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.



 
 

 

 

What a difference three years make! For fans of the collective of hit makers known as Slaughterhouse, the changes are obvious. Their debut self-titled album was released in 2009, under E1 Records. Selling under 19,000 copies in its first week, the crew's individual buzz wasn't enough to make for commercial success. This time around the crew has one of the year's most highly anticipated albums with Welcome To Our House. Phaoroahe Monch, Kay Young and Fat Man Scoop features from the previous album are replaced by the bigger names of Busta Rhymes, Cee Lo Green and Swizz Beatz. And needless to say Eminem is the album's executive producer, releasing the album under his Shady/Interscope label. Change has its pros and cons though for the Slaughterhouse crew.

 

The one constant on this album is the lyrical prowess of these gentleman. Whether they are involved in an intricate back and forth banter or dominating a 16-bar verse solo, they are going to impress with their wordplay and leave a punchline on you that makes you want to run the whole track back. The opportunity to hear them on multiple tracks with Eminem makes it worth a listen all its own.

 

The pressure on these guys to create a masterpiece is high, and no one knows this more than Eminem. It feels like he steered them in a direction he felt would be more effective for their mainstream debut, a direction that isn't really what makes these guys reach their highest potential. Em does produce or co-produce more than half the album in addition to featuring on three tracks. Additionally, another Shady producer, Mr. Porter, produces another two tracks. Plus, two Skylar Grey features, a song about making it rain called "Throw It Away," and a B.o.B feature??? Not saying Em thinks they need as much help as D-12, but Em clearly felt they needed assistance.

 

The On The House mixtape released a week ago feels a lot more genuine and true to the Slaughterhouse brand, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do to sell records. Welcome to Our House will do impressive numbers I'm sure, maybe even top the charts in a slow music week. And listeners will have songs like "Die," "Goodbye," and "The Other Side" to add to their Slaughterhouse hit collection.

 

Can't help but wonder what's next for Joey, Joell, Royce and Crooked though. All this new music and fans still won't be satisfied for long.

 

Welcome To Our House receives a PAR

 

Rating:
P…Horrible
PA…Tolerable
PAR…Good
PARL…Kinda Great
PARLÉ… Classic

 

Also Check Out:
Slaughterhouse - On The House mixtape download
Wiz Khalifa - ft. Young Jeezy & Lil' Wayne - "Work Hard, Play Hard" Remix
DJ AGE presents Kendrick Lamar Rising Star mixtape download
Channel Orange - Frank Ocean album review
Jay Electronica: Most Enigmatic Man in the Underground Finally Releases Tracklisting 

About The Author
Kevin Benoit
Author: Kevin Benoit
Kevin Benoit, 27, is the founder and editor of Parlé Magazine. As a freshman in college, in May of 2004, Benoit created Parlé, an urban entertainment magazine that focuses on literacy through entertainment. The publication has since provided a stepping-stone for many individuals throughout the country, from teens to adults and continues to provide inspiration for inspiring entrepreneurs, writers, photographers and graphic designers. Benoit graduated from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 2007 with a Bachelors of Science in Legal Studies.

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