Aubrey Graham, known to the masses as Drake or “Drizzy” Drake, is one of the most loved and hated rappers out. He had a fresh set of wheels early in his career, playing the sexually deficient wheelchair bound rapper on Degrassi 2.0. That gave him his street cred. Then he put out his most famous mixtape So Far Gone which turned into his most famous EP So Far Gone and now his debut album Thank Me Later and the rest is history. Besides being Young Money’s lothario, the doe eyed rapper spits plenty of emo rhymes questioning his success exactly 15 minutes after he achieved it. There are a million reasons why Drake is a moving target, but none can keep him from succeeding. One thing Drake has that his alter ego Jimmy doesn’t: When the haters attack, he can walk it out.
pause \ poz\noun
Hip-Hop is a culture filled with intricate wordplay. The rhymes of an MC must be as creative as possible, and nothing is truly as eloquent as Hip-Hop colloquialisms. Sometimes during friendly conversations, a man (or woman) will make a statement that could possibly be considered an innuendo to the receiving party [Pause]. They may take offense and ask where you were going with that thing [Pause]. To which you reply, you were just being friendly [Pause] and would like the innuendo to cease by nipping it in the bud [Pause]. The simplest way to put it to an end is by using this handy word. Pause has made its way into almost every sentence used by Hip-Hop enthusiasts. Not a single word in the English language is safe from its insertion [Pause]. There are many ways to play with it [Pause]. For instance, if MC Johnny asks DJ Jimmy where should he put his vinyl, DJ Jimmy might say, “Put it in my box. Pause.” MC Johnny might reply, “Is there room in your box? Pause.” And so begins the friendly match. Many words serve as wonderful accessories to Pause, including: dog, cat, stick, turpentine, yard stick, box, Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, hole, Garry Shandling, fishing wire, soup, shirt, boy, girl, meat, the 1984 Olympics Basketball Team, helium, stains, crabs, apples, $2 bills, Fig Newtons, and balls. You can put it anywhere [Pause].
Commonly referred to as the “Houndstooth Desert Scarf” “arabic rag” or “the Arafat scarf” (not at all offensive), the Keffiyeh scarf has proven itself to be multi-functional within the Hip-Hop community. Rappers often wear the scarves to align themselves with political statements that they may or not be aware of. The signature “red is for the revolution” color, implies that not only is the rapper into the revolution, he’s into the Arabic version of it, which in the mind of most middle Americans means a Jihad. Not too many rappers know what a Jihad really is nor would they even know what to do in one, but the idea that they might partake in it is reason enough to wear the scarf. For rappers who understand the potential political undertones associated with a Keffiyeh scarf, they wear it as a means of appearing sophisticated and gentlemanly. This version of the scarf is usually worn in the black and white pattern – hence the nuvo-titling of Houndstooth Desert Scarf. Finally, as the scarf trickled down to the Hipster Rap movement, it just began to serve as a means of neck warmth in the crispy Brooklyn weather…available in pink and purple.
Hip-Hop as of late has embraced modern-day technology to the point where any new invention is subject to the “Hip-Hop Takeover.” Take Twitter for example. What started as a simple means of taking the guesswork out of Facebook statuses has now evolved into an all out basement party a la the Sugar Shack circa ’92. Everyone is invited to this party – artists, label executives, journalists, promoters, weed carriers, and even those people you bump into at parties and aren’t sure what they do for a living. A Twitter exchange usually happens in real time between any one of the aforementioned parties and goes something like this:
HalfofDasEFX: Hov is changing the game with that new track on @AllHipHop. You can tell I was a big influence on him.
DJDollarADay: @HalfofDasEFX You need a beat? Lemme break you off *pause* Send me your FB info.
HalfofDasEFX: @DJDollarADay Any samples? My publishing got jacked @ASCAPLuvah because I couldn’t pay some fees. All original?
MistaDobalina: @DJDollarADay Got that fire? Hit me with that goodness *pause*
IWrite4HipHop: @HalfofDasEFX @DJDollarADay Lemme know when that collab happens.
HalfofDasEFX: @IWrite4HipHop You do bios? Money is tight, but I could use the look with the projects I’m doing.
OtherHalfofDasEFX: @HalfofDasEFX Um, what projects?
Nothing but love. Welcome home, Mr. President.
No one could ever hate on Aaliyah. She would have turned 30 today. Hip-Hop loves Aaliyah for being one of the official girls who was still the ride or die chick. While simultaneously being the woman that most emcees wanted to chill with and marry, Aaliyah had that intangible something, which radiated through her personality, style, and music. Her sound was the turning point where R&B met Hip-Hop. With Timbaland’s production, Aaliyah brought forth a Hip-Hop friendly sound that still achieved the essence of R&B. We love her, we miss her, we wish her a Happy Birthday.
Change the color, adjust the size. The American flag still represents one thing: America. The idea of patriotism is something that has plagued Hip-Hop – to the point where treason appeared to be the better option. As the landscape of the American government approaches change, perhaps so shall the impression of the American flag. From the ’80s and into the early ’90s, the American flag was a favored part of fashion. This was all due to the “pretty boy” era – where Polo shirts and rugbies were perfect with a pair of Timbs. Ralph Lauren logos included tiny American flags and often shirt designs were chock full of flags. As the distrust in the government grew, those shirts met the Salvation Army. Then the flag burning began, where even Lil Jon was burning a flag on his first album cover along with Dead Prez at their live shows. Then the colors changed – from Outkast black and white to red, black, and green. One thing remains constant – 50 stars and 13 stripes. What’s next?