Categories
Books Hip-Hop Rap Reviews

Biggie Smalls Was the Illest – “It Was All a Dream” Book Review

There are different kinds of biographies.

Some attempt to tell the subject’s story objectively, recounting what happened and placing it in context, but without editorializing or offering opinion. Others are planned as hit pieces, hatchet jobs with a clear intent to damage the person. Still others come from a place of admiration, presenting the individual in a glowing light at every turn.

It’s difficult to tell what It Was All a Dream: Biggie and the World that Made Him by Justin Tinsley was originally aiming to be, but the final product certainly falls into that last category.

Categories
Hip-Hop Rap

The Greatest Year in Hip-Hop History

1

Of all the conversations and debates surrounding the best of the best in hip-hop — MC’s, groups, producers, labels — perhaps the most difficult to ascertain is what is the greatest year in hip-hop history. Let’s answer it with a 16-slot bracket tournament.

Categories
Hip-Hop Rap

Classic Non-Album Cuts: The Notorious B.I.G.

00.jpg

When the conversation of the greatest rappers of all time comes up, those crazy people that believe The Notorious B.I.G. should not be at or even near the top of the list point to the fact that he only released two albums in his lifetime.

Categories
Documentaries Films Hip-Hop Rap

My Five Favorite Hip-Hop Documentaries

1_Kc5sHIQ0gcRjb7WfYPsgxg

Documentaries – unfairly – have long been seen as a snob’s film of choice.

Categories
Hip-Hop Rap

Requiem for the Hip-Hop Soundtrack

rgae

Let us all bow our heads and take a moment to remember the hip-hop soundtrack.

Categories
Hip-Hop Nostalgia

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

mobb-deep-nas-raekwon

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

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

Categories
Hip-Hop Medium Uncategorized

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

a.jpeg

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
Flashback Friday Flop

Flashback Friday Flop: “Double Up”

51f7ew-yrpl

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: Mase’s Double Up (1999)

In hindsight, it’s fascinating to look back and see how quickly hip-hop changed from 1997 to 1999. Yes, the culture shifted when 2Pac and The Notorious B.I.G. were murdered within about a half-year of one another, but I’m talking about what happened after that.

Categories
Greatness Hip-Hop

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

8vypds.png

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.

Categories
Greatness Hip-Hop

Nas & The Notorious B.I.G. – What Could’ve Been

Nas-and-BIG

Nas and The Notorious B.I.G. are two of the greatest rappers in history.