VIDEO: “Hip Hop Now and Then” by Will Lopez

This week we were in the office talking about hip-hop and next thing you know we saw this video by comedian Will Lopez.

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Yeah, he’s got a point.

Blitz the Ambassador, Hip Hop Artist from Ghana, in the Flow of Art and Commerce

Samuel Bazawule, also known as Blitz the Ambassador was born in culturally rich Accra, Ghana in 1982.

His first music memory was at the age of eight, as he walked past a football field where a Highlife cover band was performing. Blitz was mesmerized and says, “I was amazed that these sounds could be coming out of these little men and women. It was magic. A kind of superpower.”

CREDIT: Gene Bradford

His parents were industrious and taught their children to have a strong work ethic. His mother was an educator, sold goods at an open-air market, and ran a coffee stand, and her husband was on par with her ambitions: he returned to school to obtain a law degree and worked for the United Nations.

“My parents had a lot and lost it all. I watched them scratching and building while I was growing up. It was a great lesson to me.”

While in high school at the prestigious Achimota School, Blitz was recognized as a talented visual artist and won awards, but his artistic interests veered in another direction upon hearing Public Enemy for the first time. While still in high school, he showed he also had skills as a Hip Hop artist.

Although some artists decide to skip school and pursue their art full-time, Blitz could not forgo college because education is extremely important in his family.

He received a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration from Kent State University and continued to perform and garner a following.

CREDIT: Gene Bradford

Blitz is a Hip Hop artist, with an emphasis on ‘artist,’ accompanied by a stellar band — reminiscent of Fela’s with its multilayered beats, brilliant horn section and politicized lyrics. And they really put on a show, dancing as they play in neat black suits despite the 90-degree heat.

No part of his training has been lost on Blitz; his years as a visual artist translated well to being in the music business.

“I trained myself to sit down, produce work and it was painstaking. I sat still for many hours. You have to produce work.”

After becoming frustrated with the lack of response on the part of major record labels, Blitz formed his own label Embassy MVMT.

“My education helped me a lot in knowing how to manage this business and how to stay in it.”

CREDIT: Gene Bradford

With a strong foundation in art and commerce, Blitz looks to venture into new territory. When speaking to Blitz, there’s no indication decisions are made without careful thought and planning.  No detail is overlooked from the choreography of the horn section to the choice of vibrant Ghanian drums — which look too beautiful to use. The performance, at the BAM’s R&B Festival Metrotech  on August 2nd, is a spectacle for all the senses; the audience breaks into a collective stomp in the mud when Blitz tells them they can’t sit and must come up and dance.

All of his music videos have a cinematic flair that leave the audience wanting to see more. The short film, Native Sun, written by Blitz and directed by Terence Nance, which accompanied the album of the same name, received favorable reviews and was included in a showing of African Films at Brooklyn Academy of Music in 2011. 

It is a beautiful film about a little boy’s search for his father and is devoid of stereotypical media representations of ‘African’ life.

When asked if he aspires to being a director of or actor in a full-length film, Blitz smiles and says, “Absolutely. I just finished writing a screenplay entitled Bukom. It’s about boxing. I really love the sport.”

Bukom is an area within Accra, the capital of Ghana, which has produced a slew of great boxers despite its simple training facilities.

“The worst part of being an artist is the journey — there isn’t a spot where you stay and that’s it. You gotta keep going. The best part of being an artist is seeing your work come to fruition and to see your work appreciated; no level of creation can outdo the appreciation of your audience.”

Blitz is confident, mature and aware of every detail as he sits at the edge of the stage before the performance; he shouts out questions and instructions to his crew while answering interview questions as if all three were of equal importance. He is a rare breed: a brilliant star in the Hip Hop world whose work will endure and one with the business acumen to hold onto the reins of his artistic visions.

CREDIT: Gene Bradford

For concert dates and CD purchase: http://blitz.mvmt.com/

Hologram Immortalizes Tupac Shakur

Almost sixteen years after his death, Tupac once again claims the stage. A hologram of Tupac produced by AV Concepts was joined by Snoop Dog and Dr. Dre at the California's Coachella Valley Music and Arts Annual Festival in what only one word can describe, WOW! On Twitter, a @HologramTupac account has been created and has over six thousand followers. But the owner is not known.

Fans have shown both approval and disapproval with the concept. Many of the fans who disagree believe the slain rapper should be left in peace and argue that capitalizing on the dead is unethical.

I grew up listening to Tupac I watched him go from the rap group Digital Underground to becoming one of the greatest rappers of all time. I remember his lyrics from his 2001 single Until the End of Time "Gettin raw till the day I see my casket, Buried as a g while the whole world remembers me" This is exactly how he wanted to be remembered.

 

VIDEO DEL DÍA: Los Beastie Boys y “Ch-Ch-Check It Out”

¡Que vivan los Beastie Boys! Tremenda canción en Letterman hace unos años atrás. Clásico.

Los Beasties llevan más de 25 años juntos. ¡Esperamos que sigan por unos 25 años más!

 

Latino Fun Fact: Guess Who Sings About Immigration? A Puerto Rican. It’s Calle 13 and P’al Norte

So we are guessing that the fabuloso Calle 13 shouldn't be singing this song because according to the amazingly naive logic of the Tequila Party, Calle 13 is Puerto Rican.

P'al Norte, coño.

 

SPANISH LYRICS

Unas piernas que respiran… veneno de serpiente… por el camino del viento… voy soplando agua ardiente

El día a día ha comenzado entusiasmado y alegre
[ROLDAN:]
dice… Pasaporte

a donde va por ahi don hilario en esa noche tan fea 
uste no se anima pues 
mira como esta el camino tan decaido
pues hombre como.. el camino es lo de menos
lo importante es llegar

[Coro:]
Tengo tu antídoto… Pal' que no tiene identidad
Somos idénticos… Pal' que llegó sin avisar
Tengo tu antílico… Para los que ya no est'n para los que est's y los que vienen (x2)

Un nómada sin rumbo la energía negativa yo la derrumbo
Con mis pezuñas de cordero me propuse recorrer el continente entero
Sin brújula, sin tiempo, sin agenda…
inspirado por las leyendas
Con historias empaquetadas en lata, con los cuentos que la luna relata aprendí a caminar sin mapa…
A irme de caminata sin comodidades, sin lujo… protegido por los santos y los brujos…
Aprendí a escribir carbonerías en mi libreta y con un mismo idioma sacudir todo el planeta…
Aprendí que mi pueblo todavía reza porque las “fucking” autoridades y la puta realeza… todavía se mueven por debajo' e la mesa… aprendí a tragarme la depresión con cerveza…
Mis patronos yo lo escupo desde las montañas y con mi propia saliva enveneno su champaña…
Enveneno su champaña…

[ROLDAN:]
Sigo tomando ron…

[Coro:]
En tu sonrisa yo veo una guerrilla, una aventura un movimiento…
Tu lenguaje, tu acento… Yo quiero descubrir lo que ya estaba descubierto…
Ser un emigrante ese es mi deporte…
Hoy me voy pal' norte sin pasaporte, sin transporte… a pie, con las patas… pero no importa este hombre se hidrata con lo que retratan mis pupilas…
Cargo con un par de paisajes en mi mochila, cargo con vitamina de clorofila, cargo con un rosario que me vigila… sueño con cruzar el meridiano, resbalando por las cuerdas del cuatro de Aureliano…
Y llegarle tempranito temprano a la orilla…por el desierto con los pies a la parrilla…
Por debajo de la tierra como las ardillas, yo vo'a cruzar la muralla… yo soy un intruso con identidad de recluso… y por eso me convierto en buzo… y buceo por debajo de la tierra…
Pa' que no me vean los guardias y los perros no me huelan… abuela no se preocupe que en mi cuello cuelga la virgen de la Guadalupe…

[ROLDAN:]
Oye para todos los emigrantes del mundo entero… alla va eso… Calle 13

[Coro x2:]
(OFF) Esta producción artístico-cultural hecha con cariño y con esfuerzo sea como un llamado de voluntad y esperanza para todos, todos… 

ENGLISH TRANSLATION

The legs that breathe, snake venom
along the wind's way, I blow burning water

this day began cheerful and bright
he says…. passport

I have your antidote… for this it has not identity
we are identical… for this it came without notice
I have your antilico*… for those who are not here,
for those who are here and for those who come

a nomad without course
I destroy the negative energy
with my lamb’ nails I planned 
to walk across the continent
without compass, without time, without diary
for the legend, with stories wrapped up in tin
with tales that the moon reports
I learnt to walk without map

(I learnt) to go on without comfort, without luxury
protected by the saints and the wizards
I learnt to write ? in my notebook and
with the same language, I shake the whole world
I learnt that my people still pray because of
the fucking authority and the damned reality
they still move under the table
I learnt to swallow the depression with beer

I spit in my masters' face from the mountains
and with my own saliva I poison their champagne
I poison their champagne

in your smile I see a war, an adventure, a movement
your language, your accent… I want to discover
what already had been discovered
being an immigrant is my sport
today I leave to the north without passport…
on foot, on paws… but it doesn't matter
this man hydrates himself with what my eyes portray
with a pair of landscapes in my knapsack
with vitamins of chlorophyll
with a rosary that keeps watching on me
ground to cross the meridian
slipping on the cords of the 4th of Aureliano (?)
and I'll arrive at the soonest to the bank
through the desert with my feet grilled
under the ground like the squirrels
I'm going to intersect the Great Wall
I'm an interloper with a secluded identity 
for this reason I become a deep-sea diver
and I dive under the Earth
so that guards and dogs won't see me
granny don't worry, I won't hang 
the Virgin of Guadalupe on my neck

listen, for all the immigrants around the world
this goes beyond… Calle 13

Raise the Debt Ceiling! Raise the Debt Ceiling! Word!

The debt ceiling debate has created a ton of YouTube content. But this next one, well, we leave it for you to decide.

Our favorite line? It's easy: "Our debt is more unsustainable than my rap career!"

After 25 Years of Hard-Ass Hip-Hop, Public Enemy and Chuck D Still Rule: YEAH, BOYYYYY!!!!!

To think that Public Enemy — arguably the best hip-hop group ever assembled — is still relevant after 25 years. Their album It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, released in 1988, is still relevant and powerful today.

And yesterday we found out that the GREAT Chuck D is on Twitter. Fight the power, motherfucker.

As Washington acts like a bunch of wankers, we say Don’t Believe the Hype.

Video of the Day: N.W.A. and “Straight Outta Compton”

In 1988 (yes, 1988), the group N.W.A (Niggaz with Attitude) came out with the album Straight Outta Compton. The rest is history.

Sing it: Straight outta Compton, crazy motherfucker named Ice Cube….

VIDEO OF THE DAY (July, 3 2011): CYPRESS HILL and “Insane in the Membrane”

In honor of July 4 weekend, are going with Cypress Hill and “Insane in the Membrane.” ¡DAMN, I feel like the SON OF SAM!

INSANE IN THE MEMBRANE, INSANE IN DA BRAIN!!!!

VIDEO OF THE DAY (June 27, 2011): AFROMAN and “Because I Got High”

Start your Monday with Afroman and “Because I Got High,” one of the best hip-hop songs ever!!!!!

¡AFROMAN! ©last.fm

Ok, everyone together: I was gonna clean my room, but I got high…..