Afrika Bambaataa named a visiting professor at Cornell University September 11, 2012

Just think, after almost four decade of people calling hip-hop a fad, not only is it a multi-billion dollar industry and cultural force, but it’s extending firmly into the world of academics. While there has been a recent phenomenon of colleges teacher hip-hop courses, the biggest gesture of hip-hop entering the world of education occurred just a few short weeks ago with the announcement that Afrika Bambaataa would be a visiting professor this year at Cornell.

We asked some of our favorite H2C2 MCs to drop some bars with their reaction to this great news, and we encourage our readers to respond back with some rhymes of their own.

Priest Forever of the Gecko Brothers
“In 82 you wouldn’t have been able to tell /
anybody hip-hop would be a class at Cornell /
But things are better than they used to be /
when Bambaataa can go from “Rocking The Planet” to teaching Hip Hop in universities.”

LaRue
“SHOUT OUT TO BAMBBAATAA ORIGINATOR AND SCHOLAR /
FOR THE LOVE OF HIP HOP GO AHEAD POP YA COLLAR /
BIG UPS TO ZULU NATION THE STUDENTS BEEN PATIENTLY WAITING /
TO BRING HIP-HOP HISTORY MORE MONEY TO BE MAKING”


How Peter Rosenberg and Nicki Minaj Defined a Summer July 30, 2012

What an absolutely explosive summer it’s been for hip-hop! From artists taking control of their destinies by being who they are, to major label litigation conflicts, the rap world’s heat has been on!

One of the moments that wound up defining the summer and polarizing the hip-hop nation was during this year’s Hot 97 Summerjam concert where station DJ Peter Rosenberg publicly dissed headliner Nicki Minaj, resulting in Lil Wayne pulling her and all Cash Money artists from the show. It created a stark divide that brought questions of hip-hop’s media presence, the genre’s generation gap and even gender issues into the forefront.

We asked some of our favorite H2C2 MCs to drop some bars with their reaction to what happened, and we encourage our readers to respond back with some rhymes of their own.

Priest Forever of the Gecko Brothers
“Hot 97’s Summerjam line up was horrible, as bad as sin /
‘Poser-Berg’ and ‘Wife-beater Flex’ acting straight embarrassing /
Ebro takes the blame, he the one running that Zoo over there /
All I know next year, you the one that’s stupid if you going there.”

LaRue
“Nikki still should have tore the stage down but its Lil Wayne’s prerogative /
Hip-hop still lived on that stage it just is what it is. /
Don’t go back on the hand that feeds you. /
What else was Nikki gonna do?”


Eric B. & Rakim’s Paid in Full Turns 25 Years Old July 20, 2012

Last week, Eric B. & Rakim’s groundbreaking album Paid in Full turned a full quarter-century old. Rakim’s smooth flow and staccato use of syllables layered over a soulful wrecking ball of samples made his storytelling and braggadocios boasting made for some of the most influential rap records ever committed to wax. Even the cover art set the tone for flashy empowerment in hip-hop imagery.

In the interest of hip-hop, we asked some of our favorite H2C2 MCs to drop some bars in celebration of this momentous occasion, and we encourage our readers to respond back with some rhymes of their own.

Priest Forever of the Gecko Brothers
“Saw that cover, Dapper Dan jackets, looking mean, talking green/
Gucci logo black and white, Flow of Rah was super – tight /
’87 template for lyrics got it raised up/
Eric B was president, The music got paid up”

Chaz Kangas
“Thinkin’ of a masterplan/
a record felt from Long Island to Amsterdam/
changed the whole game through several generations/
a timeless set of anthems for the hip-hop nation”


T.R.O.Y.gate – Pete Rock and Lupe Fiasco Clash over Classic. June 1, 2012

In one of the more bizarre conflicts in recent hip-hop memory, legendary producer Pete Rock has taken offense to Chicago MC Lupe Fiasco’s new song “Around My Way” which has a beat almost identical to Pete’s hip-hop hallmark “T.R.O.Y.” Lupe claimed Pete gave his blessing, Pete says he was contacted but was never followed-up with, and even the supposed squashing of the beef following a phone call last week has only seen tension further escalate as both sides allege the other deviated from what was discussed.

In the interest of hip-hop, we asked some of our favorite H2C2 MCs to weigh in on this development, and we encourage our readers to respond back with some rhymes of their own.

M-Tri (H2C2 Featured Artist of the Month)
“Lupe’s lyrics are tight, the content and flow too/
but why use a classic like They Reminisce Over You?/
some things need to be left alone and I agree with the tweet/
it’s such a sentimental record for CL & Pete”

Priest Forever of the Gecko Brothers
“Rappers kill me with what they ‘Kick’ when the ‘Push’ stops /
First its Trey Songs singing the hook, now you violate and Loop a classic of Pete Rock’s? /
Got put out on blast though, this posers career wont last so /
when they reminisce they’ll recognize the REAL ‘Fiasco'”


R.I.P. Beastie Boy Adam “MCA” Yauch May 18, 2012

We at the Hip-Hop Culture Center were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Beastie Boys member MCA earlier this month. Leaving behind a long legacy of generous philanthropy and great music, we asked some of our favorite H2C2 MCs to weigh in. –

M-Tri (H2C2 Featured Artist of the Month)
“A great voice, ill rhyme sayer, dope bass player /
I’d be lying if I said the man ain’t had flavor /
b-boy humanitarian, but so much more /
an inspiration for my generation, plus he opened the door.”

B.S. of Dollar Coffee
“From trying to get girls craftier than ice is cold /
to trying to ‘Free Tibet’ in a pair of DC’s /
Today I’m spending my last dollar on a Sabrett /
And joining MCA in Brooklyn to finally get some sleep.”


98.7 KISS FM and WBLS 107.5 Announce Merger May 9, 2012

It was a sad day for radio last week with the announcement of longtime rival New York stations 98.7 KISS FM and WBLS (107.5). Some of out favorite New York MCs who grew up on the station had these thoughts to share –

AtLas
“Hip-hop suffers yet another loss, tragic /
But truthfully the essence left along with Mr. Magic /
to some it may just be moving to something better /
but for several generations, it’s the end of an era.”

Priest Forever of the Gecko Brothers
“30 years you were there to kiss my ears daily /
emmis came along and their share holders were scaly /
Snakes took a 9 and ate the voice of a community /
so the house that Frankie built is home to kiss, now how’s that for unity?”


Brian McKnight’s Brand New Vulgar Lesson April 26, 2012

On Monday, the internet was shocked (and you know how hard it is to shock the internet) with the release of beloved soul artist Brian McKnight’s NSFW new song “If You’re Ready to Learn.” Putting the “blue” back into “rhythm and blues,” its oddly neighborly vulgarity has sent the hip-hop community into flashbacks of artists who’ve attempted to reinvent their image and come out doing anything but “keeping it real.” It’s not as if Justin Timberlake brought sexy back the second he stepped out of N*SYNC.

We again asked some of our favorite H2C2 MCs for their perspectives in rhyme form. After, we invite you to comment on this shocking turn of events in rhyme as well!

M-Tri (H2C2 Featured Artist of the Month)
“It seems a song like this really could hurt /
When your image is clean but you want to show ’em how the pussy works /
Brian McKnight ain’t a guy who’d have to rely on this /
Hey, maybe he’s studying to be a gynecologist!”

AtLas
“A once respected crooners, til ou acted like a coon /
Claiming that you did it cause there’s nothing more to do /
Feeling disenchanted with the things you’re chosen to do /
You gotta act responsibly when you’re the chosen few”

Priest Forever of the Gecko Brothers
“‘Let me show you how this industry works…’/
R&B dudes singing like sexually deviant jerks./
16 grammy nods, reputation got tainted though/
cause you sang dirty songs on twitter when record sales got slow.”


Tupac Hologram Has All Eyes on Him at Coachella April 19, 2012

Last weekend, many were surprised to see (or is that see-through) Tupac Shakur return to the stage in the form of a hologram. With his mother’s blessings, the Dre-funded faux-Pac rocked the Coachella crowd alongside a flesh-and-blood Snoop as “live” musical performances have entered a new frontier.

To get some more perspectives on it, we asked some of our favorite MCs H2C2 MCs their thoughts on the Holo-Pac. Afterward, we invite YOU the reader to give us your thoughts in rhyme as well!

M-Tri (H2C2 Featured Artist of the Month)
The Tupac hologram, I’m not a fan.
Is this the best way to give props to this man?
By recreating his image as if he were still living?
I think it’s disrespectful, if you ask my opinion.

Genesis Be
Hail Mary, resurrected on the front of the screen.
No propaganda beef, no Death Row team.
Only real shit spit through the soul of a king,
to a dead generation addicted to fake dreams.

Priest Forever of the Gecko Brothers
Coachella was the place, also the cause for much alarm when
Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg had a “Holo-Pac” perform with them.
My only thought was “Really? Hip Hop needs this?
What’s next? Creflo Dollar rocking sermons with a ‘Hologram-Jesus?'”

Hologram If You Hear Me