It was my first time at Sneaker Pawn in Harlem, an exclusive spot that’s more than just a sneaker store. I climbed the steps to the brownstone and met rapper Trip Lee upstairs where we took a seat on a bench surrounded by sneakers and sports gear. What a great setting to just kick it! We chopped it up discussing his new album Rise, the journey that led him to choosing his passion of music and much more!


Growing up in Sacramento, Victoria Monét started writing her own songs at a very young age. She comes from a musical family, so one might say that she was born to be a singer. Monét admits that it was a natural fit for her and she’s been singing and dancing for as long as she can remember; getting her start in the church.  She's come along way, now signed to Atlantic Records.  October was a big month for her as she was featured on two tracks on T.I.'s latest album, Paperwork.  She also made her iTunes debut with her own release, Nightmares & Lullabies Act I.  She is more than just another female singer that will be here today and gone tomorrow, Victoria Monét has all the makings of the real deal.  We caught up with her for the full story, before the breakthrough.


Joe Budden was never supposed to make it this far. Whether it was from the drugs or the streets, he probably should've been down and out somewhere. Once the music industry took hold of him that was only supposed to be one more powerful force that would eat away at him and leave for dead. And Def Jam surely tried. Looking back at where he started, it’s a wonder that he's still here. Had it been today's industry, he probably would've succumbed to the politics, but thankfully he's been in it since 2003. Hip-Hop aficionados are grateful for his time in the spotlight and for his Mood Music lyrical diary entries as well as his “emo” rap forays.


Lil’ Mo
emerged on the music scene in the late 90’s lending her voice to hits like, “Hot Boyz” by Missy Elliott, “Put It On Me” and “I Cry” both by Ja Rule. Still it was her breakout single, the 2001 “Superwoman pt. II” that helped solidify her name is music circles. The Fabolous assisted song led to the release of her debut album, Based On A True Story, garnering her tons of fans. With her success came the drama however, including an incident in San Francisco where she was attacked with a bottle of champagne and required 20 stitches. There also came industry beefs with some of the same people she found early success with, most notably Ja Rule.


If you know football, you know Deion Sanders. Primetime! Mr. “Must Be The Money.” Neon Deion. The Hall-of-Famer and two-time Super Bowl champion hasn’t really needed an introduction since his meteoric rise in the NFL spotlight, but these days it’s his moves off the field that require conversation. The second season of his reality show, Deion’s Family Playbook premieres on OWN Network on Saturday, November 1st at 9p.m. EST. For those that aren’t familiar, the show features Deion in a light that many might not be familiar with—Deion as a family man raising 10 children. That’s not all however, as Deion also helps run a charter school in Dallas Texas, Prime Prep Academy for grades K-12, and a nonprofit organization, Prime Time Association (aka TRUTH), which teaches young adults through sports and education.


Jagged Edge's eight album, JE Heartbreak II finds the quartet reunited with producer Jermaine Dupri, label So So Def and their original management Mauldin Brand Agency. The theme here is all about bringing back true R&B, so the guys shy away from Rap features or features of any kind, as well as Hip-Hop infused beats. Slow jams are plentiful in this 12 song album and with Bryan Michael Cox assisting the Casey twins on songwriting and production, its very much reminiscent to the sound of early Jagged Edge albums.



 
 

 

 

Egos should be checked right before the arrogant thoughts leave their heads. Unity within the music business isn’t really prominent. Everyone has their cliques and entourages but there is no affiliation with other successful musicians. Respect is hardly given. Of course music is ego-driven; ego is shown through award shows and the artist themselves. But the egos have lead to the greatest collaborations and the nastiest rivalries! The most recent rivalry is between new school rappers Wale and Kid Cudi.

 

Who knows where this beef stems from but it seems as if arrogance is a major part of it. On one side there is Wale, a D.C. native, whom through tweets complains about not getting enough recognition in the radio market and through his mixtapes brags about being the best new school rapper out there. On the other side is Kid Cudi hailing from Cleveland, Ohio, whose style is totally different from Wale but seems to hold his own. In a recent interview he egotistically confronts and disses Wale by calling him a "simple a** rapper." This beef was bought to the forefront by Wale but it seemed to fly under the radar. Off Wale’s mixtape, More About Nothing the first verse of the song, "Numbers Won" talks about the strained relationship between him and Cudi. He raps, "I lost my connection with a brethren/athlete mentality said f**k my competition/me and him was homies/maybe we still cool/but every time we book/we stay in our green room." This makes you think can rappers or other genre musicians really be friends or are they bred to be enemies.

 

There are so many failed relationships whether business or personal in the music business. A prime example is G-Unit, the group consisted of 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks, Tony Yayo, Young Buck and The Game. Through riffs and differences the latter two have since been disassociated from the group. This exemplifies the term frienemies, friends one moment becoming bitter enemies the next. R. Kelly and Jay-Z went through a similar disagreement. We had two musical geniuses collaborating on albums to them not being able to share the same stage.

 

The ego, according to psychologist Sigmund Freud, represents what may be called reason and common sense. Implementing the ego into music has been going on for the longest time but in the last decade, arrogance has become synonymous. Combining the ego with arrogance has formed a super-ego. The new definition of the super-ego differs from Freud’s. His definition says that the super-ego is the police of the personality whereas the new definition takes that of Freud defining the id. According to Freud, the id is the pleasure principle, it is selfish and "doesn't care about reality, about the needs of anyone else, only its own satisfaction." So these new school rappers are obviously driven by their pleasure principle. And the fact that most of them are super sensitive.

 

The introduction to Jim Jones’ song with the similar title pretty much sums up what a frenemy is. Talking over the instrumental he says, "This sh** is f**ked up cause/some n--- call it tough love/it's crazy cause/you might know a n--- all your life/and he got a twisted ulterior motive/and he just want to see you do bad/see a smile on your face all day/so he just acting like your friend/when he is really your enemy/or your best friend can become your enemy/through the jealousy/so we call those frienemies."

 

Who can you trust? Is the person that you’re the most closest to, going to betray you? Can there really be friendly competition? Decide who you’re going to allow in your circle and who is going to be loyal. The point is business and pleasure do not always mix and the outcome is unstable. Only the strongest relationships will survive the bumps and bruises. Betrayal is not an option in a loyal friendship.

"Friend or foe/who you with?"

 

Also Check Out:

Wale - More About Nothing mixtape Download

The Impending Death of the Battle Rapper

A.D.'s Soapbox - The Rap Game 101

Who Is William Roberts? - Rick Ross

Talent Takes a Backseat

 

About The Author
Alaina Latham
Author: Alaina LathamWebsite: http://www.lainalain3.tumblr.com/
Alaina grew up in “the thoroughest borough, BK.” A proud Brooklynite and a destined writer, for as long as she's been able to write, she wanted to use the pen to craft stories. Graduating from St. John’s University in Queens with a Bachelor’s in Journalism, she began her life goal to become the world’s greatest. She started writing for Parlé in 2010 and will continue to pursue the craft as long as possible. Known for her wit, thinking quick on her toes and her constant use of the exclamation mark, anything is possible!

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