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?

Juicy, Juicy: Bad Boy Tell All February 2, 2009

Filed under: po pimpin,throwback moments — hiphopmuse @ 9:03 pm

During my daily jaunt ’round the blogosphere, I ran across a post on Necole Bitchie reporting that former Bad Boy artist Mark Curry is releasing a tell all about Bad Boy Records, entitled “Dancing With The Devil: How Puff Burned the Bad Boys of Hip Hop.”  Finally, a Bad Boy artist brave enough to come forward and reveal the madness behind the label.

I love a good tell-all, and this one may be real interesting. It gives us a glimpse into the darker side of the game, the side we don’t see in the shows, videos, and headlines.  It’s about time someone pulled back the curtains and exposed the inner workings of Bad Boy.

It’s a running joke in hip hop that when you sign to Bad Boy, you might as well just give up on your career right then and there, because at that point, it’s not going anywhere. Forget your hopes and dreams. You get one hot track and you’re shelved fo’ life. Ask Cheri Dennis, G-Dep, and Shyne.

Check out Necole Bitchie’s post for summaries from the book. Mark Curry was cool enough to post Chapter 1 on his site for our viewing pleasure. Charging artists for video appearances? Damn Diddy! No wonder he was all over his artists videos…


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!


Welcome Back to the 90s January 6, 2009

Filed under: ghetto fashionista,throwback moments — hiphopmuse @ 9:04 pm

The 90s are back in full swing. Plaid shirts are trendy again, along with leggings. 90210 is back on television, and we have a Democratic president after 8 hellish years of Bush. All we’re missing is TLC, Nirvana, and Melrose Place, or it would really feel like1993 again.

While it’s cool to watch history repeat itself, I’m kind of concerned about some of the 90s inspired trends that have become popular again. Let’s examine some of these blasts from the past.


vivienne westwood jelly sandals

Jellies were all the rage back in the day…when I was in the 8th grade. It doesn’t makes sense for a grown woman to wear shoes that have the possibility of melting if the temperature exceeds 90 degrees, which is a reality of life if you live in Southern Cali or another warm climate. Also, these shoes remind me of sandals that little girls wear. Adult women should shy away from these, lest they run the risk of looking like they belong on the schoolyard. Rocking jellies = not getting your grown woman on.

Shiny, High-Waist Leggings

megan good on somebody's red carpet

Shiny, high-waist leggings. Read that again, out loud to yourself. Does that sound ok? Or does it sound like a LOT of trends manifesting in one item? High-waist pants look good on a very small percentage of the population, while the rest who dare to try this trend look like they’re wearing mom jeans.

There was a period of about 3 or 4 years in the 90s where it was trendy to wear shiny material. Blame Puffy (he wasn’t Diddy yet, back then). Combined with shiny material that’s clinging to your body for dear life, the results can be disastrous. Camel toe, anyone? Eek!

Baggy Jeans

free people boyfriend jeans

free people boyfriend jeans

I will be the first to admit that I rocked baggy jeans on the regular. With a plaid shirt. And a baby tee or tank top underneath. And I thought I was fly. I had TLC, Aaliyah, and SWV to look up to. Back then the b-girls were kind of grungy, so we also channeled that Nirvana, No Doubt style.

I can appreciate the baggy look , because sometimes it’s cool to be comfy and chill. Some days you don’t want to stuff yourself into a pair of skinny jeans, and let’s face it, sometimes you may not feel straitlaced enough to wear the  neat boot-cut or straight-leg look. Sometimes you might feel slacker-chic.

What are some trends from the 90s that you love or hate to see come back?


Throwback Vid: INOJ “Love You Down” October 29, 2008

Filed under: throwback moments — hiphopmuse @ 9:49 pm

Remember the mid-90s, when there was a plethora of So-So Def bass music? At that time, bass music from Florida and Atlanta was hittin’. If you’re old enough to remember and enjoy it, don’t act like you weren’t Tootsie Rollin’ and Bankhead bouncing.

When INOJ’s vid came on today, it took me back to that time. “Love You Down” was a hot vid. Who knew that Lil Jon would make it from being the random guy behind the turntables in the So So Def videos to the King of Crunk? Shouts out to that dude.

This video made me want to go to college. Not necessarily because I was interested in receiving higher education; in my adolescent mind I thought, “wow, college looks fun!” Cute guys in greek letters, parties, hanging out on the yard. By the time I made it to college, my perspective changed a little bit. I was very focused on earning my degree…while kicking it with cute guys, partying, and hanging out on the yard. I definitely hammed it up during my four years, but I graduated with a 3.2. I might have graduated with a 4.0 if I wasn’t being a hot mess, but I had a grand ole time. I turned out aight.

Peace, love, and Barack the Vote.

6 days until change.



NWA Week: We Want Eazy! October 3, 2008

Filed under: throwback moments,west coastin' — hiphopmuse @ 12:02 pm
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Eazy-E left us in 1995 at age 31, at the peak of his career. He was very accomplished as an NWA frontman, solo artist, and businessman. He had just put on Bone Thugs. Unfortunately, he was also beefing with the other NWA group members. Eazy set the bar for future hip hop entreprenuership by putting out his own music, managing his own label and other artists. Before Diddy and Jay were heading Bad Boy and Def Jam, respectively, Eazy-E had Ruthless Records.

Along with the surviving members of NWA, Eazy introduced the world to the wild, wild, west. Eazy-E is a hip hop legend and his contribution to the game is duly noted. Rest in peace to that brother.


The Hip Hop Muse


NWA Week Continues w/ Dre Day October 2, 2008

Filed under: now that's hip hop,throwback moments,west coastin' — hiphopmuse @ 11:19 am
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I had the idea that I was only going to post one Dr. Dre video today, but I couldn’t decide between “Let Me Ride” and “Dre Day.” Since I’m indecisive, enjoy both!

NWA Week continues on HipHopMuse…



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