Tagged with "emcee"
Common - One of hip hop's legends
Category: The Golden Era
Tags: emcee hip hop legend golden era common word life production new quality entertainment featured

Common arrived on the hip-hop scene of the early-Nineties as Common Sense, a post-Native Tongues rapper who offered an alternative to the prevailing gangsta fare of contemporaries like Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre. With space-age effects, old-school beats, jazz- and funk-influenced musical bedding and lyrics that often come off like spoken-word poetry, he helped kick off an underground hip-hop movement that would gain steam — and new rappers — by the latter part of the decade.

He was born Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr., in Chicago on March 13, 1972, the son of a teacher and former basketball pro. During high school, Lynn formed the rap trio C.D.R., which opened for national acts including Big Daddy Kane and N.W.A. He left the group to study business but continued rapping and eventually dropped out of school to begin work on his 1992 debut album, Can I Borrow a Dollar? Released under the name Common Sense on the indie label Combat Records, the disc, with its single "Take It EZ," became a hit among fans of the so-called intelligent rap of likeminded acts such as A Tribe Called Quest and Gang Starr. Common Sense followed two years later with Resurrection, on Ruthless Records, which featured the anti-gangsta track "I Used to Love H.E.R.," an allegory in which he used the tale of a wayward woman to symbolize what he saw as hip-hop's moral decline. The song ignited a feud between Common Sense and rapper Ice Cube, but the album reached Number 27 on Billboard's Hip-Hop Chart. All the attention brought a lawsuit by a ska band called Common Sense and the rapper was forced to shorten his name to Common.

It took three years for Common to deliver his third album, 1997's One Day It'll All Make Sense, on Relativity Records, featuring an all-star cast of collaborators including Lauryn Hill, Q-Tip, the Roots' ?uestlove and Black Thought and alt-rappers Canibus. Critically lauded, the album included "Reminding Me (of Sef)" (Number Nine, Hot Rap Singles) and "Retrospect for Life," his duet with Hill that rode on the refrain of Stevie Wonder's "I Never Dreamed You'd Leave in Summer." The album reached Number 12 on the rap charts and led to the rapper's signing with major label MCA Records and relocation from Chicago to New York City.

Common's two albums for MCA — Like Water for Chocolate (Number Five Hip-Hop, Number 16 Pop, 2000) and Electric Circus (Number Nine, Hip-Hop, Number 47 Pop, 2002) — brought the rapper a new level of critical and commercial success. With so-called positive hip-hop having gained a much stronger footing by the early 2000s, Common's work had become hugely influential. On Like Water, producer ?uestlove brought a velvety soul sound to the music that was underscored by the background vocals of contemporary soul singer Macy Gray, the keyboard work of neo-soul pioneer D'Angelo and the trumpet playing of jazzman Roy Hargrove. The album produced Top 20 rap singles "The Light" and "The 6th Sense." Electric Circus, with its Sgt. Pepper's-like cover art, had a more experimental rock and electronics feel, with appearances from Prince and Stereolab's Laetitia Sadier. Common won his first Grammy in 2003, for his appearance on Erykah Badu's song "Love of My life (An Ode to Hip-Hop)."

In 2003, his label MCA was absorbed by Geffen Records, which released Common's 2005 album Be, another commercial leap forward for the rapper that was produced almost entirely by rapper Kanye West. The album topped Billboard's Hip-Hop Chart and reached Number Two on the Pop Chart, partly on the strength of its association with West, whose multi-platinum debut, The College Dropout, had come up the previous year. Be sold 800,000 copies and was nominated for four 2006 Grammys. The West-produced Finding Forever, Common's 2007 album, debuted at Number One on the Billboard pop chart. Later that year, A Tribe Called Quest rapper Q-Tip announced that he and Common were forming a group called The Standard.

Source: Rollingstone

THE FUGEES WERE BORN LEGENDS Tags: the fugees born legends hip hop emcees word life proudction

Invoking the spirit of Bob Marley, avant-garde hip-hoppers the Fugees reinvented rap with their genre-blending recordings. With traces of reggae, folk, rock, soul, country, and Creole, the music of the Fugees symbolizes the interconnectedness of the African diaspora.

Vocalist Lauryn Hill grew up in the suburban environs of South Orange, New Jersey, in a household stocked with Curtis Mayfield, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, and Gladys Knight records. Hill was introduced to Pras Michel through a mutual high school friend, and the two came up with the idea for a rap group that would rhyme in different languages. Calling themselves Tranzlator Crew, Hill, Michel, and another female vocalist recorded some songs in a West Orange, New Jersey, studio. Michel's cousin, multi-instrumentalist Wyclef Jean, decided to stop by the studio and check out his relative's new group. Jean soon replaced the other female vocalist as the third member of Tranzlator Crew, and the trio of Hill, Michel, and Jean began hanging out regularly and exchanging musical ideas in the basement of Jean's uncle's house across town in East Orange.

Renaming the group the Fugees, the trio began auditioning for label representatives and caught the ear of Ruffhouse cofounder Chris Schwartz. Ruffhouse, which also discovered Latino rap group Cypress Hill, signed the group and released the mediocre debut, Blunted on Reality (#62 R&B, 1994). Except for the folky "Vocab" (#91 R&B, 1995) and the dancehall groove of the "Nappy Heads" remix (#49 pop, #52 R&B, 1994), Blunted on Reality failed to showcase the trio's talents.

The group really found its voice on the followup The Score (#1 pop, #1 R&B, 1996). Brimming with postcolonial discourse and a gumbo of Afrocentric rhythms, the album exploded into the pop music world. Hill's evocative take on Roberta Flack's 1973 hit "Killing Me Softly" (#2 pop, #1 R&B, 1996) was incessantly played on pop, R&B, hip-hop, and Adult Contemporary radio and won a Grammy for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. Other prominent songs like "Fu-Gee-La" (#29 pop, #13 R&B, 1995), "Ready or Not" (#22 R&B, 1996), and a cover of Bob Marley's "No Woman, No Cry" (#38 pop, #58 R&B, 1996) helped The Score win the Best Rap Album Grammy as well. The Score eventually sold more than 17 million copies, making the Fugees the biggest-selling rap group up to that time.

Following 1996's Bootleg Versions (#50 R&B), a collection of remixed and unreleased tracks, the group split up, reportedly so members could pursue solo careers. The first to release an album, Jean emphasized his Haitian roots with Carnival (#16 pop, #4 R&B, 1997). Its "We Trying to Stay Alive" (#45 pop, #14 R&B, 1997), "Guantanamera" (#23 R&B, 1997), and "Gone Till November" (#7 pop, #9 R&B, 1998) all achieved chart success, while "Jaspora" and "Yelé" feature Jean rapping and singing in the Haitian patois. After producing a number of R&B and hip-hop recordings, including Destiny's Child's "No, No, No (Part 2)" (#3 pop, #1 R&B, 1997) and Pras's "Ghetto Supastar (That Is What You Are)" (#15 pop, #8 R&B, 1998), Jean recorded The Ecleftic: 2 Sides II a Book (#9 pop, #3 R&B, 2000).

Though Pras' album Ghetto Supastar (#55 pop, #35 R&B, 1998) made some noise, it was Hill's The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (#1 pop, #1 R&B, 1998) that dominated 1998's pop-music headlines, distinguishing the songstress from her Fugee counterparts. Her romantic involvement with Rohan Marley (Bob Marley's son) and the birth of the couple's first child was reflected in such hits as "Doo Wop (That Thing)" (#1 pop, #2 R&B, 1998), "Nothing Even Matters" (#25 R&B, 1999), "To Zion" (#77 R&B, 1999), and "Everything Is Everything" (#35 pop, #14 R&B, 1999). Her "Lost Ones" (#27 R&B, 1998) and "Ex-Factor" (#7 R&B, 1999) helped inflame the rumor that the end of a love affair between Hill and Jean led to the Fugees' breakup. Hill swept 1999's Grammy Awards show, winning five awards: Album of the Year, Best R&B Album, Best New Artist, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, and Best R&B Song. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill later stirred controversy when four musicians on the album claimed that they helped write and produce certain songs that were credited only to Hill. In February 2001 Hill settled the legal dispute by paying the musicians an undisclosed sum of money. Since high school, Hill has also pursued acting, appearing in the daytime soap As the World Turns as well as 1993's Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit.

This biography originally appeared in The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll (Simon & Schuster, 2001).

 

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/artists/fugees/biography#ixzz1txWyspol

DOPE BEATS + DOPE RHYMES = REAL HIP HOP Tags: oddisee hip hop underground hot emcee word life production

Oddisee, born Amir Mohamed el Khalifa, is a MC-producer currently recording for Mello Music Group, splitting his time between Brooklyn; Washington, DC; and London. He was born in Washington, DC, and raised in Prince George's County, Maryland, and his love for this area is clear in his work. As a member of the Low Budget Crew, Diamond District, and as solo artist, he has released more than ten records with various labels.

Oddisee was born in Washington, DC, and raised in Prince George's County in Maryland by his African American mother and Sudanese father. According to a National Public Radio interview with Mohamed, Prince George's County is one of the wealthiest African American counties in the nation but borders some of the DC area’s roughest parts. Mohamed moved to DC after high school, where he began to develop his musical sound, which has been called observational rather than angry, with a clear vision combined with soulful beats.  After finding musical success and inspiration as a part of the DMV scene, he moved to the Brooklyn area for the much larger industry. He now splits his time between New York, DC, and London.

Oddisee was influenced musically at a young age by both sides of his family. From his father’s Sudanese side, he was influenced by the accomplished singers, guitarists, and poets. His mother’s side showed him gospel and bluegrass.[1] According to Mello Music Group, he was first exposed to hip hop music by his older cousins, and it was his father who gave him his first vinyl, which influenced him to start producing. Upon graduation from high school, he moved to DC. He was all set to attend the Art Institute of Philadelphia to study visual art but was drawn to the production of hip hop and jump-started his career in music during 2002 with his production of the song “Musik Lounge” on DJ Jazzy Jeff’s magnificent album, while he worked at A Touch of Jazz studios. However, he really began his focus on hip hop in 1999 and has worked with many successful artists including Talib Kweli, J-Live, Little Brother, and Apollo Brown.

Soon after Oddisee’s release of “Musik Lounge,” he joined a group called the Low Budget Crew, which included several other DMV artists such as Kenn Starr, Cy Young, and Kev Brown. While working with this group, Oddisee signed with Halftooth Records and released his EP Foot in the Door in 2006.

In 2008, Mohamed signed with Mello Music Group and released a series of projects over the years on which he either rhymed or produced, such as 101, Mental Liberation, Everything Changed Nothing, Odd Seasons and Traveling Man. He also created a DMV hip hop group named Diamond District and has released several projects with it. His first solo album is set to be released in the fall of 2011, titled People Hear what they See on Mello Music Group [1] .

Oddisee was originally influenced by his parent’s heritages combined with a hip hop influence from his older cousins. In an interview with NPR, Mohamed explained why he was influenced by early East Coast emcees such as Rakim and A Tribe Called Quest. He said, “These rappers don’t talk about drugs or murder, and I can relate more to their lyrics.” His lyrics have touched on a variety of subjects, which include his home town, boredom, and inequality. This is clearest in his song “I’m from PG,” which is a direct ode to his hometown. Oddisee identifies with an assortment of emcees from the District of Columbia, Virginia, and Maryland areas who share a similar sound. This area is known as the DMV. These emcees share similar determination to create original music using swinging percussion and identifiable rhythms.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oddisee

 

CHECK OUT THIS PHENOMENAL EMCEE ED-G Tags: ed g urban hip hop emcee gary indiana word life production feature

 Ed-G (Eddie Gehrmann) is an artist based out of LaPorte Indiana. Born in Gary Indiana, Ed-G came to Laporte to live with a new family and receive a new outlook on life. He escaped a situation most kids don't survive. He is here today to share his words and stories with the whole world. Music was always a big part of his life; mostly an escape.  He grew up with many musical influences within both his biological and adopted home.  Artist like Marvin Gaye, Al Green, Led Zeplin, Rage Against the Machine, N.W.A, Public Enemy, and Tupac were played in his early childhood.  Artist within gospel, hard rock and metal were later influenced. He has been involved in music since the age of 11 showing interest in the church band and choir while learning how to play the guitar. He taught himself the guitar, bass guitar, drums, and piano. His production career really started to pick up within 2011 after competing in his first beat battle. His production influences are 9th Wonder, RZA, Kanye West, Bronze Nazareth, Exile, Dj Premiere and Just Blaze. As he furthered his interest and started to write, opportunities came and he is now currently signed to Lake Effect Records. His first debut Ep, “Transition In Time” is now available, and his follow up “Raised in the Dragon Age” comes out in May 2012 on iTunes and pressed copies.

IT'S NO SECRET THAT THIS EMCEE IS A LEGEND Tags: krs one hip hop music real hip hop legend emcee word life production feature

 pioneering Bronx-based hip-hop group with a socially conscious message, Boogie Down Productions (BDP) is the hip-hop vehicle of rapper Kris "KRS-One" Parker. Parker originally formed the group with DJ Scott LaRock who was gunned down in 1987 while trying to break up a street fight and help spark KRS-One's ambitious antiviolence crusade. But it was BDP's Productions' blend of hip-hop with reggae dancehall and rock influences that set the group apart from other message-oriented rappers, as well as KRS-One's dexterous verbosity and blunt beat sense.

Growing up poor in Brooklyn and the Bronx, Kris Parker was introduced to rap music through his mother's collection of discs, including some by the Treacherous Three and Grandmaster Flash. Parker ran away from home at 13 and began living on the streets. During the day he would read about philosophy and religion at the library, and at night he'd practice rapping at the homeless shelters where he lived. At 17 he got his GED.

While staying at the Franklin Armory Shelter in the Bronx, Parker met social worker Scott Sterling, known on weekends as DJ Scott LaRock. The two formed BDP and released Criminal Minded on the independent B-Boy label in 1987. The album's smooth grooves and hard rhymes foreshadowed gangsta rap. In August that year LaRock was murdered.

Parker kept going with his brother Kenny, releasing By All Means Necessary (Number 75 pop, Number 18 R&B, 1988) the following year. The album introduced the rapper's "edutainment" style of rap in songs like "My Philosophy" and "Stop the Violence," the latter of which Parker turned into a movement in 1989 to help curb black-on-black violence. BDP's albums sold relatively well. Both Ghetto Music (Number 36 pop, Number Seven R&B, 1989) and Edutainment (Number 32 pop, Number Nine R&B, 1990) went gold and continued Parker's message of nonviolence, with the latter scoring a modest MTV hit with "Love's Gonna Get'cha (Material Love)." Although Live Hardcore Worldwide failed to make it onto the pop chart, Sex and Violence reached Number 42 (Number 20 R&B, 1992). Return of the Boom Bap, KRS-One's solo debut (in reality BDP was increasingly a solo project), reached Number 37 (Number Five R&B, 1993), while the commercial success of KRS-One (Number 19 pop, Number Two R&B, 1995) and I Got Next (Number Three pop, Number Two R&B, 1997) bolstered his fan base.

By the late 1980s, Parker had begun doing college lecture tours wherein he would touch on a range of topics including Afrocentrism, religion, politics, violence, and his own revisionist views of American history. In 1991 he organized a group of artists including Chuck D, L.L. Cool J, Queen Latifah, British folkie Billy Bragg, and R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe for the consciousness-raising compilation H.E.A.L. (Human Education Against Lies): Civilization Vs. Technology. Toward the end of the 1990s KRS began erecting the Temple of Hiphop — an organization dedicated to the teaching of hip-hop history — and became a mentor/tutor at Harlem's Riverside Church. He also took an A&R gig with Reprise Records in 1999, which he held for two years.

In 2000, KRS-One finished his contract with Jive by releasing A Retrospective; the following year, on Koch/In the Paint, he released The Sneak Attack, his first studio album in four years. In 2002, he shocked many fans by issuing Spiritual Minded. He continuing releasing new music through the decade, most notably with 2007's Hip-Hop Lives, a collaboration with Marley Marl — the DJ-producer KRS had explicitly dissed on 1986's "South Bronx" — thus bringing to an official end to hip-hop's "Bridge Wars," where Bronx MCs battled their Queens counterparts. In 2008 KRS-One released Maximum Strength which was something of a returned to form with "The Teacher" waxing poetically and skillfully on everything from politics to corporate malfeasance to ancient history.

Portions of this biography originally appeared in The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll (Simon & Schuster, 2001).

 

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