And in Competition for Best Video of The Day, Watch The Muppets do “Bohemian Rhapsody.” [Idolator]
compiled by Erin Sheehy
October 17, 2009
THIS WEEK IN HIP HOP
On Tuesday, VH1 aired the 6th installment of their annual Hip-Hop Honors awards ceremony. While in previous years the show has followed a format similar to a Hall of Fame induction ceremony, this year’s program was dedicated solely to celebrating the 25th anniversary of the most important Hip-Hop record label of all time: Def Jam. One would hope that all music fans know at least a little about Def Jam, but even if you have been trapped under a sunken ship for the past 25 years, and think you’ve never heard of the label, I guarantee that your ears have frequently come in contact with Def Jam’s music. Def Jam has been home to Hip-Hop’s most elite artists since day one. Their untouchable roster has included: The Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, Public Enemy, EPMD, Jay-Z, Nas, The Roots, Scarface, Ludacris, Method Man, Redman, Ghostface Killah, and DMX among hordes of other influential and extremely talented musicians. These artists combined with the visionary genius of Russell Simmons, Rick Rubin, and Lyor Cohen literally changed music forever.
VH1 deserves a ton of credit for putting on this event. For a TV station that built itself upon safe music for the middle-aged, and then developed into a reality TV powerhouse, when it comes to shining light on what Hip-Hop is all about, they surprisingly drop a steaming shit all over BET and MTV. Let’s try to forget about the White Rapper Show and focus on the fact that they have not only included hip-hop artists in Behind The Music and Storytellers since the hit series’ inceptions, but additionally, have consistently used Hip-Hop Honors as a great way to expose younger generations to the great rap artists of the past. We should all be thankful that at least one station has done the wonderful deed of dedicating a miniscule 5% of their programming to quality Hip-Hop.
More on VH1 Honors Def Jam’s 25th Anniversary
September 19, 2009
THIS WEEK IN HIP HOP
This week, while millions of music lovers were scratching their heads wondering how they hadn’t realized earlier that Kanye West – the self-proclaimed voice of the modern generation – really is a complete douche, two of hip-hop’s earliest verbal icons paired up and released a battle-cry for the preservation of the values they helped to establish within their art form. KRS One and Buckshot’s new album, Survival Skills, is not the type of record that receives awards from MTV. There is no particular song for the club, there’s minimal talk of money, ho’s, and shiny chains, and neither MC boasts about being the thug or player of the century. Yet this won’t surprise or disappoint fans of the men behind Boogie Down Productions, the Stop The Violence Movement, Black Moon, and The Boot Camp Click. Buck and KRS “The Teacher” provide their audience with a lot of the same lyrical deftness and personal perspective that has allowed both men to survive in the harsh world of music for the past 20 years. While their lyrics might lack some of the tenacity that each artist built their reputation on, the two rappers prove that maturation in hip-hop does not have to mean simplification. With heavy bass-laden musical backdrops provided by some of today’s most sought-after producers – including 9th Wonder, Havoc of Mobb Deep, Nottz, Black Milk, Khrysis, and Ill Mind – the two vets manage to sound fresh in the new era. In a recent YouTube video, Big Boi of Outkast describes the effort as “one of the purest forms of hip-hop,” Raekwon of the Wu Tang Clan calls it “a legendary clash,” and up-and-coming sensation K’Naan says it is “really what should be on the radio.”
More on Duck Down Records Show the World Their Survival Skills