Archive for Nas

Reaction Editorial: Did Jay Electronica Ghostwrite for Nasty Nas?

Posted in News, Opinion Editorial with tags , , , , , , on Monday, August 20, 2012 by Tim Althaus

Obviously, I’m a little late with this post because this whole whirlwind of speculations started last week. According to most of the articles that I’ve read, Jay Electronica was supposedly responsible for ghostwriting duties on Nas’s Untitled album; even more revealing, renowned Hip-Hop journalist Dream Hampton claims that Mr. Elec-Hanukkah could be responsible for more than meets the eye – at least 6 tracks. Of course, Mr. Elec-Yarmulke came out and publicly admitted (via Twitter) that the accusations were absolutely false, and Stic Man of Dead Prez followed suit. It’s hard to be clear if the rumor is true or not, but it definitely raises some valid questions in the Hip-Hop community.

The whole Hip-Hop universe seemed to be in a daze from dismay, but I’m still not sure how I feel about the news. Believe it or not, ghostwriting is a fairly common practice in Hip-Hop, and it really shouldn’t surprise anyone. Artists like Royce Da 5’9″ and Skillz have been writing for other rappers like P-Diddy and Dr. Dre for years. It had even been rumored that Gillie Da Kid wrote the vast majority of Lil’ Wayne’s hit album, Tha Carter

With that being said, let me pose this question: Why are people making a such a big deal of this particular issue?

The reasons – at least to me – are pretty clear.

Rappers that use ghostwriters aren’t usually considered by many as great lyricists. We all know that Dr. Dre, P-Diddy & Lil’ Wayne have sold millions of records worldwide, but the word “lyricist” doesn’t come to mind when thinking about their talents – performer is more applicable. If anything, ghost writers made their music more tolerable.

Nas is credited for writing one of Hip-Hop’s most magnificent manifestos – Illmatic. Even though the ghostwriting accusations don’t stem from Illmatic, it rubs me the wrong way to think that Nasty Nas had another emcee write his rhymes. Imagine if the scientific community found out that someone else wrote part of Aristotle’s work: all hell would break loose, and pandemonium would ensue. Nas is considered one of the foremost founders in the East Coast Hip-Hop scene, so this rumor holds a great deal of significance. Any way that you look at it, this whole issue is just a hard thought to stomach.

Nas is an artist that has withstood the test of time; even though a lot of people would consider some of his releases sub-par compared to Illmatic, he’s still considered one of the greatest lyricists of all-time – without question. If the ghostwriting rumors are true about Untitled, I can’t help but wonder if ghostwriting was prevalent in his previous releases. This whole controversy could end up becoming a slippery slope with no foreseeable end.

Even though Jay Elec’s good friend FWMJ verified that Jay wrote on Untitled, I still don’t know what to believe. This is what it all boils down to in my eyes: Back in 2006, Nas was bold enough to name his album Hip Hop is Dead; if he is guilty of using ghostwritten rhymes, then he might also be guilty of killing the very art form that personified his career.

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Can We Expect a Full-length Album from Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley & Skrillex ?

Posted in Music News, News with tags , , , , , on Sunday, June 24, 2012 by Eric Gilardi

Ever since the Dubstep revolution took over last year I have wondered when a collaboration worth talking about would happen between a well-known reggae artist and a worthy electronic artist. The two genres are a perfect match for each other so I tend to wonder why it took so long for it to happen.

A few months ago, while I was on my writing hiatus, it happened. The supposed king of Dubstep, Skrillex and the master lyricist, Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley teamed up on the track “Make it Bun Dem” back in April of this year and ensued to make musical magic. Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley’s ability to lay down a Rasta sounding flow over the top of the hard-hitting electronic music of Skrillex is a marriage that should produce a child. This child being a full length album. They have just planted the seed with this single and hopefully they will not abort before something great can come of this. In the past, Marley has shown the ability to cross into other genres with great success. In 2010, he teamed up with Nas to make one of my favorite hip-hop albums of all-time, Distant Relatives.

We can only hope that the positive vibes around “Make it Bun Dem” will trigger them to collaborate on a full length album.

Nas – “Film”

Posted in News with tags , , on Sunday, August 2, 2009 by Nolan Levenson

DSCN0158

Spotted on OnSmash.

On April 11 Red Bull Big Tune made the leap from bass pumping clubs to the living rooms of 340,000 music fans during its American television debut on the BET network. The 30-minute TV show chronicled the adventures of 16 up-and-coming music producers as they embark on the final battle to determine once and for all who has ‘the big tune’ and who will walk away with the coveted title of Red Bull Big Tune Champion and a chance to collaborate with a well-known recording artist in Red Bull Studios.
When the final battle ended the crowd determined that the producer with ‘the big tune’ and the ultimate winner of the competition was 17-year-old Charles ‘C-Sick’ Dumazer of Chicago, Ill. In the time immediately following the final battle, C-Sick had a lot to contemplate. Who would he select to work with in the studio? After some deliberation he selected Def Jam recording artist Nas, one of hip-hop’s most profound lyrical poets. Nas is well known for his 1994 debut album Illmatic, which many consider to be one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time. His upcoming tour and album with Damian Marley has many on the edge of their seats.

Nasty Nas recorded this track over Red Bull Big Tune winner C-Sick beat to make a pretty sweet track.

Download it here.

DJ Khalil & Nas in the Studio recording

Posted in News, Video with tags , on Wednesday, July 22, 2009 by Nolan Levenson

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Shout out to Okayplayer for the find. Here we have Nas and DJ Khalil in the lab recording the song “Colors” which sounds sweet. Apparently it was supposed to be on Untitled but did not make the cut. From the sounds of it, the song is about race, specifically about mixed-race children.

Rock The Bells 2009

Posted in Music News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on Wednesday, April 8, 2009 by Tim Althaus

rtb

Ummm wow. That was my initial reaction when I saw this post at Hip Hop DX. With the initial artist lineup, this looks like (to me) that this is going to be the concert of the year. I know for sure that I am going to be trying like hell to make the Chicago show, because this is something I definitely don’t want to miss. This looks like the most studded Hip-Hop lineup I’ve seen for a show this year, and there are still more to be announced. If you get a chance to get tickets, please do not pass up your chance. Rock The Bells (Guerilla Union) has been putting together some of the finest Hip-Hop shows for the last 5 years and apparently they are looking to follow suit very strongly. To be honest I would probably pay one hundred dollars to see The Roots or Reflection Eternal. That means that even if tickets are one hundred (we don’t know as of yet) that this concert is absolutely killer for price. If you are able to make it to one of these shows, you are going to be catching the best Hip-Hop shows of this year.

Make sure you stay tuned for dates and ticket prices, as well as any updates that have to pertain to this series because we will let you know right away.