What Happened to the Summer Jam?

Sitting in front of my computer, downloading and listening to all the new cuts, and I had a revelation: I  might remember one of every 15 songs I play today. There comes a time when I’m flooded with so much random music that I’d rather have my nuts laid on a fucking dresser, and bang them shits with a spiked fucking bat (credit to WU) than have to listen to the latest single from MC PimpDemHoez and DJ YellAlotAndAintSayinShit! Which further makes me think, where is that essential summer song that you hear at every picnic, party, bbq, club, and car that drives by? What happened to the Summer Jam?

Maybe that time, unfortunately, has been lost in the last five to ten years with the rise of the Internet and it’s high-speed mannerisms, where a song that’s been out for about 12 hours is already considered “old.” To tell the truth, I couldn’t tell you exactly what’s been released over the past four days that has caught my eye, save for Pusha T’s Fear Of God single and Rick Ross/Raekwon collabo. This new era of music distribution and promotion has inspired a nation of millions to think they can and should rap for a living (or allegedly “out of the love,” as so many will say), without realizing that they’ve not taken the time to work on and try to perfect their craft. Everybody’s so caught up in either trying to be the “first” to drop something new that nobody seems to care about making or promoting a song that will be everlasting.

All of that results in an ADHD-style mishmash of remedial songs that end up overshadowing actual good music, making them that much harder to find (believe me, I try every day), and we – the music listener/fan/critic – end up without songs we can remember years down the line or attach to specific periods in our lives. Case in point: Jay-Z’s summer cut of 2001, The Takeover*, will always be remembered as the song that simultaneously dismantled Prodigy’s career and, put a battery in Nas’ back. Taking it back even further, being stationed in Norfolk, VA, everyone on the base was bangin’ Noreaga’s Banned From TV.  Now, I can’t even tell you what my favorite song was two years ago without having to go to Wikipedia to remember what happened in 2008.  (Damn, was Webbie really the jam that year?)

The summer cut was meant to be the song you would take with you into the following summers. DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince’s Summertime is still an instant vintage banger despite being almost as old as some of the readers of this site. In comparison, the summer jam this year seems to be Drake’s Over. I may enjoy the hardness of Over like the next man, but I doubt that song will have the same longevity as Will and Jeff’s ubiquitous classic. While the single has been able to last for longer than a day by Internet standards, it’s not going to be known for anything other than a song by fresh new face.

With that said, let’s take a little trip back with the help of  Mick Boogie and DJ Jazzy Jeff  Summertime Mixtape.

download here

*I know “H.O.V.A.” was the more successful single, but “The Takeover” was the unofficial summer jam. Plus, he premiered it at Summer Jam.


Drake is… a fraud?!

Watch this video:

Now ponder this question: Does Drake lose credibility as an artist because he’s unable to freestyle?

I’ll admit I was a Drake fan and I was let down when I saw this video. Granted, all rappers can’t freestyle. But all rappers don’t go on Flex’s show fronting like they can.

On a funnier note, you can’t see the original without seeing the spoof:

Hay girl signing off.

A.G. x J Dilla – Dunkin Donuts

D.I.T.C.’s A.G. commandeers some Dilla instrumentals for a new tribute mixtape that he leaked today on Twitter.

01 Intro
02 Workin’ On It
03 AG On JD
04 We Do It 4
05 Walk On By
06 AG On Loss
07 Dilla 4 Eva ft. Party Arty
08 Clap
09 Crushing (BX Version)
10 AG On J Dilla & Party Arty
11 10 to 10
12 Gems I Spit
13 Keep It Movin
14 Heavy Head
15 Shouts

(My fav joint is #5)




2 Live Crew – Worth The Hip-Hop Honor?

A friend of mine and I got into a discussion the other day after Monday night’s airing of the VH1 Hip-Hop Honors. We found ourselves hovering over the topic of 2 Live Crew and whether or not their contribution to hip-hop was one worth celebrating. I flashed back to my junior high and high school dance days, grinding close to some boy as soon as I heard the unforgettable bass line and drums of  I Wanna Rock (Doo Doo Brown). The memories were fond ones for me, and I immediately thought, “Of course they deserve to be honored – Luke and ‘nem been in the game since forever”. My friend, however, had a different perspective. As she expressed, “watching Kid Rock give Luke props for starting the booty shake phenomenon” was not something to be celebrated. I had to let that marinate.

It’s true – 2 Live Crew and their pornographic-style of rap set off a trend in hip-hop music, and more importantly in music videos. The images in those videos evolved into a decade-long parade of scantily-clad women of color, cars, and money, and giving directors like Hype Williams millions of dollars in business and a catalog of hip-hop porn videos. The beats grabbed our ears and the videos captured our attention, shouting the message, “this is the life.” Almost 15 years later, these images still resonate in all genres of music videos and the current generation is less sensitive to images of sex, and tend to express themselves sexually a lot quicker than the kids of my generation.

Nonetheless, 2 Live Crew and their brand of XXX hip-hop had it’s place in the industry, in spite of the negative effects it might have had on future generations. Luke, by his own admission, said they were surprised by their success because “they weren’t talking about shi*t “, but the music became extremely popular almost instantly. Bass and drum heavy beats coupled with pornographic lyrics equaled success for 2 Live Crew – and since they were the innovators of this type of music, an award is due.

Let’s face it: our generation is the reason a group like 2 Live Crew attained any success. Even if their lyrics were freaky, we all did what they rapped about, in spite of it’s impropriety. Like porn, kinky music has its appeal – and like in our youth, the visuals that accompany it should be relegated to “adults only”. Unfortunately, we’ve gone too far to place a cap on that imagery now, and thankfully, many of us had a balance of images to keep us from being scarred. But I wish media outlets like VH1 that are in the position to influence the current generation with their programming, gave more thought to what artists they put on a pedestal, or at least offered a balanced perspective.  After all, I can think of many deserving hip-hop artists that VH1 continues to overlook.

But maybe, on VH1’s part, that would be too much like right…