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?

Paid Dues Festival, Sat 03.28.2009 March 11, 2009

Filed under: concerts,events,now that's hip hop,west coastin' — hiphopmuse @ 7:52 pm

My boy DJ Val the Vandle is on the ticket for Paid Dues Festival this year, and I’m so proud of him! That’s quite an accomplishment. Sponsored by Guerilla Union, Paid Dues should be dope. It’s gonna be at the NOS Events Center in San Bernadino. A little drive from Los Angeles, but a nice drive and well worth it. The lineup includes a “best of” list of the future of hip hop. Personally I can’t wait to see MURS. I’ll be there (God willing) and I hope you will too.


“Candy Girls” Reviewed March 9, 2009

Filed under: ghetto fashionista,hollywood ish,now that's hip hop,po pimpin — hiphopmuse @ 9:47 pm

So last night I watched “Candy Girls” on E!, the new reality show about hip hop video vixens. It didn’t totally suck, and I like reality shows so it was cool to me.

I won’t call it must see TV, though it was pretty interesting to watch. I think of myself as an intelligent black woman but I’m not above watching chicks make asses of themselves on TV. If it’s entertaining, dammit it’s entertaining. I know to visit other media when I need something more intellectually stimulating.

Now that the disclaimers are out of the way…the main benefit I see in “Candy Girls” is that we get a glimpse into the lives of video chicks. Love them or hate them, the video girl has always been a topic of interest in hip hop and this is the first reality show that is centered around them.

Are they hoes? Or are they savvy businesswomen? Or both? I don’t know if there’s a black and white answer to that question since the ride to the top isn’t always pristine.

The part I don’t like about the show is the attitude of some of these chicks. They’re probably playing it up for the show, but there’s quite a bit of backstabbing, taunting, and in-fighting among these women. It’s totally dumb. What is this junior high? If you’re a grown ass woman getting your hustle on, act like one.

I also take issue with race and class and how it’s depicted in the show. Olivia is mixed, and seems very disconnected from her blackness. On the same vein, the other girls tease her for not being black enough, which isn’t cool. All black people aren’t the same, and “blackness” exists on different wavelengths.

And what is this thing about making Olivia feel excluded because she’s never been arrested? Like being arrested is a black thing? And for a woman? What part of the game is that? I guess.

The way it’s depicted is the black girls are mean to the confused mixed girl and the Spanish girl. So it’s not a good look for anyone, really.

It reminds me of junior high school, the mean girls all grown up. Jealously, competition, hateration…

Yet I’ll be watching. Cause I like watching bad TV. It’s escapism, baby.



Sidebar: Not to sound like a hater, but I honestly don’t remember seeing any of these chicks in a video. And I watch a lot of videos. Maybe I saw one of them and didn’t know :-/.


WALE, BLU & EXILE THIS THURSDAY 1/29 @ KEY CLUB January 27, 2009

Filed under: concerts,events,now that's hip hop — hiphopmuse @ 10:34 pm

I’m going to make it my business to check this show out, I’m sure it will be dope. Word is there’s going to be a live go-go band! I’m digging the DMV flavor coming to the west coast. Wale is definitely on my radar. “The Mixtape About Nothing” is hot fiyah!


Lessons in Hip Hop: Track Samples January 8, 2009

Filed under: now that's hip hop,remixes,throwback moments — hiphopmuse @ 9:27 pm

You. Must. Learn.

Today I got a lesson in hip hop, musically speaking. When I got home today I found myself yearning to hear Usher’s “Throwback” from Confessions. That was the bomb album by Usher right? Anyway, I love that song, and I was curious about the sample used in the track.

So I googled “usher throwback sample” and the #1 result was a link to a blog post listing a whole bunch of hip hop tracks and the samples they come from. It was like finding gold! Even better, it included an mp3 mix of the samples, put together by ?uestlove.

Click here to see the list. Click the title of the post to pull up the mp3, and enjoy.

I learned something today, because I was not aware of some of those originals. The ones that really killed the game include Willie Mitchell – “Grovin'” = GZA – “Liquid Swords,” Billy Cobham – “Heather” (Wounded Bird)  = Souls of Mischief – “93 Till Infinity,” Samuel Johnson – “My Music”  = Jadakiss – “We’re Gonna Make It,” and David McCallum – “The Edge”  = Dr Dre – “Next Episode.” The entire list is utterly amazing. I never knew some of these artists existed, but their samples laid the foundation for tracks that go down in hip hop history.

You don’t really know music if you aren’t aware of what you’re enjoying came from. How can you make a determination of what’s current unless you know your history? It’s beautiful to see how soul music gave birth to hip hop. And while critics bash the use of samples in hip hop, samples bridge the gap. When executed well, it’s powerful and brings the soul to hip hop.

By the way, the sample used in the Usher track is Dionne Warwick, “You’re Gonna Need Me.”



P.S. I cannot get over the Liquid Swords sample. Ill!


Skillz- “For Real (He Don’t Own Me)” December 29, 2008

Filed under: ghetto love affair,now that's hip hop — hiphopmuse @ 10:37 pm

Got Skillz? This severely underrated artist does the year end wrap up, like every year. That joint be like 15 minutes long, no lie. It always hilarious though. It’s a well-rapped culmination of the entire year, in like 100 bars. Check out the past 5 or 6 year end wrap ups here: http://therapup.uproxx.com/2007/12/the-rap-up-2002-2006.html. I just learned Skillz was from VA; DC Metro is killing the game in 08 and into 09.

This video has a sunny, breezy, feel good vibe to it. It kind of reminds me of DMX’s “Hows It Going Down.” A ghetto love triangle, set to hip hop music. “For Real” is for the ladies and the men who want to steal them from their men, lol.


LA Fashion Week, listening parties & stuff October 15, 2008

It’s cracking this week in Los Angeles, moreso than I’ve seen in some time. It’s LA Fashion Week, so there are a gazillion shows and associated events going on. On the hip hop front, Jay Z is performing tonight at the Holllywood Palladium with DJ AM on the 1s and 2s. God bless that brother for coming out of such a tragedy. And what better way to get back into the swing of things, by DJ’ing for Jigga.

It’s listening party galore this week too. I guess everyone’s gearing up for those Q4 album releases. Last night, Kanye & E-40 each had listening parties for their new projects. Tonight is the Q-Tip listening party for his new album “The Renaissance.” I had the opportunity to attend 40 Water’s listening party, and it was interesting to say the least.

I’m not the biggest E-40 fan, but I respect his work and I like quite a few songs he’s put out. “Sprinkle Me” used be my joint, along with “Hurricane.” He undoubtedly helped put the Bay Area on the map and has made a significant contribution to not only west coast hip hop, but hip hop as a whole. He is the man responsible for hip hop lingo like, “fa sheezy,” and “my nizzle.” He’s the first person I know of who used such terms.

Back to the listening party. 40’s new album “Ball Street Journal” is ok, I guess. Most of the tracks consist of bass heavy party music. Which isn’t a bad thing. 40 is known for making party music. “Tell Me When To Go” is guaranteed to make a party jump. But the new stuff isn’t very memorable for me.

What was memorable was when I met Too Short at E-40’s party. Dude is an OG. I kept referring to him as Mr. Shaw, which I think made him feel old because he winced every time I said it. But it seemed the most appropriate way to refer to him, being that he’s been in the rap game since 1983. He’s been rapping almost as long as I’ve been alive. Biggups to Mr. Shaw, aka Short Dog, aka Short Dog the Pimp. He is indeed pimpish in his ways, he’s very charming. The ladies were showing him love last night.

Read about Kanye’s listening party here. Wish I coulda made that one, but it’s all good. Maybe next album.

Until we meet again,



VH-1 Hip Hop Awards October 9, 2008

Watched it, loved it.

Tracy Morgan is hilarious as the master of ceremony. I like that moniker, master of ceremony. It goes, master of ceremony, MC, microphone checker, emcee…did you see ’em, they wanna be me…like my rhymes? Ok, ok, my bad for getting carried away. I’ll stick to blogging.  Anywho, I loved T. Morgan’s play on the ’08 Presidential Election. It’s obvious that dude is very intelligent, and very hip hop, which I appreciate. And he has great one-liners, a la Chris Rock.

Cypress Hill, De La Soul, Slick Rick, Too Short, and Naughty By Nature.  These artists are innovative, unique, and most importantly, they’ve put in work. To paraphrase Too Short, check their resumes. If you put it all on paper and look at it, they’ve done a lot. You gotta respect them for it.

To me, that’s some of the inspiration behind hip hop. The grind to succeed. Check the resume, look what I’ve accomplished. You don’t have to love me. You don’t have to like me. But you will respect me. Why? ‘Cause I’m a boss! (From Kelis, “Bossy.”)

Is it hip hop award month or something? The BET Hip Hop Awards airs Thurs, Oct 23 at 8p. Sidebar: I want to make it clear that I have very little respect for this network, but my significant other works for them and he produced a segment for this year’s show. I support hip hop, I support my boo, but I do not support BET Networks. I’m convinced that their goal is to decimate the image of black people on television. It’s safe to say I support their good programming, like American Gangster, which premieres immediately after the award show. Support American Gangster, but boycott bullshit like Hell Date. End sidebar.

People I was really happy to see: Eve, Scarface, Big Boi of Outkast, Busta Rhymes.

People I think should be honored next year: Jay-Z, Ice Cube, E-40, Outkast, UGK, Common, Eve, DMX, The Lox.

Did you watch the show? What did you think? I would love to hear your thoughts and comments.

Hip Hop Muse