San Diego’s Greatest Rapper

The music scene in San Diego is robust but it’s not much of a rap mecca.  Anyone familiar with San Diego is probably surprised to learn there are any rappers out of San Diego.

His stage name is Wax and to be fair he’s originally from Baltimore.  It’s a fact I’m conveniently choosing to ignore.  He’s a phenomenal lyricist, one of the best out there, in my humble opinion.  Plus he’s a musician in his own right.  He has a twin brother who is similarly talented but isn’t as productive.

For those harkening back to my post on Immortal Technique, Wax is not that type of MC.  At all. There is no social relevance in Wax’s music; it’s all absurdity and fierce lyrics.  He’s much more in the vein of Eminem (due to content not skin color!).  His underrated producer EOM crafts tracks that fit Wax’s style seamlessly. What you get is a lyrically inventive head nodding underground sound that could work in almost any era of hip hop.

It’s funny and irreverent and I think it’s great.

Hope ya’ll do too. (There’s swears and potentially offensive subject matter in these vids, just so’s you know.)

Wax freestylin’ in the Sentra:

Wax and EOM (off of the Eviction Notice mix-tape):

Wax singin’ and rhymin’ at a live show:

Immortal Technique: Leaving the Past

Peruvian-born, Harlem-raised MC, Immortal Technique

I don’t know how familiar people are with Harlem rapper Immortal Technique.  He’s underground, but he’s well know in hip hop circles, having collaborated with a gamut of artists, from Eminem to Mos Def.

If you haven’t heard his music, just know that it’s not the empty calorie club-fluff that tops the charts these days.  It’s equal part Nas and Public Enemy, socially conscious and lyrically deft.  It’s hard and it’s edgy and it’s provocative.  It’s headphone hip hop that bumps in a trunk.

I don’t agree with everything he says but he makes me think.  And I love honesty in expression.  I would say similar things about Ted Nugent and Hank Williams Jr.

Anyway, I saw Immortal Technique on an interview about Occupy Wall Street on the Alyona Show recently and it started a minor jones for his music, this song in particular.  It’s probably my favorite.  I love the sentiment behind it.

I figured I’d spread the love.

What impresses me the most is that the song came out 6 years ago, yet it seems even more topical today.  Kinda prophetic.

Hope you enjoy it.

(Immortal Technique image from:  http://www.sofreshandsogreen.com/2010/05/06/lyrics-to-go-immortal-techniques-beef-and-broccoli/)

White Nigga-rettes To Kick-Start Black History Month!

‘Is it ever OK for white people to use the N-word?”

This is the question posted on the Thisis50.com website on a blog discussing rappers Kreayshawn and V-nasty.  Kreayshawn (a phonetic play on the word creation) has recently been signed to Columbia records.  They’re both women. They’re from East Oakland.

Natassia Toloz a.k.a Kreayshawn

Oh yeah…and they’re white.

They also say the N-Word when they rap.  (To be fair, calling it the N-word suggests they’re using the racial epithet, nigger, when in fact they use the more colloquial–and culturally acceptable–nigga.)  Although Kreayshawn doesn’t use it in her recorded music (only on the occasional off-the-top freestyle), V-nasty uses it profusely which she demonstrates in her 1 million+ viewed You Tube video Psycho B*tch.  Kreayshawn is a bit more mainstream in her approach as evidenced by the 30 million+ views she’s garnered for her You Tube hit Gucci Gucci.

So now everyone is mad.  Kreayshawn, V-Nasty, and their inimitable White Girl Mob are getting dissed by everyone from “You Tubers” to the blogosphere.  They’re being called racists and cultural appropriators (seems like you’d need a PHd for that?).  Even L.A. rapper Game included them in a diss track.

Vanessa Renee Reece a.k.a V-Nasty

I, on the other hand, don’t have a problem with it.  Their tracks are typical of the music you hear thundering out of youngsters’ trunks these days.  If these girls were black there would be no problem.  And they’re not using the word to proclaim any kind of socioeconomic plight.  There’s no cultural significance in how they use it at all; it’s syllabic filler. Some might say that makes it worse.  To me, the intention’s the thing.

They’re 21st Century inner city kids.   Not “street”, but from the streets.  Sure, they’re a tad clownish with the crazy clothes and the gun talk (like Nicki Minaj isn’t a little clownish?). The one thing they’re not is racist.  Besides, the word has become a central dialectic element of urban culture.  Their culture.   Saying nigga is like, well, saying “like”.

As for them exploiting black culture, McDonald’s and Chrysler beat them to it.  A decade ago.  We plunged off that moral peak when Clinton was still president.  Rap sells fast food and sneakers these days. Catch up.

And when did rap become so ass backwards?  A fifteen year-old drug dealer (and user) gets shot over a dime-bag and everyone goes, hate the game not the player.  But some ghetto white girl throws the N-word into a freestyle and it’s “Waaaa?!”  Mental.

It’s always a judgement call with racialist etiquette in post-Obama  America.  But if we’ve got enough love to put a black man in the White House, isn’t there a little left over for a couple of white nigga-rettes from East Oakland?

(Kreayshawn image from: http://live.drjays.com/index.php/2011/08/02/how-to-dress-like-kreayshawn/  V-Nasty image from:  http://rapdose.com/2011/11/11/v-nasty-im-a-real-bh)