Archive for Top 5 Friday

Daily Dose of L

Posted in Daily Dose of L with tags , , , , , , , , on January 29, 2010 by letterlbeats

Good Friday Hip Hop…in fact it’s the first Friday blog entry of the new year which means (drum roll please) it’s time for the first Top 5 Friday of 2010!

Usually I talk about something music related here but it’s almost February and I am thinking about the NBA dunk contest already. Here are my Top 5 Dunks of All Time:

5. John Starks baseline on Bulls

“Ain’t nobody in the Chi got this much face time/
Naw, not since John Starks went baseline.”

4. Darryl Dawkins Shatters Backboard

Chocolate Thunder.

3. Dr. J at The Spectrum

Something this classic is hate proof.

2. Michael Jordan Free Throw Line Dunk

There will only be one.

1. Vince Carter 2000 Olympics

I hope the guy he dunked has long since retired.

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Daily Dose of L

Posted in Daily Dose of L with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 18, 2009 by letterlbeats

Good Friday Hip Hop!

I though the last Top 5 Friday would be the last one of the year but it looks like we have time for one more.

I was watching Sesame Street with my son. Before he started watching it, I hadn’t seen the show since like ’89. Apparently they have changed a lot with the times. One of those changes seems to include a regular dose of Hip Hop. I’ve heard them rap about everything from bird habitats to prime numbers. I appreciate the effort but it started to remind me of all the things that I’ve seen over the years where Hip Hop has been exploited and/or placed grossly out of context. I present to you the Top 5 Worst Exploitations of Hip Hop:

5. Parappa The Rapper

According to Wikipedia.org, PaRappa the Rapper was a rhythm video game for PS1. Released in Japan on December 6, 1996, followed by releases in North America on October 31, 1997 and Europe in September 1998, it was one of the first rhythm video games (sort of a precursor to DDR, Guitar Hero and Rock Band). While it was simplistic on a certain level, the game is remembered for its unique graphic design, its quirky soundtrack, and its bizarre plot. The game is named after its protagonist, Parappa, a rapping dog.

4. The Super Bowl Shuffle

Here’s the thing about this one. I have lived in Chicago on and off since ’84. People here loved it. In fact I remember my dad taking me to the Bears’ victory parade. However, I dare you to watch that video now without laughing. Go ahead, it’s right here:

3. The Burger King Sir Mix-A-Lot Square Butts Commercial

This falls under the “out of context” category because it’s so out of context that it’s hilarious. You’ve all seen it so I won’t post the video but come on! They’re using Hip Hop to sell burgers and fries.

2. Snoop Sells Nokia N-Gage During 2004 Sugar Bowl

I think people have forgotten about this so I might have to break out the video. I remember one of my friends saying at the time, “Snoop doesn’t usually sell out but when he does, he goes 110%…ok we couldn’t locate the video but Google it. It was a shizzame.

1. MTV

For those of you born after 1990 you should know something. MTV was strictly for rock videos. As well, before Michael Jackson, MTV would not play black music. In fact, they were hesitant to play MJ’s records altogether. This was like ’83 or ’84. Now fast forward to 2009, and they barely even play videos. The ones that they do play are almost predominantly Hip Hop or pop. When TRL (Total Request Live) was at its height, it was almost all rap videos. MTV, at one point I loved you and at one point you would not play black music (Hip Hop, R&B etc.). Now that you can make a profit, you loooove Hip Hop.


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Daily Dose of L

Posted in Daily Dose of L with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 4, 2009 by letterlbeats

Ladies & Gentlemen of Hip Hop,

With the end of the year quickly approaching and this beingĀ  the last 1st Friday of 2009, it’s time for Top 5 Fridays Hip Hop Albums of the year:

5. David Banner Death of a Pop Star

Actually, this album hasn’t even been released yet but thanks to 9th Wonder’s YouTube series called De Blog Jam (Filmed and edited by 9th’s keyboardist E. Jones) I witnessed them create almost the entire album. Even better is the fact that the album is free. Its quality far surpasses many records that you had to pay for this year. By the way, did I mention that 9th Wonder produced it? It features many of 9th’s homegrown N.C. talent plus a smoother more mature flow from Banner. Google it.

4. Slaughterhouse Slaughterhouse

I was having a random Twitter conversation one day and this dude was telling me that he prefers a brand of emcee who spends more time actually rapping than he does talking about how good he is. Slaughterhouse is definitely not that brand of emcee but these guys back up everything they say. They are lyrical beasts that grew tired of the usual bureaucracy of major labels and took their careers in their own hands. Comprised of Joe Budden, Joell Ortiz, Royce Da 5’9″ & Crooked I, they crafted the blueprint for today’s independent artists. During the 2009 BET Hip Hop Awards Show cipher Joe Budden said, “I never needed my A&R my A&R needed me.” I guess he doesn’t need an A&R.

3. Wale Back to the Feature

This wasn’t even an album, it was a mixtape! (See Drake below) Another free venture produced by 9th Wonder and mixed by Nick Catchdubs, its stacked with guest features including Jean Grae & Freeway. This was really something special because it’s not everyday you find quality hip hop like this.

2. Jay-Z Blueprint III

What can I say about this (See archives for song by song review of Blueprint III) except that my grandmother was singing Run This Town. Another classic Jay-Z album with the hottest everything in the game; guest features, beats, verses…everything.

1. Drake So Far Gone

If I need to explain this to you, then just navigate away from the page because you don’t know hip hop.

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Daily Dose of L

Posted in Daily Dose of L with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 27, 2009 by letterlbeats

Good Friday Hip Hop!

I’m about to go in on another Top 5 Friday. This edition will count down the Top 5 Female Lyricists alive.

5. Rah Digga

Hails From: Brooklyn, NY USA
Lyrics: 8/10
Delivery: 9/10
Notable Quotable: “Takin photos wit the black and gray Polo’s
Ruinin niggas lives like they K-Ci or JoJo”
Associations: Busta Rhymes Flipmode Squad

4. Jean Grae

Hails From: Cape Town, South Africa
Lyrics: 9.8/10
Delivery: 10/10
Notable Quotable: “Still trying to get my pen on/ Write scripts and light splifs
Until we high as light bills/ Watching for those that might switch”
Associations: Talib Kweli, 9th Wonder, Blacksmith Records

3. Da Brat

Hails From: Chicago, IL USA
Lyrics: 9.5/10
Delivery: 10/10
Notable Quotable: “Thick in the the thighs cant touch that/Stay on my grind
I bust back if I must act and empty a stack
Its B to the R-A-T trust that I’m crazy/ JD pays me, I’m such a fuckin lady”
Associations: Jermaine Dupri, So So Def, Missy Elliot

2. Lauryn Hill

Hails From: South Orange, New Jersey USA
Lyrics: 10/10
Delivery:9.5/10
Notable Quotable: “More powerful than two Cleopatras
Bomb graffiti on the tomb of Nefertiti
MCs ain’t ready to take it to the Serengeti
My rhymes is heavy like the mind of sister Betty”
Associations: The Fugees, Wyclef, Refugee Camp

1. MC Lyte

Hails From: Brooklyn, NY USA
Lyrics: 10/10
Delivery: 9.8/10
Notable Quotable: “In full effect MC Lyte is back
And better than before as if that was possible
My competition, you’ll find them in the hospital
Visiting time, I think it’s on a Sunday/But notice they only get one day to shine
The rest of the week is mine
And I’ll blind you with the science that the others have yet to find”
Associations: Elektra Records, Salt-N-Pepa

Bonus Footage: I was trying to find a clip of what I thought was Jean Grae for like two years. I heard this girl rapping on interludes for 9th Wonder’s 2007 Dream Merchant II. The only female emcee associated with him, or so I thought at the time, was Jean Grae so I just assumed it was her. In the process of looking for this clip I learned that it was not Jean Grae. It was in fact a female emcee named Rapsody. You learn something new everyday. Please enjoy and pay thorough attention to the second clip…9th Wonder is a beast, but Rapsody’s voice just….well watch it.

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Daily Dose of L

Posted in Daily Dose of L with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 6, 2009 by letterlbeats

It’s time for another Top 5 Friday

Good Friday Hip Hop! If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know that I try to get at least one top 5 list in every month. Today I will countdown the top 5 trends in hip hop production for 2009.


5. The Airhorn

This has been a mixtape staple for years but only recently are we hearing it in actual songs on purpose. It originated in Reggae dance halls as a like a call to the dance floor. I remember hearing in a mixtape I got in like ’01 from Canal Street in NY. Then I would hear it from Dj’s at parties (probably because half of their stuff came from mixtapes). Obviously Drake’s Forever was the linchpin song that demonstrated this trick but I heard some others this year as well. Even Young General wanted me to throw it in Headbanger Boogie.

Drake Forever Cover


4. The Drumma Boy Sound Effect

Even though Put On by Young Jeezy was the summer anthem for 2008, in 2009 everybody started biting Drumma Boy’s (the prodcuer of the song) style by inserting that electro synth build up sound effect into every damned song. My understanding is that it was supposed to be his signature tag but I guess it doesn’t work if everyone else does it.


3. Synthesizers

I suppose this was more of a carryover from 2008 but I think the death of Michael Jackson and the trend of 80’s throwback kept it going. In the last month I can’t turn on the radio without feeling like the line between hip hop, pop, techno and electro has been blurred beyond recognition.


2. Hi Pass Filtered Ad Libs

This is also known as the “telephone” effect. Obviously we were first introduced to this on B.I.G.’s Warning. But now it’s like people can’t make a song without having at least one track of vocals passed through the filter. Even singing vocals. That Sean Kingston song is a perfect example. Melodies or some sh*t like that.


1. The Triplet Kick

The staple song for the year on this one would be Every Girls by Drake, produced by Tha Bizness. It’s essentially an extra kick between a double. It’s really simple but I’ve heard it so much that I don’t understand why this never happened before. Timbaland used to do it all the time but when he did it with a bunch of other off beat type rhythms. These are like your basic 1,4,7,11 patterns (on a 16 step based sequencer) but done on a 1/32 as to be able to add that quick triplet. It’s funny because I know Jason is reading this right now and has no idea whatI am talking about.

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