Back in January, Torae released his Entitled album. One of the focal points to that self-released LP was “Get Down.” First unveiled almost a year ago, the song is the latest run-in the Brooklyn, New York MC had with producer Pete Rock. A lot was at play in the beat, a great way for the MC/radio host/actor to slam his day-in-the-life bars, as he has for more than a decade.

In the dog days of summer, it’s the perfect time for the remix. Here, Torae recruits The LOX’s Styles P and State Property’s Freeway to call back to the mid-2000s feel that aligns with his message in the music. Torae redid his whole verse to update fans on his career (appearing in VH1’s The Breaks), allude to the importance of P.R. remixes, and mention DJ Clue and LOX tapes of old. Fans looking for exciting music in Rap get this remix, with three MCs out to show their best stuff on one of Pete’s best beats.

http://www.audiomack.com/embed4/dotgotitcom/get-down-remix

Torae’s Pete Rock-Produced Single Is A Testimony To His Paid Dues (Video)

The only time I took an L VH1 cut a check.” – Torae

Alan the Chemist and Roc Marciano have been frequent collaborators since the latter dropped his 2010 debut album, Marcberg. The Hempstead, New York MC is now the latest to hop on Alchemist’s Craft Singles series, in which the famed producer drops a loosie featuring different rappers with each installment. Thus far, he’s dropped joints with a list of varying talent including ScHoolboy Q, MC Eiht & Spice One, Blu, Migos and Mac Miller. But there’s an undeniable symbiosis in ALC’s work with Roc that continues to inspire high-quality Hip-Hop, and today’s release is no exception.

Prodigy & AlcKhemist Unlock Mystical Jewels For Those Who Can Crack The Code (Audio)

“All For It” pits the longtime duo right in the pocket where they’ve found much success. The production is plush in parts and less adorned in others, and features a piano riff that haunts in the best kind of way. Rapping about “putting a new hole in your culo,” Roc Marci makes the grim pleasurable and with an unimposing hook, there’s no frilly fanfare to take away from the bars.

“All For It” – and all of Alchemist’s Craft Singles releases – are available for sale in 45-inch vinyl format from his website. This particular collab is available for pre-order ahead of its September 23 arrival.

 

by Trent Clark

Here's How Hawaiian Rapper Prizzy Prie Is Making A Change At Home
Melanie Shih-Lan Tjoeng

Few people would expect a tourist hotbed such as Hawaii to be the target of political protests but make no mistake: there are those individuals who will never let the lavish vacation settings of palm trees cloudless skies distort their own reality as to what’s actually going on in the world.

The consecutive deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile at the hands of law enforcement sent shockwaves across the entire country and the city of Honolulu was no exception, thanks to the studious efforts of local rap sensation Prizzy Prie and a handful of others with their March For Peace initiative.

On July 11, I just happened to be in the heart of said tourist hotbed in the area of Waikiki when I saw roughly 50 protestors marching up the street; stoic visual reminders to anyone who had slunk away to the regions of utopia figuring that the world wasn’t as sunny as their vacation allowed them to believe. Some onlookers expressed immediately shock while others tried their best to ignore it in hopes that the moment would soon pass. As I sat in the most convenient of stalwart traffic, a lesbian couple broke their hand embrace to enthusiastically cheer them on from across the street. The march was a success.

As I came to find out, it was Prie who had organized the protest, who he says is boosted by the reggae/Hip Hop drummers The Late Ones, for they are an invaluable asset when it comes to coordinating sponsors and create ideas.

The success has not only transcended to a second march recently being announced for the month of September, the mayor of Honolulu, Kirk Caldwell, has also put his support behind the movement.

While shooting a segment for the upcoming television episode of mydiveoLive with Roslynn Cobarrubias, I sat down with Prie to gauge his thoughts on speaking out on injustice all the way from Hawaii.

And just in case you were wondering, his bars match the intensity of his thoughts. He recently was unofficially crowned the winner for our impromptu #DXLive artist submission segment.

A versatile lyrical delivery. Social commentary. Action outside of the booth. This is what being a great MC is all about, right?

HipHopDX: So what propelled you to organize this protest?

Prizzy Prie: Just to open critical dialogue and bring people together through communities with positive ideals and to help inspire the adults and the youth to come together.

DX: How did you organize it? Was it through social media or did you just get in the streets and recruit people?

prizzy prie

Photo: Melanie Shih-Lan Tjoeng

The police were amazing, they were definitely cooperative and they were there to make sure that everybody was safe. After that, we actually all got together and had food and drinks with the police. They were awesome, they are local brothers and they know [the deal].

Prizzy Prie: I put together the flyer and I had this idea and just told my friends that I see so many people on social media just pouring out their feelings but not enough people taking action.

DX: This is after the Dallas shooting?

Prizzy Prie: Yeah. So I don’t really like to go on social media because of that, but that’s what I’ve seen. And I figured every time we walk out the door people’s perception changed off of what they see from social media whether that’s positive or negative, but a lot of that is negative because it’s based off of world media and what they promote. So me and my friends were all just like we have to bring people together from all backgrounds and just open this critical dialogue that’s needed and let’s get together, let’s bring some ideals together. We can bring people of different cultural backgrounds together and unite communities and take a stand against all this negativity and the smoke screen that they try to put to divide people.

DX: Being from Hawaii, it seems like there might be a disconnect. It seems like you guys don’t have anything to worry about because it’s like a vacation town — maybe outside of a volcano erupting — but what were people in the community saying following Dallas and Alton Sterling and Philando Castile?

Prizzy Prie: They were saying a lot, they were expressing their feelings,

DX: And this is black and white people?

Prizzy Prie: This is all, this is a melting pot, but what people don’t realize is there’s a lot of struggle here. There’s a lot of oppression, there’s a lot of discrimination definitely gentrification where the Hawaii homestead people are getting ran off because of the prices of millionaires coming and buying up the land and upping the price of living so people can barely live. How I know is because I live in the public housing and my grandmother has been living in Kalihi for 40+ years and been helping give back to Kalihi and I see so many different people and different cultures come in and out. And what’s affecting it is black folks, Polynesians, Micronesians that recently got their island bombed and the U.S. was to blame for that so they brought them here and now they’re putting them on 50-something years of paying for that because the kids all have radiation and stuff like that and are all deformed. So it’s crazy and for me, I was lucky enough to get the best of both worlds.

Prie’s video for his #DXLive-stealing song, “The Life & A Day of a Madd Nigga.”Being raised in Vegas and being around the gang violence and then coming back here, and then seeing a whole different thing where everybody else is just as much as affected. That’s what gave me the idea to put this together and to see the responses from the people that didn’t know that were fighting for Alton Sterling and all that, they were like wow this is crazy I had no idea that this was going on here because I thought this was all palm trees, plastic cups, and sunny. They only promote that just to attract tourism but there’s seriously so much going on.

DX: How far did you guys travel the day of the protests?

Prizzy Prie: Straight from Ala Moana Beach Park [in Oahu] to the world famous Waikiki Strip. We wanted to make a bold statement with all the people there, even the people that forgot and had slept on the idea of raising awareness and being a voice to bring people together because a lot of people doubt that by saying “you’re not going to do anything together.” But it’s way better than just sitting on a couch and venting your feelings and not doing anything about it. You’re getting in your feelings and not actually taking action and uniting different communities from all over the place and different backgrounds from all over the place and come together with positive ideas, find a solution, and make a move and not just sit on your butt behind a computer screen or scroll on your phone.

DX: What was the police presence like during the protests? It was a peaceful protest, right?

Prizzy Prie: Yeah, it was peace marching and social gathering. The police were amazing, they were definitely cooperative and they were there to make sure that everybody was safe. After that, we actually all got together and had food and drinks with the police. They were awesome, they are local brothers and they know. They wear the badge but they know and some aren’t even afraid and some are shocked that someone my age could even put this together.

DX: How old are you?

Prizzy Prie: I’m 24. So they were really shocked and were like, “Man, this is crazy.” and I was even shocked myself because people were telling me, “You’re like a young MLK.” And I was like “Woah, chill. I’m just here bring people together so we can get some ideas going and create this critical dialogue that needs to be amongst the people.”

DX: It’s interesting that you said that because I think that’s an issue that a lot of people have is that the police are not connected with their community, but out here it seems like it’s a little bit different story.

Prizzy Prie: Yeah, because they are families. And it’s the same thing up there, but they try to blur the line between the police and the people but with the police officers, that’s their family members so they’re basically fighting each other and the system has put that smoke screen to divide people like that. The police are the same people as your family and your neighbors but they fail to realize that and that’s why [the] Mainland and America is going through so much because they fail to see the bigger picture, but here you have no choice but to see it because we all live together.

It’s like one big community. And it’s the same thing for America but again they try to put that line across with police and citizens but they’ve got families too. They’re the same. So if that understanding is there, I think a lot of that conflict that they’re going through right now would be solved. Just like the same family members of the officers who arrested a lot of people at Mount Mauna Kea for building the telescope. Those same officers were arresting their own family members based off of what? A check? Just to pay their bills and to feed their family? But if that’s what comes into play and that’s the system and that’s the game we have been adjusted to play. Its all one big game at the end of the day whether people want to believe it or not but it definitely is.

For more of Prizzy Prie, like his official Facebook page and follow him on Twitter and SoundCloud.

 

Great to see Redman in the news. Earlier this year, Red and Meth announced their equity partnership with BlazeNow, a GPS app that will you find all the weed options in your area. Who doesn’t need that? Also, if you missed it, A3C announced this week that Red will be honored as part of the Atlanta festival’s tribute to 1996, an incredibly strong year in rap history. His gold-selling classic Muddy Waters was released that year and still holds tight to this day. All of this got me thinking. Redman might be the greatest rapper of all time. Let’s break it down…

In June of 1997, Wu-Tang Clan kicked the summer off at the top of the Hip-Hop class. Whereas 1993’s Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) just missed the Top 40 (to eventually reach platinum), its follow-up Wu-Tang Forever would debut at #1. A double album, the Loud/RCA Records release of the nine-man collective would eventually achieve four platinum plaques—despite its conviction to unconventional rhyming and production. Also by ’97, Clansmen such as Method Man and Ol’ Dirty Bastard had cemented solo stardom with hits of their own.

On the other hand, RZA, who was supplying lots of production to his swordsmen at that time, had not yet released a solo LP (though he branched into work with Prince Paul and Gravediggaz). Masta Killa, who was held to just a single verse on the ’93 jump-off, was still getting his name up, thanks to key features on LPs by Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, and GZA. U-God, who played a greater role in the debut LP, was also waiting for chance to let the “golden arms” shine.

So in 1997, part of the Clan and DJ Allah Mathematics hit Tim Westwood’s London, England studio to promote Wu-Tang Forever. Even as A-list artists, the Clan wanted to freestyle just like they had before the deal. RZA joined Mathematics behind the turntables for a set that lasted nearly one hour (52 minutes)—in freestyle, free-form radio that Westwood has just digitized. Some of these verses are straight off of the Wu double LP, and other projects. Other verses are clearly completely off the dome. Between the rhyming-intensive radio takeover, there are some jokes, antics, and even U-God’s hotel room stated for all the interested parties. For a group often called “raw,” this nearly 20 year-old relic shows how unchanged by success the Wu really was.

Wu-Tang Clan fans, here’s an 11 minute freestyle from Method Man, U-God & Masta Killa (Video)

For the first 20 minutes, the MCs play round-robin with the mic over some classic breakbeats. Even though he’s on the decks for part of it (and tries to play a cassette of some beats later on), RZA grabs the microphone and gets his rhymes in too. Heads will hear 1970s and 1980s park-jam records like ESG’s “U.F.O.,” Melvin Bliss’ “Synthetic Substitution,” Billy Squier’s “Big Beat,” and The Honeydrippers’ “Impeach The President.” Some of these records have been the sample basis for Wu favorites. Here, they are presented in loops. After this part of the set, the sounds move to Wu-Tang Forever instrumentals, and other gems from the solo releases.

O.D.B. Put The “Free” In Freestyle In This 1995 Outburst (Audio)

This is the second straight week that Westwood unveiled his Thursday throwbacks with Method Man material. As a reminder, if there is another album coming by the Clan, Ghostface Killah is said to be the one at the helm in terms of sound and direction.

RZA Freestyles Out Of The Blue During An Interview, Talks Battling Inspectah Deck (Video)

This 1997 footage begs the question: How many MCs with a #1 album about to drop want to rock for this long?

 

by Ural Garrett

Nelson George On “The Get Down” & Early Days Of Hip Hop Journalism

One would be hard-pressed to find a music journalist with as much first-hand experience reporting the early days of Hip Hop like Nelson George. The culture was once considered a fad, or even a nuisance, for some. But George had enough foresight to understand its staying power and he’s benefited significantly from it.

Over the years, he’s evolved into one of black music’s great storytellers. Authoring dozens of books including the captivating D Hunter Mysteries series, George is known for his work on both the small and silver screen. Let’s be honest here, he produced and co-wrote CB4, the film that, decades later, is still seen as prophesying a certain Florida-correctional-officer-turned-drug-lord-on-wax. These examples are just a small part of such an extraordinary career.

Flexing his godlike knowledge of Hip Hop’s early years coming out of the Disco era, he’s serving as producer, writer and consultant for Netflix’s upcoming series “The Get Down.” Set to premiere August 12, the show is set in the late 1970s and follows young adults who are attempting to survive the South Bronx amid a culture rooted in the streets that couldn’t have cared less about the mainstream. Other rap legends ranging from DJ Kool Herc to Nas are serving as supervisors as well.

Speaking with DX, Nelson George explains blending real history with fiction for “The Get Down” and writing about Hip Hop when most people didn’t care.

HipHopDX: On social media a few weeks ago you said the same spot where you guys had the press for “The Get Down” was also the same spot you had the one for CB4 20 years ago.

Nelson George: Back then, it was the Bel Age Hotel. Different name but, it’s the same building and same structure. I didn’t realize when we were in there but, then I realized that movie came out in March 1993 and I believe the press junket was in February that year. CB4 was a Hip Hop movie that was pretty early on. To think that I would still be working in TV until forward times later. Actually, revisiting Hip Hop is a subject. it’s quite amazing. Twenty some odd years or more than that, I’m only grateful to be still working and still being involved. It says a lot about Hip Hop. When we did that movie, we were trying to deal with the fun part of it, the LA Gangsta rap and how that had taken off. This goes way back, way past that. Through the 1990s and 1970s. It’s a rich story, a long history.

DX: With the history of your career, did you ever think that people would be interested in Hip Hop this long to go back this far?

Nelson George: Believe me, I look back and read a lot of my old articles — I think an article from 1980 or 1981 that I did where I basically talked about the new generation. I would say I saw it like I thought it would be like. The new generation, I liked it, and then it becomes older. Older people would like it. But we didn’t know, no one could know if Hip Hop could reinvent itself. And from what it was in 1980 and 1981, it’s unrecognizable in many ways now to what it is now. It’s managed to continue to evolve as a music, as a rap style as clothes, as a dance thing. In every aspect, the thing about Hip Hop that is so remarkable is that it continues to evolve, it doesn’t stay still. Some musical movements, it locks into a hold and never improves from it. This one has a huge improvement.

DX: You mentioned Hip Hop has evolved, although Hip Hop has evolved, especially considering the history you know, are there things that still remain the same within the culture from your point of view?

Nelson George: Well, I mean it’s youth culture. It’s always been youth culture so that hasn’t changed. I think that basically at its core, Hip Hop is someone lining vocals over beats primarily. For the most part that’s still true. The style is dramatically different and the beats are really different. It used to be very simple. Someone speaking in presentation over rhythm. So, the core is that and it’s advancing. The fact that Hip Hop is also an incubator of dance style. The essence of it, even the format has evolved.

DX: Do you remember the first time actually covering Hip Hop? I remember when I saw you speak some time ago, you said it wasn’t even called Hip Hop.

Nelson George: The first thing that I wrote that we called it Hip Hop was in 1978. A friend out of a record store, we talked about these DJs buying records in bulk. They would buy 20, 30, 50 records. This one kid would be performing in the school yard. It was DJ Kool Herc. What was interesting about it, disco was big. That’s been the main. White Disco, Black Disco, Latin Disco and so on. What he was playing was different than anybody else and how everyone was dancing was different than everybody else. So, it’s what made me write about it. He was playing a record called “Bongo Rock” — basically a bongo band record. I knew that this was a new thing. I knew a difference from any other that Harlem and Brooklyn or Queens. That would be it, the very first time. I also, in that same year, saw DJ Hollywood perform in Harlem. Cutting up beats and playing parts of records in ways I haven’t heard before. The first times I remember it’s live form. I never forget that day, seeing Herc.

DX: What was it like writing about it? How did everybody else, especially your peers that were covering other genres look at Hip Hop at that time?

Nelson George: I was covering Black music, that’s what I was always covering. So this is just one part I was writing about. I wrote about Motown, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Michael Jackson, Luther Vandross and others. Most Black adults didn’t hear about Hip Hop. That meant that most of these Black editors that I ran into are of older Black writers who didn’t get it, didn’t care about it and thought it was crap. That was pretty much the attitude for it. Really for a long time until the late ’80s. I remember having a conversation with the editor. I think the rap records were the ’80s. I talk to this Black editor in a magazine, he was never ever having that in his publication. He just thought it was garbage. That was the attitude.

It wasn’t until really the people who were younger than me had grew up on it, survived it. A lot of what I was doing, or Harry Allen was doing. So other writers who were writing about Hip Hop, it was super inspiring. I saw somewhere. I wrote an article I tried to send to The New York Times in 1982 and they said that they had no interest in. And yes here I am, I just did an interview with The New York Times the other day. They did an article on ‘The Get Down.’ This is a new thing that is literally said that they didn’t care about it 30 years ago. That’s what I remember, a lot of gatekeepers — black and white — not being interested or thinking no one wanted to hear about it.

Without Disco, There’s No Hip Hop

DX: I remember reading an article saying that you were attracted to the fact that they chose the 70s Disco era. Disco is sort of a punchline, then with the “Disco Sucks” movement, and now. How important was it to the birth of early Hip Hop from your perspective?

Nelson George: There is no Hip Hop without Disco, period. Black people went to Disco and Black people loved Disco. Every bar in Harlem and Brooklyn had a disco ball, every club. So the difference between the Hip Hop thing and the Disco thing was really just age. To get into a club, you had to be of drinking age. So Disco clubs, even if you were a young guy or a young girl, you had to dress up and act your age, so to speak. Hip Hop was happening in rec centers, it was happening in schoolyards and parks. So there’s a generation divide that was separating that. And, then you dressed up. Black people were very much into being upscale.

Remember, this is ten years passed the civil rights movement. So Black people were like, we want to move up in the world, we’re not trying to act like we’re connected to the streets. We want to drink Courvoisier, we want to have Grand Marnier. We want to wear fancy outfits, we want to look good. We’re not interested in dressing down, we dress up. So that was the aesthetic that everyone aspired to, even to the Black Disco in New York in the 70s. Guys were really showing out. The idea that I want to go to the club and wear sneakers, sweatpants and sweat suits and a baseball cap was like WHAT!? They weren’t feeling that.

Hip Hop wasn’t just a musical change, it was a cultural change in how people dressed and how people thought going out or what looking good looked like. It was a style battle. Actually, that’s ironic of course as a lot of the diamonds, jewelry and that goes back to the Disco era. All the gold, the diamonds, pinky rings. Hustlers wore pinky rings. I think people try to act like there’s this big wall that happened and Hip Hop came and killed all that stuff. Hip Hop was an evolution to a new thing. Those things came back around.

The whole puffy, shiny suit era and that whole thing is very Disco. A lot of what I see fashion-wise is disco. Every era loves to dress up, go dancing, look good and floss. It’s a matter of degree and aesthetics. I think the generational thing is that people don’t really understand. So by 1982 and 1983, they’re adults. They can get into clubs. And slowly they’ve been getting changing with club play. Now they’re buying drinks at the bar and now they’re ordering bottles. Over time, the clubs that they like, the music that they like, took over the nightlife.

In New York, Disco records were records by groups that played a D-Train and even Michael Jackson. These weren’t called Disco records, but Dance records on the R&B station. They went out of style for new skin or the new kind of music. If you were at an old school Hip Hop night in New York there’s going to be a lot of stuff from that style with the 808 drum machine style that’s playing next to Hip Hop records.

DX: So do you see the blur that’s happening now with EDM and Hip Hop as similar to how Disco led to Hip Hop? Is there a correlation there?

Nelson George: I think it’s from House Music. House music is the influence on EDM. And House comes out of Disco. House is absolutely the child of disco. Because what you had in Disco, a lot with gospel trained singers, singing dance beats. Then House music became an evolution out of that. When you see rappers rapping over EDM beats, it’s just an extension of the ideas. It’s dance music. People like putting their rhymes over a beat. That was in any form. Even in the height of Hip Hop you have things like C+C Music Factory. There’s always been the dance music from calling it. There’s always been non-bashful artists who took advantage of the street under Hip Hop in giving self-expression.

DX: What was the most difficult thing in ensuring that “The Get Down” got right in regards to that era?

Nelson George: It’s not one thing, it’s a lot of things. Every time we go to a script, you talk about what color are they wearing or is the slang in the show right. We had a lot of conversations about slang and trying to find the right slang for the period. Telling the young actors not to use things like ‘lit’ or ‘all the way up’ it wasn’t like that back then. So we had to keep that right, making sure they were making the right references. It’s the little things that mean a lot. It’s very tough when you do 12 shows and trying to make sure every little thing is right. That’s what we’re trying to do. That was a big challenge, trying to make sure that they would be like the kids in ’77. Someone talking about where they bought their sneakers, what sneakers would they go for, what sneakers were they wearing, what’s a fly car.

Nelson George Explains Blending History With Fiction & The Future Of “The Get Down”

DX: One of the things I think you’re amazing at is taking history and blending it with fiction. How exactly did you make the balance between the reality at the time and the original stories?

Nelson George: Well, we did a lot of laps. There was a giant timeline of music as in New York. For example, anybody who knows Hip Hop history knows that the blackout was a huge event in Hip Hop because it allowed so many kids to access the turntables, the records and all the equipment. It was stolen. So suddenly you went from having a few people like Herc having equipment, to having a bunch of DJ crews all over the city. So, we use that as a historical event. I think it happened Episode 3. So, we’re using the history to help you to understand how the characters would be. Have a good grounding in what happened, then you can build your story around those things. We couldn’t do this show without filming the blackout.

DX: What’s the plan for “The Get Down” in terms of how far you plan to take the timeline in Hip Hop?

Nelson George: The first season is going from 1977-1978. And then will probably pick up in the ’80s. So, I don’t even know if the kids will make a record. The show is fresh because it’s giving you stuff you haven’t seen before. You seen Krush Groove in 1984, so we are in no rush. Maybe the second season we show to ’79. This is pretty wide open, it’s a great advantage to find an era of Hip Hop that’s totally under-documented.

DX: Will the show eventually broaden out to Hip Hop’s reach on a national level?

Nelson George: I don’t know, we’ll see. I’m really following these kids. If the kids got it, then they travel you see that. We’re trying to keep it grounded. The show works because it’s really their view … We don’t know where their careers will go.

DX: Is there another period of Hip Hop that interests you outside of the ’70s and ’80s? Is there another one that sticks in your mind?

Nelson George: I would say from 1986 or 1987 to 1989 in New York with Rakim, KRS-One, Public Enemy and Big Daddy Kane era because I was still covering music full time. I was writing my book on Hip Hop. I’m just amazed how much more sophisticated the rhyming became, and how political it became. Also the crack era, so that’s affecting the storytelling, it’s affecting how everyone views everything. The politics of the era, also the anti-apartheid movement was going on. It’s something very dynamic because it was dynamic culturally.