ARTICLE: The death of Aaliyah

The death of Aaliyah (By Truplaya611)

(Originally written as a narrative essay).

R&B music will never be the same. As I was walking around the campus of UMES, listening to the radio on my walkman, on August 26th, I heard some tragic news. Ocean City’s 103.9 OC 104 reported that singer Aaliyah had died in a plane crash while in the Bahamas. My initial reaction was total shock. I was thinking, “Could it be, my baby Aaliyah dead?” I couldn’t believe it, dead at only 22 years old.

INTERVIEW: Champions Of Nature

Champions Of Nature Interview (by A to the L)

Champions Of Nature

Hip-hop masters Champions of Nature release Salsa Smurf through Wordplay on September 10. The track promises to smash the hip-hop charts this autumn and is already being tipped to be one of the anthems of the year. It is the second single to be taken from the critically acclaimed hip-hop compilation “Wordlab 2”, which was released in August. I recently had a chance to talk to crew member L-Dolo about life as a Champions of Nature member – here’s what he had to say…

ARTICLE: Hiphop and free speech

Hiphop and free speech (By DJ MF)

A couple of months ago, without much fanfare, US Congress fired off the first shot in what could be an assault on free speech in music, and more specifically hip-hop, by “urging” the hip-hop industry to regulate content in lyrics before the government could get around to it.

ARTICLE: Observations

Observations (By Truplaya611)

Over the past several weeks, I’ve noticed some things, and I would like to share them with the alt.rap.com community. First, more hit music stations are popping up. There was just a new one added to the DC area. When I was down on the eastern shore, in Salisbury, I saw a billboard advertising a new hit music station for the DelMarVa (Delaware, Maryland, Virginia) region. More hip-hop/urban stations!, more hip-hop/urban stations!

SINGLES REVIEW

Verbals by A to the L
Champions Of Nature – Salsa Smurf (Wordplay)
This looks like being the next single from the new Word Lab 2 compilation. In the album review I said that I didn’t really feel this, but I have to admit that after a few listens here, its started to grow on me. Still not a classic by any means, and that damn Salsa Smurf vocoder chorus still gets on my wick. On the flipside is a track called ‘Jazzy Styles’, which uses an old refrain from a Jazzy Jay session, that I ain’t heard in a long time.
RATING: 7 / 10

SINGLES REVIEW

Verbals by A to the L
Karl Hinds – Don Gramma (Remix) (Wordplay)
The lead single of the Word Lab 2 compilation (reviewed here) features the added skills of Blak Twang and Seannie T. Electro tinged beats, aggressive rhyming skills and some nice lines feature throughout. The flip side features the original mix (not much difference between the two versions really though). The original is the UK answer to Big L’s ‘Ebonics’ and its a real need-to-listen-to single. Trying to describe the whole mood and style of this track is hard – on one hand it is a blatant copy of the L single, but it represents the UK so unashamedly with the culture and language differences celebrated rather than hidden behind Americanisms.
RATING: 8 / 10