Dilla Donuts

A quick post as finals week approaches, but if you guys have not heard HHC will be doing a krispy kreme donut sale this week to celebrate the winter season. Oh and to fund raise of course.

Seeing that we are going to be selling donuts I thought it would be appropriate to share an album titled just that, Donuts. J dilla (James Yancey), or dilla as some called him composed this album over an extended period of time during which he was in and out of hospitals suffering from a rare blood disease. Though James was forced to a wheel chair towards the end of his life he never stopped working on his music. It is believed that some of the editing that James did for donuts was done in the hospital. Dilla remains a hip-hop icon to this day and after listening to the album its easy to see why. His unique combination of samples and instrumentals captivated his listeners for many years and are even attracting new ones to this day. I leave you with probably my favorite song of the album. If you have a chance to check the album out in its entirety I strongly recommend it.

J Dilla- Time: The Donuts of the Heart.

Artist Improvement Series - Vol 1 - The One Sheet

In my experience with multiple music internships and constant artist interactions, I've seen many examples of good marketing of an artist's brand, image, and style as well as many horrendous ones. This is why I am introducing a new series on how to better promote yourself as artist to the world, so that you can apply to this yourself or to your friend who is trying to make it.

A one sheet, as you'll find out more about in the video, is an important but often underused technique of marketing yourself, as an artist, to music industry professionals such as A&R, PR, and talent buyers. Think of it as a resume, but more geared to aspiring musicians. Watch the video for more in depth information about one sheets and how it can create a great first impression when contacting such professionals who are well connected in the industry.

Hip Hop Therapy

[Good Luck studying for FINALS!]

Remember that Hip Hop isn't only for entertainment purposes, it can be used as music therapy as well. If you ever find yourself stressing out for the next couple of weeks, or anytime after of course, just turn up your favorite album(s) and chill for a second! Winter Vacay is just around the corner, then it's just smooth sailing from there (:

Different Levels

I kn0w I'm kind of late but Immortal Technique's newest edition is in. I actually am just listening to the album as I'm typing so if it's wack and you guys want to kill me for wasting your time then don't, blame the internet for forcing people to put up free stuff.

Here's the link to the website http://viperrecords.com/ go get that ish.

In completely other news which is also late actor/comedian/rapper Donald Glover just released his first album titled "Camp". For the most part it's actually a lot better than I expected it to be. He starts off the album pretty strong with the song Outside. The song pretty expresses the "outsider" standpoint as the song begins addressing his take on the stereotypical black family, how he was perceived by family and friends, and his movement from low to middle class. The rest of the album takes turns with slower songs like "Heartbeat" wear Glover talks about a past relationship to the up tempo punchline filled track "Bonfire". Do I recommend a listen? Yes. Do I recommend listening to it after The Martyr? No. But still give the two a listen and tell me what you think.

The Rap Board

The website that will occupy the next 15 minutes of your life. At least.
For your entertainment only: click HERE

Artists of the Week: UC Irvine's Hip Hop Scene

Wait... what? UC Irvine... and... Hip Hop? You rarely hear those two words in the same sentence. I understand: UCI is known for its renown research facilities, nationally ranked undergraduate/graduate programs, plethora of dance crews, bizarre (and by bizarre, i mean awesome) mascot, and abundance of asian students. It also should be known, that UC Irvine houses an emerging hip hop scene. Since 2001 HHC has been the only outlet for Hip Hop minds alike on campus and has brought numerous artists to rip the stage for UCI students and community members for free. So enough with the history lesson. The reason I am writing this post because I want to promote some of the artists that are current, or former Anteaters. All opinions aside, much respect to all the artists out there grindin' for what they love.

Azad Right:
This guy right here, if you haven't heard of him, you should. He's getting love from blogs all across the world and he's blowing up right before our eyes, recently opening up for Kendrick Lamar in LA and getting recognized by XXL mag. I'm not going to say much about him, other than you should definitely check out his music. Let's not forget where he started: here at UCI, where he graduated with a degree in Poli Sci. Show some love on Twitter @AzadRight and be sure to download Azad's "The Time Is Right" mixtape!

Nyne Dymondz:
Allow me to introduce you to Nyne D, an exchange student from Spain who is calling UC Irvine his home for now. If you visit the blog often, you might of read some of this dude's pieces. I've been working with this guy for a couple months now, and I am impressed more and more by his lyrical ability. Dude spits fire: "It's a cold world, there's no justice just ice." Not convinced? Download his EP titled "The Edge of Future" and show love on twitter @NyneDymondz

Ricky Rivera & The Duke:
Second year Business Economics student Ricky Rivera is an up-and-coming rapper out of the Bay Area, still finding his ways through the cuts of hip hop. Avid followers of the blog have probably read some of his posts as well. This guy has a knack for catchy hooks and clever punch-lines. Look for his debut project in the near future. I also want to recognize a rapper that goes by the name The Duke. A recent graduate from UCI and HHC alum, The Duke has been busy adjusting to post-college life, but continues to kick rhymes. Check out this collab the two of them did last year. Recorded in a dorm room in Middle Earth. What you know about that!? @ricknoflair @thedukeiv

Elroy of Axum:
HHC Alum, Elroy of Axum combines the beautiful sounds of blues, jazz, hip hop, r&b, and soul in his music. His unique sound soothes the soul and allows you to appreciate the various music forms. Check out his EP and follow @ElroyOfAxum

CJ White:
Freshman, Mechanical Engineering major out of Los Angeles. Yes, I said Mechanical Engineering major. CJ White aka J. Cole's little brother (if you ever see him, you'll know why I said that). For now, check out his track over a classic 9th Wonder beat.

Shawn Isaac:
If you ever watched MTV's True Life series "I want to be a Rapper," you might recognize this guy. As a 4th year UCI student Isaac has made his mark through various means. He caught my eye as a really intelligent guy, demonstrated by this video here. On top of being a student and entrepreneur, Isaac is a producer/rapper and has also been featured in Forbes magazine. Hit him up @realshawnisaac
Another example of the talent produced here at UC Irvine. Rocom, a rapper/producer, who also has a crazy skill for creating sick art pieces. His artwork has gained him a lot of attention outside fom the recognition he has received from his music. Follow @rocom

In The Bomb Shelter

Aside from the world of hip hop, many producers these days like to experiment with stuff different from what they usual do. Being no exception to this tendency, Madlib (a bit of an underground producer) gave reggae a shot with his release of the "Blunted in a bomb shelter"
I first heard of the mix-tape through one of my friends who happened to see it listed on amazon as an album neither of us had. Being the Madlib fan that he was he bought the album without hesitation knowing nothing of the music that was on it nor if it was worthwhile or not. As we would soon find out, the mix-tape provided us with hours of reggae madness without interruption, and it soon became my favorite one.
Blending tracks from Lee Perry to Gregory Isaacs this mix-tape does a good job at exposing the listener to a wide variety of reggae music with pretty sick transitions in the middle. As with other Madlib tapes the tracks are cut and presented only in a way that Madlib can spin but I think this only adds to the effect.

(Track 3 - Jungle Lion )

The mix-tape as a whole flows from first track to last with each track transitioning to the next rather easily. Overall I would recommend a definite check out to those interested in reggae with a twist.

(Track 20 - Sensimelia)

Bay Area Music

In high school I’m sure everyone had three types of friends that could rap. The first one just straight out sucks and needs some serious help. The second one is pretty decent, but doesn’t want to take their skills seriously. And the third one has serious talent and you know they’re going somewhere in life. A.N.T Smith falls into this third category. A.N.T aka Young T-tha is a rapper out of the bay area.

Recently joining RKA (Rich Kid Academy), A.N.T has been coming up. If you guys haven’t checked him out yet, you can catch him on the last verse of the joint “Money All Day” produced by DJ Cook. The video is shown below.

Look out for his upcoming mixtape “All About A Dolla” coming soon.

If you guys liked that beat, you have to check out DJ Cook. T-tha and Cook have been in the studio lately and are cooking up something special (no pun intended). I’m not just promoting these artists because they are from my hometown, but I strongly believe they have legitimate talent. So join the movement and follow them at the following links.


Twitter: @macinassttha

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/tthadaddy15


Twitter: @djcook510

Reverbnation: http://www.reverbnation.com/djcook

Mac Miller + Online Cult = Success

Mac Miller sold an impressive 144,5000 copies of his less than impressive debut album "Blue Side Park". How?

By using the powers of the interwebz.

Social media was a driving factor in Mac Miller's success. It helped him become the first independently distributed artist to become #1 on the Billboard Charts since Snoop Dogg made his debut some 15 years ago.

He has 1.2 million followers on Twitter , 1.5 million likes on Facebook, and a cool 192,718,904 upload views on Youtube. Add that to a determined fan base who relentlessly post on forums and you've got quite a bit of buzz going.

Now could it be that he got lucky and picked a week where he didn't face any competition?
It's possible but not likely. Wale sold 166,000 copies with 42% of them being digital while J. Cole sold 217,000 copies with 43% of them being digital. Mac Miller sold 144,500 copies with 76% of purchases being digital.

Mac Miller has been creating buzz for quite a bit of time and it has finally paid off. It goes to show, it's not how big your record label is, it's how good your marketing team is.



It is pretty rare to find well-respected/legitimate producers or artists in the Hip Hop and R&B industries who have not been inspired by or sampled songs released by the Isley Brothers. The songs to follow have been sampled off the quiet storm funk song Between the Sheets, which the American R&B/soul/funk band released nearly 3 decades ago in 1983. Although there are more songs that have sampled off of Between the Sheets (and almost all of the other songs released by the Isley Brothers), I limited the list to the few songs that I grew up with and knew other people would definitely appreciate, that specifically targeted this song. There's history to most of your favorite Hip Hop songs out there, so if you're ever curious about whether or not the music you were listening to was something you've heard before, or if it just sounds familiar, never hesitate to look into it, because you never know where its roots may take you back to. So here's to the Longevity of Hip Hop (btw, if you didn't catch that reference, Longevity was another song released by the band) and love of music; may it continue to inspire and allow the gifted few to create and recreate amazing music for years to come.

1991: A Tribe Called Quest

1992: Common

1994: Aaliyah

1994: Keith Murray

1995: Notorious B.I.G.

2002: Whitney Houston

2006: Tupac ft. Andrew 3000, Snoop Dogg, & Ron Isley

2007: Jay Z

2009: Drake
2011: Mac Miller

Take Care Review

Hey guys, I'm going to keep it short with an interesting read:

Aubrey Graham didn’t claw his way up through rap game like the legendary moguls before him. He grew up in a posh Toronto neighborhood. He attended an esteemed private academy. He had a bar mitzvah. Compared to the fictional Papa Doc, Drake’s street cred is lacking to say the least. But in reality, he had to grow up just as fast as any other kid who’s innocence was snatched away from them prematurely. His parents divorced when he was three, leaving him to deal with his mother’s debilitating rheumatoid arthritis. Much like Lenny Kravitz, he reconciled with the permanent social handicap of never being black or white enough. That’s where he found his hunger. You don’t need exit wounds or a prison sentence to gain respect — just raw talent — which has aged to a fine cream right before our eyes.

It’s damn near impossible to mature at the right pace as an entertainer with the voracious consumption of digital music. He felt rushed during the production of Thank Me Later. It served as aural catharsis for all the necessary growing pains that come with instant fame. Now his crew is getting bread. He’s back in Toronto. In more ways than I can count, Take Care is a farewell to the up-and-coming mixtape Drizzy and the beginning of a 25-year-old veteran having full command of his verbal arsenal.

Being the ladies man he is, it’s no surprise some of the standout tracks here are female driven. Producer Noah “40” Shebib (who’s been his main man since the Degrassi days) makes his impression felt on the piano-synth driven opener “Over My Dead Body” featuring some dynamite digital pipes from Canadian singer Chantal Kreviazuk. Kanye might even bow down to the presence of the colossal bass drums (reminiscent of “Heartless”) on the title track which tries to tie a nice bow around the Rihanna rumors that were inflamed by last year’s “Fireworks”. But with the exception of his pillow talk Elle interview, “Marvin’s Room” paints us a very real picture of the kind of trouble drunk dialing in the club can get you. The second half morphs into a trippy interlude spun with ridiculous ease by rising star Kendrick Lamar.

Contrary to popular belief, Take Care isn’t all that soft. The rap hand is deadly strong on gospel heavy “Lord Knows” featuring personal mentor and grunting extraordinaire Rick Ross. Mad props to big time guest producer Just Blaze who brings the Lord’s house down with an earthquaking children’s choir. “Practice” is a clever cover of YMCMB’s first major hit “Back That Ass Up” made all the smoother with an impressive range framed by distant accapella. Abel Tesfaye (The Weeknd) lays a soft and steady R&B track for him to put all the haters to bed: “You niggas gettin older/I see no threat in Yoda/I’m out here messing over the lives of these niggas/That couldn’t fuck with my freshman floata/Looking at that fucking chip on your nephew’s shoulder/My sophmore/They was all for it/They all saw it/My juniors and seniors will only get meaner”.

If you can take anything away from this sophomore effort is that this dude loves his Mom. Amidst a jangly somber piano backdrop we catch a poignant glimpse of critical moments in his career and how his better half has always managed to keep him grounded on “Look What You’ve Done”. This song retains absolute authenticity when you hear him talk about depositing all that money back in her checking account and finally putting her up in a nice apartment. Money might not be able to buy you happiness, but it sure as hell feels nice when you can pay back those few people who were with you since day one. He’s made peace with his past, paid his debts and only wants to move forward. The real question is will his rabid fan base let him?

Drake Take Care by para sute on Grooveshark

Get Involved

Although unrelated to Hip-Hop, I still thought I would post some quick thoughts about a huge pet peeve of mine here at UC Irvine. Since day one of welcome week my freshman year, all I heard was "Irvine is so boring". Being a 4th year now, I've realized how much this school has to offer and it frustrates me to see other students complain about not having shit to do. Especially when they don't break out of their shell and take initiative themselves to see what they can do. From numerous dance teams to the greek system to political organizations, there is literally hundreds and hundreds of organizations to choose from. I can almost guarantee there is something on campus for every single person here at UCI.

Even worse is the school spirit here. Us students act like it's Irvine's fault, but I've come to realization that us, the students, are the problem. This sudden realization came from the fact that the Irvine soccer team is 8th in the nation, has a 2nd round bye in the NCAA tournament, and unfortunately it seems that 90% of the student body probably don't even know that. Why should this school do anything for us, when we don't reciprocate anything back to them (besides a lot of money)

Relating this to Hip-Hop, I know a lot of people were very disappointed with Shocktoberfest. Most people complaining were the one's sitting behind their computers doing nothing about it. Why not go out, join ASUCI and make an impact for the better? So before you ask yourself questions like "why is there never anything to do at UCI", "Why does SD get Drake and not Irvine?", maybe you should ask yourself if you've done anything to try and help change that.

If you want your time here at UCI to be worthwhile, make it worthwhile yourself. zot zot

Shook Ones & Halfway Crooks

Prodigy & Havok are back at it after a few years and this Black Cocaine EP will make new listeners into new fans and old listeners happy that they back. No one goes harder than Mobb Deep. Bringin' that Queensbridge mean muggin hip-hop back for all y'all hipsters!


YES!! We have beef brewing ladies and gentlemen! Okay, maybe not that Wescoast v. Eastcoast beef, but beef is beef and I'm not mad at it. Ludacris is getting back to his old IDGAF days as he goes in, presumably, on new schoolers Drake and Big Sean on his new track "Bada Boom". Long story short, the "beef" stems from both Drake and Big Sean commenting on the excess usage of the so called "Supa Dupa Flow" that Not-So-Big Sean popularized and Drake made ultra-mainstream ("Faded off the brown, Nino") You know, that #hashtag rap. Specifically, Drake commented on Luda's sub-par execution of the flow on Luda's single "My Chick Bad". And later, Sean agreed with Drizzy's assessment on MTV's Rap Fix:

“I think some artists just did it so wack man,” said Big Sean. “Every time I say names I get in trouble and it’s like I’m dissing, but some people used it wack. If he said Ludacris used it wack, hey.”

I know, i know "beef" ain't what it used to be people...but we gotta enjoy it while it's here. (And we'll ignore the fact that this all may be a lame attempt at promotion for Luda's mixtape/upcoming album). Although "I fill her up, balloons" wasn't exactly the illest line utilizing this flow, Luda wasn't just gonna let these young cats talk reckless without a response. Peep the vids...

"Bada Boom"

"Supa Dupa"

Some classic Luda that I'm posting cuz i feel like it...

The Weak Become Heroes

I think one of the biggest misconceptions in hip-hops recent history is the lack of representation the listener has with the artists. Most of the time we cannot relate to them. Being in the hip-hop industry nowadays is no more then an excuse to talk about how you are in the industry, living off it, until the industry decides you're dead.

Leaving aside the usual commentary on how hip-hop changed, I think in a way we all seem weak when we listen to music about a person telling us how he lives better then us, when funny enough he lives like that because of us, because we buy his music & go to his concerts. Being a rapper seems to be a whole other level, they all want to be kings. That is when heroes like Mike Skinner (a.k.a. The Streets) step in the picture, because he is one of us. He doesnt talk about how women attack him wherever he goes, hes on the same lonely boat as us tryna figure out how to get the fit girl in the corner to not walk away...

A taker more than a seller

I know a lot of people will only see out of tune singing, senseless rapping and badly mixed/off beat instrumentals in his music, but i think Mike Skinner is a creative genius who can (and will if you listen closely enough) make any one of those small, unglamorous, drunk, insignificant moments that we all share but dont speak on, seem like a perfect topic to sing along to.

From garage, to 2-step, to grime, to funk, he covers everything with his characteristic yet normal and average joe english voice

Like wine, the old stuff is better...

To many of us in Europe (and many in the US im sure) he seems like one of those artists that simply weaves in and out of genres collecting fans along the way, who has an undeniable talent in pointing out the little things in life and giving them value, something so lost nowadays which i think is the reason for which you cant help but be curious and eventually enter 'stan' mode, no matter what you listen to or what subculture you belong to.

Im interested in seeing what usual hip-hop listeners in the US think of him and what would they classify him as. Especially after artists like Lil B are so upfront in the game for being so 'different' when Mike Skinner was doing what he does, a lot better and 10 years ago. Just in case you thought the swag element was fully out the picture...gotta love that sweater

MF Chops, Samples and All That Good Stuff

As most of us already know, a large portion of the music we listen to today has been taken from some previous record or song (i.e. sampled) and revamped into something different. I myself was surprised when I first found out that a lot of my favorite songs that I listened to growing up were just samples someone took and layered some drums over. I make a disclaimer now that my purpose here is not to hate on people who sample for I myself sample as well. Rather, I wish to talk about an artist whom I’ve come to regard as a pioneer in terms of sampling yesterdays music and making it tomorrow’s anthem.

Many people can take a sample, chop it up and add a few kicks and snares but rarely does someone go beyond flipping samples to make an ordinary song into more of a production. Though not an entirely mainstream artist, MF Doom (a.k.a. Doom/ Viktor Vaughn/ King Geedorah) has often implemented small snippets of audio both before and after his track in order to give his songs more of a narrative feel.

Doom has often found these small snippets in anything from old cartoons to movie scenes and even television shows. As he explained in his recent interview while touring in Spain, a lot of the stuff he includes in his tracks come to him from many types of mediums. Certain audio clips that he has used have come to him rather quickly when he was composing the songs but for others, as he explains, he’ll just wait (months if he has to) until he hears exactly what he is looking for.

(Interview With Red Bull – Spain)

Incorporating relevant (or sometimes irrelevant) audio clips into a song gives the track greater depth and allows listeners to better understand exactly what the song is trying to portray. For example in the song titled “Just to make a buck” Doom preludes the track with an audio clip of two characters. In the clip, one of the characters is fed up with his countless failed attempts to make money, while the other character sternly reminds the first “there are all types of ways to make money”. Right after the clip the song begins and to our surprise (or maybe not) the song talks about money and its troubles.

In combining elements that are outside of the norm, Doom has managed to create stories that correlate throughout the entire production. Quite an amazing and unique MC, I am sure he’ll have much to look forward to in the future.

What's On the Radio?

If you didn't read Lekh's post on Lil Wayne and mainstream media, then you should have...BUT to touch on what Lekh was saying, hip-hop has become so watered down by the media that it seems to fit a criteria now. I have lived in southern California my whole life and fully experienced the drastic step from Radio Disney to LA radio. However, kids these days don't get to fully understand that change as it seems Radio Disney and "LA radio" are synonymous now. Well, I guess I'm giving them too much credit because I mean Radio Disney actually plays music.
Now I know this looks like another "Mainstream Sucks" blog post, but for the most part I'm not that into classifying the separate categories of hip-hop. I couldn't care less if it's underground, mainstream, bay, southern, Lil B, old school, or whatever; as long as the music is good it doesn't really matter. Still, I do have a problem when radio stations are trying to tell me that the new LMFAO song is the hottest new hip-hop single out. But wait, these aren't just any radio stations, these are Los Angeles radio stations! The same LA stations that were once home to Snoop Doggy Dogg, N.W.A, Westside Connection and Cypress Hill are now focusing their attention on Lmfao, Katy Perry, Pitbull, Bruno Mars, and whoever the hell sings that Pa Pa Americano stuff. To be honest I don't expect the radio to play Blu or Emanon or even Murs, but there are plenty of southern California artists who are trying to make it big such as Nipsey Hussle, Casey Veggies, and Dom Kennedy who have to find other means of getting their music out because the radio would rather play songs that emphasize Rick Ross' growing asthma problem.
So, while you guys are tuned into 99.1 or Power 106 singing along to the four words in that latest electro techno "hip-hop" record, which is just great to dance to while you're sitting alone in traffic at 4:30pm, I'll be scrolling between 93.5 Kday and talk radio trying to get my fix of music.

Yancy Deron - LNDL

Here at UC Irvine, Hip-Hop Congress always shows love from artists that
have helped the club in the past by blazing the stage with a FREE
performance. Last year at Urban Arts Fest, Yancy Deron was an opening act
for Dom Kennedy and Fashawn, but it won't be long till he is headlining

Check his latest video entitled "Antihaterism":

Be sure to download his EP "Live Now" at yancyderon.com and be on the look
out for the second part "Die Later" in early 2012! Feel free to check out
the website for the project to at LNDLiens.com

Wu-Tang is FOREVER

November 13th is dubbed as O.D.B. Day
Being that I don't have much time to write a much more meaningful tribute
or a post something lengthy, I'm going to post a couple of videos and interviews that are related to the Bastard (RIP) himself.

Going Overseas

I noticed many of us are trapped in this little bubble we call America. Everything on the radio, everything in the clubs, even most of our 'good' hip hop is from right here in America. So I thought I would enlighten you all with some international jams.





RIP Heavy D

Dwight Arrington Myers, aka Heavy D, passed away November 8, 2011 at the age of 44. His music varied amongst different genres such as Hip Hop, new jack swing, R&B, and reggae fusion. Heavy D and the Boyz were the first group signed to Uptown Records and eventually their debut, Living Large, was released in 1987. They gained even more fame by singing the theme song for the television program In Living Color and performing the rap for Michael Jackson's Jam. Heavy D began focusing on his acting skills, appearing in television shows before returning to the music charts with Nuttin' But Love. Heavy D performed at the 2011 BET Hip Hop Awards in Oct. 2011, which was his first live performance in 15 years. On November 8, 2011 in Los Angeles, Ca, Heavy D collapsed outside his home due to respiratory distress and that no foul play was involved.

Nas, Common and rap mogul Russell Simmons are among the stars leading the tributes to Heavy D, who has died at the age of 44. His passing has sent shockwaves through the hip-hop world and a host of stars have taken to Twitter to express their grief at the tragic news.

Nas writes, "RIP TO A REAL HIP HOP LEGEND HEAVY D!", while Common tweets, "Heavy D was...no...is one of Hip-Hops (sic) finest. Your art and contribution will live 4ever (sic) brother! RIP Heavy D".

A stunned Q-Tip writes, "This can't be true", and The Roots drummer ?uestlove adds, "Heavy D was a good friend & he'll be missed."

Rap mogul Russell Simmons states, "I am deeply saddened by the sudden loss of Heavy D. A long time friend and a beautiful person", and Sean Kingston calls him "One Of The Most Influential Rappers Of The '90s Era."

Even Hollywood was mourning the loss of the rapper, who made a handful of movie appearances - actor Samuel L. Jackson called him a "dear friend", adding "Fond memories of a truly cool brutha (sic)."

Heavy D had just returned from a trip to London, where he hung out with British singer Estelle and R&B star Ne-Yo.

A shocked Estelle tweets, "RIP. Heavy D. i can't believe that. I can't. Was just in London w (with) him", while Ne-Yo adds, "Man. I was just with Heavy D recently in London. Had I known it'd be the last time I'd see him, I woulda (sic) told him he was truly great."

A slew of other hip-hop stars, including hitmaker/producer Pharrell Williams, veteran hip-hop DJ Grandmaster Flash, R&B singer Brandy and rapper Nelly have also expressed their condolences online.

Meanwhile, Public Enemy star Chuck D insists his friend was "a hip hop god", adding, "He will always be remembered and I'm thankful for what he's done for hip hop culture."

Popular MC Heavy D, whose real name was Dwight Arrington Myers, was admitted to a Los Angeles hospital at around noon local time on November 8th with an unknown ailment. He was pronounced dead at 1 p.m.

The hip-hop star rose to fame in the late 1980s with his group Heavy D & the Boyz after they released their debut album,Living Large, in 1987. They went on to record the theme tune for In Living Color before Heavy D branched out as a solo act.

He released a total of seven studio albums throughout his career and scored hits with singles such as Got Me Waiting, Big Daddy and his cover of The O'Jays' Now That We Found Love, which was released in 1991.

He featured on Michael Jackson's song Jam and was among the stars who paid tribute to the late pop icon at October's Michael Forever event in Wales. The rapper also collaborated with the King of Pop's sister Janet on her hit single Alright.

He returned to the stage for the first time in 15 years for a special performance at last month's 2011 BET Hip Hop Awards.

Heavy D enjoyed film success too, landing roles in films like Eddie Murphy's 1999 comedy Life and 2006 dance movie Step Up. He reunited with Murphy for a cameo in his new film Tower Heist.

When US Money Does The Talking & Europe Listens

Sunday night. Listening to Drake's sophomore album 'Take Care', hoping to find something that makes me feel the way I did when I first heard the four tracks that kicked off 'So Far Gone'. Funny enough, I was getting close to that, much more than what I ever did with 'Thank Me Later', but then track no. 5 comes on.

The initial spacey sounds remind me of one of the songs I'd been hearing all summer whenever it came to that hungover moment of winding down at the beach. The featured Rihanna starts singing over a piano melody and just as I feared, it is literally the same song.
Jamie xx (from UK indie band The xx) produced an album in 2010 with no other than the legend Gill Scott-Heron. A GREAT album too ('We're New Here' is the name), mixing Scott-Heron's deep voice with just as deep bass and creepy yet beautiful melodies.
I think you see where this is going, Ill let you listen to the two and judge for yourself:

Jamie xx did assist in the production of Drake's version of his track, I dont blame him for the amount of money he must have got, however I cant help but think he let a great song of his get ruined and downgraded by the industry. Especially by the genre that I love the most.
Dont get me wrong, I love the fact that hip-hop producers are fishing out of America for material to sample, I dont blame them with the quality that you can find.
Its flattering and a sign that Europe is doing their own thing in the right way. I just hate the fact that millions of people that listen to that song simply because it has Drake and Rihanna written all over it, will never really know about Jamie xx or Gill Scott and worst of all, will most probably think THEY copied it off Drake and Rihanna.
I guess its what my parents felt when I was 12 and used to listen to those Marvin Gaye sampled hip-hop tracks in my room, not knowing who Marvin Gaye was and they walked out saying 'this is older than what you think'. That is the difference though, back then there was a 20 year separation. With internet and segregated audiences the sampling has jumped and is actually contemporary, only separated by physical distance.

I even thought of sampling French electro group Cassius and their 'I Love U So' when I first heard it 2 years ago, any hip-hop head looking for something new would. But the prize goes to whoever makes it happen first and Watch The Throne were there to collect it:

They actually did it twice, UK dubstep producer Flux Pavilion got a juicy cheque ('check' in the US) for letting them use/water down his banging 'I Cant Stop'

Dont think its all recent, in 2007 Wale's career got the kickstart when he sampled French group Justice (who actually signed the previously mentioned Cassius to their Ed Banger label) and kinda copied the video too...

Im not going to fall into saying which ones are better (although Drake & Rihanna should have kept the fuck away - my opinion), or whether it is right to do this or not, as I believe a great way to develop creativity is by improving a previous product, all I wish is that people actually knew who deserved most of the recognition they misplace.
This also makes me wonder why such talented artists like Drake & Rihanna need to reach out to the other side of the globe for something that has already been made, knowing the great majority of their audience wont know the original and recycle it to then call it entirely theirs and give Jamie xx a small mention in the album credits...why not make something just as good or better that belongs entirely to them??
Its easier I guess, and they know money does the talking.
Speaking of money talking and as a final note, want to know where Eminems upcoming single was 'inspired'?? UK grime rapper Skepta uploaded his single in July to then have it removed off the net a day later without him even knowing because Jimmy Iovine & Interscope thought it would suit Em better...read it all HERE.

Has the Internet Ruined Hip Hop?

The effect the Internet has had on hip hop is undeniably enormous. A recent article on the prominent Hip Hop website hiphopdx.com got me thinking about the reality of the Internet and the genre. In the past week, I have accumulated 7 mixtapes (A$AP, Freddie Gibbs, Nipsey, Pac Div, Lloyd Banks and The Jealous Guys) and 3 albums (Drake, Mac Miller, Wale). In addition, I added to my collection an instrumental tape from producer Clams Casino, Bobby Womack's 1973 "Facts of Life" album, and the original soundtrack to the popular N64 game "Bomberman Hero." So far I have been able to listen to three of them fully and thoroughly. Next week, I will probably download at least 5 more projects and the previous ones will probably be forgotten until further notice. And while the Internet has allowed fans of the genre to explore a wide array of artists within, it has also allowed artists the opportunity to self-promote their own music. Most recently, Mac Miller was able to reach the number 1 spot on iTunes as an independent artist. However, the Internet has also introduced us to artists that, I will not mention because I don't want to promote their names, but y'all know what I am talking about (visit WorldStar often and you'll see a few of them). So has the Internet had a positive or negative effect on the genre? I feel like overall it has been positive. Back in the day, people could only listen to music that was fed to them via radio stations, record labels, magazines, etc. Now, people can explore all types of artists, from old-school rappers, rappers from other countries, or even rappers in local cities that are flying under the radar. The Internet has ushered in a new generation of hip hop and with the power of the Internet, at least we know that Hip Hop is here to stay. Here is the hiphopdx article:
Right now you can probably listen to 99% of all the Hip Hop ever made whenever you havean Internet connection. If you can’t download it with a quick Googling, someone has probably posted it on YouTube. At worst, you can do this from a cell phone. To some readers, this is the only way you’ve ever known the experience. To others, these advances are an incredible convenience compared to how they used to get their music. It was not that long ago that today’s landscape was an inconceivable notion. We’re at a time now where Hip Hop fans weren’t just too young to remember the days of rewinding and changing sides, many were not even born yet. Hip Hop is getting old; some 40 years have passed since Kool Herc was deejaying block parties in the Bronx and 25 since the first Rap album went #1. The music, the artists, and the fans have come and gone like the seasons. The saying goes, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” While that’s true for a lot of aspects of Hip Hop, it certainly doesn’t apply to the listening experience.

Let me paint you a picture.

Imagine it is 1992 and you’re awaiting The Chronic instead of Detox. You read in The Source that Dre’s new single was dropping this month and you’re dying to hear it. While walking to school one day a car stops at a light and you hear a funky bassline, whining synths and Dr. Dre telling you it’s like this and like that. The light turns and the car starts driving so you break into a sprint to keep up and hear a little more of the song. Once you get to school and finish drying off in the bathroom, you ask everyone you know who listens to Hip Hop if they’ve taped the song off the radio or taped the video. Unsuccessful, you head home that night and sit by the radio with a blank cassette tape in the deck. Every time a new song comes on your finger hovers over the record button. No luck. The next day you hit the store the see if the new Source is out because they might write three sentences about the song, which will be very satisfying to read. A week later you find out your boy has the song on his new pause tape. Unfortunately, it is the dub of a dub of a dub of a dub of a dub. The static from the radio is minimal, but it’s got more hiss than a 30 foot python. Nevertheless, you listen to nothing but the song for two weeks straight. Your mom is pissed because you went through 18 batteries for your Walkman because rewinding every four minutes for hours at a time takes a toll. Cut off from getting new batteries you toss your dead ones in the freezer to get some more juice out of them. This is a daily operation.

Now fast forward for a moment to 2011. You’ve read 36 news updates on Detox in the last month, and the latest from Mr. Porter’s brother’s deaf roommate is that he says Dre told him the album’s release date using sign language. While walking to school you check HipHopDX to see if the new single has leaked yet. Sure enough, it has. You dig in your bag and grab your earphones and start streaming the song. As a whining voice requests a doctor, you read the comments on the song and see that 42% of people think this is the greatest song they’ve ever heard because Dre is the greatest producer ever and this is the newest song they’ve heard from him. 41% think it is the worst song they’ve ever heard because " Dre’s ghost producers suck worse than him" and "Eminem is a fag who raps about butt-fucking Dre." Eight percent of listeners are indifferent about the song because it’s a bit emo sounding, but they admit it’s a good concept. Four percent want you to know Lil Wayne is the G.O.A.T. and 5% want you to follow the hottest new artist you’ve never heard of on Twitter. You dig the song though so when you get home you download it from Nahright along with a dozen other new joints, hit some other blogs and download four new albums and three mixtapes. You listen to three of the new songs on your iPhone while you walk to your boys to play xBox. The next day you listen to Dre’s new song one more time before moving on to all the other new music you’ve got.

Obsessive collectors aren’t just at record conventions anymore.

This near unlimited access has had countless effects on Hip Hop music and the Hip Hop experience. Those are discussions that have been had or can be had another time. Certainly, a major outcome has been that fans typically have wider tastes because there's no risk to trying out a new artist or a new sub-genre. Except maybe your time and bandwidth.

While there were a handful of ways to learn about a new artist, radio, video or your friends, were only about the only free ways to actually hear someone new. The Source was reliable back then, but you still ran the risk of buying an album and learning that you wasted your hard earned money. There were the few enterprising record stores in each city that had listening stations and let you sample albums before your bought them. It was a wonderful system but things got tricky for those of us who abused the system. I would listen to no less than five albums per visit and quickly wore out my welcome. At best, you had to deal with clerks' dirty looks and annoyed sighs. At worst, you were denied. Plus, spending four or five hours in the store listening to albums wasn’t the best use of time. But that's what it was.

The more discerning purchasers such as myself also ran into another problem. Sometimes you would go to buy an album and it had already been opened because someone had listened to it at the listening station. I didn't want to buy that tainted copy, the fresh plastic wrap had already been ripped. That may seem incredibly trivial to those of you never took the packaging off a cassette or CD, but back when people bought those things there was nothing like getting home and cracking open that packaging and listening to an album for the first time while you read the liner notes for the first time. That was experiencing music. So a torn open and repackaged copy? No thanks. The real trouble came with independent releases where stores only had one copy. Dilemmas.

That was finding and purchasing the album, listening was an entirely different animal. Unless you had deep pockets you probably picked one or two new albums a month, for some, it was even less. It was not a rare thing to listen to an album for months on end. Young cats often wonder why the older generation cling on so tightly to the golden years of Hip Hop. It isn’t just the quality of the music from those years, it’s that we listened to these albums three or four times a day, every day, for months. Does that ever happen anymore? I sure don’t do it. The never ending stream of new music won’t allow it, and frankly, I don’t think my attention span does either.

None of this is to say the new generation missed out on better times, the system in 2011 is undoubtedly better. Unlimited, risk free access to any artist and the ability to carry 3,000 albums in your pocket with no AA back ups is nothing short of incredible. But what we’ve gained in convenience, we have lost in experience. We cannot possibly be as good of listeners as we used to be; it is too easy to skip that song we don’t like in the first 15 seconds, or skip that album after skimming the first few tracks. There are albums I absolutely love which I didn’t care for after five listens. Today, there is no way I would give that album five listens when I put five new albums on my iPod five days in a row. I’m sure I’m not alone there. You can’t help but wonder what things will be like 15 or 20 years from now. The times, they are a changin’.

J-23 is HipHopDX's Editor-At-Large. He was a full-time member of the staff since 2001, and has was DX's longtime Music Editor and Marketing Director. J lives in London, Ontario.