Watergate, The Night Stalker, the Church Committee, Rod Serling's "Night Gallery," the Pascagoula Abduction and the Jonestown Massacre: this was my 1970s youth. My mom, who recalls taking pro-communist flyers from Lee Harvey Oswald outside the downtown New Orleans building where she worked as a secretary, once lifted a tobacco pipe left behind by Jim Garrison at a cocktail party, and kept it in a place of honor. My dad would occasionally reference the mysterious classified part of his job at NASA in Texas, on the team that prepared the Eagle [...]
The great Wu-Tang Clan rapper Raekwon releases his next solo album next month. Shaolin Vs. Wu-Tang, it's called, the follow-up to 2009's terrific Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 2. Some of the new music sounds good. The latest song to leak, "Rock n' Roll," which features Rae's frequent collaborator Ghostface Killah, the singer Kobe, and Jim Jones of the Diplomats, sounds less so, to my curmudgeonly autotune-averse ears. But it's interesting to look at which rock n' rollers get namechecked in the lyrics. Not necessarily ones you might expect. For instance, Raekwon's first shout goes out to Willie Nelson.
Wow! I've only been listening to it for half a day now, and I've known plenty of people with a much better ear for discerning such things than I have, but E-40's new song "The Weedman" sounds to me like it ought to be a giant smash hit. I think it's totally excellent! It is very much like Jim Jones' 2007 hit "We Fly High," which is really okay, because "We Fly High" is a really great song.
Rick Ross And Meek Mill, "Tupac Back," And All The Other Rappers' Versions Of Rap's Song Of The Spring
Here's the biggest rap music beat of the spring. It was made by Atlanta producer Mike Will and his Eardrummers team, for Miami rap don Rick Ross and his Philadelphian protege, Meek Mill. (Very bold of a rapper to call himself "Meek," I think. It comes from his given name, Robert Rahmeek Williams. Whatever the case, I like it.) The beat is great in the same stomping-gothic-monster way as the one Lex Luger made for Ross's "BMF" last summer. And, as was the case with "BMF" last summer, and is the case will all great rap beats nowadays, lots of other rappers are recording rhymes over [...]
Jim Jones is not a virtuoso rapper. He'll never be able to rhyme with the likes of Jay-Z or Lil' Wayne or his old friend and Diplomats partner-with whom he's recently gotten back together-Cam'ron. Rather, Jones gets by on charisma-inflection, tone, and giving the general impression that he's the coolest dude at the party. Without a great beat, that's not usually enough. But with one, sometimes, it really works.
From Rap Radar, here's a video message Jim Jones had Snoop Dogg make for his mom-who, like most moms, is clearly a big fan. Soon after sending it, Jim Jones got totally busted by his mom for smoking pot.
Speaking of Lou Reed, when I first saw the title of Jim Jones' new song, I fervently hoped he might be covering the symphonically depressing classic Danny Boyle used so effectively to soundtrack the overdose scene in Trainspotting. It turns out that the truth is even more odd than one man's fervent hope.
So the talk in the rap world this week is that Cam'ron and Jim Jones called radio personality/blogger Minya "Miss Info" Oh to say that they were sitting in the same car. Former best friends who led the Harlem rap crew the Diplomats to stardom in the early '00s, Cam and Jim had not been together and chummy since falling out four years ago. While fans wait for the official Dipset reunion, though, Cam has a good new song with his new protege Vado and Cleveland's favorite rapper/singer/HBO star, Kid Cudi. Interestingly, Vado disses tight blue jeans in his verse ("Wear a 34/but those skinny legs ain't fittin' [...]