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Flashback Friday Flop

Flashback Friday Flop: “The Best of Both Worlds”

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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: Jay-Z & R. Kelly’s

The Best of Both Worlds (2002)

In May, 2001 Jay-Z kicked off the remix to R. Kelly’s “Fiesta.” It was a great record, one that became the most popular R&B/Hip-Hop song of 2001 according to Billboard. The two had worked together several times before that. First, they had linked up, along with Changing Faces, for “All of My Days” off the Space Jam soundtrack in 1996, as well as a posse cut, “We Ride,” alongside Cam’Ron, Noreaga, and Vegas Cats on Kelly’s 1998 double album, R. before working on “Guilty Until Proven Innocent” from Jay’s 2000 album, The Dynasty: Roc La Familia album.

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I Was There

I Was There: Drinking Wu-Tang Beer with Inspectah Deck

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The Wu-Tang Clan has been referred to as hip-hop’s answer to The Rolling Stones. From their classic output to their logo to their lasting impact to their longevity to their popular live shows to the lukewarm response to their later albums, they are rap’s version of older rockers.

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Greatness Hip-Hop

Collaborations of Busta Rhymes, Jay-Z, B.I.G. & DMX – All of Whom Went to High School Together

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There have been a multitude of studies and stories done on the connection between geography and success. In the history of hip-hop, one of the most fertile grounds for superstars has been Brooklyn. For proof, think about the fact that Busta Rhymes, Jay-Z, The Notorious B.I.G. and DMX all went to George Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High School together.

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Flashback Friday Flop

Flashback Friday Flop: “Blood in My Eye”

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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: Ja Rule’s Blood in My Eye (2003)

From 1999 – 2002, Ja Rule released four albums, all of which went platinum with two of them reaching triple platinum status. He mixed the street with the charts and became a hit machine, breaking through into the mainstream with 2000’s “Put It On Me.” His combination of singing and rapping helped bridge two separate styles that often needed a collaboration to pull it off. Ja could do it on his own.

Categories
Hip-Hop

Canibus, Big Pun, DMX, Mos Def, Mic Geronimo & John Forte Surprise Cypher [1997]

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What began as a simple roundtable discussion with some up and coming rappers quickly turned into a cypher.

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Week in Review

Week in Review (October 23, 2015)

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I’m going into Manhattan for a close friend’s birthday party tomorrow night. I’ve lived here for over a year and I’m only a half-hour train ride from Penn Station, but I still have only gone into NYC a handful of times. It’s weird.

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Flashback Friday Flop

Flashback Friday Flop: “Tha Doggfather”

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This is the first entry of Flashback Friday Flop, a weekly feature in which I will 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. I’ve done this sort of thing before – regarding The Firm album back in 2012 as well as a book defending a few artists and projects that I feel were overlooked, but these projects will all be new territory for me.

This week: Snoop Doggy Dogg’s Tha Doggfather (1996)

It’s clear that Dr. Dre saw what was coming. He left Death Row Records, the label he co-founded, with no equipment, no masters, no artists, nothing. That was the price he paid to be allowed to leave his own company. And he did it willingly.

Among the people he left behind was his star protégé, Snoop Doggy Dogg, who had just been acquitted of murder and was prepping his long-awaited and highly-anticipated second album.

Categories
Hip-Hop Music

Jay Electronica Should Never Release an Album

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Jay Electronica’s “Exhibit C” was a masterpiece, “a magical moment—one he nor any other rapper in the past five years could top,” but it came out in December, 2009. We’re approaching the sixth anniversary of its release and all Jay has given us in the intervening years are some (admittedly pretty great) guest appearances and songs.

Categories
Greatness Hip-Hop

LL Cool J – “Mama Said Knock You Out” Live on “Showtime at the Apollo” [1991]

Although he’s now know more for acting and hosting, LL Cool J is one of the greatest artists in hip-hop history and he used to put on a hell of a show. This performance of “Mama Said Knock You Out” on Showtime at the Apollo is nothing short of fantastic.


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.

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Greatness Hip-Hop

20 Classic Hip-Hop Songs for Casual Fans

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As a favor – one that you did not ask for – I’ve compiled a list of twenty songs that I think casual hip-hop fans should know.