Category Archives: Entertainment

Happy birthday Hip-Hop

This Summer marks 40 years since America first heard the words “Hip-Hop” (which continued with, hippie to the hippie, to the hip-hip-hop and you don’t stop rockin’) spoken by Wonder Mike of the Sugarhill Gang in their Rapper’s Delight track, the first commercially successful rap song. BUT THAT WAS NOT THE START OF HIP-HOP AT ALL.

Hip-hop is a movement or culture that started in New York City that combined elements of style, art, dancing, singing rhythmic cadence and the extended mixed sounds of a song’s percussion and base solo instrumental, all combined that has an influence upon hundreds of millions of people in the world today, and it all started on August 11, 1973.

On that day, Clive Campbell, known around the neighborhood as DJ Kool Herc threw a back to school party his sister organized at their home at a high-rise apartment at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue. There, Herc figured to get the party cooking and having people out on the dance floor, he’d just extend the best part of the songs that we all listened to; the break. Using two turntables playing the same record, Herc extended a few of his favorite soul and funk records and created a new art and type of party sound for the people.

His sound spread like wildfire across the borough. At that point, everyone wanted to attend a DJ Kool Herc party in the South Bronx. Being a DJ or a record manipulator became conductive to a new musical art. Everyone wanted to move the crowd and make them dance. And naturally when people started dancing to those break beats they were known as breakdancers or b-boy (break boy), another huge element of early hip-hop.

But just as any movement has its founder, there are also other key figures who would change the game that Kool Herc started. Others like Grandmaster Flash, who added a science to creating those break beats. Flash popularized DJing to what we see commonly today. Another key player, Afrika Bambaataa also expanded on what Herc started with a wealth of musical inventory to mix and technological advances. DJ Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash and Afrika Bambaataa started hip hop. The dancing, the art, the culture and of course the rapping soon followed.

These days its only natural to think hip-hop and rap going hand-in-hand. But speaking over musical tunes has been around just as long as music itself. But the early innovators of rap used a style that was was seen with radio DJs like Frank Crocker, then continued with disco’s DJ Hollywood. Lyricist like Lovebug Starski, Grandmaster Caz and Melle Mel added their form of voice over to the DJs and created rap music.

It was growing everywhere around uptown New York City in the mid 1970s. The only way you could have a good party was to have a DJ and an emcee on the mic. All of this years before a disco producer who heard the new musical wave and decided to essentially pick three guys at random who could “rap” and then record them in a studio to record Rapper’s Delight. From the parties, to the streets, to the hood, out in the city and to the radio…hip-hop was born, rap was bred.

Lyrics and terms written and coined by others, were now widely known in 1979 when one of the years biggest top songs hit the airways. People called in to request to hear that “hip-hop” song (as those were the first two words on the track), or “I want to hear that rap(ping to the beat) song (from the second verse in the track).”

Rapper’s Delight could have easily been a one-hit wonder. But someone quite literally said, “AND YOU DON’T STOP…”

And the beat goes on with Part 2…coming soon.

Suzie-poo saving the world. Best. Thing. Ever.

Well at least in the past 30 years. But definitely the best part of Stranger Things 3.

Netflix series Stranger Things 3 was released just about a week ago to rave reviews by many. At the most climatic part in the season’s final episode we were introduced to a new character who gave us a magical moment that will likely never be rivaled for a very long time.

Dustin, one of the four main protagonist of the series, had returned from summer camp at the start of the season. Almost immediately he tells his buddies about the first and only thing on his mind from all summer, he new summer fling. The ultra-smart, uber-talented, hotter than Phoebe Cates, Suzie-poo.

When Dustin and team needed the answer to a mathematical equation that they were not able to recall, who knew that Suzie would have it right off the top of her head. But giving it away came at a price. We were then introduced to the Dustin-Suzie rendition of the theme song to the all-time 1980’s fantasy classic movie The NeverEnding Story.

Reluctant at first, as nearly the whole cast was listening as Dusty-bun sang a tune to his girlfriend over the radio airwaves. Lucas, Will, Nancy, Jonathan, Steve and Robin racing away from a monster. Hop and Joyce eagerly awaiting the number that only Suzie has at this point. The inopportune time showed on everyone’s face, but Dustin and Suzie had the time of their lives in this brief couple of minutes.

Just from the opening line…”Turn around, look at what you see-e-e-e…” takes you back to the adventures of Bastian, Artreyu, the Childlike Princess and Falkor. And then comes the joyous harmonization of Dustin and Suzie going line for line of the song with latter busting out to dance moves and striking a pose as if she was riding on the luck dragon herself.

In a show that’s chock-full of 80’s nostalgia from the start, particularly with this season flashing allusions of “New” Coke, fashion, shopping malls, movie references, Cold War struggles and technology. We also found several overt but familiar plot device we may have seen before in the likes of Goonies, Stand By Me, Aliens, and Fast Times at Ridgemont High. But the obvious “jewel of the Nile” (see what I did there) has to be little Suzie saving the world after a “NeverEnding Story” duet.

As a child of the 80s, watching a show about children of the 80s, A NeverEnding Story was everything to me, as it was and should be to everyone from that era. It was every kid’s fantasy fleshed-out in a movie. The “real-life” backstory of Bastian were relatable and the travels of Artreyu were envied. And of course everyone wanted to ride Falkor.

Obviously the writers of Stranger Things knew of its importance which is the reason why it was thrown into the apex of the final episode. Some people actually found fault in it though. A playful song and dance isn’t ideal in the most critical of time.  I mean, who needs to hear kids professing their fondness for one another through a theme song of a movie when literally the fate of the world and mankind is at stake when time is of the essence. But that just enhances the experience. Aside from if Suzie really believed that she was saving the world, it really could have been the insprational tune that powered Joyce and Hop through their next few minutes to defeat Russians and monsters.

In either event, when Suzie finally proved to everyone that she was just more than a figment of Dustin’s imagination, it was right on time. It was the best scene, in the best episode in arguably one of Netflix’s best series. You may have to have been born somewhere between 1980 and 1990 to get the full appreciation of the scene, but if you didn’t like it, what will you like?

Another Jeopardy master in our midst

Julia CollinsOne of America’s favorite game shows Jeopardy! has been a household name for nearly 30 years. Well now some of the more well-known contestants who have competed on the show are also becoming household names. Continue reading Another Jeopardy master in our midst

The wedding gift that keeps on giving

kimyeIt’s hard to ignored it, and even harder to say you haven’t heard, but Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are getting married, and you’re going to hear about it one way or another. With less than a week until the wedding of reality star Kim Kardashian and hip-hop superstar Kanye West, America finds itself in the midst of a media blitz leading up to the highly publicized nuptials. Continue reading The wedding gift that keeps on giving

Jay-Z vs. Solange…What really happen?

solange jay z met gala split apBy now many of us have seen the video of Jay-Z getting attacked by his sister-in-law Solange. If you haven’t, what are you waiting for!

Now the only thing that remains on the minds of all who watched is why? What really happened that caused that lady to beat on the hip-hop mega-superstar, right in front of his wife?

The footage that was leaked just today by TMZ shows Jay-Z, his wife Beyoncé, her sister Solange and a security guard entering an elevator at the 2014 Met Gala last week. As soon as the door closed, Solange is shown punching Jay-Z several times. She then gets retrained by the security guard, but continues to throw multiple kicks and lunge at him to keep up with the assault. While this whole ordeal is being recorded on your typical elevator surveillance camera, Beyoncé just stands there for the entirety of the three-minute video, apparently not taking a side either way.

So what set her off to go so violent? At first guest, an easy consensus would be she was taking up in the defense of her sister. The number one reason why sisters take up for sisters, is over an unfaithful partner, who Solange was directing her anger toward. So was Jay-Z unfaithful to his wife Beyoncé and Solange found out about it that night and took out her frustrations on behalf of her older sister? Why else would Beyoncé stand there and let her sister be so abusive to her husband.

…THAT’S ONE WAY OF LOOKING AT IT. BUT HOW ABOUT THIS?

Solange, Beyoncé’s younger and less popular sister, was trying to make a name for herself. Beyoncé is a world-famous pop icon, who is married to arguably the most notable rapper of all-time. While Solange has a bit of a singing career in her own right, she does not have the multi-millions of her sister, nor does she have the notoriety. In fact, if you don’t follow closely to the R&B/pop scene, you may have to Google her just to find out who she is or what she does. And without having an established career or hit single in years, she very likely could be supported by her sister and brother-in-law. Maybe bread-winner Jay-Z said enough is enough. Cutting her off and putting her out would be enough to set a loose cannon flying off the handle.

BUT REAL CONSPIRACY THEORIST KNOW THIS TO BE TRUE…

It’s no secret that Jay-Z, Beyoncé and even their new bundle of joy are rumored to be apart of the Illuminati, a mythical organization with designs on controlling the world. The hand signals, music lyrics, symbolism and clothing all contribute to a conception that is related to the Enlightenment era group who opposed the Catholic Church, that are now modernized to be a group of powerful elitist who seek a “New World Order” through politics, religion, entertainment, government, etc. How does Solange play into this? Well its obvious she tried to beat her way in? Or worst, upset that Jay-Z won’t let her in their club. Maybe Solange got threatened if she spilled the beans on the inner workings of the group. Either way, the release of this leaked video is further proof in itself of a conspiracy.

LET’S BE REAL THOUGH, THE TRUTH IS…

There was probably some alcohol and drugs involved, or not involved like they should have been. There’s been talk of the mental issues of Solange who may be suffering from ADHD, or perhaps bipolar disorder. In which being off her meds would cause an outburst like we saw in the tape. She’s talked about mood swings and stress and even canceled a tour last year because of which. And who’s to say she didn’t have a couple of drinks (maybe too many drinks) before they hit the elevator. If someone is intoxicated enough, or their faculties are effected enough where they could not act rational, one really can’t do anything for that person but just stand by and let them get it out of their system. Hence the restraint we saw in Jay-Z, and the idleness we saw with Beyoncé.

Not for nothin’ but its good to know what Stevie J, Joseline, K. Michelle and Benzino go through isn’t limited to reality television. Whatever scene from Love & Hip Hop Solange was trying to act out in that elevator has gotten us all curious. But we can only speculate as to her reasons for her tantrum, because that’s what all this is, just pure speculation. Maybe Jay-Z had an affair she didn’t like, maybe the Illuminati put her up to it, maybe she’s just a crazy drunk. Who knows. All of those could be true; or perhaps none of those.