Experience the Shades of Hip Hop Collection which includes video, photos, a digital magazine, audio and research studies.


This blog is updated as often as possible, sometimes daily, sometimes weekly. Follow me on Twitter to get notified when they're published @KurtNiceHHL.

Video On Demand

Make sure you check out the VIDEO section for exclusive content from the Hip Hop : ARCHIVE. Premium content from the Golden Era of Hip Hop and beyond.


Where Did Dr Dre Get the G-Funk Sound?

As I watched the Straight Outta Compton movie, I couldn’t help but notice the amount Funk music filling the sound track. Rather than a mix of early 90’s hip-hop music, there was an abundance of P-Funk vibes popular in Southern California at the time. Part of what defined NWA as…


What You Know About Ghostwriting in Hip Hop May Be All Wrong

Recently, Meek Mill accused fellow rapper Drake, of having spit ghostwritten bars by Quentin Miller on their collabo track. This Twitter insult was slung at Drake to discredit his position as one of the rap industry’s top performers. However, the social media beef didn’t seem to go the way Meek…


Hip Hop Emcee Sean Price dead at 43

It was reported this morning that Sean Price of Duck Down Records, Boot Camp Clik fame died in his sleep August 7, 2015. Sean P was known as a top-notch Brooklyn-based emcee with massive skills on the mic. Sean P, aka Ruck of the duo Heltah Skeltah  has too many…


Breaking Down Ah Yeah with KRSONE (1995)

Speaking of #TBT Throwbacks, here’s a gem from 20 years ago. This is how I spent my time in the days before the digital revolution, social media and YouTube. We used to track down Hip Hip wherever it was at, and record until our battery-powered light died. Sometimes we kept…


WTF Just Happened to Meek MIll?

At the beginning of last week I was not intrigued by the Meek Mill v Drake rap celebrity Twitter beef, but by the end of the week I was like WTF just happened? To me, rap celebrity beefs are not Hip Hop and therefore don’t really interest me. I’d rather…


Fame and fortune versus making a living: 1000 True Fans

The following is an essay from the book, Hip Hop Know What I’m Sayin, available on   At the presentation of a Proclamation to the founders of Hip Hop Education Week in Newark City Hall in NJ, Vinnie Brown from Hip Hop group Naughty By Nature spoke to those…


#TBT Blackout Session feat Hussein Fatal (R.I.P.)

In 1999, we used to frequent the grimy streets of Newark to highlight some of the rawest emcees we knew. In this session, with no lights left after taping all day, we caught a nice cypher that was edited down for Shades of Hip Hop #6: Da Goodness. It featured…


Language, perception and Hip Hop

Language is ambiguous, arbitrary and abstract.1 It’s symbolic and historical and yet, intrinsically devoid of real meaning. Words have the ability to define ideas and objects and allow for communication between individuals to take place, but maybe even more importantly, enable the individual to hold thoughts in their own mind…


A new look at the Hip Hop Elements

We all talk about Hip Hop; what it is, when it started, who is Hip Hop and who isn’t. But do we even all agree on that first part? What is Hip Hop? We all say it’s more than just music and entertainment. It’s a culture and a lifestyle. Most…


The Lies Hip Hop Told Me (3): Fuck America

To those in the inner city, life in America can look bleak at times. The lack of employment, crooked cops, criminals trying to stick you for your goods, scam artists plotting, over-inflated prices, poor education, you name it. But guess what? It ain’t as bad as it seems. That picture…


Celebrating the Worldwide Cypher

In common usage, a cypher is equated with a rhyme session of emcees. The word stems from the term for a ‘building session’ amongst 5 percenters who would gather in a small circle and speak or “build” on certain topics of the day. The Worldwide Cypher I’m speaking of is…


R.I.P. PH aka Pumpkinhead an Emcee

PH aka Pumpkinhead, reminds me of what real Hip Hop emcees used to be. He was a lyricist and speaker of refined, well thought out verses of rhythmic poetry. He could also use those words well in an Emcee Challenge or battle rap scenario. If you were ever able to…


Sci-Fi Theater Presents The Crystal Egg

The owner of a London curiosity shop delivers a mysterious crystal egg to a university professor for the scientist’s opinion on its worth and its properties. The ‘egg’ proves to be a window to Mars. TALES OF TOMORROW Tales of Tomorrow is an American anthology science fiction series that was…


who is the most violent?

The Worst American violence The year 2015 marks the 150th anniversary since the end of the United States Civil War. During the 4 year period from 1861 to 1865, over 620,000 American citizens died, most of whom were killed by each other in a war over southern states desire to…


Hip Hop and Adult Learning

As I study Adult Learning, I see more and more how it relates to my life in Hip Hop and how the culture itself, in its True School aspect, is a blueprint of learning. Hip Hop in its best aspects as a cultural expression of Hip Hop elements like Breakin,…


Rap as Pop Music

The idealistic principles of Hip Hop at its core are Peace, Love, Unity and (safely) Having Fun (Afrika Bambaataa, KRS ONE). It is expressed most often thru other principles like Originality, Concept and Skills. Originality was the lynch pin distinguishing us from them, Hiphoppa from non-Hiphoppa, originators from biters. Originality…


What is Hip Hop expression?

How deep is your understanding of Hip Hop? What is Hip Hop communication? Hip Hop influences many forms of freestyle communication between people. KRS says on one level, Hip Hop is an ability to transforms subjects (ideas, ways of doing things) and objects (tangible things) in an effort to express…


Hip Hop Appreciation Week Mix 3

Preserving Hip Hop means preserving the Hiphoppa. That includes the everyday Hiphoppa like you and me. Our survival is the survival of Hip Hop. All of us together make Hip Hop what it is. Without the people who embrace and perpetuate the culture, there is only a memory of what…


Hip Hop Appreciation Week Mix 2

Another musical collage of pictures from some friends in the Worldwide cypher of Hip Hop. The WWC was a Sunday session of True School Hip Hop video/on-line talk show/discussion about topics related to Hip Hop Kulture and the human condition. We talked about society, politics, science, meta-physics, religion, music and…


Hip Hop Appreciation Week Mix 1

Here’s a musical collage celebrating Hip Hop Appreciation Week with some pics from the Worldwide Cypher. If you see yourself or someone you know tag the post.   Kurt NiceKurt Nice aka Kurtiss Jackson is a behind the scenes pioneer in the Hip Hop Kulture, creating the first nationally distributed…

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