Politics and Hip Hop

From the book – Hip Hop… Know What I’m Sayin by Kurt Nice (Amazon.com) This piece was published in the above book, in 2012, but notice how relevant it is today. What has the present day political culture taught us about society? In America, the political discourse is a direct…

What’s the Best Cypher in Hip Hop History?

What’s the best rhyme cypher in Hip Hop history? Is it Shades of Hip Hop’s Cypher featuring Big Pun, Canibus, Mos Def, DMX, John Forte and Mic Geronimo? You tell me…

My Thoughts on Hip Hop History Month

The concept of Hip Hop History Month is lost on today’s society. There is not enough appreciation for the rich culture and economic opportunities afforded by the existence of Hip Hop to properly celebrate its success or awareness. At this point, modern-day mainstreamers think it’s OK to confuse music taste…

Integration is the problem

I was reading a text book on global marketing the other day and I realized that integration is the problem in society. Not the black and white integration that comes to mind so quickly in a race conscious society like America, but another kind. I’m talking about the mix and…

Why the Mainstream Prefers Suckers, Clowns and Cynics

One thing that became clear to me when formally studying marketing was that marketing controls people’s lives a lot more than they might think. People think the illuminati or the government controls them, but it is only through marketing, media and public relations that anyone follows a command. People of…

New Episode: What about non-English Rap?

Ep. 10 In this week’s episode, we look at some new artist submissions from the HipHopLives.net group on Facebook. A few submissions are non-Engish language tracks which beg the question: Can we like a song if we don’t understand the word? That answer should be obvious. Of course we can….

How many Hip Hop References are in Luke Cage?

That is the question. There are so many that we’ll be dissecting this answer for weeks. This series can be a sociological study on so many levels and if you know me, I will end up exploring them. We can discuss the use of the word nigga as a topic….

A Superhero in Harlem

The new NetFlix/Marvel TV series, Luke Cage, debuted today and the instant reviews are in! The series kickoff with episode 1 introduces us to a collection of characters with complex stories and circumstances which place them on collision course in the future. Right now, we are just scratching the surface…

Unsigned Artist Review (S2 E5)

Each week I try to go through as many post from the HipHopLives.net Group on Facebook and review what people have submitted. I can’t guarantee that I will be in a good mood all the time, and I won’t be as sympathetic then. For now I will only thumbs up…

18 Years ago this month

Do you remember the days before the internet? There was a time when communication between people took much longer. Information took days, weeks, and months to circulate sometimes before ‘everybody’ knew what was going on. The only viral videos of the day were bootleg movies, and not Hollywood blockbuster movies,…

Hip Hop: Stupidity is the real enemy

(VIDEO BELOW) In a recent song created by rapper Saigon and producer DJ Premiere called, Let’s Get Smart, Saigon says… Nah Preem, I ain’t come around to dumb It down. I done started a revolution, I ain’t running now. ‘Cause I don’t rap about having fun, I’m underground? ‘Cause the…

Hip Hop Revolution

This is what comes up when you search for pictures related to the words “Hip Hop Revolution” on Google Images   Kurt NiceKurt Nice aka Kurtiss Jackson is a behind the scenes pioneer in the Hip Hop Kulture, creating the first nationally distributed video mix tape series, Shades of Hip…

This Week on shadesradio.com – The 80’s pt. 1

In Hip Hop we trace a lot of history through the music we listened to at the time. The music which surrounds the scene acts as a soundtrack to life in that era. Music can sometimes be an interpretation of how people were living at the time. So what was…

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…

The beat is better than the lyrics

I wrote in a recent blog that the state of rap music’s beats are much better than lyrics (ORIGINAL POST JAN – 2013). I joked that since this isn’t the new age of the instrumental, rap lyrics still mean something. However, it could be the new age of the instrumental…

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…

#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…

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