Tagged: shady

The Smart Guide To Dumb Rap

This article was also featured on brokencool

Pop quiz: is hip-hop currently seeing a “golden age”, or is it inauspiciously rolling deeper into a shallow grave? Though opinions on the answer are divided, a quick look at the rap landscape of today doesn’t do much to dispute Nas’ proclamation of it being “dead” six years ago. Although lyrical MCs exist in small clusters, it’s often the most ignorant and excessive rappers that get all the blog buzz and manage to steal collaborations with veteran artists who are looking to reheat. For every decent Atlanta rapper, there’s half a dozen one hit wonders (annually); for every east coast resurgence, there’s a French (Montana) revolution; for every Kendrick Lamar/Black Hippy, there’s a Kreayshawn/White Girl Mob. And while nobody is saying that these catchy swag rappers are in contention for the GOAT spot, their presence is noticeable. So what is a blossoming hip hop fan to do when the closest thing they have to Slim Shady is a man named Hopsin? They can learn to enjoy it.
Before you hate, you must understand why they’re loved:

Who: Chief Keef
Where: Chicago
What: a teenaged, angry hybrid of Waka Flocka and Souljah Boy
Why:
Besides having a name that’s really fun to say, Chief Keef rose to fame through the local high school circuit in a city that births “up and coming” rappers every week. In 2012 it should come as no surprise that YouTube had a hand in this too, with Keef’s low-budget music videos being watched millions of times, most notably 3Hunna. Chief Keef is dangerous. He is dangerous because his videos highlight the most dangerous areas in a city that has almost as many homicides per year as Canada, and he is dangerous because he air-shoots the camera in 90% of his on-screen time. But apparently danger helps, as Keef is applauded by blogs as the “next big thing” and is rumored to be working with Kanye West. Gangsta rap is supposed to be rebellious and dangerous and like Danny Brown said, “I believe a 16 year old kid would shoot me before a grown man would”.

Who: Future
Where: Atlanta
What: autotuned-gargeler, all bedazzled everything
Why:
Because Atlanta needs its annual superstar; strippers need something to twerk to; and YC, Gucci and Waka are still making remixes of ‘Racks’. Future has a talent for turning jumbles of barely intelligible words into half-way-catchy hooks and was recently awarded a spot on the XXL Freshman list for his work. For those who have never heard Future, imagine that weird gurgled-autotune voice that Lil’ Wayne does at the start of Abortion. Now imagine that it never stops and records a studio album named ‘Pluto’.
Expect Future’s album to be a summer-time smash for about as long as it takes for the general public to decipher what he’s saying.

Who: French Montana
Where: New York
What: cocaine slinger, fur loving mumble rapper
Why:
Since New York desperately needs to put some local artists on the radio not named ‘Fabolous’ or ‘Red Cafe’, the torch was handed to French Montana. The torch was then promptly sold for blow and diamond money.
With an extensive catalog of mixtapes, DVD appearances and thinly-veiled double entendres about selling cocaine, French Montana’s four-year hustle was rewarded this year when he signed a deal with Bad Boy and landed on the XXL Freshman cover. Although neither of these things can be labeled “accomplishments” anymore, it’s still nice to see French demonstrate that you don’t need to be good at what you do in order to get ahead, you just need to do a lot of it (exhibit b: 2Chainz). And, since nobody in the industry can say that you’re garbage if you’re “real”, French Montana has been collecting accolades from his peers for the past year for his “catchy hooks” and an “ear for beats”, even though the other two words most often used to describe him are “sloppy” and “goofy”. Expect ‘Excuse My French’, Montana’s debut album, to come out this summer with hot anthems for your shady dealings.

Who: Lil B
Where: Bay Area
What: non-sensical lyricist/motivational speaker
Why:
When talking about “bad rappers”, the conversation will inevitably turn to Lil B. His discography stretches into the thousands and consists of over the top swag rap and nonsensical ad-libs about everything from celebrities to life advice. His cooking dance has caught fire with high-caliber socialites such as Birdman and his appeal with hipster blogs has secured him worldwide touring gigs, all while staying independent. Since speaking at NYU last week, BasedGod gained some disciples while waxing poetic about ant-colonies and seatbelts to a group of people who reported feeling better about their life for days after (source: Twitter). So while Lil B will never become a household rap name or maybe even put out another commercial album, he is becoming the vessel for positive change that he claims to be. His entire existence is a testament to never giving up, regardless of what millions and millions of people say.

So, if you’re a new artist trying to make it big just remember that the current formula rests on a triple axis of originality, sincerity, and local buzz. Lyrical prowess need not apply.

Hip-Hop Team Power Rankings

This article was also featured on brokencool

For hip-hop artists, becoming “the boss” is one of the Top 2 reasons they have for pursuing their craft (1. getting money). But it’s not enough to just be “the boss” in the current climate, you have to be the boss of a winning team and, since everyone is so concerned with staying organic and authentic in 2012, hip-hop currently houses more teams than a March Madness bracket. However, not every team can be a winning team. With the first quarter of 2012 wrapping up, some bosses have stayed the course with a capable crew while others find themselves floating in an ocean of buzz surrounded by a group of yes-men who can’t swim. So which boss is keeping food on the table and which is handing out food-stamps in bulk?:

10. Grand Hustle 2.0

Boss: T.I.
Notable Players: B.o.B, Iggy Azalea, Chip, Trae the truth, D.O.P.E.
Expected in 2012: A joint album and solo albums from T.I., Iggy and B.o.B.
Bio:
After hustling out of prison and into prescription eyeglasses, T.I. made the most clichéd ex-inmate move imaginable: he started a gang. The recently presented Grand Hustle 2.0 hopes to make waves in places where they speak English funny by recruiting The Rapping Polly Pocket (Australia), the artist formerly known as Chipmunk (U.K.) and Trae the Truth (Texas). Since they haven’t released anything other than an interview it’s hard to judge the potential effects of a group whose second best rapper is B.o.B, but with T.I. at the helm we can be sure that Grand Hustle 2.0 will have ample promotion in the form of reality TV coverage.

9. A$AP Mob

Boss: A$AP Rocky
Notable Players: A$AP Twelvy, Ty Beats
Expected in 2012: Re-release of Live.Love.A$AP and Rocky’s solo album
Bio:
After building a tremendous amount of buzz from the internets for their Live.Love.A$AP project, the A$AP Mob’s light has begun to dim in 2012. Rocky’s personal brand continues to grow in spite of the fact that it’s beginning to feel like he’s struggling to keep from sounding repetitive, but as long as he keeps doing ‘blog-worthy’ things like calling the XXL Freshmen List “corny as fuck” and beating the shit out of his fans, he’ll be fine. The re-release of Live.Love.A$AP should sell enough copies to ensure that the Mob is well-stocked in 40 oz’s, hopefully keeping them and Rocky focused enough to ensure that he doesn’t accidentally ‘Rolling Paper’ his debut. Other than that, the crew’s most notable accomplishment is going on the Club Paradise tour. Except for Twelvy, he was on an Asher Roth song.

8. Taylor Gang

Boss: Wiz Khalifa
Notable Players: Juicy J, Chevy Woods, Lola Monroe, Amber Rose?
Expected in 2012: A solo album from Wiz
Bio:
After taking two steps backwards with Rolling Papers, Wiz decided to take one step forward by going back to his Kush & Orange Juice sound on Taylor Allderice, which features every act associated with the Shoe Gang; Wiz’s BFF Chevy Woods; video vixen-turned-singer Lola Monroe; and shouting-extraordinare Juicy J. TGOD may not be the most lyrical group, but expect to hear a lot of their production squad in 2012 when Wiz’s O.N.I.F.C. drops, and on the promised surplus of mixtapes from Juicy J and Chevy Woods.

7. G.O.O.D. Music

Boss: Kanye West
Notable Players: Big Sean, Pusha T, Kid Cudi, John Legend
Expected in 2012: A joint album, solo projects from Big Sean & Pusha T
Bio:
When he’s not busy designing leather-fetish womens clothing, Kanye West and his group of merry-men have been hard at work on the Unity album which, according to Mannie Fresh, is near completion. Even though Cudi is on his ‘Rebirth’ swag right now and Big Sean gets more and more dated with every performance of Marvin Gaye & Chardonnay, this joint album should light the spark for the solo releases later this year from Sean and everyone’s favorite Playclothes/Cocaine salesman, Pusha T. Now all they have to do is keep Cyhi and his clever quips about YMCMB off Twitter, before they figure out exactly why Gudda Gudda is on the payroll.

6. Bad Boy 2.0? 3.0? 5.0?

Boss: Diddy
Notable Players: French Montana, Machine Gun Kelly, Los, Cassie, Ryan Leslie
Expected in 2012: Solo projects from Cassie, French and MGK
Bio:
On the surface this group may look less like a “Who’s Who” and more like a “Who’s Left”, but each of these artists come to Diddy with their own fan-base and varied skill set. Cassie can sing; MGK can rap fast; Los can rap for a long time; and French Montana can sell coke while pretending to do the other three. The well-documented Bad-Boy curse may still linger, but since none of the artists are in direct competition with each other the only thing that could possibly stop them is a greedy boss who doesn’t know how to properly manage a career. Oh, wait.

5. Black Hippy Crew

Boss: Kendrick Lamar
Notable Players: ScHoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, Jay Rock
Expected in 2012: Kendrick’s solo album
Bio:
To nobody’s surprise, Dr. Dre managed to sign California’s Black Hippy Crew to Interscope/Aftermath. Your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper, K Dot continues to do no wrong amongst backpackers after releasing Cartoons & Cereal earlier this year while quas-beefing with 2Chainz after dropping a subliminal and then refusing to appear on The Source cover. ScHoolboy Q is still riding the wave from his Habits & Contradictions album wHile continuing to refuse to use a lower cased H, and all three of members will be featured on Kendrick’s debut, Good Kid In A Mad City. Going forward, this group arguably has the brightest future since their skill set is a head above the rest of the “younger generation” in rap.

4. Shady 2.0

Boss: Eminem
Notable Players: Slaughterhouse, Yelawolf, 50 Cent, D12
Expected in 2012: A solo album from 50 Cent, Slaughterhouse album
Bio:
Ever since he’s gotten off the drugs, Eminem has brought new focus to a team with a longer rap sheet than Lil’ B’s discography. Slaughterhouse is finishing up their second studio album while touring, Yelawolf continues to tour while getting regrettable tattoos and 50 Cent’s album gets more and more amazing with every interview he does. Even D12 is still working away, even though it’ll be without Bizarre, who left to start his own movement. If he’s successful, we might see him on the next power rankings! Probably not though, unless he can get his Nicki Minaj tattoo to start rapping for him.

3. OFWGKTA

Boss: Tyler The Creator
Notable Players: Hodgy Beats, Frank Ocean, Syd and, I don’t know… 9 other friends?
Expected in 2012: A TV Show, new album from Tyler
Bio:
For all of their attempted youthful rebellion, you can’t help but love Odd Future. Whether it’s Tyler getting choked out at a Gucci concert or Frank Ocean beefing with Chris Brown on Twitter, they endearingly act like a PR rep’s worst nightmare. Currently on tour and setting up clothing pop-up shops at most stops, Odd Future’s empire continues to grow. Recently released OF Tape Vol. 2 serves as a sign that the spotlight has done nothing to dull their edge and if the ‘Rella’ video is any indication, the Adult Swim show will be full of that edge. Expect Tyler to grumble and growl his way through a few features before dropping the follow-up to Goblin.

2. MMG

Boss: Rick Ross
Notable Players: Meek Mill, Wale, Stalley, Gunplay
Expected in 2012: Solo albums from Ross, Meek and Stalley
Bio:
The epitome of the word “Boss”, Ricky has positioned himself for a strong 2012 if he can keep his diet game on point. Hopefully he’ll strap on a pair of those Reeboks and hit the elliptical, because he’s sure to be hustling around doing press for God Forgives I Don’t this Spring before overseeing the release of Meek and Stalley’s debut albums. Wale is still riding on his Ambition buzz and touring, and Gunplay took the rolled hundred out of his nose long enough to drop a mixtape making this one of the more well rounded groups of the bunch.

1. YMCMB

Boss: Birdman
Notable Players: Everyone else.
Expected in 2012: Solo projects from Nicki Minaj, Lil’ Twist, Lil’ Wayne, Bow Wow, Mystikal, Busta Rhymes, Kevin Rudolf, Jay Sean, Chris Richardson, DJ Khaled
Bio:
Baby’s NFL-sized roster keeps making questionable signing decisions by adding The-Dream and Christina Aguleria’s exes, but you can’t argue with the fact that as long as you can put Drake, Nicki or Wayne on your album (for free), you’re sure to move a few units. Is there dead weight on the roster? Of course, but they’re better off working for a man with tear drop tattoos and appearing on a DJ Khaled song or two instead of getting shelfed by a major label. Realistically, what’s the fifth runner-up on Season Six of American Idol going to do with his life that’s better than working for a grown man who still makes pigeon noises?

 

That’s my list. Disagree? The comments are below me.


Hiding Your Shame in the 21st Century

This article has appeared on Crave & Points In Case

Technology continues to amaze me. Every year, our society is introduced to a new device capable of “accidentally” taking another compromising picture. In fact, the technology has gotten so good that you dont even need to send the picture for it to end up online anymore! Celebrities have demonstrated, some on a weekly basis, that dozens of private, spread-eagle portraits can be exposed by shady “hackers”. In times like these, even people Scarlet Johanssen cant count on the help of the FBI to catch these predators, so what are common peasants like you and I suppsed to do to keep our genital gems guarded?

Your first line of defense would be to disguise your unmentionables so that they can never be tied back to you. A short trip to the stag shop or your overly-friendly neighbour’s garage can reveal a wide array of berets and ascots that can adorn your member and hide any tell tale moles or battle scars. It’s hard enough to identify a woman based on her beaver, doubly so if it’s literally made to look like a beaver (complete with googly eyes, buck teeth and a thick pelt).

Paint is a popular choice for masquerading your manhood, but it should be given the proper attention. Forget every rule you’ve heard about putting something on your wiener and stay away from latex. Your goal is to be flirty, and it’s hard to do that when your urethra looks like Nicki Minaj’s lips, so opt for body paint. You can even have fun with it and make a theme: a Dragon Ball Z motif is popular with the fellas (Shenron around the shaft, balls at the base) while females can opt for a drawing of the Taylor Swift concert experience (complete with an airbrushed stage on the pelvis and a metric ton of glitter).

But sometimes a clever costume or a fresh coat of paint isn’t enough to keep your identity a secret. It’s times like these when you need to get creative with your presentation and more importantly, your transmittal. Take up a course in learning how to draw, preferably with charcoal, and then craft a replica of your lower half with the help of a hand mirror. This way, if it succeeds, your partner will have some 18th century mastubatory aid, but even if it gets intercepted you can bet that it will get lost among the hundreds of other charcol dick-drawings that are sent out in the mail every week. Sent by me.

Another altternative is ASCII art, since it can still be transmitted via modern means, albeit with a slight loss in detail. However, if your partner’s imagination is vivid enough, there’s no limit to the fun you two could have with a simple:
8==-)
( . ) ( . )
…or maybe even a (())

However, the most effective way of keeping your titillating pictures off the web is to simply not send them to anyone who you may piss off in the future. This generally means that you’ll want to avoid people you have sex with, people who could one day become your “ex”, or anyone who could otherwise hold a grudge. So keep it a secret and send it to only your close friends and family. Your bro already saw your whacker that one time he walked in on you peeing, so obviously he wants a picture of it to carry around with him, and your mom already holds on to your passport for safe keeping, how is a picture of your front-tail any different?

Curing The Slickness

This article was also featured on Points In Case

Yesterday I tuned into Larry King (because my remote was broken) and I was surprised to see James Cameron on the show talking about the oil spill. This surprised me; James Cameron is not a marine biologist or an environmentalist, he’s the guy who collects small golden statues of naked men. Having James Cameron talking about the oil spill is akin to having Chris Nolan give a speech on how to stop crime in a major metropolis.

But what really bothered me was what a negative spin they managed to put on the whole thing, using words like “irrecoverable,” “disaster,” and “ecosystem.” This spill happened 90 days ago; if people really cared enough about the ocean they would get Will.I.Am and some white people to remix something.
Through this whole spill though, the one thought that kept going through my mind was, “Wow, BP Oil Executive is a great career path.” They know how badly they’ve screwed up, but they don’t really seem to mind. “Oh what’s that, oil is gushing out of the ocean floor? Well then, let’s get a real time feed of that on our site, it sounds like it could drive traffic!”

Let’s be honest, if you were to become a super villain, there isn’t a much better day job than “Oil Executive”: it’s lucrative, it’s shady, and it deals with a substance whose viscosity and color match the blood that runs through your soulless shell. You go to your job, which consists of attending meetings and inspecting (not really, I guess) off-shore oil rigs during the day, and at night you do something super evil like build a cancer ray or work on developing Farmville for the iPhone. All you have to do is act concerned and feign compassion, and you’re golden. BP posted a video a few weeks after the spill where one of the executives was standing on a rig, overlooking the mess, promising people that they were trying their hardest to clean it up.

The power that BP seems to have over people is admirable: so far they’ve blocked people from taking pictures, talking to the media, and walking the beaches. If that wasn’t enough, BP has started to filter Google search terms for the spill and the company—a scary thought. In this day and age Google is supposed to be the mecca of knowledge, a tool that even a simpleton can use to learn guitar, find gossip, or build a bomb. BP is telling people what facts they can and can’t find and since most people don’t care enough about an issue to really research it, a simple Google search is considered a trusted source (if you read a Wikipedia article on it, it officially gives you a PhD on the topic). I can just imagine a Hank Scorpio-type character sitting in his Caribbean volcano-lair with a group of Russian men in fur coats surrounding him and a secret agent tied over a pool of laser sharks behind him while he talks to his PR lady…

BP Head: What’s the problem.
PR: Well sir, public image is incredibly low. Information is starting to spread about this horrible problem.
BP Head: Information, you say?!?! Very well, get rid of it.
PR: Sir?
BP Head: You heard me! Clean out the interwebs.

Imagine if McDonald’s could filter Google results so that when you searched “calories in a McMuffin” or “what is a filet of fish” you could get only company-approved results….
So yeah, there’s some oil leaking and it’s screwing up nature, but what you don’t know is that it’s all part of the master plan. It’s been years in the making, but when the weather machine is finally built; BP can just get the wind to push all the oil out to sea and then zap it with lightning ‘til it goes away. That or create a Firecane and wipe out an island, either way.