Tag Archives: Hood Exclusive

COMBAT JACK: FOCUSED (INTERVIEW)COMBAT JACK: FOCUSED (INTERVIEW)

Words & Interview By Jake Paine

In the 2010s, the Hip-Hop interview is a shifting paradigm. Many of the genre’s top-selling artists shun the media’s interrogation, or simply opt for select trusted journalists or far-reaching sources to tell their story, share their thoughts, and face the curious public. Those asking the questions seemingly need to serve the audience and artist at once, a careful balance that has opened the gates of competition in telling the best stories.

Using the medium of podcast radio, The Combat Jack Show has fast become one of the elite stages where Hip-Hop artists seem to feel respected and comfortable at once. Based out of Combat’s native Brooklyn, the show (featuring a dynamic ensemble of personalities including Dallas Penn, Premium Pete, DJ Benhameen, A-King, Just Blaze) creates a space where artists and entertainment industry figures can discuss a researched, advanced chronology of their careers, while also speaking to topical issues in the news, music, and the state of Hip-Hop culture. Continue reading

 
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MURDA MOOK: BATTLES, DAME DASH FILM & DISSING DRAKE (INTERVIEW)MURDA MOOK: BATTLES, DAME DASH FILM & DISSING DRAKE (INTERVIEW)

Words & Interview by Andres Tardio

The world of rap battles has gone from a street corner hobby to a global business. And there are now a few MCs who have etched their faces on Mt. Rushmore of the battle culture. Murda Mook is certainly one of them.

From the battles on blocks to the Total Slaughter stage that was organized by Eminem and his Shady enterprise, Murda Mook has become one of the most prominent figures in the platform. He’s established himself as a worthy MC on beats, too, calling out any other rapper in the world on the BET Hip Hop Awards cypher next to Snoop Dogg. And now, he’s ventured into the world of film with Dame Dash. It’s no wonder Drake recently publicly pondered a potential battle with him. Continue reading

 
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AVARICIOUS WINS AT KEY WEST FILM FESTAVARICIOUS WINS AT KEY WEST FILM FEST

Our own Garcia / Crazy Hood Film Academy took home Best Short at the Key West Film Fest for Avaricious. Congrats! Continue reading

 
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EDO. G – AFTER ALL THESE YEARS (INTERVIEW)EDO. G – AFTER ALL THESE YEARS (INTERVIEW)

Words and Interview by Jake Paine

“After All These Years,” Edo. G is still one of the wisest voices in Hip-Hop. Although he carries enduring hits like “Be A Father To Your Child” and “I Got To Have It,” Ed O.G. (as he was then known) carries an underdog’s mentality with an overachiever’s skill-set and discography.

From Roxbury, Boston, Edo’s lyrics and delivery have mirrored his city: scrappy, streetwise, and loving through a tough exterior. With vinyl dating back to 1986, Edward Anderson is an ageless, tireless beacon of dedication and perseverance to a culture and genre, that when he started, was still predicted to be simply a fad. Continue reading

 
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MOTHER SUPERIA – DA ROCK BOTTOM (INTERVIEW)MOTHER SUPERIA – DA ROCK BOTTOM (INTERVIEW)

Words & Interview By Jake Paine

Somewhere between the bass-backed First Amendment trailblazing of Uncle Luke and the boisterous thuggery of Trick Daddy is Mother Superia. Putting “the Bottom” (as she knew it) on the map, this Rap visionary dismissed notions of fortune and fame from the beginning, simply enjoying a therapeutic outlet to release her perspectives as a B-girl growing up in Miami in the ‘80s and ‘90s.

Years before Trina’s own rise to stardom, Mother Superia was not only opening up shows, she was tearing them down. Proving Miami’s naysayers wrong, this MC was winning over friendships and accolades from the likes of everybody from GZA to KRS-One. Eventually signing an album deal with Island Records in the mid-‘90s, the artist went to work with her peers, and prepared Levitation, an LP boasting work from Redman, Blastmasta, and many other esteemed peers. Despite a GZA-directed video, various singles serviced to DJs and radio, it just never happened as planned. A mother since before the deals, Superia returned home, and put music in the backseat. Continue reading

 
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GUNPLAY: GOING AGAINST THE GRAIN (INTERVIEW)GUNPLAY: GOING AGAINST THE GRAIN (INTERVIEW)

Words and Interview by Jake Paine

Gunplay and Jay Electronica have more in common than one might think.

Both artists, well into their thirties are newly privy to major label record contracts, following respective decades of paying dues. Each rapper commanded the spotlight, independent of their high-profile friendships and backers, through simply going against the grain, and studying the masters.

As for Gunplay, born Richard Morales, Jr., the road taken was far from a straight path. Even newfound fans and listeners know that the longtime Florida makes no secret of his combined source of income or inspiration. A gangsta’s gangsta rapper, Gunplay’s lyrics, his visuals, his live-show and even his interviews break the mold. Whether we’re watching or not, Gunplay just is. Continue reading

 
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“DIGGIN IN THE FILES: OUTKAST” – BY BILL ADLER“DIGGIN IN THE FILES: OUTKAST” – BY BILL ADLER

As my old pal Michael Gonzales and others have noted, 2014 is the 20th anniversary of the release of Outkast’s debut album, Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik.  Combined with DJ EFN’s enduring affection for the album and the crew, this red-letter date is all the excuse we need to dive back into their files.

Andre Benjamin and Antwan “Big Boi” Patton were just 18 years old when that first album dropped.  Highschool classmates in Atlanta, they’d started out calling themselves The Misfits, then settled on OutKast.  The idea is the same in both cases.  As Dre explained to Tomika DePriest in a story published by RapPages in September of 1994:  “You brown skin, you’re an outcast – to society, anyway.” Continue reading

 
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NON-PHIXION – THE FUTURE IS HERE (INTERVIEW)NON-PHIXION – THE FUTURE IS HERE (INTERVIEW)

Interview & Words by Jake Paine

On March 26, 2002, New York City quartet Non-Phixion released an album that truly took a decade to make. Ill Bill, Goretex, Sabac Red, and DJ Eclipse had withstood at least three deals gone dry, an early exit from their most recognizable member in 3rd Bass’ MC Serch, and a rapidly-changing New York soundscape.

In the end, the foursome without a fuck to give landed on their feet, and then some. After two major label courtships, it was Ill Bill’s own Uncle Howie imprint that would back the group at its supernova. While Serch would help hone the balance of Sabac, Gore’ and Bill, the outfit ultimately thrived as the unique and burgeoning talents they were, rather than a perceived offshoot. And The Future Is Now honored the past, as only four complex super-fans amassing their dream lineup could, all while blazing a path walked by many artists in several genres today. Continue reading

 
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JOELL ORTIZ: ALREADY HOME (INTERVIEW)JOELL ORTIZ: ALREADY HOME (INTERVIEW)

Words & Interview By Jake Paine

If you listen to Joell Ortiz’s early solo recordings, you know of the uphill climb. The Brooklyn, New Yorker had devotedly pursued a career in Hip-Hop since before he was Jo-Ell Quickman, in the last great wave of Rawkus Records-distributed 12” singles. Entering the 2000s with a buzz in tow, Ortiz transmitted lyrics with an MC’s flare and a hustler’s conviction, making him a poised voice for the Hip-Hop genre’s increased interest in street-rap by 2005. In the years that followed, everybody from Dr. Dre to Eminem, Kool G Rap to Showbiz heard this skill, uniqueness and honesty, and wanted in.

But it wasn’t as easy as it sounds. Continue reading

 
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“DIGGIN IN THE FILES: EPMD” – BY BILL ADLER“DIGGIN IN THE FILES: EPMD” – BY BILL ADLER

Our subject for today is EPMD, the immortal two-man crew who were nicely characterized as “rap music’s own version of Starsky & Hutch” on the hiphopelements.com website in 2003.

Like a lot of hip-hop’s hall of famers – including Run-DMC, Slick Rick, and Eric B & Rakim — EPMD debuted with a smash hit single on an independent label.  Written, rapped, and paid for by Erick Sermon (the “E” in EPMD) and Parrish Smith (the “P” in EPMD), the single was “It’s My Thing/You’re a Customer.”  It was released in the summer of 1987 on the Fresh label, a subsidiary of Sleeping Bag – Mr. Will Socolov, founder and proprietor. Continue reading

 
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FASHAWN: LOVE THE WHOLE WORLD (INTERVIEW)FASHAWN: LOVE THE WHOLE WORLD (INTERVIEW)

Words & Interview By Jake Paine

In the fast-paced world of Hip-Hop, Fashawn’s protected his legacy with care. Approaching five years since his independently-released debut, Boy Meets World made fast friends and challenged year-end lists everywhere, Fash’ is still without a follow-up. However, the Fresno, California MC who refers to himself as “the little guy” has been far from docile. Dabbling with the Top 200 care of a This Generation LP with Murs, ‘Shawn has linked with the likes of J. Cole, Wiz Khalifa, and Rah Digga for a series of collaborations, tours, mixtapes, and ceaseless videos. Continue reading

 
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“DIGGIN’ IN THE FILES: WU-TANG CLAN” – BY BILL ADLER“DIGGIN’ IN THE FILES: WU-TANG CLAN” – BY BILL ADLER

EFN said let it be the Wu this time, so I duly started digging in my files about them.  As ever, I wanted to go back as early as possible, because the early stuff is going to be rarer than whatever is written after a given act blows up, and because I believe, generally, that the rarer materials are intrinsically interesting.

In my files, the earliest materials on the Wu-Tang Clan include a short review of their first single in The Source in April of ’93 and a Loud Records ad from the fall of 1993.  They also contain a short review of their first album in Rap Sheet from February of 1994 and, from that same month, a lengthy feature story about the crew in Rap Pages by Cheo Coker. Continue reading

 
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REMEMBERING MIXTAPES #1 FAN: JUSTO FAISONREMEMBERING MIXTAPES #1 FAN: JUSTO FAISON

Words by DJ EFN

Everything I do today was built on the back of my mixtapes and although this article is not about me, I need you to understand how instrumental my mixtape career has been in helping me carve out my humble piece of the hip hop pie. Justo Faison (seen above with actor mekhi phifer) was very important in helping me establish myself. Continue reading

 
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