Flashback Friday Flop: “Forever”

4ever

Welcome back to the latest edition of Flashback Friday Flop, a weekly feature in which I examine a hip-hop album from years ago that was considered a flop, either critically or commercially or both, when it was released and see if it has gotten better – or worse – over time. 

This week: Puff Daddy’s Forever (1999)

In 1997, Puff Daddy ran hip-hop and, to an extent, all of popular music. That year, his label, Bad Boy Records, released three albums – The Notorious B.I.G.’s Life After Death (10 million sold), Mase’s Harlem World (4 million), and No Way Out (7 million), courtesy of Puff Daddy and the Family – that combined to sell twenty-one million copies and birthed the Shiny Suit Era. As Suge Knight had predicted, the CEO became the star.

But his reign on the top was short like leprechauns.

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In Appreciation of: Kool G Rap

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“Hearing me is like hearing G Rap in his prime”

– Jay-Z, “Encore”

If there were a Mount Rushmore of pre-’90s, Golden Era hip-hop, the four heads would belong to Rakim, KRS-One, Big Daddy Kane, and Kool G Rap. While the first three are often referenced, it unfortunately seems like many casual fans are unaware of how truly great and important G Rap was, even though he has been mentioned as an influence to an entire generation of emcees, including the greats like Nas, Eminem, Big Pun, Jay-Z, and others.

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Rap Foes Turned Friends

jiggalaughback

For my latest piece on The Musical Outcast, I look at hip-hop enemies that reconciled and worked together.

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Christopher Pierznik is the author of eight books, all of which can be purchased in paperback and Kindle. His work has appeared on XXL, Cuepoint, Business Insider, The Cauldron, and many more. He has been quoted on Buzzfeed and Deadspin. Subscribe to his monthly reading review newsletter or follow him on Facebook or Twitter.

Flashback Friday Flop: “14 Shots to the Dome”

14

Welcome back to the latest edition of Flashback Friday Flop, a weekly feature in which I examine a hip-hop album from years ago that was considered a flop, either critically or commercially or both, when it was released and see if it has gotten better – or worse – over time. 

This week: LL Cool J’s 14 Shots to the Dome (1993)

LL Cool J has had one of the longest, greatest, and most complicated careers in hip-hop history. As I wrote on the 30th anniversary of his debut album: “His first twelve albums all went gold or better, with seven of the first eight going platinum. He’s had nine albums reach the top ten of the Billboard 200. He’s had four platinum and six gold singles with six top ten hits on the Billboard Hot 100 and two more as a featured artist. His albums have been in the top 25 on the Billboard 200 chart in four different decades and have gone platinum in three different decades. He’s been nominated for nine Grammy awards, of which he won two, and also received the MTV Video Vanguard Award. He’s a legend.

Continue reading “Flashback Friday Flop: “14 Shots to the Dome””