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Hip Hop Connection

Hip Hop Connection

Hip-Hop discussion at its finest. Pretty much my views and opinions on the world of Hip-Hop. I encourage your input and comments to further each others Hip-Hop education. E-mail me if you are looking for any particular mp3's I may mention. Also, feel free to click on the mp3 links to listen.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Visualiza


It's been over a decade since AZ first came on the scene with what is arguably his most memorable verse in "Life's A Bitch" off of Nas' debut Illmatic (1994). But sadly where his career should've been at the level of Nas or Jay-Z, this man was barely hanging on the top 100 with his latest release A.W.O.L. and probably won't do much better with November 7th release, The Format. His 6th solo album to be released. Unlike most rappers, its not that AZ's material gets worse and eventually causing his sales to go down, its just lack of promotion and exposure. Back in the late 90's and maybe even up to 2001, you may be lucky enough to catch AZ on MTV or BET (usually the "Phone Tap" video). Today, the only time he will get noticed is on a few hip-hop forums that are around, praising him as the most under-rated lyricst. Which is the title he rightfully deserves. As a rapper that emerged at the same time as Jay-Z and Nas, he has maintained his talent uncompromised. And being that he has yet to establish himself in the mainstream, he seems to be just as hungry as he was back in '94. This is a true sign of a rapper doing it for the love of music. It must be, because after 12 years he still isn't seeing that Jay-Z money.

His failure of tapping the mainstream audience is good news for us. AZ may not know what the MTV crowd wants to hear but he does know what the true hip-hop fan wants. This is why his sound has stayed consistant with that New York style that made him who he is. Producers DJ Premier, Heatmakerz, and Emile have merged with AZ's flow perfectly in constantly and consistantly bringing satisfaction to AZ fans. In his latest effort, AZ once again has dropped a gem. That unfortunatley probably will go undiscovered.

Even though I think everyone should go out and buy the album, tracks have already leaked. What I got here are my favorites of what I heard so far. "Life" is a track produced by Heatmakerz but I'm not sure if it will be included in The Format. If anybody knows, let me know. After you hear it, you can always download it from zshare. By the way this may be the only place you can get "Life" on mp3.



Pre-order your copy of The Format at Amazon.com (below)

Monday, October 23, 2006

The Hip-Hop Honorables

Last week VH1 aired their annual Hip-Hop Honors. This is one show I always look forward to because they always manage to get the true hip-hop legends back on stage, even if it is for just one night. Of those honored I was looking forward to see the Beastie Boys, Rakim, and of course Wu-Tang on stage performing their classics. Others honored were Ice Cube, Eazy-E, Mc Lyte, and Russell Simmons. The whole show was great and I definetly look forward to next years show.

For anyone who has missed the show, I have uploaded my three favorite performance on YouTube for you to check out. Here they are:

Wu-Tang was definetly the one I was excited about most. They performed "C.R.E.A.M." and "Triumph" and the very end of the show. I was disappointed that Ghostface Killah wasn't with them though and I still haven't found out why he wasn't there.


Beastie Boys finally got an honor that night and came out and performed their classics over the original beats and Mix Master Mike sampled some others. It's good to see that the Beasties are still giving it their all when they perform.


Finally, I have here the legendary Rakim. A week before the Hip-Hop Honors aired, Rakim was here at a local D.C. club where he performed what apparently is gonna be his first single off his album slated to be released early next year. According to a Washington Post critic at the show, the single is called "It's Nothing" and a verse was performed at the Hip-Hop Honors. I've been trying to get my hands on this song but still can't find it. If anyone out there can help me out, I'd appreciate it.



Sunday, October 22, 2006

I'm Back

It's been about half a year since I lasted posted on this blog and to be honest I never planned on coming back. When I first started this blog, I had high hopes of creating a place where someone can come and visit to get the latest mp3's, video, and performances, along with my opinions and views on certain aspects of hip-hop. In the short time I was posting, I recieved a few emails requesting me to send them tracks and complimenting me on being the first to post some videos. But as time went by, I was losing interest in hip-hop and couldn't find anything to write about or anything to post. This summer really didn't bring anything worthy of even mentioning so I thought of just forgetting the whole blog deal and finding something else. But lately I've been seeing that hip-hop is getting back to how I like it. How I've been liking it. Jay-Z is back, Nas is ready to drop a new album, Lupe Fiasco finally released his great album (although nobody is buying it), and alot more is to come this year and onto the next. So I'm gonna try this again and hopefully get more visitors to keep me motivated to post as much stuff as I can.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

"D12's Proof, Shot and Killed"

I know I've been away for a while and haven't had the time to post anything for a while, but today there was the unfortunate news that D12's Proof was shot and killed this morning over a dispute that occurred the Triple C club in Detroit around 4:15 a.m.

Proof has been widely recognized as Eminem's hype-man and was seen everywhere Eminem was at, he was even Eminem's best man in his recent wedding. He also appeared in movie 8 Mile as the character Lil' Tic, who first battled Eminem's character in the beginning of the film.

As sad as it is to say, Proof, along with all of the D12 members other than Eminem, has not received much attention when it comes to sales. But in fact, Proof was noticed before Eminem by critics as winner of The Sources 1999 Unsigned Hype Award. Proof was also recognized as a battle rapper when he almost won the popular Blaze Battles aired on pay-per-view and HBO. Unfortunately, Proof's style and creativity was diluted by the time he debut with D12 on their first album Devil's Night. Efforts in releasing his solo album were halted many times, resulting in two mixtape releases, "I Miss the Hip-Hop Shop" (reference to the club D12 was first founded) and "Grown Man Shit". It wasn't until last year that Proof release his first solo album Searching For Jerry Garcia, which peaked on Billboard charts at 65.

What I expect to see now is people praise the dead, even though they weren't appreciated while living, which is usually done in the world of hip-hop. I also wouldn't be surprised if people all of a sudden praise him as the best rapper to come out of Detroit. As for Eminem, I'm sure he will write a song or two about his friend and make a hit about it and soon Proof will probably be thrown in the list of dead rappers mentioned at the end of each song.

Another thing I want to mention is that many people may see Royce Da 5'9" as a suspect behind the murder because of the on-going beef between D12 and Royce and the things seen on the Beef II DVD. But remember that what you see on these DVD's are always over-exaggerated and not to be taken too seriously. Even though their might be personal tension between both sides, the murdering a person is a move that few are willing to make. It takes more than words to make someone kill another man and Royce and Proof are both more responsible than that. Remember that Detroit is the most violent city in America so it could've been just about any guy out there with something to prove.

Monday, March 27, 2006

George Mason Goes To The Final Four

I know this is a hip-hop forum for discussion and I promise I'll keep it strictly for hip-hop but being that I'm a student at George Mason University, I want to congratulate the team for making the impossible, possible. Critics said that Mason wasn't even supposed to be in the tournament but they have made history and beat last year's Final Four team, Michigan St in the first round. Then they managed to shock everyone by beating last year's champion UNC. And today, they beat UConn, the number 1 seed of the region. Mason has never even passed the first round of the NCAA tournament but now have become a true cinderalla story because none of you reading this have probably even heard of George Mason until this last week. Now that they are in the Final Four, I believe anything is possible.

The Never Forgotten--Eazy-E


Whenever you hear rappers praise the dead, you usually hear the names: Biggie, Pac, occasionally Big Pun, and rarely Big L. For some reason, I never hear "Rest in peace Eazy-E" in any tracks.
Other than Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and sometimes, The Game, nobody really seems to care for Eazy-E. I guess it could be said that none of today's rappers ever worked with Eazy so don't really know him. Other than Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, today's rappers only knew Eazy through their music. Biggie, on the other hand, worked with alot of today's rappers, so did Pun. Tupac, for many reasons, is placed in a whole different level when it comes to being praised, as if every rapper has some kind of attachment to him, or at least wished they did. Yesterday marked the 11 year anniversary of his death from the AIDS virus and as a fan of his music and for what he did for the world of hip-hop, I will remember him even though he has been forgotten by many. After all, if it wasn't for this guy we probably wouldn't have Dr. Dre or Ice Cube. The image of hip-hop itself changed with the presence of Eazy-E and N.W.A.

Eazy-E's son, Lil' Eazy-E released a domcumentary about his father entitled The Life and Times of Eric Wright and is expected to release his own debut album sometime in the near future.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Common Performance at Hard Rock Live


I don't really have anything to post today so I just decided to post up some performances of Common at Hard Rock Live aired on MTV2 back in December. Common definetly did it big last year by significantly coming to mainstream's attention with his album Be. Now that he is signed to Kanye's Good Music label, his career will reach the status that has been overdue.

Unfortunatley he didn't pick up any of his four Grammy nominations but I know he is gonna come strong on his next album.

No word yet on when his next album will drop but I did hear that GOOD Music compilation album or mixtape will be released next month. If anyone knows if it will be an actual album released in stores, let me know.

Here is "The Corner" performance at Hard Rock Live for download.

Here is "Faithful & Testify" performance at Hard Rock Live for download.

If you don't want to download them and just watch, check them out at youtube.com

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The King of '06

Just like 50 Cent's name was everywhere last year with a successful album, (sales-wise at least) movie, video game and seen on every magazine; the self proclaimed King of the South, T.I. will have a very similar year. With an album due out in two weeks (March 28) as well as his big screen debut in the film ATL that very same week, you are gonna be seeing and hearing alot of T.I. His role in ATL wont be just any regular part, he will play the lead role. The film tells the story of a group of four friends who have just graduated from high school in Atlanta. 'ATL' spotlights the city's famed Jellybeans skating rink, a popular hangout not only for the teens in the film, but for T.I. as he grew up in Atlanta. The film was directed by music video director Chris Robinson and also stars Big Boi of Outkast, both also from Atlanta. If you haven't seen the commercials or trailers, go to the ATL official site and check it out. Based on what I read and seen from this movie, it might just be a typical story of a kid or group of kids who try to do something succesful to overcome the life of poverty and drug deals. Nothing special if you ask me, especially when it has been done hundreds of times. But maybe I'll be proven wrong.

As for T.I.' s fourth album, King will feature an elite cast of rappers such as Bun B and Rakim. His single "What You Know" is heavily rotating on radio and the video, which is also directed by Chris Robinson can be seen on MTV and BET.

T.I. has already been on the cover of XXL's April issue, featured on King magazine's May issue, and will be all over BET and MTV the next coming weeks. If you want the specifics on when you catch him on tv, check out the T.I. official fan site. Mobile provider Sprint has also partnered with T.I. to offer images, downloads and exclusive ringers from his upcoming album before it hits stores.

It seems like T.I. will be everywhere this spring, who knows maybe later this year we'll be seeing him on cover of GQ as Man of The Year like 50 was (just playing).

Check out his first single What You Know.mp3