Categories
Hip-Hop Nostalgia

Queensbridge to Shaolin: The Mobb Deep-Nas-Raekwon Connection

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“In the jungle, banging Nas, Mobb Deep, and Wu”

Since 1995, there has been a connection between Nas, Mobb Deep, and Raekwon.

Categories
Books Life Nostalgia Passion

When Collecting Becomes an Obsession

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Like many ’80s babies, I was a huge card collector when I was kid. I bought, sold, and traded baseball, basketball, football, and even some hockey cards with my friends. We’d have card collecting parties where everyone would bring boxes of the cards with which they were willing to part and we’d act like we were in an adolescent version of Boiler Room.

Categories
Hip-Hop Medium Uncategorized

Nineteen Ninety-Sex: The Year of Rap’s Femme Fatales

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I used to be scared of the dick/Now I throw lips to the shit, handle it like a real bitch

Lil’ Kim was 22-years-old on November 12, 1996, when she uttered those lines, the first lyrics on her debut album, Hard Core. Just one week later, 18-year-old Foxy Brown released her own debut, Ill Na Na, and together the two Brooklyn College Academy alumni set the course for female emcees for the next two decades, changing the way women in hip-hop present themselves to the world — and how they are received by it.

From the cover photos to the lyrics to the album titles, almost nothing was left to the imagination, and with their lethal combination of sexy and street, they easily appealed to fans from both genders.

While Kim and Foxy may not have been the first female hip-hop artists to use their looks as their strongest weapon, they were certainly the most visible and, at least up until that point, the most successful.

Categories
Week in Review

Week in Review (February 5, 2016)

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The Philadelphia Eagles have never won a Super Bowl.

Categories
Flashback Friday Flop

Flashback Friday Flop: “For All Seasons”

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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: Nature’s For All Seasons (2000)

The first time many people heard of Nature was when he replaced Cormega as the fourth member of The Firm in 1997. While that project fell far short of expectations, it did debut atop the Billboard 200 and would eventually be certified platinum, exposing fans of Nas, AZ, and Foxy Brown, to this young spitter who performed admirably, even if he was unable to steal the show.

Categories
Greatness NBA Nostalgia

Remembering When Kobe Bryant Won the Slam Dunk Contest

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Today, Kobe Bryant is one of the elder statesmen of the NBA and next weekend his career will be celebrated at his 18th and final All-Star game. Like Peyton Manning, he now relies on his intelligence and guile rather than his athleticism to keep competing against the young upstarts.

Things were very different in 1997.

Categories
Artist Books Life Passion

Whatever You Do, Do It for Yourself

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Over the weekend, I attended a reception near my hometown for Blydyn Square Books, a small publisher in the area that I first became aware of when I reviewed one of the first books it released, a novel by Everett De Morier titled Thirty-Three Cecils.

Categories
Life Nostalgia

Sweet Home Pennsylvania

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It’s not even on Google Street View.

About a mile from the home in which I grew up, Google decided they had seen enough and turned onto (more of) a main road. And after my parents sold that house in 2007, I’ve never had a reason to go back, so the place I called home for a quarter-century only remained in my memories.