Posts Tagged ‘Gangsta Rap’

cypress-hill-black-sundayWe are changing things up a bit here on Moshpits and Movies because not only are we a fan of metal and rock and the sub-genres in between, but we are a fan of old school 90’s hip hop and Gangsta Rap. I was watching a documentary on TV about the LA Riots of 1992 (Burn Motherf***er Burn!) and I was reminded of one of the coolest acts out of Southern California in Cypress Hill. Cypress Hill was made up of B-Real, Sen Dog, and DJ Muggs and they were the first Latino American Hip Hop group to have a number one Rap album in history and they also recorded the highest soundscan for a rap group at the time as well. The album Black Sunday (which we are covering this week) debuted at number one on The Billboard Top 200 charts selling 261,000 copies in it’s first week with the help of crossover hit Insane In The Brain (was also a Top 20 track on the Billboard Hot 100) which attracted a rock audience. The album would eventually go triple platinum as it sold about 3.4 million records and I believe that is to date. The same week it debuted at number one, it did the same thing on the Top R&B/Hip Hop charts as well.

Cypress Hill - Black Sunday - Back1.I Wanna Get High– A pretty self explanatory track that samples Taxman by Little Junior Parker and Get Outta My Life Woman by The New Apocalypse. 5/5

2. I Ain’t Goin’ Out Like That– The third single from the album that samples The Wizard by Black Sabbath for the basis of the track while mixing in Galaxy Around Olodumare by Alice Coltrane and Rainmaker by Harry Nilsson. The track always seemed like a statement from the group that they were here to stay and the wannabes will fade away. 5/5

3. Insane In The Brain– The song that launched the band into the mainstream world was actually a diss track aimed at Chubb Rock. DJ Muggs had produced House Of Pain’s Jump Around and he used as the basis of the track with some real obvious changes with tons of samples. 5/5

4. When the Shit Goes Down– A bluesy sample from DJ Muggs drives the song about being ready to go when the sh** goes down. 4/5

5. Lick A ShotEpistrophy by Richard Davis and Sweat Pea by Tommy Roe help drive this Gangsta Rap track. 4/5

6. Cock The Hammer– A killer bass line drives the song with samples from Uri (The Wind) by Flora Purim and Blind Alley by The Emotions. The song is about being ready to go to battle and it touches a little upon how the Latinos in LA have just as many problems as others. 4/5

7. Lock Down– an interlude that samples Is It Because I’m Black by Syl Johnson. 4/5

black-sunday-4dd1b01105a0c8. 3 Lil’ Putos– A bunch of samples drive this bare bones drum driven track about life on the streets. 4/5

9. Legalize It– an intro track that samples Hallelujah, I Love Her So by Gene Chandler with a bunch of different sound clips of people giving the benefits of Marijuana. 4/5

10. Hits From The Bong– One of the most bad ass Cypress Hill songs that heavily samples Son Of A Preacher Man by Dusty Springfield as the basis of the track. I think you can guess what this song is about. 5/5

11. What Go Around Come Around, KidGet Out of My Life Woman by Grassella Oliphant drives the track which is essentially about being careful because what goes around comes around. 4/5

12. A To The K– The track actually samples A to the K by Wild Style in another track about life on the streets. 4/5

13. Hand on the Glock– The track samples Oh, Pretty Woman by Albert King for the basis while every know and then they inject another sample in between like Midnight Theme by Manzel or You’re A Customer by EMPD. 4/5

14. Break ‘Em Off Some-The last track on the album that samples Money In The Pocket by Joe Zawinul as the basis of the track while interjecting samples from Critical Beatdown by Ultramagnetic MC’s and Kool Is Back by Funk, Inc. 4.5/5

My Final Thoughts– One of the best albums from a hip hop/Rap group like Cypress Hill that at a point in time made it easy to like rap music because it was fresh, new, and it sounded dangerous. That is why I am giving Black Sunday which had an amazing cover to boot, 4.3 stars out of five for a final grade.

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Blaze Publicity Photo 1For this edition of In This Corner, I welcome an artist that has blazing a trail in the world of Underground Rap/Hip Hop for over 20 years. I am talking about Majik Ninja Entertainment artist Blaze Ya Dead Homie who on January 15TH released his sixth studio album (his second with Majik Ninja Entertainment) The Casket Factory . The Casket Factory (available on iTunes and Amazon) showcases the amazing abilities and growth as an artist for Blaze Ya Dead Homie who offers 14 solid tracks with absolutely no filler which shows exactly how much both Blaze and the label have grown in the right direction in only two years under operation. Blaze Ya Dead Homie was the first artist to release an album for Majik Ninja Entertainment (Gang Rags: Reborn) and I had to talk to the man to ask him about the brand new record, what it was like to work with some new artists, the upcoming tour, and a whole lot more.
Eddie Monster: What can fans expect from the brand new album The Casket Factory?
Blaze Ya Dead Homie: Brand new Blaze like they’ve never seen before! Hands down the best production from first track to last!!! 100% Underground wicked shit… Different styles… Sick guests killing shit…
EM: How did you come up with the name and concept for the casket factory?
Blaze: I was bouncing ideas off of my homie Jamie Madrox of Twiztid… We were thinking along the lines of casket maker or something like that… Then we began building the record an the name evolved into The Casket Factory fairly quickly…
EM: What are your favorite tracks on the new album?
Blaze: 2 middle fingers, they call that gangsta, the way you look before you die, eternal, wormfood, ghost, necromancy, I will bury you, ratchet…
EM:  I noticed DJ Swamp is on four tracks on the new record. Is this the first time you worked with him and how did that come together? Can we expect more in the future?
Blaze: Yeah this is my first time working with DJ Swamp… Got the hookup thru my brothers and label mates Twiztid! I can only hope to work with him in the future, cause he killed shit on this record!
EM: Just like the last question, this is the first time the world is really getting to hear Lex The Hex on the track They Call That Gangsta, what was it like working with him on the song and what’s you take on what he brings to the table for the future of Majik Ninja Entertainment?
Blaze: Had a blast working with my homie Lex! He’s a real good ninja… He brought his own east coast style and its definitely a dope mix and addition to the family!!! Looking forward to doing more projects in the future with him
4PNL_1Tray_right_TubePkt_D1003EM: Since your move to Majik Ninja Entertainment, are you more involved in the production side? Or have you always had a hands on approach with your music?
Blaze: I’ve always been involved with the production of my records to an extent … Not really turning the knobs on the board an shit, but always adding my 2 cents in whenever and wherever I can…
EM: You have an old school hip hop sound (which is my personal favorite), what’s your opinion of the current hip hop scene?
Blaze: You’ve got some good, some bad and some ugly shit happening in hip hop… Some are solid artists with good tracks and others… I just don’t know what they were thinking when they were making it. Some of the shit is so horrible it’s downright insulting
EM: This is your eighth solo album overall and you’ve been doing this for 20 plus years, what keeps Blaze Ya Dead Homie motivated after so much time?
Blaze: First and foremost it’s the Family! From day 1 since I’ve stepped on stage in their presence, they’ve been nothing but accepting… I thank them for that and the chance to do what I love for a living… They are truly amazing!

EM: When you do a collaborations, do you get to choose who you work with? Are there any future artists you plan to work with or is there an artist that you never worked with that you would love to?

Blaze: Yeah, it’s ultimately my final say on collaborations. I have a few in mind, but haven’t reached out to anybody recently.  I would like to work with somebody completely unexpected though…

EMOn February 4TH, you are heading out on the road for quite the trek, will you be bringing any of those one size fits all caskets with you? And what can fans expect from the live show and will there be any surprises?

Blaze: And you know this!!! Energy, cause that’s what I like to expend up on that stage… An I might have some surprises for ya, but ya gotta come an rock out with us to see what’s up my sleeve!!!

EM: Last question, There is a rumor going around that you and The R.O.C. are working on the Zodiac MPrint album, is there any truth to it and when do you think we can expect it?
Blaze: Yes there is some truth to that statement… Although I’m not sure if it’s gonna be full length at this point, but we’ve been around the studio a lil bit… Should be dropping later this year!
Blaze Ya Dead Homie heads out on tour on February 4TH in Columbus, OH and it runs all the way until March 13Th with four special dates in April with Twiztid.  For more info on the album, tour, and merchandise, please visit Blaze Ya Dead Homie’s official website here.

straight-outta-compton--Long-Sleeve-ShirtsYesterday I ventured to the movie theaters to see a film that I had been waiting for someone to make for a very long time. It had been a while since I did a Based On A Truesday (play on the words True and Tuesday) Story post and I figured Straight Outta Compton was the perfect piece to return with. The film is about the rise and fall of one of the greatest hip groups in the world in N.W.A. It was the group that featured the greatest rappers Compton had to offer at the time in Dr. Dre (played by Corey Hawkins), Ice Cube (played by O’Shea Jackson Jr.), Eazy-E (Jason Mitchell) DJ Yella (Neil Brown Jr.), and MC Ren (played by Aldis Hodge). The group changed the way rap was done back int he late 80’s to ealry 90’s and the film chronicles their struggle to put Compton on the map to their rise to fame and eventual downfall. The film also stars Paul Giamatti (American Splendor) as Jerry Heller, Marlon Yates Jr. as The Doc, R. Marcos Taylor (Dead Man Down) as Suge Knight, Keith Stanfield (The Purge: Anarchy) as Snoop Dogg, Carra Patterson (Why Did I Get Married Too) as Tomica Wright, Marcc Rose as Tupac, Mark Sherman as Jimmy Iovine, and the film was directed by F. Gary Gray (Friday).

watch-straight-outta-compton-n-w-a-biopic-movie-red-band-trailer-videoThis has to be by far the movie of the year or at least one of the greatest biopics ever made on the history of this earth. I literally had goosebumps while I was watching the film remembering the rise of rap.Hip Hop and what a beautiful thing it was to watch. I think every guy did a good job playing the role they were given especially Ice Cube’s son O’Shea Jackson Jr. who was given the role of a lifetime. The only complaint that I have about the film is the fact that they diminished MC Ren’s role in all of this like he wasn’t that important of a person in the group. I feel like MC Ren had more of a role in the beginnings of the group, but his role in the film is minimal at best. I get it hat the most important ones out of all of them were Dre, Eazy, and Ice Cube who all enjoyed major success in life. The one thing the film reminds you is how sad it was that we never had the N.W.A. reunion that we all deserved as it was about to be set up until Eazy-E passed away. Everyone from top to bottom did an amazing job in this film as it felt so real and you almost felt like you wee there at the exact moment in time that it was happening. I did want to also mention that R. Marcos Taylor did an amazing job capturing who Suge Knight was and I don’t know who Marcc Rose is, but will someone sign him up for a Tupac biopic already cause it was scary how much he looked like Tupac. This film deserves to be an Oscar contender and if it’s not then we all know the Academy had no idea what there jobs are. I am going to give the film an A+ for a final grade because it kicked so much butt it kicked ass.

o-STRAIGHT-OUTTA-COMPTON-facebookYou shouldn’t be surprised that I decided to cover a rap album for the album of the week since I have already covered ones from Eazy-E and Eminem before. On Friday August 14TH, the world will finally get to see a biopic on one of the world’s most dangerous groups in N.W.A. called Straight Outta Compton. It was the album that introduced the world to hip hop heavyweights Dr. Dre and Ice Cube as well as introduce us to Gangsta Rap. On August 9TH, 1988, the group made up of the aforementioned Dr. Dre and Ice Cube, Eazy-E, MC Ren, and DJ Yella who made up the group which stood for Niggaz Wit Attitudes. It was an album that would change the world forever as they group told gritty stories about growing up on the hard streets of Compton, CA and the album was released on Eazy-E’s own label Ruthless Records. The album literally would scare the crap out of kids from the suburbs who had no idea that things like this actually happened somewhere in America. The album’s lyrics raised so many eyebrows that Washington Post critic David Mills wrote, “The hard-core street rappers defend their violent lyrics as a reflection of ‘reality.’ But for all the gunshots they mix into their music, rappers rarely try to dramatize that reality — a young man flat on the ground, a knot of lead in his chest, pleading as death slowly takes him in. It’s easier for them to imagine themselves pulling the trigger.” The album to date is still the ban’s highest selling album as it sold over 3 million copies and went double platinum. The album also peaked at number 37 on the US Billboards Top LP’s chart.

NWA-Straight_Outta_Compton-Trasera1. Straight Outta Compton– That title track that kicks everything off teaching us about the horrors of being on the streets of Compton courtesy of Ice Cube, MC Ren, and Eazy-E. The track itself features samples of Jame Brown, Funkadelic, Wilson Picket and more. 5/5

2. Fuck Tha Police– The track starts off with the group in court as Judge Dr. Dre gives each of them a chance to state their case against police brutality on this track that was said to incite the LA Riots. Ice Cube, MC Ren, and Eazy-E once again rap on this record. 5/5

3. Gangsta Gangsta– The track that speaks about the dangers of the streets of South Central and Compton, but how appealing the Gangsta lifestyle is. The first three verses are delivered by Ice Cube with the final one by Eazy-E. 4/5

4. If It Ain’t Ruff– This was always one of my favorite tracks on the album because it was MC Ren’s solo chance on the album as he shows off his rapping skills. 5/5

5. Parental Discretion Iz Advised– The track features The Doc on the opening of the song before Dr. Dre, MC Ren, Ice Cube, and Eazy-E take over the rest of the song. 4/5

nwa-e13256023452746. 8 Ball (Remix)– This is the solo Eazy-E track on the record written by Ice Cube and features a lot of samples from The Beastie Boys and is a remix of the track from N.W.A. and The Posse album. 4/5

7. Something Like That– This track features Dr. Dre and Mc Ren taking the mic as they introduce themselves to you on the record. 4/5

8. Express Yourself– This was the radio friendly track on the record that also saw the music video play on MTV in this Dr. Dre solo track about being free to fully express yourself/ They remix the Charles Wright & The Watts 103 Street Rhythm Band’s track Express Yourself because Eazy-E was the nephew of Charles Wright. 4/5

9. Compton’s n the House (Remix)– Another remix from the N.W.A. and The Posse album that once again features Dr. Dre and MC Ren as they rep the City Of Compton. 4/5

10- I Ain’t tha 1– This is the solo Ice Cube track on the record that shows Ice Cube’s lyrical genius to the sample of Brass Construction’s The Message (The Inspiration) about the troubles of having a women, etc. 5/5

11. Dopeman (Remix)– Another remix of an N.W.A. and The Posse track with Ice Cube and Eazy-E handling this track about a drug dealer who gets pampered. 4/5

12. Quiet on tha Set– The other solo MC Ren track that samples everything from Straight Outta Compton to Public Enemy and Big Daddy Kane. 4/5

13. Something 2 Dance 2– This is the last track on the record and features one time member Arabian Prince performing along with DJ Yella, Dr. Dre, and Eazy-E. It has that old school 80’s hip hop feel to it that was sure to be a song played in the clubs. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– Unfortunately, shortly after the release of the record, Ice Cube would take off during to a money dispute and the two sides would battle. This is still one of the most amazing debuts from a band that changed the culture and that is why I loved N.W.A. because they started something. I am giving the album 4.5 stars out of five for a final grade. B sure to check out the film Straight Outta Compton when it hits theaters everywhere Friday August 14TH and check out our Facebook page here and like the page.

eazy eMy very first introduction to Hip Hop or Gangsta Rap as it was called back in the day was to Eazy-E and his group N.W.A. The mere fact that these guys were writing songs that were scaring the crap out of white suburban America was interesting to me. Grunge had crept it’s ugly head firmly into MTV and I wasn’t about to have it so naturally I became a fan of Gangsta Rap. Eric “Eazy-E” Wright was one of those rappers whose personality caught my attention and he would forever become immortalized. Unfortunately, Eazy-E would pass away from AIDS in 1995 before his second full length album ever saw the light of day, but I wanted to turn out attention over to Eazy’s second EP that he released called It’s On (Dr. Dre) 187um Killa that we are going to talk about today. In 1992, Dr. Dre had released his first solo record The Chronic which on a couple of tracks Eazy-E was dissed which later in court would cost Dr.Dre because of the infamous Dre Day video. To respond to the diss, Eazy-E teamed up with DJ Yella, Gangsta Dresta, B.G. Knocc Out, and many more to come up with this record. 

eazy e 2Exxtra Special Thankz is the intro track to the album where Eazy calls out all of Dre’s crew including Snoop Dogg. He also mentions the fact that Dre Day is making him money. Real Muthaphuckkin G’s is the next track on the record where Eazy continues to call them out to a cool bass riff. We also get introduced to B.G. Knocc Out and Gangsta Dresta on this track. They also try to call Dre out on his street credibility claiming that Dre shouldn’t rap about some of the things he was singing. Any Last Werdz is the next track and it has a cool funky R&B flow to it while Eazy raps with Above The Laws Cold 187um  and Kokane. The track was minorly successful as it hit number 69 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and it hit number 5 on the Hot Rap Singles chart. Still A Nigga is the next track on the record and it features Rhythum D on the track. It’s a track where Eazy-E boasts about all of his accomplishments to a dark and ominous beat.  Gimme That Nutt is the next track and it’s one of the dirtiest raps songs I believe Eazy ever did. Just look at the title and imagine what it’s about. Boyz In Tha Hood (GMix) is the next track and I believe it’s the third time that the song had been remixed. My personal favorite version of the track is on Eazy’s first solo record, this one was changed too much to fit the sound of the record. Down 2 Tha Last Roach samples N.W.A.’s Express Yourself  and A Bitch Iz A Bitch while Eazy starts the track off sounding like an Alien. Eazy uses a vocal effect on the track that predates autotune being used in rap and at one point they mention tons of facts about Marijuana. It was an album that hit number one on the Top R&B/Hip Hop albums chart while it peaked at 5 on the Billboard Top 200. Eazy mentions Dre in every track except for Boyz In Tha Hood and Gimmie That Nut. This was one of my favorite records from Eazy-E and it’s a shame that he is no longer with us. I am giving the EP four stars out of five.

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