Welcome to another installment of the (mostly) monthly series, “5 Reasons Why New York Hip Hop Doesn’t Suck,” an ongoing look at some obvious, and not-so-obvious positive aspects of NY area rap music universe. It’s a great opportunity for us to help those who might not be aware of some of the subjects of the column discover something new and, hopefully, enjoyable. For the ones in our midst who are already hip to our choices, it’s still a great time to refresh their memory, and provide an opportunity to discuss, comment, and show their support for the artists, events and organizations that we tend to highlight.
A brief apology, as we did not publish this column in September, despite our promise to do so monthly. This is not for a lack of worthy subjects, in fact, quite the opposite, as the growth of our site, and the work behind-the-scenes to bring our operation to the proverbial “next level” while still maintaining consistency, can be a bit overwhelming. However, this is all due to the love and support of our readers and those who spread the word, so it is a problem we are happy to have.
But enough about us. Without further ado, here are five more reasons why New York (and New Jersey, in this case) hip hop doesn’t suck:
CMJ 2010 Music Marathon & Film Festival
Though initially a pilgrimage largely for an indie rock following, the CMJ Music Marathon has expanded to include quite a mix of hip hop events. This year, throughout the festival’s four day run, a full spectrum of hip hop talent was on display at multiple locations throughout the Big Apple. Among several notable events this past week, Ghostface Killah at B.B. King’s, Homeboy Sandman (our inaugural reason why NY hip hop doesn’t suck, along with a dozen or so other NYC hip hop circuit favorites) at Southpaw, a Duck Down/Blacksmith showcase showdown at le possion rouge, the CPP Marketing showcase in a cramped, but enthusiastic National Underground, an Audible Treats event at Sullivan Hall with Black Sheep, Nottz, Rah Digga and many others. All told, New York City hosted visiting acts as well as provided amplified visibility for hometown hip hop heroes to shine, undoubtedly gaining them more than a few new fans this week.
We’re sure that we’re not the first, but let us state for the record, that we sincerely cosign FinaL OutlaW, and expect great things for this dynamic talent. Having built up a strong following in the New York City underground hip hop scene in recent years, his upcoming album Unstoppable Love is becoming a highly anticipated release with those who are in the know regarding who’s bubbling in the scene. In fact, a look/listen to his acclaimed “Hip Hop 4ever,” still remains a perfect demonstration of FinaL OutlaW’s potential in the rap world, while newer material such as “Up N Comer” shows why he might not be considered one much longer. We just saw him absolutely silence a noisy room with a single, furious display of acapella fire, walking away leaving the crowd stunned, wanting more. His skillful lyricism, impassioned delivery, strong freestyle ability, sense of humor, strong work ethic and an obvious blend of street smarts and intellect, should place FinaL OutlaW at the top of any “MCs to watch” list from the New York area.
Kalae All Day
We have featured Kalae All Day on a couple of occasions, her O.G.LYRIKALBOOKBAGGER serving us an early taste of her talent, and enjoyed several tracks from her debut full-length project, *AFROMATIKNEOHIPPIEROCK*SOLEMUZIK*. We once called her “…the eccentric, heat-spitting, statuesque songstress,” and the description remains true, as witnessing her live performance, backed by Turnstylz at the Black August Hip Hop Concert, was truly an exhibition in dopeness. Her fierce command on stage as bright as her beaming smile off, we feel that the self-proclaimed “love child of Jimi Hendrix and Lauryn Hill” is star quality, personified. [Photo: JustBPhotos]
Initially simply a G-Unit wingman for 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks has seen his fan base increase exponentially over the years, and has been thrust into the spotlight of the mainstream thanks in part to the explosive success of “Beamer, Benz or Bentley“. In the past couple of months, the run-up to his album The Hunger For More 2, scheduled for a November 23 release, has seen Lloyd Banks releasing a song a week, with no major missteps. He’s A-list, puts on an energetic show, is well connected, and highly visible, as he is visiting the major market and satellite radio shows, national TV shows (including 106 and Park and Chelsea Lately), and is the subject of constant chatter in the blogosphere. In the mainstream rap scene among those tough-guy rap types who spit that grimy, money, rap star talk, Lloyd Banks is currently cruising along, and could enjoy a bit of a run at the front of that pack. (To get an in-depth look inside the mind of Lloyd Banks as he prepares his release, check out his interview with HipHopDX, Lloyd Banks: Second Round KO.)
There is not much more to be said about Joe Budden than we haven’t already said. Like, you know, when we said, “God Damn You, Joe Budden”… and then “Stop Fronting on Joe Budden”… and most recently “…buy Joe Budden’s shit.” In a world where there is a thin line between support and Stan, we suppose we have to be careful about how loudly we proclaim our endorsement, but we have always felt that Joe Budden’s underratedness was a hip hop tragedy of Shakespearean proportion. Luckily, we seem to have been vindicated in our claims by a flurry of dope material from the Jersey representative, and what is shaping up to be a critically acclaimed Mood Muzik 4: A Turn For The Worst. We continue to urge our audience to support Joe Budden, as a successful foray in a music business that has not always been kind to him, is long overdue.