Public Enemy was probably the one of the first to start releasing material including videos on-line. It’s good to see they’re still at with their un-compromised militant flava. One thing I like about this group is they see the world as their stage. So even if you don’t see or hear PE on BET or your local Hot, Power or Jammin’ type station, they pull huge crowds overseas. In fact as we speak they’re on the road over in Europe. They will no doubt be on hand for the strikes in France.. Salute to PE who paved the road for many and still continue to kick down doors.
Since we’re in the vain of politics, peep this next video from Boots Riley of the Coup and Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine. Together they are known as Street Sweeper Social Club and the name of the song is Paper Planes which was most recently done by M.I.A. and before that the Clash. In this version Boots gives an insightful breakdown on class warfare. As a rapper he’s pushing music bounderies and expectations by ‘rocking out’ so to speak. It’s wrong to put Hip Hop in this limited box when there are so many ways it can go. You can catch other joints off the Ghettoblaster EP
Canary Sing is duo out of Seattle who I first came across a few years back at a sold out All Female Showcase in Seattle where they were blowing up the spot. Madeleine “Lioness” Clifford and Hollis “Ispire” Wong-Wear are incredibly talented who can do it all, spoken word, spit nice flows and sing. Check out their mix tape Boss Ladies and their newly released EP Beautiful Babies which can be heard on their myspace page. Cuts like My Style, Prove it and the remake of dead prez‘s Mind Sex show their skillz. This video Freakshow is nice.. I wish they had more because you can see that they fill big void in terms of going beyond the simple and predictable.
Baltimore’s Labtekwon has long been pushing the envelope and a fixture in Charm City. I think he’s must’ve put out at least 20 albums. His latest project Next: Baltimore Basquiat and the Future Shock is filled with songs that boldly defy the corporate rap culture narrative hawked by big business outlets. In short you will not be dumbed down by this cat. What I like about Lab is that he’s independent and has long supported his craft by releasing slew of videos that match the creativity of his songs. Cuts like Goddess, External Struggle and Blackskate Punk are all worth peeping.
What I like about the song we featured ‘Your World‘ is the big band/jazz flavored music and scat like rap cadence. Lab is a vicious emcee who is comfortable playing around with different styles and approaches as he does here on this song. I also like the fact that he mixed animation with real life shots. He reminds us that Hip Hop is high art that should challenge and liberate at all times.
Rocky Rivera aka EyeaSage has been doing her thing in the Bay Area for a while. Many folks know here as a journalist as well as dope emcee. This video ‘Trick Habit’ off her self titled album is a artistic throw back to the 50s via Leave to Beaver days.. The twist here is she and her crew address the issue of cheating, unappreciative lovers. It’s a fun video that doesn’t take itself all serious, thus reminding us that Hip Hop has many avenues for us to explore and should be fun.
Canadian born Eternia has been making a lot of noise lately. Seems like every time she hits the stage she brings high energy and leaves an indelible impression. I love this song ‘Goodbye’ which is off the album ‘At Last‘, but I think she has harder material. For example, I wish she had a video for the remake she, Jean Grae, Rah Digga, Lady of Rage and Tiye Phoenix did of the Main Source classic ‘Live at the BBQ‘. She aslo has a song where she uses the beat from theDr Dre / Snoop Dogg classic ‘Deep Cover’. For this video Eternia writes its a tale of industry vs. art through the eyes of Eternia, wherein she learns to trust her struggle, backed by MoSS’s post-apocalyptic, end-of-the-world sonic imagery.
Say what you will about Nicki Minaj, but I love the way she flipped Biggie’s classic Warning. There’s no denying the girl can flow and her lyrics to this song are good as she gave us an insightful female perspective to this tale of grit and grime. Personally I wanna see more remakes of songs, just to hear and see the way folks flip them..
Kellee Maize is one of the best kept secrets in Pittsburgh. Not only is she a dope rapper who always pushes the envelop with politicized lyrics, she also is a local promoter. For years she’s been the force behind Nakturnal which was space where female emcees could come through and let loose. Her album Age of Feminine is dope and an underground classic. Her latest one ‘Aligned Archetype‘ has been explosive garnering over 300, 000 downloads.
The video below was inspired by Mobb Deep‘s ‘Survival of the Fittest‘. She said she always loved the group and especially this song. She wanted to experiment and see what it would be like to mimic their flow and add her own lyrical take. The cut is called ‘Revival of the Fifth Sun‘ and according to Maize was hard to do. She noted its easy to write for yourself. Its a challenge to try to go word for word with the same cadence as someone else. She would love to one day redo the song with Mobb Deep on it.. Here’s her version of this classic.
The Queen of LA Hip Hop is Medusa. She’s the one who gave birth to all these emcees. Her reign dates way back to the Good Life in the early 90s when she used to step to the mic and destroy emcees to now where she still performs to packed houses all over the world.. In this video,she’s still repping as you can see with this live version of Cali Frame taken off her last album ‘Gangsta Goddess’. She is by far one of the most underrated and talented emcees around. She was rocking mics with a band long before the many who have jumped in that lane. Salute
There’s not enough words to describe why Invincible is dope and such an important figure in Hip Hop for both women and the city of Detroit. This video captures the essence of who is she is-a community activist who has true love for the young people in her city. She penned this about her latest video;
After several months of anticipation, two of Detroit’s most visionary hip-hop figures, Invincible and Waajeed, are finally releasing their single, “Detroit Summer” b/w “Emergence”. The passionate two-song project is not only being put out digitally and in limited edition 7″ vinyl format but it’s also being launched with a powerful double music video as well.
This stunning visual representation of the songs was shot on-site during the historic Allied Media Conference and United States Social Forum this past June in Detroit. The video also documents the Detroit Summer Live Arts Media Project youth program, in which Invincible is heavily involved