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…

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….

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…

HipHopLives FB UAR (S2 E4)

From the Facebook group page for HipHopLives.net we check out some of the latest submissions from members in the Unsigned Artist Review. Dope tracks and whack rappers will be defined and singled out in my completely biased True School Hip Hop discussion. Check it out below… Also if you missed…

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 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…

How Hip Hop entered the Global Economy

The question of international appeal and market segmentation makes me automatically want to examine Hip Hop as a culture. It’s interesting to note how, without marketing specialists and advertising executive’s influence, Hip Hop spread around the World. Still, it speaks to some of the same characteristics needed to define market…

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…

A Special Night in Radio: October 31, 1973

There were game shows, back then called quiz shows, comedy shows, variety programs, interview shows, and a reality crime show called Night Beat which followed police on the street, similar to Cops today. These shows were new and innovative yet, the main thing this era was known for were radio…

There and Back Again: A Hip Hop Journey

    (originally published in 2008 for KRSONE.biz) On our last leg of the Stop The Violence Movement Pre-Tour 2008, we went to California in preparation for the full 20th year anniversary commemoration in 2009.  Rather than fly over the country by airplane, we decided to meet KRS ONE and…

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…

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…

The ethics of bootlegging

Bootleg –1. (verb) Make, distribute, or sell (illicit goods, esp. liquor, computer software, or recordings) illegally 2. (noun) An illegal musical recording, esp. one made at a concert. When cowboys roamed the land, most of them wore tall boots that, as the name suggests, came equipped with ample bootlegs. Because…

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…

Putting Hip Hop in Perspective via Plainfield

The digital publication below is an example of several principles. Firstly, the format itself is an innovative use of modern technology to relay a story. I have used the digital magazine format for several years in experimentation, but I predict a new wave of inspiration flowing for 2015. I expect…

My theme song from the Golden Era

Over the last year, I have reconciled myself to the idea that in order to move forward we must continuously look back to the past as our guide. We must constantly discover where we went wrong, and where we went right. I think its also important to celebrate the victories…

Blame Hip Hop and protect the real criminal

I read an interesting article by Manny Faces of the NY Hip Hop Report and Birthplace Magazine about a report by CNN anchor Don Lemon. The problem with the main stream media is that they are not competent enough to discuss a topic as intricate as race on TV. Forget…

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