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The Rock is in the Building…Chris Rock that is.

Courtesy of http://slumz.boxden.com

Courtesy of http://slumz.boxden.com

This years BET Awards was filled with many surprise performances including Jhene Aiko taking the stage with Grammy Award Winner John Legend to sing her hit “The Worst”, to Trey Songz joining August Alsina to perform their single “I Love This” along with the now husky figured Chris Brown pictured below.

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The Boyz-N-the-Hood take it to the small screen

Courtesy of allhiphop.com

Courtesy of allhiphop.com

With all the fuzz surrounding TV movies this summer, you would never guess that California’s very own N***az With Attitude, would be one of them.

Just last week Lifetime released actress/singer Zendaya to star as Aaliyah in the Aaliyah: Princess of R&B biopic.

A week prior to that, Lifetime revealed that model and actress Yaya DaCosta will be playing the world renowned Pop Queen, R&B Sensation, Whitney Houston in the self titled biopic, Whitney Houston (working title).  The film will be directed by Oscar-award winner Angela Bassett, who starred alongside Whitney in the 1995 film “Waiting to Exhale”.

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from IMDb.com

from IMDb.com

This past weekend 22 Jump Street starring Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill and Ice Cube, beat out How To Train Your Dragon 2 for top spot at the box office and earned the movie the title of second highest grossing R-Rated Comedy in history. We’re all well aware that Cube has more than a few notches in his belt as a star in Hollywood, from the Friday series to All About The Benjamins to Anaconda to Are We There Yet to his first role on Boyz N The Hood. It got us to thinking about some movies featuring some of Hip Hop’s greatest emcees that everyone should watch at least once. Here’s a list of 10: by no means definitive, but a few of the best.

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10 Greatest Hip-Hop Beefs
In no particular order…


Shady Aftermath vs Murder Inc

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This feud started when Ja Rule saw 50 Cent hanging out with a guy who had once robbed him, so Ja took to a track to diss 50. The beef spread from there, involving entire labels. One of the more infamous aspects of this feud was when Ja Rule said Eminem’s daughter’s name on one of his tracks. It quickly spiraled from there.


Lil’ Kim vs Nicki Minaj

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Lil’ Kim was great back in the day, but years went by and then Nicki Minaj came onto the scene. The entire beef was about how Lil’ Kim felt that Nicki was copying her style, and Nicki denied it. According to Nicki, she saw Kim at a Lil’ Wayne show and tried to squash the beef. That, to her face, Kim claimed that they were good. Yet on her track “Roman’s Revenge”, Nicki makes a comment about has-beens that most assumed was about Kim. Kim then called Nicki a gimmick and a wannabe. Classic.


Nas vs Jay-Z

JayzNasVersus

Nas vs. Jay Z is one of the more famous of all hip-hop feuds. This beef started shortly after the East Coast/West Coast problems when Jay Z said in a line “Ask Nas, he don’t want it with Hov, No!” The beef escalated from there and lasted over 5 years before resolving in 2006. Since then, Jay Z and Nas have featured on each other’s tracks, and Jay Z even joined Nas during his stage at Coachella this year.


Kanye West vs Ray J

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Everyone knows about Ray J and Kim Kardashian’s former relationship. Yet when Kim and Kanye got together, Ray J wanted to make sure that no one forgot it. Ray released a song called “Hit It First” which featured a pixelated image of Kim in a bikini on the artwork. Kanye fired back while on ‘Late Night With Jimmy Fallon’, calling Ray J “lame”. Even recently, it was reported that Ray J was going to give Kimye, as a wedding present, all of the proceeds from his sex tape with Kim.


Frank Ocean vs Chris Brown

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Last year, shortly before The Grammys, Chris Brown and Frank Ocean got into a fight outside of a Los Angeles studio – allegedly over a parking space. Some say that Chris started the beef by throwing homophobic slurs at Frank, while others say that Chris tried to shake Frank’s hand and Frank started the fight because Chris was at his studio, in his parking space. Later that night Frank took to Twitter to claim that he was jumped by Chris, but we might never know how this fight was truly started.


Eazy E vs Dr Dre

dreeazye

Both Eazy-E and Dre were members of NWA before they disbanded. It was a nasty breakup, and the two traded diss tracks. Eazy claimed that Dre never really lived through the “harsh realities” of the hood. Eazy then rapped about Dre dressing in drag while a member of World Class Wrecking Cru’. He even put out an image of Dre in mascara and high heels.


2Pac vs Biggie

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This was the beef that involved an entire country, pitting coasts against each other. It started when Tupac was shot down while in New York, ultimately blaming Biggie and Diddy for the attack. While this is undoubtedly the most notorious hip-hop beef, the one that affected the most amount of people, ended in worst ways. Both Tupac and Biggie were shot and killed within 6 months of each other.


LL Cool J vs Canibus

llcooljcannibus

LL and Canibus had a lyrical feud, starting over lines that Canibus put on the track “4, 3, 2, 1″. Canibus rapped “L, is that a mic on your arm? Let me borrow that.” When LL asked Canibus to change the lyrics, Canibus agreed as long as Cool J also changed his own lyrics. The two continued to trade insults, but Canibus sold less and less records and never achieved commercial success – some say in part because of his feud with Cool J.


50 Cent vs The Game

game50centVersus

The Game was brought onto Aftermath Records, and then shortly after joined 50 Cent’s group, G-Unit. Tensions came to a head when 50 Cent’s second album was pushed back for the release of The Game’s debut album, followed by 50 refusing to sit next to The Game during his music video for “Hate It or Love It”. 50 Cent then announced that The Game was being removed from G-Unit on air, at the same station that The Game had done an interview for earlier in the day. When The Game tried to re-enter the building, a member of his entourage was shot in the leg by a security guard. The feud has continued, despite reconciliation attempts, and even as recently as march of this year Game had dissed 50.


and my personal favorite…. Chief Keef vs Katy Perry

keefperry

In May of last year, Katy Perry took to Twitter to say that Chief Keef’s song “I Hate Bein’ Sober” gave her “serious doubt for the world”. Chief Keef saw the tweet, and responded by saying he would “slap the s–t out of her” along with some other vulgar things. Katy quickly recanted by saying she was a fan of his, didn’t know it was his song, and that she mostly meant she was disappointed in “our generation’s desire to be constantly intoxicated.” This was one of the most ridiculous beefs I’d ever witnessed, but hysterical just the same.


Which beef do you think was the greatest? Who do you think won each beef? Let us know in the comments.

The-Game-West Coast Rapper
While analyzing The Game, I have inspirational artists and music moguls in mind. Just like any other Business. One must research the market before taking flight with a new campaign. In this case, I propose a question about The Game. Not the game we play, but the Hip Hop artist known as The Game. What Makes The Game more successful than most artists in Hip-Hop?

Like always, every Tuesday I check for all the new releases in film and music. This month was a special one as I came across a new album release from The Game, OKE.

Now before we get knee deep in the water, THIS IS NOT AN ALBUM REVIEW OR A PRAISE SESSION. Whether you are a fan of his music or not, whether you agree with his character or not, you can’t deny the fact that he has sustained a successful career in a here today gone tomorrow industry.

 
As I pressed play on the stereo to give the latest release OKE from The Game, I had no expectation. Not all that engaged in the album, my focus was on an intense game of online Madden football via my Xbox. My team was the Jacksonville Jaguars, and if you know anything about football – then you know they flat out suck and I needed heavy concentration. As I finished victoriously, I was nearing the end of the album. I thought to myself “HOW IS THE GAME STILL RELEVENT?” Well I did my research and here a few facts you may not know about The Game.

 
This is a mixtape leading to his 6th studio album, the previous 5 are all at the very least certified platinum. That means a million copies for you rookies out there. His debut album sold over five million albums according to Soundscan.

 
He stars in his own reality show on VH1 “Marring The Game” with his real life fiancé and children.

 
Here’s the best part his net worth is over 25 million.

 
So how did this happen?

 
All I can think about is he was destined to fail. He came up under the Aftermath family. Just to think that there were several artists under the Aftermath family tree that are now M.I.A. Hitman, Spider, Lloyd Banks, Tony Yao, Ms. Kane, Young Buck, Six Two, Truth Hurts just to name a few; but there is not enough milk carton space to spread the awareness needed to find the artist most of which were hand pick by Dre.

Once again, what made The Game so special?

Were talking about an artist that DRE didn’t have time to focus on, so he sent him to Fifty Cent. Fifty Cent kicked him off of G-unit, and then publicly embarrassed him by stating that he ghost wrote The Game’s first album. To make matters worse, Dr. Dre shunned him due to conflict of interest. The Game spent more then two years releasing a series of G-U-NOT mix tapes on the Internet, where every song was aimed at assassinating 50 Cent and other members of the G-Unit. During that period he also allegedly fired gunshots at 50 Cent in front of an L.A. radio station.

Jimmy Lovine (Interscope Boss) didn’t have to release his second album. 50’s word did hold weight. What if The Game’s success was just riding on 50’s coattail? The first two singles released off of Game’s first album did feature 50 Cent on the hook. No one else gets second chances in this business. Jimmy could have said Fifty Cent is cash cow and were riding with him. Instead Interscope released five more albums.

 
The Game’s second album The Doctor’s Advocate was basically a 16-track letter to Dr. Dre. He spent half of the album imitating Dre and claiming to be the heir to his throne. In title track, The Dr. Advocate , he basically broke down begged Dr. Dre for forgiveness. The track is so emotional he sound like he was literally in tears as he preformed the song.

What do I get from all this you ask?

He could have done what most artists do and joined them in the land field of forgotten rappers. Instead, I see a man with drive and hard work ethic that made very smart business moves.

Where there are ten million fans, you can believe there are twenty million haters and naysayers. By launching an all out war against 50, through releasing several free mix tapes, and following all that up by selling 5 million records. The Game gathered all of the Fifty Cent haters and made them a part of his core fan base.

Ten years later, he is able to drop an album with very little promotional help from his label and still do numbers. Why? Because his core fan base is there.

I’m not telling you to become a fan. I’m not encouraging you buy his new album. I’m simply stating that his hip-hop career is definitely note on and analyze.

Now for the mixtape review. He goes back to his Cali roots and features all of the young up and coming Cali rappers, over very west coast underground beats.

The Game’s OKE scores a solid 6 from me.

 

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Rating System

10 – Instant Classic – must have

09 – Great Album just short of classic

08 – Good Album recommend checking out

07 – above average more upside then down

06 – worth the listen, has a few moments

05 – Average, for core fan base will enjoy

04 – your not missing much if you skip this one

03 – bad album let down

02 – Trash don’t waste your time

01 – everyone involved in this album needs to reevaluate their life

 

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Eminem’s newest album is just weeks away and to celebrate the upcoming release, we’d thought you may enjoy some interesting facts; but not facts about the guy because you may already know way too much about the guy. Instead, to celebrate the newest release, we here at So So Active present to you the most interesting facts regarding Eminem’s albums. All leading up to the release of The Marshall Mathers LP 2 out November 5. Right now, I present to you the most interesting facts on The Slim Shady LP.

It’s been a while since we seen a solo album from Eminem. In 2010 we got Recovery, which acted as both a solo album and an apology for what he considered was a disappointing return with Relapse. Em has dealt with his depression and drug in public causing to record music that was poorly received; I can’t tell you how many singles from Encore are just simply annoying and sophomoric. After releasing three tracks from his highly anticipated album The Marshall Mathers LP 2, some are questioning whether or not to buy his album when it drops on November 5, 2013.

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Dr. Dre is one of the biggest names in the rap industry.  And with so many accomplishments under his belt, there’s only one thing left before he can officially go down in history as one of the greatest music legends: one more album.


1. He’s a legend.  Let’s face it, Dr. Dre has accomplished more than most of us could ever even think about doing in our lifetime.  He started performing in 1984 and since then he’s founded 2 companies: Aftermath Entertainment and Beats Electronics.  He’s produced and helped kickstart Snoop Dogg, Eminem, 50 Cent, and the Game’s Careers.  He’s won 6 Grammys and been nominated for 20.  The only way to cement himself into history?  One more great album


2. He’s been promising. Dr. Dre has said since 2001 that Detox was going to be his final album.  I completely admire his planning and dedication when it comes to his retirement, but I have one question.  Where is Detox? There are rumored to be over a dozen songs completed, so why haven’t we seen it yet?


3. He’s one of hip-hop’s biggest earners. When you’re number 3 on Forbes’ list for richest figure in the hip-hop industry, you must be doing something right.  Even if your album isn’t even that good (and it should be, you’ve been working on it for 11 years), you’re still set financially.  To be honest, you’ll also probably still make a killing in album sales.


4.  It’s been 10+ years. One of the biggest problems with artists constantly making albums is that they all begin to sound the same.  With this nice break that Dr. Dre has taken, he has given himself the perfect set-up to create an entirely new sound.


5. His fan base has likely changed. With new generations coming and going since Dr. Dre’s last album, there’s no doubt that his fan base and target audience has changed giving him a larger audience to perform to.


6. He has been behind the scenes for too long.  Dr. Dre is an excellent producer.  His reputation as a perfection in the music creating process has encouraged and created some of the most successful artists of our time.  But it’s time for Dr. Dre to step out of the producer’s spotlight and show the world that he also has what it takes.


7. He knows what he wants.  Dr. Dre has often said that his greatest talent is knowing what he wants to hear.  Well, he’s had plenty of time to ruminate on what exactly it is that he wants to hear.  Everyone else wants to hear it too.


8. People are starting to move on. 10+ years is a long time to wait for an artist and plenty of artists have stepped up to replace the gap that Dr. Dre’s absence has left.  But if Dr. Dre waits too much longer, he may find his patient fan base moving on to other things.


9. He has the opportunity to change the face of rap.  If anyone can make a seismic impact on the music industry, it’s Dr. Dre.  Maybe it’s time for that change.  Maybe it’s time to see something a little bit different.


10. This is it.  With Dr. Dre already declaring this his last album, Detox is going to be his last big thing.  This is his last chance to prove what he’s capable of.  Now, we just have to sit and wait for Dr. Dre to release his final masterpiece to the world.

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Rap artists are usually known for their lyrical prowess and their ability to spin a rhyme on command.  Unfortunately, not all famous rap artists have quite mastered the ability to write the most genius lyrics, leaving us with these strange quips.


Young Jeezy – “Black Dreams”

This song starts out quite promising.  Young Jeezy is showing us how hardcore he really is. “Mafia Mafia, b****, I’m in the Mafia”.  But some of his street cred flounders (pardon the pun) when he breaks out his knowledge of gourmet fish.  “Speakin my language if you talkin bout tilapia”.  Granted, the Mafia is a criminal organization with loads of money, but I’m not entirely certain they spend their time discussing fish.


Oj the Juiceman – Basically anything he’s ever written

I had only ever heard one song by the Juiceman and decided to investigate some more before I put him on this list.  I couldn’t choose which song had the strangest lyrics.  They were all pretty unique. My personal favorite, though, is from his song “Homer”.  “Krispy green charm, b**** look at my arm, I’m Texaco”.  I’m not sure what “krispy green charm” is or if it is actually charming, or what his arm has to do with signifying that he is Texaco, but I am impressed with his ability to keep me listening despite the strange things spewing from his mouth.


Chingy – “Balla Baby”

Chingy is non-discriminatory in choosing his lovers.  Like he says, “I like them black, white, Puerto Rican or Haitian. Like Japanese, Chinese, or even Asian”.  Actually, hold that thought.  Maybe Chingy doesn’t understand geography or ethnicities, but at least we can say he tried.  Right?


Ghostface Killah – “Nutmeg”

This entire song is a mess.  I’m fairly certain he’s just combining series of phrases he’s heard in his life that rhyme.  The shining moment of this song?  Scooby snack, Jurassic plastic gas, booby trap”.  Maybe Ghostface Killah ran out of creativity after he created his name. Or maybe he was just listening to the Fairly Oddparents theme song when writing this masterpiece.


Living Legends – “Brand New”

I keep it O.G. watching episodes of O.C.”  Maybe I missed the Original Gangster episodes of the O.C., but I’m not entirely sure this is what you want to confess if you’re living an O.G. life.  But I’m not one to judge.


Dr. Dre – “Nuthin’ But A G Thang”

Never let me slip, cause if I slip, then I’m slippin.” As much as I want to criticize this, it’s fairly accurate.  If he slips, he will indeed be slipping.  Maybe Dr. Dre should just let other people write his lyrics.


Silkk the Shocker – “My Car”

“I got more hoes than the O-zone” I’m not entirely sure how many hoes the O-zone has, but at least I know that Silkk has more.  Maybe this means he has at least one.


Prodigy – “Click Clack”

I won’t lie.  I’m a sucker for incorporating literature into songs.  Unfortunately, Prodigy’s incorporation of Jack and the Beanstalk leaves me more disturbed than happy.  It’s like fee, fie, foe, fum, I smell the blood of a jealous a** punk.”  I feel like my childhood is being corrupted.


LFO – “Summer Girls”

I will give LFO this: they are educational in their attempt at rhyming.  “When you take a sip you buzz like a hornet/Billy Shakespeare wrote a whole bunch of sonnets.” Hornet and sonnets are close enough in the rhyming section and at least I now know that it was Shakespeare who wrote all of those sonnets I had been hearing about.


Mase- “Can’t Hold Me Down”

This is my personal favorite.  “Young, black, and famous, with money hanging out the anus.”   Kids, this is why money is gross.  On second thought, Mase might want to get that looked at.

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Ever since the release of his critically acclaimed mixtape/indie album Section.80 in 2011, Kendrick Lamar has been well on his way to being the next Hip Hop “It” artist to emerge from indie success to mainstream prominence. Pretty much the poster child for both the Black Hippy movement and for Top Dawg Entertainment, Lamar is leading a charge of artists that include Jay Rock and Ab Soul that are continuously making strong name brands steeped in intricate lyricism and sincere yet diversified wordplay in new millennium Hip Hop.

Even though he had already recorded and released material through T.D.E., Section.80 was his coming out party to heads across the country. Now, having been blessed as the next big thing in Hip Hop by everyone from Dr. Dre to BET, Lamar just released his proper album debut with Good Kid, m.A.A.d. City.

Kendrick Lamar is the personification of Hip Hop in the post-Hip Hop generation: not confined by generational, cultural or regional boundaries yet still maintaining a brazen arrogance and pride that can only be a product of Compton, and a flow style that combines a plethora of different kinds of Hip Hop music from the last 10-plus years. From the sprinklets of social consciousness peppered throughout his rhymes that pays homage to old school East and West coast artists like Public Enemy and N.W.A., to the rapid-fire linguistics that remind listeners of Midwest rap heroes like Twista and Bone Thugs and Harmony, to the screwed and chopped voice manipulations that are a clear ode to the South. Kendrick refuses to have himself of his music marginalized into a box, and that desire to break away from the mold is constantly on display throughout Good Kid… .

Undoubtedly one of the best tracks on the album has to be “M.A.A.D. City” featuring West Coast O.G. MC. Eiht. Kendrick’s jittery, quivering yet focused flow about a day in the life in the Cali streets paired with a beat that starts out simplistically enough, then rolls into a vintage low-rider banger that harkens back to the heyday the West’s sometimes forgotten heroes Spice 1, Mack 10 and Eiht himself, will be enough to get even the most staunch Kendrick Lamar hater to nod their head. Also effective is “The Art of Peer Pressure”, a standard romp-through-Compton adventure that quickly evolves into Kendrick detailing the elements of drugs, violence and theft that gets him engulfed in the street life, and how both sides of his guilty conscience try to pull him in conflicting directions as he struggles with both his own inner demons and the desire to impress his homies.

On Good Kid, m.A.A.d city, Kendrick does better than many of his peers at finding that ever-elusive balance between radio jams and introspective songs that are heavy on reality. The current radio favorite “Swimming Pools”, along with “Poetic Justice” featuring Drake and “The Recipe” with Dr. Dre, will all bring the emcee more casual fans that may not have been following his career progress until now, while “Sing About Me, I’m Dying of Thirst” finds Kendrick contemplating the questionable choices he’s made and their impact on those around him, with his own brand of gut-wrenching self-deprecation and pity fully on display, and might just make believers out of those same casual fans.

Simultaneously, Kendrick pays more than enough homage to some of the West Coast’s most well-loved Hip Hop institutions, from sampling Janet Jackson on “Poetic Justice”, to the shades of 2Pac heard on “Sing About Me…”.

The greatest thing about Good Kid, m.A.A.d city is not only that it’s refreshingly cohesive and simultaneously multi-layered, but that it displays so many of the contradictions that Hip Hop too many times doesn’t want to admit that it has. True, other artists like Drake, Kid Cudi, J. Cole, Lupe Fiasco and others have been effective at doing this as well, but many times they seem to revel in them. Kendrick realizes and embraces those contradictions, but he doesn’t glorify them. He simply puts them on display as real as he knows how, and the end result is this body of work. While it’s very much a departure from Section.80, Good Kid… stands on it’s own as arguably the best concept album of 2012.