hip hop muse

hip hop don’t stop. whatever i give you, it will be heavily seasoned with hip hop flavor like your grandma’s secret fried chicken recipe. this is the life of a b-girl. street fab, urban sophisticate. ghetto socialite. all the way real. are you down?

VH-1 Rock Docs w/ NWA: The World’s Most Dangerous Group September 30, 2008

Filed under: west coastin' — hiphopmuse @ 2:34 pm
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NWA is one of the most prolific groups in hip hop history, hands down. Dre, Cube, Eazy, Ren, Yella scared the heck out of America with the 1988 release of “Straight Outta Compton.”

As a native of South Los Angeles, I always felt this group spoke of the ills of street life, which is life as we know it in South Central Los Angeles. NWA’s in-your-face lyrics and attitude were understandable to me, because I know the experience. Compton, Watts, Long Beach, Inglewood, South Central. Ghetto life doesn’t stop there. Many areas throughout Los Angeles are plagued with gang violence. Don’t let the stuff you see on tv fool you. Hollywood, West LA, Venice and parts of Santa Monica have their ‘hoods. It’s not all glamorous like you see on TMZ.

NWA aired Los Angeles’ dirty laundry for the entire world to see, while changing the course of hip hop. The group’s impact will be discussed on VH-1’s Rock Docs, this Friday  Oct. 3 at 8pm PST/11pm EST. I’m setting the DVR for this one. This hip hop documentary is not to be missed.

If the NWA documentary doesn’t excite you enough, or if you’re like me and want background music to accompany your viewing pleasure, a compilation entitled, “NWA Family Tree is being released today. Yay for new release Tuesdays. This compilation is a must have for any west coast hip hop aficianado. It includes classics from Ice Cube, Eazy, Yo-Yo, Mack-10, Warren G, Westside Connection, Snoop. This is a must have for any hip hop aficianado. Cop that LP!


Hip Hop Is A Major Motivator September 24, 2008

Filed under: hip hop as a motivator — hiphopmuse @ 2:18 pm
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At some point, we all need some kind of motivation. When you aren’t getting it from your family, your friends, or society, you have to get it yourself. Self-motivation is a major tool for success. When I’m in such a mindset, there are certain songs and albums I turn to for my motivational soundtrack.

Kanye West, Graduation


This is my default go-to album when I need to get my mind right. If I could sum it up in a sentence, this record is a reflection on hustling your way to the top of your game while keeping a sane head. Wondering if you’re going to fulfill your dreams. And who can’t relate to the sentiment, “Wait till I get my money right….you can’t tell me nothing! Ha ha!” I’m broke today, but just wait until I get my money right!

Snoop, “Ups and Downs”


I relate to Snoop mostly because we’re both from the LBC, but mainly because he keeps it way real. I usually pop this track in when things are really screwed up, and I feel that there’s nowhere to go but up. Snoop sums it up perfectly in the outro:

“I think back to the words my grandaddy used to say. I never seen him in church, but he always had the word. Sometimes he would tell me, you gotta take the good with the bad. You got to do bad in order to do good.”

That’s real spit.

Tweet, “Smoking Cigarettes”


I know Tweet is R&B, but R&B is the female counterpart to hip hop (not including female emcees, obviously). It’s where women dominate. The musical composition to this song is fantastic. Bass and guitar strings rule here. Tweet’s voice is a perfect complement, with its smoky and raspy undertones. Many women can relate to this song. Shoot, sometimes when I’m bugging out I feel like smoking a cigarette, and I don’t even smoke.

Tribe Called Quest ft. Faith Evans, “Stressed Out”


The title says it all. Faith says it all in the chorus. ‘Nuff said.

Ghostface, “Cher Chez La Ghost”


This song is so much fun, and it makes me sing along and dance every time I hear it. Dancing releases bad energy and increases endorphins,  and brings you to a happier place. I strongly recommend it.

Feel free to adopt my motivational music, or share some of your own in the comment section.

Peace and love.


The Game’s LAX: Welcome to Los Angeles September 22, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — hiphopmuse @ 6:44 pm

LAX is a dope album title. It’s concise and aptly says, “Welcome to Los Angeles,” just like the signs do when you’re driving down Century Boulevard, leaving the airport.

Game represents the west coast well. His flow, vocabulary and wordplay are on point, and he really knows his hip hop. He often alludes to hip hop greats, as evidenced in the first single from LAX, “Game’s Pain” featuring Keyshia Cole. This track, as well as the remix, run along the same vein as Method Man and Mary’s version of “You’re All I Need.” The collaboration between a dope lyricist and a hip hop soul songstress is magical.

Game’s artistic growth shines on this album. While I can’t say I’m in love with every track on the album, I appreciate his lyrical skills. On the track featuring Chrisette Michelle, Game sounds very Nas-like, something he points out in the song. I wouldn’t go as far to say he’s swagger jacking, it’s more of an allusion to a hip hop legend. Sometimes when you listen to certain artists, you can tell who their influences are.

Nas blessed Game with his greatness on “Letter to the King.” The song is quite somber, but the soul samples are great. Nas and Game balanced the tone of LAX with this elegaic reflection on being black in America.

Game’s knowledge and appreciation for real hip hop is much of his appeal. Compared to many of his contemporaries, his style is characterized by his study of hip hop greats; taking their influences and making them his own. He knows that hip hop started in New York, but when it made it to Los Angeles, it became gangster. He intelligently exploits that fact.  Like it or not, it is what it is.

My personal favorite track on LAX is “Angel,” featuring Common. The track is produced by Kanye, and it sounds like some Rick James, Bootsy Collins, funky soul shit. It’s one of those songs to use as your soundtrack to engage in your chosen vice, or just ride to it with the bass speakers pumping.

And that’s what real hip hop does. Take what the greats created for you, make that shit your own, make it hot. It’s a winning formula.


Celebrate HipHopMuse’s Birthday September 20, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — hiphopmuse @ 8:36 pm

Sorry for my brief absence from the blogosphere, I celebrated my birthday (9/17) this week. I’ve been celebrating this entire week, and will continue to do so until the end of the month. It’s a celebration bitches!

Btw, shout out to all the Virgos out there. I’m lucky enough to share a birthday with a hip hop luminary, the one and only Doug E. Fresh. In honor of me, Doug E., and all Virgos, enjoy this:

Ludacris, Nas, Doug E. Fresh: Virgo


Erykah Badu: Welcome to the Vortex September 12, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — hiphopmuse @ 11:08 pm

I’d like to share a review I wrote about Erykah Badu’s concert at the Greek Theater a few months back. Walk with me, fam.


Friday, June 13, 2008

Low Down Loretta Brown

Low Down Loretta Brown

So last night I went to the Erykah Badu concert at the Greek. The Roots opened for her (I freaking missed that part due to the hellish parking situation at the venue, darn it!) but some fellow concert goers informed me that they rocked it. Shouts out to my peeps in row K! I wasn’t too peeved about missing them since I knew I would see Questlove and Black Thought at Crash Mansion after Ms. Badu’s performance, so it was all gravy.

Ms. Badu, or Low Down Loretta Brown, as she refers to herself, tore the roof off that piece like Parliament. Her energy is crazy, she made a crowd of thousands feel like a small, intimate gathering of friends. She made everyone hug a neighbor, fostering an  environment of fellowship and community amongst the crowd. If you weren’t friends with the people next to you, you became friends with them, if only for the duration of the show. In the midst of global madness, the people of Los Angeles came together in the name of soul music. It was truly a beautiful thing.

The performance itself was ill. Her style is so all over the place – B-girl to Billie Holiday, Funkadelic to Janis Joplin, Nina Simone to Texas hip hop – she takes it there. And she makes you a believer.

Homegirl went from playing an African talk drum to beating out old school hip hop beats on a drum machine. It absolutely made me fall in love with her all over again. I almost fell out when she rapped a verse from NWA’s “Straight Outta Compton.” It was a dope low key shout out to the West. She took it way back to another place, where chicks wore dolphin earrings, everyone wore color skinny jeans (the first go ’round), a place where kids spit rhymes and banged out beats on school lunchroom tables. It was a nostalgic moment.  My soul was touched.

Ms. Badu’s show felt like a lesson. Halfway through the show she stopped to explain the meaning of a vortex to a crowd: “a swirling force of energy that sucks everything into its orbit.” Sort of like a hurricane, a tornado, or water draining down a sink. Chaos with a center of calm. Homegirl drops major knowledge on those who aren’t up on it. She’s on a whole ‘nother level with the life game.

I can say with absolute conviction that this is one of the best live concerts I’ve seen in my entire life. I have no more words.



R. Les Ft. Fab & Cassie – “Addicted” September 11, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — hiphopmuse @ 10:01 am

I’m really digging this song, it’s a sexy club banger. It features Fabolous, who is looking so fly in the video. If I see him in the streets, I will holla.



on the late nite September 8, 2008

Filed under: now that's hip hop,throwback moments — hiphopmuse @ 6:42 pm
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Last night I had a bout of insomnia. I was up until 2am for no apparent reason at all. So I stayed up watching videos on VH-1 Soul, and lo and behold the video that came on:

Group Home’s “Supa Star”? I totally forgot about this song. I didn’t know it had a video, either. But then again, when I first heard the track, we didn’t have cable and I was recording songs off the radio onto cassette tapes. Maybe I’m the one late.

I’m excited to share this video with you, it’s a dope song. Rhymes are ill, the style is slick. The track is produced by DJ Premier, if you listen closely you can tell. This is when hip hop still had a hardcore, yet jazzy feel. I know I sound like an old fogey, but hey, it’s not my fault most of the shit out these days is weak.


The Hip Hop Muse