Monthly Archives: October 2009

Awareness Underreported News

Hip hop’s new disturbing trend – “No homo”

Hip hop has long been lampooned for being homophobic, and with even venerable groups like Tribe showing off some less-than-stellar judgment on the matter, it’s understandable why the genre as a whole has a bad rap.

But this new phrase seems to be even more over the top than the ridiculous nonsense that Eminem throws out.

Basically, more and more frequently now, rappers (I should note that it’s primarily commercial rappers who are doing this) drop some ridiculous phrase then toss out a “no homo” at the end.  This Current TV segment does a good job of highlighting the absurdity of the whole meme.


Personally, I can’t understand why hip hop would want to let something like this go.  In mind, a genre that has long been a bastion for disaffected people, or those who feel like they are being discriminated against, would want to inflict that same thing on anyone else.  Maybe it’s some whole “cycle of violence” thing the same way that abusers are affected.  Who knows? 

The problem is that it’s gaining so much credence that even big name rappers like Kanye are using it.  It’s one thing when little raw battle dogs like Cam’Ron drop some hyperbolic ish, but when someone who actually gets radio airplay is doing it, that’s another.

Hopefully this is a just one of those fads that disappears, like dropping it like it’s hot. 


Hip Hop’s Birthday

Sugarhill Gang @ Gru Village (Grugliasco, Turin)

Back on October 12, the BBC and others decided that it was Hip Hop’s 30th anniversary.  It’s a bit of an arbitrary day, I’d say, but at least it’s drawing attention to a neglected art form.

If you follow this link, the BBC has a pretty interesting short video with a guy who was present on the day hip hop was ‘born’.  An amateur photographer, he captured some of the most iconic photographs of the movement I’ve ever seen.  Joe Conzo has put his work up online as well so you can see some of these amazing images and wax a little nostalgic.

So, hip hop, happy belated birthday.  You’re a spry young person, and have many years ahead of you.  I still maintain that rumours of your death are greatly exaggerated.

Art Cool Hip-hop Film

49 Minutes with Mos Def

Since we here at 4080Records seem to love documentaries oh so very much, I thought I’d keep going with the trend.

Get ready to spend 49 minutes with Mos Def in Japan.


Shad – The Calling

Awareness Geek

Vinyl – Allan Zweig

This is shaping up to be some sort of oddly riveting film about record collectors.  It really doesn’t glamorize the habit, but really gives you a good idea of the people behind this.

Not every record collector is some dope ass DJ in fly gear, digging through crates to find a decent sample.  In fact, the vast majority are amateurs.  But there’s also the forgotten class of perfectionists, bordering on OCD, who search forever for mint condition albums.  There are also those who search for the rare albums just because they’re rare.  The one-time pressings, the original album for some obscure promotion.

These Vinyl Junkies can’t help themselves.  It’s a compulsion that they can’t ignore.  


After a little googling, I found this.  Not sure if it’s legit or not, so if it’s not please let me know and I will remove the embed.

Awareness Underreported News

Miley Cyrus loves Jay-Z

Now I don’t want to start a vicious rumour or anything, but there’s a very real possibility that Jay-Z has officially fallen off.  It’s not his fault, he is a legend and a dope emcee, but he’s also made songs so commercial that even Miley Cyrus knows who he is and drops his name in a song.

It just gives me shivers talking about this, but it’s true.  Listen to the first verse of Party in the USA and you will know what I mean.  She talks about how hearing “a Jay-Z song” makes her nervousness go away and makes her get all down and dancing.

If you make it that far, she later says that about Britney Spears too.

Lyrics for this verse below:

I hopped off the plane at LAX
With a dream and my cardigan
Welcome to the land of fame excess
Am i gonna fit in
Jumped in a cab
Here I am for the first time
Looked to my right
And I see the Hollywood signs
This is all so crazy everybody seems so famous
My tummy’s turnin’ and I’m feeling kinda homesick
Too much pressure and I’m nervous
Was when the taximan turned on the radio
and a Jay-Z song was on x3

So I put my hands up they’re playing my song
The butterflies fly away
Nodding my head like yea
Moving my hips like yea

Got my hands up they’re playing my song
They know I’m gonna be okay
Yeah, it’s a party in the USA x2

Art Hip-hop Film

Rhyme Spitters

Damn, Doomsday is sick.

Rhyme Spitters is a sick documentary series chronicling dope freestylers from all over the place.  I’ve got all four of them for you listed below, so check ‘em out if you’ve got some time when you’re bored.  The best part? It’s free and streamable online.   

That’s a lie, the best part of Rhyme Spitters 3 has to be “You get booed worse than R. Kelly standing in front of a pre school.”  Cold.



Rhyme Spitters 2 from Rhyme Spitters on Vimeo.


Rhyme Spitters 4 from Rhyme Spitters on Vimeo.


The Grouch’s “Mom and Pop Killer”

No, this is not just a creepy title for a post.  I’m talking about the video that the Grouch made this past year for a sick and anti-consumer track called Mom and Pop Killer

The premise for the video is quite simple in its purpose and is very much meant to scare you.  It’s hyperbolic, talking about how rampant consumerism and the growth of the mega corporation is killing off small businesses and harming the people behind them.

I was just talking about this same idea the other day, that when you look at a small business that’s closed for good, that this was likely someone’s dream and their life savings.  This was someone’s life that is now over. 

It’s a lot to think about, and obviously many don’t agree with the premise.  Especially those who feel like the shops that close simply weren’t making the cut, and that the market only rewards the successful stops.  But enough of waxing economic on you, check out the video below.

Awareness Cool

CBC’s Great Canadian Song Quest

CBC cars, 1970s

For all you Canadian readers (and hopefully even those of you outside of Canada) CBC Radio 2 is running a contest called the “Great Canadian Song Quest.”

You should take a look at the website for the contest.  It lets you select each province and look at a few select artists (including checking out a short sample by each one).  If you can’t see that, or you get annoyed by the Flash stuff, you can check out the Artist Press Kits here.

For you hip hop heads out there, both Shad and Dragon Fli Empire are featured in this contest.  Shad is obviously under Ontario, and Dragon Fli is out in Alberta.  If you go province by province, you’ll see some pretty awesome acts no matter what you’re musical taste is.


NPR’s best of fall hip hop


Maura Johnston, famous from writing for Idolator, has given a little radio interview to NPR talking about some upcoming acts.

Frankly, I don’t really agree with some of her choices but she does make some good points  She pumps up Jay-Z’s release, and the new Raekwon album, and has some time for a couple of smaller releases.

Stream the Best of Fall Hip Hop here.

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