Category Archives: Underreported News

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Shad is the new host of Q

CBC’s Q Radio Program has been embroiled in controversy the last little while.  Ever since the fall of Jian Ghomeshi 4 months ago (as of the date of this article), it has been a whirlwind of a search to find a worthy successor.

And they have one.  A cerebral, excellent, talented rapper and interviewer.  Shad has been announced as the new permanent host of Q.

A Juno Award-winning musician who has been nominated three times for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize, the performer known as Shad takes the reins of the show after CBC managers were impressed by his ease in speaking with other artists during a week-long audition as a Q guest host in late January, Shad interviewed a range of artists including cartoonist Art Spiegelman, opera star Christine Goerke, filmmaker and author Miranda July and actress Evangeline Lilly.

We here at 4080 welcome him.  While Shad has never reached the market saturation he deserves, his albums have been incredible.  He’s a critical darling, and one who is a worthy successor to such an institution.

And I leave you with Rose Garden:

Awareness Cool Underreported News

Kobe Bryant’s failed rap career

Grantland has a great story on The secret history of Kobe Bryant’s failed attempt at a rap career.  It’s a bit of a long read, but in the best possible way.

It tracks Kobe’s path through his time signed at Sony Entertainment and provides surprisingly relatable discussions about his struggles to remain true to his original intention versus being moved towards the radio-friendly pop sound that the mainstream wanted (or that the label thought they wanted).  Here’s a quick snippet from the article:

 “You know what’s funny? He sounds dope,” she says afterward. “Compared to the rappers today, he’s dope. He sounds like an underground backpack rapper. It don’t even sound like Kobe Bryant. I would want to hear more from this kid if I didn’t know who he was. That’s funny. Nobody raps like that anymore. Yo, he came there to prove a point. He put thought into that. I couldn’t hear it for years when everyone joked about it. Now hearing it, he doesn’t sound bad.”

Clark Kent has a different take on Bryant’s performance. “He just seemed like one of those guys that wanted to be good so bad that he was trying to use the most intelligent [words] and have the sick vernacular. It was like, ‘Calm down, duke. Just rap.’ He was the lyrical-miracle-genius-type rapper.”

Awareness Music Underreported News

Jay-Z battles Republicans

For those of you who haven’t been following the news, Jay-Z has been getting some heat lately for the trip he took to Cuba with Beyonce.

While constantly ignored, America still technically prohibits non-sanctioned travel to Cuba by their citizens.  A bunch of Republicans have been questioning his trip and whether or not he broke the law.

They’ve been making such political hay out of it that Hova responded the only way he knows how.  He dropped a surprisingly good battle track going after them.

I can’t wait for Marco Rubio’s response track to drop.

Underreported News

The House that Hova built

 

The New York Times just ran a fascinating profile on one of the elder statesmen of hip hop. Titled, The House That Hova Built, it's a look into how Jay-Z rose to where he is today.

Aside from the traditional examination of his new career as a businessman and minority owner of the nets, this article also talks about his growth as a rapper itself.

Jay-Z, like rap itself, started out pyrotechnical. Extremely fast, stacked, dense. But time passed and his flow got slower, opened up. Why? “I didn’t have enough life experience, so what I was doing was more technical. I was trying to impress technically. To do things that other people cannot do. Like, you can’t do this” — insert beat-box and simultaneous freestyle here — “you just can’t do that.” Nope. Can’t even think of a notation to demonstrate what he just did. Jay-Z in technician mode is human voice as pure syncopation. On a track like “I Can’t Get With That,” from 1994, the manifest content of the music is never really the words themselves; it’s the rhythm they create. And if you don’t care about beats, he says, “You’ve missed the whole point.”

Pretty intriguing look. Plus, it points to some tracks from his back catalogue that I have totally overlooked.

 

Underreported News

Livin like Mr. Thug

The Globe and Mail, a national Canadian newspaper, ran an article titled “How to be thrifty like a rap mogul”.  It’s actually kind of an interesting read, and focuses mostly on one artist known as Slim Thug.

Pieces of advice such as

“Going into the strip club to make it rain 5Gs ain’t ever profited my pockets,” he writes. Nope. This guy would rather make $5,000 trickle.

or

“Never spend all your money to get high or drunk…. It ain’t worth it, unless you’re trying to spend your money to flip that [excrement] and get it back plus some.”

This may end up making surprising amounts of sense to the newly rich.  Despite how easy it is to laugh at a sentiment like that, it’s actually accurate.  And it’s something that belies a more basic principle.  There’s no reason to live beyond your means.  Especially if you come from little, the best thing you can do is make sure you never wind up with little again.
Still, it’s hard to take an article seriously when they quote from a “Mr. Thug”.
Awareness Underreported News

RIP MCA

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There’s so much that could be be said about the Beastie Boys’ MCA.  At 47, he died way too soon.  After fighting cancer for a few years, he finally lost the fight and has, hopefully, moved on to a better place.  It’s an unbelievably tragedy to his family and a huge loss to the hip hop community as a whole.

The Beastie Boys were pioneers of the art form, and did more to expand hip hop horizons than half of the records of the last decade combined.  They were unabashedly passionate, and minorly rebellious.  They won over listeners from the suburbs to the city.

Rest in peace, Adam.

Check out the classic Sabotage, below.

The Beastie Boys kept things pretty interesting, even in the last few years.  They released a full-length short film titled Fight for your Right.  It just goes to show how many people they reached, because this star studded film has some pretty unexpected (and fantastic) cameos.

Awareness Underreported News

R.I.P Heavy D

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Unfortunately, another hip hop icon has passed on.  Heavy D, born Dwight Errington Myers, died at the far-too-young age of 44.  MTV is reporting that

“He had gone to the doctor the day before,” Winter told New York’s Daily News. “He had what appeared to be flu-like symptoms.”

“He said he had a touch of pneumonia, maybe from traveling,” cousin Ruddy Phillips, 50, told the Daily News after speaking with the entertainer’s dad. “He just got back from England.”

The Overweight Lover was conscious though experiencing trouble breathing when he was transported to Cedars Sinai Medical Center after a 911 call was placed at 11:25 a.m. PT on his behalf Tuesday. However, he was pronounced dead at 1 p.m. PT. Although an autopsy has been performed, the coroner is declining to announce any cause of death until toxicology tests are conducted due to Heav taking various medications.

Until they find out what happened, its useless to speculate.  But the one thing we can agree on is that this is tragic, and he had a lot more life to live. I can honestly say that I slept on his last couple of albums, but in honour of his legacy, I give you Now that we found love.  Check it out below.

Underreported News

Lil Wayne is pondering retirement

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According to our family over at Nah Right , Weezy is considering hanging up his microphone after his latest album is released.

“I’m bowing out still on top,” he says. “I’ma make y’all want me when I retire. I’ma make y’all be like, ‘Nooo!’ I ain’t leaving out this bitch when y’all be like, ‘Yeah, it’s about time, dawg.’ Carter IV might be my last one. I’ma make y’all be like, ‘Fuck!’ Yeah, nigga, I’m gone.”

I think i might be happy about this.

Cool Underreported News

Mos Def will be on “Dexter”


Oh man, I cannot wait for this! If you haven’t seen the show, Dexter, you are not living your life the proper way.  It’s a huge success, and follows Michael C. Hall as a serial killer that you can’t help but root for.  And our boy Mos Def will be appearing on the upcoming season.  I’ve been a fan of Mos’ acting career (mostly), and I’m excited to see what he does with this role.

According to Billboard, Mos will play “a hardened ex-con who claims to have found religion yet seems to continually find himself surrounded by violence,” and Dexter will show “who he really is.”

via Pitchfork: Mos Def Joins Cast of “Dexter”.

Underreported News

Method Man Wants To Abandon Pothead Image

HipHop DX is reporting some news that’s kind of surprising to me in some ways.  Method Man, one of the kings of the Wu-Tang Clan (and also short-lived star of a terrible TV-show with Redman) has starting trying to grow up.  He’s come out to say that he wants to start getting away from the image he’s so carefully cultivated.

“When you get older and you’ve got kids and your kids are going to school and you know [their] teachers…and they see how active you are and concerned [you are] with your kids’ education or well being, it’s hard to sit there and be taken seriously if people are always talking about he’s always high…which is totally not the case,” he said. “When I first came out, I was young, we were doing our thing, we smoked a lot…and we didn’t care if the world knew. Now, I have to use more discretion because of my kids. This is not for me; everything I do if for them now, so I use a bit more discretion and I don’t put weed as a forefront anymore.”

I thin Snoop said something similar a few years back.  But here’s hoping Meth can stick with this.