Hit the Road, Get Paid

Here’s a look at the music industry, and why touring is the way to get rich.

As CD sales sag under Napster-style piracy, Jay-Z and other hot acts–especially craggy veterans–turn to concert tours to reap their real fortunes. Playing to crowds of 20,000, Jay-Z should net around $100,000 per performance, or more than $1,000 per minute onstage.

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22 Greatest MCs

Mos Def & Talib Kweli are Black Star

Anyone catch MTV’s 22 Greatest MC show? The moment they announced number 22 I knew we were gonna have beef. Their list was the result of a public poll, so I have to give a little slack given all the youngsters that likely voted. (Learn your history!) And I do have to say that I didn’t have too many problems with the list as a whole. But by first issue is the name of the show. Judging by the results, it should have been called the ’22 Greatest Rappers’. Some of the people on MTV’s list just don’t qualify as MCs in my opinion. (Shock G has an excellent description of what an MC is on his site. ) Besides that, there are some glaring injustices on MTV’s list: KRS-ONE after Nelly and Lil Kim??? The fact that Foxy and Lil Kim even made the list… Chuck D at 22…

So of course I had to come up with my own list. This was a very difficult thing to do, especially after I got out of my top 15. I really wanted to just say these next 30 people are tied for the next spot. But instead, I made an honorable mention list.

But first, some quick notes:

  • KRS-ONE is still number 1. KRS is the definition of an MC. Go to a live show, and you’ll feel the power of a true MC. Crystal clear lyrics. Booming voice. Switching styles. Going acapella. Beating down wack soundmen (yes, I was at the LA show when that happened!) TEACHING! The choice is clear.
  • Rakim = skills! Check the lyrics. (“I take seven MCs, put ’em in a line/ and add seven more brothers who think they can rhyme/ well it’ll take seven more before I go for mine/ then that’s 21 MCs ate up at the same time.”) True heads will note that the name of this site is a reference to a Rakim song:

    My mind starts to activate, rhymes collaborate
    Cuz When I heard the beat I just had to make
    Something from the top of my head
    So I fell into the groove of the wax and I said
    How could I move the crowd?
    First of all, ain’t no mistakes allowed
    Here’s the instructions, put it together
    It simple ain’t it? But quite clever
    Some of you been trying to write rhymes for years
    But weak ideas irritate my ears
    Is this the best that you can make?
    Cuz if not, and you got more, I’ll wait
    But don’t make me wait too long cuz I’m a move on
    The dancefloor, when they put something smooth on
    So turn up the bass, it’s better when it’s loud
    Cuz I like to move the crowd

  • Eminem – If anyone out there doesn’t think he’s top 5, you’re just a hater. This kid is niiice. Check for some of his freestyle joints.
  • Mos Def – I can’t believe he wasn’t even on MTV’s list. What’s wrong with you people? Mos could very easily have been number 1 on my list. Talk about talent. My man writes, acts, plays instruments, sings. And like KRS and Rakim, he actually rhymes about things that matter! People are really sleeping on Mos Def.
  • Grand Verbalizer Funkin’ Lesson Brother J – Go back and listen to those old X-Clan CDs! Once again, skills, the ill flow, and actually talking about things of substance.
  • Roots Manuva – 99.9% of you don’t even know who he is, and that’s a damn shame. There’s so much good music coming out of the UK, yet most of us Americans are deaf to it. This is one of the nicest rhymers out there, plus he’s got the reggae mixed in. Wake up people!
My List
1. Tupac KRS-ONE
2. Biggie Rakim
3. Eminem Biggie
4. Nas Eminem
5. Jay-Z Mos Def
6. Rakim Big Daddy Kane
7. Dr. Dre Grand Verbalizer Funkin’ Lesson Brother J
8. Lil Kim Chuck D
9. Beastie Boys LL Cool J
10. Missy Elliot Brand Nubian
11. Bug Pun Nas
12 Nelly Tupac
13 DMX Run-DMC
14 Run-DMC Jay-Z
15. KRS-ONE D.O.C.
16. Snoop Dogg Furious 5
17. Common Snoop Dogg
18. Foxy Brown Kool G Rap
19. LL Cool J Sugar Hill Gang
20. Queen Latifah Roots Manuva
21. Method Man EPMD
22. Chuck D Doug E Fresh

Honorable Mention (in no particular order)
Ice Cube
Ras Kass
De La Soul
Black Thought & The Roots
Big Pun
Talib Kweli
Slick Rick
Busta Rhymes
Dr. Dre
Craig G
Missy Elliot
MC Lyte
Queen Latifah
Tash (Alkaholiks)
Craig Mack
Chubb Rock
Method Man
Jeru The Damaja
Kurtis Blow
Poor Righteous Teachers
Mobb Deep
Dres (Black Sheep)
Jurassic 5
Shock G
B Real (Cypress Hill)
Lauryn Hill
Roxanne Shante
Lady of Rage
Monie Love

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High Powered Celebrities

Forbes has their Celebrity 100 list out. Much to my surprise, Jennifer Aniston is number 1. Here’s how the rankings are done:

How do you measure celebrity? Start with earning power and add media hits. Jennifer Aniston has a smaller bank account than George Lucas but shows up far more often on the magazine rack. But where’s her husband? Brad Pitt didn’t make the cut.

Making the Band II

What a way to kick off the season of Making the Band. Puffy (sorry, I can’t switch up mid-stream and refer to him as P. Diddy) doled out some well deserved hazing to the band members. These kids acted like Puffy needed them. I found myself ROTFL when Puff told them what time it was. (I’ma be up in the studio making hits…) I was glad to see that the band came to their senses and walked their asses to Brooklyn to get Puffy his cheesecake! 🙂 Oh, and Dylan must have been smoking crack. After Puff saved him from doing a bid in jail, he’s gonna act up like he’s the king of NY??? Puff should have sent him packing. Looks like this season is gonna be full of drama.
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