New Video: New Jersey’s Own Mag-B, “The S**t” Release

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New Jersey is often overshadowed by its more prominent neighbor, New York. While New York continues to dominate hip hop culture with other influentials like Georgia, California and Chicago, New Jersey barely gets any recognition even with prominent natives like Lauryn Hill, Naughty by Nature and Fetty Wap. Fortunately, New Jersey has the powerful Mag-B on their team. With a new video for his fiery new single “The Shit” and the upcoming Substance Abuse project, Mag-B is focused on putting Jersey on the map.

Mag-B first turned heads during an interview at Sway in the Morning. During the early morning radio show, Mag-B humbly stood with neat dreads and a sweatshirt as Sway gave a preamble to Friday Cypher and introduced the young MC. Mag-B explained the woes that occurred in his hometown, Trenton, New Jersey, that included a shooting at a church and went on to describe himself as  “humble, an intellectual . . .  a father . . .” artist because “my music reflects everything about me, where I’m from, what I do, I’m a working person, I fear God. Ecstatic about life. I just want to breath Sway, I want to smile.”

The interview continued on with good reviews on his track “Which Way is Up” and finishing with an amazing freestyle with notable rhymes like “I’m chewing real lyricist; these lames are minor snacks and I always got the munchies; you know I keep that sack” and “like first and one and you punted, it’s obvious, you don’t want it.” That lyricism and steady flow is still present in “The Shit” and his other single “End of the Summer.”

Check out his song “The Shit” below. If you are still hungry for more of Mag-B or just want to see his impressive sneaker collection, you can find him @magb422 on SoundCloud, Twitter and Instagram.

Does the “Hotline Bling” Video Represent Body Positivity?

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Drake’s video for “Hotline Bling” came out this week. The video is an obvious homage to our TLC days. Right after the video I listened to “No Scrubs” and played Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego. Ah, I miss the 90s. The video is beautifully executed and Drake’s seducing robot moves are going to be the next dance craze. But is this video progressive in representing body positivity? Sure, we have thick girls, light lights, dark girls, and some girls dancing in the shadows, but shouldn’t we be wanting a bit more.

It’s a known fact that the rap industry has always had problems with the way that it represents woman. You have to be phat, or have a big butt, or boobs, or a cute face, and of course have long, straight hair. The music videos perpetuate that image. If don’t look like that, then no rapper is going to want to be with you, which is fine. How many of us really want to marry Lil Wayne? But the problem is some of the young men listening to the music start to believe the lyrics and the perfect woman that they describe.

When videos come out that are filled with women dancing, I’m left wondering does this video support body positivity or is a step in the wrong direction. Drake’s video for “Hotline Bling” does try to incorporate some women of different body shapes, but it fails to escape the pressures of representing the perfect woman. The opening scene of the video is filled with two rows of light-skinned women, and the viewer is left to assume that these women are the ones operating the HOT-line. Sure, as the video progresses, you start to see some women of different skin tones, but camera fixates on the curves of their bodies.

There’s no denying “Hotline Bling” is aesthetically fascinating to stare at. As you keep looking at the women the video represents, it like many other rap videos fails to represent body positivity and furthermore represents women in a problematic way. To no surprise, the woman are objects to stare at in what seems to be the nucleus of Drake’s mind. Maybe the video for “Right Hand” will be a bit better.

Saying Goodbye to Azealia Banks

 

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It’s happened again. We must mourn the lost of another talented Black musician because of tomfoolery. Recently, Azealia Banks was caught going on a tirade filled with punching, screaming, and a homophobic slur. This was not the first time that Banks was caught sounding off and it certainly will not be the last.

When I first discovered, Azealia after listening to “212” I thought I saw the light at the end of a tunnel. There was a female rapper who I could get jiggy with. I felt like the old grandma who finally heard her jam. Like with all up-and-coming musicians,  Banks’ budding fame came with a bright spotlight. Over the course of the past few years, Azealia kept revealing her controversial colors. I brushed it off as Azealia being Azealia. She made fun music to listen to. Then her album took forever to come out, and she kept using her dangerous Twitterfingers.

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Over time, Azealia Banks became the girl who kept screaming at the Twitter screen. Some of her commentary about cultural appropriation was true, but the possibility of seeing Banks’ truth was lost in her twitter tirades. Even though, I know that it’s time to say goodbye to Azealia Banks, I’m still angry. I’m angry because I know a few years from now, I’m going to fall in love with another artist, but then one day, I’m just doing to know too much about them.

Too many talented rappers are losing the chance to share their music because of word vomit. Yes, it’s great for artist to express themselves on social media. However, after awhile you start to see their true colors, and realize that the artist you love is a person that you don’t want to know.

It’s a hard truth that you have to accept in this era. Banks’ music can be hot fire and a tempting siren that’ll get me dancing on the floor. Before my foot is able to hit the floor, I remember the crazy tweets, the angry rants, and the flying punches.

The Fall of Iggy Azalea’s Career

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It’s been a rough year for Iggy Azalea and things just aren’t looking up. During an interview, T. I. stated that he has cut business ties with his protégé. Meanwhile Iggy used her twitterfingers to set the record straight. She clarified that she’s still doing business with him. It was an awkward moment for our favorite culture vulture from down under. While many are rejoicing over Iggy’s fall from grace, I’m left waiting for the next Iggy to appear.

Iggy isn’t the first artist accused of cultural appropriation, and she certainly will not be the last. Why after a year did she flop while Katy Perry goes on tour with Big-Butt mummies? A lot of people did not like Iggy but as long as fans could understand what she was rapping, they liked her music.

People kept calling out Iggy for the fraud that she was. Once, her image became too nasty for the public, then sponsors started cutting ties with her because she wasn’t making money or even music. Like Kreayshawn, Iggy disappeared into oblivion, leaving only one fancy hit behind.

Iggy’s fall from public grace needs to happen to more artists who blatantly use cultural appropriation to mask their weak skillsets. The fixation on creating hit singles, pop stars, and catchy anthems are resulting in a dangerous misunderstanding of individual cultures. Music, which once had meaning and the power to induce societal change, is reduced to numbers on a chart.

We all know that money is nice. It helps you pays bills, buy food, and gives you the chance to Treat yo self. But even in 2015, the mantra stays the same—“Mo Money Mo problems”. Blindly making music for money means that artists are surrendering the chance to make a difference. We are left to deal with the Iggy rappers. Yes, like a rash they disappear over time, but they still reappear and are annoying to deal with.

Janelle Monae Crusade Against Police Brutality

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#BlackLivesMatters is more than a hashtag but a movement against police brutality, specifically for African Americans. No one shows the dynamics of the movement better than musician and activist Janelle Monae.

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New Hip Hop Songs of the Day

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Method Man – 2 Minutes of Your Time

Method Man is releasing his fifth studio album The Meth Lab on August 21. The one-ninth member of Wu Tang Clan decided to bless the world with this track. His proclamation that “I don’t rap, I flow” continues to hold as he flows seamlessly with the cruise-worthy beat. Nothing is forced and each bar coheres to the previous to give you a melodical conversation with Method Man.

Play or Skip: Play

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How Social Media Altered the Drake Vs. Meek Mill Beef

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There are so many tweets, posts, memes, and jokes about Meek Mill, I am sure anyone can recite a Meek Mill joke faster than they can recite a lyric from Drake or Meek Mill’s dis records. Continue reading “How Social Media Altered the Drake Vs. Meek Mill Beef”