Posts tagged ‘Common’

July 22, 2012

Something From Nothing: The Art Of Rap


Last night saw the European premiere of Ice-T’s highly anticipated documentary, Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap. The event was not one to be missed for any hip-hop heads and lovers of wordplay. UK rappers we saw there included Sway, Wretch 32, Jehst, K. Koke and Exo

Contributing founder of gangster rap Ice-T enlisted legends of the hip-hop scene to talk us through their thought-processes, favourite rap lyrics and how they started out in the game.

An impressive amount of artists were featured, including Chuck DImmortal TechniqueNasRun-DMCSnoop DoggEminemDougie FreshGrandmaster CazDr DreKanye WestRakimJoe BuddenMelle Mel, Common and more.

We were taken right back to the basics, with New York back-drops heavily featured in the visuals, reminding us of hip-hop’s place of birth. Ice-T then took us through to Detroit and of course, to his turf – the West Coast. Interestingly enough, the south was not featured, leaving out some key players.

The film was quite fast-paced for a documentary film, which would keep some people entertained; however I found the quick transitions quite overwhelming at times.

Regardless, the film was informative and funny. Ice-T ensured there were many moments of humour, which made the film for me. Hip-hop is known to be an egotistical form of art, so it was refreshing to see lyricists discuss their most vulnerable moments.


One cringe-worthy revelation ironically came from Kanye West. As he was interviewed, he told us about his first rap battle, which went miserably wrong when his opponent delivered the line, ‘wassup, my name is Chris and let me tell you one thing, you smell like p***’ – obviously he lost that battle!

Snoop had his normal banter in check, saying his ‘main inspiration was having two women by his side.’

Ice-T asked the rappers to spontaneously spit their favourite lyrics of all time, and of course, they had to deliver. As expected, Ice-T knew every rhyme they presented to him and often rapped along.

When talking rap essentials, a lot of the rappers agreed that their voice and delivery was an important part. Chuck D said: ‘you had to have a strong voice to cut through the systems.’ Ice-T later praised Cypress Hill for their delivery of rhymes, saying: ‘When you came out, the vocal delivery was so real.’

Salt n Pepa and MC Lyte were the only females in the film, which was a bit disappointing as I felt others could have gotten involved, such as Lauryn Hill.

Overall, the docufilm delved into interesting subjects, thankfully neglecting the money, women and bling side of 21st century rap and concerning itself more with the technicalities of the art form and the business.

As the film finished, we were treated to phenomenal performances by Melle MelChuck D, RaekwonGhostface Killah and Ice-T; it was a tremendous showcase of linguistic skill which left me simply mesmerised.

July 2, 2012

BET Awards 2012 – Who Was Wearing What

Willow and Jaden Smith looked very cute and funky together on the red carpet dressed in tops by MSFTS clothing with Willow wearing a long t-shirt with holey leggings and Chanel Dr.Marten style boots. Jaden wore zebra print harem style trousers and the print on his hoodie to match with black and white trainers.

Power couple’s Jay Z and Beyoncé, and Kanye West and Kim Kardashian sat next to each other at the awards all looking very glamorous and sophisticated. Beyoncé looked stunning in a silk yellow dress, with husband Jay Z looking every inch the boss in a grey suit, white shirt and white loafers. Kanye West and Kim looked good next to each other both in white with Kim matching her dress with gold high-heeled sandals.

Latoya, Big Sean and Michelle Williams posed for a picture together with Latoya wearing a satin pale pink dress with a black lace design. Michelle Williams wore a lemon, flowing, chiffon dress with netting at the bottom that made it into a ballgown style dress. Big Sean looked every inch the hottest rapper on the red carpet with a sleeveless leather hooded jacket and black jeans with loads of gold chains and a gold Gucci belt unaware he was about to pick up the Best New Artist.

The heavy jewellery especially chains were out in full force on the rappers on the red carpet. One of the biggest chains I spotted was on Busta Rhymes who wore a few huge gold chains with medallions. Tyga for me would win the award for the rapper with the best bling for the night, as he only wore one chain, but it was encrusted with diamonds and was glistening.  He matched the chain with his watch and bracelet on the same hand.

The trend for a lot of females were to have their hair slicked up in a ponytail or high bun. This was seen on Faith Evans who rocked the red carpet looking very stylish wearing leopard print leggings, a white shirt with black collar and a black blazer. Monica also went for a slick high bun and looked amazing in a fitted maroon blazer showing off some cleavage and matching sequin trousers. Melyssa Ford the actress and model had her hair up slicked back with a quiff and looked stunning in a keyhole white dress, with a gold clutch and matching gold shoes. La La Vasquez an actress and TV personality looked gorgeous in a sequin silver jumpsuit and belt, with her hair slicked back in a ponytail plait.

Rapper Common and comedian Kevin Hart kept it smart/casual for the awards. Common who is known for his slick dress sense wore a short-sleeved shirt and loose tie and jeans. Comedian & actor Kevin Hart who picked up an award for Best Actor rocked a smart white blazer; with a low cut brown t-shirt and jeans, with a simple gold chain and watch.

July 2, 2012

BET Awards 2012 Winner’s: Jay-Z, Kanye West, Beyonce dominate

I flew out to LA for the BET Awards 2012…here is a list of the winners.

Best Actor
Kevin Hart ”Think Like a Man”

Best Actress
Viola Davis

Best Collaboration
Wale & Miguel – Lotus Flower Bomb

Best Female Hip Hop Artist
Nicki Minaj

Best Female R&B Artist

Best Gospel
Yolanda Adams

Best Group
The Throne (Jay Z & Kanye West)

Best International Act

Best International Act UK
Wretch 32

Best Male Hip Hop Artist

Best Male R&B Artist
Chris Brown

Best Movie
The Help

Best New Artist
Big Sean

Centric Award

Coca-Cola Viewers Choice Award
Mindless Behaviour

Subway Sportsman of the Year
Kevin Durrant

Subway Sportswoman of the Year
Serena Williams

Video Director of the Year
Beyonce & Allen Fergueson ‘Party’

Video of the Year
‘Otis’ – The Throne (Jay Z & Kanye West)

YoungStars Award

Lifetime Achievement Award
Maze, featuring Frankie Beverly

Video of the Year
The Throne (Jay-Z and Kanye West), featuring Otis Redding, “Otis”

Humanitarian Award
The Reverend Al Sharpton

AOL Fandemonium Award
Chris Brown

April 23, 2012

Dr. Dre Kills Rumors Of Tupac Hologram Tour

Dr.Dre has killed the rumours of the Tupac Hologram tour, stating it was just for the Coachella festival, during a recent message thanking fans. Although he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of taking it on tour entirely.

“It was strictly for Coachella, get it right. I want to get rid of all the rumors out there. This was not done for a tour,” said Dre, who didn’t entirely rule out the possibility. “If a tour happens, we’ll see. This was done strictly for Coachella 2012, just for you.”

Dre has previously stated that he was in talks to take the hologram on tour. Many people praised the performance such as Nas, Kendrick Lamar and Common.

March 13, 2012

Talib Kweli

Talib Kweli is one of the few rappers making music that speaks volumes and is still commercially feasible at the same time. The Brooklyn rapper came onto the music scene in the late 1990’s as a member of Black Star, educating and entertaining people with his music, which is perhaps why he was named by Jay Z and 50 Cent as their favourite rapper.

After the release of many albums and singles, himself and long time manager Corey Smith launched Blacksmith Music, signing an exclusive deal with Warner Bros with artists such as the highly respected female rapper Jean Grae, and super group Strong Arm Steady which includes Xzibit, Krondon, Mitchy Slick and Phil The Agony. Talib Kweli’s new album ‘Prisoner Of Conscious’ will be out this year, with the first song off it ‘Distractions,’ released two months ago.  Talib will be back in the UK this month on tour, with support from Lowkey and Mic Righteous.

1. Your first name in Arabic means ‘student’ or ‘seeker’. Do you feel that you have lived up to this name, and if so what would you consider that you are a student of?

I strive to live up to my name. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. I always study details so I am a student of everything I see. But mostly of music.

 2. How would you order money, power, and respect if you had to list them in order of importance and why?

Respect, Power, Money. Success is measured in happiness not paper. The power that a respected man commands trumps the power a rich man commands. It’s in the long run, so it’s hard for people to see.

3. Do you think that it is possible to achieve money, power and respect without any compromise?

Depends on what compromise you mean because everyone compromises something in life even you and I, but if you mean without compromising integrity, then certainly yes.

4. Do you feel that your educated background ever made it harder for more impoverished listeners to relate to your content?

Yes, I feel that there are times when my lyrics may get too nerdy, but I feel I’ve learned how to embrace it without alienating the listener who may not get it. This took time, and it wasn’t easy.

5. What do you feel your position and role in hip hop is?

I feel like I’m a connector. I connect with like-minded artists like Yasiin, Hi Tek, Kanye, Mad Lib, Jean Grae, Common, The Roots etc and I feel I somehow keep these artists connected. I also find a way to connect with artists who do different genres of hip hop than what I do, and newer artists as well.

 6. What section of society do you think your music appeals to most?

Those who appreciate quality. Regardless of age, race, creed or region.

 7. You are often described as the most underrated artist in hip hop. Would you agree with this appraisal and why do you think this is?

There are artists more underrated than me. But I certainly ain’t overrated I know that much.

 8. As your career has progressed and moved forward your content has naturally evolved. Do you feel any pressure or constraints to stay true to the style and content that people first fell in love with?

I like the sound I’ve developed over the years, I enjoy it. On top of that I feel that I owe something to the people who have invested in my sound over the years. So I will always have an album or mix tape or something out that represents that style. But as an artist I get bored easily and have to try new stuff, whether fans like it or not. It’s always about striking a balance.

9.  Jay Z formerly shouted you out on ‘Moment Of Clarity,’ and you responded on ‘Ghetto Show.’ How did it feel to have your lyricism appreciated and publicly praised by arguably hip hops most successful artist?

It felt right. Jay Z has always been one of my favorites from Original Flavor days, and I always looked to him as an example. Still do.

10. What were the reasons that led to you selecting Lowkey and Mic Righteous to support you on your UK tour?

I didn’t select them; I usually am not involved with the selection of openers. But I am glad they were chosen. I’ve heard great things from them and I look forward to sharing the stage with them.

11. You will be touring in the UK soon. Where in the world would you next like to go on tour that you haven’t been to yet?

Iceland. Or the Middle East.

12. What single character trait or attribute do you most respect in another artist?


13. What are you liking about the UK hip hop scene at the moment?

Not really up on the UK scene. But Low Key and Mic Righteous are both ill, and I’m not just saying that because they are on the bill. I rock with Kano too, and my man Sway.

14. Any plans for a future collaboration with any UK artists?

I get down with whoevers nice and serious about getting down.

 15. Following ‘Prisoner of Conscious,’ what is next for Talib Kweli?

San Juan. I want to move to Puerto Rico.

Quick Fire Round

  • Artists you respect the most?


  • Most powerful person in hip hop?

Kanye West

  • What would you prefer money, power or respect?


  • What can’t money buy?


February 27, 2012

NBA All-Star Game

It was the  61st annual NBA All-Star Game on Sunday night and the US music stars were out in full force. Nicki Minaj opened up the evening and was also spotted kissing Weezy.

It also seems that Common and Drake kissed and made up as there were snapped talking.

Pitbull performed during half time and partied with Chris Brown, Ne-Yo and Nayer.

January 11, 2012

Birdman Shows He Has Drake’s Back. Cash Money Isn’t About Diss Records

Birdman the co founder of Cash Money yesterday revealed his thoughts on the Common and Drake beef with a recent interview on Los Angeles’ Power 106. Th feud started late last year with no members from Young Money Cash Money speaking up on it. Birdman makes it clear that he will always back his team.

“Drake the homie so we ride or die. Ain’t no second questions about that, but we never been a brand to make records and want to make money off of making records of other people that’s not what we about,” Birdman explained. “So to me however the young homie deal with it we behind him, we supporting him 100 percent with our life so that’s just what it is. Ain’t no other way. Drake the lil’ homie that’s blood, that’s family, and ain’t no siding with that. It’s Drake or nothing.”

“We don’t do all that. We never did that,” said Birdman. “Never was about making money off of music off of diss records. That’s not how we operate. We try to give the fans – I mean when you get caught up in that to me you forget what this about. And it’s about the people and that’s what we do. We do our music for the people. We never been a brand to diss and diss records and try to make money that’s not us. But Drake the homie and we support him fully and whatever he ‘bout we ‘bout. However that turns out that’s just what it is.”

January 9, 2012

Common Has Dissed Drake Again On His Remix Of Rick Ross’ “Stay Schemin”

Common who first dissed Drake on Sweet is back at it again. Recording a remix to Rick Ross’ Stay Schemin, which originally featured Drake and French Montana. He released the remix to MTV News in the US, and has gone as far as photoshopping where Drake’s name was on the cover to “That Hoe Ass Nigg%,” and leaving Drake’s verse on there which includes lines,

“Guess every team doesn’t come complete with niggas like ours
Thats why I see no need to compete with niggas like y’all
I just ask them when you see me you speak up nigga thats all”

Common’s lines include,

“My motto is Chicago bitch, everybody know you’re sweet, what the problem is?
Don’t play dumb, I’m the one that acknowledged this,
The rapper of the moment, the style he don’t own it
Acting all hard when he hardly like that
You gon’ mess around and make me catch a body like that
Don’t do it, ’cause every song you make Joe is really hoe music.”

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 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.