Kanye Debuts Cruel Summer Film

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Kanye premiered his short film, Cruel Summer during the Cannes Film Festival last night. The half hour flick was projected on 7 screens inside a white pyramid tent with guests including Jay-Z and a few of members of G.O.O.D. Music. The film shot in Qatar, is now open to the public in Cannes until May 25.

The Guardian breaks down the story line:

Made in association with the Doha Film Institute, Cruel Summer stars West’s GOOD Music protege Kid Cudi as a bloke of bad stock. Dad was a car thief – Kid’s desperate not to follow in his footsteps, so instead he walks through a sparkly purple door into the middle of the desert. Men on horseback arrest him. He’s taken to a palace full of fruit. A blind girl plucks a giant guitar string. Cudi’s wrapped in bandages. A hawk flies. In, ultra, slow, motion. Cudi resolves to cure his love of her blindness. The cure for blindness is a remix of a song by Coldplay.
  During the screening, Kanye spoke on the film’s vision:
“It related to a post-Steve Jobs, post-Windows era, where we’re always on our BlackBerry in a ball game or at the movies. I was very particular about having the screens separate, where your mind puts the screens back together, the way you put memories together. I’m not the best director in the world, but I had an idea that I thought would be amazing to inspire people, like a dream of one day this being the way people watch movies. You know, [Quentin] Tarantino doing a movie like this or a horror movie like this, animation, 3-D … in this form that surrounds you. People want to go back and see it more and more because they missed something to their left or to their right, and it feels more like the experience of life.”

Idris Jones & K'Cous - Green On The Regular [video]


Camp Mulla member "K'Cous" and affiliate "Idris Jones" come together on their new track "Green on The Regular"

State of Emergency: The Cypher

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A perfect example of what happens when a pack of hardworking guys come together to work. I had the privilege of watching the making of this cypher and I can't help but commend the work done. With great visuals & audio too, here's the State of Emergency Cypher presented by A Thousand Word Media

Lecrae Clarifies His "Gimme A Second" Line About Jay-Z & Lil Wayne, Details Spiritual Advisor Role To No Malice

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 Exclusive: The "young Dr. Martin Luther King" dissects his Church Clothes mixtape, its attack on religious and Hip Hop hypocrisy and superstars who only rap "about the same ol' thang."

Lecrae is caught between two worlds.

The co-founder of powerhouse Reach Records is struggling to straddle the fence between secular Rap’s aversion to any “Jesus talk” and the religious Rap world’s sometimes snobbish dismissal of religion-less Hip Hop.

The first Christian artist to perform as part of BET’s Hip Hop Awards Cypher is hoping to bridge that gap with his first-ever mixtape, the Don Cannon-hosted Church Clothes. The free release now available for download at DatPiff.com is an organic yet simultaneously strategic serving for the streets, boasting high-powered production from the likes of 9th Wonder, S1 and Boi-1da, that should ensure those who have yet to cop a copy of Lecrae’s certified classic 2008 album, Rebel, or any of his previous (dating back to 2004’s Real Talk) or subsequent offerings (including last year’s highest charting Christian Hip Hop album ever, Rehab: The Overdose) will certainly be checking for the Houston native’s next musical ministry, Gravity, this fall.

HipHopDX spoke to Lecrae yesterday (May 10th), shortly after his tape began its rapid ascent to the nearly 100,000 download mark in a matter of mere hours. The 116 Clique frontman proceeded to provide a breakdown of a few of the 18 tracks on his all-original material mix, illuminating his intentions with a seemingly slanderous verse name-checking four star spitters and explaining why Wu-Tang Clan can rap about religion but he can’t. The barrier-breaking emcee concluded his discussion with DX by revealing his role in helping a former cocaine-laced lyricist find his way to God.

HipHopDX: First off, speak a bit on the concept of the title-track.

Lecrae: It’s really just exposing the hypocrisy on both sides of the fence. You got individuals who never wanna speak about the hypocrisy in religion and in church. And, that’s a deterrent for a lot of people is the hypocrisy. But then, on the other side of the fence, you got individuals who say, “Well, if y’all gon’ be messed up, I’ma be messed up,” without investigating to see if there is actually a community of people who really don’t wyle out ….

DX: And you were basically saying that hypocrisy in the church shouldn’t keep folks away from Christianity?

Lecrae: Yeah, absolutely. I deal with it on a regular basis, with me being a Hip Hop artist and a Christian. And so people [in the church] see me and they immediately say, “Oh you got visible tattoos, and you got Hip Hop clothes on.” So they instantly judge me right alongside all the Hip Hop that is misogynistic or violent. And I’m not like that, but I catch the flack for that. So it’s the same type of thing.

DX: Well let me inquire a little bit about your own possible hypocrisy. Is there porn on Lecrae’s laptop? [Laughs]

Lecrae: Nah, nah, nah. [Laughs] I was kind of speaking in third person [in the song]. But, the reality is that there’s a lot of people who think that being a Christian means that you’re perfect and you have it all together. And that’s not reality. So, has Lecrae ever struggled with pornography? Absolutely. And so I’m a work in progress.

DX: I know your lyrical aim is to not come off as holier-than-thou, but do you worry at all that the self-examination that you ask folks to do of themselves in your rhymes throughout this mixtape might come across as a sort of moral certitude that’ll turn some listeners off?

Lecrae: Yeah, I’m sure it will. And that’s not my intention, but everybody’s at a different place. And everybody has presuppositions, [but] I think if they give me a chance and actually sit with the mixtape for a second they’ll see I’m not somebody who has it all together.

The whole point of Church Clothes is to say not to put on airs. Don’t put on airs for me, don’t put on airs for God. I’m definitely gonna accept you as you are, and that’s definitely God’s agenda as well.

DX: I don’t know if you know but you may have unintentionally turned off fans of a few of the biggest names in the game with your line on “Gimme A Second”: “Cole talk that college talk / Wayne talk gangs, Jay be talkin’ money, mayne, and ‘Ye talk fame / And people say I talk about the same ol’ thang.” Were you really trying to say with that line that Jay-Z, J. Cole, Kanye West and Lil Wayne all only rap about “the same ol’ thang”?

Lecrae: Nah, I was just articulating that there’s a consistency in their rhymes about those things but they don’t catch any flack for that. Like, you’ll hear J. Cole more than once talk about college, Sallie Mae loans and so on and so forth, you’ll consistently hear [Lil] Wayne reference his gang, and [Jay-Z], money and [Kanye West] the woes of his fame, but nobody ever gives them flack because that consistently pops up in their subject matter. Yet, if my faith consistently pops up in my subject matter I get flack for it.

DX: Another line of yours that really jumped out at me was from the very first track on the tape, “Co-Sign”: “If Wu-Tang can spit Five Percent gems, I can talk about him who died for my sins.” Do you believe there’s a double standard that’s existed in Hip Hop over the years that’s condemned rhyming about Christianity while accepting Islamic-influenced verses?

Lecrae: Absolutely. And some of it’s probably Christians fault, I’ll be honest. Some of it is probably the holier-than-thou, the nose turned up in the air caricatures that have dominated Christianity. I said in “Church Clothes” about “Al and Jesse don’t speak for me.” A lot of people see Christianity as those are the caricatures that fit the model, and I’m a different picture. I’m something clearly different. [But] I think there is a double standard where it’s like that’s [still] unacceptable, and you easily get shafted because of your Christian views.

DX: And you think the Five Percenters have been a little more subtle maybe, not as overreaching in their message?

Lecrae: Well, you can go all the way back to Brand Nubian, which was overt, or the messages of X-Clan and it was acceptable. But I think a lot of that had to do with their fight in the struggle for the urban [community]. And that’s really what I’m trying to come off as as well.

So if you listen to the context of my project, songs like “Cold World” where it’s like, man, I’m concerned about our culture, our society … I liken myself to a young Dr. Martin Luther King. Like, nobody was really up in arms that he was a Christian because he was for the people. And that’s really how I feel like I represent; I’m for the people.

DX: I wanna wrap up this quick Q&A by talking about your talks with your “Darkest Hour” collaborator, No Malice. Is it true that he sought you out to discuss his conversion to Christianity?

Lecrae: Yeah, he did. I mean, from his perspective [No Malice has] been an individual who’s had lofty thoughts of God. That’s why every [Clipse] project – Lord Willin’ – had those type of spiritual references. But he hit me up just saying like, “As of late, man, I’m really serious about this.” And so he just called me to kinda build a relationship and to talk and to just form a bond and work through some of those issues. And it’s been dope.

DX: Did you ever think you’d be in that position to artists, being sort of their spiritual advisor?

Lecrae: Honestly, that’s really one of my hopes is to be at least a [model] of that in culture. Like, people respect Bun B and I respect Bun B because of how he’s stepped into education. So you know you can talk to Bun B about issues outside of Hip Hop. And that’s kind of one of my aspirations is to be an individual who says, Man look, I have something to bring to the table in regards to faith and Christianity within Hip Hop culture, and so if you’re looking for that within Hip Hop – The same with Rev Run. You know Rev. Run for Hip Hop but you know you can also step to him outside of that and talk to him about things of faith and spirituality.

DX: And it should be noted before we go that you’re not just motivating rappers, you basically are the musical motivation behind a bunch of athletes. You got Jeremy Lin showing love, and I saw you had a Twitter exchange with Tim Tebow. All you need is a baseball player now and you’ll be mentioned on SportsCenter year-round. [Laughs]

Lecrae: [Laughs] Yeah man, those [guys] are family. And I salute them because they’re bold enough to stand for what they believe in. And in the same way nobody looks at Jeremy Lin as a Christian like, “Oh, he’s a Christian basketball player” and they look at him as a basketball player who happens to be a Christian, hopefully that trend will change in Hip Hop and they’ll see me as a Hip Hop artist who [happens to be] a Christian as well. So some of the stigmas and presuppositions will fade away.


Meek Mill announces "Dreams & Nightmares" album release date

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During MMG's recent press conference, Meek Mill officially announced that his debut album would hit stores worldwide on August 28. We're predicting that this will be yet another highly anticipated project fron the now 25 year old rapper

Meek Mill - Dreamchasers 2 [mixtape]

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The sequel to MMG's own Meek Mill finally drops with features from label-mates and Drake too! As highly anticipated as it is, and having clocked 100k+ downloads in its first hours of release, drop a comment on what you think!

Kid Ink - Up & Away cover

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Kid Ink will be releasing his debut album on June 12th through his independent label Tha Alumni Music Group. It will feature the already released single "Time Of Your Life" among other productions by Jahlil Beats, Cardiak and Ned Cameron.

Can the Wryterz Block make you Dance?

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Be the judge on the Wryterz Block latest release titled Dance.
Follow them on twitter and be sure to drop them a comment!

TopCat and Marcus Wii of Plan Zee freestyle over Nikes On My Feet

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Two rappers off the rap group "Plan Zee" freestyle over Nikes On My Feet which I originally heard from Mac Miller. Drop a comment on the video if you feel what they've done

Kid Ink - Lost In The Sauce (Prod by Jahlil Beats)

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Here's a radio rip of Kid Ink's new joint to be featured in his upcoming album "Up and Away"

Camp Mulla - Hold It Down [video]

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Here's that brand new Camp Mulla video titled "Hold It Down" Its a tribute to the 2-5-4Low. The video is great on so many levels. From the street concept to the clarity. Definitely a must watch

New Video: Nicki Minaj x 2 Chainz “Beez In The Trap”

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Coola Gang: A Letter To The Fans


These rappers have been on the come-up for quite some time and there has been some controversy following them too. This has mostly been in the perspective that they have differences with a couple of other rappers in the industry. Coola Gang have however taken a step towards clearing up what's been happening in this letter they have written to their fans.
Their new cypher is also after the letter, in which they featured a bunch of new rappers and also established hip-hop acts.

Dear fans,
The last few months have been hectic but we've been spending time doing what we love, and that's making music for you, the fans. The overwhelming
response to our recent efforts, that is
music, videos and performances is
encouraging and we know with the
increasing fan base comes great responsibility, the foremost being releasing "Just A Mixtape", don't worry, it's coming soon.
Most of you are of the idea that we are
beefing with Camp Mulla. We would, like to officially declare that we are not.
This is a gross exaggeration perpetrated by marginal media personalities, and other parties, who don't have it in their best interests, be it personal or financial, to see Coola Gang break through into mainstream media, also known as TV and radio. As a result of this negative publicity we have missed out on numerous opportunities to expand our brand. Just recently, we were illegally excluded from the CHAT Fresh Gum Cypher despite actively & legally participating in the voting process and legitimately qualifying. This raised numerous concerns amongst our fans, which we were unable to address. We would like to encourage our fans to hang in there and keep converting new followers. Without wasting any more time we'd like to present to you the peoples choice cypher, on which we've featured various other artists.
Dream Big, Work Hard and Believe God.
-Coola Gang

Nas Speaks On Single "The Don," NFL Draft, Trayvon Martin

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 Nas speaks on his upcoming album, singles & more.

In a conference call with Def Jam yesterday, Nas spoke on a variety of topics, including his upcoming album Life Is Good, the singles off the album, Trayvon Martin, NFL Draft & more. Nas couldn't confirm any features on his album, however he confirmed No. I.D. as a producer along with Salaam Remi and Da Internz. Read some of what Nas spoke on below.

On how the single "The Don" came together:

"Man, you know, Salaam sent me a track.. nah, he played it for me over the phone, and when he played it, you know, I heard Super Cat voice in it, you know I like Super Cat, always liked Super Cat. So, I kinda had an idea of what I wanted to do with it, you know what I mean. [I] got to working on it and stuff, we kept playing it over, it felt like a single. When Heav [Heavy D] died, Salaam called me and said, "Yo man, you know who gave me that beat?" And I'm like, in my mind I'm thinking cause Heav just died, he gotta be talking about Heav, I'm like "who?" He's like "Heav," I'm like "Wow," it just took on a whole new level."

On the NFL Draft:

"NFL Draft coming up, we put "Don" with it, "Don" is the perfect song to go with the whole Draft thing 'cause they come to Radio City to go to the Draft and people from all over the nation driving to my city, so you know, we felt like wehnt hey approached us about doing something with it, "Don" was just coming out and we played it for 'em and they was with it, so we did that and a cut, another track from off my album that noone's ever heard. And I did something that they produced too. So we shot the video up in the city, or the commerical for the songs, that I put together for the NFL Draft."

On Trayvon Martin & Hip-Hop's Responsibility:

"Ah man, I really don't have a real great answer for that, you know, it's just, a conversation that we're all having. You know, it's a Trayvon Martin every day, every other day; its been going on since the beginning of America. So it's just amazing that this young man, his life has become something to pull us all together to try to like protest against the sickness of racism. You know, it's just sad that someone this young had to come to that kinda cowardice balance you know what I'm sayin? Hip-hop having a responibility? Of course. Hip-hop has many responsibilities, and does hip-hop as a whole? No. no. There's too much going on for hip-hop as a whole to focus on one thing, but yeah, why not, Trayvon was hip-hop, you know what I'm saying, he was one of us, so of course we have a responsibility to do something, you know what I mean?"


Jay-Z & Kanye West Settle Copyright Infringement Lawsuit

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Jay and Kanye West settle the lawsuit stemming from a Syl Johnson sample.

They have settled a federal lawsuit over the duo's song "The Joy ."

TMZ.com reports that Hov and 'Ye settled with Syl Johnson, who sued the duo in October for using an unauthorized sample of his song "Different Strokes."

The song was featured as a bonus track on Watch the Throne, and stirred up a bit of controversy. Pete Rock, who produced the track, said that the Johnson sample was added after he was done working on it.

Johnson has previously sued Michael Jackson, Jefferson Airplane, and Cypress Hill for copyright infringement.

Though West is now in the clear, Jay-Z still faces a lawsuit stemming from his smash hit, "Big Pimpin."