READ | Top Six Game Show Appearances By Rappers (via @soundofthecity/@phillipmlynar)
The news of a rapper-packed revamp of Hollywood Squares has been greeted positively, not least because everyone has been able to join in the fun of Googling the demographic term “malennials” to find out if they are going to be allowed to watch the show. It’s also allowed some people speculate on which special secret rapper will get to occupy the show’s hallowed center square! So before Hip-Hop Squares premieres next month, here’s a look back on past instances of pre-fame and established rappers testing their mettle (mental and otherwise) on TV game shows.
WATCH | The History of the Latin Quarter – Hip-Hop’s Legendary Nite Club (via @egotripland)
Mandatory listening for Golden Era disciples, as Davey D of Breakdown FM conducts an extensive radio interview with Paradise Gray – host and booker at one of hip-hop’s most famed night clubs, Latin Quarter, and later a member of X-Clan. Stories for days, as you’d guess – including detailed recollections of people, shows and events that have somehow missed the history books (e.g. the fact that Brother J was apparently a big MC Hammer fan – vainglorious!). Also retold: a play-by-play of the legendary KRS-One vs. Melle Mel battle; Public Enemy’s first unsuccessful show at the LQ and the group’s eventual redemption; the time an attempt at robbing Jam Master Jay’s gold chain set off a 2-hour fight between the original 50 Cent’s Brooklyn Zoo crew and JMJ’s Hollis Crew; and the night BDP’s “South Bronx” made its world premiere. Class is in session.
LISTEN | The Combat Jack Show [Guests: Complex Magazine’s Noah Callahan-Bever & Joe LaPuma] (via @pncradio/@combat_jack)
Q&A: Show & AG On The Bronx, Watching Grandmaster Flash Back In The Day, And Stereotypes In Hip-Hop (via @avenuep/@soundofthecity)
The good thing about family is you don’t have to see them all the time to still feel the love when you do reconnect. Last year, Show & AG’s hard-hitting “Show &A”—the first joint venture from the Diggin’ In The Crates members since 1998’s Full Scale—showed that the duo is reinvigorated and ready to take on the new generation of rap consumers. More important to them then reaching new fans however is making music for their generation, an audience Show feels “no one is catering to.” To ensure that hip-hop still speaks to the 32 and older crowd, Show & AG offered Still Diggin’, an instrumental album, last month; today, they released Mugshot Music: Preloaded, in advance of this summer’s Mugshot Music: The Album. It’s a big undertaking considering Lord Finesse, Diamond D and other members of their powerhouse collective DITC are nowhere near as visible as they were in 1990s. The duo isn’t worried, though. They insist they feel no pressure—and even if they did it would just add to their drive to reclaim their spot in the rap universe. Here’s what else they had to say about their reemergence and the days of yore.
J-Zone: Rap Controversy 20 Years Later. (via @jzonedonttweet/@egotripland)
While subbing for a college professor a few months back, a question popped up in a class discussion: Is Odd Future’s “Rella” video offensive or funny? Apparently people on campus were protesting the group being booked at an upcoming festival at the school. Rap deemed as offensive has always ground gears, but if we go back 20 years this stuff was also political ammo. Tipper Gore, C. Delores Tucker, Rev. Calvin Butts, etc. – every utterance of “nigga,” “bitch,” “ho,” “bust a cap in his ass,” “don’t get caught up in a 187,” and “bend over for the God damn cracker” meant mo’ opportunities for folks like those to make statements and bolster some type of agenda in what was also an election year. No surprise then that some of rap’s most offensive and inflammatory albums dropped in 1992…
Yauch Rocked: Raised by the Beasties (@atrak/@huffingtonpost)
As music fans, we may have many favorite bands during a lifetime. Many posters on our bedroom walls, many memorized verses. But when the smoke clears, there’s usually one band you can look back on and think “these guys raised me, they remained the definition of cool throughout the years, I wanted to be like them and studied everything they did.” For me, and for many others across generations, that was the Beastie Boys. With the heartbreaking passing of Adam Yauch, I can’t help but reflect on the influence they had on me.