Previously… In Hip-Hop | SC Round Up

SCTOP5

The beauty of Hip-Hop is change or more precisely the rate of change. It never becomes stagnant. It never becomes dormant. This last week is no different and as 2013 continues to surprise and amaze, the music and events keep coming in thick and fast, but don’t worry, we’re hear at your service.

Previously… In Hip-Hop is a run down of the top five Hip Hop stories of the week gone by on Soul Culture. Whether you missed something or you need a quick refresh, here at Soul Culture, we’ve got your back.

#5

After the release of the star-studded remix to “Work”, A$AP Ferg once again proves there’s more to the mob than Rocky alone.

I trust (and hope) that’s the case come August 20th when Ferg releases his debut solo project Trap Lord. Until then however, use the Shabba Ranks inspired heavy-hitting track as a starter. Next, how about a visual? Imagine the possibilities.. (Watch the full video HERE)

#4

Well that’s that. After a few doubts, strange looks and suspect screenshots, the visual of Kanye West’s “Black Skinhead” that we saw released this week was not in fact an official release.

The story went that it was leaked off of a now-removed internal Universal Music webpage and while it was met with apprehension, we’ve learnt by now to never be surprised with what Kanye produces creatively so the visual spread like wildfire.

However Kanye himself took to Twitter to set the record straight. See for yourself here.

#3

No new music. No new film. But what we did get from the artist formally known as Mos Def was an eye-opening piece made by Human Rights organisation Reprieve and Bafta award-winning director Asif Kapadia.

July 8th saw the first day of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting, but things didn’t start or end that day at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba, for 106 of prisoners continue an ongoing hunger strike against the conditions of their imprisonment. In an act of defiance against the Obama administration, Yasiin Bey tries his hardest to reenact the conditions in a painful visual.

Disturbing, powerful but necessary, it’s good to see an artist use his position of authority for the better.

#2

We might have been sidetracked lately with the godly movements of Yeezus and Magna Cart Holy Grail but its J. Cole who’s been keeping things steadily moving to win this weeks race, that race being the Billboard number one spot.

That might be short-lived as he looks to be keeping it warm while his master appears next week but until then Cole made sure to keep the new material coming with some help from Wale and Jake One.

#1

Time for a lesson in world domination. Realistically Jay-Z could have made a top 10 highlight reel all by himself this week but that’s not fair now is it? Not at all, but don’t worry, we’re on hand for the recap. Lets begin.

First and foremost, Magna Carta… Holy Grail. Jay-Z released his twelfth studio album this week with a million copies dispersing in minutes (well that was Samsung’s plan…) while we look at another 300,000 for next week but like the marketing magnet Hov is, that wasn’t the last of it.

Next up new rules, new technique – Twitter. Jay (unusually) opened himself up for a Q&A session on the social media platform for a few choice words with both hilarious and informative outcomes. #MyLaugh.

My personal favourite was never answered but do check out the whole conversation right here.

One of the more informative outcomes of this Q&A was the go ahead for the release of the mythical final version of “Dead Presidents 3”.

Chopped, produced and released by Young Guru, “DP3” dates back to his American Gangster days. No word on the reason for not including it in his official catalogue although where could you put it? Those self-reflecting, soulful days passed Jay by a long time ago which makes this release all the more sweet. Nowadays its Basquiats and Hannah Montana..

Then came the reactions, and there were a few. Fans, critics, artists and collaborators all had something to say about MCHG however the pick of the bunch had to be from one (apparently) changed man, Timbaland.

The narcissism and tunnel vision was something to behold but his assurance that he would take Yeezus to another level was the cherry on top. I mean Timothy, come on now.

And seemingly after all was said and done, Jay-Z himself appears from a Basquiat induced coma to speak to Angie Martinez on Hot97 for an always-entertaining Hov Interview.

Topics varied from the evolution of Miley Cyrus to having Barack Obama on the speed dial to not having Dame Dash on the speed dial.

You would of thought that a Hot97 interview drained the annual allotted public appearance time for Jay but he had a little left in him.

Well 6 hours to be exact. That was the length of time he spent in the MoMA performing his track “Picasso Baby” non-stop. Talk about a live installation.

For us, Jay undoubtedly took the number one spot this week. You can talk all you want about his promotional output (and there is a lot to talk about) but at the end of the day he has a great record to back it up with. Magna Carta Holy Grail may not be his best outing (maybe not his second or even third) but even at the tender age of 43, Shawn Carter showed us yet again why he’s one of the greatest artists the world has evenseen. Throw those diamonds up.

Well, that’s our top 5, but what about you? Thoughts? Hit us up, we’d love to hear from you.