John Singleton Dead at 51

John Singleton passed away early this morning

The iconic movie director, producer, and screenwriter passed away today after suffering from a stroke since April 17th. A family spokesman issued the following statement: 

“We want to thank the amazing doctors at Cedars-Sinai Hospital for their expert care and kindness and we again want thank all of John’s fans, friends and colleagues for all of the love and support they showed him during this difficult time,” the family said in a statement.

While not an music artist or a producer, Singleton made a big impact on hip-hop with his movies. He casted artists such as Ice Cube, Janet Jackson, and Tupac Shakur. These movies included “Poetic Justice”, “Boyz in the Hood”, and “Higher Learning”.

Singleton was 51 years old.

Small Professor is a MUST Follow

It’s been almost four years since Sean Price’s untimely passing. Many have paid tribute to the late rapper in many ways. And when artists pass away, someone usually releases a posthumous album that compiles some unreleased tracks. Before Sean died, Small Professor worked with him on some tracks and released them as an album earlier this year called 86 Witness.

Small Producer is from Philadelphia, and originally was known as MC Esther. In 2004, he tried to write a whole album but it just wasn’t cutting it for him. So he went ahead and made beats instead. It was at that point he was known as Small Professor. Let me give you three reasons to follow him.

His name alone shows love to the old school

After deciding to quit rapping (known as MC Escher, he decided to focus on beat-making. He called himself Small Professor, because of his love for Large Professor and his album “Breaking  Atoms”.

His beat making brings the old and new school together

Small Pro brings everyone together. His beats are a mix of Boom Bap and the Southern beats you hear of today. Both generations will like ’86 Witness as a collaboration album with the late Sean Price. Small Professor really brought out the best of P given how little he had to work with this posthumous album. Small Pro brings out the best of P, making his voice as grimey as we’ve known him to be.

His beats have its unique character, separating itself from other beats

If you listen to “Bear Witness”, the first track off ’86 Witness, it sets off the album with a bold positive beat. He’s got Price going off strong. “Word to Mother” is great with its beat changeup and scratch routine. The track not only includes P’s lyricism, but appearances by DJ revolution and Illa Ghee. 

Nipsey Hussle Remembered on Social Media

This has been a pretty hard week for the Hip-Hop community as they mourned the loss of Nipsey Hussle. A man who was not only known for his rhymes and music, but his entrepreneurship and his commitment to his community.

A lot of artists and celebrities shared their thoughts about the producer, leaving touching tributes on their accounts.

Rihanna posted one of his music videos.

Mike Live, a DJ on the west coast, posted this video of people already spray painting a mural of the fallen rapper.

Russell Westbrook, of the OKC Thunder was sporting a Crenshaw T-Shirt. That was one of Nipsey’s shirts he sold at his Marathon Clothing store.

And finally, DJ Booth shared some paintings people have already made of the late rapper.

RIP Nipsey

Nipsey Hussle is Someone I Wish I followed More

Another sad death has hit the Hip Hop community. Senseless shooting toward a young rapper who’s life was cut short at just 33 years old. On Sunday, Nipsey Hussle was shot multiple times in front of his store in Los Angeles. I’ve been looking through social media, and have noticed tons of tributes and thoughts about the fallen rapper. The more I’ve read about him, really makes me regret not paying attention to his work. Here’s three reasons why you should follow the work Nipsey did.

was very smart and up on everything like politics and news

He stayed up on everything. During the ’16 election, he collaborated with YG on a single called FDT (*uck Donald Trump). Shawn Setaro, host of the Cipher, mentioned on Twitter that Nipsey talked about fiat currency, artificial scarcity, and Sanrio’s business model. 

he shared his accomplishment he built from the ground up

When he talked with Setaro, he mentioned that he wanted to put his money into a STEM school for children in his community. He mentioned in another interview that he wanted to invest his money into real estate, while other rappers were putting their money into jewelry. His store, The Marathon Clothing, was the anchor. It was the seed that led to reinvesting into bigger and better things for his community.

He was a role model for children

People took notice of what he did. Politicians said he had a vision for the children in his community. He poured positivity onto the streets, that children took notice of. 

RIP Nipsey

Clear Soul Forces is a MUST FOLLOW

Can you think of a rap or hip hop group that stands out currently? There have been many notables in the past: Wu-Tang Clan, Odd Future, Hot Boy$, but I haven’t heard a GROUP lately have you? Clear Soul Forces is about to fill in that void.

If you like that Detroit, boom-bap, Dilla sound, then you’ll dig the “Voltron” that is Clear Soul Forces. E-Fav, Ilajide, L.A.Z. and Noveliss are back together for another album release. I’ve got three reasons you should follow these guys.

  1. They’re a hip-hop GROUP which is a rare find these days

Money is tight these days, and having to split the little cash given between all the members and behind the scenes people is tough. It’s not exactly an ideal situation for any artist. I think what makes this group special is their motivation to form together in making a sound that stands above the rest. 

2.  This group is just as strong individually as a group 

Look up each member individually, and you’ll be impressed by the work they do solo. Take Noveliss for example. If you listen to “Brand New” and “5 AM in Shibuya” you’ll be impressed. I guess that’s what happens when you hang around people like Mega Ran and Royce Da 5’9”.

E-Fav REALLY believes in hip-hop, and why not? If you watch this video, he’s trying to bring it back in the truest sound. 

While most of the members usually rap backpack-style, Ilajide can switch it up a bit. If you go to his Instagram, you can see a video where he’s rappin west-coast style.

L.A.Z was raised right. You could tell when he can drop his like this. It makes sense when your mom is a big hip-hop head and your stepdad was a DJ.

3. This group has Royce Da 5’9” seal of approval

What more can you say, about this group, when after recording Royce goes “You know what? You guys should form a group.”

Nuff Said

Check out their new album Still. I’ve been listening to them non-stop on Apple Music.

Big L Remembered on Twitter 20 yrs. Since Death

Twenty years ago today, Harlem lost one of its well-known hip hop artists.

Lamont Coleman, aka Big L, was becoming one of the top lyrical rappers in the game. He became a big staple in the genre with his lyrical skill and his involvement with pioneering genres like Horrorcore.

On this day, he was shot on 45 West 139th street in Harlem. He was shot nine times in the face and chest.

Twitterheads took the time today to lay tribute to the fallen rappers. DJ Premier had this to say:

@Samesosa7 stood next to a painted mural of him to pay tribute to him today.

Finally, @Elliottwilson of Tidal curated a playlist on the service to pay tribute.

Got any tweets to Big L? Mention me at @djchizzad, and I’ll post them up here.

PETA aren’t fans of Big Boi right now

When Big Boi performed at the Super Bowl halftime show, last Sunday, not too many people impressed….especially PETA.

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wrote a scathing tweet to Big Boi, criticizing the fur coat he was wearing during his performance.

Big Boi performed some of his hits like “The Way You Move”. He performed last Sunday at the Super Bowl with Maroon 5 and Travis Scott.

Kool G Rap’s DJ Needs Your Help

Kool G Rap’s DJ needs your help after his family experienced a house fire.

According to the Go Fund me page, DJ Polo’s family went through a three alarm fire at their home on 100th street in Queens NY. The fire started in her mother’s kitchen, and had spread throughout the house.

Donations are still being accepted. So far about $4,500 has been raised.

Reasons To Check Out the 2×2 Fest: Ren Thomas

Ren Thomas

The 2×2 Hip Hop Festival has got to be one of the best kept secrets in Ohio. It’s in it’s fourth year, and I’m finally gonna make the trip up I-71 to check it out. For those who remember Scribble Jam, imagine this being its reincarnation. There’s grafitti, b-boy/girl contests, and freestyle battle competitions. It’s also an all-day concert featuring artists like Skyzoo, Prof, and Blueprint. If there’s anyone I’m looking forward to see it’s probably Ren Thomas.

Ren Thomas

Good question. Ren Thomas, formerly Renegade, is an MC from New Jersey writing rapping bars since he was 10. He’s been on numerous MC battle contests, was a semi finalist in Ludicris’s Magnum Live Large and won the TeamBackPack Cypher Championship in 2016.He recently released “Who the F*&k is Ren Thomas?” in 2015. Here’s why you need to make the trip to Columbus to see him.

His flows over boom bap beats take you back to the 90’s hip hop sound we all miss

If you’re exposed to commercial hip hop in some way, whether online, at shows, or on the radio, listening to Ren will take you back to ’94. If you check out this Bar Fight video, below, Ren’s flow stands out above everything.

His lyrics are creative as hell

If you have good flow, then it leads to spitting creative lyrics. Ren’s flows will leave you hanging onto every bar he spits. Listened to his appearance on “Sway in the Morning” and was blown away when I heard he’ll “german suplex your daughter though a wedding cake”.

Brings nothing but pure energy and aggression

This is the foundation to the total package of a great MC. Go through Youtube and check everything out. Especially check out his single with pete rock.