Saturday, May 22, 2010

Saturday Night Delight

Everybody's got to start somewhere. This video comes back from the times when rap was about politely declining food at a dinner party.

Song #168: Sugar Hill Gang - Rapper's Delight

Friday, May 21, 2010

Biggie's Birthday

Falling smack dab in the middle of Hip-Hop Appreciation week is a pretty BIG birthday. The man considered by most, to be the Best Rapper to ever grab the Mic. This post goes out to Christopher Wallace, better known as The Notorious B.I.G. who would be 38 today if he wasn't murdered in 1997 in California. While we're on the topic of Rap Names, Big's original moniker, Biggie Smalls, is the Villain from one of my favorite movies, a 1975 Sidney Poitier, Bill Cosby and JJ Walker buddy pic called "Lets Do It Again". Honestly there is no shortage of viable names from this film: Bootney Farnsworth, Kansas City Mack, Bubbletop Woodson, Fish an' Chips Freddie, 40th Street Black and Mongo Slade (Bill Cosby's Neurotic Gangster alter ego, probably the best character ever invented EVER).

I think my mission of appreciating Biggie as a Rap figurehead and martyr can not be denied so I feel like there is little more that I can share. You are probably already aware that I dedicate my (Christian) Sabbaths in his honor, a tradition that dates back 5 years to a little rap cave at 44 Chittenden Avenue in Columbus Ohio. While there, my roommates and I all took one day out of the week, Sunday, and came together to relax and lick our party wounds to the sublime lyrics and beats of Ready to Die, Life After Death and Born Again. Today, although it is not Biggie Sunday, I figure his birthday is just as good a day to pay him RESPECT.

Song #167: The Notorious B.I.G. - Respect

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Best Rap Name Ever

Alter egos are as ubiquitous in hip hop as Yankees Caps. Do you think Snoop would be as famous if he still went by Cordozar Calvin Broadus? Some rappers get their names from the streets, but others pull theirs out of the weirdest places. They run the gamut from AZ to Z-Trip, and make no mistake, some  are great and some are just flat out horrible. I am kind of a fan of clever wordplay, but there better be a great reference combined with a Gangster or Rap element. One of the best examples I can think of is my homeboy Busta Rhymes, who was given his name by Public Enemy's Rapper/Scholar Chuck D, after former NFL problem child, George "Buster" Rhymes (Story goes that while Buster was a Wide Receiver for the Miami Dolphins he was hit during a time-wide snowball fight, after which he immediately ran to his car and got his Uzi, firing it into the air). 

George "Buster" Rhymes

Other names I am partial to are: Mos Def, Guru (RIP), Public Enemy, Madlib, Reflection Eternal, Xzibit, CunninLynguinsts, Flo Rida (He's from Florida), Slick Rick, Outkast and Ol' Dirty Bastard (Even though he wasn't old, he was definitely dirrrty). 

Ol' Dirty Bastard, a.k.a ODB, a.k.a Dirt McGirt, a.k.a Joe Bananas, a.k.a Big Baby Jesus

Sometimes though a name has absolutely no appeal and I can barely stand to pollute my iPhone with it for non-ironic reasons. The following names are in that boat: Del Tha Funkee Homosapien, Papoose, Swizz Beats, Chamillionaire, Styles P, Jeru Tha Damaja, Scritti Politti, Chali 2na (After the Canned Fish Mascot) and last but certainly not least, Party Artie (A.K.A. P-80 Mista Mudd, RIP as well.). 

Overall though I do have to say one performer in particular stands out as having my favorite combination of Literary and Rap references. Edgar Allen Floe is an underground rapper who's name doesn't necessarily have the staying power of a Mos Def or a Busta Rhymes, but ending it with that "E" is just too good to ignore.

Do you have a favorite Rap Name or is there one that just sucks the proverbial bigg'un? Leave them in the comments section and we can keep the conversation going.

Song #166: Edgar Allen Floe - I For An I

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Even though Rap undeniably came from New York and flourished on the East Coast, it is not exclusive to this side of the Mississip'. West Coast fans will still claim Tupac over Biggie any day (They're wrong) and they have a big stable to back them up. The Cali Coast brought us NWA, Ice-T, Snoop Dogg, Warren G, Dr. Dre and Nate Dogg. Here featuring the last two of those Golden Staters is a song with one of my favorite beats and one of my favorite hooks, Xxplosive.

Song #165: Dr. Dre w/ Nate Dogg, Kurupt - Xxplosive

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Axl's Bizzack

One of the things I love the most about the new large screened iPods and other digi-victrolas, is that sometimes (if the person's library is organized the way it should be!) you can see what your travel companions are listening to. One time I saw an older lady who was totally the uptight librarian type, homely and serious clicking through her iPhone, then when she tilted it my way she was listening to Mos Def's Ms. Fat Booty.

So on that note today's song goes out to my man Marcus who I met riding the 6 train one morning last week. I was just flipping through my cover art when all of a sudden the guy next to me says...
"Hey man, you like Scarface?"
"Hell yeah I like Scarface"
Right between Sam Cooke, Serge Gainsbourg and Sharon Jones.

Marcus also has some varied taste. Besides liking Scarface, dude mentioned Meatloaf and Guns N' Roses; specifically that epic video where it rains so hard on Axl's wedding day that his brand new wife dies (Also Slash just gets up and leaves the ceremony to shred out a solo in the middle of the desert).

This experience inspired me to include Scarface as part of Hip Hop Appreciation Week, and then juxtapose that with the crazy video for November Rain by GNR as Bonus. There are a few cameos by some big stars in the songs below just to consider: Guess Who's Back features a verse by Jay-Z and a dope beat from a pre mega-douche Kanye West, while Axl extended a hand to fellow Lafayette, Indiana native, my favorite rocker, Blind Melon's Shannon Hoon to sing backup vocals and be stashed somewhere in 9 minute mini-film. Enjoy today's Hip Hop/Hair Metal combo.

Song #164: Scarface w/ Jay-Z - Guess Who's Back

BONUS SONG: Guns N' Roses - November Rain

Monday, May 17, 2010

Rasta Bone?

Oh man I can never get enough of these Rap/Reggae crossovers. Literally the best of two worlds, joining Bob Marley and Krazie Bone (of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, durr) to make an amazing track. Also good: The combination of Bone Thugs with Hall & Oates (it exists, maybe another time...). Come back for more Hip Hop Appreciation week.

Song #163: Krayzie Bone featuring Bob Marley - Revolution

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Prepare to be Raptised

From the end of today's song:
Twice a year, hip-hoppers come together
to celebrate the unity of hip-hop
We come together, during Hip-Hop Appreciation Week
Which is every third week in May
Then, we come together in Novemeber
to celebrate Hip-Hop History Month
I will see you there - PEACE!
When KRS-ONE (Short for Knowledge Reigns Supreme Over Nearly Everyone) tells you to do something... you do it. Plus a quick perusal of the internets tells me that other people are following suit and participating as well. So welcome to Hip Hop Appreciation Week, where the Biggies and the Lil's, the Dawgs and the Doggs will all be representing here at EDAS, showcasing some of the best flows and beats the streets have ever offered.

We kick it off with KRS, one of the main the Architects of Hip Hop consideringbeing he had the original Blueprints. When Hip Hop was invented at 1520 Sedgewick Avenue in the South Bronx (South, South Bronx) KRS was just a small kid, running around legends like DJ Kool Herc and Grand Wizard Theodore, fully aware he was going to be one of the next to carry the torch. Now if you will, please "Gather 'round for the Raptism."

Song #162: KRS-ONE - The Raptism