walk  top  stage.  So  wipe   your  Lottos  on  the  mat.  Hip  hop  love  this  is  and  don’t  mind  when  I  quiz  your  involvements  before  the  sun.  But  clear  your  court   ‘cause  this  is  a  one  man  sport.  And  who’s  better  for  this  than…”  what  lyrics  are  these?   a. “Fun  House”-­‐Kid  N’  Play   b. “Eye  Know”-­‐  De  La  Soul   c.

“Children Story”-­‐  Slick  Rick  

d. “Poet With  Soul”-­‐  Def  Jef   2.

Which two  rappers  had  a  large  “beef”  that  some  say  lead  to  bother  their  deaths?   ______________________________________________________________________________________________    

3. What  well  know  rap  group  started  out  their  career  doing  a  song  called  “Cookiepuss’?   ______________________________________________________________________________________________     4. Who  were  the  members  of  the  Original  Sugar  Hill  Gang?   ______________________________________________________________________________________________   ______________________________________________________________________________________________   ______________________________________________________________________________________________     5. What  well  known  organization  did  Hip  Hop  pioneer  Africa  Bambaata  start  in  the  mid  70s..?   a. The  Universal  Zulu  Nation   b. Run  DMC   c.

Young Money  

d. G-­‐Unit 6. Who  hosted  the  first  party  that  introduced  the  Bronx  to  Hip  hop?   _____________________________________________________________________________________________   7. What  are  2  of  the  elements  of  Hip  Hop?   _____________________________________________________________________________________________   ______________________________________________________________________________________________   8. What  does  LL  Cool  J  name  stand  for?   _____________________________________________________________________________________________   9. Queen  Latifah  had  a  song  called  Ladies  First…Who  was  the  other  female  rapper  on  that  song?   _________________________________________   10. Who  have  sold  the  most  Rap  albums  in  the  United  States?   ________________________________________      

Contact Vito Antonio for beats Facebook: Or menace      


1. A 2. Tupac  and  Biggie   3. The  Beastie  Boys   4. Wonder  Mike,  Master  G,  Big   Band  Hank   5. A   6. Kool  Herc   7. B-­‐Boys  (girls),  Mc,  graffiti   artist,  Djs   8. Ladies  love  Cool  James   9. Monie  Love   10. Tupac  

Answer Key

Dom Kennedy Dom Kennedy is an underground recording artist from Leimert Park, Los Angels, Ca. He is known for his very simple lyrics, smooth sound and flow, and for rapping over slower beats than the average rapper. He first came onto the scene with his debut album 25th Hour in 2008, since then he始s released six more mixtapes [Including Young Nation which is actually an OpM mixtape] and an album called From the Westside With Love II. He is currently working on his next album titled Get Home Safe due out this spring, considering spring is almost over, we should get our hands on that work very

soon. Dom Kennedy has also had his hands more on the business side of the underground hip hop industry, starting his own record label The Other People始s Money Company, Inc. The name of the company is usually shortened to The OpM Company or simply OpM. Young Nation was the first mixtape released through Dom始s label, Get Home Safe should be the second. If you listen to most the work Dom has done up until this point, you can say that he found his trademark sound on the mixtape From the Westside with Love. Since that mixtape,

not much about the man has changed. Dom Kennedy is the sound of the west coast, his music sounds like a trip to the beach and in some cases, a trip down the wrong street in the wrong colors. He has worked with plenty of artists in LAʼs underground as well as other underground artists from different areas. You can hear Domʼs laid back style of rapping on Kendrick Lamarʼs mixtapes, Big Seanʼs Iʼm Out Here, Overdozʼs mixtapes, Dom has even worked with Kid Cudi before he was a household name. The biggest question surrounding Domʼs long and consistent underground hip hop career is when the big hit will occur. He claims he will be underground forever in his music and so far has kept that promise, even while showing up on BETʼs Hip Hop Awards in a cypher and making big appearances at music festivals such as Paid Dues and Rock the Bells. TO SELL OUT OR NOT TO SELL OUT This is a problem most artists face, but what is a sell out? Is selling out a bad thing? A short film by The Canadian Broadcasting Company called Rhyme Pays highlights this issue. Before we can get into that type of discussion, we must define what a sell out is considering many people have many different opinions.Rhyme Pays opens up a new world of trouble for artists and labels because it shows a strategist looking to plug in his advertising into rap songs. This happens constantly in the entertainment industry but is seen as taboo in the hip hop world because of hip hopʼs roots, Damon Dash mentions this toward the end of the documentary but seems to think people look down on it because its hip hop and everyone has a problem with hip hop. I do not agree

with him. Hip hop started in the South Bronx as a form of expression and eventually evolved into a culture, stretched across America, then across the world, now its an empire that makes plenty of people plenty of money. Before hip hop was business, it was a way to get your words out. Words about opression, neglect from those who are supposed to protect, the struggle of growing up in neighborhoods where you have to pay more attention to the streets than your schoolbooks, and even some party music. This is why there is such a conflict between hip hop fans and hip hop business men, the business man does not care what happens to the artist or the consumer as long as he or she gets their pockets lined with cash. They will shamelessly connect their product, no matter how good or bad it may be, to a popular song and watch money roll in from the unaware consumers affected by their undercover commercial. This has been happening in movies, television shows, and radio forever. It never occurred in hip hop because hip hop just recently became a big enough venue to promote things on. The difference is hip hop was rebelling against those very promoters, hip hop was never intended to be grabbed by businessmen and turned into a capitalistic institution like everything else. Hip hop was pure and has become corrupted by money. These days, it seems like money is the motive. Rappers rap about money over annoyingly catchy beats. No one cares about dignity anymore, at least thatʼs how it seems considering every time I turn on the TV or radio someone is acting out and someone else is enjoying it. That is what I believe selling out is, compromising your art

for your money. A prime example of this is Lupe Fiasco始s twitter account. Lupe Fiasco, as you may know, turned away from making money and began to use hip hop as a pulpit. Letting listeners (and followers via twitter) about his favorite philosophers, philosophies, and how he feels about Chicago始s failing political and societal issues. On Monday, May 13, 2013, Lupe始s team announce via Lupe始s twitter that he no longer has control over it and from now on it will be used solely to promote his music. His music. Not his philosophy, not his views on anything with substance, only his music. His music is how they make money. Lupe Fiasco has been forced to sell out. This is why hip hop needs to stay as uncommercial as it possibly can although I fear it may already be too late.

Works Cited

Chang, Jeff. Can't Stop, Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-hop Generation. New York: St. Martin's, 2005. Print.This book examines hip hop's origin and includes accounts from hip hop's pioneers. "Chris Brown Freestyles over Drake's "Started From the Bottom"" YouTube. YouTube, 01 Apr. 2013. Web. 15 May 2013. <http://>.Interview of Chris Brown by Sway where Chris Brown disses Drake. "The Crosby Press." The Crosby Press. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 May 2013. < poetic-justicesnl-performance-on-david-letterman/>.Kendrick Lamar performs his hit Poetic Justice and receives a warm welcome from a diverse audience. "Drake Freestyles For ‘GQ’." Music News Reviews and Gossip on Idolatorcom RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 May 2013. < 6225521/drake-freestyles-forgq>.Drake did a freestyle for GQ that highlights culture versus commerce and the luxury rap we are all used to. "Drake Takes Shots at Chris Brown"The Woman He Loves Fell into My Lap, I Treated Her with Respect)." YouTube. YouTube, 13 Apr. 2013. Web. 15 May 2013. <>.Interview of Drake where he addresses the statements Chris Brown made about him in a prior interview. "The Gray Way." The Gray Way. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 May 2013. <http:// finallyunveiled>.This article included opinions about J. Cole's Workout music video. "KENDRICK LAMAR HITS THE BOOTH WITH DR. DRE AND ANDRE 3000 [@KENDRICKLAMAR @OFFICIALANDRE3K @DRDRE]." Link Up TV. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 May 2013. <http://>.An article highlighting Kendrick's rise to fame and working with hip hop legends. N.p., n.d. Web.Website we used to find the majority of the images used in this magazine. "Rhyme Pays." Rhyme Pays. Canadian Broadcasting Company. N.d. Television.A documentary highlighting the culture versus commerce conflict hip hop has experienced over the last few years. Sharpley-Whiting, T. Denean. Pimps Up, Ho's Down:

Hip Hop's Hold on Young Black Women. New York: New York UP, 2007. Print.This book examines the relationship the hip hop industry has with the female population and the misconstrued image of black women the media/hip hop puts into the world. Forman, Murray. "American Studies Journal." - Conscious Hip-Hop, Change, and the Obama Era. N.p., 2010. Web. 03 Apr. 2013. Hunter, Margaret. "Shake It, Baby, Shake It: Consumption and the New Gender Relation in Hip Hop." Sociological Perspectives 54.1 (2011): 15-36. Web. 2 Apr. 2013. < .>. "J. Cole - Can't Get Enough (Clean Version) Ft. Trey Songz." YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. 04 Apr. 2013. Rhyming Pays: Hip-hop and Marketing of Cool. Dir. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 2004. Youtube. Salaam, Mtume. "The Aesthetics of Rap." African Amerian Review 29.2 (1995): 303-15. Web. 2 Apr. 2013. <e URL:>.

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