LL Cool J is unconquerable

Ladies Love Cool J. Who doesn’t know him? Old skool hip hop artist to some, pop artist to others, actor to everybody else. Women drool over his muscles and lips. His eyes and smokey voice. Yes yes, he’s kinda sexy.

The thing I always liked about him, is that he never gave in to the hype, he doesn’t do gangsta rap. He stays true to how he started out. I think that is a reason why it was easier for him to make the transition to becoming an actor. His musical career didn’t pin him down to playing a certain roll. He has quite some titles on his name by now. I don’t think I’ve seen all of them. I saw the best ones. But something I have noticed over the years though, LL never dies in a movie. No matter how hard the beating he gets, how many bullets, if he gets electrocuted, stabbed, strangled and what not, no matter if sharks try to digest him, … in the end he survives AND saves the day. Oh and the lady of course.

It is a remarkable fact. Because usually, in action/adventure movies the black actor is one of the  first ones to die.

Well, good ol’ LL never dies. thats a fact. It’s also a fact that Cuba Gooding Jr. cries in every movie. But that’s a whole other story.

If you happen to be one of those die-hard fans who has seen every single movie he has been in and you can prove me wrong, please send me the title of the movie LL dies in. Until then, he will always be LL The Invincible!

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Must be nice

I’ve loved this song since the very first time I heard it. It has been one of those lyrics you hold on to, when you meet someone and you wonder if there’s a future in it.

Must be nice
Having someone who understands the life you live
Must be nice
Having someone who’s slow to take and quick to give
Must be nice
Having someone who sticks around when the rough times get thick
someone who’s smile is bright enough to make the projects feel like a mansion
Must be nice
Having someone who loves you despite your faults
Must be nice
Having someone who talks the talk but also walks the walk
Must be nice
Having someone who understands that a thug has feelings too
someone who loves you for sho’
you just remember to never let ’em go

Chorus:
Even when your hustling days are gone
She’ll be by your side still holding on
Even when those 20’s stop spinning

and all those gold-digging women disappear
she’ll still be here

2nd Verse: 
Must be nice
Having someone you can come home to from a long day of work
Must be nice
Having someone you don’t have to show they know exactly where it hurts
Must be nice
Having someone who trusts you despite what they’ve heard
Someone as mighty as a lion but still as gentle as a bluebird
Must be nice
Having someone you don’t have to tell you don’t want to be alone
Must be nice
Having someone you can grow old with until God calls ya’ll home
Must be nice
Having someone who understands that a thug has feelings too
someone who loves you for sho’
you just remember to never let ’em go

Chorus

“Bad Boys” by Poker Face – a performance the way it should be

No matter how much I love hip hop and it’s creativity, 20 years later there are still things that annoy me. Probably more now than before. And most of them have to do with the supermasculinity and egotripping side of it all.

I see all these performances where you have a whole crew on stage. Like 20 people holding bottles of liquor, running around on stage, all hyped up (what’s in that bottle, boy?), doing some dances, rapping along, throwing their arms all over the place (and legs too when the beat allows it), entertaining the crowd. And the actual artist gets lost in all the crazyness. You can see him pushing his boys out of the way who are trying to steal the spotlight a little too much. And it makes me wonder: “why on earth are all those people up there?” What? The artist can’t do the show by himself?
The fact of the matter is, he probably can’t. All he can do is walk back and forth, move his arms on the beat, grab his head a few time – Kayne West style – and maybe do a little dance. But if it wasn’t for his sidekicks, people would probably get bored indeed.

And once in a blue moon, you come across an artist that makes you go: “Now THAT is a performance!” The Dallas-based artist Poker Face is like a breath of fresh air. In this video he’s up on stage all by himself. The song starts with a horror-like theme and it makes you wonder if some sidekicks are gonna jump out. But Poker Face takes the stage all by himself. He’s not asking for your attention, he’s demanding it. His hands, body and facial expressions are telling the story as much as the lyrics are. It’s almost like watching a movie. You get dragged in and taken for a wild ride, sitting on the backseat of his car.
I’m not big on gangsta rap, but this is different. He’s not glorifying the ‘thug life’, he’s stating facts. He’s not bragging, he’s reminiscing. Or at least so it seems.

Re-post: 10 questions for… Mr.Mecca

(original post http://beatthestreetz.wordpress.com/2011/03/31/10-questions-for-mr-mecca/)
I’ve known Mr.Mecca for a nice amount of years now. We started talking back in the Myspace days. I’ve loved his music from the get-go. And he turned out to be a cool, funny, nice, down-to-earth guy. So there was no doubt I had to interview him one day.
First let me introduce him. Mr Mecca is the name, the Plague is the crew. He’s from Brooklyn by way of Queens New York. (B.Q.E. Brooklyn Queens Empire)

His older brother was a member of the Dynamic breakers, a popular Hip-Hop crew in NYC in the 80′s so he’s been into Hip-Hop for as long as he can remember.

He started out freestyling with my boys as a kid. When he got older he got in a battle as a dare. (Basically to get this girls number. hahaha!) But when he won, the host, a popular VJ named Ralph McDaniels of Video Music Boxapproached him for his demo. He didn’t have one because at that time, he wasn’t taking music seriously. The attention or this VJ convinced Mr.Mecca that he should though! The rest is history in the making.

So now that you know his history, let’s get up close and personal!
– Hey Mecc. We’ve been talking for years, but there are still some things I don’t know about you. Like who raised you and what’s the best lesson you learned from this person, that you also use in the music business?
I was raised by both parents (Thank them for that) I love my mom and she taught me a lot but I gotta say my dad’s wisdom has been my baseball bat in this business! He’s given me soooo many lessons. Here’s a few:
1) Scared Money dont make money
2) If you walk with integrity, there’s nowhere you cant walk.
3) Beware of people who tell you that youre too good for them. Because eventually, they’ll show you.
– A smart man, I see. Now, if it wasn’t for music, what would you be doing today?
Thats a good question. Most likely I’d be a lawyer, TV host, maybe a comic… anything where I get to talk a lot. Boys got a REAL mother-mouth!
– Hahaha, that’s what’s up. So you have special techniques, rituals to get in the writing zone? For example do you jot down lines in a book, etc
I think the best thing for me is traveling. It doesn’t have to be far, but a ride on the train or a long walk can sink me into a good writing groove. I used to pen-and-pad it, but now I write in my phone and email it to myself. Good for on the go but it SUCKS ASS when your hands are cold!! lol
– An artist gotta do what an artist gotta do huh? So what’s your motivation / inspiration?
I’m motivated by my peers, my fans and a love of Hip-Hop to make the best music I can.  There are too many execs, who still don’t give Hip-Hop credit as a real culture and art form, they just see it as a way to make money. And there are too many fans who think you can’t have lyricism and fun at the same time. So when I start to write a song I write to prove them wrong.
– What makes Mr. Mecca different from other artists?
The standard for artists in music has gone down.It used to be that a real MC could do it all. Now its like you don’t even have to rhyme to be considered a rapper. I’m going to change that. I’m not motivated by money, I’m motivated to be the best. My content is diverse, my stage show is bananas and my flow and lyrics are down right foolish
– Looking forward to it! Now, tell me about your first live performance ever? Were you nervous? How did the crowd react?
I SUCKED!!! Hahahahaha! I went out there all puffed up thinking I had to hit a home-run and I just did too much! I got the “Give him-some-love-anyway” applause! lol It was the worst but it was what I needed. Ive gotten waaaay better because of it. I think more rappers SHOULD get boo’d when they suck. Maybe then the good would get great and the rest would get the fuck out! lol
– I agree with you on that. Talking about being great, what’s your definition of Success?
Completing the goals you set. But I keep coming up with new ones, so while I may be successful at songwriting, I still have a lot more success in front of me.
– Who have you been working with/featuring? What artists would you like to work with in the future?
I’ve been working with my crew The Plague my entire career, Plus Dominion. Recently I’ve done songs with Black Milk, Currency, Devin Da Dude, Royce Da 5’9″ I’m looking forward to songs with Bun-B Kid Vishus, Busta Rhymes, Just Blaze, Kanye & Martin Luther. But on the real I’ve been building with Bishop Lamont HEAVY. That’s my brother right there.
– Tell me more about your upcoming album or future projects
I’m releasing an album overseas called Last Exit with a German producer named Croup. That will probably drop after the next mixtape which is called I Can Explain…! After that it will probably be the Sound & Fury album.
– Sounds promising! Last question. If you could jump 10 years forward in time, what advise would you give the young you?
NEVER put other peoples dreams in front of yours. and that NOBODY will work as hard as you for YOUR dream. And Not ALL porn stars are good people! lol

Check Mr. Mecca at www.myspace.com/mrmecca, on Twitter @ MrMecc

Haters

Being active in the urban music scene, I’ve been witnessing this ‘Love Your Haters‘ trend. As far as I can tell, it’s coming from some rappers in the States. And we all know, if rappers in the States say or do something, we better copy it – if we wanna be cool. (That’s a sarcastic remark, in case you were wondering).

I personally think it’s a sad tendency. I do get the whole haters-are-jealous-of-what-I-do/who-I-am/what-I’ve-achieved idea behind the trend. And I do understand that hate is an extreme form of love. Don’t worry, I get it. But it still makes no sense. Just like using the N-word to avoid people using it against you. I understand the motivation behind it. But using a curse word to define yourself? That’s ignorant. At least, that’s my 2 cents.

I would assume that people – especially artists – would prefer to have more fans than haters. I’d think that they’d be happier with people who admire what they do… That those are the people they are doing it for. Fans are the people who make you, who support you and stand by your side. Haters are the exact opposite.

Why would you take pride in people hating you? Why would you focus on something as negative as hate to profile yourself? Does it make you feel important? Do you really care so much about those people that you want to link yourself with them every single time you talk about your haters? Or do you focus on how hated you are, because there’s no love for you out there?

I’m just wondering…

 

M2 – Unwind

This duo – with Nepalese roots, living in Europe – are an example for the positive side of hip hop. I started talking to Kush on Facebook and I met the both of them – very briefly, unfortunally – on Beat The Streetz XL back in Sept. 2010.  Mamita was shooting a documentary about hip hop. I appreciated them coming down to my event so much, even though I had no time to spend with them.

Since I got in touch with them, I’ve witnessed nothing but strong, conscious, creative hip hop moves, from the both of them. Then I heard this track they did together. I kept listening to it over and over again.

The tone is set from the very first second. My first thought was “Floetry”. The beat sounds simple at first. But it has this complex loungy yet energetic vibe. Mamita’s voice is so smooth. It also reminds me of a great neo soul singer, but I can’t really put my finger on it. Who does she remind me of? It doesn’t matter right now. It just sounds so good.

The track in itself takes me to the park, on a warm, sunny summer afternoon. Laying in the shadow of a big oak tree, eyes closed, mind set free to travel in all directions and all dimensions. The beat is relaxing, the voice is soothing. Man I love this track!!

M2 – Unwind

(click the link, enjoy and spread the word!)

We’re from Gugs;

Ever since I’ve realized that hip hop is a world wide lifestyle, I’ve been interested in hip hop from all countries. Yes, I do listen to hip hop in languages I don’t understand. It doesn’t matter. If the music is good, I’ll nod my head.

A friend of South Africa sent me this track a few days ago.

S\’phum\’eGugs by Driemanskap ft. Macho & Kanyi

Man! Do I love this track! The beat builds up the anticipation from the get go. There is so much energy in this video. It’s simple, yet you keep watching it. I know they are repping their neighbourhood, but the video is no copy of American hood-repping videos; It has it’s own energy, it’s own vibe, it’s own unique-ness. If I’m not mistaking, I hear 3 or 4 different languages on there.  The girl Kanyi has such an amazing flow. And the guy rapping in Xhosa? For real? I mean… damn!

I’m gonna find out what they are talking about exactly. But for now I just love the whole vibe of this video. Capetown, stand up!!! They rep it so well!!

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