They just started playing the hell out of Elle Varner’s “Refill” song on the radio and it seems that the whole world has gravitated towards her. I haven’t heard of Elle before this song hit the airwaves and I still have mixed feelings about “Refill”. I must say, however, that I like her voice and the flavor of her music. She’s bringing more ‘soul’ to the scene, definitely not that ‘autotune pop’ crap that I’m tired of hearing. So I did alittle research, and found out that Elle Varner signed with MBK/J-RCA Records (along with a co-publishing agreement with Sony Music) in October 2009. So she’s been grinding for awhile. Her debut single “Only Wanna Give It to You” features J. Cole and was released August 16, 2011. The song serves as the lead single off her upcoming album “Perfectly Imperfect”. Before the release of the album, Varner released her first project, a mixtape titled “Conversational Lush” which I’ve included in this blog post. I guess I need to stop sleeping on her. Varner is about to take over.
Spike Lee’s new film is about a young man’s who moves from to the notorious Red Hook projects to be with his preacher grandfather for the summer. Earlier this year, according to the Huffington post, Lee surprised Hollywood by opting to forgo a studio distribution by taking his chances at the Sundance Film Festival. This is something that only new artsy directors do, not someone with Lee’s experience and connections. After a few months in limbo, “Red Hook Summer” finally received a distributor with Variance Films for its theatrical release beginning August 10th in New York. Upon the news, Lee said in a statement, “From my very first joint back in 1986, She’s Gotta Have It, I have been an independent filmmaker, and even today I still am. I’m elated to join forces with Variance Films for the independent distribution of my new joint Red Hook Summer.” (huffpost) It’s good to see Spike Lee sticking to his roots by continuing to embrace independent filmmaking. Lee’s tenacity and longevity in the movie business stems in part from him always ‘remembering where he came from’.
LUPE FIASCO’s “Around My Way” takes a sample from, and is basically a remake of Pete Rock’s & C.L. Smooth’s iconic hit, “They Reminisce Over You”. Leave it to Lupe to take a classic Hip Hop beat and restore it with something with just as much class and genuineness as the original. Lupe keeps his lyrics political as usual, making references towards removing Columbus Day off the calendar and how it shouldn’t be celebrated. Lupe Fiasco has always been an artistic rapper using music to poetically express thought-provoking ideas, and this time, it’s no different. It’s been rumored that Lupe and Pete Rock beefed over the use of this beat. But Pete, too, sampled this beat from someone else. Nevertheless, this tune is a representation of pure Hip Hop and I think Lupe was honoring Pete Rock, C.L. Smooth, and the culture Hip Hop with the release of “Around My Way”. The video was directed by Alex Nazari. “Around My Way” is the first video off of Lupe’s, “Food & Liquor 2”, dropping on Sept 25.
Taylor Swift on a Hip Hop Blog? Yep. Not too often we get to see collaborations between country and rap artists, but B.O.B and Taylor Swift delivers a well-fused together hit single, “Both Of Us”. And the title is fitting and demonstrated well in the visuals of the video as you see the similarities of the two worlds (hip hop & country). The music video was filmed in several locations in Nashville under the direction of Jake Nava. B.o.B. (Bobby Ray’s) “Both of Us” is off of his “Strange Clouds” LP which is in stores now.
Michael Jackson’s death 3 years ago (June 25, 2009) shocked the entire world like a massive tsunami. Here was a man whose mind was so brilliant musically, that his abilities and gifts could only be explained with him as a being not of this world. The music Michael Jackson produced, wrote, or performed was decades ahead of this time. To say ‘futuristic’ would be an understatement. Included in this blog post is an “epic psychedelic” video for The Jacksons’ “Can You Feel It?” from their 1980 album “Triumph”. This wildly creative video (conceived by Michael Jackson) demonstrates how everything he did will resonate and be relevant for centuries to come. RIP
Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh, kept their promise to Miami when the Miami Heat hand-delivered the fans, the 2012 NBA Championship. The whole city is in great spirits now that the team is world champions. Tens of thousands of people lined up today on the streets of downtown Miami to cheer and celebrate the Heat’s victory. “I appreciate all our fans for sticking with us,” said the now two-time NBA champion Wade, who cradled the trophy in his arms most of the ride, adding, “Best fans in the world.” (cbsnews) Check out the photos of the celebration. A ton of people all happy at the same damn time!
KELIS (Nas’ former wife) hasn’t really spoke up much since their highly publicized divorce and financial issues. As we have seen in the media, this couple has been through alot and a great number of people in the Hip Hop community has sympathized with NAS in lieu of all the money he had to pay out to Kelis. Most found it no bit of a surprise when Nas graced his new album cover, “Life Is Good”, holding Kelis’ green wedding dress on his lap. Nas is clearly making a statement about his ex. Kelis finally speaks up about that and gives us an update on her own career.
Lebron, Dwayne Wade, and the others from the Miami Heat wasted no time and started celebrating immediately after their championship game! Of course, South Beach was the place to be for endless partying. First, it was Club Liv on Thursday, where the Heat celebrated with DJ Irie and rap group LMFAO. Next, Friday, it was an exclusive star-studded celebration at the notorious Club Play.,, And this is just the beginning!! As we still have tonight (Saturday), and Sunday (which everyone will probably be at Club Liv again), ending with the Parade Monday morning on Biscayne Blvd in downtown Miami, then the party continues at the King of Diamonds Monday Night. Miami is a magical city and everyone is on cloud 9 right now. The party will no doubt, probably last all year long. Congratulations MIAMI HEAT! WORLD NBA CHAMPIONS! And thanks for keeping our city on top!
MIAMI, FL – JUNE 21: LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat acknowledges the crowd after receiving the Bill Russell Trophy for being named the MVP of the 2012 NBA Finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder at American Airlines Arena on June 21, 2012 in Miami, Florida. (Miami Heat) PHOTOS of the BEST Highlights from last night’s NBA Championship Game 5.
Doesn’t seem like this tug-of-war between Hot 97 and Young Money’S (Lil Wayne & Nicki Minaj) is ending anytime soon. It all began when Lil Wayne instructed Nicki to pull out from her performance at New York’s Hot 97 Summer Jam in lieu of a comment their DJ, Peter Rosenberg, made about one of Nicki’s songs. He felt that her music selection was alittle too ‘pop’ for their hardcore Hip Hop crowd. Young Money felt that Rosenberg disrespected Nicki by criticizing her song before she was set to perform. Nicki and Wayne also added that Rosenberg’s comments were disrespectful to women in general. This is Rosenberg’s response. Take a listen….