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…

Make Hip Hop Great Again

Let me remind you that Hip Hop created a multi-billion-dollar industry of products, services and techniques out of blood, sweat, tears, garbage and concrete.

Unsigned Artist Review (Parts 6 & 7)

It’s hard not to diss whack music but I try to be as constructive as I can in criticizing some of the weaker submissions. I don’t know if I was successful, but you be the judge. Most of the reviews are positive and we got some unique posts to react…

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…

Young Rappers Don’t Love Hip Hop

Most times, I stay in the background of these topical rap conversations and gossip because its pointless. I’m glad on one level not to associate with too many insiders because then you lose perspective. It’s hard to be an honest judge of character when you find out that some whack…

Elizabeth NJ – A Place in Hip Hop History

Last year when I began to contemplate the ripple effect on the vast culture of Hip Hop, I singled out my small town of Plainfield NJ. In that piece, I had only just begun to reveal the puzzle that makes up our collective Hip Hop experience. Initially, I also wanted…

Exhibition Open

We made it! The brand new Hip Hop Archive at Plainfield Public Library @800 Park Ave is finally open! On display for the collective is my personal collection of artworks depicting some contemporary Hip Hop history. This material illustrates how we can all participate in the preservation of Hip Hop…

What have you learned from Hip Hop?

Since conscious rap music became a recognized force in the American culture, many jewels have been ‘dropped’, so to speak. Many ‘pearls of wisdom’ have educated those who would have otherwise never considered the info being presented. That knowledge has translated many street lessons from the days of the Message…

What did we learn about Hip Hop in 2015?

They say the loudest voices get the most attention… Well, the loudest voices in rap music have made a complete cross-over into pop music with the new melody-rap; half-singing/half-rapping style being mimicked everywhere currently. The style is spearheaded by artists like Future and Young Thug who claim to be rappers…

18 Years Ago This Week

If you know me, then you might know that 18 years ago this week, I was developing a concept called Shades of Hip Hop. It was a concept which tried to capture the essence of underground Hip Hop Kulture with behind the scenes footage, freestyle outtakes and uncensored conversations which…

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…

November: Hip Hop History Month

Since November is Hip Hop History month, a time in the folklore of Hip Hop when we celebrate the intricate history of the culture we all dwell in, let us reflect on the past. Many Hiphoppas talk about old-school vs new school and tradition vs evolution, but it is not…

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…

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…

My Philosophy is more typical than you might remember

A particular classic hip-hop song starts out with a ‘sample’, which is an audio clip borrowed from an unrelated source: “So you’re a philosopher? Yes (deejay scratching). Yes. I think very deeply.”1 Judging from a superficial perspective of mainstream music today, you wouldn’t think the song relates much in modern…

Free Ideas vs Pay to Play

Background At issue in the twenty-first century is the trade-off between the necessity of writers, musicians, artists, and movie studios to profit from their work and the free flow of ideas for the public benefit. Movie (and music) industry participants claim that encryption programs are necessary to prevent piracy. Others,…

Black Moon before their first album in 1992

Here’s another classic Shades of Hip Hop clip to post for #TBT. It features Buckshot Shorty, the 5ft Accelerator and DJ Evil Dee just before their album dropped in 1992. This is when rappers could do in-store promotions at record stores. Sadly, there are no more record stores in most…

8 other things Hip Hop added to American culture

…And no I’m not talking about twerking! When we think of the cultural influence that Hip Hop has on American society and even the World, we think mostly in terms of the elements; Emceein, Deejayin, Graffiti Art, Breakin etc. In fact, True Schoolers tend to think of Hip Hop Kulture…

What has Deejayin come to?

Is this what some deejays will do to get attention? Who knew that the professions of deejayin had gotten so theatrical. It’s one thing for deejays to be talentless, no skill-having, top 20 playing sell-outs. We don’t even expect deejays to break new music anymore. But this is kinda ridiculous,…

A Hip Hop Pilgrimage to the Mother Land

There is such a thing as Hip Hop Tourism. And that’s the practical business approach to looking at the recent trip by Switzerland born and raised Hiphoppas from Winterthur. On the other hand this was more like a Hip Hop pilgrimage to the birthplace of Hip Hop, NYC, New York…

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