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Sep 3, 2009

Excerpts From Jay-Z’s XXL Interview

You’ve been getting a lot of heat about your second single “Run This Town,” featuring Kanye and Rihanna. Critics and the blog world have said ’Ye out rapped you.

I think that thing has gone a little too far. I think it’s more about that than the song now. What I’m saying is that’s just life. If [whose verse was better] was the thing, and we based [song quality] on that, after I’ve done 400 songs, I’m sure once the average of who was better on the song weighs out, I’m pretty high. Some nights [L.A. Lakers player] Pau Gasol can score more points than Kobe Bryant—not saying that Kanye is Pau Gasol, ’cause you have to be really clear with that—[but] as long as I’ve been in the game, that’s going to happen, once or twice or even three times.

Nice to see Hov' admit that, kinda. read more after the jump

Because you had so much time to live with this new album, do you think it’s your most thoughtful body of work?

No, it’s just the approach. I don’t think it changed the music any. You can look at it both ways. The Blueprint was all natural. You could tell the rawness of the spontaneous thoughts. Or you can have someone who plans and plots and makes sure everything is the same. Lyor [Cohen, CEO of Warner Music Group] asked me, after he listened to the [new] album, “Did you mess up by putting an album out every year? Should you have taken your time and done it like this one?” And I was like, “No, it’s just process.” I don’t think The Blueprint was bad. But this album has to come out. It’s just really cohesive. It feels really good.

What would you say is The Blueprint 3’s grand statement?

I keep using this phrase “new classic,” because it has classic sounds and instrumentation, like how music was recorded before. That’s why the whole album cover [features] white instruments just left in the corner, no color. It’s all about the instruments. It feels classic in that approach, but it’s new subject matter, new flows. It’s not like an Amy Winehouse thing: a take on what was already done. I mean, if you listen to “D.O.A.” just the sax alone, those type of sounds. The subject matter is right now. It’s a hot-button issue right now.

It’s funny that you stress the subject matter being current. One criticism of “D.O.A.” has been that the topic is a year old.

A year past or a year early?

A year too old. Music was being saturated by Auto-Tune the most last year. So were you thinking business first, like, Kanye’s coming out with this 808s & Heartbreak album, so I’m going to hold off on the criticism ’til he’s in the clear?

No, that’s not how it happened. It really just happened in the studio. We were just having a discussion about the game and music and where everything is going. So No ID plays this track, and Kanye jumps up. Actually, Kanye gave me the idea. He jumps up and is like, “Man, this is hard. This is against everything.” I don’t know if he knew where I was going to take it, but he sparked the idea. I came back the next day and did the record.

What’s puzzling is that your own buddies, like Kanye and Pharrell, wear the brightest shirts and tightest jeans, but you’re clearly not going at them. You’re going after the cats that are trying to be like them, and not themselves. Correct?

Yeah, once it becomes… A trend is a trend. I follow trends. I set trends. Now, when a trend becomes a gimmick, it’s time to get rid of it. As far as hip-hop. Like, when they were saying “bling bling” on CNN, it’s time to never say that word again. It was just about the aggression of everything. I saw everyone, ’cause it was successful, following one path. You turn on the radio, and that’s all you hear. I’m not saying I hate T-Pain. What I’m talking about is a trend that’s becoming a gimmick. And if we continue down this path, we’re going to open the door for another genre of music. Same way when rock was doing hair metal it opened the door even wider for hip-hop to come through and put rock music in trouble for 10 years and more. Right now, there are a lot of indie bands coming out, which is making rock more exciting: the MGMTs and the Kings of Leons. You keep messing around, making generic music, people are going to start turning off one at a time. And if these guys [keep] making great music, guess what? [Fans are] gonna go to them. If you look back in the history of music, that’s what happens all the time. I’m just saying, Stay up. Be aware. Be innovative. Let’s keep making this shit interesting. I love Drake. I’m not hating on young people. Like, when people say that, I’m like, What are you talking about? It’s just stupid. I’m not hating on young people. I love Drake. I worked with him on the album. Every time they ask me what I’m listening to, it’s So Far Gone and Kings of Leon. Them two [acts] owe me money. I’m not Bill Russell, [saying] Michael Jordan ain’t shit. I’m saying Lil Wayne and Kanye are like LeBron and Kobe. My job as someone at the forefront of the game is to leave it in a better position than when I came in. Same way that Russell [Simmons] left it to me. ’Cause this thing saved my life. Literally. So I have a responsibility to it karmically. And after that it’s on you. I did my part. I made “D.O.A.” I said it. I made the statement. I made the push. Here, y’all take it from here.

Birdman Priceless album cover

Eminem, Mary J Blige and Others To Tribute Def Jam Records

Eminem was never a part of Def Jam Records, but the rapper is going to be part of the celebration when the legendary label is honored by VH1.

The Detroit bred rapper will join Mary J. Blige, DMX, Public Enemy, Kid Rock, the Roots and more when the label is featured at the network's sixth annual Hip Hop Honors.

Def Jam is celebrating 25 years. It is one of the most influential forces in rap. Among the hip-hop legends who were on the label include LL Cool J, Jay-Z and Slick Rick.

VH1's Hip Hop Honors will air on the network Oct. 13

Sep 2, 2009

Rick Ross Still Wants To Battle Eminem, Readies Triple C's Album

When Rick Ross thinks about Eminem making a Mariah Carey dis record instead of responding to his jabs toward Slim Shady, the Miami Bawse just cracks up laughing.

"You know what my thoughts are, man. We just laugh at it," Ross told MTV recently in New Mexico.

"He's smart," Ross said about Eminem not addressing him and avoiding a rhyme battle. "That's what I'm waiting for. That'll be a gift — a great Christmas present for me. But y'all know what I think. I think everybody knows. It's all 'hood, man. Shout-out to Mariah Carey, she needs to reach out to me. We could eradicate some things."

The vibe is not 100 percent antagonistic, however, when it comes to Ross' thoughts on Marshall Mathers — he actually has some praise for Em's latest verse.

"On a better note, I wanna shout out Eminem. I heard a record he did with Cash Money's own Lil Wayne and Drake and Kanye West. Eminem, you're smart. I understand ... we all know what you doing now. You're moving on to better things. Like I said, he might wanna do a record with me. We here. Triple Cs."

Ross, the Carol City Cartel, Masspike Miles and the rest of his musical family are putting out their mixtape Maybach Music Part III: White Sand real soon. The title signifies that they started in the streets and are now indulging in the finer things in life.

"We still on that hustle," Ross said. "I'm hungry like a new artist. It's a double disc of all new music as well as a DVD. It's taking the street mixtapes to the next level."

Triple Cs are filming the video for their first single, "Go," with the Birdman featured in the production. The album Custom Cars and Cycles is due to drop this fall.

T.I., Lil Wayne & 50 Cent To Be Featured On 'Behind The Music'

September 10 will mark the long-awaited return of Vh1's program Behind The Music. The documentary one-hour series spotlights musical artists' careers, often with personal and revealing interviews about controversial matters. This season's lineup will include spotlights on three of Rap's biggest stars: Lil Wayne, 50 Cent and T.I.

According to HipHopdx this season will open with the Cash Money Records star on the 10th, airing at 10pm. Vh1 says that Lil Wayne is candid about his childhood and drive for fame.

October 8th's show will chronicle the career of T.I. The Atlanta-based rapper will reportedly speak about his failed debut/tenure at Arista Records, the death of close friend Philant Johnson and his present jail sentence.

The following week, October 13, will tell the story of 50 Cent. The one hour will look at the rapper's acsent from the tough Queens streets to building his G-Unit empire.

Behind The Music is one of Vh1's longest-running programs, first airing in 1997.

Sep 1, 2009

J Dilla’s Final ‘Dillanthology’ Set For October Release

The third installment of J Dilla’s Dillanthology series will be in stores on October 13th..

Dillanathology Vol. 3 , which will be the final release of the series, will feature appearances from Common, Black Thought of The Roots, D’ Angelo and Guilty Simpson, and others.

After the jump is the full tracklist for Dillanthology Vol. 3:

1. J Dilla - WorkinOnIt
2. Jay Dee - Pause
3. Jaylib - Raw Shit
4. J Dilla - Nothing Like This
5. J Dilla - Anti-American Graffiti
6. J Dilla - Glamour Sho75 (09)
7. J Dilla - Won't Do
8. J Dilla - Baby feat. Madlib & Guilty Simpson
9. Jaylib - The Red (INST)
10. Jay Dee - It's Like That
11. Jay Dee - Off Ya Chest
12. J Dilla - Crushin' (Yeeeaah!)
13. J Dilla - Reality Check feat. Black Thought
14. Jay Dee – Featuring Phat Kat
15. J Dilla - So Far To Go feat. Common & D'Angelo

Ludacris Gives Away Free Cars

Remember when Oprah Winfrey got the whole world amped by giving her entire studio audience a car? Well Ludacris does. So, if you're in desperate need for a ride, visit The Ludacris Foundation and your prayers may get answered.

Only 20 cars will be given away for the "Stars for Cars-LudaDay Giveaway" program, which is a LudaCares initiative.

You must (1) need a car, (2) be 18 or older for Luda to give you one, (3) have a valid Georgia drivers license and (4) be able to pay for taxes, registration, tags and insurance on your own before you can even consider applying.

If you meet all the requirements, just let Luda know in 300 words why he should give you one of the cars and you might just be trading in that Marta card for a pimp mobile. Now, yes, Oprah may have lit the whole audience up with new cars but, in this recession, 20 used cars is still quite impressive.

September 3 is the deadline. Cars will be given away Sunday, September 6 from 1pm-3pm at Nissan South, 6889 Jonesboro Road, Morrow, Georgia 30260.

Jay-Z Tells Fans To Enjoy 'Blueprint 3' Leaks

Jay-Z says he’s ‘excited’ rather than angry about his new album Blueprint 3 leaking online.

Speaking to MTV News, the rapper said: "I may be the most bootlegged artist in history. It's a preview. I'm excited for people to hear the album. I'm very proud of the work I've done, so enjoy it.”

The Brooklyn rapper also announced a one off London gig at the Roundhouse venue on September 17. Jay will also support Coldplay later this month.

Jigga has also confirmed plans for a New York charity show on September 11.

The rapper will release his new record on that day- 8 years after 9/11 and the day his first Blueprint album was released.

At a press conference Jay said: "I'm humbled by this whole entire process. Just my whole evolution coming to this place. It just all worked out this way.

“The first album came out on this exact day, I was in Los Angeles and couldn't help out physically. For it to come full circle and us to be here and play Madison Square Garden and 100 percent of the proceeds going to [the charity]. I'm just humbled by the experience."