Read In Your Language

Happy 50th Birthday, Graffiti!

In 1967, some dude in Philly wrote his name on a wall to get a girl's attention. My how this culture has grown up since then.

Taggin Ass City

A historical look at the origins of the 1st element of hip hop in this new documentary. Culture kicks the facts.


A LEGEND amongst legends has passed away in Philadelphia. You should probably know this name if you SAY you love hip hop culture...

The Art Scene: The Fun Gallery

Street Art? New???? Our Big Brother Samo, aka Basquiate and the crew was doin that back in the day in NY, sun. Take peep into the start of a movement.

Da Buze Bruvaz: Hard Liquor

Our favorite rap group is back making that unmistakable hip hop music. Nothin but fire. see if I'm wrong...

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Bat..... a kid I liked comics. All kinds of comics. Sunday newspaper comics(color), the black and white comics during the week. All the cartoons, you name it I loved it. I loved live action too. Ultraman and Godzilla on Channel 48 in Philly. Kung fu, karate flicks, ninjas and bald headed monks who were martial art masters. The whole shebang. My Mother had old photos of me with a towel around my neck pretending to be Superman and I can vividly remember perching on coffee tables and trying to stick to walls unsuccessfully like Spiderman. Since I loved to read, my Mother bought me all kinds of comic books. Marvel, DC even Archie. I didn't care, I loved them all equally. Then one day she bought me a Batman comic book. Now, of course I was already in love with Adam West and Burt Ward as Batman and Robin. Watching them "bam" and "pow" their way through evildoers like the Penguin and Joker. And of course I tuned in next week, same bat time same bat channel. But I knew very little about Batman until I started reading him. It wasn't Batman I immediately identified with in the books. It was a young Bruce Wayne who witnessed his parents murdered. My Mother and Father fought constantly, every night in bed under the covers I listened as bitter arguments murdered their marriage. By 9 I was a kid shellshocked by divorce. I retreated into Gotham. Surprisingly Gotham and it's villains didn't scare me. It was a dark shadowy place with cruel people, but Gotham had what I felt I was missing. A hero. A hero who wasn't afraid of the shadows, rather he thrived in them.....and he had no problem HURTING bad guys. Hurting them bad, brutally, but not killing them. Rather promising to return and inflict more pain if needed. I....I identified with that kind of anger mixed with grief. The desire to hurt someone to feel better. But I couldn't I was helpless. But here was a guy who represented hope for me. See, I didn't have to get bit by a radioactive spider, or be born with an X gene to get satisfaction. Batman was someone a kid could realistically dream about being. Lift weights, learn martial arts...kick ass. I hadn't figured out the billionaire part or how to buy a Batmobile, but that stuff was secondary. I wanted to kick ass....I wanted to hurt the bad guys (I wouldn't dare hurt my parents, although honestly it was their fault in my mind) but definitely bad guys. I wasn't even certain what constituted a "bad guy" nor care. I just wanted...I don't know what I wanted...I just wanted to get outside myself. As I grew to an adult, and Batman grew in popularity. TV shows...movies, cartoons. I was there for it all. After all, he is my childhood hero. But I've grown now, and made peace with my past and my childhood. Sadly poor Master Wayne never will. He shall forever patrol Gotham dishing out pain, trying to stop the hurt.


Thursday, October 13, 2016

Thoughts on Luke Cage......

.......I don't want a second season of Luke Cage. Here we have a depiction of a black man we haven't seen before. Ever. He's bulletproof and superhumanly strong. He's big, bald, black(darkskin)....and he's from Harlem. He's also an escaped convict. Yet Luke doesn't kill...shit, Luke doesn't curse....*puts a dollar in Pop's tip cup*.....he's not a bully. He's humble, he sweeps hair for a living, but he's intelligent.....he actually reads books! He's kind, he's understanding. Luke carries himself with dignity. He's not effeminate in walk, talk or outlook. Luke is also a sexual being. Not a leering, hypersexed, catcaller. He's a protector, with a sense of duty to his community. Luke is a man. Even Luke's enemies are men and women of shrewd intelligence. Actual organized criminals who are intelligent themselves (not "nigger stickup men who fall asleep in the getaway car). This show was written and depicts a section of black America accurately. Luke Cage doesn't deserve a second season. Luke Cage deserves a movie franchise. Luke Cage deserves a larger audience. America needs to see we are more than rap videos, sporting events, protesters, and mugshots. America as a whole needs to see Luke Cage. America needs to see Luke Cage as a hero. I don't want a second season of Luke Cage......

The Spot

"......there's a spot." Of course more was said after that, things were explained, questions asked and answered, but everything was kinda of hazy after "....there's a spot." After 30 odds years of being the only man at a dance party with no music in a decrepit building I had decided to grow up. So I pick up sticks and move to Miami. New faces, new places, no drugs, no alcohol, no clubs, hell....even no women so far. I just wanted different and different requires stability, accountability....a whole bunch of "ibility" if it ended in that it was needed. No pain no gain right? So each day as an "adult" is terrifying to this manchild, but it has to be done. So I go where I have to go, be where I have to be. Got myself a lil' job. Shit, I'm even writing a blog as you can see. Then it occurs to me...."hey, you need  a doctor, you're a man now, you should value your health." So I find a doctor, make an appointment, KEEP the appointment (imagine that boys and girls) and for once am totally honest with a doctor. Since I've been smoking a pack of cigarettes a day since 11years old the doctor felt it was a pretty good idea to get a CAT Scan. Let me back up....see, I'm the guy who always makes out. I've always miraculously left before the shooting, missed the on and so forth. So a CAT Scan? Pfffft! No worries. Then my phone rang, and the young man on the other end said "....there's a spot.". Now I'm scared, and I shouldn't be, because everyone says I don't know anything for sure yet. But none of them have a spot on their right lung so it rings hollow. They say life shows up....and death awaits us all. Regardless of the outcome (I'm pretty sure I'll be fine.) but the knowledge that your  life can turn on the finding of "....a spot.". Well, it's sobering.


Thursday, October 6, 2016

Waiting on Matthew.....

Waiting on Matthew.

The plain old photo of a cloudy sky belies the tension of Miami and South Florida bracing for Hurricane Matthew. As a Philly boy born and bred, hurricanes were exotic storms read about in news reports and witnessed on TV. Never in a million years would I have thought I'd currently be on the brink of living through one. Surprisingly, horror stories of weeks without power and potential property destruction and loss of life don't frighten me. It's not that I'm tough. It's just, well this is life....and I'm living it. Apparently every once in awhile a hurricane comes. Having the opportunity to see it without jaded eyes, I anticipate enjoying it's beauty and majesty. Absorb it's cruelty and kindness, and reflect on it's purpose. I'm grateful today I don't view things through a pair of dead eyes. So the wind will whip, and the power will fail. The streets will flood.  The people will cower, government will grind to a halt. The news will report and overexaggerate. Someone may die. But me, I'll watch it intently from a safe place, taking it all in. Because it's a part of life, and I've waited so long to live it.


Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Welcome to this....(whatever this is)

Well, I guess the 21st Century is here officially, Ol' Hannybull is a blogger. If this goes well you will all be thoroughly entertained, someone will get offended, I most likely will get threatened, someone will catch a break and be "discovered" here. I'll become rich and famous and a world renowned authority on something obscure but prestigious. One of my fans will offer me his virgin sister and I'll start wearing cravats and speaking in a stilted English accent.......or it'll just be one of millions of blogs churned out on the net daily. *shrugs* Either way I'm up for it, hope you are.....I don't know how frequent these will be (you don't get to cravats and stilted English being "readily available") but we'll get it done. So, I guess that's that. Welcome to this....whatever this is. Enjoy yourself.


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Vinyl Destination: Great Wall Of China

The new episode had me on freeze, no pun intended. The crew actually took a trip to The Great Wall Of China in between tour stops. It was an amazing site to see.

Also, this episode, you get a glimpse of Jeff actually taking care of some business. I love this series. Its a like a travel show, with hip hop over tones. It's a great episode, check it out...

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Spit Gemz-Al SwearenGemz (prod. by Junior Makhno)

SICK. one of the best verses i've heard this year. beat is NASTY. id love to hear more from sun. 

Friday, July 22, 2016

DJ MERCURY Deep In The Trenches UGHH radio show JULY 22 live from the Netherlands

DJ MERCURY Deep In The Trenches UGHH radio show JULY 22 live from the Netherlands

Thursday, July 14, 2016

NEW EPISODE: Vynil Destination: Island Glaze

In this episode the fellas get a few days off in Thailand of all places. What a beautiful place on this planet have a few days to chill. i love this show because u get a chance to see what being true to the culture can do for you. Jeff is more than the DJ for Fresh Prince.... he's an actual PIONEER or DJ culture itself. so you can have all that flash in the pan money from your hit ONE single... i'd much rather be able to enjoy a 30 year career doing exactly what i love.

Jeff! can i carry the bags next tour????

Saturday, July 9, 2016

DJ Mercury, "DEEP In The Trenches", Underground Hip Hop Radio show, Netherlands 7-8-2016

the homie goes in again! enjoy, live from Europe....

Thursday, July 7, 2016

NEW RELEASE: "POLICE BRUTALITY"-DJ Davito ft. Nine,Thirstin Howl, Ruste Juxx & NEMS. & E.REX.

On the disturbing heels of the Alton Sterling murder at the hands of the police, the homie DJ Davito drops a scorcher laced with some the true school's finest addressing the situation. the funny thing is, hip hop has been airing out this grievance about the police since the late 80s. if we ever needed a group like Public Enemy or Rage Against The Machine, the time is definitely now.

What are we gonna do about it tho? let me know your thoughts in the comment sections below...

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Rane Mixer Company SOLD to InMusic Group

DJs are in an uproar! what do you think?

This is the WORST XXL Freshman Class EVER

ay, i try not to be that guy that sounds like 'you young whipper snappers with that noise... that aint  music",  cause i hated that guy growin up. but he was talkin bout Public Enemy and RunDMC. me??? i really aint got no choice. this shit is strait GARBAGE.

i mean, u cant look at NONE of this list and make a convert out of a disbeliever, like u could with P.E or Rakim. or Fresh Prince or Heavy D for that matter. your momma loved them. none of these guys have that type of appeal except to the people their age with the same mentality that its good cause it POPULAR, not because its actually good. dam internet age.

I cant spar with NONE of em, except Dave East, who looks like Rakim in this crowd. he is a credible lyricist with real talent. game changer? naw, not from what i can see now. will i check for him in the future? sure will. potential is the BEST attribute of any freshman. and from what i see, he's probably the smartest one as well... i see him distance himself from this pack more and more.

i checked out Denzel Curry and was out right surprised by over 2.5 MILLION Youtube views. peering into the comment section, i saw a fan base that was engaged by his music. it wasnt bad... will i bump it? nope. will i recommend it? naw. will i hope he converts those views to shows and some sort of income. absolutely. i always give a nod to those that work hard, if those views are evidence of work. i mean, you can buy views after all. time will tell.

Desiigner is the only one out the pack that actually has a hit record. major terrestial FM stations spin it. and it bangs, i aint gone front. to me, he has the makings of a recording artist, in these days and times. and he has great energy. we'll see what his next records sound like. there have been MANY one hit wonders throughout the history of music. this freestyle tho??? GARBAGE.

i wont even itemize the rest. ill just sweep em up in a pile and hit the Hefty wit em. all this money talk (30 on the waist??? diamond encrusted belt buckle???) , gun talk (dont NONE of them look tough. they even say the word 'gun' weak) and talk about bitches (yall do know we can SEE you right??), all sound plastic, fabricated, like Walt Disney made it. they sound like they dont care NOTHING at all about the culture. or being good at it. i know they'll say people like me are hatin on em cause they're popular. but let me tell ALL yall what my oldhead told me a long time ago... fame without fortune, is a backwards hustle. now take that back to your mediocre artist support group, and air it out.

and look at my man Drama in these videos. lol... my man look BORED! lol... he got that 'i cant wait til i clock out' look on his face. lol....i know he made XXL pay him WELL for that Gangsta Grillz drop! ay man, a check is a check. and he aint the star here no way. it was on THEM to show n prove. and they showed up and proved NOTHING.

a while back i wrote a piece about responsible editorial. read about it here. and share it with the editorial staff at XXL. if this was driven only by numbers, then great job guys. if this was driven by taste... then maybe a tall glass of hot trash truck juice might help yall wash it down...

Monday, July 4, 2016

BBoy Battle: Crazy Legs -vs- BBoy Storm, St. Petersburg, RUSSIA

Let me say this outright... absolutely nuff respect to the legend Crazy Legs, a true innovator and pioneer in this bboy cult known as Hip Hop and to BBoy Storm who has also been doing his thing for years.

For me tho, the battle is not the highlight of this clip. The absolute winner in this clip, aside from the people of Russia, (who are taking the utmost care of the culture of hip hop, with strong support from  the President himself, Vladimir Putin), is the DJ, Philadelphia's own Skeme Richards, who CRUSHES the music mix with the sounds of what a bboy battle MUST sound like to be authentic. ESPECIALLY breakin. I cant tell you how many times i've watched the incredible moves that the new generation of bboys do to some of the most out of place, uninspired music selection that holds neither the energy or the perspective that the form was developed with. In this video, Skeme gives a tutorial on what a REAL bboy battle should sound like, along with a demonstration on the sense of timing  needed to drop the records when they will have the most impact. i know the guy, have bought his mixes before, and i was still SUPER impressed by this performance. enjoy...

props to BBoy Storm who had a great night. but lets be real, if this was '83.... well, YOU know...

Sunday, July 3, 2016

The Van Silk Project: Correcting The Timelines: Early Hip Hop Jam Flyers, 1977

One of Hip Hops earliest promoters and music industry veteran Van Silk has been engaged in a seriously daunting task of correcting the Hip Hop timeline. There are may tangents that need to be explored, from the early Disco Djs that predate the Bronx DJs from Brooklyn and Queens, and the activities that went on around this thig called "The Jam". A lot of whats been thought of as actual is actually misguided and the true pioneers that were there weigh in heavily on the subject in hopes to correct the history while we have the blessing of having so many of the pioneers still with us. This post weighs in with insight from a brother i have great respect for, original Zulu King Cholly Rock, as he sets the facts straight from his 1st hand account on the flyers that tell the story better than the people who were there, who have misrepresented the facts in some cases to their own personal benefit.

This will be a regular series, so get ready to get an education. And get ready for some controversy. Lots of what you already know about hip hop is WRONG. Get ready for the journey.

Every flyer we post has historical stories to them as we articulate the history and Timelines of the modern day Hip Hop Culture.

HIP HOP BIGGEST FLYER COLLECTION visit!old-school-flyers/cx8z

As I told you and Kyle... IT IS 100% AUTHENTIC! First, I WAS NOT EMCEEING FOR BAM AT THE TIME... I had been emceeing for my man Glenn Ferguson (DJ Mastermind) As you know, I am part of what is known as "The FIRST (or Original) 11" - To become Zulu King (or Shaka Zulu) you had to dance against one of the Founding Five members of The Zulu Kings - Amad, Shaka, Kusa, Aziz, or Zambo - I danced against Zambo Burned HIM!, which is how I became THE FIRST ZULU KING FROM UPTOWN BRONX!!! Anyway, Zambo was known as "The African Prince" and was Bam's DJ protegè, BEFORE Jazzy J became Bam's DJ... In a conversation, Bam found out I emceed with Mastermind, and Bam decided, (since I had danced against and beaten Zambo) to promote "The Battle of the Zulus: Zulu King Zambo vs. Zulu King CHARLIE Rock (This was so early, that Bam assumed I had the conventional spelling of my name, as opposed to CHOLLY!) The battle was to take place in 123 SCHOOLYARD... NOT inside the SCHOOL!
As the event draws closer, Glenn's older brother, Gary - Who was a DISCO DANNY (He had serious identity issues... ONLY DATED Puerto Rican and White Girls) and Who HATED ME! would not let Glenn bring the equipment down there! (It was more to spite me, and he did many other things to spite me during that time) Anyway, the battle was canceled... BUT - WE DID wind up playing against Bam (although it wasn't really a battle, as I was MCing for Bam by this time, and Glenn, Bam and Sinbad had become friends) in Evander Childs HS, in the spring of 1978!

DISCO KING MARIO & Chuck City Crew featuring Nicky Dee (Nicky took Bosco Rock's place, when Bosco went away) Desi Ames is Mario cousin... Sinbad (Gregory) Also DJ'd with Mario, and later, Bam... But Sinbad's BIGGEST contribution to the Soundview DJs (and others) was his designing AND building the "ASSKICKER" speakers! For Mario, Bam, MY Original DJ "DJ Mastermind" and others!

Also Mario & Chuck City... The additions are Desi, DJ Ron (Desi and Ronnie are BOTH Mario's cousins) and Danny and Joe, who are probably added to the flyer (Similar to Bam, Mario added people, weren't really DJs, to his flyer - But theY are ALL BLACK SPADES... As you can see, Busy Bee Starsky is his MC by this party... Busy got his start, NOT with Mario, But with AFRIKA ISLAM!... Mario heard Starsky when Islam brought him to emcee one of his parties at 123 UNDER the MISLEADING advertisement that HE was STARSKY! (Love Bug) Anyway, Busy turned it out, and Mario made him his FIRST OFFICIAL MC! (Like most of the DJs at that time, Mario was supplying HIS OWN VOICE!) As you can see Starsky is NOT calling himself Busy Bee, Chief Rocker, or anything else other than Starsky, which obviously created lots of confusion! People would see the name, and naturally assume it was the ORIGINAL Starsky (if you didn't know any better!) Anyway, that's how BUSY BEE got his start!

DJ Mercury, "DEEP In The Trenches", Underground Hip Hop Radio show, Netherlands

The homie is back at again! with one of the best underground radio shows aout there, DJ Mercury lights it up live n direct fresh from the Netherlands. if ur sick of hearing 808s, then feel this refreshing blast of REAL drums and gritty samples. not just classics, the show stay loaded with NEW music from all across the globe.

this will be a regular feature here at

Friday, July 1, 2016

Vinyl Destination: Shipsomnia

This episode finds the fellas gettin busy on the high seas. And then havin a few days off in Phuket. i know u pronounce that different, but you know what it makes you think. lol... hey, im a guy. but Thailand looks beautiful. and so does this view of a hip hop legend making his living off of one of the pillars of this bboy cult.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Gear Alert: FOCAL headphones

Logo Focal

this is NOT a producer putting out headphones, or a rapper, or a music executive. these are made by one of the BEST speaker makers in the WORLD. for all of my heads that deal with that studio life, i know more than a few of you have a wishlist that has a pair of Focal monitors on it. and if u dont, i'm sure you're not up on equipment like u think u are. for the rest of us that realized that the Beats headphone series is more hype than function (altho i will concede the technology that allows for subsonic frequency dispersion so close to the ear as remarkable), we were also aware of other headphones that were tried and true studio staples, not for the amount of bass, but for the TOTAL reproduction of the audible sound spectrum. my friend Gabe, who is a strait sound enthusiast has pair and i listened to them and i was BLOWN away. he has the Elear, the $1000 set. but im sure, based on the reputation of the company, that every headphone in this series is exceptional. im sure every one of them 'beats' whats out there now.
click any link below for more info...
Focal - Listen Beyond

Focal are proud to introduce our new high-end line of headphones equipped with exclusive innovations to offer remarkable sound performance and an unrivalled audiophile experience true to the brand’s core values.

UTOPIA - The Purity of sound at its apogee
focalyou f t i y lin p g

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

NEW SEASON: Vynil Destination

our favorite DJ is back with a peek into his touring life. all of the crew is back on board for the usual antics. this time the crew head to Dubai to bring in the New Year. and then.... well, see for yourself....

for more info on touring and exclusive merch, visit right now

Thursday, June 9, 2016

ORG Crew-Copehagen, Denmark- Graffiti On Trains

yall ca say hip hop is dead all u want... cause i know yall really mean rap music. cause the other elements are alive and well, mostly over seas. check the ORG CRew MURDER these trains and see for yourself that HIP HOP is still THAT shit...

FAST DRIPS - ON TOUR - Folge 03. - Tuborg from Fast Drips on Vimeo.

Gear Head: A Look At Jazzy Jeff's Studio

here is a look at DJ Jazzy Jeff in his studio. knowin Jeff, all this is probably different EXCEPT for that Neve console, which is absolutely gorgeous. i know Jeff for years, and i can tell you that he may be a world reknowned DJ, but my man is just as well versed in studio gear. for all my gear heads, take a peek, im sure you'll find it interesting.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

10 MCs Who Don't Get The Credit They Deserve

this list is about the rappers who have a had an impact, a significant one, yet for one reason or another just not have received the accolades they deserve. these guys are genre defining in some cases, and in others, they are the guys who have DIRECTLY influenced others who have absolutely taken their style and have become icons in the history of rap music.

this list is not a top 10. (it kinda is tho.) but i could put em in an order if i wanted to. and im sure u could if u wanted to. id love to hear what u guys think.

i know what im talkin bout. do you?

10.Play Boy Tre
There was a baw who was signed to TI named Playboy Tre, but i remember him from his independent work on the way up with B.O.B. and my man was rockin some REAL hip hop. that Southern hip hop soul shit.  that sound u knew that was authentic if u ever traveled to them parts. the natural heir to the Southern hip hop made famous by Outcast, that hip hop with high artistic integrity was my man Playboy Tre. his shit was just as witty, just as soulful, just as concious, honest, poignant and playfully ignorant as Kanye OLD shit used to be. with out tryin. if ol boy was bussin now, all yall would have a different opinion about hip hop comin from outta the A. on everything. of most of the people on this list, my man easily had some of the more broadly themed music and definitely had songs that could have been widely received singles. i think he even had some writing credits on a few TI records. i know he was a part of the production crew and was involved in B.O.B stuff. he went on tour with him and TI. why he didnt come to the fore im sure i dont know.

9. King Tee
For years i watched a lot of dudes act like West coast dudes dont REALLY have real spit game. and that cant be fartherest from the truth. one of the best examples for me from early on is the baw King Tee who had a super lyrical style that was loose, fluid and well delivered. layered, whimsical and still found a way to make it gangsta. its is even said that his style and delivery was a major influence on Biggie, altho i havent verified that. but its not far fetched. listen to him, and you tell me.

i remember hearing him for the first time back in the day being super-impressed, of course with my then existing East Coast bias. he introduced us to The Alcoholics, aka The Liks, and another MC who could easily be on this list, Tash, aka CaTASHtrophy. the only reason he's not is because King Tee is where the Liquid crew stems from.

this whole collective was doing REAL hip hop music, but for some reason, it seems that distinction on the West Coast goes to The Pharcyde n them during that time, n i dont understand it. they were easily direct outgrowths of crews like EPMD, but distinctly West Coast. and im sure he's a direct influence on some of the best rap acts of today like The Buze Brovas. ill ask em next time i talk to Clever One.

8.Sugar Free
Ay man, say what u will, but u want to talk about a master of delivery? id even say his vocal tone, when u talk about being fluid, is on par or even better than Snoop's. and a dude that builds real lyrics into his tales of pimpin these hoes??? u got to give it to my man Sugar Free.

if u aint heard none of his rhymes, check ur bias at the door and LISTEN. i give it to any nigga that deserve it and that baw will put some syllables together that will twist your melon and embarrass ur thought process.

i dont know if its because of the pimp subject matter or what, but his name dont come up nearly enough when u talk about a dude thats NICE with his lyrics, not even on the West Coast. too much pimpin?? whats the difference from dudes who talk about weed all the fuckin time? *like Dick Gregory* hahn?!? i tip my hat to u pimpin... and i do REALLY mean pimpin. its slang for some of u dudes. he is well known for sendin them hoes to the curb. that makes what he spits AUTHENTIC as well.

7.Devin The Dude
Speakin of a weed talkin nigga... Devin got a flow that is outrageously nasty. the music he ride on be crazy melodic playa shit, and i aint listen to a record of his without a good mix on it. bass stay sittin right on them speakers. and the baw know how to sit his voice right on top of that shit. finding space in music is what makes for clean composition, so MCs that can do that i have an affinity for because they are actually making MUSIC. lots of rappers dont realize that no matter the fact that you rappin, u still are in a key of music. Devin is aware of this, whether consciously or not, and delivers time and time again. thats why his voice MELTS into tracks. and yours dont. 

his perspective, his subject matter, his stories, all fit into a world thats uniquely his when it come on. that, my friend is the definition of STYLE. thats when u have ur OWN style, not THE style that niggas is doin... like you. and he come from a point of view thats waaaay down to earth. he dont spit it like a superman or a super villain, just super chillin. with some real live lyrics full of well crafted syllable pairs, creative metaphors and a clean CONTROLLED delivery. Devin the Dude is a lesson in flow. go getchu one.

The pattern maker, the crazy metaphorist, my man was CRAZY nice. and i know a LOT of u dudes would be frontin if u didnt say that he influenced a LOT people. especially with his stint on the MTV show Lyricist Lounge where sun was BODYING stories on the regular with crazy lines and layers and imaginative rhyme couplets. 

that whole Lyricist Lounge crew was so influential before the MTV show that, well, they made an MTV show about them. so influential in fact, that the venue that they started and held down in the early 90s was the premiere place for hip hop MCs in NY, and those coming to NY to seek a career in music. it was like, do Lyricist Lounge and then a Source Unsigned Hype and the labels was hollerin atchu. their venue eventually became a MUST for anyone wanting respect on the mic to show up and show n prove. all of the well known names of the era stopped thru to show and prove that THEY were as nice as the MCs who garnered the critical acclaim at the Lyricist Lounge. 

from the Biggies, to the Foxy browns, the Eminems,  all made it a point to stop thru and and get tested by the crowd of hip hop purists that approved of MCs STRICTLY on the strength of their skills. and Wordsworth was one of the dominant voices in that cipher, one of the voices that demanded that the quality be kept at a premium, at the highest level possible. sun was at the center of that. he deserves credit for it. it was no small feat.

5.Chief Kamachi

A long standing staple of the underground, steadily making quality records since1994, Kamachi is a name that rarely comes up in these discussions... even tho you hear his STYLE in a lot of rappers records. if u listen to a lot of these underground dudes that have that mystical shaman with the voodoo and good weed, Kamachi was one of the early voices that fathered that. that Immortal Technique hard conscious shit, Kamachi was on that nearly a half a decade before him. 

he becomes ESPECIALLY important when u talk about rappers with current impact on the game like Jay Electronica. Kamachi DNA is all over Jay Elec records. and it really aint a mystery how; Jay Elec used to stay in Philly for a nice minute, where Chief Kamachi was born and raised. Jay mentions the same North Philly streets in his records, so its no coincidence. the voice, the delivery, alla that was fused into Jay Electronica's style. dont think so??? listen to Jay Electronica old shit, listen to Kamachi, then listen to Exhibit A, B and C. and then give credit where its due. of all of these revered underground rappers, he is probably the most consistent and is a fan favorite with a strong cult like following, yet his name ALWAYS gets side stepped. his subject matter may be very niche. but that dont mean he aint NICE.

one of the ILLEST dudes rappin right now, ESPECIALLY in this era where quality is at an all time low. and as a rapper with  a high output of material, it is largely consistent and even shows evidence of actually getting better judging from some of his current appearances in 2016. i dont know why baw dont get the recognition he deserve. i mean, it could be the name, i mean it does mean an Indian baby carrier. not necessarily the hardest name ever. nor does it have that big marquee sound to it. no shots at all. im just wonderin out loud why those that study lines dont mention sun name much at all. especially given that fact that sun got a respectable amount time in the game putting out high quality material.

3.Lord Finesse
Lets keep this shit a hunnit; MANY people co-opted the baw style. even Big Daddy Kane, when his style changed, had a LOT of Lord Finesse elements in it. in the 90s, Finesse was one of those dudes that was KILLING MCs in the rhyme battles. one on one rhymes, Finesse was hard to beat.

the inventor a rap pattern that dominated the late 80s early90s, a style that people still use, Finesse is widely unacknowledged. most of the early 90s rappers used his style and he is a clear dominant influence on someone who is highly regarded by all, the incredible Big L, who is a member of the same crew as Finesse, the legendary Diggin In The Crates Crew. 

when it comes to raw similes and the way that lines lead up to the rhyme, as well as the word combinations, Finesse is EASILY one of the best ever at that type of construction. constantly coming up with some of THE BEST metaphors and similes EVER, and i mean that like his usages are combinations that are previously unused with original points of view. he is definitely a pioneer of the three word rhymes, like the 'come to you/none of you' type combinations. maybe because he is also a top quality beat maker and producer, just as heavy as Diamond D or Buckwild, his rhyme career and output did not stay consistent. no one can deny hearing him that the bars aint NASTY, even to this day. he fathered many MCs. treat him like he want to be treated. 

2.Chino XL
One of the main reasons i cant put Eminem at the top of the rap heap is because of this guy. Em's ENTIRE style, at least what he used to do at the beginning, is ALL Chino XL. the flow, the outrageousness, even the vocal tone was so similar, that i could never call him a titan of the rap game with such a total appropriation of another rapper's style. and its not far fetched; they BOTH ran in the same circles during those Rawkus Records years before Em got with Dre. on his own Chino was a WILD rhymer, full of imagination and original patterns and wordplay. and he was saying that SAME shocking, rape ur mom type shit that made Eminem famous, YEARS before him. the only reason i placed him above Finesse is the fact that his style has gave birth to one of the most successful record selling hip hop artists in history.

 his style has had a major impact on hip hop and the rap industry and sun almost NEVER comes up in conversation. its amazing to me. but imma speak on it. and let it be known. in the case of a lot of the names on this list, they lacked the singles that gave them that outward connection from the core of the culture. that would also be the case with Chino XL. which is crazy because he had songs that are so similar to the ones that made Eminem famous. definitely, the beats he had were very regional. and lets face it, he aint white. and i dont say that with a racist tint; white people, which there are more of in America, connect with other white people more easily. its cultural, u cant get mad at that. but u cant sidestep it like its not also a component to the success of Eminen either. but for those that love the pure art of word formulation and flow control, Chino XL is a baw that is hard to beat.

1.Black Thought

Its a GOTDAM shame that he even made it on my list. plain and simple, when it comes to pure articulation of sentences, patterns and wordplay, i put Black Thought above EVERYBODY. 

his weakness in comparison to the other rhyme titans in Jay Z and Nas have EVERYTHING to do with the voice and the delivery. im an engineer, and when i hear Thought spit, i hear sooo much 2-3k buildup, that after a while, its hard to access his lyrics, no matter how poignant. then sometimes his subjects may be a bit niche for those on the fringe. i know some of u caught his verse at Harvard University. it was simply a MASTERPIECE of a verse in execution, easily comparable to Rakim's best verses, like the second verse to 'The Ghetto' or the 3rd one of 'Follow The Leader'. that Harvard verse in particular, shined in delivery, especially because he did NOT do his usual pushing his voice out, top of his register delivery that marks most of his records. i believe that it is THIS problem with him that keeps him out of that top 3 distinction currently, even though his body of work is widely respected. its a unique position, one that has never plagued any other MC so much.

when it comes to COHESION, beginning to end clarity and adhesion to the subject matter is where Black Thought easily outpaces Nas, who can wander so far off subject that he has to announce hes going back to the subject in the same rhyme. and when we talk conscious lyrics, really conscious meaning understanding the PROBLEMS that plague society, Thought has him beat there as well. Nas sounds more mystical, a shaman steppin out from the ether (i meant that). theres not a conscious rapper bussing that can touch him in pure theory, articulation of history in a social context, and summations of his perspectives with such a clear, linear build.

he best Jay Z in construction. EASILY Thoughts rhymes can vary from a whimsical play on words (which Jay is a MASTER technician at), to a six couplet series with double syllable rhyme connections, which is a lane Jay just dont run in... or maybe cant. its sickenin. to be that gifted a writer with no book out is almost criminal. he also beats Jay in growth, Black Thought is an even better MC today than he was years ago. he started as a 90s kid with that very syllabic pronunciation thing, u know that 'back in my knapsack' style to being a writer that commands the english language to obey. never to shy away from vocabulary (which MC's used to revere) Thought has sent more niggas (i meant that too) to the dictionary more than any other MC easily in the modern era. and i love him for that. too many of yall are scared to be smart. and thats dumb as shit. 

In my opinion, Black Thought is the best MC bussin right now that does NOT get the credit he deserves.


i wanted to put Uncle L on the list, but i couldnt, because he is widely acknowledged as a pioneer of the rap game and is given his respect and credit in that regard. but i do NOT believe that LL is often given his just due credit as an ILL MC. 

one of his standouts for me was a freestyle he did at the After Midnight, a legendary club in Philly, that u can say was like the Latin Quarters in NY, where L just TORE THAT SHIT APART. 99% of his fans wear high heels now, but back then, he had rappers in a tail spin. If u never heard the original Rock the Bells, (not the one with the go-go in the hook),  the VOCABULARY performance by LL in that song is second to NONE, even to my man Black Thought. the pairing of words and the performance were stellar. all HARD shit. 

and lets not forget LL was a talented writer as well. he was often able to write very cohesive songs from beginning to end on a subject matter with great closings, like his 1st mega hit 'Radio'. but it was his second mega hit, 'I Need Love', that took my man on another route; the road to the riches. lol. and i aint mad at him, altho one can only imagine what would have happened had LL remained a hardcore MC. he could have easily been the Greatest Of All Time without contention. but when he says it, and when he came out with the record by that title, it was a presumptuous assertion that lacked the total body of work to support it. one of the best hit makers/songwriters? without question. still, LL Cool J is widely left out of the conversation of the best MCs of all time. and he DESERVES that distinction.

And one last honorable mention that i cannot leave out is

 T La Rock. 

ALL the verses on 'Its Yours' were stellar, differing rhyme patterns with incredible delivery and sense of subject. the vocabulary and perspective were both impressive and futuristic. the whole arrangement of the song was next level shit. but it was one song and i didnt hear anything from him as near as perfect as he was on this record. but i would be remiss not mention him on this list for that one record alone. its absolutely --+perfect.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Pimpin' Prince

now YOU tell me my man dont look like he bout to go check some money on the ho stroll?

ay man,i don't care which side of the coin u fall on. some say the baw was too pretty. some say he wore some girl shit. even still, even while he was openly saying he had a taste that went both ways, the baw still came off like a playa. i think thats because a lot people don't really understand where he comes from. Minneapolis aint just no music town. it aint just cold in the winter. it aint just Paisley Park. Minneapolis is a town well known for its pimps and playas. so on his birthday, we salute a playa (a hell of a guitar playa), the incomparable Prince.

Pimp Convention '84. Cadillac complete with the gangster
white walls.
if ur a real fan, just look at the whole set up. i mean when Morris and Jerome hit the streets, they hit em in a Caddy. all them boys dressed in suit, like the players did. and Prince some times dressed just like the flambouyant pimps. im sure a whole heap of that comes from the obvious George Clinton/Jimi Hendrix influence of the 70s as well as that Los Angeles Shalamar androgyny shit. i know some of yall that live in places where the pimpin dont really go down, i mean that hard boot stompin pimpin, that 'bitch these is pennies get more money to gimme' pimpin, know that the pimps really used to show out. i mean they used to dress real wild and flamboyant, just like Prince. and if u have ever seen footage of some of them international pimpin Conventions held in Chicago or Las Vegas, u will see whole lot of dudes with the perms, the finger waves, the curls, the ruffles, the canes, the heels and the                                                                                         bad bitches u wish u had, just like Prince did.

and we cant ignore the effect that has on the music. i mean, the music of choice for Prince in so many respects is the funk. he never shies away from it. and even at his height, as perhaps 1 of 2 of the most popular performers on the planet in the 80s, he was still on stage yellin like James Brown. or Lennny Williams, depending on the song. even with strong rock guitar element, (emphasis on the strong), he still had that strait forward funk that the players funk with, especially in that area of the country. some of the most pimpinish shit was made in that geography, goin back to Muddy Waters talkin that prehistoric playa shit, u know, talkin bout he the greatest man alive. now if that aint no pimp shit, i dont know what is. and u dont either cause i know YOU aint been round no pimpin.

so heres to Pimpin Prince. Don Juan got his green, and Prince had his purple. salute a pimp when u see one, cashin, mashin or thrashin for his rations.

now air it out....

here go a collage of Prince in his playa attire... and a few other playas just so you can see how real it is.

Morris with the pimp stick

playa in action

SHARP. stayed tailormade...
... just like this guy.

bendin the brim just right...
playas on the set. give em some instruments, ad they'd look like one of Prince's acts

ready for the blade

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