And I was never the perfect ki-d,
The church has always been a staple in the black community. For generations it has been a place of not only worship, but has also been a place of family, community, values, and overall a place that prepared you for living a Holy life. And anyone who has lived on the northside of Tulsa knows that church is a way of life. Especially on a Sunday. Sunday is The Lord's day, and in north Tulsa this means churches are filled with family and friends who are all coming to hear The Word. The church is more than just a building, It's sacred land. One church that's a symbol of northside churches is the Praise Center Family Church located between North Peoria and MLK right on Apache. It's here that local rapper Steph Simon chooses to shoot a scene from his video Silver n' Gold which features fellow artist and churchgoer Dialtone. The two actually went to church together and have a long time friendship and have numerous collaborations together. But it's 45 seconds into the video that you hear Steph Simon disrespect this sacred land as he raps, "starring at the baddest bitches off in the serv-ices".
The video continued to play, I could see my friend's eyes widen, she even shifted her weight uncomfortably, and that's when I had to stop the video. Knowing her bias of not liking local artist I knew that showing this video alone would prevent her from liking it. I spoke about the bias Tulsans have toward local artists in my very first post All Tulsa Rappers Sound the Same. But another reason I chose this video was that it featured one of our best. We're talking Steph Simon. A rapper with a message and the talent and lyrical skill to put Tulsa on the map. My third reason for choosing this video was that I knew that my friend had a very deep connection to church. So it surprised me that she seemed so uncomfortable with the video. But it was not until I stopped the video that she revealed what exactly was wrong. "Ohh my God. Did he just cuss in front of a church?". I was astonished. Was this the only thing she had remembered from the whole video? Had she not heard the beginning bars that actually featured Steph Simon talking reciting Luke 6:38. Had she not heard the clever line that he had flipped about gangsta's not dying? Had she not heard right after those 45 seconds in the very next bar?
The pastor always told me. I was made in his imagin-'in.
On and on as the song played there are so many more lines that further communicate the message of the actual song. Judging from her body language and everything that came out of her mouth, she had completely turned her ears off and had become no longer open to hearing the message in the song. Even with the familiarity of the sample of Kirk Franklin and The Family's "Silver and Gold" was not enough to keep her engaged. But was there too much a difference between the message in this song and the one in Kirk Franklin's?, "I'd rather have Jesus than silver and gold".
I want to put this disclaimer out before I go any further into this conversation by using a line from Kendrick Lamar's song The Heart Pt 2.
And Lord knows that I know better, but I ain't perfect
Meaning that I apologize if something I say offends or is incorrectly stated in this piece. I am writing this in order to open a dialogue. I am not a spiritual advisor and in no way should my explanation of biblical text be used for anything other than entertainment purposes. Please do your own research and/or talk to a spiritual advisor who can assist you along your spiritual journey.
Shocked! That is the only way to describe it. Not only had she not heard the song's message, More shockingly is that I had heard her curse just 10 mins before playing the actual video. I've even heard her use the Lord's name in vein when she was really mad. Is that too not a sin? I had to ask about this hypocrisy. I was more surprised about her explanation that her sin wasn't as worse as this sin. I had to think on that a little more. The sin of cursing on church grounds was worse than the sin of cursing at home or at a friend's house. Again I don't know The Bible by heart, but one common thing I've always heard is that a sin is a sin. Period. No matter how small or how large. "Romans 3:23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard." My interpretation of this is that we as a people are not grouped into our sins, where one group who may have cursed like a sailor is separated from another group who has stolen. And in our case these groups would be further dissected into people who've cursed on church grounds and those who have never cursed on church grounds. From my knowledge this dissection and classification of a sin doesn't exist. What matters most is what's in a person's heart. Steph Simon said even goes onto say that since he's made in his image, then God understands why I'm not perfect and why at times I'm conflicted. But again he's not perfect.
But I'm trying G....
Once again I tried to explain to her the message in the song. This time a particular line that I said,, "But this is the song the strippers play before they go to work." Which took the conversation down another rabbit hole. She immediately went into her spill about how some women wear revealing clothes when they come to church. The tight skirts and shirts that show cleavage, and in her mind is distracting people from getting the word. I casually reminded her that men are going to be men. Although wrong, no matter what a woman wears, some men are going to look at women. But that wasn't the message in the song. I went onto explain that if a stripper is at rock bottom. We're talking life or death and she walks in a church as she is. Maybe a little provocative, and more revealing than the other women. Would saving her be less important than in that moment judging her for what she has on as not being appropriate? Surprisingly, her answer was that the women in this life or death situation should know better. She should know the rules of church!!! I've always heard come as you are. And in a moment of crisis that may be not the most appropriate dress attire. Even Lyfe Jennings talks about this in his song "Stick Up Kid".
When church done became a fuckin' fashion show
Kanye West talked about it in his song Jesus Walks where in the video a stripper walked in as she was, in search for Jesus. So is it really come as you are? Or is it something else? It would be interesting to examine The Bible's explanation of appropriate attire and see just how to the 'T' many people follow the dress code. Are their violations worse than if a stripper came in? Or is it even about saving souls at that point? All I know is what Steph Simon ended with.
"If I can't reach them in the flesh.I'll reach them with the words."
If you were wondering. No we didn't finish the video. One of the worst things about this whole experience is that she didn't get to fully experience the song. This song has so much to offer. It has so much to unpackaged. It's a disservice to not even mention Dialtone's verse. His verse expresses the conflict that we all have on our life paths. Raising a child and teaching them values but at the same time knowing that the pursuit of money can often times conflict with these values. We didn't even talk about the line about chains that have Jesus's face on them being snatched. Thievery is one of the most talked about sins from The Bible. Maybe taken out of context is the idea that a thief should have his hand cut off if caught stealing. But still Dialtone's verse was so jam packed with symbolism's that it's a discredit to not even get into the meanings and the depth in his verse. And all because of a curse word.
Again. We never finished this video. I appreciated the dialogue we had. But looking back I couldn't empathize with her position. My eyes and ears heard something totally different from what she did. Here was Steph Simon realizing he's not perfect, but he's seeking balance. And many call that perfection. I see a person having a conversation with God. And to me God can speak any language and he can communicate effectively to any person. So I can't fault Steph Simon for coming as he is and having a conversation with God. Nor can I fault Dialtone for expressing the conflict he has in his verse. The act of this conversation is what should be celebrated, and not the sin of cursing in front of a church. Because church is not a physical location. It's not a land. It is a people. And it's the people's conversations with God that are worth more than all the Silver n' Gold.
Please everyone watch Steph Simon's video "Silver n' Gold" ft. Dialtone and be open to the message:
"Feel a way we riot. Feel a way we hittin' Kapernicks."
In these 2 bars the word "feel" gives each bar power. Because to feel, is to be alive. Toree T. is an artist from Tulsa that is bringing that feeling back to hip-hop. Every bar. Every syllable. But most importantly every song has a message that listeners feel. Of course she's a dope emcee that can at any moment flex her lyrical muscles, but that wouldn't be what's needed in music right now. Especially when people need music that will make them feel what's really going in the world, Toree T. decided she couldn't be silent, she would tell the story the best way she knew how. Let's get to know Toree. T.:
1. What got you into rapping? My dad, sister and I were messing around rapping one day and came up with something pretty dope. In that moment, I realized my ability to stay on beat and my strong voice, especially for a 6 year old. Shortly after, I ended up performing in a talent show and it was crazy how great the feedback was. I fell in love with being on stage, and from there is when I realized rapping was a passion.
2, How would you define Toree T.? I would define Toree T. as an ascending woman that aspires to be a light to everyone that encounters her energy. A classy creative, a voice that speaks for many, and an uplifter that encourages people to walk boldly and confidently in their truths.
3. If someone never heard your music before what one song would you suggest they listen to? I’d suggest they listen to “Real Onez” because I feel like most people can relate, or “Mine” for more of a r&b/hip hop type vibe. Major s/o to WeThatSound and Dmusiq on producing/mixing and mastering the track and my girl Elona for killing it on the vocals.
4. What is #ToreeTTuesdays? On Tuesday’s I post content with a visual/message behind it. Toree T. Tuesday’s won’t be limited to just rapping a verse, there’s no telling what you’ll get on a Tuesday but best believe it’ll be something to look forward to!
5. What's next for Toree T. in 2020? Really just continuing to create, growing my fan base, getting performances lined back up, and I’m also working on a project. The creating never stops, make sure to stay tuned. Check me out on all streaming platforms, as well as toreetmusic.com to stay updated on the latest content.
Thanks again to Toree T. for taking time out of her day for the interview. Make sure you follow her social media and lookout for #ToreeTTuesdays and all her upcoming projects.
J. Cole burst on to the scene at a time when hip-hop was evolving. Some would say the last class to see CD sales and the end of the bling bling era. J. Cole came in at a time when Kanye single had made it cool to talk about more than being the hardest rapper in the room. This was the time when we started to see rappers able to express themselves on a more emotional and intellectual level. And if you know anything about J. Cole's music than you know he's one of the best at rapping about growth, family, social injustices, and most importantly uplifting women. But it was a surprise was when J. Cole got a lot of backlash from the recent release of this song "Snow on the Bluff".
The controversy spread like wildfire on Twitter with many users wanting to "cancel" J. Cole with many critical of his lyrics mainly for the fact that he was in a way talking down on a woman. This comes at a very important time when voices are needed to be heard and some took this song as J. Cole wanting to silence those voices, mainly women. Anyone that has heard this song and knows J. Cole's music knows that the accusations and criticality of the lyrics are unwarranted. Songs like J, Cole's "Change Clothes" is the epitome of J. Cole immortalizing women by turning what is thought of as a woman's task into something that he wants to do to show that he cares and lifts up his woman. But one song can turn the world against you.
This song is a response to female rapper Noname, an who has been known to use her platform to fight out against injustices against not only her race but more importantly against black women. Her recent tweets seem to take aim at her peers for not speaking out and using their platforms to bring awareness to the injustices going on against black men and black women. Since having been deleted is the May 29th tweet from Noname.
But getting into the song "Snow on tha Bluff" I see a healthy criticism. J. Cole comes from a humbling position asking for knowledge from someone who is more knowledgeable about organizing and leading the people. Even going as far as to ask for patience for his ignorance and suggesting a different tone and approach than what Noname had used.
"If I could make one more suggestion respectfully
I think what J. Cole is getting to is that sometimes the people with the knowledge don't want to give up the knowledge. They would rather sit on top of the hill and look down on the people who don't know it and are ignorant to the facts, while also not looking back to pull the very people they are talking about helping out of it. I do agree though that most conscious rappers had gone silent during these current times. It was like they had taken a vow of silence. But Lil Baby was an artist who surprised everyone with the release of his socially conscious single "The Bigger Picture". But for the J. Cole's and Kendrick's of the world. The one's who were expected to rise up and have a lot to say. It was disappointing that there was radio silence. Noname put it into a little more harsher words than I. On May 29th she tweeted:
"Poor black folks all over the country are putting their bodies on the line in protest for our collective safety, and ya'll favorite top-selling rappers not even willing to put a tweet up.
J. Cole ultimately defends this by saying that he doesn't have the same tools that she has. He thinks that his college degree gets him unrealistically put on a platform as a smart leader. And that it's Noname who is the true leader (which she talks about herself in her song). But I can't give him this out. He has spoken about this topic in depth with songs like "Neighbors" and "Brackets". This is his topic. This is his lane. He should've spoken out like the numerous times on his other tracks. Though many point to times that he has taken action such as marching in Charlotte, NC to protest against George Floyd's death. They say actions speak louder than words. But I think for a person who has millions of followers on social media. Words speak just as loud as Actions. And they should be used together. But it doesn't end there.
Noname dropped her own song called "Song 33" which was a response to J. Cole's song. On this track Noname points out the hypocrisy of J. Cole coming for her when their are more important things that they should be using their platform to speak out against, not a diss track or a fake rap beef. She shits on J. Cole's excuse of not leading because of ignorance and that she's more equipped to lead in these matters, that's where she takes a quick jab by saying, "Yo, but little did I know all my readin' would be a bother," As she has been seen reading revolutionary books like "Blood in my Eye", by political prisoner George Jackson. She proved that she wouldn't back down. She stood tall and went toe-to-toe with him. She went the hardest on J. Cole on her 2nd verse where she flat out asks why write about her with way more important things going on. But she also went off on this track.
But niggas in the back quiet as a church mouse
She even continues to give despite the beef.
So who's right? Is it J. Cole for calling out Noname in response to her tweets about conscious rappers not taking a stand? OR is it Noname who's right for standing by her tweets and further stating how J. Cole should be talking about things more inline with the movement. Or does it even matter who's right and who's wrong? The most important thing that can't get drowned out is the message that black lives are being taken at the hands of the people who they are sworn to protect. But maybe we're tired of hearing that song.
Checkout both songs below and let us know which song you like the best:
When you look at some of the greatest revolutionaries of all time. Malcolm X, George Jackson. Huey P. Newton, Tupac, and so many others that came before them, there is a common theme amongst them. Before they found their way to consciousness they had been on a path that was totally opposite of what they had come to be known and treasured for. From being convicts, to drug dealers, to thieves, their former lifestyles was necessary in shaping their future. This in turn made them of the people and allowed to still have the respect and talk to people that were still living that lifestyle in order to steer them in the right direction. Lil Baby much like the great leaders mentioned earlier has come out with a uncharacteristic song (called "The Bigger Picture") with a message that he hopes will also steer his people to the promised land.
I can't lie like I don't rap about killing and dope,
From the opening of the track no one would think that this is a Lil Baby track. Not because this is not a topic he speaks on, but the message is usually drowned out with bars about selling drugs and buying expensive cars. Drowned out is the message that black people have been disproportionately harassed and killed by law enforcement. This song was different in that it put the topic front and center. Impressively Lil Baby didn't shy away from the fact that his prior songs weren't directing his people in the best direction but at the same time not a lot of the artists that you would've expected to step up did. Artists like J. Cole and Kendric Lamar who have been known to speak on a more conscious level had been quiet. Lil Baby in this moment choose to stand up and use his platform the best way he knew he could. To help the world see the bigger picture. AND IT WORKED!
One of the most compelling elements of the track is the beat, is it's gritty, uptempo. and heavily trap influenced production show the mastery of producers Noah Pettigrew & Section 8. The beat creates an restless feel. A feeling that you can't wait. There's no brakes. No asking. No more waiting. The only that matters is for a change to happen NOW. Even more power was the opening of George Floyd ending in the worst words you can ever hear. "I CAN'T BREATHE".
Lil Baby's melodic auto-tune voice comes at you rapidly in a machine-gun like tone piecing the beat. His lyrics are an insight into first hand experiences that has happened to countless people who listen to his music. "They trainin' officers to kill us, then shootin' protestors with these rubber bullets. They regular people, I know that they feel it. These scars too deep to heal us. What happened to COVID? Nobody remember. " Lines like these shows a side of Lil Baby that people aren't normally used to. Maybe it's a side that people around him know about, but to the public, this is a side he hasn't shown. But to be honest hip-hop and more importantly the world needed to hear this. Throughout this song Lil Baby is highlighting the very things that has resulted in too many lives being gone. Too many names and faces on t-shirts. Too many mothers and fathers gone. How much it too much? 1.
The Bigger Picture was a gamble for Lil Baby because this isn't what he's known for. But at the same time it isn't because he's always made music for the people. And right now this is exactly what the people needed. This isn't to say that Lil Baby has by any means did as much for the cause as Malcolm X or even Tupac. But maybe this is the spark that we need to help unite the people just like a Tupac would've.
Checkout Lil Baby's new video "The Bigger Picture" below:
The doc knows best. There's a reason why when doctors talk that people listen. Whether it's for health, wealth, or wisdom, having a doctor around puts everyone at ease. From Dr. Vivien Thomas to Dr. Dre, the greats have always left their marks on history. So when Tulsa and Oklahoma City was in need of a project to help solidly the Oklahoma hip-hop scene and showcase the two cities ability to work together and create a cohesive hip-hop project, the universe yelled, "Is there a doctor in the house?". Dr. View was the doctor to answer this call with his project called "(IN)VISIBLE MAN", which can only be described as so Tulsa, so Oklahoma City, so Oklahoma, but most importantly so Hip-Hop! Let's sit sit down and get to know the doc they call Dr. View.
1) What's one album that you believe has the best production? I can’t just pick one, and I think that speaks to the sounds that you hear on (IN)VISIBLE MAN, but here are a few: Kanye’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, The Dream’s LoveHate, Big KRIT’s Return of 4Eva, Rick Ross’ Teflon Don and Roy Ayers’ Vibrations.
2) Many people don't know that you really have your P.H.D. can you speak about your educational background and why you wanted to get a P.H.D.? Yeah, I have a PhD in Higher Education Administration. I’m a first generation college graduate that worked at the university level for almost 7 years. It was important to finish because there is a very low percentage of Black people that have terminal degrees. But I knew I had to complete the degree on my own terms, which my dissertation was in the form of a hip hop album. Fast forward, the education still remains in my music. You’re gonna get dope production, classic bars and some soul that will edify you. That’s the formula.
3) What do you want people to get from (IN)VISIBLE MAN? I want people to understand that I see them. I understand their struggle of trying to make it in a world where they feel invisible, or no one really tries to grasp their stories or motivations for living. I want people to recognize that art imitates life and (IN)VISIBLE MAN is a direct correlation to the shit we endure everyday. This is the soundtrack of the times. It’s something for everyone. Lastly, I want everyone to know that the album consisted only Oklahoma artists and was a homage to Ralph Ellison, who wrote the iconic book, Invisible Man. I’m letting the world know that Oklahoma has been and will continue to be dope.
4) What's one song on the album you suggest everybody listen to? All of them. It’s not an album, it’s an experience. Each song is connected to the next. I want people to just press play, close their eyes for 45 minutes and go to a place. And allow the music to speak to them. I promise it will.
5) What's next for Dr. View in 2020? I’m one of the executive producers for Fire in Little Africa, which is a compilation album in commemoration of Black Wall Street. That project drops in February 2021, but I have a project with St. Domonick coming soon called 25 Lighters, a project with Thomas Who? coming soon called Dr. Who?, and my hip hop collective, The Space Program, is currently developing a project. Lastly, the Chopstars out in Houston (OG Ron C & DJ Candlestick) chopped and screwed (IN)VISIBLE MAN, and it sounds crazy.
Thanks again to Dr. View for taking time out of his busy day to talk with us. Definitely look out for his up-coming projects. But in the mean time make sure you go jam "(IN)VISIBLE MAN" now streaming everywhere!
This is the first single off the project called "93 Rockets | 88 Compton"
Vinson: "The prisons and the graveyards are full of boys who wore the crown."
Rap has always been a competitive sport. And like all sports everyone is looking to wear the crown. No matter how it happened or when it happened as Marlo put it so assertively, "Point is: they wore it." It's a respect that comes with it no matter how much you like or dislike the one who wears the crown. The sport of hip-hop is no exception. It's become a sport within itself where the winner takes all. And once you wear the crown you realize that there's always someone younger and hungrier looking to take it. The Tulsa hip-hop scene is an example of this. Tulsa has a rich history of royalty who wore the crown and have been celebrated during their time. But time is a funny thing, especially the past and the present. In a world of overthrows and takeovers the saying goes, " le mort saisit le vif" or "Long Live the King". Because many times the transfer of power comes at the demise of the former king, and makes way for the new king. But what would happen if both kings could exist? Both helping each other and championing the other? Now that would be an empire. That would be a land of kings. And with that Playya 1000, The Deeksta, and Steph Simon are proving it's possibe on their new record entitled "All Love".
Many might not know this, but this isn't the first time all three kings shared the mic. Steph Simon brought Playya 1000 and The Deeksta out on stage for the Hip-Hop 918 concert last year. And if you were there you got to see why Playya 1000 and The Deeksta are kings. The crowd both young and old alike shared this energy and excitement. It was truly feelin like a Sunday Morning!
I get to the bag,
To really analyze this record you have to start from it's foundation. And this is where The Deeksta continues to shine. His legendary production has always been a staple sound for not only the duo but Tulsa in general. As the soulful samples and G-Funk feel good percussion has been his production calling card. He's set the stage for Playya 1000 to create and come up with some of the dopest punchlines that still continue to amaze hip-hop enthusiasts alike. All Love shows just this the dynamic duo doing what they do best, and yet there's more to the story. It's when you hear Steph Simon spit on the track that you realize what the song's really about. This is two generations saluting each other both past and present. But it doesn't stop there either. The cameo of St. Domonick shows as a salute to the future of Tulsa hip-hop. And if anyone has heard St. Domonick spit, then you know Tulsa hip-hop is in good hands.
Verses used to go for the Gibbs price,
For an MC, having a verse after Playya 1000 would be a death sentence. But for an artist like Steph Simon this was an opportunity to showcase why time and time again that no challenge is too great. And yet this time it's a little different. This is a passing of the baton or better yet an alley-oop to the rim. The influence of Playya 1000 has trickled down to Steph Simon as he has become an artist who spits lines that you have to research. While his mastery of the double entendre is one of the reasons why he is respected across the board, and why he can be featured on a legends track. His flow not only crosses genres but generations of music as young and old alike play his music.
So if you still need a reason to listen to this track the thing to remember is that:
AT THE END OF THE DAY. IT's ALL LOVE!
When it comes to super artists in Tulsa the at the top of that list includes Jarry Manna, 2Peece, and Medisin. Their talents can be seen on numerous classic projects that have helped shaped the sound of Tulsa. Each artist in their respects have racked up millions of streams and a backlog of requests from fellow artists wanting to capture some of their powers to shine on a song. The unique thing about this trio is that they each have brought their unique talents to the Tulsa music scene, as well as huge commercial placements. But what if you put all of their powers together. It would be some type of cheat code. Right? That's exactly what their new project called "Super Sad Bros" is. It's the ultimate cheat code. But to them the project has been hours of hard work and a tight rope of balance between the right amount of each artist on a track. But to their competition this project doesn't feel forced. Matter of fact it seems so effortless some would say they were on Autopilot, which is the name of one of the tracks on their Super Sad Bros project.
It's a fucking hit! That was my first impression just 10 seconds into the song. The layered vocals of Jarry Manna opens the track with a smooth wavy delivery. You just want to be Jarry Manna, and this track proves why. His presence and ability to ride the beat is another reason why his fanbase reaches so far and every time that he drops a track the numbers are crazy. Even more impressive is the anticipation as the beat builds. This is that fist pump music. Where the dude that's had way too much is in the middle of the floor saying, "Just wait for it." 2Peece really shows his production range as the beat seems to take off into outer space. And just as the rocket reaches the atmosphere the moon man Medisin steps out into zero gravity and floats on the track. His voice guiding you through the cosmos and continuing to ascend to the moon. The listener is right there next to him to experience this intergalactic trip. This is a very intricate song but again they make it seem effortless.
Autopilot can't easily be summed up because that wouldn't give justice to the complexities of the track. On the other hand over-analyzing this track would also be wrong. The happy medium is to say that this track is a feeling. The type of feeling that helps you escape if but for 3 minutes and 54 seconds. The feeling that your in your own music video where the camera follows you around like Usher's video U Remind Me. It has that crossover feel that can be used in commercials and could even have a Kidz Bop version years later. It's when the bass pounds against the speaker that gives the same kind of heart pounding feeling of being in the center of a club dancing carefree with your friends. No worries about bills. No worries about work. Just that feeling in time. That feeling in space. So if someone asked me to sum up this song, I would answer. It's the same thing that differentiates us from robots. The feeling.
Go checkout the track "Autopilot" now on Instagram as well as on YouTube:
With 420 right around the corner we thought it would only be right to interview Mr. Kusher himself.... Keezy Kuts. His recent release of "Pre-Rolled 2" can only be described as a smoker's delight as each song seamlessly transitions through the "highs". This EP is the perfect sequel in the "Pre-Rolled" series. Take a listen to our interview with Keezy Kuts.
Le Cordon Bleu (translated as "The Blue Ribbon) is one of the best culinary schools in Paris. Chefs from all around the world travel for the chance to be apart of the tutelage and prestige from a school that has been known to produce some of the best chefs in the nation. But do you have to go to such a prestigious institution to be considered a world-renowned chef? Not for Keeng Cut! His recent project "Snackin' with Flavor" showcases his ability to put together some amazing dishes that can only be described a divine experience that few are worthy of. Let's take a seat and order from "Snackin' with Flavor".
Opening the tracklist is like opening the menu of an upscale five-star restaurant where your glass is never empty and there and no need for condiments. Each song of this 10 track project has a title that suggests at an expensive restaurant where the ingredients are always fresh combined with unique combinations that can only be found there. The main ingredients being of course Keeng Cut and producer dj noname. who together have created a fine dining experience complete with decadent dishes and a sound that creates the pace for savoring this tape. That's exactly what you have to do with this tape is savor it. Savor the heavily jazz influenced production. Savor the luxurious bars that are like morsels of savory flavor. Each track is the right portion and well with the cost.
Cost or rather "Worth" is something Keeng Cut has always rapped about going back to his Khampa Trillman days. It's lines like "Smellin' like Oil or Bond. I can do both baby. You can get the knife or the fists. I can do both hater" on the track "Tulsa Food Trucks" that seems to remind his listeners that the Khampa Trillman is still very much apart of him. But also on the track are lines about passive income, ownership, and taking care of business that shows just how much he has evolved. And like a world-renowed chef who knows how the acidy and bitterness on a customer's palate, Keeng Cut shows this same balance when rapping about guns and butter. Another example of this is on the track "Tuxedo Sundae" which has a beat that is business yet fun and flavorful. This evolution continues into the next song "Crustacean Cake Eggs Benedict" where he raps:
Keeng Cut a late bloomer,
Let's talk a little more about the other chefs featured on this album. It's the surprise these featured chefs create dishes and enhance the menu as seen with tracks like "Creamy Ramen" and "Turkey Burger with Sweet Potato Fries" that both have become house favorites. These tracks have their unique flavors that you just can't put your finger on but you know it just works. "Creamy Ramen" introduces the chefs Dialtone and Teddy Oso. And although last, Teddy Oso showcases a perfectly plated delivery of bars that complement both Dialtone and Keeng Cut. Who themselves serve up exceptional verses.
But this isn't the only time Dialtone helps Keeng Cut chef in the kitchen. His second feature is on the track "Turkey Burger with Sweet Potato Fries". It's on this track that Diatone proves that it pays dividends to have help, as he is more of a sous-chef that has been called in to help Keeng Cut to complete the orders within a 2 minute and 43 second ticket time. Timing is everything on this track yet the two collaborate so well that there is no mentions of restaurant terms like "Behind", "Fire it", or "Sharp". These terms are intended to let each chef know where the other is. But on this track ,they just know. This can be seen as the two pass the mic which becomes sort of a knife that the two pass after their verses cut through the beat. Lastly the "runner" dj noname delivers some dope commentary who is like a host that gives his recommendation of how this menu item can go from good to flavorous. Take a listen and you'll know what I mean.
One of the best Anthony Bordain's episode's of Parts Unknown was on Season 8, Episode 5 in which he visited Houston. The show showcased the southern hospitality along with the melting pot of cultures who have brought recipes and new foods to this booming oil town which has become a food destination. Keeng Cut first hand has experienced the rich culture and foods of Houston and has done his fair share of trips down I-45. This is most apparent on the track "Fiesta on Jensen Drive Got the Best Pineapple in Houston". This is an ode to H-Town where he reminisces on Houston places like The Screw Shop, The Galleria, Johnny's, and amongst others Fiesta Mart store, which is the name of the track. Throughout the track he raps about the close friends like Roy who helped him navigate and stay connected to H-Town. While also paying homage to Houston legends even going as far as giving Houston producer George Young the title of one of the gods of Houston. It's easy to see why this city is so invigorating. And appropriately that he ends it by singing, "Gotta Love That H-Town".
Showing off his taste for exotic flavors Keeng Cut's track "Neveria LaFuente" is unique. This song is epitome of extravagance and deculance. The type of dinner you have to save up for. Where the champagne is perfectly poured and the waiter after sitting down your plate says "Disfrútate de la comida." It's an experience and the ambiance that you enjoy. Which is initially created by the slow hypnotizing Latin influenced beat. Mix this with Keeng Cut's smooth and eloquent delivery and you'll know why people save their whole checks just for one night out of extravagance. This track truly becomes his international dish.
To fully experience "Snackin' with Flavor" you have to go to his YouTube page "Keeng Cut TV". On there you can find a volume of episodes called "Snackin' with Flavor" where Keeng Cut himself walks you through how to make the very dishes he raps about. Keeng Cut again shines as he showcases his mastery of the culinary arts and commanding stage presence. It's here that he shows that Snackin' with Flavor isn't about heating up frozen dinners or late night cooking TV Informals. Come on we talking about flavor! And Keeng Cut's meals involve curated ingredients that are prepped in a way that enhances the flavor of each ingredient. What's also impressive is his ability to get steer from the beaten path of recipes and see him work with only the ingredients he has available. This is what makes him flavor king. It's no doubt that if the legendary chef Anthony Bourdain was still alive he would want to visit with no reservations the experience that is Snackin' with Flavor.
Compliments to the chefs. And to reiterate this s not about cheddar biscuits. Snackin' with Flavor is like being in a 5-star luxury dining experience where the ambiance is set by cultivating jazz sounds offset by the notes of flavorful wine and of course flavorful lyrics. And if you listen close enough you'll get some of the key recipes that make this project have so much flavor. So next time you're in the kitchen preparing a meal, throw on "Snackin' with Flavor". It's guaranteed to be the key ingredient you didn't know you were missing.
Make sure to follow Keeng Cut on his social media:
YouTube: Keeng Cut TV
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!