Good For Hip Hop


russell simmons rick rubin

With Def Jam celebrating its 30th birthday this year, Noisey sat down the label’s fabled co-founders for a special edition of their “Back & Forth” series. In part one of four, Rick and Russell cosy up on a couch as they reflect on some of the early records that defined Def Jam, including T La Rock and Jazzy Jay’s “It’s Yours” and LL Cool J’s “I Can’t Live Without My Radio.” But for all their impact and success over the last three decades, Def Jam’s original ambitions were charmingly humble, says Rick: “If we sold enough 12 inches to make another 12 inch, that was the whole goal.”

UPDATE: Parts 2, 3 and 4 added.

Watch below…

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Next Tuesday, Sept. 30th, Nas, the filmmakers behind Nas: Time Is Illmatic, and the Tribeca Film Fest, are holding a very special one-night-only movie screening….40 different theaters spread across 29 different cities. And the MissInfo.Tv crew is honored to be able to give a pair of screening passes to one lucky reader in NYC, Chicago, Toronto, Portland, Atlanta, and Houston!

UPDATE: We’ve seen some hilarious throwback photos but to make it easier for folks who don’t have access to their baby photos, lol…until we choose the winner on Monday….here’s how you can enter to win the tickets:
1) Follow us on Instagram: @MissInfo
2) Email us with: your name, city, and the artist that you’d like to see us feature more on MissInfo.TV

Check out more details, and the #TBTIllmatic throwbacks that we collected from the crew — Eskay, Meka, Laura Stylez, Nation, and more…
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kanye west wheelchair
(Image via Consequence of Sound)

Following a rather unfortunate misunderstanding involving two handicapped fans at a show during his Australian tour earlier this month, Kanye West has found himself at the center of a new controversy dubbed “wheelchairgate.” There’s been plenty of media debate and angry wheelchair activists (here’s one disabled writer who slammed Kanye over the incident), which prompted Ye to give a lengthy and, at times, vulnerable speech during a recent concert. But now, Mike Dean, Kanye’s long-time engineer and producer, passed us this heartfelt letter from a handicapped rapper in support of Mr. West.

Read the letter below…

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The 2014 BET Hip-Hop Awards were taped last Saturday at Atlanta’s Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center. As with every year, the main attraction are the yearly cyphers. To get hip-hop lovers ready, BET has released the first two online exclusive digital cyphers. Backed by the legendary DJ Scratch, watch as Emilio Rojas, Dreezy, Conceited, Retro Jace, Dillon Cooper, and Andy Mineo spit their best in the first digital cypher.

SMACK, T-Rex, Goodz, Tsu Surf, and Rain follow-up in the second digital cypher. The 2014 BET Hip-Hop Awards will premiere on BET on October 14 at 8 p.m. EST. For the full lineup of artists taking part in this year’s cyphers, click here.

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npr biggie poster

Commemorating the 20th anniversary of Biggie’s Ready to Die, NPR held a special panel at Brooklyn’s BRIC House (just a few blocks from where he grew up on Fulton Street) last weekend to celebrate the life of one of rap’s true greats. Hosted by ATCQ’s Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Frannie Kelly, the event brought together some of BIG’s close friends and associates — author dream hampton, The Source journalist Matty C, childhood friend/DJ Hubert Sam and neighbor/jazz musician Donald Harrison Jr. — to share their favorite memories of Christopher Wallace. From tagging along to film classes at NYU to bugging Matty C for advance copies of other rappers’ LPs, best believe they had stories to tell.

Watch or listen to the entire panel below. RIP BIG.

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common the light

With the recent passing of his father, Lonnie “Pops” Lynn, I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s been listening to Common’s “Pops Rap III… All My Children” all week. It seems fitting then that Complex‘s latest Magnum Opus episode spotlights one of the many gems on Like Water For Chocolate — the beautiful, career-defining “The Light,” produced by another soul who is sadly no longer with us, J Dilla.

In the video, Common remembers first hearing the beat, writing his rhymes while Dilla went to the strip club and how the song helped him “find that pure place within me.” We also get to hear from Erykah Badu, Common’s girlfriend at the time and the inspiration behind the song, Bobby Caldwell, whose 1980 track “Open Your Eyes” was sampled by Dilla, and Plex’s own Noah Callahan-Bever.

Watch below…

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Bun B took to the baseball mound on Tuesday night, throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before the Houston Astros vs. Cleveland Indians matchup at Minute Maid Park. The rapper-writer-professor was on hand to promote and debut his collaborative set of hats with New Era. The Port Arthur-native and New Era teamed up for a limited run of hats, featuring a blend of the Astros classic retro colors and a new design that represents the pride of Houstonians. The Trill OG’s logo is also featured on the side of the baseball cap.

“The Astros star and specifically the old school color scheme with the white, orange and red is what most people recognize Houston by, and we’re happy to represent it,” said Bun B. “I love it, I’m happy the team went back to it and we understand what that means not just to Houston, but to baseball fans in general. It’s good to see the team representing that and the organization being proud to go back to those days of glory.”

Fat Joe was also in attendance on Tuesday night to support Bun B, covering the event for MTV2’s Off the Bat. Available now, the caps can be purchased at the Houston Astros Team Store, Academy Sports + Outdoors and online at www.academy.com.

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kanye west australia

By now we’ve all seen Kanye West scream at the top of his lungs about how he’s the next Steve Jobs or Walt Disney, but his mid-show speech in Brisbane, Australia last night was… different. Amidst controversy surrounding a recent wheelchair incident (recap: he asked every member of the audience to stand up, and after confusion surrounding two handicapped fans he didn’t realize were unable to stand, the show continued), Mr. West hit back at the media for unnecessarily sensationalizing the story and intentionally slandering his character.

The interlude almost felt like a casual conversation between Kanye and the crowd as he vented his frustration with reading biased reports about himself, at one point pleading, “take a step back for a second and look at this: I’m a married Christian man with a family.” However, perhaps Ye’s most powerful statement came when he asked the audience, “How many people here ever heard one of my songs on their way to work or they heard it and it made them feel better?” And as “Spaceships” instantly enters our minds, we’re reminded that Kanye, the kid from Chicago who made music to help us get through our shitty day, is still in there somewhere behind that diamond-encrusted mask.

Watch below…

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20 years ago today The Notorious B.I.G. released one of hip-hop’s most celebrated albums to date. Even with the grisly title, fans from all over the world flocked to Ready to Die. Biggie’s lyrics on this LP made you feel you like were standing right next to B.I.G. on St. James, slangin’ crills.

In his honor, DJ Mister Cee and Funk Flex put together an incredible mix of B.I.G. classics, rare songs, interviews, mixtape cuts and more. All day we’ll be celebrating the life of the true King of New York.

Listen to the mix below and check out HOT97’s Biggie tribute video below…

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NERD

Pharrell may have condemned his In My Mind phase as having “no purpose,” but we’re sure nobody would mind seeing him revisit his N*E*R*D days — and that might just be a reality. According to Mass Appeal, both Pharrell and Shay Haley hinted at new N*E*R*D music during P’s performance at the iTunes Festival in London last night.

Read more below…

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