Articles Tagged: Hip Hop

David Banner: Interview after Congress

June 5th, 2008 | By Sonnie

I don’t listen to David Banner as an artist, but as a black man using his word wisely, I WILL LISTEN.

You will find multiple blogs on the Congressional Hip-Hop meeting. It is important to realize we have to voice our problems in front of the movers and shakers of the government.

That’s right. Our music is fine the way it is. There are artist that don’t help our cause, but you can go to any bookstore and find stories written by people long forgotten.

I can disagree when David Banner says ‘It’s Just a Song’. It’s not. It’s our words. Our stories, from our point of view. I don’t want to hear only positive music. That is not the way the world is. I think we have enough problems deluding ourselves that racism can stop us from accomplishing anything.

My brothers that ran the streets, knew what they were doing. They knew it wasn’t right and that’s why they started rapping. Give us credit enough to know when our artist sings about their struggle, they overcame. That’s the point that’s missing.

You Won’t Get My Money

May 21st, 2008 | By Sonnie

I was overjoyed watching the 07 BET Music Awards. Katt Williams was great. I loved how he highlighted all the positives happening in our communities. I loved it, but my favorite moment came from legendary Hip Hop’er.

MC Lyte said “Know who is making music for you.” I jumped off my couch and began jumping around yelling and screaming her praises. All she had to say was “Ludacris” and I would’ve created the new MC Lyte Fanclub with a tattoo on my forehead.

Now I know he isn’t the only one, nor is he the worst. Ludacris just happens to cause the most drama in my house. My beau was a huge Ludacris fan when we met. I listened and since we were in that new stage of a relationship, I didn’t rant and rave. I even went and bought him’Chicken and Beer.” I wanted to surprise him so I put it in the car.

That was it. I lost it. It was the worst kind to. You know from “Anger Management” when Jack Nicholson kept pressing Adam Sandler. I was there. Every song was about a ho. Now I’m not sensitive. I know there are whores, tricks, and the rest, but every song.

I instantly formed an opinion of Ludacris. He doesn’t want my money. He isn’t making music for me and the women like me that show respect for ourselves. I bet he was payed alot of attention at school, because no girls would give him any play.

Then my dude confirmed my thoughts. He informed me Ludacris grew up in Fairfax, and he was a total goober. He had seen pictures. He began back pedaling when I began laughing and throwing insults Luda’s way. Now that could have been someone making up an I know him story, but I believe it. No man that has been touched by a real woman could make an entire album without a single nice thing to say.

Now I’m going to stop downin Ludacris, he making money and I’m far from a hater. I just know who’s making music for me. So I’ll buy my favs the day they come out and I’ll teach my daughter what to look for.

Inspiration, a message, a slammin beat, and an artist that considered you as target. Those of you that refuse to see women as more than a wet spot, you get no love, no airplay on my radio, and especially no money.


May 21st, 2008 | By Sonnie


On this day in 1972, hip hop was given an icon. Christopher Wallace was born in Brooklyn, New York, the only child to Voletta Wallace.

He got the name BIGGIE, while attending George Westinghouse Information Technology High School, with fellow rappers JAY-Z and BUSTA RHYMES. He stood 6’3 around 250 lbs.. He adopted the name from 70’s gansta film “Let’s do it again”, and his stature played a role as well.

At the age of 17, Biggie dropped out of school and became a full time drug dealer. After a few run ins with the law, Biggie decided to release a demo. He was posted in the undiscovered section of the Hip-Hop magazine, “The Source”.

SEAN PUFFY COMB, an up and comming A&R Rep at Uptown Records, jumped at the chance to work with Biggie. Months later COMBS was fired from Uptown, and started his own label, “BAD BOY”. He took BIGGIE with him, and started taking back Hip-Hop from the WEST COAST.

In the mid 90’s, WEST COAST rap was predominant. Biggie was in New York, still selling drugs to support his new born son, when Sean “Puffy” Combs was getting his label together. Upon finding out how Biggie was making a living, Puffy immediately told him to stop. He had big plans for the Brooklyn rapper.

Biggie appeared on a myriad of remixes, before the release of his first album, “Ready to DIe.” Then he met Faith Evans, and married her ten days later.

1995 marked the birth of Notorious B.I.G., the name Biggie Smalls was taken. That year he recieved Best New Artist(solo), Lyricist of the Year, Live Performer of the Year, and Album of the Year from the SOURCE AWARDS. He also got Rap Artist of the Year from the Billboard Awards.

As Notorious B.I.G. would say, with more money came more problems. East Coast vs West Coast was plastered over the news. TUPAC SHAKUR, West Coast Captain, and Notorious B.I.G., East Coast Captain, were hurled right in the middle.

While TUPAC released numerous diss songs, Notorious B.I.G. said it was out of his character.

Notorious B.I.G. began working on his second CD, “Life after Death”. Before it’s release his life was cut drastically short. On March 9, 1997 Notorious B.I.G. was gunned down while leaving an after party in Los Angelos.

“Life after Death”, was released 15 days after B.I.G.’s death. It debuted #1 on the top 100 Billboard. He was the first artist to go double diamond after his death.

I could’ve wrote about Notorious B.I.G. on the day of his death, but I think he deserves more respect than that. Through his music, he gave us colorful stories of pain and success. We felt “Juicy”, we know “Beef”, and we all understand the “10 Crack Commandments”. We should celebrate his life, instead of constantly talking about the circumstances of his death.

If your heading for a corner today, know that NOTORIOUS B.I.G. made it. He was standing on those corners, but he made it out, and so can you.

I could’ve had a huge section about the beef between NOTORIOUS B.I.G. and TUPAC, but why? Battle rapping is a staple of Hip-Hop. Those who don’t know that made it worse than it was. Nothing is wrong with diss songs as long as they stay on wax.

Fun Fact

Did you know JUNIOR M.A.F.I.A. stands for Junior Masters at Finding Intellegent Attitudes.


May 20th, 2008 | By Sonnie

I pumped T.I. vs T.I.P for two months straight. I admired how he showed his inner struggles throughout the CD. I thought to myself, a rapper with swag and self awareness. He had been in trouble with the law before, but we all go through shit.

Upon hearing he had been arrested before the 2007 BET AWARDS, I was disappointed. Not because another rapper was in trouble, not because T.I. happened to be one of my favorite artist, but because every radio station was talking about how “the man” was doing him wrong.

They should just let T.I. go. They always want to bring down a black man with some money. Grow up and get real. They’re not trying to catch you because you have money. They are trying to catch you because you’re buying guns. You know those things that are wiping out our younger generation.

I haven’t listened to T.I. since. I refuse, and with the lack of good artist, it isn’t easy. I was waiting for something. Something that would allow me to listen to him again with out shouting stupid at the radio.

Posted on BET.COM, an interview with T.I.

T.I. started the interview by accepting responsibility for his decisions. He didn’t rant and rave about how he is a victim, instead he was humble and blessed for making it through his troubles.

When asked why the constant run ins with the law, the Atlanta rapper was lost for words. He finally decided his inability to let go of things in his past played a major role. He had to learn to control his alter ego, T.I.P.

“You’re missing the point.”

That was his response to anyone who thought he was cool for having multiple guns in his home. T.I. wanted them to take focus on the things he lost, in all about $10 million. He lost his endorsement deal with GMC and a couple movie roles he had lined up, not to mention his reputation for the future.

“Nothing’s cool about going to jail for longer than you’ve been alive.” T.I. was reflective in this moment.

Looking forward, T.I. sees nothing but a bright future ahead. He stated his music has always been about happenings in society, and now guns and drugs won’t be as prevalent in his songs, as they are no longer prevalent in his life.

T.I. then had a sit down with some of his fans. Before accepting questions, T.I. gave the teens some advice.

First, live and learn. Nobody expects you to be perfect, but you have to learn from your mistakes.

Second, things that mean the world to you right now, won’t matter in 10 years. Don’t let the mistakes of you’re past define the person you become.

Last, don’t get in a permanant situations because of a short temper.

The last thing he said had to be the best. His biggest obstacle in his life was himself. He had a hard time reprogramming himself from street life into normal society.

T.I. is facing a year in jail, but his optimism wouldn’t show it. He was happy he would be home for the birth of his 6th child, a boy, and have time to get his affairs in order before beginning his sentence.

So today, I pull up my T.I. playlist from my IPOD, and I flow along with the KING OF THE SOUTH. I don’t shout at the radio. I smile. I’m happy I wasn’t wrong rating him a complete artist.

They pushed up the release day for the new CD. I can’t wait to see what lessons he learned and how he applies them to his music.

Beyonce “LISTEN”

May 18th, 2008 | By Sonnie

When DREAMGIRLS was released Christmas Day 2006, I wasn’t in a rush to go and see it. I decided to wait for the DVD release. When that came out, I still didn’t rent it. It took a broken down train and hot bus to force me to watch it. A story for another day.

EDDIE MURPHY was brilliant as “Thunder Early”. Jimmy got soul, Jimmy got soul. How could you not love that? JENNIFER HUDSON, former AMERICAN IDOL winner, played the diva, Effie, and did a hell of a job at it. Her vocals gave heart and soul to the movie. JAMIE FOX played Curtis Taylor Jr., a strong willed producer with a by any mean neccessary philosphy.

My comments come on Deena, played by BEYONCE KNOWLES. I know the purpose of her character was to stand in the backround and she did a wonderful job of that. Her little concerts were cute, she was beautiful in her photo shoot, but she exploded in “Listen”.

Her awakening towards the ending was beautiful, and made me watch the movie over and over again. I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss anything, and my opinion, she was the one not listening.

When he refused to let her have a child, she wasn’t listening. When she had to sneak to talk about her future, she wasn’t listening. It wasn’t until he got bold enough to say it out right she got the message.

Take lesson in this. If at night you lay in bed and think about all the shit pushed on you by those who claim to love you, listen. If your constantly repeating your feelings on the same subject, listen. If there is something empty inside you and that person had no desire to fill it, listen.

When your words fall on deaf ears, a million words should be flying towards you. Don’t wait until they get bold enough to say it. “When someone shows you who they are, believe them.” MAYA ANGELO. Refer to my blog “TWO HEARTS”.

More than listening to what the other person is saying, listen to what your tellling yourself. If you’re trying to keep someone when that person is hurting you, listen to yourself. Would you give that advice to your best friend? Keep someone that’s no good for you.

Instead of expecting someone else to listen, do a little listening yourself.