Kanye West and Gang Starr honor Black fathers in new videos

Rap music has been the voice of hip-hop culture. Ideas, concepts and ways of thinking have been sculpted from the litany of verses that have flooded the airwaves. 

Biggie and Tupac are always at the top of the list when we discuss the culture. Both of them are the product of single parent homes. We laud their greatness and honor their contributions. When they met their demise their mothers stood for them. Afeni Shakur and Voletta Wallace kept the memory of their sons alive.“Dear Mama” is arguably one of Tupac’s most impactful songs and is an anthem for single mothers around the world.. 

The story seems all to familiar. Rapper grows up in a single parent home without a father and everything they do is to support the family and honor their mother. This is not a bad thing however; where are the fathers? 

In 2013 The Centers for Disease Control reported that 72 percent of births were to unmarried non-hispanic Black women. This statistic lacks nuance and does not tackle the effects of mass incarceration and poverty in Black communities.This same study shows that Black men who live with their children or not living with their children are still more active participants in the lives of their children than any other race overall.

Kanye West recently released the video for his song “Follow God” from his most recent release Jesus is King. The voice of Pastor Dr. Kerwin B. Lee opens the video as we watch Kanye and his father Ray West make their way to an ATV in the snow. Pastor Lee explains how fearful his children were the first time they encountered snow and how he instructed them to walk in the footprints he made in order not to have any fear. The video closes with note from Kanye “My dad came to visit me at one of our ranches in Cody, Wyoming,” it reads. “He talked about his love for fishing, and how he would come here in the summers. It took me 42 years to realize that my dad was my best friend. He asked me, ‘how many acres is this?’ I told him 4000. He replied with these three words: ‘A black man?’”

 

The narrative is changing. Legendary rap group Gang Starr just released the video for their song “Bad Name” off of the latest project One of the Best Yet. In the video we watch Guru’s son Keith Casim shave off his hair in order to play the part of his father who has since passed on. 

The importance of Black fathers can’t be overstated and let’s hope this trend of honoring Black Fathers continues.

 

Is Gang Starr’s latest project ‘One of the Best Yet’?

The legendary hip-hop group Gang Starr released One of the Best Yet and it is a welcome addition to an overall underwhelming 2019 when it comes to new rap music. DJ Premier is the only surviving member of Gang Starr. Keith Edward Elam also known as GURU (Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal) died on April 10, 2010. This project comes 16 years after their last official release The Ownerz.

DJ Premier puts his best foot forward when paring Guru’s posthumous verses with current features. Before the official project was released, Dj Premier dropped the single “Family and Loyalty” featuring J. Cole. Guru’s voice rings prominently on the song and J. Cole steps in with possibly one of the best features of the year as he raps “J. Cole..Who’d a thought I woulda been rhyming with ghosts Guru flows forever like a diamond and most.. could never afford the precious jewels.. that’s precisely why I’m blessing you.. with clear cut messages.. I’m destined to.. invest in urban sections where depression rules.”

One of the Best Yet provides the listener with the raw boom bap DJ Premier production as a result Guru’s lyricism still cuts through even in these times. On “Business or Art” featuring Talib Kweli, Guru raps “Heres one for Spin, Billboard and Rollingstone hip-hop is so organic it will grow on its own, we watch em throw money at it with clout and power, but after a while things faded out and went sour.” Many would say that this sour space that Guru is speaking of is where we are right now. This is exactly why One of the Best Yet is so refreshing because it’s just real rap with no filler or gimmicks.

The standout songs on this album are “Lights Out (feat. M.O.P.)” “Hit Man (feat. Q Tip)” “Family and Loyalty (feat. J. Cole)” and “Get Together (feat. Ne-Yo & Nitty Scott)

Have you heard One of the Best Yet? What do you think?

Check out the video for “Family and Loyalty” off of the One of the Best Yet below

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Kanye is flying high, does ‘Jesus Walks’ on a plane

Video

Kanye has been flying high as of late since the release of Jesus is King. He recently appeared on a plane with that one guy who does karaoke in cars (James Corden) and his full choir and performed “Jesus Walks”. Ye really rode a plane and kick his raps for the lord!

Depending on who you ask and what blog or podcast you listen to the reviews are mixed with regards to Jesus is King. So, allow me to be the definitive voice and say IT’s DOPE AF! See review here

Check out the vid.

Kanye’s ‘Jesus is King’ is his redemption.

Kanye finally released Jesus is King and it feels like he has made up his mind about the direction of his life. Very few artists have allowed the public to see such a public and intimate transformation. This is what makes Kanye who he is. He is bold in all of his positions, no matter how misguided or uniformed they may be. He is open to saying he is wrong and he is vulnerable enough to give it all up to God.

Jesus is King is Kanye “getting saved” in public view. It’s takes Christians to task. Do the Christians who dismissed him accept his repentance? Does it even matter if they do? “In the father we put our faith” West says on “Use this Gospel” where he reunites The Clipse and features smooth jazz legend Kenny G.

The album also features Ty Dollar $ign, Fred Hammond and Ant Clemons. On “Everything We Need,”  “Switch my switch my attitude, I’m so I’m so radical, all these people mad at dude, this for who it matter to.” West does not run away from cancel culture or whoever has anything to say about him and his choices. On “Jesus Is King” we find a spokesperson for redemption and the acknowledgment of God.

The project is twenty seven minutes long and closes out with horns blaring and declaring “Jesus is Lord”.

I was expecting more of the Sunday Service songs he has been performing around the country, but this project is more personal. Kanye is letting us into his salvation and wants us to join him.

Say what you want about Kanye West, one thing you can never say is that he is boring and shallow.

I give this project four out of five stars. Seven out of the eleven songs on here are certified hits and provide us yet another Kanye. I like this Kanye.

Did you hear Jesus is King? What did you think?

Landon Buford on Magic Johnson the NBA playoffs without LeBron and Golden State

Landon Buford is precisemuzic’s newest sports correspondent. He has written for Forbes, USA Today and The Bleacher Report. We chopped it up with him recently about his thoughts on the NBA and the future of the league as it relates to a few teams and this years championship.

Talk about the absence of LeBron this playoff series. What does it mean for the league?

From a playoff sense, not having LeBron James in the postseason dance doesn’t help their bottom during this time of the year. However, as far as relevancy, He is still being talked about whether it is from his show The Shop, in the media, or for what he is posting on Instagram and Twitter.

What are your thoughts on Magic Johnson leaving the Lakers?

I think Magic saw the writing on the wall and decide to remove himself from the situation. He doesn’t really need the reported 10 million dollars per year salary he was getting paid by the Lakers. He is reported to have a net worth of $600 million and with Magic leaving he can participate in things that are limited to individuals that are employed by NBA teams.  That’s what he said he was missing out on when he was Lakers President of Basketball Operations.

Who do you have winning the championship this year?

I still have the Warriors three-peating. I don’t know if KD will return this season, but I still have them winning because of the core group of players such as Draymond Green, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Iggy. There is a possibility the DeMarcus Cousin could see the floor before the end of the Blazers series. So, we will have to see, but the Warriors are my pick to be the champs you have to beat the champs.  

Who will win the MVP?

My pick is Giannis Antetokounmpo because he was able to lead his team to the best record in the NBA. Also, I feel he is more valuable to the Bucks due to his around game on both sides of the ball in comparison to James Harden and the Rockets. Also, James Harden won the award last year and you must have a stellar season after you win the award to be crowned back to back MVPs. There have been some exceptions with Stephen Curry and Steve Nash. Some will argue Nash should only have one and Kobe or Shaq should have been award the other one. It just based on the person‘s opinion. If you swapped Harden for Antetokounmpo, I feel the Rockets would have benefited more in comparison to Bucks and Harden in my opinion.

What teams do you think will emerge next year? 

I think the Sacramento Kings are going to shock a lot of people next season. They barely missed the playoffs this season and they added veteran leadership with Harrison Barnes and Corey Brewer, who both have won championships in the past.

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Nipsey Hussle’s suspected murderer is captured

The manhunt has ended for Nipsey Hussle’s suspected murderer Eric Holder aka “Shitty Cuz”. Nipsey was murdered 2 days ago in front of his Marathon store in Los Angeles. Many theories and conspiracies have arisen sine his murder. There is a group of those who feel that this was a way to silence Nipsey because he planed to release a documentary about the famed holistic doctor, Dr Sebi. However: the cameras and witnesses tell the story.

According to witnesses Holder came to Nipsey’s store and was told by Nipsey to leave his store because he was a snitch and he should never come back around. Witnesses claim and the video show Holder coming back and shooting Nipsey along with 3 others,.

Eric Holder evaded the police for 2 days and was finally captured in Bellflower Los Angeles.

-Precise

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Rapper Nipsey Hussle killed in Los Angeles

Nipsey Hussle, born Ermias Ashgedom, 33, has died. The rapper was shot outside his Los Angeles store. Two others were wounded and are reportedly in serious condition. The suspect remains at large.Multiple media outlets have reported that rapper Nipsey Hussle was been shot six times outside his store in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. His store, Marathon Clothing Company, opened in 2017. Hussle’s connection to the Crips is no secret, however, that did not stop him from crossing the line to do business with rappers like YG, who is affiliated with the Bloods.

Hussle was recently nominated for a Grammy for his debut studio album, Victory Lap. His rise in the industry has been unorthodox. In 2013, he released his mixtape Crenshaw and sold 1,000 copies for 100 dollars per copy. He sold every copy within 24 hours.

He released another project in 2015 titled Mailbox Money. He pressed 100 copies and charged $1,000. He sold 60 copies of the project. 

Hussle has been a proponent of reinvesting in your community and owning a business. His store in Los Angeles is a culmination of his efforts. 

In the song “Last Time I Checc’d feat. YG,” Hussle raps:

“It was visionary, either I’m genius or you ni**as scary-Maybe it’s both and this balance I deliver daily-For every n—a in the streets tryna feed the babies-The single mama’s workin’ hard not to miss a payment-And dirty money get washed on royalty statements-Black owners in this game of powerful racists-Young n—as in the set that’s doin’ it makeshift-Out the garage is how you end up in charge-It’s how you end up in penthouses, end up in cars-It’s how you start off a curb server, end up a boss-it’s how you win the whole thing and lift up a cigar-With sweat drippin’ down your face ’cause the mission was hard”

Earlier this year, Hussle announced that he would be doing a documentary on famed holistic healer Dr. Sebi. Sebi was said to have cured people of AIDS and cancer using his alternative medicines.

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Why Cardi B admitting that she drugged and robbed men is problematic

Cardi B (Photo credit: Eddy “Precise” Lamarre)

Cardi B, one of America’s most popular and ubiquitous rags-to-riches stories, has placed her foot in her mouth. An Instagram Story that Cardi posted three years ago has surfaced in which she admits to sleeping with men, drugging them and then robbing them. Cardi, who is well-liked because of her candor and bold disposition, is now in hot water because of it.

In the video Cardi speaks passionately about her past life.

“I did it myself, n—s must of forgot my n—a. The s—t that I did to mother—— survive. I had to go strip. I had to go oh yeah you wanna f— me? Yeah yeah yeah, let’s go to this hotel and I drug n—-s up and I robbed them. That’s what I used to do. Nothing was mother—- handed to me.” she said

In today’s #MeToo environment and the court of public opinion, it should be expected that Cardi B is called on the carpet because of such criminal acts that have helped her along her journey. Bill Cosby is currently serving a jail sentence after being found guilty for drugging women for the purposes of having sex. This is something he has vehemently denied, yet the court of public opinion, the #MeToo movement and the comedic memes helped to paint a picture of a man who was once viewed as America’s dad as a dirty old man.

We all love the story of someone lifting themselves out of poverty into success.

Cardi B’s rise has been meteoric. She has turned a stripper pole into Grammy gold and shows no signs of going back. However, we find ourselves at an impasse. Should Cardi be held accountable for the actions she admitted to three years ago? Of course, she should be, but most likely she won’t be because she is the world’s favorite type of ratchet.

Hypocrisy is running rampant in the land. Some are celebrated for the same things that others are punished for. If we allow ourselves to continue down this path, the grey between what’s black and what’s white becomes greater and our ability to make wise judgements becomes questionable.

Cardi has not left this latest scandal totally unscathed. A hashtag, #SurvivingCardiB, was created and many have voiced their displeasure and disagreement with Cardi’s past criminal acts.

Cardi obviously felt the heat and has issued a statement via her Instagram page.

She wrote “So I’m seeing on social media tray a love I did 3 years ago has popped back up. A live where I talk about the things I had to do in my past right or wrong that I felt I needed to do to make a living. I never claim to be perfect or come from a perfect world with a perfect past. I always speak my truth I always own my sh—. I’m apart of hip hop culture where you can talk about where you come from talk about the wrong things you had to do to get where you are. There are rappers that glorify murder violence drugs and robbing. Crimes they had to do to survive. I never glorified the things I brought up in that live. I never even put those things in my music because I’m not proud of it and feel a responsibility not to glorify it. I made the choices hat I did at the time because I had very limited options. I was blessed to have been able to rise from that but so many women have not. Whether or not they were poor choices at the time I did what I had to do to survive. The men that I spoke about in my love were men that I dated that I was involve with men that were conscious willing and aware. I have a past that I can’t change we all do.”

Cardi’s statement is one where no accountability is taken and she seems to place the blame at the feet of hip-hop culture and rap music. This is problematic because once again hip-hop culture is blamed for the criminal decisions of an individual.

How do we move forward from here?

Leave a comment below.

-Precise

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Precise is set to host Bantu Fest in Chicago on July 28th

I am so excited to join all of you as a host of Bantu Fest on July 28, 2019.

Bantu Fest is a summer festival in Chicago that includes food, music and all this African. The festival runs from July 27th to July 28th on the campus of the University of Chicago.

The African diaspora is represented with countries from all over the globe. You can grab some Haitian grio and a roti from Trinidad all in the same day. Prepare for the culture.

I look forward to seeing you for this 2 day festival. 

-Precise

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