“Whoever wants it can get it,” says Poet on the phone from QB. “I’m making decisions right now about whether to start a war. It can be anybody — pick a nigga, any nigga. Everybody’s talking shit like they’re the best — well, let’s see, let’s get it popping, motherfucker. We can battle without shooting each other. We’ll go to jail if we really shoot at each other, so we might as well battle.”
50 Cent was the first truly famous rapper who I ever interviewed. And he wasn’t even really all that famous yet. “Wanksta” had dropped – and New York was amped – but he was no more a mixtape legend than were then-heavyweights like Jae Millz and Mysonne.
I don’t even remember the magazine that hired me to do the story – I think it was some bullshit promotional venture. Before I got established in the game, I did a lot of crap jobs that never panned out. This particular gig was to interview 50 at Club Mirage before he rocked a post-prom high school blowout.
My friend Steve and I showed up early; he was one of the promoters, so I got to hang backstage, where I smoked numerous blunts with various second-rate entourages before 50 showed up with his – and with Busta Rhymes. We spoke for about ten minutes – it went well – then everybody cleared the green room and filed on stage. Including me and Steve.
About half way through the set I leaned over and asked Steve if he noticed what him and I had in common with nobody else. “We’re white,” he said, to which I replied, “No – we’re the only two schmucks who aren’t wearing bulletproof vests.”
That story has no underlying meaning; I just figured this would be a good time to tell it. That memory also reminds me of how fucking dope 50 was before he went pop; Guess Who’s Back and whatever else exists of his early Trackmasters joints and mixtape work packs an extraordinary number of legendary lines.
Some might argue that 50 doesn’t belong on this list – that he’s squandered his skills too severely by dropping shit song after shit song. I disagree though – if for no other reason than that I believe his early hustle alone qualifies him as one of the best to ever run it. On the other hand, I can’t deny that he also belongs on the Greatest Wastes of Fucking Talent countdown as well.
As I sat there staring at Trees’s post, wallowing in the hopelessness of poor Faraone’s situation, this came like an answer from the heavens above. DJ Premier, that great bastion of hip-hop, he who’s judgement cannot be questioned, drops this tribute mix to the King of Pop through his website. As you might expect, it’s more than just playing the hits, coming with some rarer songs and a super-official Paul Mooney intro. The fact is that Premo has confirmed that you should, no–you WILL respect MJ. If you contradict DJ Premier, your face will likely explode into chunks of bloody meat. Do so at your own risk.
seriously dude. you’re playing yourself hard if you don’t acknowledge this dude’s unmatched talent. i like hip hop as much as the next guy, but let’s be real. dudes stand around on stage and rhyme words over a beat.
mj mercs your whole life with this smooth criminal performance. one of the best i’ve ever scene. on top of that, he does the lean live. no wires.
i’ll take showmanship any day over “RHODE ISLAND.. SHOW ME YOUR WHORES.. WHERE’S YOUR WOMEN”. blah blah blah..
ps fuck billy mays. he’s useless to everyone. he’s a fucking pitchman to sell people shit. great. real hero.
Now here’s one that nobody saw coming. Billy Mays (of Oxi-Clean and Orange Glo fame) wasn’t frail, nor was he cancer-ridden. The guy wasn’t even old. With a beard like that, we would have guessed he’d outlive all of us here at JTTS combined.
But according to the always-right Fox News, Mays was just found dead in his Tampa home. It’s too bad, as dude clearly has his best work ahead of him – he was recently tapped to be the new Taco Bell spokesman. A sad day indeed.
This post has nothing to do with Michael Jackson. Nor is it a joke. Also – I’m not ripping on Farrah Fawcett, or anyone else who has recently passed. Lastly, I’m not here to solicit sympathy.
But the unfortunate truth is that my homeboy Jamie Hall died last week. I went down to his wake in New Jersey, and it was one of the saddest experiences of my life.
Don’t worry about how he died (but I appreciate your concern). All that matters is that he’s a funny bastard with a love for Etta James and the (original) Blues Brothers.
He also had mad love for Rappin’ 4-Tay’s “Playas Club” – a track that he put me on to despite his being a preppy Jersey rat and my being someone who’s supposed to know about hip-hop. One love partner. Just work ya toes on the mink rug…
Excuse the turn of phrase, but yesterday the rumors just wouldn’t die.
Farah Fawcett died in the morning, Michael Jackson in the afternoon, and by night time my friends and I were studiously trawling Google News search to confirm or deny reports of Jeff Goldblum falling off a 60-foot cliff while filming a movie in New Zealand (he’s alive and still really tall and snarky, we can confirm). Still, that’s two 70s icons down for the count.
In light of all the MJ tributes and specials undoubtedly being rushed through TV production schedules, it’s going to be a busy next few days and weeks of MJ madness, as Faraone/Necro pointed out earlier. In this underpaid music writer’s opinion, there’s no debating his status as a cultural icon and musical pioneer, regardless of the whole kids sleeping over thing. Plenty of other lesser geniuses have done plenty worse when you put it in perspective (see: Allen, Woody) and gotten away with it. But I digress–while there’s no disputing MJ’s game, there is room for debate within that statement. Because there are two Michael Jacksons that are worth listening to: young Michael and really young Michael.
Young Michael should probably begin around Off the Wall and stretch out until he started blending in with piles of snow just after Bad came out. In other words, Michael’s heyday of the Motown 25 special, Thriller, Quincy Jones & Rod Temperton, big tigers and taking Brooke Shields to the Grammys (don’t ask me how I know all this, I was born in 86). Anyone with a pulse has gotten down to tracks from this era, so I’m not going to expound. Young Michael was the artist as god.
Younger Michael though…he was something else. There was something inevitably lost when he found ‘the force’ on ‘Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough;’ mainly the voice of a kid who murked his contemporaries on the mic at age 11 when it came to soul and funk music. Minus all the dance moves, Younger Mike had the voice: bold, instantly recognizable and even though I hate the word, swingin. You could argue that by the sounds of it Mike had bigger balls as a kid then he did circa his falsetto steez on “The Girl is Mine.” It didn’t hurt that he had the Jackson 5 with him providing the tunes either. I think Young MJ was clearly the bigger, better entertainer, but the way Younger MJ commanded a song with his voice and presence at such a young age still kinda blows me away when I hear it.
If given the choice to plug either Young or Younger MJ back into the Matrix, making a decision would be damn near impossible. That’s why this may be the perfect MJ song–somewhere in the middle of the two. The bottom line is that Younger MJ couldn’t stay younger forever, and for a while Young MJ did him justice. But in terms of pure, raw talent, I would have to choose Younger MJ. Who says beating your kids doesn’t work, eh Joe?
Nobody’s getting paid these days. Whether you’re releasing a free mixtape as promo for your upcoming album, or your releasing your actual album, shit is probably going to end up on the Internet for free either way. That’s reason enough to give Revelation (of the EMS crew, which includes M-Dot and Mayhem) his due props. Not only is he dropping this tape–which is comprised of older, unreleased material–but it’s only a preview for his next free mixtape, which comes next week on July 4. That’s a lot of generosity you don’t have to feel bad taking advantage of. Take it while it’s hot.
Their list is very different from the illustrious Greatest Rappers of All-Time countdown that we’ve been doing here at JTTS. For one, it’s horrible; not only were such third-rate MCs as Project Pat, Kid Cudi, Plies, and B.G. included from the get-go, but underground kings like Murs and Q-Unique were tragically overlooked.
Furthermore, they let readers do the voting, which, as you can ascertain by what sells these days, is a horrible idea. The damn fools just put B.I.G. ahead of Nas, and that’s the least of their crimes. CHECK THIS AWFUL PIECE OF SHIT BRACKET RIGHT HERE…and let the world know where cats truly pay homage to the legends.
I just want to state, I never turned my back on him though all the bullshit that fame brought him. I never believed the charges. Yeah, MJ was weird & eccentric, but he was also THE illest solo artist that the world has ever seen — and may ever see. He came from a pre-internet era, he sold hundreds of millions of records, he set trends, he’s been copied and honored, hated and loved, and there will never be another.
Everyone that is talking shit about MJ and child molestation and plastic surgery can fucking burn in hell. I hope they choke on their own tongues and they get cancer in their eyes. I hope your dad dies of AIDs, your mom is raped by satan, and your girlfriend/boyfriend cheats on you with your dad’s AIDs infested cock. This dude was the king.
So where was I when I heard the news? It was 8:10 PM. I had just finished working out in the gym, and headed into the men’s locker room of the Back Bay YMCA. I looked at my phone and started reading my text messages. The first one, from DJ Knife “I just talked to Beth and Casey, they are going to be playing mad Michael tonight”.. (He was referring to the Cash 4 Gold party happening — uh– now @ the milkway in JP). The next text – “Damn did you hear about MJ?”. At this point I thought the worst – so I said aloud, “Yo, I think something happened to Michael Jackson”.
“Oh you didn’t hear?”.. I turned around to see a completely nude, jet black, african dude facing me drying his ballsack.
“Michael Jackson Died. He had a heart attack”.
Yup. I heard about MJ’s death in the Men’s Locker Room of the Boston YMCA from a naked kenyan drying his balls..
While ordinary folks rushed to Facebook and Twitter this afternoon to share their sentiments regarding Michael Jackson‘s passing, I was spreading the word about this here Mr. Hyde and Necro track, which has always been a personal favorite.
If you’ve never heard this cut before, brace yourself – and before you comment that this is way out of line, just consider it an offset to the non-stop fawning that has already started and that will likely be taking place for the next six months.