Is Soulja Boy a Mere Gateway Scrub?

Monday, May 25th, 2009

Fellow hip-hop scribe Adam Bernard has an interesting piece in the new Fairfield Weekly titled “In Defense of Soulja Boy.” Before you detonate that computer and use the scrap parts to slice my balls off, let me briefly tell you why I think Adam should at least be heard.

His basic thesis is that since kids today are getting their hip-hop introductions by way of turds like Lil Wayne, a lot of dudes from my generation were initially put on to rap by cornballs like MC Hammer, only to later discover the Public Enemies and Pete Rocks of the world.

Now – of course the flaw in this thinking is that most kids today are too ignorant to ever make it past the crap mixtape racket that they’ve been sucked into by a conspiracy involving MTV, Clear Channel, and criminally negligent label owners. However, I’m sure that’s what a lot of people would have said about me and Adam, too.

HERE’S AN EXCERPT: A few years ago there was a terrible series of anti-drug commercials that claimed marijuana was a “gateway drug.” The inference was if you smoked marijuana, you’d be more easily influenced to do heroin or crack. While most people laughed this off — as they should have — I think we have a very real and powerful gateway drug that’s being passed around to kids today, and it’s actually a potentially positive thing. That drug is pop-rap and it’s the gateway to real hip-hop.


Do Black Hipsters Owe Reparations to Elvis Costello?

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

So I wrote this critique about this article on black hipsters the other day for the Boston Phoenix web site, but for some reason I didn’t bother directing JTTS readers to it – even though there are few things you guys like more than making fun of hipsters/ourselves. Excerpt is below, so click through if this might be your bag…

When white people co-opt black styles – like I’ve been doing for years – we get everlasting shit from everybody; white folks loathe our posing, and black folks spite our biting. But when black kids embrace the heroin-chic dungarees that corny Caucasians like my uncle squeezed into back in 1974 – they still get props.

Roll Yourself a Tampon Spliff and Learn Something About Reggae

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

Even though this is a hip-hop site, I have to put heads on to my Boston Phoenix cover story from the issue that hit streets today. It’s about the history of roots and dancehall in the Bean, which, as it turns out, is very much integral to the history of reggae in the United States. If you’re at all a fan of this genre, then I suggest you poke around. There’s a whole lot of good stuff here…




Rumors Abound..

Thursday, May 21st, 2009


Is there going to be a taping of Shit Show #9 tomorrow night?

What happened to Shit Show #8?



JTTS Greatest Rappers of All-Time: #91 – Freeway

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

When you think of Philly, a few things usually come to mind. Cheesesteaks. The Eagles, the murder rate, Greenman, and of course Freeway. Philadelphia Free has always been on of my favorites from the “Dynasty “era of the R.O.C. From the beard, to the flow to the voice that sounds like he’s consistently crying, to the mysterious and nonsensical G-Unit affiliation.

Freeway probably took the biggest hit of his career when he let Cassidy outshine him on that Ghetto Report DVD (or whatever the fuck it was called—I hate those hood DVDs). The words, “Put A Beat On, You can’t put a beat on.. I wanna rock over a track”.. still echo as one of the harshest self L ‘ing’s in the history of rap battles.

For some reason Leslie has only dropped two albums throughout his entire 10 year or so career.. Both albums, “Philadelphia Freeway” and “Free At Last” are very listenable, but I bite my tongue on calling either of them classic. Sure there were shining moments on both albums, but ultimately we’ve yet to hear the Freeway masterpiece that he deserves to give us. Both albums seem to be following the 1993 Tupac / Biggie formula of trying to include “songs for the bitches” or “club bangers”.

Quick open letter to Freeway; Stop doing that. Make an underground collabo album with Brother Ali or Rakim, murder it, and then do whatever you feel you need to do to get money. You’re very talented and the fans deserve better. Thank you.
Signed, Sleezy Trees.

JTTS Greatest Rappers of All-Time: #92 – Xzibit

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

Back to the West Coast – a frontier that I’m not completely fond of, but that deserves adequate representation on this mighty list regardless. Surely ringers like Tupac and Ras Kass are destined to claim spots, but there are definitely some B-list A-listers who belong as well.

Xzibit is perfect at this time, especially since we’re not necessarily ordering rappers, but are nonetheless getting nasty Facebook messages when we put such legends as Prodigy in prematurely (I see you Stu Bangas). Before he became a decent actor (just saw him in American Violet – not bad. Really), he was an explosive battle rap force.

Sure – the X-Man (a/k/a X-to-the-Z) kind of compromised himself with Pimp My Ride (unless, of course, you’re the kid with the ice cream truck work $150 thousand). But otherwise he’s been a far-better-than-average solo artist and – above all – one of hip-hop’s greatest guest MCs.

I could rap forever about cuts that found Xzibit smoking everyone who touched the mic within his reach, but I’ll just give one favorite: that shit from the Reflection Eternal joint on which he comes in hard off both “1, 2, 3, 4” ad-libs; once with “Why the fuck can’t MCs emcee no more;” and the other time with “Bringing me straight to the weed spot – then to the liquor store.” I said that every time I heard someone start counting for the next half-decade.

Likwit junkies and delinquents stand up. I know that through the years I’ve definitely gone on serious subterranean Los Angeles kicks, bumping everything from King Tee to Defari instrumental joints. At the centerpiece of every one of those benders was the man X. In the words of SNL making fun of Sway: “Word to all of that.”

Jeru to Come Clean At Fresh Produce

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

So imagine my reaction when DJ Knife from Fresh Produce alerted me that Jeru has signed on to DJ at Good Life this month. Personally, I’m always down for sample-heavy true school, throwback scratch tactics, and misanthropic rhymes galore. But my concern was for the dance-shoed boogie nighthawks who frequent Fresh Produce and who, I presume, don’t enjoy spending Saturday evenings acting tough with their feet planted and heads nodding. Fortunately for them, Jeru isn’t the incendiary hater that I had good reason to believe he was.



Disclaimer: Though I am affiliated with – and this event is sponsored by the web site – I have never profitted a dollar off this web site, or off a Fresh Produce (or any other show or party). Maybe one of these days when I grow tired of being a broke writer and I become a millionaire DJ like Tommee.

Lightyears Beyond 95% of the JTTS “Greatest Rappers” List..

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009


You want to change your life? You want to see the type of shit motherfuckers are capable of in this music shit. Look no further than this video right here.

Set aside 9 minutes and 24 seconds of your life, fire up that bong (I love College), and FOCUS on why TOOL pwns approximately.. everything you got!


Wu-Tang Wednesday: Has ODB’s Good Name Been Kicked Around?

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

As some of you might remember, a few months ago I reviewed Diggin’ for Dirt – a fan biography about Ol’ Dirty Bastard – which I thought was handled extremely well by former Radar/Village Voice writer Jaime Lowe. Near the end of my review, I even took a swing at the various people who were already discrediting her effort before the book dropped.

Well – it turns out that one of those culprits, Dirty’s former manager Jarred Weisfeld, is suing Lowe for $10 million. He claims – among other things – that she libeled him and unrolled a torrent of anti-Semitic rhetoric in his grill. Never mind that she also belongs to the chosen tribe.

No doubt that Lowe is guilty of some shoddy reporting if she indeed cited a doctored YouTube clip from the Rocafella press conference held after Dirty’s 2003 release from prison. But I know her work and she’s a competent reporter – I’ll need further evidence of her journalistic laziness before I bite my tongue on this one.

For those who are truly interested in this matter, go ahead and read this excellent account from Heeb magazine. The author does a solid job, but, since Lowe did not comment for the article, it’s as much in Weisfeld’s corner as my review was in hers. Synthesize the two and you might have some worthwhile conclusions.

Either way – I’m hoping that Lowe pulls a Dirty; not that she overdoses on chemicals and crazy, but that she profits off the controversy that her words – whether slanderous or not – have stirred. She’s a great writer, and I truly enjoyed the read, as would any fan who wants an account other than the master narrative.


DJing This Saturday @ Fresh Produce

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009


DJing @ the Sponsored Fresh Produce this Saturday..



Oh.. and .. it’s FREE.

FYL if you miss this.

More info coming soon..

JTTS Greatest Rappers of All-Time: #93 – Cage

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

For some bizarre reason, I find a sick pleasure in making fun of Cage’s physical degeneration into the male version of Kate Moss in flannel. I also take a fucking huge perverse pleasure (yes, it turns me on sexually) to see the legions of salty fat wiggers heads completely explode as their messiah turns into a frail (possibly gayer) version of Pete Wentz.

Yes, I fucking *hate* all of those 4XL faded black Ecko hoody wearing overweight & angry “hip hoppers” that have all but ruined the live hip hop show experience for me. Those corny self-conscious dickheads stand shoulder to shoulder in a quasi-tough guy stance eye fucking each other for approval while nodding like methadone addicts to Vinny Paz rhyming about “dragging a faggot off the third rung of Persiphius’ ladder”. They have single handedly made a joke of the genre I love. But whatever.. let me get back to talking about Cage.

So I’m not going to talk down to you. You know this dude’s history. You know his catalog. Movies For The Blind was a FUCKING CLASSIC. It might have taken a few years to absorb into my grey matter, but now.. when I listen to that shit it takes me back to a time when I enjoyed listening to rap. When I enjoyed going to rap shows. Before every cocksucker with Windows and a mic jack thought that they could put a CD out.

Listen.. If you’re name isn’t Cage; you’re not “better than most these cats out there” and stop yourself if you drop shit like, “If they can make it why can’t you..” right right? They shouldn’t have made it either. And YOU definitely shouldn’t.

Here’s a tip. There’s no money in making rap music anymore. If you do it, accept it as a hobby. No one checks for MCs from the east coast except for dudes from the east coast. You’re career is over before it’s started. Don’t start it. Learn to play guitar. Better yet, save the money you were going to spend on that Guitar and learn a trade. Yeah, it’s more work.. but WTF are you some sort of pussy? I can record a better rap record than you tomorrow. I won’t, because I respect the art. Give it up.


Aight back to Cage. I’ll say this right now, a successful musical talent is able to reinvent multiple times over the course of their careers. The Beastie Boys are a prime example of this. As is Green Day. As is Metallica. The list goes on… (but it’s a short list). Cage has this ability. I promise you, 20 years from now, this is a dude that will be “rediscovered” by our kids. This dude’s career is vast.

Some Stats? Ok: Born on a german military base. Drug addicted. Tried killing himself. Fondle ‘Em signee. Eminem Beef. Weathermen formed. Eastern Conference signee. Movies For The Blind. Smut Peddlers. Nighthawks (Fail). Esoteric Beef. Weight loss/ Hair growth/ Flannel purchase. Shia LeBouf movie (?). Def Jux. Hellz Winter. Depart From Me. 

Cage is one of my favorites. And whether you like him now or not.. he’s clearly got some identity issues. I think all of that just adds to his allure as an artist. I’ll therefore state on record I think he’s the real deal. Word to emo /drug rap.

Atmosphere Show Review (a/k/a Get Ready to Hate on Chris Faraone)

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

There are two things about Atmosphere MC Slug that provoke endless fury in linguistically thugged-out Internet rap snobs everywhere. First: Atmosphere shows bring out hundreds of pretty girls in their slutty best. Second: Slug admits to having feelings. If that’s what it takes to shoo away shitheads who illegally download music and attract instead eager hordes of merch-crazy college kids, then I suggest wanna-be MCs zip it and start taking notes.


Amadeus the Stampede Feature: Duck Motherfucker

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

EXCERPT: …There’s nothing lamer than articles that lead with cheap metaphors inspired by an artist’s stage name (i.e., Britney Spears is like a dagger to the heart!; The Police are arresting!). But I can’t avoid this one: when Amadeus the Stampede rushes, get the fuck out of the way.