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August 22, 2011

Video Spotlight: Tinie Tempah - Till I'm Gone

My twin sister exposed me to this guy and she was initially drawn in by his British accent and high-level energy on the track with newcomer Wiz Khalifa.  Tinie Tempah is from the UK and has been making music overseas since 2007.  He's clearly an international cat, as you can see from the various skylines shot in the video (NY, LA, Japan, etc.)

The song is about a guy who loves to travel, party, have fun and isn't ready to settle down.  So he tells his girl not to cry and that he'll be day. 

What I really love about the song is his flow, originality, and Wiz was the perfect addition for the sing-songy hook.


Have you ever heard of Tinie Tempah?
Do you like this song?
Are you familiar with international artists?

August 17, 2011

J. Cole - Next To Blow?

Ever since I first heard this guy I was in love with his voice, style, delivery and mature subject matter.  I later discovered he was signed to Roc Nation, by head honcho Jay-Z, and this kid was the next to blow.  After hearing several mixtapes like The Warm Up and Friday Night Lights, as well as, tracks with featured artists like Drake and Big Sean, I knew it was only a matter of time before everyone knew his name.

The North Carolina native's first track released off his upcoming debut LP Cole World: The Sideline Story was Who Dat, which featured a school band drum line beat equipped with horns to create a new sound that I had never heard before.  J. Cole is known for ghost writing Diddy's Coming Home track off the Last Train To Paris and is also known for his appearance on Jay-Z's A Star Is Born from The Blueprint 3. 

Cole has a degree from St. John's University, which he attended on an academic scholarship studying communication and minoring in business, graduating magna cum laude.  Cole explains that he only sought highter education as a path to get a record deal.  However, after years of no record deal, he obtained his degree and continued to pursue his dream to be a rap superstar.  After sitting outside of Jay-Z's offices for hours in an attempt to have him listen to his beat, he was ignored, but later called by an associate explaining Jay wanted to meet him after hearing his track Lights Please, from one of his mixtapes.  Lights Please is a cool and mellow track where Cole is speaking to a young lady whom he is fond of, but is perplexed by her preoccupation with sex, instead of getting to know him better or talking about things with more substance.  Check some of the lyrics:

So I tried to show her
About the world and about just who we really are
And where we've come and how we still have to go really far
Like baby look at how we live broke on the boulevard
But all she ever want me to do is unhook her bra
Then all I really want is for her to go down low
Before you know it she wet enough to get drowned slow
And all that deep shit I was previously down for
Replaced by freak shit I am currently down for


 So now we in the hotel
Mirrors on the ceilin'
She say she wanna blow L's
I hear her and I'm willin'
But everytime I smoke well a nigga mind gone
So that every word I spoke well I'm tryin' to put her on
But she couldn't hear me
I told her all about how we been livin' a lie
And that they'd love to see us all go to prison or die
Like baby look at how they show us on the TV screen
But all she ever want me to do is unzip her jeans
Then all I really want is for her to get on top
Before you know it she workin' jerkin' it non stop
And all that next shit I was previously talkin'
Is now that wet shit that I'm currently lost in


I'm findin' the more I grow the more y'all stay the same
Don't even know the rules but yet y'all tryin' to play the game
And ain't it shameful how niggas blame hoes for givin' birth
To a baby that took two to make
Coward nigga you a fake
How gon' look in your sons face and turn your back
Then go start another family dog what type of shit is that?
She said it's okay
Rubbed my head and told me to relax
Laid a nigga down proper like she was recordin' tracks
Said I know you wanna change the world
But for the night please
Just reach over and hit the lights please


J. Cole has been patiently waiting for his time to blow; Watching peers like Drake and Big Sean hit pay dirt with their debut albums.  I've been waiting on him to drop a track that would capture the ears of the diverse Hip Hop community and would showcase his talent and staying power.  I think he's finally done it with his new single and video Work Out.  But don't take my word for it, see for yourself.

Here is my fav! His video for Who Dat:

Here is his video for the song he did with Drake, In The Morning:

The debut album Cole World: The Sideline Story hits stores September 27th.  Cole has been on tour all summer with Rihanna and Cee-Lo Green for the Loud Tour and just released the dates for his world tour Cole World and will be performing with Tini Tempah in the UK:

August 23rd Vancouver, BC (Vogue)
August 25th Edmonton, AB (Edmonton Events Centre)
August 27th Calgary, AB (Flames Central)
August 30th Saskatoon, SK (Odeon Theatre)
August 31st Winnipeg, MB (Garrick Center)
September 3rd Toronto, ON (Sound Academy)
September 6th London, ON (Music Hall London)
September 7th Montreal, QC (Club Soda)
September 10th Orlando, FL (The Beacham Theatre)
September 11th Miami, FL (Revolutions)
September 14th Houston, TX (Warehouse Live)
September 15th New Orleans, LA (House of Blues)
September 16th Dallas, TX (Southside Music Hall)
September 17th Austin, TX (Emos)
September 19th Denver, CO (The Ogden)
September 20th Albuquerque, NM (Sunshine Theater)
September 21st Phoenix, AZ (The Venue)
September 22nd Los Angeles, CA (Club Nokia)
September 23rd San Francisco, CA (Regency)
September 29th Winston Salem, NC (Winston Salem State University)
October 2nd Atlanta, GA (Tabernacle)
October 4th Cleveland, OH (House of Blues)
October 6th Kalamazoo, MI (Kalamazoo State Theatre)
October 7th Detroit, MI (Royal Oak)
October 8th Milwaukee, WI (The Rave)
October 9th Chicago, IL (House of Blues)
October 12th Philadelphia, PA (Electric Factory)
October 13th Charlotte, NC (Fillmore)
October 14th Norfolk, VA (Old Dominion University)
October 15th Elizabeth City, NC (Elizabeth City State University)
October 16th Myrtle Beach, SC (House of Blues)
October 19th Washington, DC (Fillmore)
October 20th Baltimore, MD (Sound Stage)
October 21st Albany, NY (Armory)
October 22nd Worcester, MA (Palladium)
October 23rd Providence, RI (Lupo’s)
October 25th New York, NY (Best Buy Theatre)
October 31st Liverpool, UK (Echo Arena/TinieTempah UK Arena Tour)
November 1st New Castle, UK (Metro Radio Arena/TinieTempah UK Arena Tour)
November 2nd Glasgow, UK (SECC/TinieTempah UK Arena Tour)
November 4th London, UK (O2 Arena/TinieTempah UK Arena Tour)
November 5th Bournemouth, UK (BIC/TinieTempah UK Arena Tour)
November 6th Birmingham, UK (LG Arena/TinieTempah UK Arena Tour)
November 7th Manchester, UK (MEN Arena/Tinie Tempah UK Arena Tour)
November 8th Cardiff, UK (Motorpoint Arena/ Tinie Tempah UK Arena Tour)
November 11th London, UK (Electric Ballroom)
November 12th Birmingham, UK (Institute)
November 13th Cardiff, UK (Solus)
November 14th South Hampton, UK (University)
November 17th Glasgow, UK (ABC)
November 18th Liverpool, UK (Academy)
November 19th Sheffield, UK (Academy)
November 20th Manchester, UK (Academy 2)
November 22nd Cambridge, UK (Junction)
November 24th Bristol, UK (Academy)
November 26th Norway (Waterfront / UEA)
November 30th Brussels, Belgium (VK*)
December 1st Amsterdam, Holland (Melkweg)
December 2nd Germany (TBD)
December 3rd Copenhagen, Denmark (VEGA)
December 4th Malmo, Sweden (Babel)
December 6th Gothenburg, Sweden (Parken)
December 7th Stockholm, Sweden (Nalen)
December 8th Oslo, Norway (Rockefeller)
December 10th Berlin, Germany (TBD)
December 12th Paris, France (La Cigale)


I'm excited to see what this newcomer has to bring to the Hip Hop table and hopes he can continue keeping things fresh and new as he has for the past 3+ years.  You all should definitely keep your eye on this guy.  I'm sure the album will be worth the wait.

Share your thoughts on the videos...WEIGH IN!

Throwback Video - Happy Hump Day - Bobby Brown - Humpin' Around

Sometimes we need that extra push to get over the HUMP.  Here is a throwback video from Bobby Brown, the Original King of Hip Hop and R&B! Nuff respect! LOL


When I look at old Bobby Brown videos or hear his songs on the radio, I see/hear his influences on Usher, Chris Brown, and other R&B groups, etc.  Can you see the inspiration?  What is your favorite Bobby Brown video?

August 15, 2011

Jay-Z and Kanye West's Watch The Throne sets iTunes record

In typical fashion, Jay-Z and Kanye West managed to break the iTunes sells record for the most downloads in one week, ousting Coldplay's 2008 record with their album Viva La Vida Or Death and All His Friends which sold 282,000 in its first week.  Kanye and Jay's physical release of the album on Friday, August 12th in stores and its electronic release online on August 8th had the Internets ablaze with talks of it either being dope or wack.  Many people were complaining saying that in this time of economic downturn, Jay and 'Ye shouldn't be flaunting their wealth in the faces of the poor and marginalized Americans that purchase their albums. 

Once I listened to the album and saw the video, it was much more clear that Jay-Z and Kanye were not throwing their money in our faces, but more so celebrating the lifestyle and riches that their hard work has afforded them.  When I take a look at the new video for the Otis track, with the American flag prominently displayed in the background, I see two kids from the inner city, elated and relieved, celebrating making something out of nothing.  I see the hard work, blood, sweat and tears; the let downs, denials and doors closed in their faces, which only propelled them to greater heights, why? Because they never gave up.

Thinking back to the day when Jay-Z was trying to get a major label deal.  All of the then top music labels denied him.  When Kanye was trying to sell more than just beats, in an effort to rhyme, he was shut down by his fair share of naysayers.  Looking at them now, it seems like they have it all.  But the best is yet to come.  I am anxious for the Watch The Throne tour and who will be the surprise guests tagging along.

To get an idea of what I'm referring to, take a look at the video for Otis, the debut track off the Watch The Throne album:

Selling 290,000 units on iTunes is a admirable task.  One which I am sure Jay-Z and Kanye are very proud of.  But I want to get back to the negative comments I've heard people spew in reference to the tone and message on the album.  Jay said it best when he inquired, "Do you fools listen to music or do you just skim through it?"  I now understand what Mr. Carter meant when he uttered the aforementioned line on a previous song.  How could someone listen to tracks like No Church In The Wild where Kanye and Jay address topics like God, priests, the church, etc. and think it has no depth?  Or how could they hear them talk about their unborn children and how they would right their wrongs through the birth of their seeds on New Day and proclaim that they are merely shallow and self-absorbed?

Hov and Martin Louis The King, Jr. also blast off on a track called Welcome To The Jungle where they speak of sadness and loss.  I don't know about ya'll, but that material sure sounds deep and thought-provoking to me.  But I will let you be the judge. 


Did you buy the new Watch The Throne album?
If so, do you like the subject matter of the tracks?
Which track are you feeling the most?
Are you disappointed with Jay-Z's and Kanye's braggadocious rhymes?
How would you rate the album on a scale of 1-10?

Check out some more artwork from the album:

August 8, 2011

Jay-Z and Kanye West: Watch The Throne

The highly anticipated album Watch The Throne recorded by Hip Hop mega artists Jay-Z and Kanye West was dropped today, Tuesday, August 8th, the day the Watch The Throne concert tour tickets went on sale.  The release has left the Internet, blogs, Facebook and Twitter all buzzing with talks of the new material, the tour, whether the two will get along and what the outcome will be of this mega-collaboration.  We've already seen how quick the shit can hit the fan when Jay-Z collaborates with a music great (ie. R. Kelly and the Best of Both Worlds/Unfinished Business album/tour).  So lets just hope the two can keep it together until December 12th when they perform in LA (and yes I got tickets!!!!)

Jay-Z and Kanye were able to hold off the release without any leaks, which in this day and age is damn near a mission impossible, but if anyone could do it, Jay and 'Ye could.  Tickets for the Los Angeles concert are already sold out, but if you're in or around the LA area, you still might have a chance with Las Vegas so go to asap before its too late.  The first single to drop from the album, Otis, boasts a popular sample by Otis Redding, Try A Little Tenderness, which comes at the hands of soul-sample and talented musical producer, Kanye West.  This song has such a strong popular cultural existence, it only makes sense that the two used it for the first single to spark the fire to the release of the album and the tour.  The song recorded by Otis Redding was featured in Pretty in Pink with Molly Ringwald in 1986 in one of my favorite scenes from the whole movie (see the video below):

Watch The Throne Album cover & Track Listing

1. No Church in The Wild (Feat. Frank Ocean)
2. Lift Off (Feat. Beyoncé)
3. Niggas in Paris
4. Otis (Feat. Otis Redding)
5. Gotta Have It
6. New Day
7. Prime Time
8. Who Gon Stop Me
9. Murder to Excellence
10. Welcome to The Jungle
11. Sweet Baby Jesus (Feat. Frank Ocean)
12. Love You So (Feat. Mr Hudson)

13. Illest Motherfucker Alive
14. H*A*M
15. That’s My Bitch
16. The Joy (Feat. Curtis Mayfield)

As you can see, the album has guest appearances by R&B/Hip Hop newcomer Frank Ocean, on two tracks and Beyonce on one.  As well as, repeat collaborator Mr. Hudson who was featured on Jay's "Forever Young" track.  Below are a few pics from the studio where Jay and Kanye have been creating the masterpiece.

To my Jay-Z and Kanye fans:
Have you been anticipating this high profile album?
Would you like to see Jay-Z and Kanye on tour?
Do you think the album will perform to all of the hype?