Features

Lloyd Banks: Still Hungry

I t’s probably a safe bet to say Lloyd Banks has been with more women than your average 24 year old. The G-Unit soldier lives a lifestyle many people merely dream about, admit it or not. He’s won Adult Video News awards, he’s partied with Hugh Hefner, and he’s just gotten the green light to… Read more »

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DJ Scratch: Face Off

H aving traveled around the world and back again during his 20 years in the game, New York’s very own DJ Scratch is on a mission. This mission isn’t impossible, it is totally viable. He wants his home city to be recognized for quality music. That want is made clear in his recent Busta Rhymes… Read more »

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Too $hort: Keep On Truckin’

As the well-known freaky tale goes, Too $hort’s multi-platinum dreams started in the streets of Oakland. Close to a quarter century later, the after-effects of Todd Shaw’s still-monumental achievements still reverberate throughout the Town (as the city is affectionately known), and on blocks all over the country. Whether it’s encouraging the current generation of Hyphy… Read more »

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Shawnna: Heads Home

S hawnna has been “gettin’ some” for almost a decade – props, that is. While Ludacris’ Disturbing Tha Peace brand made Shawnna an artist that registered with a Southern, audience, this Windy City native dropped a group album nine years ago. As one-half of Infamous Syndicate, Shawnna was rushed into the studio, and later displaced… Read more »

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Obie Trice: Pour Out A Lil’ Liquor

Things should be good for Obie Trice. The artist’s debut album, Cheers, managed to sell over 500,000 copies. He’s a part of the reigning Shady/Aftermath machine and he’s about to release his sophomore album after a three-year sabbatical. But, Obie Trice has a bullet lodged in his head from an attempt on his life in… Read more »

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Guru & Solar: Group Therapy

T hroughout his career, Guru has rhymed in allegory. Classic material like “Now You’re Mine” and “Just To Get a Rep” never used names, but let driving words teach valuable lessons on life. Three years after Gang Starr made their last record, Guru reflects on the last chapter in the group’s life and the lyricist… Read more »

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Ray Cash: Cashing In

C leveland has never been thought of as a hotbed for musicians. Figures such as The O’Jays, Avant, and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony have had profound impacts on music, but only through associations in bigger cities. With a Sony Records contract and a localized approach, Ray Cash envisions a change to this trend. Using Lebron James’ young… Read more »

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Gnarls Barkley: Three Times Crazy

W hen Cee-Lo Green and Danger Mouse began recording what would become Gnarls Barkley’s St. Elsewhere in 2003, the uncanny pair simply envisioned a pet-project that they could possibly shop to an indie label. Three years later, their debut song “Crazy” is a record-breaking, genre-jumping single in the UK that just started infecting American airwaves,… Read more »

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Mike Watts: The Name Ain’t Changed

T here isn’t just one Mike Watts chopping and screwing his records. While one might be more recognizable than the other, Philadelphia’s Mike Watts isn’t changing his name anytime soon. In fact, the two artists shared legal counsel at one time, and acquaintances in Houston’s Lil’ Troy. While some might be quick to judge the… Read more »

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Swishahouse: Take ’em to the House

Between the success of Mike Jones, Paul Wall, and Slim Thug, Swishahouse Records was a proud father of artists in 2005.. However, as Chamillionaire and Slim Thug fared well without the label at times, Mike Jones has also recently been declaring his own independence. Michael “5000” Watts and G-Dash say otherwise, and responded to comments… Read more »

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Lady Sovereign: Lady’s First

L ady Sovereign may be 5’1” tall, but don’t underestimate this young woman’s fierce presence. The self-proclaimed “biggest midget in the game” created such a stir on the underground UK scene, that it persuaded Jay-Z to bring her over the pond to a Def Jam/Island Records contract. Some critics forecast this union of unique talent… Read more »

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MC Shan: Play it Again Shan

MC Shan’s albums vanished from record store shelves 15 years ago, and yet he is party to one of Hip-Hop’s most celebrated battles. When cousins Shan and DJ Marley Marl released “The Bridge” in 1986, they soon found themselves with a big slab of beef on the grill. KRS-One and Boogie Down Productions stood up… Read more »

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Dre: Next Level

D re envisions a solo career. As half of Cool & Dre, the Miami hit-maker has watched his status rise with each single the pair places on a top-selling album. After last year’s “Hate It Or Love It,” a collaboration with The Game and 50 Cent, the Miami duo has schooled other artists on how… Read more »

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Balance: Hard Days, Long Nights

As artists like 50 Cent, Cam’ron and Papoose created legitimate careers from the mixtape culture in varying degrees. So has Balance. The Bay artist rose from the ashes of the 90’s decline in his underrepresented region. Under the tutelage of the legendary EA-Ski, Balance’s verses received prime placement on mixtapes, even in the competitive rigors… Read more »

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