HipHopABC.TV took to the streets of Austin Texas during 2017 SXSW festival and we caught up with a few of our friends like newly signed Def Jam Artist Dave East.
We also caught up with London based DJ & radio personality Sarah Harrison aka Lady In The Trap.
During our stroll through the Austin Streets, we were joined by Interscope executive and founder of Never Sold Dope, Keinon “The Maven” Johnson who offered to correspond on our behalf.
Big shout out to all the musicians, artists and creatives that sacrificed their hard earned money and time to attend this years SXSW Festival. Be sure to check in with us next year we shall be taking our efforts to the next level.
When we look back at the history of Bad Boy Records, we now have to give Diddy his props once and for all. Even after all of the contract beefs, ‘shiny suits, etc., there’s no mistaking that Sean ‘Puffy’ Combs is on another level when speaking in terms of his vision. Let’s take a look at the recent performance during the 2015 NBA All-Star Weekend event. We witnessed another classic moment as Diddy, Lil Kim and The Lox came together on stage for a memorable performance of ‘All About the Benjamins‘. This is definitely a good look for NYC! In all honesty, the beloved east coast city needed this, especially for the realm of hip hop.
Even the Queensbridge legend Nasty Nas put in work for this NYC moment!!!
We take into consideration that this thought comes out of nowhere but while we’re here, just think about it for a minute. Both Nas and Busta have been in the game over 20 years and also share the same high level of passion for the art of rap that you couldn’t go wrong with a complete album from these guys. If we look back over time, we’ll rediscover the fact that both artists have flown under the wing of the legendary Dr Dre as well as Timbaland. Just that last statement alone should speak volumes for the two New Yorkers — Nas hails from Queens and Busta Rhymes claims Brooklyn. As we build on the concept of Busta and Nas recording an album together, the track feature directly below will tell you all you need to know if this were to actually materialize. Besides, we all have our own take of who’d we like to see collaborate…. so what’s yours??
We all probably can remember what we were doing around the time America was enduring the devastation from September 11. But also amidst all of that, Jay Z and Nas were going at each other’s throat with a highly publicized feud which spawned some of hip hop’s most memorable lines and hottest tracks. Taken from Nas’ ‘Stillmatic’ album, ‘Every Ghetto’ was the final track off what will go down as one his most brilliant pieces of work.
Throughout his prolific career in the hip hop realm, Nas has always been held as the realist to ever do it. He has always been well-respected for being a master of storytelling and his profound insight. But outside of rap, he’s been guarded for many years even amidst one of rap’s most infamous beefs — with Jay-z, Nas has kept his personal life to exactly that….personal. Recently Nas sat down for an interview and opened up to show himself in a different light, as Nasir, the man outside of the booth. He reveals numerous things from being a single father raising a teenager, coping with a bitter divorce, to putting a song together from the basic elements. After all that’s he’s been through in his life, Nas truly appreciates his gift and the support from his fans and close friends and family.
At one point in time,the thought of having beef with another rapper was actually NOT the cool thing to do. In case you may have forgotten, in the years of 1996 and 1997, we lost 2 of the most iconic figures in rap music’s history…Tupac and Biggie. Back then, we found it hard to measure influence they had on the people who listened to their music, envied their lifestyles, and even idolized them. As we all know the eventual result that became of ‘Pac and Big’s war of words ended up being two memorable and irreversible tragedies.
To some people, beef may seem petty and often at times corny, meanwhile others feel that when there’s a point to be proven, there should be no limit in fulfilling that need. As history shows, beef should be left alone and not taken seriously…or should it be? Remember when Nas and Jay-Z went at it? That was considered a GOOD thing mainly because there was no violence to arise out of the situation only classic songs which will be forever hailed as some of Jay’s and Nas’ most brilliant pieces of work. But what should we say about this thing with Jeezy and Gucci Mane? As we all know, someone was murdered over the alleged beef between these two rappers and apparently it’s not over. Gucci Mane has no problem letting Young Jeezy know that he still feels a certain type of way about the situation. Jeezy is turning his cheek on this one, but for how long? Only time will tell if this beef will escalate into something other than making music or will it remain only a war of words on wax?
If you didn’t know now you know, “Life is good’ is definitely one of Nas’s best works since “Stillmatic”. “Cherry wine” features the late Amy Winehouse’s vocals over live instruments along with some Jazz heavy production.
The song is a reminder of just how talented a singer Amy Winehouse was and the potential of her voice on hip-hop tracks. Winehouse would admit to her admiration for Nas and the two would eventually form a bond before her death over a year ago.
Now you didn’t actually think we would let you go this week without a throwback joint did you? Class is in session…rewind it back to 1998. Nas, DMX, and Hype Williams pulled off the hood version of Al Pacino’s ‘Scarface’ with the street classic ‘Belly’. That soundtrack was a banger from start to finish and right around that same time, Dj Clue took to NYC’s most storied hoods and rounded up the hottest emcees to bring this classic compilation mixtape. This is one those joints that make you go ohhhh sh**! I remember that. Enjoy and if possible revisit that Dj Clue ‘Professional’ mixtape which was packaged and sold as an official album.
After releasing his latest album, ‘Life Is Good’, Nas has to be more than just proud of himself. He’s been in the game for 20 years and his flow is still supreme to most. And to top it all off he still has that boyish smile an charm to get the ladies’ attention as well.
Sometimes we seem to forget about the most important things in life. We tend to take things for granted. It isn’t until one day, when something happens, and makes us realize that someone always has it worse.
Enter K’naan…..Born Keinan Abdi Warsane, Somali rapper, who’s been through so much as a youth, pain, violence, explosions,war, gun shots, and death. Growing up in Somalia, K’naan describes his life as being turbulent. He recalls times that he and other kids from his neighborhood would find live hand grenade. Sometimes they would pull the pin, throw them, and watch them go off. Seems kind of unreal but the rap artist remains humble and keeps his story real as it could get.
“Fatima”, a song about a girl he grew up with. He says this song is personal because it was his first taste of puppy love. During a period of one of Somalia’s most violent eras, K’naan and his family were forced to leave his country. The youngster promised his girlfriend he would return one day but his promise would never be fulfilled. He learned that his girlfriend was killed in the war. He revealed that the video for the song would be a message better portryed if it had images from his childhood mixed in, combined with a ‘Bollywood’ feel to it.
K’naan says experiences as such such pushed him towards being a musician. The singer recently revealed that he originally wanted to avoid being a musical artist because there are numerous family members who are and have been musicians. He says it would seem to be a cliche to follow their path. His aunt Magool wa one of the country’s most prominent singers. She built such a following, she was forced into exile for being outspoken against the government. His grandfather, Haji Mohammed, was a gifted poet. K’naan credits Haji for helping him find his identity. K’naan recalls though, he became fascinated with hip hop records as his father sent them from America. His father chose to leave Somalia sooner then everyone else.
It’s the kickoff of the 2010 World Cup of Soccer and K’naan has been chosen to sing his hit anthem ‘Wavin Flag’. Coca-Cola placed the young rapper in the center of their marketing campaign, which would include close to 160 countries. The rapper helped rake in millions of dollars. Even with his position he remained humble. The young artist split his profits with Coca-Cola. We definitely haven’t heard the last of K’naan.
** Note from the editor **
K’naan is on the fast track to becoming a worldwide unsung hero. This humble gentleman has traveled a long journey which some of us may never begin to understand or have the ability to measure the richness in his storied background. Yet, K’naan’s past history has helped groom him into one of the industry’s realest and mostintriguing artists. (This article was originally written on October 24, 2012)