Candid Convo: The Three Musketeers Of NYC: Fabolous, Jadakiss & Lloyd Banks

August 22, 2013 |  by  |  CANDID CONVO, MUSIC  |  3 Comments

Yes this is because of Kendrick’s “Control” verse. Yes, this is because of Ebro calling out the entire city for their lack of aggression and enthusiasm in regards to hip-hop in general today. Yes this is because I sincerely miss the presence of Fabolous, Jadakiss & Lloyd Banks on any list and debates when it comes to MCs in the game. Granted these three have cemented a nice cozy spot in the game documented by solid collaborations, mixtapes, awards, concerts and verses, remixes and albums…that goes without saying. But let’s be real, none of these guys have touched the age of 40 (Jadakiss is 38, Fab is 35 and Banks is 31) so there’s no reason the lack of activity is at level 10 with these guys.

The three have been seemingly busy with projects but no a dominant force in the NYC market. Since 2009, Fab’s dropped two albums and about 4 mixtapes. Where as Lloyd has dropped about 6 tapes and one album. As for Jada we’ve seen 4 mixtapes and one album. The work is there but are the results? Why aren’t they higher on today’s hip-hop totem pole? Is it frustration from them and their corners? Does the lack of NYC support ruffle their creative juices? When either of these guys are mentioned on Twitter, specifically NYC Twitter (that’s not really a thing but when these guys are brought up, NYC responds heavily) many scoff at the idea of any of these fellas baring a hip hop torch for the Big Apple. But why?

Jada came from the Bad Boy era which once had NYC & Hip-Hop in a cobra clutch. Studied under one of the greats, came from one of the best hip-hop groups in the game, worked with EVERYONE you pretty much admire in the sport today and is overall respected among all his peers without question. Why didn’t he adapt? Yes of course, in SOME WAY, Jada is still very relevant but is that all we’ve grown to accept from the Yonkers MC? “Oh, Jada came from The Lox. He’s put in work. He’s good.” Nah man, he’s not good. He deserves more. He deserves a #1 album. A Grammy. A huge brand partnership. Something substantial that says “What I did can’t be touched or done.” Does he not demand more from himself? Granted, we don’t know what’s going on in his personal life because as we saw months ago, the man had an edge up when he’s clearly been baled for HIS ENTIRE CAREER. So once a nigga starts growing his hair out, something stressful must be around the corner. And then “Control” happened and we didn’t get a PEEP out of him. Not even a laugh. Styles had shit to say, but nothing from 40 Cal Kiss. With an album titled like Top 5 Dead Or Alive isn’t his DUTY to stand the fuck up and say, though it’s specifically a competition thing for Kendrick, “Whoa lil nigga,” (Yes I know Kendrick was quoting Kurupt but still). Hell, Biggie would have.

Banks. My nigga Banks. The Victory Freestyle that shook up the world. The countless mixtape verses on Clue, Big Mike, DJ Kayslay that led us to believe that this was his city. The stellar debut of Hunger For More that STILL holds weight to this very day. The shinning star of the strong arm hip-hop crew, G-Unit. Did 50 set aside a CHUNK of his earnings and tell his man Banks, “You’re good for life?” I’ve heard rumblings that he and Fif arent on the best terms currently so is that stifling his creativity? Banks balanced the grittiness of the mixtape game and meshed it well, in his own right with the mainstream lane that he once danced in. Yeah his facial expressions were the ones of a Brooks Brothers manikin, but he’s a Queens nigga….they don’t usually smile that much. My father is a Queens native, trust me….I know this lol. Was the last time we heard Banks snap was on Ye’s “Start It Up?” Was there no one near a radio or a computer once Kendrick got his rocks off on “Control.” Did none of Banks’ boys look at him like, “Fam, you DID hear that new guy right?” Hell, what about his younger brother who looks just like him? “You not gone let that slide right?” Obviously Kendrick didn’t say his name, or anyone involved in this post, but man? I don’t know. Maybe I expecting too much from these guys.

And lastly, Mr. #AnyStudiosOpenYet? I’m particularly pissed at Mr. Jackson because out of all three of these guys he’s the most active. Still touring. Still on radio. Still getting those big looks on guest features. But yet and STILL he’s not eager to move out the “comfort zone” he’s in. Isn’t this the fella that made “SONY?” Isn’t that an ode to the city? HIS city? I’m sure he wouldn’t let anyone come in his plush residence and kick around his Versace pillows so why would he let Kendrick come through and say such hurtful things (chill, I’m just gassing Fab in hopes that he reads this lol). Seriously though, my biggest issue with Fab is the lack of urgency with him. ESPECIALLY in this situation. Just as fast as he took to Twitter, a studio session should have been booked no matter WHERE he was located on the globe. Funny thing is, it’s album time for Loso. His first two singles, “Ready” featuring Chris Brown and “When I Feel Like It” feautring 2 Chainz are doing “Ok” (I like the latter a lot more) but it still feels like the interest isn’t there for the Swag Champ. VMA’s are this weekend in BROOKLYN and Kendrick is performing. How is keeping silent with such a big weekend around the corner good for the city and HIMSELF? Am I asking too much? Probably so. I don’t care. I have a love/hate relationship with Fab. Someone needs to shave that chia pet off his head and put him in the studio for a SONY Pt.2 or something. Or release the one he has on TUCK. Yeah.

These are the conversations I have with myself in my head all the time. But today it spilled out on to Twitter and in my iMessage with a good friend of mine. So I decided to share with you guys. Some will probably give 3 fucks about either of these guys responding to Kendrick or even standing up for the city, but I damn sure care. Maybe someone needs to get the Three Musketeers in a room together where they can watch Ebro talk about how disappointed he is in the hip-hop representation in the Big Apple and get some motivation. But knowing these guys? They won’t. Jadakiss will go back to tightening up that du-rag, Fab will go back to his club appearances and Lloyd Banks will got back to…..man I don’t know.

All For One & One For All, right? Pshhhh

Candid Convo: 5 Reasons A Jay-Z Mixtape Would Be Pretty Awesome

June 12, 2013 |  by  |  CANDID CONVO  |  2 Comments

*turns on “S. Carter Collection Mixtape*

I know you’re looking at the word “mixtape” with the screw face like “Mixtape, why the FUCK would Hov do that?” Let me ask you, “Why the FUCK not?” What in the bloody blue hell does Blue Ivy’s Uno Partner have to lose? You’re telling me it wouldn’t be fun to hear this man over some of today’s toughest club records? “Mercy?” Telling me you wouldn’t want a freebie on “Mercy?” You’re BUGGING. I get it, “let’s move these old guys outta here.” Trust me I understand that Hov is at the age he doesn’t need to be rapping. But by the venom on “Open Letter” and the SLIGHT aggression on “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe”, homey still has some fight left.

There’s some eChatter that Shawn is constructing an ALBUM for a July 4th release, but other eChatter has suggested it is indeed a mixtape that’s being created in whatever Batcave studio he’s created under the Atlantic Ocean (like he doesn’t have money to do so). Personally, I couldn’t give a shit if it were an album or mixtape because a new body of work from Hov is always appreciated. But as we all know, a mixtape gives you A LOT of breathing room for creative exercise when it comes to production and collaborations. And seeing how ALL these “studio” pics have been randomly popping up over the past two months or so, it’s safe to say SOMETHING is being created. What pics you ask? This one. That one. Can’t forget this one. Oh and DEFINITELY this one. Lord only knows what other photos Lenny S has in that expensive camera of his, but I’m sure they’re more telling as to what Jay’s working on. Anywho, I’ve listed five of MY reasons why it would be “Pretty Awesome” if Jay was working on a mixtape. Check em, below!

1.) Unexpected Collaborations: It probably through a bunch of people off when that Raekwon photo opp popped up a couple weeks back. And not in a sense that neither party is a fan of the other, but to the degree of “Wow, they’re actually making music together?” I’m sure I speak for ALL on this but to hear THESE two go back and forth over a DIRTY ass soundscape submitted by some newbie could be worth listening to, no? Maybe Hov’s got a list of collaborations he’s eyeing but doesn’t really know how they would fit or be placed on an upcoming OFFICIAL LP release? A mixtape playground is somewhat the area for that. Who knows.

2.) Tour Material: A close friend of mine hinted that the reason for making this “mixtape” was for more tour material. I’m not going to say Hov’s set list is boring, BUT it’s a bit predictable. And while I understand we all yearn for new shit, when it comes to certain things, I’m just not a fan of change lol. But I do get it. My worry in regards to THIS is: How fast will his absurdly large fan base get acquainted with the material? If this project comes out on the 4th and The Legends Of Summer Tour starts on the 19th? Maybe this isn’t such a pretty awesome reason lol.

3.) Venting Sessions: “Open Letter” was a venting session, a ferocious one at that. “Bitch, Don’t Killy My Vibe” was partially a venting session. It’s been a good 4 years since we’ve received SOLO material from Mr. Carter so I’m SURE there’s a BOATLOAD of issues that he’s got with this here rap game. I’m sure he doesn’t want to spend time venting on a project that he’ll probably end up promoting and marketing alongside some HUGE corporation, venting. At least not IMO. Mixtapes are HOME to the venting sessions. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be venting in a bad way either. Oh no no, he probably just wants to press that “slick talk” button in a way where he can just step out the 40/40 one night, WASTED and get to going in the booth. Least that’s what I think.

4.) Production Practice: Just as much as we see a new blog pop up on these eStreets everyday? There’s a new hungry producer in his room chopping up samples, creating different sounds and drum patterns in HOPES of landing a PLACEMENT on any type of project. I don’t think Hov’s mixtape would be made up of solely freestyles over our favorite songs, so this would be the perfect platform to see what pockets he can fit in with these new producers. Who can restore some energy in Mr. Carter. Once “New Producer” is placed on this opus? The doors are opened. Hell, fuck opening the doors, sign the young hitmaker and mold him as an in-house Roc Nation producer. Either way, giving no-name producers a look on THIS type of tape could be beneficial to both parties. Alright Roc Nation A&R’s, GET TO WORK!

5.) Inspiration: This could go back to the “old niggas” argument in a sense because if the “old niggas” see Hov making mixtapes, then they’ll probably get excited and want to do one too. While this MAY be true, I’m also looking at it from a stance of some of lighting a fire under these other artists asses who think they may have a one way ticket to the “Crown.” Now obviously Hov’s not going to be here this time around in two years (at least he shouldn’t be), but for the time being while he’s still got about half a tank of gas (give or take a couple gallons), he’s probably the most inspirational motherfucker rapping right now. Aside from Mr. Yeezy of course. “Damn, this nigga Hov still got it. I gotta REALLY get on my shit” *LOOKS AT FABOLOUS*. There’s nothing wrong with going to the park and playing a pick up game with the great one. But if you didn’t leave that game with a new move or perspective on your craft? Then you’re just wasting your GOD DAMN time.

Candid Convo: Sorry Kanye, You ARE A Celebrity

May 16, 2013 |  by  |  CANDID CONVO  |  1 Comment

A celebrity is a person who has a prominent profile and commands some degree of public fascination and influence in day-to-day media. The term is often synonymous with wealth (commonly denoted as a person with fame and fortune), implied with great popular appeal, prominence in a particular field, and is easily recognized by the general public.

Hey Kanye West, THAT’S YOU! Over time, we’ve seen you climb from the bottom of SEVERAL different public and social totem poles, BANG on your chest once you’ve reached those top platforms and celebrate in various ways because you earned those respectful positions. Musically, you’ve changed the sound, the rhetoric and perspective of what hip-hop was and what it will be when if and when that crumb snatcher of yours decides to make music. Though I’m not a big “Fashion” fella, those envelopes and lines have been pushed and crossed as well. Can’t say I agree with all your “looks” and outfits, but you’re at LEAST bold enough to attempt to venture in a lane that some of your hip-hop cohorts aren’t.

You dropped out of college simply because YOU wanted to show the world it was ok to pursue YOUR dreams and not fall into the trappings of society’s academic/career standards and settings. You thought it was asinine for someone to tell YOU what you had to be when you grew up. YOU were the one that made it ok for people who were confused about so many things in life to express themselves when they felt the need to. And for that, the WORLD gravitated to you and yours.

Now since I haven’t been living under a rock for the past 10 years or so, I’d say these pitfalls, milestones and memorable moments (you have WAY to many of them to name) have made you into the man you are today. Some were great. Some were heartbreaking. Some were absurd. Some were astronomical. Those aren’t the type of things that go unnoticed. The things YOU went through? Many folks would have crashed and burned out. But not Mr. West….Oh no no. Mr. West took adversity, strapped it to his back for the WORLD to see and carried it around like a father with his daughter in the park.

You go left when the world goes right. The sky is blue, but you’re convinced it’s red with Gold lining. Not only do you think these things outloud, but you convey it through your art in such a way that a bunch of us couldn’t fathom it was possible. This isn’t a gas session, sir…just reminding you of a couple things. Follow me.

The influence you have on said society is insane. I think at times, it’s more than you can grasp and/or handle. And at times, it’s a burden to you. But it was you that placed this burden in your lap. You made the great music that summoned the company of other great musicians so they could make even GREATER music with you. You wanted to be the “voice” for said society because the norm was just that, “Normal.” Normal makes you sick, doesn’t it. I can tell.

When your mother died, it was heartbreaking to the world because we KNEW how much you loved that woman. We knew the rock she was in your life. We knew what you told us, but it also seemed like we knew it all. I’m pretty sure we didn’t. I can tell you first hand that if something happened to Mama LowKey? I don’t even want to go there. We celebrated how you overcame that time in your life because you proved to us that in the hardest times, there’s STILL reason to go on.

With that pain, you shined through in your music; AGAIN. You once again proved to your culture AND the world why you are one of the GREATEST artists to ever hit this earth. But again, this is a choice YOU made. The artists that influence you? You’ve SEEN their lifes outside the music. You KNEW the pressure greatness brought in someones life, but you pursued it anyway.

Did you really think breaking barriers and pushing the envelopes that you pushed wouldn’t make you “popular?” Did you really think your accolades wouldn’t get you recognized? Did you really think all these things would go unnoticed and that you would be able to handcraft great music and NO ONE would praise you for it. Hell, I’m not even going to DISCUSS the “negative” shit you’ve gotten yourself into because we might be here all day with that. But let it be CRYSTAL clear, the things people praise YOU for? Are the things you worked hard on so the people WOULD praise you. Because if you’re just making this DOPE shit for yourself and want no recognition? Keep that June 18th shit for yourslef, BREH.

Sidebar: Incase you were wondering why I wrote this lol.

*Maury Povich voice* Kanye West, you ARE a celebrity.

Sincerely,

Low.

Candid Convo: Feature For Your First Single: Kendrick Lamar Or Drake?

April 24, 2013 |  by  |  CANDID CONVO  |  1 Comment

In an industry where radio is important AND it isn’t, choosing one of these features could be very crucial for your FIRST official introduction to the game. On one hand, a Sherbert feature could place you directly in front of HIS female fan base along with heavy rotation on urban radio outlets and an assortment of Pop stations too since he’s probably being deemed as the friendlier side of hip-hop. His endorsement deals will probably pay a smidge of attention to who he’s co-signing and judging how well the song does, Drake may even contemplate bringing you into the OVO hut. But with this #NoNewFriends movement, that’s highly unlikely. Though Drake is VERY finicky about who he stands next to in regards to anything so this could be a major statement for said artist OUTSIDE the music.

And then we have Kendrick Lamar, hip-hop’s brightest star at the moment who created 2012′s best piece of rap work. Oh and it was his OFFICIAL debut, just wanted to throw that out there. Aside from that, holding your own with Kendrick Lamar could prove to fans and critics that said artist is ready to lyrically toy around with the greats. Radio play might not be big since Kendrick was never really a HEAVY radio hitter. Even his collaboration with Drake, “Poetic Justice” only peaked at 26 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. His lead single and fan favorite, “Swimming Pools” only caught a #17 slot. However, Kendrick’s presence and influence in the game right now is impeccable. The kid hits EVERY festival stage throughout the world so that could mean surprise performances from said artist.

This is just me spit balling random facts right now BUT I think you can see where I’m going. So with said facts given and your own applied knowledge, if YOU were a new artist and had the ability to put either one one of these guys on your first official single, who would it be? VOTE!

Candid Convo: Super Bowl Party Rules By @Al_Patron

February 1, 2013 |  by  |  CANDID CONVO, HUMOR  |  1 Comment

“My baby mom, I mean my girl; I mean my wife won’t even let me watch the game this year.” – Robin Mendeeces Flowers
There are certain events that are part of Americana. Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day amongst others but one day on the calendar unites us all like no other; Super Bowl Sunday. This is the most prominent sports spectacle our country has to offer but this year there’s a twist. A dark, evil, sadistic twist, the kind only someone with the callous ruthlessness of Oprah Winfrey could be behind. Beyonce Gisselle Knowles-Carter, the wife & child bearer of Jay-Z Christ is performing in the much coveted Super Bowl halftime show. I consider this bullshit of the highest order. Valentine’s Day is a mere 11 days after National Men’s Day (Super Bowl Sunday), why can’t these rapscallions just enjoy their holiday? I even wrote V-Day rules last year, same rules apply don’t try to switch up. Seriously, enough is enough it’s time for MEN to take our day back, these rules & regulations for your Super Bowl Party will restore order in your household.

Majority of men on the east coast are rooting for the Baltimore Ravens & the honorable Reverend Ray Lewis. Most men on the west coast are rooting for the San Francisco 49ers & their brash new leader Colin “Dre Smith Jr.” Kaepernick. However, EVERY woman is rooting for “King Bey” (makes me sick to my stomach, next you know they’re going to want to grow penises and beards). I’ve had enough of this bullshit; women have gone as far as to affectionately call the SUPER BOWL, the “Beyonce Bowl”.Adhere to these rules & regulations or tuck your tail and don’t.

1. Establish your dominance early- Do all the food & liquor shopping before your lady fills up the cart with her own list & you end up with carrots, celery & Zima.

2. Set a strict seating chart– What’s worse than getting up to use the bathroom & coming back to a woman in your seat? You look like a bully telling her to get her ass up but feel like a punk watching the biggest game of the year with your hands on your knees like you’re at the free throw line. A seating chart is equivalent to pissing on your tree. Mark your territory or end up in the kitchen with the likes of the single homegirls that have a good job but can’t keep a man. You know the type.

3. Control – The one who possesses the remote control of the television is in control of the entire party. You paid for the TV? You have that remote in your possession at all times. Have to go to the bathroom? Remote in the back pocket. Need to take a smoke break? Remote in the back pocket. It’s yours, you own it.

4. Surround Sound – Too many side convos? Ladies in the back discussing the Destiny Child’s pending reunion? Ringers & ringtones on? Pause the game, stand up& let it be known “SHUT THE FUCK UP, THE MOTHERFUCKIN SUPER BOWL IS ON”

5. Contribute or I shall not distribute – Snoop Doggy Dogg (not Snoop Lion the manicurist) once said “Everybody got they cup but they ain’t chip in” Tell your guests to bring something as an entry fee or tell them go watch the game at Sears.

6. Nobody Cares– Miss Lady that got invited cuz you have no real friends & we’re just meeting you for the first time, NOBODY CARES WHO YOU KNOW ON THE TV. We don’t care if you know a player on the team by his first name or nickname, where y’all went or how many figure fours he put you in. Keep your free-spirit hoe-like indiscretions to yourself boo.

7. Feed me Seymour– No back talk ladies. We ask for a sammich, an adult beverage, some bounty or a mint, just do as we ask. A fed man, is a happy man, a happy man is less likely to tell you to shut your ass up.

8. Intermission –This is imperative. We understand the severity of the halftime show but please do not undermine our entire Super Bowl experience by crowding the television by singing along & with outbursts such as “Get it Bey, yas bitch!” We don’t approve & I promise you as men we will mute the television & turn the estrogen down just as we did to the volume.

9. Post Bey Commentary– Ladies, I promise you we understand that you’re panties will be damp & your nipples erect after witnessing your majesty in all her glory but understand this, we love you but fall back. We refuse to hear you dissecting every angle, leg kick & smile Beyonce flashed on stage. I can hear it now, “Did you see the shade Bey threw Michelle?” or “Bey Bey’s hair was laid for all the gawds” we don’t care, we want football.

10. To be continued –Don’t you women dare think for one cotton-picking second that because “King Bey”strutted her sexy little bronze ass off the stage that you can clock out. There’s still an entire half left in the main event, get your independent ass outta here & into the kitchen and cater to us. Beyonce said so, follow suit.

Ravens- 31 49ers – 23 Beyonce – Infinity

Candid Convo: 5 Artists Timbaland Should Collaborate With In 2013

January 2, 2013 |  by  |  CANDID CONVO  |  1 Comment

Back towards the latter part of 2009, Timbaland expressed how he was gradually drifting away from hip-hop simply because there were no more folks left from his generation, besides Jay, going hard for the culture. In his words, “It’s just not the same.” He kind of held true to that statement by keeping 10 feet away from hip-hop over the next 2 and a half years. Minor sprinkles off his production were found, though. Production on Jay-s Blueprint 3 LP Drake’s Thank Me Later, Game’s The Hangover mixtape, as well as T.I.’s Fuck Da City Up tape . But nothing substantial enough to gain chart positioning.

But, it’s a new year and it SEEMS like Timbo is getting the “hip-hop itch” again. Towards the latter part of 2012, Timbaland hooked back up with his partner in crime, Missy Elliot for two solid bangers, though they disappeared faster than a Shake Shack burger would if you put it in front of me, “9th Inning” and “Triple Threat.” Then came “The Party Anthem”, an unused collaboration between Timbo, Lil Wayne, T-Pain and Missy Elliot. Not sure about you, but I’ve been bumping that shit non-stop since it dropped the other day. Then it got me to pondering: Who could REALLY fuck that beat up? 2 Chainz came to mind. Drake came to mind. Pusha came to mind.

With that said, I was in the shower this morning, since that’s where a majority of my ideas are born, and thought “I wonder if Timbaland has thought about working with 2 Chainz, yet??” Then I thought, “I wonder what other artists could benefit from a Timbaland beat?” I think you know where I’m going with this. Without further ado, 5 Artists Timbaland Should Collaborate With In 2013.  Feel different? Put your selections in that comments section.

1.) 2 Chainz: Two Necklaces was the first person I thought of mainly because of how I superb I think he would sound over “The Party Anthem.” The slow sea saw type flow 2 Chainz sometimes showcases (sort of like what he did on “Murder” from T.R.U. REALigion). Incorporate an unorthodox synthesizer Timbo’s very well-known for using and I THINK we might have a chart topper. I’m not saying Timbo needs to executive produce 2 Chainz’s sophomore project, but I wouldn’t mind Timbaland landing the lead single. Let’s be honest: Where do you go after being added to Kanye’s clique? Right? Right.

Perfect Timbaland Track For 2 Chainz: Missy Elliott’s “Lick Shots” 

2.) Kendrick Lamar: This is strictly based off Kendrick’s rapping mechanics. Think back to “Rigamortus” and put that lyrical speed and technique with one of those empty pocket verse Timbaland joints. Just a filthy kick with a infectious melody and a ugly horn sprinkled around it. I wish I could play you the Timbo beat that I’m building in my head but I can’t cause I’m not that talented, but I can assure you you guys would love it. Maybe Timbo’s the missing link to get Kendrick that “radio” smash? Yeah I know he doesn’t really need a “commercial” hit but it would be a lot of fun to hear him on the radio every 25 minutes like you hear 2 Chainz, Trinidad James and Drake. Just a thought.

Perfect Timbaland Track For Kendrick Lamar: Jay-Z’s “Nigga What, Nigga Who.” 

3.) Pusha T: It’s a Virginia thing. Personally, I think this should’ve happened during The Clipse days, but that was Pharrell’s baby and you know how folks can get territorial in hip-hop. Timbaland has his happy beats and then he has his dark days. Pusha deserves every damn dark sound Timbaland has in his hard drive. Nothing depressing, but Timbaland serves them “face scruncher” beats like no other and we all know how dark Pusha can get when he puts his mind to it, which is 99.9 percent of the time. Maybe Pusha and Timbo have a hidden gem on his upcoming solo debut. Guess we’ll have to wait and see, huh?

Perfect Timbaland Track For Pusha T: Missy Elliott’s “Hot Boyz” 

4.) Miguel: Justin Timberlake was obviously a superstar before Future Sex/Love Sounds came hit the fan, but it was “Cry Me A River” that really brought the blue eyed bandit to OTHER side, sort of? Whatever. Miguel’s is doing quite well for himself with Kaldescope Dream, but just IMAGINE the damage these two could cause together if done right? Seriously, just think. Miguel’s vocal ability is only getting better and better by the minute so what better way to push him to higher levels than to have an LP produced entirely by Timbaland? Since Justin Timberlake is pussy footin’ around, Miguel might as well do it. Fight me if you don’t agree lol.

Perfect Timbaland Track For Miguel: Justin Timberlake’s “Until The End Of Time” 

5.) Jhene Aiko: The mixture of Jhene’s oh so light and sweet vocals mashed with the passive aggressive side (soft but thorough drums with a MEAN melody) of a Timbaland production would be cause for a Spring/Summer anthem. Beauty and The Beast is how I would describe their concoction. I know NO I.D. has her under the wing, but if that album isn’t %100 percent complete? Call Mr. Mosely in for a quick session. Trust me on this one.

Perfect Timbaland Track For Jhene Aiko: Aaliyah’s “I Care 4 U”

Candid Convo: Unusual Suspects: 5 Collaborations That Could Possibly Work

November 30, 2012 |  by  |  CANDID CONVO  |  1 Comment

Not that I hate French Montana or anything because I still go ape shit during “Pop That” and yell “Haaannnnnhh” when a female asks “Nile, are you listening?”, but lord knows I’m tired of these repetitive line-ups. This “Candid Convo” was inspired by French’s latest single “Marble Floors” featuring Rick Ross, Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz (swap 2 Chainz for Drake and we have “Pop That”).

These redundant line-ups are making star studded collaborations a snooze fest. Whether it’s a remix or a lead single, things need to be change and folks need to start experimenting outside their comfort zone a bit more. “Westside, Right On Time” with Kendrick Lamar & Young Jeezy? Unusual! “The Bluff” with Wiz Khalifa & Cam’ron? Unsual! “They Ready” with DJ Khaled, J.Cole, Kendrick Lamar and Big KRIT? Unsual! Rihanna and Future? Unsual! You see what I’m getting at? Ok good. With that said, I took the liberty in pondering some of my OWN collaborations that would seem pretty “Unusual” if they were ever to see the light of day. Check em out!

Future & Beyonce: Fix your face, fool because this shit JUST might happen in 2013. If you’ve been paying attention, Future’s country ass has been making his way up that R&B ladder quite swiftly over the past several months: Kelly Rowland, Rihanna & Ciara. I could laugh in your face if you think he doesn’t have his eyes set on Beyonce. Or even better; Beyonce studying Future’s moves AND mixtapes. Beyonce’s done ALL she has to do as an R&B artist throughout her career, I can assure you she’s ready to get ratchet and have some fun. Beyonce probably caught Blue Ivy bouncing around to “Tony Montana” and it clicked right then and there.

Producer Pick: Noah “40″ Shebib & Mike Will Made It

Kanye West & Fun.: This is solely based on the fact that Jeff Bhasker’s production on 808′s and MBDTF oozzes through Fun.’s sophomore set, Some Nights. If you’re a fan of Fun. you should understand the predicted synergy between Ye and the trio. would make perfect sense: self reflecting tunes with potent production that can either make you down a bottle of Jack Daniels or scream “Fuck YOU” to everyone in your path with an infectious smile. Out of the five? This is my personal favorite and I PRAY it happens.

Producer Pick: Jeff Bhasker & No I.D. 

Kendrick Lamar & Pusha T: Bars on bars on bars on motherfucking bars. Nope, I’m not looking for Billboard 100 placement. I’m not looking for Club Couch Anthem of the Year. I’m looking for disrespectful raps to the niggas who THINK they can rap. Sometimes you wake up and say “Man, I just want to hear some fucking BARS.” And while there’s a lot of that out there, there’s key people who you want on the SAME record together doing what they do best. Look me in the face and tell me you wouldn’t be the LEAST bit interested in seeing how this would end up? LOOK AT ME KING!!!

Producer Pick: Just Blaze 

Drake & Joe Budden: Talk about emo central. Well, my ass isn’t the one to talk with all my late night #CrushTips and shit lol. I digress. These two fellas have flexed their muscle on both sides of the coin very well. But could it work together? Joe and Sherbert have this knack for saying EXACTLY what us males have a hard time saying to the opposite sex. And though some of us might not like to admit because of their off-court antics (not getting into that right now lol), it would be a gift to both fan bases. The scary thing is, these two could make more than one type of record together: Mixtape, Radio and/or Club. Who wouldn’t want that?

Producer Pick: T-Minus & Cardiak 

Lil Wayne & Nas: Someone needs to kick Weezy in the ass and Nas might be the one to do it. Creatively, and before Life Is Good, some could argue Nas lost a step or two. But LIG put those notions to sleep quick fast and in a hurry. In my eyes? Nas, and I say this with love, is lazy as fuck. Not sure what got into the Queensbridge poet (Kelis’ money hungry ass probably) lately but he’s got his mojo back. As for Wayne? Skateboarding looks like it’s become his first love from here on out. And with him declaring The Carter V as his last album, we’d like to see him LYRICALLY go out on top. It’s OBVIOUS he doesn’t need to prove anything to anyone given his successful track record but going out on top is what we’d like to see happen for him. Jay woke Nas the fuck up with “Takeover” so I guess that needs to happen to Wayne? What better artist to guide him through a situation like that than Nas? Wishful thinking on this side of town, though.

Producer Pick: J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League & Salaam Remi

#CandidConvo: Was Rihanna’s #777Tour Really A GOOD Idea?

November 19, 2012 |  by  |  CANDID CONVO  |  No Comments

Who wouldn’t want to be on a Boeing 777 airplane following one of music’s biggest stars around a 7 COUNTRY tour in support of her forthcoming project, Unapologetic with a bevy of different media outlets and fans throughout the country, right? Well apparently that notion has swiftly departed from the folks attending this one of a kind “tour.”

Nowadays, artists are ALWAYS thinking of different and intriguing ways to not only satisfy their core fan base but also wrangle in a shitload more without straying too far away from home. It’s a gift and a curse that can often backfire on said artist: this could be one of those instances.

The #777Tour kicked off last Wednesday in Mexico City lugging around 150 journalists from 82 countries and close to 50 fans to which none of them might never experience something like this again. The excitement, confusion and “Fuck it, whatever happens happens” aura was probably swaying through the cabin at light speed so everything was probably all fine and dandy. But as the week progressed, from the Tweets of the journalists and bloggers on board, confusion was looming and the tour life they were hoping to get a glimpse inside of was one of another.

Complaints of RiRi not being around surfaced. Complaints of being unsure of what was really going on before and after the shows were surfacing and complaints of fatigue were becoming more and more visible  (though none of these folks are trained to travel and perform as Rihanna is).

Then? Shit got authentic. First, it was the Paris stop to which Jeff from Rolling Stone described that the idea was “cunning”, but in a way poorly executed on Rihanna’s part due to her absence throughout. Then it was the “streaking” incident in which chaos commenced  on the flight from Berlin to London (sidebar: shit has to be STRESSFUL if you’re streaking on a Boeing 777 with Rihanna tucked somewhere on the same flight lol).

So here we are; deciding whether or not Team Rihanna made a genius move or a HUGE mistake that is currently biting her in the ass. I pose this question simply based on the fact that the chatter from folks on the flight haven’t really said much about the album, no? Maybe I’m missing a story or two, but for the past week it’s #777Tour talk via Twitter and your favorite entertainment sites, in a negative light to say the least. Hell, the @RihannaPlane handle  has even popped up on Twitter. And lord knows accounts like these can turn a situation Sam Cassell (Google him if you’re not sure who he is lol).

Maybe waiting a week AFTER the album dropped this could’ve been genius idea? Who on that flight, aside from the obvious, is actually BUILT for “that” life?  Of course any press is good press, but when you’re being held “captive” while reporting then the story lines change drastically: case in POINT.  Personally? I’m more worried about Rihanna’s reaction to the honest memories of the #777Tour goers. Shorty doesn’t bite her tongue for a soul on God’ green’s earth and I’m sure THIS will be no differnt.

Oh, Rihanna’s Unapologetic is in stores today.

 

Candid Conversation: Here Are 5 Artists Who Could Serve As Successful A&R’s

August 13, 2012 |  by  |  CANDID CONVO  |  3 Comments

Hip-hop is taking corporate thugging to a new level these days. Last week news surfaced that Young Jeezy is slated to be occupy the Senior VP Of A&R position over at Atlantic Records. Shocked? Yes, you damn right we were. Not because we don’t think he’s capable, but for the simple fact that he’s still VERY active in making music AND is still sitting pretty over at Def Jam Records. Many questioned the surprise move stating the Snowman hasn’t REALLY broken any artist that have attained mainstream success (the verdict is still out on Freddie Gibbs who is currently making a lot of noise underground.)

When you think of A&R, you think dot connector pretty much. Someone who has an ear for impeccable talent in regards to all facets of the music industry. The A&R’s main objective is not to match their artists with the best and biggest producer, songwriter and/or artist, but to match them with the key characters that can bring the best out of THEIR artist. Connecting sounds, ideas, theories and all that fun stuff that goes into make a QUALITY product and not just a hit record.

Over the weekend I pondered on the current and active artists today in regards of who in the hell could occupy an A&R seat at these major labels. I did a lot of back and forth with myself, which was fun to be quite honest and came up with these five artists. You may agree, you may not but that’s why I call this a candid conversation so you can supply your input in the comments section below. Ok, ready? Let’s get to it.

Rick Ross: The man has the GOLDEN touch. You would’ve thought this big breasted man was an A&R in his past life they way he’s connected dots for himself, Wale, Meek Mill and now even Omarion. Not that he ushered a new sound in with his beat selection but the Miami native made it clear that he’s not only one of the leaders of the game but a student of the studio as well. However, I won’t sit here and lie to you: I was slightly disappointed with GFID. Not that it wasn’t good, but sound wise, aside from the two JUSTICE League contributions, I expected more. But, I can assure you Meek’s debut project will have that GOLDEN touch written ALL over it.

Drake: Despite his creeptified obsession with Aaliyah, Aubrey can make a hit. And whoever he allows in the studio with him to create will damn sure come out with one as well. Not only is the kid a prolific songwriter (see Alicia Keys “Unthinkable”) but the Toronto Titan has been very adamant in keeping a tight circle of producers within his reach like his go to guys Noah “40″ Shebib”, T-Minus and Boi-1da. The kid also can spot a hit tune a mile away as well. Take “Tony Montana” by Future. Couldn’t stand that shit and Mr. Graham turned it into a nationwide hit, no? And not for nothing, whether you like it or not, Sherbert is probably going to make that Aaliyah album sound as if she was alive and well today. But that’s just my opinion.

Kanye West: Common? Big Sean? Pusha T? Hell, even Jay-Z? Who can’t this fella push the envelope with. Mr. West has a knack for bringing diverse worlds together and making them sound like they were born that way. More notably, he does it even better for HIMSELF. You look at the progression from College Drop Out (Plain Pat, Whad up?) to Watch The Throne (even though that was a joint album), you ask yourself : is that the SAME person from 2004 with the SAME ear? Hell no. Hell YES! Elevating his sound to the point of no return. And just when you think it can’t get any better? Mr. West denounces that gesture and takes you a step higher. And even if you’re NOT under his wing, he STILL gives you the juice to make it do what it do (see Chief Keef). Not that Common was dead in the water back in the early 2000′s, but when Yeezy came along in 2005 executive producing BE followed by Finding Forever? Well, you get my drift. Lord only knows what he’s going to do with Pusha T.

Kendrick Lamar: I know it’s early and the kid has yet to put out a major debut project, but boy his sound is SHARP. Section 80, a project deemed better than some of your favorite artists BEST projects highlighted a gritty sound that wasn’t really the “thing to do” last year. Especially with the “Trap Rap” sound taking hold of our ears at every second. Not only is HIS material flourishing to new heights, the entire TDE family, which I’m SURE he offers his creative ideas when necessary, have followed in his foot steps in cultivating their own signature sounds. In his recent cover story in the 2012 September issue of XXL Magazine, the Compton comrade revealed good kidd, mAAd city will sound NOTHING like Section 80. Let that marinate for a minute.

Beyonce : Being married to one of the greatest to ever do it probably has some perks. But don’t get it twisted, Queen Bee has been putting on for R&B  for quite some time now, no? Dangerously In Love, Beyonce’s solo introduction to the world not only showcased and highlighted her vocal abilities, but showed her diverse ear in production. B’Day brought on a more urban feel captivating and old soulful sound while still keeping up with her peer whilst shitting on them in the same breath. I Am….Sasah Fierce an 4, to me, was a dangerous meshing of the those first two projects with an international feel that raised a lot of eyebrows in R&B. A lot of worried eyebrows at that because of how YOUNG she was and is. And the fact that she’s only FOUR albums deep. Now….take ALL of that and let her craft a project for an artist of her own and tell me she can’t A&R a project.

Ok ladies and gents, those are my 5 artists who I think could serve as successful A&R’s in today’s game. Don’t agree, which some of you might not, slide into that comments section and get to typing. Hope you guys enjoyed my thoughts!

Candid Convo: Who Will Headline HOT 97′s 2012 Summer Jam Concert?

May 3, 2012 |  by  |  CANDID CONVO  |  1 Comment

In exactly one month, MetLife Stadium will be FILLED to the brim, pending on Mother Nature’s mood swings, with rap advocates, ratchet heffars, hip-hop hippies, goons, gobblins and everything in between for Hot 97′s annual Summer Jam concert. Deemed as the Superbowl of hip-hop shows, Summer Jam usually is the kick off to the hip-hop summer. Moments are made, spots are blown and beefs are ignited. But one thing that’s never redundant when it comes to Summer Jam is the headliner.

If you’re a faithful attendee of Summer Jam, ONE of the main questions asked after the show is “Who will headline next year?” Well, today’s that day. At 4pm, The Voice of NY, Angie Martinez will announce the line up for this years festivities. I’m not going to rundown who I think will perform because if I list them and if it’s slightly accurate to their list? I’ll be accused of “leaking” information EVEN THOUGH I HAVE NO IDEA WHO IS PERFORMING lol. So we’re going to skip that discussion and go straight to the headliner.

Now headlining Summer Jam is a pretty fun task to have. You’re the head honcho. Numero Uno. Big Cheese. That NIGGA and/or NIGGLETTE. Ok, I’ll stop. But you get my drift right? Your set could be extremely memorable or a complete disaster. With that, you have to plan your set list accordingly AND your guest features as well. Questions the headliner must ask themselves: 1.) Who’s hot at the moment? 2.) Who’s in town right now? 3.) Who owes me a favor? 4.) Who has an album coming out? 5.) Who’s my favorite NYC artist? These questions must be asked and answered before hitting that stage June 3rd.

Ok, so before Ms Martinez reveals what we’re all wondering, I thought it would be pretty damn fun to let go a list of possibilities for this years headliners. Again, I have no insider information ok? This is just my brain speaking out loud and sparking a fun discussion before the actual headliner is revealed. Ready? Here we GO!

Maybach Music Group (RicK Ross, Wale, Meek Mill, Omarion, Stalley): I could see this happening easily. Yesterday the MMG gang announced a flurry of release dates as well as an addition to the team, Omarion (I’m not calling him Maybach O). Self Made Vol. 2 is dropping June 26, God Forgives, I Don’t drops July 31st, and Meek’s debut project drops August 28th. Summer Jam would be the perfect stage to really kick off promo for ALL these projects. They have the momentum, they have the ammunition (singles, freestyles, collabos) and they have the man power to do so.

YMCMB (Birdman, Drake, Tyga, Nicki Minaj & Lil Wayne): I’m saying them as a collective because in someway, these 5 have impacted hip-hop in someway this year. While I could see Drake standing alone to be honest, I think it would be a better set to see them rock as a team. Only thing is it knocks out room for surprise guests. And to be honest, the guests they could bring to the stage will probably already have performed earlier that evening anyway. I mean, Drake did bring out Stevie Wonder and Nas during his OVO Fest so you never know. And that brings me to my next selection….

Nas: I’m not SURE if Nas’ momentum is strong enough to headline Summer Jam, but the name OVERALL carries a shitload of weight. The steam he’s accumulated over the past couple weeks might lead into more momentum this month. Though Life Is Good doesn’t drop til July 17th, he’s still has plenty of room to drop remixes, another single in the next month. This might be the most unlikeliest of options, but it would be dope to see the Queens native rock as a headliner. Just don’t forget your lines, Nasir!

Rihanna: Oh the ratchtedness of THIS option. Imagine her fine ass walking out on stage smoking a HUGE ass joint. I don’t know what in the hell has gotten into her lately *cough lean cough* but lord have mercy. She’s got the records to rock a 25 minute set as the headliner and I’m SURE NYC wouldn’t mind her bringing out Chris Brown for that “Cake” remix. Imagine the headlines after THAT the next morning. She would need a little bit of help though seeing how this is hip-hop dominated show. We’ll see.

2 Chainz: I want this one to happen. After seeing the stunt he pulled during our SOBs show at SXSW in Austin, Texas? Anything is possible when it comes to Two Necklaces. The ATL native has appeared on a FLURRY of records in the past year and a half so pulling guests onstage would be a walk in a park. Question is, WHICH guest is WORTH pulling onstage for the Superbowl of hip-hop shows? T.I.? Ross? Drake? Kanye? Nicki? Lil Wayne? Yeah, HOT 97, I think we have our winner.

The Throne: I know, I know they’ll be in Paris the first weekend in June. *Looks up tour dates* HOLD UP!!! HOLD THE FUCK UP! About a month ago, Ye and Jay were booked for a Sunday show in Paris. No, I swear to GOD they were. But according to THIS? They now only have shows on June 1s and June 2nd then a WEEK off. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh shit, Summer Jam 2012 just got authentic ladies and gents! Could you imagine Jay and Ye popping up at this bitch? FUCK YOU IF YOU’RE NOT EXCITED for the possibility of this. It would be a PERFECT set up for Ye’s G.O.O.D. Music project which is slated to drop this Spring/Summer season! Imagine hearing “Mercy” AND “Theraflu” on THOSE type of speakers? And let’s not forget Mr. Carter is constructing a solo LP as we speak. Oh and then we have Beyonce who’s actually performing the weekend before in Atlantic City so she’ll be in her performance groove as well. Ah MAN!

Ok, ok, ok, ok, ok, OK! Those are my selections for headlining act to this year’s Summer Jam concert going down on June 3rd at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. I’ll definitely be in the building drunk off of Nutcracker’s (shouts to my Harlem connect) like last year. I hope you don’t miss out on this shit. Didn’t get your tickets yet? Slide over here while you can! Let me know who YOU think will headline this year’s show!