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. 

Cypress Hill Gets a Hollywood Star

Cypress Hill is about to get a star on the walk of fame

The hip hop group will be honored with a star on April 18th. They will be immortalized on Hollywood Boulevard, just miles from South Gate where they first formed 30 years ago.

Cypress Hill will become the first Latino Hip-Hop group with the honor. Other hip hop artists with a star include Pitbull and Snoop Dogg.

Now let’s get these guys into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, can we?

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.

Twitter Pays Tribute to J Dilla

Yesterday, February 7th, was a special day for hip hop fans worldwide because that’s the birthday of notable producer James Yancey. Some of you know him as J Dilla. If you followed his work, you know he produced cuts for many artists such as De La Soul, Slum Village, and A Tribe Called Quest. 

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

These were great gifs of J Dilla, both posted by @madeinmanchester 

Notable celebs, said some words like DJ Premier did. Erykah Badu

Sometimes words and a great photo of J Dilla is more than enough, posted by @IStillLoveHER

Illism is a Group You Should Follow

It’s gotten a little harder to find up-and-comers who’re getting a buzz lately. I’ve usually checked out the charts on CMJ, but they’ve folded and left a big hole with colleges to report charts to. So I’ve checked out the NACC charts (north american college and community charts) and get intrigued by artists, who’ve self-released their albums. Enter Illism.

Illism is composed of hip hop artist Envy, and R&B vocalist Fancy. They’re a husband and wife duo that worked together in 2015. The two made music, separately before then. In 2008, Envy’s single “Ringtone” cracked Billboard’s hot 100 singles. Fancy’s self-titled track broke out in 2010 after it appears on VH1’s Basketball Wives. You need to check them out, and I’m about to give you four reasons to follow them.

Illism is an incredible crossover between hip hop and RnB

Their sound would make Mary J. Blige insanely jealous. I haven’t heard a duo as good as this since Mary J and Method Man did “You’re all I need”. You hear duo’s, and they’re mostly watered down. Check out “MNSOTA” and “Talk About It”, and you’ll agree that their sound stands above the rest.

They’re a perfect example of DIY-ers getting their name out

They have their own MAGAZINE on their website. Well-done, detailed, and with advertisements (their merch). Cool as hell and a creative way to get their name out. Add that to their website, and Youtube, and you can tell they’re getting their hustle on.

their music has been on over 50 cable series, movies, and commercials

Have you watched Keeping Up with the Kardashians? Jersey Shore? Orange is the New Black? If you said yes to any of these, you probably heard an Illism track on there. It doesn’t stop with TV, Illism’s music was in movies such as Ride Along and Harold and Kumar.

Illism chosen as a finalist in Prince’s “Battle of the Bands” competition at Paisley Park

Prince loved to work with new talent, like The Time and 3rdEyeGirl. To pay tribute, Prince’s heirs are hosting a battle of the bands competition at Paisley Park. Illism was one of the four finalists in the competition where more than 125 acts entered the contest.

Check out Illism for yourself, at their website, soundcloud, or get their music at apple music, amazon music, or google play,