"It may be unfair to dismiss Nas’ success as merely a piggyback ride on the back of L Boogie and her Refugee Camp, but I can come to no other conclusion for this year’s most surprising success story, as almost overnight, Nas-the-Martyr has become Nas-the-Superstar. Meanwhile, Jay-Z is somewhere lounging on a leather couch sipping an ice-cold bottle of Moet. Since he still runs his own operation and puts put his own shit, Jay-Z, when all is said, done, and divvied up, will probably make more money."
This quote is from the legendary Elliott Wilson who recently re-released an article called “Elliott's 1996 'Reasonable Doubt'. In the article Elliott Wilson compared and contrasted two hip-hop legends who both dropped critically acclaimed albums within a week of each other. Nas’s 'It Was Written' and Jay-Z’s ‘Reasonable Doubt’.
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".
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".
Spark. Is a very complex concept. The perfect variables have to happen for such a relatively small thing to happen. Even more interesting is that spark can be both a negative and a positive. Spark a fire,and it means destruction, it means pain. But spark a mind and the light can be so bright that it can help heal the destruction caused by the former. OmaleyB's track "Kerosene" is the spark that has the power to change the history of a city.
Travis Scott's AstroWorld Tour "Wish You Were Here Tour 2" will be in Tulsa on Feb. 8th. That's right Tulsa, Oklahoma will have a rap artist who is Grammy nominated headlining the BOK Center. For the many hip-hop lovers this is a dream come true. A dream that wouldn't have happened 5 years ago. Because at that time it was perceived that there wasn't a "Hip-Hop" audience here. Especially with artists like Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga selling out the BOK Center each time they stopped by. But what the BOK and other venues that were not in-tuned with the scene there was a storm brewing and it's name was Hip-Hop.
Paige Howard. A movie that was written and shot by the Oklahoma City team Daily Devotion became more than just a movie. The Christmas Eve premiere was shown in a local theater room in Oklahoma City. And by the end of the movie it was clear that more was on the line than awards and accolades. There are still real life consequences. Consequently it was when you really stopped and looked around the room that you noticed the people who were genuinely happy to see each other, and genuinely proud of the team of people that had put so much into a project. As the movie ended and the applause from the audience began, it was nothing but love that filled the theater room. This was an important moment in time. This same feeling is most felt on the Paige Howard Soundtrack that became more than just a soundtrack. It became a celebration of the bridge that was built between Oklahoma City and Tulsa, the perfect "Love Affair".
World Culture Music
Production: Papa_74126, George Young, 2Peece, Deaneaux, John Mooreland, TK Nasa, Charity E. Vaughn
With 2 successful hip-hop music festivals, a critically acclaimed album, sold out music documentary screening, and the lists goes on. Steph Simon has continuously done what has never been done before. One would think is there any more "Upside" left for him to achieve. But for Steph Simon what he's already accomplished doesn't even compare to what he has planned for next. It's with this attitude that Steph Simon drops his latest video "Upside".
What you do it fo? This is the question Steph Simon has been asking himself as the time to the premiere of his Moviementary (movie documentary) “Live From the Tisdale” draws closer. A question that the movie tries to give insight into just how difficult an answer this is. The moviementary centers around Steph Simon’s live performance titled “Live From the Tisdale” which you can find my review here. Also accompaning Steph is his band The Rowlands, which the name of the band is a story within itself that is discussed a little in the moviementary.
A cymbal taps lightly as it blends smoothly into the background. A bass kick starts followed by a few light hits of a snare. That's how you let the beat build. The cymbal clashes as a piano comes in soo soulfully playing along with the drums. But this still doesn't feel like the main ingredient, not just yet. A funky electric guitar pierces through the beat. That's that main ingredient I was searching for. Now this feels right. This feels familiar. The crowd starts to cheer and clap. Then he starts to rap, "Check. I can see my old school, use to be a young Hawk. my girl was a Miller Driller, that's where it all started...' I start to sing along having heard this song before.