Today we celebrate Nipsey Hussle. A man who gave to the world his gift. A gift that continues to bless those who are willing to seek it out. Nipsey Hussle had it. Something that you can't define but also something that you can't ignore. To this day you can't ignore the legend that is Nipsey The Great. And throughout his journey his audience watched from the bleachers as Nipsey Hussle ran his marathon. And this marathon wasn't easy. He fell a couple times. He got tired more than a couple times. He caught his 2nd and 3rd wind when it would've been easier to give up. But he didn't. He made one thing clear for all the doubters. THE MARATHON CONTINUES!
Never judge a book by it's cover. This is one of the first lessons I learned from Nipsey. I say that because books are filled with knowledge and experiences that bring value. And few rappers brought the type of value that Nipsey Hussle brought to the game. It was his hard delivery that drew in listeners. But it was the knowledge he dropped in his lyrics that made listeners think and seek out just what this kid from Crenshaw, California was talking about. I truly think this was his coded language. A language that was meant for his people. His tall frame dressed in baggy clothes and surrounded by gang members was truly meant to scare away the sharks as said in his song Loaded Bases, "Got these sharks that I'm sitting at this table with afraid to bait me". It was lines like these that showed his greatness and just how coded the language of Nipsey Hussle was.
This book was meant for his people. The people that wasn't born hedge fund babies. The wasn't that hadn't been groomed since birth to take over major corporations. His music wasn't meant for the privileged kids who knew the game and had been taught how to make money and mostly keep money. But never wanted to share it with the people who really needed it. No this book was for the PEOPLE. The ones living paycheck to paycheck. The ones who had the talent but had built up frustration from not having the resources to be able to share it with the world. Or as Nipsey rapped, didn't have the platform to express themselves. This book was for his PEOPLE.
My cultural influence even rival Lucien,
The pages of Nipsey Hussle are filled with game. Getting deeper into the person Nipsey it was his look and delivery that drew in the people who truly needed the game. But again it was his lyrics that helped them grow. What was so special about these lyrics? It's the breadth of knowledge contained in each bar which was the medicine in the candy that he fed to his listeners. His lyrics became the cure for a people that had been struck down with poverty and targeted by a system that was designed for them to never win. It was lines like "Closin' escrow twice this month, both commercial units" which made listeners seek out just what he meant. Nipsey was talking about Ownership. One of the biggest things he preached throughout his career was the power he had from owning everything he put out. From his masters, to his clothing line, to the way the user consumed the product. Controlling the whole experience. Again he taught us when he said the word vertically integration which I'm sure was the first time the two words had been mentioned in a rap song. Nipsey Hussle owned everything, which was the reward for betting on himself at a very unknown time in the music industry. This alone aside from his numerous business ventures will help his kids, kids eat. That's generational wealth. He truly lived his brand The Marathon! He lived it by the way he didn't take the easy route by signing just any label deal. But Nipsey Hussle decided to take the longer independent route because he knew his true worth. And he wasn't about to take less than his worth. Even if this meant he had run a MARATHON.
It was his well rounded lyrics that took him across the world. His lyrics showed a knowledge which made him often times one of the smartest people in the rooms. Even when sitting at the business table. Often times he showed his ability to articulate in a way that people didn't expect. Something that he used toward his advantage. And what was even doper was that he proudly spoke about the power of knowledge and the fact that he was an avid reader. His book list includes 60 selections and shows his wide range of interests that undoubtedly helped him grow and also helped him make millions. Nipsey Hussle knew that being a leader in most instances meant being able to speak artistically for his people. But he didn't stop there. He took the knowledge that he learned and taught it to the people. What he taught was a necessary knowledge that these people might not ever have learned without him. This was just like in the book, "The Spook Who Sat By The Door by Sam Greenlee which is also on his book list. In the book a black man from the hood took the training he learned from the CIA back to the hood and used it to empower his people . That's exactly what Nipsey Hussle did for his people. He Empowered them. Here's where you can find the book list
Nipsey always showed love. And when he expressed his love for Lauren London. He was celebrated. What was so special about Nipsey Hussle and Lauren London's relationship was that it showed the world that black love can be televised. That even the hardest person in the world ain't shit without love. Love is more powerful for hate. Love is everything as to reference the album by The Carters. It was Nipsey's love for Lauren London that went viral with memes and tweets about what black love is. It's beauty in it's purest form. It was only right that she help him finish the last song on his album "Victory Lap" on the song called "Real Big" by providing vocals and showcasing their love. This was No Money Out.
To sum up Nispey Hussle.... There is no sum up. Because he's not gone. His lyrics live through us. Every time we play his track he breathes life into us. He continues to open our minds. There's no doubt that Nipsey Hussle hustled hard so I have no doubt there is a vault of music just sitting, waiting for the right time. And the right time might not be now. It might not be 3 years from now. Because maybe it's not for us. Maybe it's for the next generation of kids. The kids that are stuck in a system that continues not to give them the resources to express themselves. But that's when they will release the music. That's when they press play on this new music and inhale the breathe of life that is Nipsey The Great!
So on this important day. This Nipsey Hussle Day. Go play some Nipsey Hussle and breathe in the life of this legend. Because legends never die. And for the legend of Nipsey Hussle.
THE MARATHON CONTINUES!
"I know I really love you,
Throughout history the royal throne has been occupied by kings and also by queens. And as history has proven that some of the most successful rulers were queens who helped make empires that have been studied and marveled at to this day. It's something about a queen that you gotta respect. Queens move with a power and a grace that commands the attention of any room. But don't take their femininity for weakness. Some of the most ruthless rulers were queens who at a moments notice would slit a man's throat without blinking. And we not even going to talk about their ability to take a man's heart out of his chest and laugh as it beats slowly in her palms. Right now is the right time to go for the crown as a new challenger named Bambi is looking to show that she has what it takes to reign over the game and take her rightful seat at the throne.
1. What do you think is the biggest hurdle for a female rapper? For one I think the whole separation of female is obviously a hurdle. I just said the other day in a joking way that I'm just a male rapper with titties. So let's not put gender in there, ha. Anyways. The biggest hurdle for a female rapper is being heard and being taken serious in general. Especially if your not talking about sex, but even if you're talking about sex it's what they look for. If you're talking about anything other than sex then it's like "Ohh she tryna be smart". It's a catch 22. Your tryna be thi,s and I'm tryna be that, and if it's sexual. Then ahh yea, I'm waiting on that next time you gonna tell me about suckin' some dick or somethin'. Don't nobody care unless you suckin' or ridin' or something. So I think a hurdle is being taken serious with your material, whatever it is.
2. What separates you from other artists? Personally, I'm very versatile. I know I'm technically a baby in the game because I don't have enough out on platforms to listen to. But when I get there you will see that I am a rapper, I an R&B artists, I can do contemporary or whatever. I can hop on a lot of beats no matter how different they sound, as long as I like the beat, I can do it. Then you just never know what's gonna come out of my my mouth. Half the time I don't so, there's that.
3. Your song Fuck I look like what did you want listeners to get from that track? Fuck I Look Like was a self-love thing. I was writing it because I had been through some things. Like I knew I was wasting time, and it's a thin line between wasting time and being patient in a lot of cases, and I had dealt with some things that really didn't convey that I loved myself. Or that I loved myself enough to know that that should've been rejected automatically. When your self-love is high enough, a lot of things get rejected, you don't even have to worry about things getting that far. But of course when you're in love and it's long term, you start dealing with stuff and your really lose sight of what is being patient and what's wasting time. So you end up dealing with a whole bunch of stuff.
Basically with Fuck I Look Like I want people to remember like anything that you feel like your not being loved, anything that feels like disrespect, anything where it feels like you can't communicate with that person is settling. AND WE ARE NOT SETTLING! Pretty much that's the whole hook. "Lovin somebody who don't love me, let you talk anyway you wantin', not letting you know what it is." That's it! Anything that makes you feel like you are being less than loved you need to bounce.
4. What’s a line from the track that you think goes over people’s heads? I don't think anything is so complex in that song that it should go over people's heads. I think the line that hit's me the hardest when I listen back is when I said, "I know I really love you, but you might just be lonely, I can't be sexting you, if you don't even know you want me". That was kind of like something to think about.
5. What’s next for Bambi in 2020? Long as we ain't quarantined all year I'm making my way to genres that will show my versatility. And ratchet music. LOL!
Thanks to Bambi for taking time out of her busy day. Make sure to follow her on her social media below:
How long is too long to wait for an album? For Jay Electronica it's a decade. Over 10 years have passed since artist Jay Electronica blew on to the scene and signed with hip-hop billionaire Jay-z and his record label Rocnation. In the meantime fellow artists like Drake, Kendrick Lamar, and label mate
J. Cole are well into their 5th studio albums as well as having dropped numerous mixtapes and a collaboration project that had the whole world saying "What A Time To Be Alive". But clout has never been Jay Electronica's thing, and not even the beef that cooked up from Kendrick's "Control" verse was enough to bring this devout member of Nation of Islam to the dinner table. He had his own dish he was cooking up and he would not be rushed by the numerous microwave projects that had been dropped since he first came on to the scene. But from the opening track of his new album "A Written Testimony" Jay Electronica uses a speech from The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan to let it be known that he's the chosen one and that this is his time.
Track 2. Track 2 is when something magical happens. The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan yells to his people, "So, all you scared to death negros. Just sit down. Don't you come out to defend our enemy. You sit down and you shut up. And tell your master to come on out and deal with this." How can you top this? This one part was enough satisfaction that the track didn't need to continue. But then a voice comes over the speakers that starts rapping with such an imposing presence, so imposing and prominent is this voice that you realize the person rapping could only be the one. HOV. "Next time they bring up the Gods, you gon' respect us, That lil' vest ain't gonna do you, I shoot from neck up." Bar after bar Jay-Z spits leaves you with so many puzzles to decode as his knack to drop double entrendre's and quadruple entendre's for years have left listeners up late at night with decoder rings rushing to be the first to crack his coded bars. People are still trying to decode his debut album "Reasonable Doubt". But also as you jump forward to track 3, track 4, track 5, etc, you realize that Jay-Z is more than a featured artist on this album. He's one of the artists. This album becomes more of a collaboration album like his and Kanye West's "Watch The Throne" that dropped in 2011, though the tracklist doesn't credit him on any track. For the Jay-Z lovers this was an unexpected gift. For the rest of the industry it was not fair and not something they expected. THIS IS A HELL OF A CHEAT CODE!" Even Jay Electronica had to acknowledge the anomaly of having Jay-Z appear on his debut album.
With an intro from The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and features from Jay-Z, compound on to that a wait that was as anticipated as Dr. Dre's Detox, and you'll see why Jay Electronica had some huge expectations to live up to. For many years people wondered if the RocNation artist would ever deliver an album as he dropped feature after feature which seemed to tease his fans as to the potential for his album to shift the culture a moments notice. But it's no doubt he delivered with A Written Testimony. Lines like, "Weave the whole industry, every jab I've parried it, My cross I carried it." are examples of how Jay Electronica's acknowledges his long journey to this debut album. And at the same time proves it was worth the wait. Even his peers have recently taken to social media to post some of his most quotable lines from the album.
Meek Mill even posted a bar from the album.
As you get deeper into the album a pattern starts to develop that is similar to that of Watch The Throne. Although 2 songs short of it's predecessor, the 10 track album often sees Jay-Z and Jay Electronica tagging in on each track, To compare the 2 lyrically Jay Electronica's A Written Testimony gets the crown that will be unpacked by Hip-Hop lyrical enthusiasts for years to come. But the one thing Watch the Throne does have over A Written Testimony is a hit. Nothing on the album can compare to "Niggas in Paris". It's just too big of a song to compete with, Jay-Z and Kanye West literally performed the song 7 times in a row in Paris. Although there may not be a club banger on Jay Electronica's album it does have some standout tracks, for example Flux Capacitor, which is like an old school call out track that takes you back to those old school Hip-Hop parties that helped birth the genre. Also as you examine each album closer it's undeniable their similarities, take for intense track "The Blinding", it follows a similar format as "Otis" from Watch The Throne as both Jay Electronica and Jay-Z go back and forth on the same verse over a soulful sample. If that ain't Watch The Throne then I don't know what is.
Whether you call Jay Electronica's album his first solo album or a collaboration album that is undoubtedly Watch The Throne 2, know that it's an over delivery on the expectation for a debut album. Few artists can get HOV on a track which is also the ultimate cheat code by the fact that he's on damn near the whole album. But what's most noticeable about the album is Jay Electronica's ability to stay pace with the lyrical sprints that Jay-Z so masterfully is known for. At times it's like the two are in a relay race passing the baton as they spit some of the dopest bars around each track. This is truly a victory for Jay Electronica's fans that can now relax knowing that the decade wait is over. But then again the question that is on everyone's minds now is will they have to wait another 10 years for the New Orleans native to drop another project. Only time will tell.
"Pull up in like 20,
Words. Words are so powerful that they have started wars. Men have risked everything and have even died over their word, their word being their honor. In the streets they say "Your word is your bond". Because for many their word is the most valuable thing they posse. And no one knows the power of words better than a poet. Sneak The Poet has shown his mastery of diction while also gaining respect from his peers in the process. Let's get to know Sneak The Poet!
1) What got you into music? I’ve always been a music lover and a fan of hip hop. But I didn’t get into music until my 3rd year at TU. I was riding down 75 and heard Biggie’s “Suicidal Thoughts” for the 1st time and that was it. I wrote my first rap during class the same day. I was already experimenting with poetry at the time.
2) You are an artists as well as a vidographer. How do you decide which to put your energy into? I’m an artist period. I started off as an actor. I’m actually a professionally trained actor, I received my degree in Theater and Minor in Film Studies. In a sense I started doing all of it at the same time once I decided I didn’t want to act anymore. I wanted to play more of a director/writer/producer role. Music kind of just came naturally. It’s a tough balance because hip hop influences my films. But I’m definitely consider myself a filmmaker. I’m working on a few big projects at the moment. But hip hop is me, forever, so that won’t ever change.
3) Last year you dropped a project called "Strictly 4 My Ninjas". What message were you trying to get across with this project? “Strictly 4 My Ninjas” is my 1st project since I moved back from Seattle. So it’s sort of a re-introduction to Sneak. Sonically it’s a blend of lo-fi and jazz rap. I like to think of it as the rise of the “cool blerd”. Real Ninja shit, you know. A lot of stuff I rap about, wasn’t cool to talk about 10 years ago.
4) What's one line off the project that you think goes over people's head? Idk about going over heads but one of my favorite bars is from Saturday Night “Pull up in like 20, she said what took u so long? Told her I’ve been chasing this money, but what’s all this bread if I can’t get me no honey?” I just like that bar. It’s real simple. But I feel simplicity hits harder sometimes than a lot of spiritual-miracle rap. It’s like what’s all this grinding for if I don’t reap the benefits of my hard work?
5) What's next for Sneak The Poet in 2020? Man I have big plans this year, a lot I can’t talk about just yet. But I am working on a few big scripts that I’m sourcing funding for. I’m also shooting videos for some of Tulsa’s dopest talent. New music SOON. Like really soon. I really feel like this year is going to be special. The energy is right.
6) You posted a video of you doing a chyper with DJ Somar. How did that come about? It was a promotional video for a Lessons in Fresh show at Fassler Hall. My first rap show ever was a Lesson and Fresh show at Soundpony like 6 or 7 years ago and Somar was the DJ.
Thanks to Sneak The Poet for taking time out of his busy day. Make sure to follow him on his social media below:
Instagram: @sneakthepoet (https://www.instagram.com/sneakthepoet/)
Twitter: @sneakthepoet (https://twitter.com/sneakthepoet)
Youtube: Sneak The Poet
It's fuck the law because I really don't respect it,
Consistency. For Domo this one word has helped define his career, because throughout it all few artists have shown the consistency that he has. His ability to drop project after project shows his consistency to feed his ever growing audience which is one of the reasons why his fanbase keeps growing. In this social media age it's Domo's consistency that is also giving him a leg up on the competition having delivered on visuals at a pace that is almost unmatched in both quality and consistency. Lastly it's his consistency to his sound that has helped in cut through the noise and survive the waves of Lil Baby's, Da Baby's, and any other variations of baby in between. Domo has proved that staying true to yourself as an artist and having consistency can get to the being the one next up. Let's get consistent with Domo.
1) Who is Domo? Long story short. I’m from Muskogee but I grew up in Tulsa,Ok. I started to play around with music when I was 14. I probably started taking it serious around 16. It’s crazy because I didn’t have a rap name or anything. Me and my cousin Cooluh was brainstorming one night in the studio and he came up with “Domo”. At first I was like hell nah! Haha but it slowly started to catch on and then soon everybody was calling me “Domo”. It’s been a long journey since then. I’m somebody that likes to be in the mix but also in the cut.. Probably rolling something up.. Or sippin on something.. Maybe both.. Who knows!? I love my city tho man. I really love how it’s starting to blossom with so much untapped talent and energy. It’s only a matter of time. It’ll happen soon.
2) What's been the hardest part about building your musical career? Everything... Its a process. Staying organized and prepared really helps. Also a solid team and foundation. There has to be more than one key play maker on your team for sure. Everybody has a part to play. Things can get ugly sometimes but you gotta roll with the punches! it’s beauty in the struggle tho.
3) Last year you released a 4 track EP called "At Midnight". What did you want listeners to get from that project? “At Midnight” was definitely something for me. I usually drop full projects with 10 - 14 tracks so I wanted do something short and hard this time around. I’ve never did anything like that until now so It was a learning experience in itself. I definitely will be dropping another one soon.
4) What's one line on the project "At Midnight" that you think goes over people's heads? “Put My Foot Inside Ya Neck!” because I’m really about to turn up and put my foot down. In the words of Trinidad James “ Don’t Believe Me Just Watch”.
5) What's next for Domo in 2020? Collaborations! I don’t do too many Collabs but It’s still a handful of artists I wanna reach out to and work with. I’m also sitting on 5 projects. I’m just getting the sounds and sonics right before I start to release them all. I got 1 of them dropping in a month or so...
Thanks to Domo for taking time out of his busy day. Make sure to follow him on his social media below:
ITS A REASON IM HERE,
Oasis. Many men travel thousands of miles searching for their peace, their land, their oasis. For Dialtone the journey has led him across the map traveling from state-to-state and from city-to-city. What he found out is that his oasis was closer than he thought. It was right here in Tulsa. Anyone whose heard the album knows that his album Oasis was an ode to the city. The musicality of the album reflected the new Tulsa sound that has traveled around the world and back. This in turn will help him do the same. Let's get to know Dialtone, the artist who found his oasis.
I know no name bulletproof,
The legend of the 30 dollar copy. Anyone who has been out to a hip-hop event in Tulsa lately has seen a tall bearded individual moving throughout the crowd. One by one individuals line up to greet this bearded fellow giving various handshakes and taking selfies. His jacket swaying heavily from the wrapped and concealed $30 copy. It's an amazing sight to see this bearded figure named 1st Verse make his way through the crowd. It only takes just one pause between handshakes and a swift motion to his jacket reveals the legendary $30 copy of his album VSXO. If your lucky enough to see this transaction occur be appreciative, because in this day of impersonal digital streaming 1st Verse is defying all marketing plans and is going platinum..... his way.
Diamonds on my writst and Diamonds on my hand,
Many can imitate it, but no one can duplicate the flavor that is Keeng Cut. Even Keeng Cut created a new flavor with the artist Flavio Cútatore. Coming off his album Flavio Cútatore and his EP Stay Flavored My Friend, many people wondered. Would his next album "The Flavorpiece" be a rap album? Or would it be a R&B follow-up to Flavio Cútatore? But as soon as you pressed play on the track "Stainless" let you know that this was Keeng Cut and he wasn't leaving no room for guessin'. He was spittin'.
Mode. Today Keezy Kuts has time with the recent release of his video "Mode". On the track Keezy Kuts shows off his melodic voice and proves his mastery of auto-tune as he uses this instrument to help deliver various vocal pitches and hit higher pitches. His aim is impeachable as he is able to find these pockets that accentuate his presence on the track. Even more clever is Keezy Kuts slick wordplay as he maneuvers through different rhyme schemes rolling tightly around syllables that are packed as full as his pre-rolls. It's no wonder why Keezy Kuts puts this track on his Pre-Rolled 2 project, which within itself is jam packed with hit after hit.
How do you define a time? Music. It’s the power of music that transports you to a time of memories experienced. And if not experienced you still don't have to go to far to see just how unique these experiences are. DJ Noname is an artist who is taking his unique experiences and blending them with fellow producer DJ $ir Mike to transport listeners to what can only be called “Sir Noname.”.