Archive for December, 2011

December 21, 2011

‘Sweet’ Was Aimed At Drake – Common Confirms

The Chicago rapper Common came clean on Shade 45’s Sway In The Morning that the song was aimed at Drake. He said that Drake should take it as a personal diss if he was offended by the song.

“Hey, he opened his mouth and said some things. So if he wants it, that’s what he wants, all that subliminal, you can do that too. But you might want to say that now,” he said. “I mean, the verse is about me, but when you hear some stuff on the chorus, it’s like you can’t help but think about dude, and that’s what he felt. So at the end of the day, he fit in that category. He already embraced it, so wear it.”

Common says this stemmed from Drake making comments about himself being the best lyricist. Common doesn’t think Drake is worthy of the title, and has decided to go after rappers who claim this, as he thinks he is worthy of it.

“He’s a very successful artist, obviously. Like I said, I think he’s a talented artist. I give credit where it’s due and I try to speak the truth where I see it. In Hip Hop, there was a lot of that going on,” he said. “Beyond Drake, it’s still some artists I was hearing, some artists I didn’t even know I was hearing. But Drake fits in that category. Any artist could be a target, once you get in and start saying you this and that. When you think about it, KRS-One if you take it there, or when Nas and Jay had a battle, it was about being a doper emcee.

“It’s just about emceeing, and once you step in there, you in the ring,” he continued. “Especially if you’re going to say I’m a champ, I’m the greatest. For me, I’m on ‘Sweet’ saying I’m the greatest, da da da. But there are going to be some cats who come at me, that’s what it is.”

December 20, 2011

A Dutch Magazine Has Made Racist Comments About Rihanna

Poor Rihanna first a man racially abuses her at a hotel in Lisbon and now this. The Dutch Magazine Jackie ran a style piece on her, which is common enough in the magazine and blogging world. The piece firstly was entitled ‘De Niggabitch.’ It said,

“She has street cred, she has a ghetto ass and she has a golden throat. Rihanna, the good girl gone bad, is the ultimate niggabitch and displays that gladly, and for her that means: what’s on can come off. If that means she’ll be on stage half naked, then so be it. But Dutch winters aren’t like Jamaican ones, so pick a clothing style in which your daughter can resist minus ten. No to the big sunglasses and the pornheels, and yes to the tiger print, pink shizzle and everything that glitters. Now let’s hope she won’t beat anybody up at daycare.”

After readers were outraged the edior-in-chief responded with an apology, claiming it was never meant to offend anyone.

Dear readers,

First: thanks for all your responses. We are of course very fed up over this and especially very shocked. However I’m glad that we’re engaging in a dialogue on this page — not everybody does that. Thanks for this. Other than that I can be brief about this: this should have never happened. Period. While the author meant no harm — the title of the article was intended as a joke — it was abad joke, to say the least. And that slipped through my, the editor-in-chief’s, fingers. Stupid, painful and sucks for all concerned. The author has been addressed on it, and now I can only ensure thatthese terms will no longer end up in the magazine. Furthermore I hope that you all believe therewas absolutely no racist motive behind the choice of words. It was stupid, it was naive to think thatthis was an acceptable form of slang — you hear it all the time on tv and radio, then your idea of what is normal apparently shifts — but it was especially misguided: there was no malice behind it. We make our magazine with love, energy and enthusiasm, and it can sometimes happen that someone is out of line. And then you can only do one thing: apologize. And hope that others wish toaccept it.

From the bottom of my heart I say it again: we never intended to offend anyone. And I mean that.

Regards,

Eva Hoeke

December 20, 2011

Justin Bieber Freestyle’s Over Biggie’s ‘Who Shot Ya’

It seems Justin Bieber has an itch to become a rapper…he’s rapped over Otis along with many other videos that have popped up of him freestyling including one on Tim Westwood’s show. Now he went to Hot 97 in Vegas to freestyle over Who Shot Ya. What do you think about Bieber’s hobby?

December 20, 2011

Exclusive Interview – Loick Essien

Loick Essien is a man of many talents, although most of you will know him as a singer. From a very young age he was modeling and acting, having gone to Ravenscourt Theatre School. From the ages of seven to eleven he had already been in a short film, adverts, and had appearances in Doctors and Holby City. After being chosen to play a young Richard Blackwood in his video, and building a relationship with him, on his 11th birthday he was invited by the TV personality to co-host his MTV show. An introduction to rapper Bashy led Loick to feature on Black Boys. Whilst on this set he met Chipmunk, where the two then recorded a track called Beast. On the video shoot for this song the young singer then met Dappy from N Dubz, who now features on his song Stuttering. Loick is now preparing to release his debut album Identity next year.

You describe your soon to be released album as a true reflection of yourself. Describe this reflection for us. Who is Loick Essien?

This album is about making sure that people have a stamp on my identity when it’s released, knowing who Loick Essien is, and seeing me as an artist that they want to stick around for another album. I’m someone that works hard in trying to give them the best music I can possibly. I think the album is quite eclectic; there’s something on it for everyone. There’s the up tempos that will really go off in a club, for the r&b heads there’s the slow jams for couples that want to lock their doors. There’s me singing my heart out like on, ‘Me Without You,’ and there’s songs you will want hear before going out to have a good night I think its very broad, I’m really proud of it, I think it’s the best thing I’ve done in my life.

What was your childhood like? How has it shaped you into the artist of today?

It’s definitely been hard; nothings ever come easy for me. It’s always something I’ve had to work hard for. It makes me motivated and makes me want to live everyday like it’s my last. I never take anything for granted and I’m always striving to be the best, nothing less than the best.

What’s your favourite personal track on the album?

It would have to be the song title Identity, which was produced by TMF. It’s really personal, and I feel it will give people a real side of my life, getting to this point and what I’ve gone through

You were modeling and acting from a young age. How did this prepare you for a singing career?

I think being comfortable with a camera in front of my face definitely helped. I’m actually quite a shy character. It helped me adjust myself and turn into performing Loick, as opposed to Loick that’s talking to you now

So do you believe that performers have an alter ego?

Definitely, without a doubt, I think there’s a five-minute process before you go on stage where you get hyped up to go on, and that’s when the transition is made. You get in the zone of that person and who you want to portray on stage.

How old were you and what made you decide to become a singer and not put all your time into acting?

When I got a scholarship to go to Sylvia Young for a year. After going there I knew musical theatre wasn’t for me. I realised performing is acting and singing, I feel like it’s merged into one. I feel like I love music so much, it overtook my passion for acting. It just felt more important to me. Acting is definitely something I want to go back to at some point, but right now its music.

You’re only 20, but have experienced a lot career wise. Do you think your singing will be the main focus from now, or do plan to do different things?

Definitely, the sky’s the limit. I wouldn’t want to limit myself now because I don’t know what the future holds. I’d like to try some other things in the entertainment business such as acting, and directing videos and loads of different stuff.

What single moment or event do you attribute your current success to?

How We Roll, because I feel like it was my first single. When it was about to come out I was wondering what people would think, are they going to think it’s better than my last songs, because I always want people to see growth and progression from each song. In terms of how well is it going to do; you always want the current one to do better than your last song.

You are very conscious of the contrast between the financially difficult years of your youth and your current prospects and status, even having had tattoos to illustrate this. Do you have any plans to use some of your financial gains to benefit others?

Defiantly, my family has always been quite giving and supportive of each other. What motivates me is I’ve got Rags to Riches on my hands, its life for my family without struggle. I can say I’ve fulfilled what I wanted to do as an artist. If I felt the right charity come along, and I believed in 100% I would defiantly get involved.

Tell us about the tattoo’s you have, and the ones you want to get?

Coming from rags to riches means quite a lot to me. The right arm where I have rags, I want the sleeves of my arms to represent a poor mans world. I want my left arm, which has riches on to represent a rich mans world. It will have all the elements of going from rags to riches and what they both represent. I want a piece in the middle of my chest; it’s going to represent me being in control. I think people don’t know it, but there in control of their own destiny. The choices that you make, and how far your willing to push yourself, and how much you want your dream, or whatever your goal is. The whole rags to riches thing meets in the middle of my chest, and how much you want it.

Why is having body art important to you?

It’s important because it’s almost like speaking without talking. It says a lot about you as a person, and what do the tattoos that you have mean to you.

What is your biggest motivation? What is it that pushes you to do more and to succeed further?

Seeing the life of my family without struggle, and knowing where I’ve come from. Knowing that I’ve progressed, and I’m bettering myself as a person everyday.

Thhe Album Identity is out in March 2012

* published in Flavour Magazine

December 20, 2011

Cleo Sol Signs To Island Records

Cleo Sol signed her first major record deal yesterday to Island Records.

The West London singer/songwriter first made it big on the underground circuit after producer Davinche noticed her talent and put her on tracks with Tinie Tempah on Tears, Wretch 32’s Dancefloor and Bashy’s Riding For Love.

Her tracks this year, Lovebass, Call For Me and newest single High ft Gappy Ranks have received support by Kiss 100, 1Xtra, Radio 1, Choice and Rinse.

I look forward to seeing what 2012 now holds for Cleo with her new label. Congratulations!

December 20, 2011

Mary J. Blige – Mr. Wrong

December 19, 2011

Rihanna Racially Abused At Portugese Hotel

Rihanna who is on the last leg of her World Tour, yesterday took to twitter after being racially abused by a man at her hotel in Lisbon.

She tweeted first

“I just met the most racist c*** EVER!!! This man said the craziest shit abt black women called us dogs, sluts, we don’t look like shit.”

she continued

“we don’t belong in the same hotels….needless to say, the #NIGGA in me came out! Bajan accent and all!Lol!Turns out the hotel manager’s black. Oh and he had the NERVE to diss black people in his Tighty whitey’s!!!! SMH…and tbh a lil black wouldn’t hurt him.”

December 19, 2011

Common “Celebrate” (Official Video)

Off the highly anticipated The Dreamer The Believer album which is out on tuesday. Ludacris and Tyga join the party for this track produced by No I.D.

December 19, 2011

Maya Angelou Criticizes Common’s Use Of The N-Word

Mary Angelou the world famous Pulitzer Prize-nominated poet stated her displeasure at the Chicago rapper’s use of the N-Word on his album.

On Common’s The Dreamer, The Believer album, the track The Dreamer features a poem written and recited by Maya Angelou. His lyrics on the track include, “Told my nigga [Kanye West] I’m ’bout to win the Grammys now” and “Niggas with no heart, I’m the pacemaker.”

Common uses the word often in his lyrics which is known well by the hip hop community. Mary Angelou claims she did not know this and has now expressed her disapproval.

“I had no idea that Common was using the piece we had done together on [a track] in which he also used the ‘N’ word numerous times. The word is vulgar and dangerous to the black community. I’m surprised and disappointed. I don’t know why he chose to do that. I had never heard him use that [word] before. I admired him so because he wasn’t singing the line of least resistance.”

Common has said that Angelou knew about him using the word, and that they both agreed to disagree.

“She knows i do use the word. She knows that’s part of me. I told her what ‘The Dreamer’ was about and what I wanted to get across to people. I wanted young people to hear this and feel like the could really accomplish their dreams.”

December 19, 2011

Flavour Meet DJ Whoo Kid

Flavour’s Maz and Shireen venture to a North London Barge to chat with mixtape veteran and as we discover, the larger than life and humourous DJ Whoo Kid.

As fellow Flavourette Maz Halima and I arrive in North London, we walk towards our destination to meet DJ Whoo Kid. The New York born and bred Hip Hop DJ has created a name for himself across the globe as a mixtape veteran, being signed to G – Unit Records and with the fast success of his website Radioplanet.tv, ‘where Hip Hop meets Hollywood’.

Whoo Kid may be from the Concrete Jungle that is New York, but he isn’t solely immersed in his own scene; you gotta love his love for UK music. Way before British music was fully embraced; The Kid was working with Giggs, Tinie Tempah, Wiley and others. As Shireen and I approached the multi coloured barge that is the Dope Chef HQ, we hop on and get settled on board for a candid discussion on all things music… almost.

S: What was it that first brought you to work with UK artists?

I was touring loads and I saw the reaction that UK music received; people go nuts in the club when UK songs come on. I thought I’d get involved, I thought I could combine these artists with artists in America. I have access to almost all of them. I wanted to create a new movement, and gain some form of respect for the UK artists.

M: You say people go crazy in the clubs; do you think that’s because the English accent is a novelty?

No I think it’s just the record; it depends on the artist and the record. When you hear ‘Pow’ everybody becomes Jamaican, whether you’re Asian or white, everyone’s shouting ‘POW!’ In America everything is defined by the artist, personality or swag. When Rick Ross comes on the drug dealers want to order bottles, when Lil Wayne comes on the girls go crazy. It’s crazy but it was like that years ago, I didn’t understand UK music because of the accent. Tinie Tempah speaks so proper. He has the young, pretty boy mentality, so he gets all the girls…

S: As well as Tinie, you’ve worked with Giggs, Skepta, Wiley… what other UK artist would you want to release a mixtape with?

I wouldn’t mind messing with Chipmunk and Wretch 32. There are a couple of other artists out there that were just figuring out details with. I like Katy B too. I don’t really like a lot of female artists because in America all we have is Nicki Minaj (laughs). I’ve been hearing Ms Dynamite for years. With Katy B I see the reaction when her music comes on – girls be wiggling. I just like being involved with things that drive people nuts. I would like to work with Katy B; I like her swag and her style. Girls like her because she dresses like a boy or something, very dyke like. That’s what I like – girls on girls. Right?

S: So yeah… we have a few great female artists in the UK. Have you heard of Lady Leshurr?

I haven’t. See, I’m not really crazy about female artists. Out here they may be open and have other things to rap about, but in America the earlier rappers like Lil Kim just spoke about f**king and sucking d**k. But at the end of the day it’s like, ‘is there anything else?’ So many of them have come out wriggling and dancing on stage – but talk about nothing. If you’re not down with a team in the US, there’s no way you can be effective. Out here obviously a woman can be on her own and create her own buzz. In America, females need to be in a group, like Nicki Minaj. If she didn’t have influences from Lil Wayne and YMCMB she would still be hustling. She’s been in the game for around 10 years; before she blew up she had to find her way.

M: How do you think UK music will progress in America and do you think it has longevity?

It definitely has longevity because its progressing slowly, so it’s not just going to be a fad where it just pops up then disappears. It’s cool that it’s organically growing. You can hear it at the classy clubs now, where all the rich kids hang out; the sons and daughters of movie stars. When you go in there and you hear Tinie Tempah it’s not only because the song is hot, but because they feel like the song is their own and it’s for them. You’re not going to see rich kids in the regular clubs listening to Soulja Boy; they don’t want to be mixed with the same wave as everyone else. So when Tinie Tempah comes on in the club, it feels exclusive to them and they have their own exclusive lifestyle. I’ve played everywhere from Kazakhstan to Australia and when Tinie Tempah comes on, you see that the ‘Pass Out’ beat is so universal.

M: Yeah, UK music has blown worldwide.

Yeah, now you see him [Tinie Tempah] on big TV shows like The View and The Late Show so it benefited me because he was like, ‘I did a mixtape with Whoo Kid,’ so I think I did the right thing. I hooked him up with Chris Brown and Wiz Khalifa; he’s got records with them now; that’s what I’m here for. It also helps that Jay Z bigs him up. It’s happening slowly but surely, all the big guys are shouting him out. Diddy shouted out Skepta; Giggs always gets compared to 50 Cent. It has to happen this way because you don’t want to just come and go. I mean, I don’t want to say Dizzee Rascal came and went, but every time I’m here [in the UK] everyone says how he’s commercialised UK music. I like Dizzee Rascal, there’s nobody at home that doesn’t like him. Every actor I’ve interviewed on my radio show, every British one brings up Dizzee Rascal or Tinie Tempah, they’re the only two names they bring up.

S: So you know who’s hot and who’s not…

Yeah, me being a mix tape guy, I always want to know who’s new and who’s fresh because I blew up all the guys you see now like Wiz Khalifa, Mac Miller, Big Sean – he’s killing it now. These guys I knew when they were like little kids and now there out here, so it’s good that I have a view of what is in the future. I’d rather work with people that have done their homework. Giggs and Skepta; they did their homework already. I don’t want to find someone that’s totally new and be out here hustling a new guy. [For example] Skepta’s porn video got him talked about A LOT in America.

S: In an interview in July you said you were talking to Swizz Beats about Wiley and hooking them up. Has anything happened with this?

I got sent 6 or 7 beats, so soon hopefully. Wiley and I are working on an iTunes version of a mixtape at the moment, were probably going to give away one more mixtape for free. I have spoken to Just Blaze, I spoke to Swizz Beats.

M: How is working with Wiley?

Wiley’s on his own spaceship level! Drake called Wiley without me even knowing. I wish he would have f**king told me that. He was just like ‘Drake called me’. I was like ‘why didn’t you let me know these things?!’ He’s going out his way to call you all the way in the UK to thank you for covering ‘I’m On One’. Everybody did ‘I’m On One’, but Drake actually liked Wiley’s version. With Wiley, he’ll send me shit but I can never tell if it’s a freestyle or original. I keep thinking its original, like ‘Don’t Go’ but it was a Wretch 32 song done over, he does it so perfect that I can’t tell it’s a remix! I’m not out here so I don’t know all the songs.

S: You worked with Giggs on ‘Take Your Hats Off.’ How was working with him?

Giggs has a hardcore attitude, I’m probably the only one who can get him to laugh and act stupid on radio; he really doesn’t do that with anyone else. When he came to America I got him out of his gangster shell. I do it to everybody. He had my mix tapes when he was in jail, so he respected me from a while ago. It was kind of weird that I had to look for him, when he was already a fan of Whoo Kid way back when.

M: And you worked with Skepta on ‘Community Payback’?

Yeah, Skepta’s just out of control! Tank tops, women… throwing oil on girls – he’s out of his mind. He’s mad cool though. You’ve got to have a relationship first before you start working. We all clicked and everything was cool. These guys all come to my parties if they’re in town. Tinie Tempah is the best homeboy though. We did unlimited parties in New York and I introduced him to Chris Brown.

S: How did he react?

I called Chris Brown and was like ‘Tinie’s here’, so Chris came. Tinie was like ‘Ahhh!’ I said ‘you’re Tinie Tempah, why are you worried about Chris Brown coming in the club? You’re Tinie f**king Tempah!’ He was so amped. I think in America he has this nervous attitude towards other people, but he needs to figure out that they are all aware of who he is. If you have a name that comes out in America, people call their label like ‘who is this guy, why is he big?’ Once you tell them this guy is No.1 in 27 countries and he’s won all these awards, they get that generic recognition and people respect him. It’s Chris Brown though, he be smacking Rihanna… So he was nervous, he’s a nervous guy.

M: Aside from your UK projects, what are you up to in the states and what can we see from Whoo Kid in 2012?

Right now I’m debuting a Dr Dre record. Dr Dre was on my case last week. I think I’m going to give it to Tim Westwood so he can air it out here at the same time. I know I’m not giving it to him today because he might act stupid and air it early; because he thinks I’m out here like I’m f**king dumb! It has an NWA feel. It’s not like ‘Kush’ or the other records he put out. This is like him spazzing out; that NWA sh*t is back.

My radio show is still going strong. I don’t interview a lot of rappers, just movie stars mostly. I’m just trying promote myself and sh*t, [laughs] touring the world and balancing that with the radio show and mixtapes. We’re also launching a clothing line; we just did a t-shirt collaboration with Bruce Willis.

Now I’m in the UK with Wiley for a ten day tour. I don’t know how I’m going to survive that with the UK women out here; because there all amazingly soft and smoothed out! It’s like a lot of the girls are all mixed or something? They’re all mixed up with white people; the white must smooth people out? [blank stares] Black girls in America don’t look like this. It’s like they are a thousand of Beyonce’s out here.

M&S: Where’s Wiley? [This was due to be a joint interview]

It’s my fault Wiley’s not here, he’s in the studio right now. He was talking some grime sh*t with me – I don’t know what he’s talking about. I don’t understand that language. He’s always says [pauses hesitantly for the first time] Jheeez. That’s what Giggs always says. Monster Man is my No.1 joint. You like that song?

M: Yeah, it’s crazy.

Does it turn you on when it comes on? He’s talking about an anaconda, he talking about the monster. That’s the reason you like that song, right? [laughs]

M: [flushes crimson] I don’t know about that… I just like the beat. I haven’t met the monster so I wouldn’t know…

[laughs] I hope not, Jesus Christ!