Archive for the 'Features' Category

Video Vault: 10 Classic ’90s Common Music Videos

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

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Words by Daniel Isenberg (@StanIpcus)

I was sixteen when Common released his classic sophomore album Resurrection. I admittedly slept on his first joint, but Resurrection held me down so hard my junior year of high school, and I still bang it regularly when I need a jolt of purity. In fact, I’ve been playing it all weekend, and it’s as dope as it was the day I first listened to it, start to finish, no skips, just pure lyricism and skill over a soulful collection of banging No I.D. beats. Now twenty years later, Common is getting ready to drop his 10th album, Nobody’s Smiling, via Def Jam on July 22nd, and I’m super-psyched about its release, because it once again pairs him with Resurrection producer No I.D. The first single “Kingdom” with Vince Staples is a banger, and his recently released Big Sean collabo “Diamonds” knocks too, so there’s no doubt in my mind this LP is going to be special.

After listening to Common’s interview with Combat Jack earlier this week, I got all fired up and decided to put together this collection of classic ‘90s Common music videos for our latest Video Vault. This is a return to Common’s foundation, which you will see from the visuals is deeply rooted in his hometown of Chicago. From the singles off his debut album, to the breakout clip for “I Used to Love H.E.R.,” to collabos with Lauryn Hill, Sadat X, Black Star, and more, enjoy these 10 Classic ’90s Common Music Videos.

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12 Pack: A Dozen DJ Mixes to Enjoy This Summer

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

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Words by Daniel Isenberg (@StanIpcus)

Summer fun is never complete without a dope soundtrack. When you’re setting up your barbecue, and getting all the food and drinks and chairs and all that together, it’s important to never forget that key element to set the mood right for your guests—music. But hiring a DJ costs money, and crafting your own playlist takes time, so to save you a few chips and some ticks on the clock, we compiled a list of twelve DJ mixes available online for you to throw on this summer. And if you’re too busy grinding to party, well, these mixes will sound great in your whip, headphones, or office speakers, too. Crack all twelve open below.

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Editorial: 10 Songs You May Have Slept On in 2014 (So Far)

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

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Words by Daniel Isenberg (@StanIpcus)

Dozens of new hip-hop songs drop every day. It’s hard to keep up, I know. Where does one even find the time to listen to everything that’s released? It’s virtually impossible nowadays. You have to actively seek out music by the artists you like, and stay on top of your favorite outlets to make sure you don’t miss anything new in the genre. Well, that’s if you care. I have some friends that don’t really give a shit about new music. They care about sports, or market trends, or sneakers. Me, I care about music. I don’t want there to be a dope song out anywhere, old or new, that I am missing in my iTunes. I need all the heat. It’s a personal mission, and I’ll be on it forever.

That said, I want to take this mid-year opportunity to share a few personal favorites from 2014—so far—that you may have slept on. If you’re on NahRight religiously like I am, then you’ve probably heard most or even all of these. But maybe you missed a couple, or possibly you clicked on one of them and didn’t absorb it properly. Here’s your chance to make up for those oversights. Oh, and this ain’t no “best of” list. If you read our daily content and features, you know there are lots of other artists, songs, and projects we’ve been rocking with this year that are worthy of praise. The proof is in our posts. This is just me, speaking for the nooks and crannies I’ve found to be highlight-worthy since the ball dropped that you may have missed, forgotten about, or not given their proper listen. I want to make sure you’re not caught out there sleeping. Ride with me.

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Video Vault: 25 Classic Jay Z Television Performances

Sunday, June 29th, 2014

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Words by Daniel Isenberg (@StanIpcus)

Jay Z just embarked on yet another high-grossing Summer tour earlier this week, this time with his superstar wife Beyonce as the co-headliner. While young new artists continue to build up their following on the road, and legendary acts keep their careers alive off show money, Hov will be comfy cozy on his private jet flying city to city, padding his family bank account and perhaps Blue Ivy’s college fund with new bags of bills. But the route from Marcy Projects to mansions in the Hamptons didn’t come without continuous hard work. Jigga’s been out here doing this for a minute now (his debut Reasonable Doubt just turned 18 on June 25th), and though his career lifestyle has become more luxurious, it’s still a grind.

To help kick off Jay’s latest tour with wifey, we gathered up 25 Classic Jay Z Television Performances—dating back to 1996 and spanning his entire career—for our latest Video Vault. These TV clips feature on-stage performances with everyone from Beanie Sigel to UGK to Eminem to Lenny Kravitz to the Queen Bey herself, and there’s a few Dame Dash cameos to enjoy as well. Also included is a nice batch of past BET Awards performances to warm you up for tonight’s big show. Throw your diamonds up, the Roc is in the building!

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In The Lab with Boi-1da

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

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As we speak, some rapper is somewhere huddled over a notebook or iPhone furiously writing to the “0 To 100″ beat. I am certain of this. And so it goes with damn near everything Boi-1da unleashes into the wild. From “Pound Cake” to “Chi-Raq”, this guy’s beats have laid the foundation for numerous hits over the last couple of years and he’s showing no signs of letting up anytime soon. For our latest installment of In The Lab, we kicked it with the young Toronto genius about his early days a bedroom producer, his preferred studio setup, sample digging habits and of course his beat making process. He broke down some of his biggest tracks for artists like Drake, Jay-Z, Rick Ross and Eminem, and he revealed how Golden Era 90s Hip-Hop influences him to this day.

Click here to read In The Lab with Boi-1da

Previously: Lil Wayne ft. Drake – Believe Me (Prod. by Vinylz & Boi-1da)

Mixtape Memories with DJ Doo Wop

Friday, June 20th, 2014

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Of all the Golden Era DJs that soundtracked my life throughout the 90s, DJ Doo Wop stands out for one important reason: this dude and his crew rapped their asses off. As he mentions in our latest Mixtape Memories piece, although his tapes were undeniably hot and loaded with exclusive verses from the hottest MCs out, people often copped them just for the intros. On those first few minutes of each tape, you’d find him and his Bounce Squad crew demolishing the illest beats of the time in memorable fashion. With the exception of his “brother” Tony Touch, what other mixtape DJ can you name that was legitimately respected as an artist in his own right?

From its inception, myself and Ip knew the Mixtape Memories series would never be truly comprehensive without the testimony of the Bounce Master. Now we’ve finally got him and the story is as fascinating and informative as you would expect. He told us about his humble beginnings as a 9-year old DJ in the Bronx, to his first tapes in the late 80s and his eventual ascension as one of the most sought after DJs in New York City. He covered historic moments in his career, like when he debuted Prodigy’s Jay-Z diss that led to the infamous Summer Jam screen incident, the conception of his legendary ’95 Live mixtape and his time as Guru’s official tour DJ. And that’s only a fraction of the story.

Click here to read Mixtape Memories with DJ Doo Wop

Previously: Mixtape Memories with DJ Ron G  |  Mixtape Memories with DJ SNS 

Father’s Day Feature: Rap Dads

Saturday, June 14th, 2014

Words by Daniel Isenberg (@StanIpcus)

The great Boston rapper Ed O.G. once told us, “Be a Father to Your Child.” And many of us young American males who grew up as hip-hop fans and are still immersed in the culture every day are out here trying our best to do just that. But being a father and a hip-hop fan at the same damn time ain’t always that easy. Rap music is loaded with adult content and constant references to sex, drugs, and violence. But when you strip that all away, the fundamental basis of it—beats and rhymes and scratches—is something that any age can enjoy. We all have memories of being too young to understand a rap song but still loving it. I had Run-D.M.C. and Fat Boys tapes in 2nd grade, and even though a lot of what they were saying probably went over my head, they were my most cherished possessions! And now that dudes like me are fathers, we are watching our kids experience that same joy and excitement we had when we first discovered hip-hop, and we happily share that bond with them.

Since this weekend is Father’s Day, we decided to explore the notion of hip-hop fatherhood in 2014 and reach out to a few friends of the site that all make a living in some way or another within hip-hop to ask them about their experiences raising their children as what we affectionately refer to here at NahRight as Rap Dads. And since eskay and I are both Rap Dads, we included ourselves in this one too. Hope you enjoy, and Happy Father’s Day!!

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Picture Perfect with Alexander Richter

Friday, June 13th, 2014

Words by Daniel Isenberg (@StanIpcus)

It’s time for another edition of Picture Perfect, and this week, we linked up with professional hip-hop photographer and amazing all-around artistic talent Alexander Richter to break down some of the most iconic photos from his many years of capturing images of our favorite rap stars. Without knowing it, you’ve probably seen Alexander’s work all over your Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook feeds, and definitely on blogs like NahRight. And that’s not by accident. Dude makes phenomenal pictures, straight up, and they’ve been used for everything from album covers to press junkets to feature stories in magazines in the U.S. and overseas, and in turn have spread like wildfire to make a major impact online as well (whether he’s been properly credited or not). Read below as Alexander Richter takes us behind the lens to discuss these ten timeless photos he’s made of rap stars—from 50 Cent to Mac Miller to The Clipse—in detail. As you will find out, there’s way more to it than just point and click. Respect the shooter.

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10 Classic Beastie Boys Television Performances

Monday, June 9th, 2014

The passing of Beasties Boys member MCA in 2012 is still being felt today by his family, friends, and fans, and that pain won’t let up anytime soon. Whether you grew up a hardcore fan like I did listening to the Beastie Boys’ music or not, their contribution as a group to the culture is undeniable, and MCA was the heart and soul of all they gave to us. Every white rapper out here (including myself) owes the Beastie Boys a debt of gratitude for breaking down barriers for them early on. They knew how to make hit records, have fun, and unlike fellow contemporary white hip-hop artists like Vanilla Ice, they never came off corny. They were three dope MCs and musicians who represented New York to the fullest, were never afraid to be themselves, and with every album release, they pushed hip-hop forward. And most especially, they were ill performers, who knew how to put on a great live show.

To honor MCA and his living bandmates Mike D and Ad-Rock, and celebrate this year’s 20th anniversary of their album Ill Communication (which is a personal Ipcus favorite), I put together a collection of 10 Classic Beastie Boys Television Performances for our latest Video Vault. These hand-picked clips span the first 20 years of their career dating back to their infant stages as a punk band in 1984, and showcase the Beasties’ incredible on-stage chemistry, from the rhymes to the instrumental riffs to the humor. Click the link below to read/watch. This is dedicated to MCA, Rest In Peace.

CLICK HERE: Video Vault: 10 Classic Beastie Boys Television Performances 

Previously: Video Vault: 5 Classic Television Performances by The Roots 

Pick 6 with Cormega

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

Out of all of the legendary artists spawned by the Queensbridge projects, Cormega is a special talent. You could argue that Nas is the greatest lyricist, or that Craig G was the best battle rapper, but in my opinion, nobody captures the essence of QB like Mega Montana. There’s just something about the way he assembles his verses and relays his message that embodies The Bridge. For the second ever installment of our new Pick 6 series, Mega gave us the science behind 6 of his most memorable cuts. From working with a young Lil Wayne before nearly anybody else in New York, to recording with the likes of Marley Marl and Large Professor, he shared some great insight into some of the highlights of his long and remarkably consistent career.

Click here to read Pick 6 with Cormega

Previously: Cormega – Industry (Prod. by Large Professor)