Friday, July 30, 2010

Behind the Music: Lil Wayne


Throwback Video of the Day: Common - "Come Close"


Video of the Day: J. Cole - "Who Dat"


Thursday, July 29, 2010

New Video of the Day: Rick Ross ft. Styles P - "BMF"


50 Cent to go street Once Again

By The Hip Hop Writer
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer

After rethinking his Techno-influenced Black Magic album, 50 Cent has decided to return to the hardcore style that gained him fame. His previous effort, Before I Self Destruct, was supposed to put 50 back in the good graces with fans. Instead, he saw more and more long-term fans support Rick Ross in his beef against him.

50 Cent is not one to accept defeat, so he got his crew in order and told them to put their albums together. The result of his speech to the soliders of G-Unit was Lloyd Banks' hit, "Beamer, Benz, or Bentley." It has been a minor hit during the summer of 2010. Once 50 Cent finds a new deal for G-Unit, music from Tony Yayo will also come.

Upon getting the music out for Lloyd Banks and Tony Yayo, 50 Cent plans to secure a deal with a new label. Once the deal is set up, he wants to reintroduce fans into the reason he was the biggest mixtape rapper in the game. Some ten years ago, the underground music scene was bumping to 50 Cent's music. After being picked up by the big leagues, 50 went pop and his early fans have moved on to newer, tougher, rappers.

In an effort to win fans over, 50 Cent will take it back to the streets with his next album that will be released sometime next year.


Drake appreciates fans of Eminem, Jay-Z, and Lil Wayne

By The Hip Hop Writer
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer

Fresh off the success of his debut album, Drake is already thinking about the rest of his career. Already, people have compared him to the all-time greats. Not only does Drake want to go down in history, he also wants long-term commercial success.

With fame comes fans, but with fans also comes the media ready to bring you down. No star has experienced a run like the one Ja Rule had. But, on the other hand, no star has experienced a backlash like the one Ja Rule had. Drake wants to be the rapper to harness the fame and keep it.

There are certain artists who fall off, but they will always be popular as long as they release music. These artists are Jay-Z, Eminem, and Lil Wayne. Jay-Z has captivated fans from the start and he put together The Blueprint right as fans were ready to backlash. Eminem came into the game as a major star and took five years off during his peak to avoid oversaturating the music industry, now on his comeback, Slim Shady is back on top. Wayne, on the other hand, was a backburner on Cash Money and used solid mixtapes to make him into a star.

Because of the things those three rappers did to solidify themselves, no matter what they do, they will always be in good graces with the fans. Drake knows the fans of those three rappers are very loyal and he hopes his fans will be the same way towards him. This is likely to be the case as Drake is a part of Lil Wayne's camp and he has worked with both Eminem and Jay-Z, who was featured on his Thank Me Later album.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Video of the Day: Ludacris ft. Trey Songz - "Sex Room"


Rick Ross will outsell Eminem with "Teflon Don"

By The Hip Hop Writer
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer

Rick Ross' fourth studio album, Teflon Don, will defeat Eminem's latest effort, Recovery, to debut at number one on the album charts. Teflon Don is the second consecutive album from Ross to debut on top of the Billboard Hot 200. But, with his latest effort, the stakes were much higher.

Unlike in the past, Rick Ross released his album close to the release of a heavyweight. Going against Eminem has been a dream of Ross' for some time. While he has dreamed of going against Em, he has had plans of working with Dr. Dre. Now, finally becoming the boss of rap, he may earn that chance.

While working on Teflon Don, Rick Ross said the album would be a commercial and critical success. He said once the first single came out, it would rule the airwaves. Ross promised all of the singles from the album would result in being major hits, the lead single, "Super High" with Ne-Yo peaked at number 13 on the rap charts and his next single, "B.M.F.," has peaked at 17 on the same charts.

By the looks of things, Rick Ross has achieved everything he has ever wanted with the exception of a platinum plaque.


Lil Wayne preparing "Carter IV" from Behind Bars

By The Hip Hop Writer
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer

When Lil Wayne was first sentenced to prison, he promised he would record in prison. But after being caught with music on him, it was confiscated from him. Forced to improvise, the New Orleans rapper is still getting his music in. He memorizes all his raps, anyway, so it is not much on him to keep it bottled in.

Recently, during one of his breaks from prison life to speak with his adoring fans, Wayne unleashed some new rhymes. Actually, he performed the new verses for Drake. Since Lil Wayne has been in prison, it has been Drake holding things down. Proud of his product, the original Young Money star is plotting his comeback.

Drake was among the first to hear the new rhymes, prepared for the new Carter album. After hearing them, Drizzy confirmed to the public the new Lil Wayne verses were going to be in songs featured on Tha Carter IV. Before he actually went into the custody of the officers, Lil Wayne said there was a chance the album would be released before the end of this year. Set to come out in November, it is unclear when the album would be released to stores.


Throwback Video of the Day: 50 Cent ft. Olivia - "Candy Shop"

Released in 2005 as the second single from 50 Cent's second album, The Massacre, "Candy Shop" topped the Billboard Hot 100 early in 2005 and was a fixture on BET, MTV, VH1, and other video outlets throughout the early-goings of 2005. The song formally introduced Olivia to the public after being away from the spotlight for four years. "Candy Shop" was the first music video to feature Olivia.

(C) 2005 G-Unit/Interscope Records.


Young Jeezy wants to be Uncomparable

By The Hip Hop Writer
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer

Many rappers come into the game wanting to become the next big thing. Most rappers want to earn comparisons to the late legends, Biggie and Tupac. On the other hand, most white rappers are instantly compared to Eminem. There are not many who want to be outside of the box.

Earlier this year, Young Jeezy said it is time for hip hop to move on from the deaths of Biggie and Tupac. He said to never forget them, but to appreciate what is going on now. With that said, he wanted to be one of the new school legends. Jeezy said after the release of Thug Motivation 103, his legacy would be intact.

The upcoming album will not be compared to other classic albums. Most rappers often want their albums to be compared to the classic Blueprint by Jay-Z to solidify their legacy. Young Jeezy is not most rappers, with his next album and with his style, he is aiming to redefine rap the way Biggie, Tupac, Jay-Z, and Eminem have. After all, they did become legends by creating their own paths. Young Jeezy knows this and he is currently making his way through the game.


Fat Joe discusses Capitol Records split

By The Hip Hop Writer
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer

After releasing three albums with Capitol Records, Fat Joe abruptly left the label following the release of J.O.S.E., Pt. II. The album was supposed to be released early in 2009, but was delayed by Capitol, breaching the contract. Fat Joe signed a unique deal with the label in which they only distriubted his music.

With the album being the lowest-selling in his career, Fat Joe grew very angry with the label. In 2007, when he left Capitol, Chingy said the label is no place for a rapper. At the time, Mims disagreed, but he is also trying to leave the label. Upon joining there, Fat Joe praised the label and the deal they came up with, but he was glad to leave.

Fat Joe has finally decided to explain the change of heart. He said because of the music on the album, they were going to ruin him. They wanted Fat Joe to record another type of album and he refused. Capitol Records did not want to release the album and they did not want Fat Joe to leave for another label. After threatening to take legal action against the label, they let him out of the contract. Joey Crack said the label had planned to leave him out to dry.

Now with E1 Music, Fat Joe has released his tenth album, The Darkside, Vol. 1 today.


New Video of the Day: Nicki Minaj - "Your Love"


Monday, July 26, 2010

Grand Opening of the Hip Hop Vibe Store

By The Hip Hop Writer
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer

After months of rumors, the Hip Hop Vibe store has finally launched. The store will not be fully complete until the end of summer, but a few of the first products are ready to go. Recently, Hip Hop Vibe landed a deal with the New Jersey-based clothing line, Made Men Apparel to sell their products on the site. There are also a few other deals on the table and more products will be added to the store. But, for now, the only products sold in the store will be from Made Men Apparel.

In the near future, the Hip Hop Vibe store will also have such products as DVDs, albums, and many more similar products available. The Hip Hop Vibe store is accessible through the seventh tab on the navigational bar above. The new store is up and the products are available and can be purchased immediately, so please check it out while continuing to read the latest hip hop news and rumors, along with watching some of the latest videos and throwbacks.

The opening of the Hip Hop Vibe store is another move by TBT Entertainment Group to make Hip Hop Vibe into the top destination for everything hip hop. This is only one tiny step in what is a long run to the top of online hip hop. Watch us as we continue to grow.

Check out the Hip Hop Vibe store here.


Video of the Day: Young Jeezy - "Lose My Mind" ft. Plies


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Rick Ross battles with Eminem for the Top Spot

The Hip Hop Writer
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer

Rick Ross is finally coming into his own and is regarded by many as the most-popular rapper in the game. Over the past four years, he has really come a long way. When Rick Ross was just getting started, Eminem had taken a break from the game. Regarded as one of the most talented and popular artists, ever, Eminem was bored.

Right when Rick Ross began to make his move from being simply another Southern rapper to star, Eminem came back. Due to his break, the fans helped his comeback along. Ever since his 2009 comeback, Eminem has dominated radio alongside Rick Ross. Last fall, Rick Ross challenged Eminem to a beef.

After declaring "victory" over 50 Cent, Rick Ross felt it was time to move on to someone on his level. Eminem did not take the bait, having been through with feuds since his 2004 truce with Ja Rule. While Rick Ross did not recieve his wish in a lyrical feud, their albums, Teflon Don and Recovery are currently battling it out for the top spot. Rick Ross has held the spot through word of mouth and now it is time for the numbers.

Both albums are projected to sell upwards of 180,000 copies, but there is no guarantee about who will end up coming out on top.


Tony Yayo says "NO" to Game/G-Unit reunion

By The Hip Hop Writer
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer

Last year around this time, Game was igniting his feud with Jay-Z and still throwing shots at G-Unit. But, the shots were coming harder and harder. During this time, Game strengthened his alliance with Irv Gotti and Murder Inc. and reached out to Rick Ross. 50 Cent had been given up on Game.

Many hip hop critics feel Game is either bipolar or after attention due to the way he goes back and forth. In the latest turn of events, Game said he is ready to end the feud with G-Unit. He has said this in the past, but he wants to return to the group this time. Last fall, Game reunited with Dr. Dre and Aftermath Entertainment.

The comments made by Game were ignored by 50 Cent, but his trusty sidekick has issued a statement. Tony Yayo did not simply say no to a reunion with Game, instead he gave a loud "HELL NO!" to a reunion with Game. He said if they ever did anything together, he would get behind the wheel of the tour bus and run Game over. Last summer, Yayo made it clear he was not interested in playing the game with the Game.


DJ Khaled wants to work with Eminem

By The Hip Hop Writer
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer

In his short time in the game, DJ Khaled has become known for uniting the biggest names in hip hop. While the story goes untold, he was key in the explosion of Lil Wayne. Despite building stars, he did little to impress G-Unit. Three years ago, Khaled was involved in a feud with Young Buck.

Even though Young Buck would eventually make peace with him, there are still issues with 50 Cent. In the past, Eminem always stood by 50 Cent, but this changed in 2004. Ja Rule, a longtime rival of 50 Cent, ended up taking a stage with Eminem that year. As time has gone on, Eminem has worked with many of 50's foes.

DJ Khaled desperately wants to be on the list of 50 Cent rivals to record with Eminem. He promised fans if Eminem were to ever agree to doing a collaboration with him, they would put together classic material. Khaled is known for putting together anthems throughout the year. Each of them has dominated the radio in their time, but it is hard to pick a downright favorite DJ Khaled anthem.

DJ Khaled says if Eminem ever decides to give him a chance, their record would easily become the biggest anthem of all-time.


Friday, July 23, 2010

AutoFOCUS Show - 2011 Mustang V6.avi


DMX's wife separates from X

By Mark "D" Thomas
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer

It looks like Tashera Simmons is done with the rap star.
She has officially separated from the turbulent rapper and is planning a reality show focusing on her rebuilding their family without him.

The new reality show will be titled "Tashera Simmons….Life After X," and will give a firsthand account of how their family is coping with the rapper’s legal and drug problems and how they “cope with a husband and a father that has let them down over and over again."

She will also release a tell all book titled "Tashera Simmons…Strength of A Woman." Although the book will tell all about her life she wants to make it clear in not the typical “tell all”.

"It’s not a tell-all, I want to clear that up. It’s a memoir, it’s a story about our life, my life, and our life together,” she said.

“My side of the story, because I feel like in his book, he didn’t really get into detail to better explain it,” Tashera Simmons stated. “I think reading my book, it explains everything. I’m talking about everything, from my childhood when I was abandoned by my mother and left to take care of my siblings, to when me and Earl (DMX) first met at 11 and we got together at 18 and I’m starting from there until then on…It’s a positive tell all."


Throwback Video of the Day


Artists to Know: Brother Ali

By Mark "D" Thomas
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer

Brother Ali--an Albino hip hop star from Wisconsin? You bet.

A member of Rhymesayers Entertainment, Brother Ali has been making records since 2000, and his killer flow is not one to miss.

Due to his albinism, Ali always states that he felt a bit of an outcast within the white community, so he actually felt more comfortable growing up with many more black friends. This helped him gravitate toward hip hop, and his love of hip hop grew quick.

Here's a verse Ali spits about his color:
"They ask me if I’m black or white, I’m neither
Race is a made up thing, I don’t believe in it
My genes tie me to those that despise me
Made a livin’ killing the ones that inspired me
I ain’t just talkin’ bout singing and dancing
I was taught life and manhood by black men
So I'm a product of that understanding and a small part of me feels like I am them
Does that make a liar? Maybe.
But I don’t want the white folks that praise me to think that they can claim me
Cause you didn’t make me
You don’t appreciate what I know to be great, yet you relate to me
And that frustrates me and what can I say?
Cause I know that I benefit from something I hate
But make no mistake our connection ain’t fake
It’s never too late to clear off the slate
If you follow my tapes then you know what I’m about
If something comes up then it must come out."

Ali has released 5 total albums, a mixture of EP's and LP's. His first album never got much attention and remains as mostly an underground favorite, Rites of Passage, released in 2000. His latest LP, Us, released in 2009, reached #56 on the Billboard 200.

Brother Ali was the focus of some controversy with his hit single "Uncle Sam Goddamn" off of his 2007 LP, "The Undisputed Truth." The track is a captivating track chronicling Ali's opinion that the US is addicted to war. He got attention for the message as a whole, but also because he announced that the release of the track was interfered with by one of his tour sponsors, Verizon, who apparently weren't a big fan of parts of the song. They withdrew their sponsorship of his tour and caused him to have to cancel some parts of his tour.

Ali is a brilliant rapper not because he stands out as an albino male. He just is. Do yourself a favor and check him out, you won't regret it. He is currently about to start a tour on the west coast, so if any of you are out there, definitely check him out. I experienced him live opening for Atmosphere, and it was the greatest hip hop show I've ever been to.

Standout tracks: Uncle Sam Goddamn, Forest Whitaker, Babygirl, You Say(Puppy Love), Fresh Air


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Dr. Dre teams up with Justin Bieber

By The Hip Hop Writer
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer

Dr. Dre continues to expand his brand as he moves farther and farther outside of hip hop. The man was credited with inventing the sound that goes along with Gangsta rap. Had it not been for Dr. Dre, the tough beats on tracks by Tupac and Snoop Dogg may have never come to be.

Following his time with Death Row Records, Dr. Dre went into business by himself. His first post-Death Row track was "Been There, Done That," a heartfelt goodbye to Gangsta rap. A few years later, Dre added Eminem to the roster of his Aftermath label and the world has not been the same since.

Before the days of Eminem, no one would have predicted Dr. Dre working with white artists, regardless of the genre. Dr. Dre, like many other hip hop bosses, has proven to be a businessman first. Due to this, he works with anyone who is trying to do something different. In his book, talent is talent and this is the reason he has teamed up with Usher protege, Justin Bieber. He has been creating beats for the teen sensation for some time.

The collaboration has been kept under wraps, but Dr. Dre and Justin Bieber feel their work will go down in history books right beside G-Funk.


Dame Dash calls Jay-Z a Backstabber

By The Hip Hop Writer
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer

Not in a million years would anyone have guessed Dame Dash and Jay-Z would treat each other the way they do. For years, the duo ran the Roc-A-Fella empire. Before teaming with Dash, Jay-Z was a New York drug dealer. But, after sharing ideas, Jay-Z ended up becoming one of the most-renowned businessmen ever.

Initially, this was not the case as Dame Dash was the businessman, while Jay-Z was the star. Despite the way things were set up, Hov always wanted to run the show from the inside. After eight years of being together and making millions, Dame Dash and Jay-Z split up. Their split led to one of the biggest crumblings in hip hop.

Last year, the two openly spoke of each other for the first time since their break up. It appeared as if a reconciliation was near and rumors of them restarting Roc-A-Fella Records. Dash would work out a deal with Def Jam earlier this year to revive Roc-A-Fella, but Jay-Z remained with his new venture, Roc Nation.

Initially, Dame Dash said he could never diss Jay-Z because of the money they made together. But, after six years of playing nice, the gloves are coming off. Due to the way Jay-Z handled the situation with the Roc, Dash called his former friend and partner a "backstabber." Even with all the strides Jay-Z made to leave the underworld, Dash said he still has a criminal mentality. Dash came on and helped make Jay-Z into the figure he is today and Jay-Z stabbed him in the back when it was all over.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Throwback Video of the Day


Lil' Kim to appear on Dr. Dre's "Detox"

By The Hip Hop Writer
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer

Lil' Kim is finally watching things go her way. For the past few years, Kim has been upset with the hand she was dealt. This, more than any other reason, is why she began dissing Nicki Minaj. Now, though, Lil' Kim has a reason to be happy.

While Lil' Kim has been keeping herself relevant with her feud with the Young Money camp, Dr. Dre has been working hard. He has been working on Detox for a decade and is in the final stage of the album. The next step is finding collaborators.

In the past, multiple artists, including Lil Wayne and T.I., have been rumored to be on the album. The only confirmed guest for the album has been Jay-Z. Now, Eminem has been confirmed as a guest, along with Lil' Kim.

Due to the fact of Lil' Kim being out of the spotlight for five years and on the brink of irrelevance, it comes as a surprise to a lot of people that Dr. Dre chose her to be on his album. Currently a free agent looking for a record label, Kim may land in the Aftermath Entertainment stable.


50 Cent scraps "Black Magic" album

By The Hip Hop Writer
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer

Towards the end of 2008, Eminem and 50 Cent planned their comeback albums. Both rappers had decided to release albums before the end of 2008. But, after neither rapper could get a popular radio single, they decided to hold off until the next year to release albums.

Late in 2008, Eminem announced his plans to release Relapse and he soon announced plans for Relapse 2. Initially, Em's plan was to release two albums in the same year. Right after the announcement from Eminem, 50 Cent announced his plans of his long-awaited Before I Self Destruct album.

However, after 50 Cent began working on Before I Self Destruct, he announced plans for another album. He said the albums would be released on the heels of each other. Even during his back-and-forth with Interscope Records, 50 Cent announced he would begin working on his fifth studio album. For this album, 50 made plans to work outside of the box.

50 Cent said this new album, Black Magic, would be out of his element, featuring more pop recordings. The album was said to be coming before the end of 2010. As it appears more and more apparent of 50 Cent returning to Interscope Records, less and less talk has come about Black Magic. Finally, 50 Cent has come out to admit the album will not be coming. With everything going on, 50 Cent has not had much time to put in the quality time to record a good enough album. Because of this, he has scrapped Black Magic.

It seems more likely of 50 Cent to wait until sometime next year to record another album. Still, 50 Cent has not announced his label home.


Friday, July 16, 2010

On the Rise: Jo'Rias

By The Hip Hop Writer

Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer

For those who thought hip hop was dead, they have recieved their rude awakening. Not only is hip hop still alive and kicking, it is expanding. The hip hop scene has been dominated by New York and Los Angeles since its inception.

In the last decade, Atlanta made strides and is now a major region of hip hop. Houston made a strong run in 2005, but it did not last. But, there is a new movement coming from Boston, Massachusetts. Outside of Benzino, there have not been many rappers to make it big from Boston. The latest Boston act, Jo'Rias, hopes to break this tradition. A lot more than an average rapper, Jo'Rias has adapted to become an artist, he raps and sings.

Recently, he gave a bit of his time to Hip Hop Vibe to tell his story.

Q. Where did the name Jo'Rias come from?

A. Well, Joe comes from my first name Joseph. Rias come from the term Ria which is where sea levels rise relative to the land. This is how I feel people react when they listen to my music. When I show Excitement, the people feel my emotion and so on.

Q. Growing up, what music shaped you into the artist you are now?

A. Old school Artists such as, Mos Def, Tupac, Reggae was a big influence, and a few artists that are in the game today, Ludacris and Jay-Z. Last but not least Michael Jackson was a huge influence within my household. Even Micheal Bolton! My mother played his album, 'The One Thing,' religiously!

Q. Which artist, or artists, are your favorite right now?

A. I am recently really into the J. Cole movement. Trey Songz & Raheem Devaughn on the R&B Side. Gym Class Heroes on the more pop side. I am also really into a band called The Used. my favorite song is the "Taste of Ink." they keep my head bobbing.

Q. If you had to choose out of any artist in any genre, generation, dead or alive, who would you work with?

A. Of Course The King of Pop! Michael Jackson. No question. He is so influential and selfless that he inspired me to be the same way. if there's anyone who has changed my thoughts and opened my eyes to how this world can be a better place, it would have to be Michael himself. Rest in Peace Michael.

Q. Who do you feel is the best rapper in the game in 2010?

A. Well the way I see it is not who is the BEST rapper but who stays relevant and keeps coming with lines to keep you stuck within their world. My answer would have to be Lil Wayne, because even though he is locked up he still keeps contact with his fans and new music is still coming out! His albums are top-selling. He is just Raw talent. Free Weezy.

Q.Ten years from now, where do you see yourself?

A. I see myself onstage performing for Millions of Fans. Traveling around the world and becoming a sponsor for my native country Haiti, God Bless the lost souls. I am on a mission to live life on the EDGE, Skydiving and Climbing mountains. The whole nine.

Q. Seeing that you are from Boston, how much did the vibe in New York City affect you?

A. The vibe has affected me in a lot of ways. Feels like when you touchdown in NY, it's a world within its own. It's a Big State and very busy. But yet it keeps me relevant with all the music and news that I need. The city that never sleeps is the best term for NY. Beautiful State.

Q. When do you plan to release an album or mixtape?

A. I plan to release my first mixtape by Late September. My website will cover all the details about it. So make sure you stay tuned. Talking to the people out there!

Q. When you become a major star, will you return for more interviews with Hip Hop Vibe?

A. Most Definitely.This is my first interview and I appreciate your interest in my Art and Talent. Check out the Jo'Rias Music Page at Also Follow me on Twitter @Jorias101 to stay updated on the movement! Search "Jo'Rias" on

Thank you Hip Hop Vibe for this oppurtunity and i'm looking forward to more.

Thank you Mom, My #1 inspiration, without you i would be lost. I Love you. I would also like to give a shoutout to my management team, 6 Legacy Management, We on the come up!! Shoutouts to BlakFace, collabing with them be on the lookout! And all my fans and soon to be fans. My Family! My Right Hand Nate, Fresshhh!! Thank you again, Peace and Love, Jo'Rias.

Jo'Rias - "I Gotta Feeling (remix)"


New DJ Hero coming this fall

By Mark "D" Thomas
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer

DJ Hero, a big hit for multiplatform videogame systems last fall, is set to wow audiences again with its sequel, DJ Hero 2.

From hip-hop heavyweights like Eminem, Dr. Dre, 50 Cent, and LL Cool J, to pop chart toppers like Lady Gaga and Rihanna, to even techno superstars Deadmau5 and David Guetta, they've enlisted over 100 of today's hottest artists to provide music for the game's soundtrack.

In the original DJ Hero, hip hop fans who've never had a chance to be behind a DJ booth got the chance to try it out videogame style, with a DJ turntable peripheral controller. Reviews were stellar across the board, so it was only a matter of time before a sequel came to be.

New features this time around include multiplayer game modes and full microphone support. Many new game modes featured include DJ Battles and Party Play, which will pit you with or against against other DJ's. Another new mode included is Empire Mode, in which a single player embarks on a campaign to attempt to become the head of an entertainment empire.

DJ Hero 2 should be another raucous success for its creator, Activision, creator of the Guitar Hero series. It is set for release in October, and will be available for the Nintendo Wii, XBox360, and Playstation 3.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Artists to Know: Aesop Rock

By Mark "D" Thomas
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer

Aesop Rock is a rapper and producer that was at the forefront of the underground and alternative hip hop movement of the late 90's and early 2000's. Named from a character he played in a movie, Aesop is known for a very unusual big word heavy hip hop style, but his rhymes will blow you away.

Aesop has five full length LP's to his name. Music for Earthworms(1997), Float(2000), Labor Days(2001), Bazooka Tooth(2003), and None Shall Pass(2007). He has a new LP planned to be dropped in 2010.

He is also a member of the hip hop group the Weathermen, which includes himself, Tame One, Cage, Yak Ballz, El-P, and Breeze Brewin. They released a mixtape in 2003, and plan to release a full length LP in 2010.

Aesop has always been at the forefront of the underground movement, but probably made his most noise with his 2001 Labor Days album, due to the single "Daylight." Aesop is a very abstract artist that may not be the easiest or most pleasant to listen to, but if you are a fan of impressive wordplay, he is definitely worth a shot.

My favorite hip hop line ever comes courtesy of Aesop, from the track Daylight. "Life's not a bitch/life is a beautiful woman/you only call her a bitch, cuz she won't let you get that p**sy/maybe she didn't feel y'all shared any similar interests/or maybe you're just an asshole who couldn't sweet talk the princess"

That is a great representation of Aesop--brilliant wordplay, funny, just mad talented. Do yourself a favor and give it a shot--he can be hard to get into, and may not be for everyone, but if you give it a try I bet you get hooked.

Best tracks: "Daylight" "No Regrets" "The Mayor and the Crook"

Here's the audio only youtube for "Daylight"


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Artists to know: Atmosphere

By Mark "D" Thomas
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer

Atmosphere is a 2 man rap group from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Formed in 1993 as a 3 man group, frontman MC Slug, MC Spawn, and DJ Ant, Spawn left in 1997 after their first LP release, "Overcast." Now running as a 2 piece group, Slug can blow you away with deep ass tracks one minute and hilarity in the next.

Atmosphere has released 6 full length LP's and countless EP's, which are often available as free online downloads. Atmosphere's LP's include their debut album Overcast(1997), Lucy Ford(2001), God Loves Ugly(2002), Seven's Travels(2003), You Can't Imagine How Much Fun We're Having(2005), and When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold(2008). Atmosphere records under the independent hip hop label Rhymesayers, which they helped co-create. Many other talented artists come from the Rhymesayers label.

Atmosphere is one of the most successful underground/indie hip hop groups around, because they tour nonstop. I had the privilege of seeing them perform last year at the National in Richmond, Va, and they were absolutely incredible. They have had many years to practice--they spend countless months of the year touring the country performing at venues all over the US.

Slug is not a white MC trying to be Eminem--his rhyming style is nothing close to Em. He loves to use deep metaphors to represent a myriad of topics, but most frequent are alcohol and drug abuse, and number one, women.

Slug has also made 3 albums as a side project with the rapper Murs, under which they call themselves Felt. Those 3 albums are jokingly titled "Tribute to...." and a female celebrity's name, but there is no relevance to that within the actual album. It is not believed that they are mocking the celebrities, but rather just a silly random pick a name out of a hat kind of album titling. The three albums are Felt: A Tribute to Christina Ricci(2002), Felt 2: A Tribute to Lisa Bonet(2005), and Felt 3: A Tribute to Rosie Perez(2009). Currently they are at work on their 4th, currently titled Felt 4: A Tribute to Heidi Fleiss.

One of my favorite lines from an Atmosphere track comes from the album title track "God Loves Ugly." "If it's all about gettin down with the get down/how long I gotta wait for these fools to sit down?" Slug isn't bragadocious like most MC's in current hip hop, but that's kinda the point here. He loves good quality hip hop, and doesn't have much patience for the negative direction much of hip hop has gone in. And he's definitely not willing to compromise what Atmosphere is, ever. It's a large reason why he has mostly tried to keep Atmosphere underground, though their talent has led them to more recently getting attention from the mainstream.

I could talk for days on what makes Atmosphere so hot, but really you just gotta go check them out for yourself. You really can't go wrong with any of the albums, but top 2 in my book have to be "God Loves Ugly" and "When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold." Atmosphere IS what hip hop should be all about--not trying to be a fake thug, not trying to send bad messages out to the world. Just looking to share some messages, both serious and comical, trying to have fun and live life through great hip hop. Atmosphere bleeds hip hop--do yourself a favor and go enjoy.

Best Tracks: "God Loves Ugly" "The Woman With The Tattooed Hands" "Say Hey There" F**k You Lucy" "Shoes" "Trying to Find A Balance."


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Slaughterhouse to Shady Records?

By Mark "D" Thomas
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer

Rampant speculation about Slaughterhouse's status has come full tilt, as rumors are increasing rapidly that they have or are about to sign with Eminem's Shady Records. Twitter feeds from members have been leaking out possible clues to whether or not this is coming to life.

The first was Crooked I (@TheRealCrookedI), who wrote, "Jus got great news from @kino1 #MusicIsMyLife I'm bout to celebrate w/ a shot of johnny walker blue.. #Cheers"

Hours later, Joe Budden(@mousebudden) made a similar, seemingly more telling revelation. "UH OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH, DONE DEAL ...... literally (about time too, i miss rapping, lol)"

The posts could mean that Slaughterhouse, comprised of Budden, Crooked I, Royce Da 5'9" and Joell Ortiz, has found a home on Shady Records. Speculation of a forthcoming signing began as soon as as the group was formed, given that it was announced that Eminem and Royce had squashed their very long standing beef . The talk greatly escalated with Slaughterhouse's cameo appearance in the "Forever" video, which highlighted many artists including Em.


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Where are all the concertgoers?

By Mark "D" Thomas
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer

This summer, over 40% of tickets across the music industry are going unsold...why aren't people going to concerts anymore? With summer tours happening with the likes of Rihanna, Limpbizkit, Maxwell, Pitbull, Black Eyed Peas, and so many more, it's a shame to see that many are having to cancel dates from their summer tours.

The struggling economy is to blame for much of this. Individuals are taking closer stock of what they spend their money on, and concerts are a luxury that many are passing on in exchange for more practical, necessary items.

Musicians are looking to concerts to make up for extremely dwindling record sales due to online piracy, and it has worked in bunches throughout the last few years. However, this summer does not look to be so kind to many artists. The only artists still finding great success with concerts are tween artists such as Taylor Swift and Justin Beiber. But that doesn't go all the way across the board, as even The Jonas Brothers and the American Idol tour has had to cancel many tour dates due to struggling sales.

As a consumer, all I would say is I love live music and think there is nothing better in the world than taking in a great concert--but bring down the ticket prices! In a struggling economy, the industry would both help itself and help consumers by lowering prices and not have to cancel so many shows in exchange. Food for thought.


Friday, July 9, 2010

A true passion for Hip-Hop!

By Ru-Dee
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer

Today's hip-hop artist Alexander Melamid, is one in which you might have heard of. If not one thing to be mentioned with his name is SotsArt, which is short fort Socialist Art. If any artist today is Hip-Hop it would be this man, why? Well after Melamid parted ways in 2003 with friend and partner Vitaly Komar, shortly after his son placed him into his future. 

His first born son Dan introduced Melamid into the vibrant world of Music, but Hip-Hip in particular. Not only that but also since then his client list has been overflowing with flavor. Doing self portraits for Russell Simmons, Marc Ecko, Kanye West and much much more. One of his most recent shows since the split with komar include "Holy Hip-Hop!" which is at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Detroit Michigan.

But why is this artist so well renowned? His art style is second to none, his work seems to just have that extra bit of flavor and vibe. In a sense his work is a reflection of the Hip-Hop culture. Capturing the essence of what true Hip-Hop is, not just the music but the lifestyle. One point to notice is his color palette, he expresses such raw emotion, yet in most of his works he use muted dulled down colors. Truly this is one artist that knows and understands the life known as Hip-Hop.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Suge in trouble with the law, again?!

By Mark "D" Thomas
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer

Hip hop mogul Marion "Suge" Knight is wanted by police after allegedly skipping a court hearing last week. The former Death Row Records boss was due to appear in court in relation to a charge of driving on a suspended license, according to court documents obtained by

The website reports Suge Knight never showed up for the hearing and is now facing arrest. It is the latest in a long line of legal problems he has faced in recent months. Knight was arrested in May on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, and late last month he was given a restraining order after an associate alleged Knight had threatened him.


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Hip Hop Drama, the G-Unit Version, Young Buck goes at 50 Cent again

By Mark "D" Thomas
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer

Why am I not surprised that once again 50 Cent is in the middle of hip hop beefing? This week, it's ex G-Unit member, Young Buck. Not sure what 50 did to Buck, but apparently this has gotten serious. Young Buck got on stage and let everyone know that he will not be getting back with G-Unit. "F**k G-Unit," Buck shouted to the crowd, and he let the crowd know he and 50 still have unfinished business. Seems as if Buck is ready to go to war, and he admits that he will not stop till one of them is dead.

Let's hope this hip hop feud can fade out quick. We don't need any more hip hop violence.


Monday, July 5, 2010

Album Review: Eminem - "Recovery"

By Mark Thomas
Hip Hop Vibe staff writer

Everyone out there checked out the new Eminem album, Recovery? Well if not...what the hell are you waiting for? Em is back, and now we're talking about the true Em, the old school Em we all knew and loved.

Em's last two albums left a bit to be tired--funny and entertaining as always, with some great punchlines that we always come to expect--but the overall experience left a lot to be desired. Relying too much on celebrity punching bag topics and the "Triumph the Insult Comic Dog" voice, the overall effect of his last album, "Relapse" and the previous "Encore" was a letdown to a lot of his hardcore fans, myself being one of the many.

Fans disappointed by those two albums can rejoice--he truly is back, bringing both his wit and humor with savage punchlines, but also some heavy and deep poignancy throughout the album. Women and relationships reign heavy as topic for the album, displayed in many tracks throughout. A new aspect to Eminem he has never tried on a studio album before is female guest spots. Two are featured on this album, Pink on the track "Won't Back Down" and Rihanna on the track(now receiving radio play), "Love the Way You Lie." Personally I am a definite fan of both, but the Rihanna track stands out as easily one of the top 3 tracks on the album, with a great beat, catchy chorus from Rihanna, and powerful lyrics. It's a tale of the deep love and hate of a chaotic relationship, with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, and it's a heavy hitter with great Em verses and the beautiful voice of Rihanna on the chorus.

I try to pick only a few favorite tracks, but that's near impossible for me. It's easier to pick my least favorite tracks to be honest. "Cold Wind Blows," the album opener, for me is too much a return to what I consider the 'bad Eminem,' the one who relies on nonsensicality and vulgarity not with purpose, but just to be off the wall. While it can hit a home run at times if clever, too often he just comes off gross and nonsensical. It may be enertaining for some, but I prefer the clever Eminem, whose punchlines, humor and wit are unmatched in 95% of current hip hop. The only other track that doesn't wow me, but certainly isn't terrible, is "So Bad." Again, nothing terrible about it, but it just doesn't have much of a 'wow' factor about it.

I will mention my definitive favorite tracks on Recovery. Hands down favorite is "Almost Famous"--just chock full of incredible punchlines, wit and charm. A track about Em's warnings to anyone out there who craves the life of fame. Another brilliant track is "Space Bound," an outer space quirky love track about being so in love with someone who, when she stops loving him, he can't live any longer. The aforementioned "Love the Way You Lie" is probably the catchiest and most addictive track on the album, with a great beat, catchy hook, and powerful relationship message. And finally, myself being a fan often of Em's heavier tracks, I do love both the Ozzy Osbourne sampled track "Going Through Changes," and the album closer(minus bonus tracks), "You're Never Over." Both cover a range of topics of the challenges in Em's life with his divorce and separation from his wife Kim, the challenges of raising his daughter in that environment, and the loss of his best friend and member of D12, Proof.

I could write so much more, but that would be slowing you down from what you should be doing if you haven't already--going out and getting this album! If you truly love hip hop, you won't be disappointed. Em was a bit of a letdown with his previous two, but he is BACK in a big way. Enjoy.


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