IT’S COLD IN THE D, Pt. 3: Street Mode

We’re back with Part Three for all the comments about those who were left out…don’t worry, we got you. In Detroit, there is Detroit Hip-Hop, a circle of purists who almost all emerged from the Detroit Hip-Hop Shop, a now-defunct, but ever immortalized clothing store where Proof hosted legendary open mic’s. The Detroit Hip-Hop crowd is full of most of the artists who were mentioned in Part One, and all of the artists mentioned in Part Two. Then, there is the Detroit Street Hip-Hop scene. These are the artists who are almost never mentioned in national publications, unless it’s FEDS or Don Diva. They are the crowd that might have slanged a little something, and will definitely bang a little something. In the show of unity, we are reaching across the aisles to Detroit artists who deserve their just due. We are also highlighting some solo superstars who hold the city down around the world. EshamAccording to his Wikipedia page, Esham has released twelve studio albums, five EP’s, and three compilation albums. Those in the D may have seen him rolling around Metro Detroit in a Bentley before most people knew what a Bentley was. He was born in Long Island but grew up on the East side of Detroit. Esham is known for pioneering acid rap and has influenced numerous artists from Insane Clown Posse to Limp Bizkit to Korn to Eminem. His group, NATAS, which is what you think it is spelled backwards, formed with Mastamind and TNT experienced success after their debut in 1993. In the last decade and a half, Esham has been the picture of success on the independent level. His new album, Sacrifical Lambz was just released on Aug. 26th. Esham “American Psycho” Video Rock BottomRock Bottom Entertainment was founded in 1997, their debut Alligator City was released in 2000 and is reported to be the best-selling independent album in Detroit history. The album produced the classic Detroit anthem, “Gatored Up” (“Stink pink gators, my Detroit players” —Notorious BIG “Hypnotize”). The song and the album immortalized the side Detroit that doesn’t get as much attention. The current Rock Bottom roster includes Tango & Cash, Blackface, J-Nutty, and Screwface; as well as the Thug Division which features another five rappers. Rock Bottom is also where Detroit’s Big Herk arose from. Royce Da 5’9”One of the illest MCs from any city, Royce Nickel Nine is the pride of the city. After personal drama (jail time for drunk driving), career drama (being released from two major recording contracts), beef drama (his well-publicized squabble with D12 or the equally publicized but less personal rift with Mistah F.A.B.), and just plain drama, drama (breaking his arm wrestling a fan in Denmark). Royce was fortunately able to emerge baptized by the fire. He has squashed all of his beefs and is now the picture of diplomacy. Royce records and work with rappers on both sides of Detroit’s aisles, the street rappers and the Hip-Hop purists; and he gets love from both. Lyrically gifted and a genuinely good person, Royce is slowly taking a position of leadership in Detroit, which this time he is actually ready for. His new mixtape, Bar Exam 2 will be a free download available on September 9th. Royce Da 5’9” f/ Eminem “Rock City” Video”One.Be.LoOne.Be.Lo is a well-respected alternative rap artist. A native of Pontiac, an urban center 30 minutes north of Detroit, One Be Lo was known as OneManArmy when he was half of Binary Star with Senim Silla. He changed his name, discovered Islam and has since taken a higher path when it comes to creating music. His new album, The R.E.B.I.R.T.H. (Real Emcees Bring Intelligent Rhymes To Hip-Hop) was released in 2007. Made WestFounded in 2001, Made West Entertainment is one of the hot rap crews in the Dirty District. Featuring Dutch Maddog, Dirty, Helluva, and Gunsmoke, Made West throws numerous parties in Detroit and their music is supported by DJ’s. Their first album, We Here Now! Vol. 1, a compilation features numerous local and national artists. Made West f/ Daz Dillinger “I Need My Doe”The Eastside Chedda BoyzThe Chedda Boy name is one of the most confusing disputes in Detroit hip hop history. The Eastside Chedda Boyz, Malik, Tuff Tone, Lil’ Dre, Lil’ Baby, and Wipeout, their leader who was murdered along with an innocent bystander outside a Detroit night club in 2004. Two days later, Blade Icewood a leader of the Street Lord Chedda Boys was shot, and paralyzed, he was fatally shot again seven months later. The beef and the claim to the “Chedda Boy” name was a difficult time in Detroit Hip-Hop. The loss of two important local artists and the resulting crippling of their once-popular crews only reinforced the fact that violence is never the answer. Al NukeOne of the first Detroit artists to make serious inroads promoting his music in Windsor, Ontario, Al Nuke is a promotional genius. He is well respected for very often making the right move first and always doing the next big thing. As a film director, actor, and producer he co-wrote and produced 17000 Block, a DVD docu-drama that featured numerous Detroit artists, selling over 300,000 copies across the world.  He is also the host of the popular local video and interview show, Nuke at Night.Al Nuke: 17000 The Movie TrailerElzhiThere are dope lyricists and then, there is Elzhi. Added to Slum Village in 2001 but that was not where his career began, he released his own EP in 1998, Out of Focus, it was re-released with new material in 2004 as Witness My Growth, a double CD. As a member of SV, replacing J Dilla, he shined on Trinity and Detroit Deli. El has also been a member of The Breakfast Club, a short-lived but influential local rap group. Elzhi is also a partner in Libido Sounds, a record label founded with Nick Speed. Elzhi has performed on tracks for many, many artists both domestic and international. His lyrical prowess is unquestionable. He has a hit song out called, “Motown 25” with Royce da 5’9”, a fusion project called Cold Steel in the works with Phat Kat, and a brand new solo album The Preface which was just released on Fat Beats. Elzhi “Motown 25” & “That’s The One (LIVE)” Video

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