Illseed’s Advice: Hip-Hop Resolutions

I decided to suggest some resolutions to Hip-Hop’s biggest wigs starting with… Jay-Z, president of Island Def Jam “The industry shady, it needs to be taken over.” Well, Hov my first resolution is for you, because you seem to be the most powerful rapper in the industry. It’s time to put your supremacy where your… Read more »



Gettin’ Grown

I wonder if anybody else has this problem I’m driving down the street listening to Youngbloodz "Damn", a musical masterpiece in my mind, at extraordinarily loud levels. After all, this song is just perfect for riding down the block and knocking pictures off a wall. I’m cruising along, then I notice the street light turns… Read more »



The Rockefeller Drug Reform Sham

"We should be ashamed of ourselves," he said. "Rockefeller drug reform – ha! – I don’t think so." State Sen. Thomas Duane (D-Manhattan) While many are praising the recent reform of the Rockefeller drug laws, many more are not. Although the reform bill will reduce the most severe mandatory sentences for drug offenses, according to… Read more »



The Young Buck Stops Here

So what’s the formula for success these days for young rappers trying to make a name for themselves? Is it being able to lyrically finesse and good looks or being politcally correct with good hooks? Nope. Maybe it’s having heavy bass lines laced with lines about leaving the crack game. That’s it – nowadays it… Read more »



Hip-Hop Confusion: And This is For?

Everybody’s confused.  And do you know why everybody’s confused?  They’re confused because nobody knows what they want anymore.    Nobody.   I used to blame record companies for the lack of quality albums that were released.  Then I would blame the artists for selling out for commercial success.  I would complain that I missed that… Read more »



A Critique: Jay-Z’s “Fade to Black”

Under the Paramount Classics banner, "Fade to Black" unspooled before me as I remembered Jay-Z’s previous documentary "classic," an execrable piece of immature backstage concert antics named, well, "Backstage." Imagine my shock and pure joy when "Fade to Black," through fits and starts, eventually emerges to live up to the lofty title of its studio… Read more »



America Gets What It Deserves

Bush’s recent (and first-time) win of the presidency should come as a surprise to no one. It has validated the belief of many that America has gotten what it deserves, even after enduring some of the most horribly abusive foreign and domestic policies in American history. The fact that it was even a close call… Read more »



Hip Hop’s Intergenerational Power In Politics

This year has been truly a nation wide grass root movement to remind people the significance of voting. With hot topics like the war in Iraq, a declining economy, civil liberties in jeopardy and the welfare of future generation, some of our celebrated superstars have helped bring urgency to the voting process. Hip-Hop jumpstarted a… Read more »



Everyone Wants to Drive Now…

Now that Hip-Hop’s been commercialized… I mean, grown into global acceptance, has anyone else besides me stopped listening to what’s new? Does anyone else remember when ‘droppin’ gems on ‘em’ was an emcee’s theme that didn’t involve flashing gaudy jewelry at us? Our cultural vehicle of speech is now driven by corporate influence. Is it… Read more »



Asian-American Hip-Hop: A Commentary

Their Time to Shine?: Asian-American artists are gradually making their mark in hip-hop. But mainstream success is still out of reach. Now, the task seems to be resting on one man’s shoulders. It’s two o’ clock in the afternoon on a relatively quiet Saturday along the shores of Venice Beach, CA. A couple of rollerbladers… Read more »



Monkeying Around With Gorilla Unit

The subliminal messaging behind the G-Unit is truly fascinating. When one hears what the G stands for, there are thoughts of clandestine inner-city warriors, or dare I say, progressive freedom fighters. After all, “units” are associated with military and paramilitary operations. Therefore, it is logical to think that the “G” would stand for Guerilla. However,… Read more »



Rock The Vote Responds To RNC Letter

October 14th, 2004 Ed Gillespie Chairman, Republican National Committee Mr. Gillespie: The letter I received from you yesterday was quite a surprise. It struck us as just the sort of “malicious political deception” that is likely to increase voter cynicism and decrease the youth vote. In fact, it is a textbook case of attempted censorship,… Read more »