What do Kanye and Wyoming have in common?

After the all the rants, drama, racial tension and MAGA hats dozens of influencers and media have descended upon Wyoming to listen to Kanye’s newest project. The release is also being streamed on an app called WAV. The stream started at 9pm CST. If you were expecting music you were disappointed. The stream focused on the Wyoming landscape with horses in the background while you listened to crackiling a campfire.

Chris Rock introduced Kanye with a few jokes and mentioned that hip-hop is the first art form created by free black men. He also said that Kanye has taken full advantage of his freedom and to listen to the project without prejudice.

The name of the project is Ye and the first lyric you hear behind a brooding vamp is “The most beautiful thoughts are beside the darkest. Today I seriously thought about killing you. Premeditated murder.” The production is classic Kanye and lyrically it plays like a journal he has been keeping for the past few months. A few well placed lines speaking on current issues lace the project. “Russell Simmons wanna pray for me too. But imma pray for him cause he got #metoo I wonder what if that happened to #metoo”

The inspirational Kanye that we all know and love enters with a Slick Rick sample assisted by the unmistakable vocals of Charlie Wilson. The campfire is LIT literally and figuratively and all of the people who flew out to hear the project seem pleased and content under the Wyoming sky.

Considering that Kanye has spent the last year in Utah and Wyoming it makes more sense why he has been espousing these middle America sentiments. He doesn’t get a pass for it, it just makes sense. When it all comes down to it when it comes to Kanye its all about the music and always has been.

After two listens it is safe to say Kanye delivered once again. He has captured the attention of the world and given an insightful heartfelt and honest project. Fresh off of Pusha T destroying Drake the G.O.O.D music wave continues rise with the release of Ye. Cudi and Kanye are up next. Lets see how he will top this release.

-Precise

Why is Rhymefest mad? What did Kanye say about the youth?

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Photo source: instagram @rhymefest

The internet is a blaze once again. Per usual Kanye West finds himself in the middle of the heat. His Good Music CEO and artist Pusha T recently dropped his 7 track album Daytona. The project is a solid effort, but just like anything else these days a few lines are chosen and become the focal point of the project. Pusha takes a jab at the streaming king Drake on his song “Infared” “Niggas beats is bangin’, nigga, ya hooks did it The lyric pennin’ equal the Trumps winnin’ The bigger question is how the Russians did it It was written like Nas but it came from Quentin”

That specific lyric alludes to the fact that Drake has a few hired pens out here helping him write his verses. Drake in true champagne papi fashion responds with “Duppy Freestyle” where he goes in on Push and Kanye equally. “Must’ve had your Infrared wrong, now your head in the beam Y’all are the spitting image of whatever jealousy breeds Don’t push me when I’m in album mode You not even top 5 as far as your label talent goes You send shots, well, I got to challenge those But I bring Calicos to the Alamo I could never have a Virgil in my circle and hold him back ’cause he makes me nervous I wanna see my brothers flourish to their higher purpose”

Drake managed to become the newest trending topic on twitter and all of his loyal fans have claimed victory. This is great for hip-hop, but something else has arisen from this battle.

Rhymefest, Kanye’s estranged friend and co-writer of “Jesus Walks” from Ye’s college drop out chimed in to the battle because he feels that Kanye has abandoned Chicago and the not-for-profit created in the name of Kanye’s late mother Donda’s House.

In response to Drake saying in his battle that he will send Kanye and invoice. He actually did send him an invoice by the way. Rhymefest had this to say.

Then in a tweet that has since been deleted Rhymefest shares what Kanye thinks about Chicago youth.

This has definitely opened up some doors and is shining the light on a foundation that was created to showcase the best of Chicago and add value to the lives of the youth. Donda’s recently put out a statement asking for people to not confuse Kanye’s statements with the mission of the foundation.

-Precise

Why Malcolm X is not Killmonger

When I was growing up I would hear the name Malcolm X and immediately think radical revolutionary, “By any means necessary” and that he was the total opposite of Dr. King. What many of us fail to see is that Malcolm X is an example of growth and spiritual awareness. His journey was public and he was brave enough to share it with the world.

We do a disservice to the legacy of Malcolm when we liken what he has done or his stance to fictional characters. In the spotlight of the Marvel blockbuster Black Panther there are those who liken the anti-hero Killmonger portrayed by Michael B. Jordan as a representation of Malcolm. Killmonger may have a passion for his people but he is fueled by vengeance and is a murderer. That was not Malcolm.

Upon his return from Mecca, Malcolm became enlightened and recognized that spiritually we are one under the umbrella of the creator. This did not make him less adamant about fighting for freedom for our people, it provided insight and made him aware that this fight for freedom is for ALL people.

50 years ago Malcolm X was murdered in Harlem. We remember this day with reverence and insight. Physically he is not with us but the spirit of his enlightenment, his courage to challenge the status quo and stand by his ideals will always be with us. We honor him for this. Thank you Malcolm.

-Precise

Listen/Buy “Speak Life” by Precise

Chicago rapper Fredo Santana dead at 27

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Fredo Santana – (Photo source: instagram – @fredosantanassr)

Chicago rapper Fredo Santana has died at the age of 27. In October of 2017 Fredo whose real name is Derrick Coleman announced on Instagram that he was hospitalized due to kidney failure.

“Been in here since Friday doctor say a n***a had kidney failure an liver failure,” he wrote. “I’m getting back to normal sorry to all my fans turbo bandana will not be dropping tomorrow due to my health issues thanks for everyone who prayed for a n***a I wouldn’t wish this on my worse enemy.”

Fredo is the cousin of fellow rapper Cheif Keef and rose to prominence in 2012. Fredo was in the process of recording and dropping his latest effort Walking Legend 2.He released his latest mixtape Fredo Kruger 2 in the fall of last year.

TMZ reported that Fredo was found dead on the floor of his LA home by his girlfriend. News of Fredo’s death has swept social media.

Lil B the Based God had this to say via Twitter

“Let one off in the air for fredo santana !! For life they cudnt stop that man SSR for life CHICAGO for life Chief Keef chop durk Reese Gino sd the whole Chicago what it do joe we living it up joe Chicago joe for life too fredo”

There is speculation that the drug known as “Lean” which has been known to cause seizures was the source of Fredo’s health problems. Fredo eluded to his drug use and mentioned that he may go to rehab because of it. “Hopefully I can be the face to sho n***as to slow down an we got our whole life ahead of us fuck being rock stars gettin high I got ptsd,” he said. “I was running from my old life tryna get high didn’t want to face them demons…I’m getting help I might just go to rehab.” he said on Twitter

Fredo is survived by his son Legend who was born last year.

-Precise

Buy/Listen to “Speak Life” by Precise

My Top 5 Rap Albums of 2017

This year was great for the culture of hip-hop via rap music. We witnessed the emergence of women who rap, an increase in social commentary and an all-out assault on depression with an emphasis on living your best life. The five projects that made the top 5 best rap album list for 2017 encompass all of that and more. Check out the list. Let me know what you think.

1. Jay-Z – 4:44

Jay-Z continues to hold the torch and consistently moves into space where it can be argued that he is the best to ever do this rap thing. 4:44 is viewed by many as Jay’s response to his wife Beyoncé’s telling release Lemonade. Jay mentioned in an interview with Elliot Wilson on Tidal that they were working on both projects at the same time and Beyoncé’s took precedent. Regardless of how it happened, 4:44, in this writer’s humble opinion, is Jay-Z’s best work. He speaks clearly to his peers. He challenges his own sensibilities and is as vulnerable as a bragging rapper can be. The production provided by Chicago native NO ID provides a bed of lush samples and rhythms that pull the listener into the insightful bars. The most ingenious aspect of the project was the rollout. Every week a new visual was attached to one of the songs on the album tackling racism “The Story of Oj” and Black men’s mental health witnessed in the title track “4:44.”

2. Rapsody – Laila’s Wisdom

Rapsody is nobody’s female rapper. She an emcee’s emcee and her project Laila’s Wisdom forces you to take notice. The 9th Wonder produced project is a Golden Age nod with a millennial vision. Her project has been nominated for “Best Rap Album Of The Year” at the 2018 Grammys and she has a legitimate chance at winning. Rapsody does everything right. She can be miss rappity rap, give you a love song and a complete story filled with irony and metaphors. Her song “Ridin” featuring GQ feels like a ride through your nearest hood on a beautiful day. As the song rides along, Busta Rhymes comes out of nowhere to continue with the feel-good vibe. The Jamla artist has been prevalent in recent years on many of her peers’ releases and she always represents solidly. Her wordplay and the way she can stretch out a metaphor is uncanny.

3. Tyler The Creator – Flower Boy

Odd Future impresario Tyler the Creator delivered a project in Flower Boy that is sonically above his peers and musically continues to stretch the boundaries. This is not new to Tyler; however, this project feels like a culmination into what could possibly be his magnum opus. The gritty song “Pothole” featuring Jaden Smith on the chorus harkens back to the original odd futuresque style that is irreverent and bold. The song “Boredom” that was featured on Issa Rae’s hit show Insecure opened a door into Tyler’s production skill. The track takes its time and allows Tyler’s gravely deep voice to live between the sounds. The song itself is inspirational in that it compels the listener to get off their ass and get busy doing something. Live your life.

4. Kendrick Lamar – Damn 

Kendrick followed up his undeniable revolutionary classic with an introspective, honest and highly personal release in Damn. He has firmly held his ground as the thought leader of his generation. He boldly tells his peers to be humble and gives insight into his deepest thoughts when it comes to religion and love. “Element” stands out as a song where he just let’s loose and makes it clear who he is and where he comes from. “DUCKWORTH” is the most telling song on the project, as it basically tells the story of Kendrick’s life before his conception. It speaks to how life can conspire in your favor when you pay attention.

5. Big Sean – I Decided

Big Sean has been able to deliver witty bars since his emergence in rap. His project I Decided is a spiritual experience. The album starts off with an elderly man lamenting on his life and feeling like he should have taken another direction in his life. Big Sean open on “The Light” saying, “I spent my whole life trying to find the light at the end of the tunnel / I should have realized that it was inside.” Chicago crooner Jeremih fills up the space of the sparse track with a falsetto soul reminding all that no one can stop your shine. Out of all the projects that made this list, this is probably the one (with the exception of 4:44) that spoke to me the most. The Metro Boomin produced “Bounce Back” is a reminder to keep pushing even after taking a loss. Big Sean is about shining that light and spreading that positivity, and that’s what’s up.

That’s my list. It’s dope, right? What are your top 5 for 2017? Share in the comments

Buy/Listen to “Speak Life” by Precise

Hip Hop trailblazer Reggie Ossé host of Combat Jack podcast has died at 48

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Photo source: instagram @reggieosse

Hip Hop trailblazer and host of the popular podcast the Combat Jack Show Reggie Ossé has passed away at the age of 48. Ossé shared his cancer diagnosis just a few months ago via social media.

Born of Haitian parents in Brooklyn NY Ossé entered the world of hip-hop as a music attorney and executive after graduating from Cornell University. His clients represent a list of hip-hop greats. Jay Z, Dj Clark Kent and Capone, and Noreaga were clients he represented. Ossé was also the former managing editor of the once so-called hip-hop bible The Source Magazine.

Ossé helped to lead the explosion of the podcast game with the launch of his show in 2010. His show focused on interviewing “legacy” artists such as Chuck D of Public Enemy, Ice Cube and Ice T. His focus on legacy artists was prominent however he still interviewed more contemporary artists like J Cole, Ace Hood, and G Herbo.

His show became the flagship of the Loudspeakers network and led the way to a podcast revolution. He recently did a special on the life and death of hip-hop mogul Chris Lighty who passed away under suspicious circumstances in August of 2012. The special was called “Mogul” and took into account the life of Chris Lighty leading up to his final days.

Ossé’s history as an attorney and executive created an atmosphere where his interviews were open and honest and the listener would always leave with more insight with regards to whomever he was speaking with.

The news of Ossé’s passing has sent shockwaves through the internet.

 

-Precise

Buy/Listen to “Speak Life” by Precise

Tyler The Creator performs for NPR’s Tiny Desk series and its DOPE

Tyler The Creator has been having a stellar year. His Grammy-nominated Album Flower Boy has launched him into a new space. The always eccentric and creative Tyler approached this Tiny Desk with a bit more creativity than most. Pun intended.

-Precise

Listen/Buy “A Killer Joe” ft Precise produced by Mulatto Patriot

Jaz O and Jay Z dead their beef

Jay Z and his mentor Jaz O have reunited after years of feuding. Jay Z’s 4:44 tour made its way to Chicago’s United Center and the historic moment was captured backstage. Jaz O, NO ID and Jay Z stand side by side fully aware of the moment that they were creating.

Jaz O rose to prominence in the 90’s when he released a song called “The Originators” featuring a young Jay Z. Both artists collaborated on early Jay Z releases.

The legendary feud between them started when Jaz O decided not to sign with Roc-A –Fella. Rumors of Jaz O assisting Nas during the battle he had with Jay Z swirled around for a bit and added to the bad blood between mentor and protégée. After many years of back and forth diss songs and their careers going in different directions it would make sense that this beef would continue way into the future. However; as with most things in life time heals all wounds.

This reunion is significant because of what it means for the culture. Arguably we can say without Jaz O there would be no Jay Z. If this was the case hip hop and rap music would not be what we know today.

-Precise

Listen/Buy “It’s On Me” by Precise

Jay Z leads 2018 Grammy nominations SZA shines

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The 2018 Grammy Nominees have been revealed. Jay Z has 8 nominations and leads the pack. Jay Z has been nominated for record of the year, song of the year, album of the year and best rap album. NO ID producer of Jay z’s album 4:44 received 5 nominations. R&B phenom SZA is the most nominated woman this year with 5 nominations.  Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino also has five nominations, all of these nominations come from an album that was released in late 2016. The Cardi B campaign continues to blaze a trail as she caps off the year with receiving a “Best Rap Song” nomination for “Bodak Yellow” 2017 has proven to be an exceptional year for music and this years nominations are diverse. Check out a portion of the list below.

Record Of The Year

• Redbone

     Childish Gambino

• Despacito

• The Story Of O.J.

     JAY-Z

• HUMBLE.

     Kendrick Lamar

• 24K Magic

     Bruno Mars

Album Of The Year

• “Awaken, My Love!”

     Childish Gambino

• 4:44

     JAY-Z

    • DAMN.

     Kendrick Lamar

  • Melodrama

     Lorde

• 24K Magic

     Bruno Mars

Song Of The Year

• Despacito

    • 4:44

JAY-Z

• Issues

   Julia Michaels

• 1-800-273-8255

Logic Featuring Alessia Cara & Khalid

• That’s What I Like

Bruno Mars

Best New Artist

• Alessia Cara

• Khalid

• Lil Uzi Vert

• Julia Michaels

• SZA

Best R&B Performance

• Get You

     Daniel Caesar Featuring Kali Uchis

• Distraction

     Kehlani

• High

     Ledisi

• That’s What I Like

     Bruno Mars

• The Weekend

     SZA

Best Traditional R&B Performance

• Laugh And Move On

     The Baylor Project

• Redbone

     Childish Gambino

• What I’m Feelin’

     Anthony Hamilton Featuring The Hamiltones

• All The Way

     Ledisi

• Still

     Mali Music

Best R&B Song

• First Began

     PJ Morton, songwriter (PJ Morton)

• Location

     Alfredo Gonzalez, Olatunji Ige, Samuel David Jiminez, Christopher McClenney, Khalid Robinson & Joshua Scruggs, songwriters (Khalid)

• Redbone

     Donald Glover & Ludwig Goransson, songwriters (Childish Gambino)

• Supermodel

     Tyran Donaldson, Terrence Henderson, Greg Landfair Jr., Solana Rowe & Pharrell Williams, songwriters (SZA)

• That’s What I Like

     Christopher Brody Brown, James Fauntleroy, Philip Lawrence, Bruno Mars, Ray Charles McCullough II, Jeremy Reeves, Ray Romulus & Jonathan Yip, songwriters (Bruno Mars)

Best Urban Contemporary Album

• Free 6LACK

     6LACK

• “Awaken, My Love!”

     Childish Gambino

• American Teen

     Khalid

• Ctrl

     SZA

• Starboy

     The Weeknd

Best R&B Album

• Freudian

     Daniel Caesar

• Let Love Rule

     Ledisi

• 24K Magic

     Bruno Mars

• Gumbo

     PJ Morton

• Feel The Real

     Musiq Soulchild

Best Rap Performance

• Bounce Back

     Big Sean

• Bodak Yellow

     Cardi B

• 4:44

     JAY-Z

• HUMBLE.

     Kendrick Lamar

• Bad And Boujee

     Migos Featuring Lil Uzi Vert

Best Rap/Sung Performance

• PRBLMS

     6LACK

• Crew

     Goldlink Featuring Brent Faiyaz & Shy Glizzy

• Family Feud

     JAY-Z Featuring Beyoncé

• LOYALTY.

     Kendrick Lamar Featuring Rihanna

• Love Galore

     SZA Featuring Travis Scott

Best Rap Song

• Bodak Yellow

     Dieuson Octave, Klenord Raphael, Shaftizm, Jordan Thorpe, Washpoppin & J White, songwriters (Cardi B)

• Chase Me

     Judah Bauer, Brian Burton, Hector Delgado, Jaime Meline, Antwan Patton, Michael Render, Russell Simins & Jon Spencer, songwriters (Danger Mouse Featuring Run The Jewels & Big Boi)

• HUMBLE.

     K. Duckworth, Asheton Hogan & M. Williams II, songwriters (Kendrick Lamar)

• Sassy

     E. Gabouer & M. Evans, songwriters (Rapsody)

• The Story Of O.J.

     Shawn Carter & Dion Wilson, songwriters (JAY-Z)

Best Rap Album

• 4:44

     JAY-Z

• DAMN.

     Kendrick Lamar

• Culture

     Migos

• Laila’s Wisdom

     Rapsody

• Flower Boy

     Tyler, The Creator

Listen/Buy “It’s On Me” by Precise

G Herbo holds listening session for ‘Humble Beast’ at CRC Studios

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Chicago rapper G Herbo recently dropped his project “Humble Beast”. During a listening session at CRC studios G Herbo discussed the project and how his purpose is to help change the lives of the youth.

Under the tutelage of the legendary rapper Mikkey Halsted, Herbo has matured into a great story teller with a great level of intensity. The lead single “Everything”  is a high energy song that covers a wide array of , well everything. The album version features Lil Uzi Vert.

G Herbo is the voice of the youth and it’s going to be exciting to see his career grow.

Check out a few pictures from the listening session below.

 

 

-Precise

Listen to and share “Take Our Time” by Precise produced by Tye Hill from the release “Ladies Love Mixtapes”