BJ The Chicago Kid – A Soulful Christmas EP

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“DIRTY SOUL WITH A GRITTY SOUND… BUT STILL CHRISTMAS”

Chi-Town’s own, BJ The Chicago Kid, delivers a six-track collection that is musically euphonic in the dopest way. We, of course, get inundated annually with Christmas albums that can be nauseating in their delivery of over-the-top joyous jingles; but this infusion of life, love and D’Angelo-esque soul is so sonically pleasing, you’ll want to rock it through to Memorial Day. And to think…it was created in 3 days.

Listen below.

P.S. While Nat King Cole still owns “The Christmas Song“, you’ve got to applaud BJ’s rendition, “Chestnuts.”

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Video: Kendrick Lamar – Sing About Me (Part 1) w/ Eddie Peake

Kendrick enlists Eddie Peake to contribute art for the official ‘Sing About Me’ video.

The videos opening message:

“When the lights shut off, an artist’s dream is that their work will stand the test of time. The ones that influence our culture are the ones we most remember. Here, two powerful creative forces come together to elevate the status quo and lay ground to their legacy. This is their poetry. Sing about them. This is part one.”

Part 2 arrives next month.

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Arsenio Hall Responds to Kanye West

A few weeks ago, while visiting the Breakfast Club at New York’s own Power 105.1, Kanye made reference to (among several other things) Arsenio Hall’s departure from his original late night show back in 1994. Kanye said that Arsenio was “turnin’ up too much” and this led to his termination and ultimately, the show’s cancellation.

Well, Arsenio felt that statement needed to be clarified. And boy, did he clarify. While I haven’t found myself enthralled by Arsenio’s new late night show, I have to agree (and frankly, admit that I’m impressed) with his direct and intelligent response to Kanye.

Much like Andreas Hale proved in the post that precedes this one, you can’t always spew conjecture without expecting to get checked by those who know better.

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Who The Hell Am I: I’VE GOT THE ANSWERS KANYE! (Reblog)

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Kanye West is a train wreck.

Scratch that.

Kanye West is one of those Hollywood Fast & Furious seven-car pile-ups that you simply cannot take your eyes off of even though it’s so blatantly done for shock value. Except that Kanye West thinks he’s smarter than any Fast & Furious film and demands you treat him as such.

That sounds about right.

As if his mind numbing rants, knocking up Kim Kardashian with “Baby ½ Compass” and overall shenanigans didn’t drive that point home before. Well, his series of interviews – specifically his #YouAintGotTheAnswersSway rant on Sway In The Morning and incessant rambling and inability to directly answer a question on The Breakfast Club – pinned the tail on the fashion forward jackass. To lay it down as flat as possible: I’m sick of Kanye West and his egomania.

Before we get started, let me make a few things very clear. I am not a Kanye “hater.” Rather, I just really (really) dislike some aspects of his personality. I think he is an excellent artist and my byline is beside his 5-mic review in The Source for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. I was a fan of his artistry from the first time I heard the Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes sampled “This Can’t Be Life” off of The Dynasty: Roc La Familia album. He merged the underground and the mainstream together in a way that was downright admirable at a time when hip hop was stuffed with cream puff tunes from tough guys (oh, hello 50 Cent and Ja Rule). He helped rescue the music from the strait jacket of crap music. For that, he is appreciated.

With that being said, I have always felt that he is overrated. While most credit him for the success of Jay Z’s The Blueprint, I have always sided with Just Blaze’s contributions “U Don’t Know,” “Song Cry” and “Girls, Girls Girls.” But that is a 50/50 argument where I wouldn’t argue with anyone who enjoys Kanye’s productions more than the work of Just Blaze or Bink. Nevertheless, he’s an incredible producer and artist. However, as a lyricist, I have never bought into his perceived greatness. Sorry kids, if I have to round up my 10 greatest emcees, Kanye doesn’t make my lyrical kickball team. That doesn’t take away from the brilliance of The College Dropout or MBDTF (his best albums IMHO), just a note that it was more musical aesthetic then actual lyrical substance that sold those albums. But Yeezus was a vanity project that, to me, was a bunch of noise and chest thumping. I don’t like it, never will like it and you can’t make me.

I say that to say this, the monster that we have created has bought into his own hype and truly believes that he is the smartest guy in any room. Not a music studio but a fashion studio. And, you know, fashion is like the most important thing in the world to Kanye West.

Continue reading

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Jay-Z Announces New Album: Magna Carta Holy Grail

JAY Z’s new album “Magna Carta Holy Grail” comes to Samsung Galaxy fans first. Be among the first million to download the app on June 24th and get the album free July 4th, three days before the rest of the world.

So, Magna Carta Holy Grail drops July 7.

Hopefully, Hov’ll remove the awful taste that Yeezus left behind.

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J. Cole – Power Trip ft. Miguel

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“She got me up all night, all I’m singin’ is love songs.”

Jermaine Cole releases the first single for his Born Sinner sophomore album and what a great song it is.

Cole:

I’ve always wanted to use my voice to shift culture, even if just a millimeter. This song is one of my strongest to date and I look forward to hearing fans reactions.

If I may speak for the fans…this is it.

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Childish Gambino – L.E.S. (Video)

Donald “Chidish Gambino” Glover lays a video on us for what happens to be my #1 song on 2011’s CAMP.

Spending so much time in Northern VA/DC, this video feels, in the sincerest way like…home.

Listen, watch…and if you haven’t copped the album, cop it.

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T.BOA – Mack-Nolia

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“Ain’t from New Orleans, but the Mack-Nolia [mack know ya].”

With a Pac-like work ethic, Boa-man drops his newest EP, appropriately titled BILLYBADA$$RHYMEALOT. The ‘badass’ was designed to offend you, but the maturation is most evident on standout tracks Exotic, Bada$$ and my personal favorite, Mack-Nolia. The latter is a soulful, rapid-tongued ode (delivered over TheWhiteRussian’s production) dedicated to his very own lyrical prowess and swagger. Simultaneously, Boa sends a warning  to challengers and there’s no empty bravado here; like Villa and Rosewood Montage, his boasts are proven true throughout this project.

BILLYBADA$$RHYMEALOT is available for download here and now.

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4 More Years…

Congratulations to Barack Hussein Obama II for winning a second term as President of these United States of America.

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A.J. Morgan, “Grad School” Sunglasses

Albeit obnoxious to some, I’ll admit that I have tendency to adorn sunglasses while riding the train. While I understand the inferred pretention in wearing sunnies where there is no sun, in truth, I’m usually just too lazy to remove my eyewear. Plus, I guess I feel there’s justification in retaining my eye protection during my commute since my train does ride over the Manhattan Bridge (for all of 5 minutes).

But today on my way to Manhattan, a nice woman named Monica came over to me and asked where I purchased the specs that I was wearing. We talked briefly about the shape and rich brown tortoise color of the frame, the darkness of the lenses and beauty of “vintage” glasses. Now, to know me is to know that sunglasses are my unaffordable (since I can’t buy all of the pairs I want) and insatiable fetish. While most of my clothes and shoe choices are understated, my sunglasses range from Ray Ban to Persol.

However, today’s conversation on the train with Monica was sparked by a pair of sunnies that cost a mere $4.99! No, the decimal wasn’t misplaced—they were really just 5 bucks.

Purchased at Brooklyn thrift store, Beacon’s Closet (dope spot—even copped a vintage winter coat for $20), my A.J. Morgan “Grad School” sunglasses prove, once again, that the value of an item is all in how much you love it. Certainly, I can’t deny that high-end brands usually offer greater quality, but only a fool snubs an inexpensive item simply because it is low-priced. After all, beauty can be found in unlikely places.

These sunglasses can also be found at my home away from home, the Brooklyn Flea.

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