The Kennedy Center released their seasonal announcements and named rapper Q-Tip as their first artistic director of hip hop culture. A founding member of the group A Tribe Called Quest, he is expected to begin curating performances this summer. According to the Kennedy Center’s press release, he will establish a program that reaches all disciplines by bringing the historic hip hop history to the Kennedy Center.
Nas was the first rapper to ever perform with the National Symphony Orchestra in 2014. Kendrick Lamar’s performance sold out last year and was an amazing performance. It’s exciting to know that hip hop is on the programming schedule for 2016. And it should be. Hip hop is a vital idiom and deserves a voice at the Kennedy Center.
Q-Tip noted that with the constant changes and elevation of hip hop that it is easy to forget the history of it. He wants people to have a better understanding of the journey, its present and create a powerful future. This new series, Hi-ARTS, will feature six events between July 2016 and June 2017.
Many rappers only scratch the surface of their true greatness. In their rhymes, Jay Z, Biggie, and even Kanye West have brilliantly tried to convey their dopeness. And for Malik “Phife Dawg” Taylor, his dopeness existed perfectly with who he was. The 45 year old rapper from A Tribe Called Quest lost his battle with Type I diabetes on Wednesday.
Phife was short; only five feet tall. He was also a diabetic, however, he owned his shortcomings and turned them into lyrical genius. He talked about it and viewed himself as the best. He once said, “If I don’t say I;m the best, tell me who the hell will?”
Phife made his own place with A Tribe Called Quest – he never fell into Q-Tip’s shadow. The two had known each other since childhood and had their share of ugly moments. In a 2011 documentary, Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest, it captured some of those moments – including a backstage blow-up at 2008 event. Phife was the only member of the group that attended the documentary’s premiere at Sundance. He openly cried and told the festival audience, “No MC can serve me.” That’s why Malik “Phife Dawg” Taylor was dope. Rest in peace.
Hip hop and basketball often go together like a hand and glove. Over the years, several rappers have forged friendships with NBA stars, even starting their own rap careers. It’s pretty safe to assume that most NBA stars are fans of rap and hip hop. Not so much for the greatest play of all time – Michael Jordan. According to rapper Noreaga, the former Chicago Bulls legend declared how much he hates hip hop at a Def Jam Christmas party.
Sure, the question arises – why was Michael Jordan at a hip hop party if he hates hip hop? Noreaga claims that rappers Redman and Method Man approached Jordan at the party but were ignored by him. Then he later announced to a group of fans that he was not a fan. The question remains – why was he there?
It was also reported that he only likes Jay Z and only spoke to him at the party. Allegedly, he was overheard making explicit remarks towards rap. The story has us asking questions of the NBA legend. We don’t want to believe that it’s true. However, Jordan has the freedom to feel the way he does. Say it isn’t so!
Gene Simmons, the singer/bassist for one of the greatest bands in rock and roll history has taken a punch against rap as well as pop music. According to him, he is “Looking forward to the death of rap.” which he feels like in ten to twenty years from now won’t exist and there will be something totally new taking its place. The music industry has lost its touch and he feels like it’s mostly due to the internet. While he might still sell millions of records thanks to the internet, a lot of young new acts out there have to give out their music for free which is totally wrong according to Gene.
Kiss emerged from the streets of New York as rap and he says that there has never been a band that has been able to play to stadiums full of fans across the world as they have. Gene said all this while doing an interview with Rolling Stone on the state of the music industry.
Rap and Hip-hop mogul Jay-z appears to have removed a handful of his albums from all music-streaming platforms except Tidal with many suggesting that it is simply a strategy to boost their subscribers. Some of the albums that he removed include the Blueprint, Blueprint 2, The Gift and the Curse, and the Blueprint 3 from rival streaming music competitors such as Apple Music, Spotify meaning that his music is no longer available for purchase on Apple Music.
These are not the only albums that the rapper has removed from rival service providers. In fact, last year, the rapper removed Reasonable Doubt from Spotify in an attempt at making other companies review their royalties structures. Jay-z launched Tidal in 2015 promising improved royalty deals with artists and exclusive deals for subscribers. More so, while rumors have been circulating that Samsung would buy the music platform, the company spokesman recently came out in Variety magazine to deny the allegations.
Rapper Krayzie Bone from the group Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, canceled a recent show due to Sarcoidosis. The disease appears as a collection of inflamed cells and took the life of comedian Bernice Mac in 2008. Krayzie Bone took to Twitter to send a message to fans, “Canada thank you for your support sorry I had to cut it short due to sickness but I will be back to make those date up soon! Much Love” Afterwards, he posted that the remainder of the tour dates were postponed.
Sarcoidosis is an autoimmune disease and affects the lungs. This explains why he thought he had pneumonia. Although the rapper didn’t say when he was diagnosed, but it appears that he’s been sick for a while – at least since February 6 when he tweeted “Sucks being sick.” he potentially fatal disease doesn’t have Krayzie Bone worried. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony is working on new music and he fully intends to continue the Canadian tour at a later date.
Pink’s criticism did not auger well with Amber Rose. She posted on Instagram to defend the reality star. Amber responded to Pink saying that everyone was unfairly criticizing Kardashian. She acknowledged that everybody was born naked, but the society sexualize women’s breasts and bodies. She also asserted that it was no one’s business if the mother of two was comfortable with showing off her body. Amber reminded Pink of her photo swinging from a rope half naked. She insisted that women should stop downing one another and instead start uplifting one another.
Donald Trump, the GOP presidential front-runner, was forced to cancel his Chicago rally on Friday after fights broke out between supporters and protesters.
At least five sections of the arena at the University of Illinois at Chicago were filled with protesters, and after consultations with local law enforcement, it was decided that the safety of the thousands of people at the venue needed to be protected.
Numerous fistfights broke out as the announcement was made and Chicago police had to intervene in order to detain and forcefully remove a handful of protesters. As police were clearing the arena, cries of “Trump!” And “Bernie!” could be heard among the crowds. The incident in Chicago seems to be the culmination of a growing rift between the supporters of Trump and his detractors who feel that the Trump campaign rhetoric incites hatred, violence and racism. Reports indicate that this was not a spontaneous outburst of violence. Protesters had apparently spent days planning the disruption, and they succeeded in their goal.
Trump’s closest rival in the GOP race is Sen. Ted Cruz, who is Trump’s closest rival in the race for the Republican nomination, told reporters “”When the candidate urges supporters to engage in physical violence, to punch people in the face, the predictable consequence of that is that it escalates. Today is unlikely to be the last such incident.” Cruz also commented that “in any campaign, responsibility starts at the top.” In turn, Trump has said that up until this incident in Chicago, the campaign has “never had much of a problem”. When asked by CNN’s Don Lemon if he had any regrets so far regarding his fiery campaign attitude, Trump responded “I don’t have regrets.” Trump also said, “These were very, very bad protesters. These were bad dudes. They were rough, tough guys.” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has praised the Chicago police officers’ restraint and efforts under trying conditions. Later on Friday, The Trump campaign cancelled an event planned for Sunday in downtown Cincinnati.
There is trouble in the rap world in the form of an ongoing feud between rappers Drake and Meek Mill. According to fellow rap world expert Charlamagne, Meek may have won this round. The song in question titled War Pain seems like it is directed right at Drake. However, it seems like Meek was able to outsmart Drake with his lyrics. Charlamagne went on to say that while this song is effective at taking a shot at Drake he thinks that it was released six months too late to have a real impact on him.
Drake has other things on his mind as well. Drake released the song Summer Sixteen and this song is attacking Meek Mill and other established rappers. Drake stated that the younger rappers want to be like him. Charlamagne told Drake that he does not compare to Kayne West and that while he may be allowed to take a shot at Jay-Z, his music he will never reach his level. The rapper then went on to say that nobody else in the rap game is close to reaching the level of Jay-Z at the moment.
While all of this is going on many are worried that the war will take off from the songs to real life. Neither Meek or Drake have gotten physical at this point and the rappers are mainly fighting over Niki Minaj. Meek is currently with this rap queen while there have been rumors that Ms. Minaj and Drake have been more than friends in the past.
These songs are the latest development in this rap war between Meek and Drake. While the rappers continue to take cheap shots at each other fans have to wonder when will this all end.
Lately, rappers Drake and Meek Mill have dissed each other on several tracks. French Montana spoke on Larry King Now about his thoughts on the feud and that hey don’t have “a real problem”. It’s his belief that it is just a sport. French Montana compared their feud to sparring and pointed out that neither rapper has been harmed due to this beef. At the end of the day, it is just a competition. Nothing happens and nobody gets hurt. French Montana says that it conjures up excitement for the game.
It’s been almost 10 months since Meek Mill stated that Drake doesn’t write his own raps. And then the feud commenced. Disses are still being exchanged, including the rappers taking shots at each other at concerts. It appears that this feud will never end. They both want the other to know there is no love there. But why? Fans aren’t even sure anymore, particularly since Meek Mill used to like Drake. But now the rappers are on separate pages. Whatever else happens between them, we will be watching.