"A recent news story claims that Tim Dog 'may be up to his biggest scam yet'—faking his own death. WREG in Memphis interviewed Esther Pilgrim, one of the women featured in this Dateline story back in June of last year, who had been one of many victims reportedly swindled out of money by the rapper, and she alleges that a death certificate for Timothy Blair (the Dog’s government name) has not been found by a private investigator she hired. The news station also did some diggin’ and supposedly didn’t come up with anything either. And here’s the kicker: their P.I. did, however, locate an Atlanta address 'active' since last [...]
North Carolina's Lee Shields has been singing professionally since the 1960s, and he's found a healthy rebirth over the past few years with the Brooklyn retro soul label, Truth & Soul. This is the video for the title track from the album he released this past spring. As ego trip put it, "Soul Music + Adultery = Still a Winning Combo." Suck it, Schon.
This is one of those things when you just have to step back for a moment and reflect on how lucky we all are to be alive at this remarkable time in history.
With people putting Frank Ocean's new album in sentences alongside the likes of Voodoo, Here My Dear, and The White Album (Didion's, not the Beatles'; but, you know, it's only been out a week), the arrival of this video of Killer Mike performing a cut off his R.A.P. Music, which came out way back in May, almost seems to say, "Hey, everybody, don't forget about me! I made the best album of the year so far, too!"
Our friends at ego trip count Jay-Z's comments to CNN Monday as the fourth example of a notable rapper to have "publicly voiced some progressive opinion on the issue." (After Chuck D, El-P and Fat Joe.) But there have been more! 50 Cent, Eminem, Prodigy, ASAP Rocky and Lil B have, too. And N.O.R.E, who last year told XXL magazine, “If a gay person bothers you, that’s because they know something about you that you don’t know about yourself yet… Nobody should really care what happens in someone else’s bedroom… That’s their lifestyle. It doesn’t bother me. I live my lifestyle my way. It doesn’t bother me.”
Nice! This new Nas song (co-produced by the late Heavy D!) would indicate that the excellence of last year's "Nasty" was no fluke, and raises the hope that the new album, Life Is Good, is going to be good indeed, when it ever comes out. (He should change the album title before it does, though. Because, come on, hasn't he read that article in Wired, or the new report from the OECD? Life sucks.)
"As part of a promotional campaign for his The Darkside Vol. 1 album, which was released last year, the PR/Cuban rapper shot a series of webisodes called 'Fat Joe’s Tales From the Darkside.' For Part 3, he tells about the time he was visiting R&B sensation R. Kelly in Chicago and how he didn’t believe Kellz when the crooner told him he was a real bona fide thug." —Awl pals Ego Trip being Ego Trip, they have once again unearthed an amazing bit of hip-hop to share with the world.
Opening up for a Ghostface Killah concert last week in London, mysterious underground rap legend Doom found himself short of breath because those pasty Knifecrimers were "breathing up all the oxygen." He still did a great version of 2009's "Ballskin," though. And, as our friends at ego trip point out, the audience reaction shots in the video are really funny.
"Of course, not everyone has the purple blood to imitate His Royal Badness. The decision is left up to the judges. But remember: the clones can earn up to $25,000 per year on a part-time basis. Not a bad salary for donning a little eyeliner, some lacy frocks and gyrating like Elvis!" —As is their wont, the guys at Ego Trip have unearthed something wonderful for us.
What do you think Rick Ross's favorite Fiona Apple song is? When you picture him in the audience at last week's show at the Hollywood Palladium, where he was filmed pulling up in his Porsche for his new video, what song do you imagine him singing along with, standing on his seat in the front row, clasping his hands in front of his chest, just totally into it? "Criminal" is a good bet. Or "Paper Bag," or "Anything We Want"—that's my favorite one on her new album. But I think "Extraordinary Machine" is actually more his style. That phrasing—I could actually see that being a song title [...]
"After being ejected from the Zoo, and then the park altogether, anti-Semitic Elmo was taken away in an ambulance for psychiatric observation."
If you'd like to read what is "bar none the worst piece you will read about MCA," you can do so here. But I warn you, it's about as disgusting an example of politicizing something that should not be politicized as you're likely to find. It was written by the Washington Times' Joseph Curl and it is racist. If you do choose to read it, for awareness-raising reasons or something, you can wash the taste out of your mouth with the above wonderful, previously unreleased video that Chappelle's Show co-creator Neal Brennan put on the internet over the weekend—and that our friends as Ego Trip [...]
The culture (and TV) experts at ego trip bring us a wonderful ghost of Christmas past. Run-DMC, performing one of the very best Christmas songs ever by anybody, on TV, in 1991. It's a bit mysterious (as most ghosts are, I guess), because no one seems to know what program this was on. Does anybody recognize the backdrop? Chevy Chase' show didn't come on til '93.
"In 1991, great rappers were a dime a dozen, good ones weren’t good enough to compete, and sucky ones made hits. But what about rappers who weren’t skilled, but immensely entertaining? Twenty years later, 'personality rap' pays the bills and that term usually applies to the majority of likable rappers that can’t really rap worth a shit (insert just about any current acclaimed rapper here). Tim Dog got points for being both bold and the poster child for Mayor David Dinkins-era NYC – an NYC overrun with robberies, racially-charged fights, and hair-trigger violence – but most people back then said the same thing with regard to his skill level: [...]
“Why try and trademark something his ass didn’t even create? I am mad that he isn’t giving me proper recognition for taking my saying. He is just disrespectful.” —Yes. Compton rapper MC Eiht says he is going to send Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte a cease and desist order to block him from trademarking the phrase "jeah." (Which MC Eiht has has been saying since the late 80s.)
You know the part in "La Di Da Di" where Slick Rick tells the story about talking to his old friend Sally from the Valley when her mother came along and punched her and stomped on her feet and "slammed the child on the hard concrete?" (Classic Deutschean Jealous-Mother Syndrome.) Well, Sally's worst injuries might have been avoided if the New Jersey-based DefRugs company had been around back in 1985. I think the Blowout Comb one is the coolest. The EPMD one, too—that famous logo, designed by Eric Haze, that's tough to beat all big and fuzzy like that. Really, there's lots here worth [...]
This video is what the best MC ever to pick up a mic looked and sounded like when he was 17. Seventeen! Brooklyn's Biggie Smalls was born forty years ago today. Ego Trip has ten rarer videos up to mark the occasion. But this one always blows my mind when I watch it. The way he carried himself, his posture, his enunciation, the control he had of that booming voice—he knew how great he was already.
Rammellzee On Jean-Michel Basquiat, And Fixing Flanges On Oil Tankers With Underwater Welding Torches, And Sharks And Like, The Universe
"Jean-Michel only wanted drugs, sex, and rock n’ roll. He didn’t have no science. He didn’t know what to talk to no critics and if he wanted to talk he didn’t have enough to say. When I talk everybody tells me to be quiet. [laughs] Do you know why? Because I have information that comes to you either from [science], or it’s from something that comes from other people – from my peer group. Whether it came down to rap music, hip-hop music – which is slightly different, or whether it comes to break dancing. After the fight and everything like that then everybody tried to say I was [...]
Herman Cain's chief of staff Mark Block has made a new campaign ad.
Just kidding. Actually, that's a new video from Detroit rapper and producer Quelle Chris, whose album Shotgun & Sleek Rifle comes out next week. The first single from album, "Symbolic (Basquiat)" came out a few weeks ago. And it's good, but not as good as its B-side, "Shotguns" (sort of a title track to the album, I guess) which features Chris's friend and frequent collaborator Danny Brown and long-toiling Long Island MC Roc Marciano.