Indy Hip Hop World

"A setback is just a setup for a comeback." --from Bebe Moore Campbell's "72 Hour Hold"

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Beans: Spitting Rhymes With Consistency And Quickness

I hope I didn't already post this because I've been meaning to post it. And if I did post it a few weeks ago, good music gets a pass to be reposted again and again.

Love so much about it: good music, nice lyrics, killer hook. This jam is on point. Thanks Beans for doin it right.

Listen up hip hoppers; this is how it should be done. kfox.

From NPR: Beans: Spitting Rhymes w/Consistency and Quickness
by Erik Myers
NPR - March 11, 2011

It's hard to tell when the sweater transitioned from dad-wear to rap-wear. Maybe it was a generational imprint left behind by The Cosby Show, or an inevitable byproduct of the V-neck's reemergence. New York rapper Beans offers no answers in "Deathsweater," but he does give his get-up a full introduction: "Socks from Paul Smith, shirts from Steven Allen / Pierre Hardy for the shoes, in the mirror I'm stylin'."
When discussing the colorful cut off his new album End It All, Beans told The Village Voice that the title originated from the idiom "dressed to kill," and that the sweater happens to his weapon of choice. As "lethal" as a stylish cardigan or vest might be, it's hard to take it seriously when boasted about over DJ Nobody's summery beat. But when it comes to flow, Beans is as stylish and serious as a model making her way down the runway.

Beans developed his rapping skills as one-fourth of the hip-hop collective Antipop Consortium. He was the standout among that crew, and he comes across as untethered when going solo, spitting rhymes with consistency and quickness. But what makes him particularly compelling in "Deathsweater" is how he finds the right moments to step on the verbal accelerator, then drops back in tempo without pause. As a result, "Deathsweater" sounds flashy and fun, just as good fashion should be.
[Copyright 2011 National Public Radio]

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VIDEO: Questlove Surprises Audience w/Ghostface Appearance

Like whoa hip hoppers. Kfox!

VIDEO: Questlove Surprises Audience w/Ghostface Appearance
(Originally spotted on

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Lupe Fiasco: Two Sides To Everything

Hip hoppers, I found this story on NPR and it's all good. Kfox.

Lupe Fiasco: Two Sides To Everything

NPR - March 12, 2011

Wasalu Muhammad Jaco grew up in rough neighborhoods in and around Chicago, where crack addicts would pass out on his front stoop. But, while his friends were drifting in and out of jail, he joined the chess club and the academic decathlon at high school. He was also a drama geek.

This is the story of Lupe Fiasco — that's Wasalu Jaco's stage name. Now 29, Lupe Fiasco is arguably the most innovative rapper to hit the scene in more than a decade. He raps about cops and drug dealers, but he's also known to quote Nietzche, Orwell, Chomsky and Howard Zinn. Fiasco celebrates the idea of being an oddball — he is a living juxtaposition.

"I always saw two sides of life," Fiasco tells Weekend All Things Considered host Guy Raz. "I saw the dudes who would be the gangsta, big-time guys on the block, but would also be dedicated fathers. It was kind of weird to see that dual story that everybody has."

Fiasco's parents divorced when he was young, and he spent time with both of his parents, who each exposed him to the world outside his neighborhood.

"My mother had a massive collection of National Geographics," he says. His father's tastes were even more eclectic: "There would be a massive collection of swords from Pakistan, and then a ton of Ravi Shankar vinyl, and then a set of bagpipes, and these vases from China. It was just all these little knickknacks and pieces of the world strewn around the house."

Music was a big part of Fiasco's global education. He listened to N.W.A in the car with his father, but also had access to an extensive record collection that spanned world music and jazz. Known to use a range of styles in his songs, Fiasco says his father was instrumental in building this base of music knowledge.

"I have an understanding of Queen and the way Freddie Mercury did his harmonies," Fiasco says. "I know what tablas sound like, because my father played a lot of Ustad Ali Akbar Khan." Fiasco says his knowledge base has made him uncompromising as an arranger: "I can't play any instrument for the life of me, but I know what I want to hear."

In "Words I Never Said," from his new album Lasers, Fiasco explores another part of his upbringing: Islam. Growing up around potentially dangerous influences in his neighborhood, Fiasco managed to keep out of trouble. He attributes this in part to the tradition of faith in which he grew up.

"I was born Muslim, but for a large part of my life, I wasn't necessarily raised Muslim," he says. "My father always kept everything around us, from Western philosophy to Eastern philosophy." That air of tolerance is reflected in the song, which is in part a reaction to Islamic extremism. Take this couplet: "Jihad is not a holy war, where's that in the worship? / Murdering is not Islam, and you are not observant."

Fiasco says he sees his music, which pulls influences from prog and experimental rock, as a way to bring different groups of listeners together — including those who are wary of hip-hop. "Kick, Push," the Grammy-nominated single from his first record, Food & Liquor, became a skater anthem, popular with skateboarders black and white, urban and suburban.

Fiasco has continued to experiment. Last year, he introduced Japanese Cartoon, a post-punk side project in which he affects a mock British accent in the mold of Joy Division's Ian Curtis. Even Lasers was originally meant to be part of a genre-spanning three-disc set — which he'd hoped would satisfy his current contract and release him to take a new direction.

That decision, he says, "got lost in translation" — but he says he isn't discouraged.

"This will not be my last album," Fiasco says. "I have three more to do with my record company, and I will continue to do music until I decide to stop." [Copyright 2011 National Public Radio]

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VIDEO: Tone – Artist Profile: Moruf

Love the beats on this one.

Check this out hip hoppers. Good music for the soul. kfox.

VIDEO: Tone – Artist Profile: Moruf
•WORD IS BOND• | APRIL 17, 2011

Tone: NJ based MC, Moruf, stops by the Loft with the Klan to perform his song "Story Of My Life" and ... Read more

Profile: Moruf from TONE on Vimeo.

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