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New King of Queens Bridge? V12 wants to Convince You

New King of Queens Bridge? V12 wants to Convince You

By Henrick A. Karoliszyn

When you think Queens Bridge you think Nas. It’s that simple. You probably associate the projects with the rap soldier who blew up in 94′ with Illmatic then re-emerged in 2001 to rip Jay-Z on Stillmatic and continued to make brilliant songs like “Hip Hop is Dead” as recent as last year. But Shaun Walker — who peddles himself as V12: the King of Queens Bridge — wants people to associate the ghetto arena with him as champ.

Because if Hip Hop is dead, R n B still has jaws that V12 breathes through. With a velvety quality, he wants to distinguish himself outside of Nas’s shadow of the ghetto scene. Breaking through as the self-proclaimed president of the projects, he’s already worked with 50, Mobb Deep and his MySpace page unofficially touts him as a close affiliate of G-Unit. With such a solid network and plenty of hype, V12 is just waiting to become a star.

In the meantime, he’s slowly been creeping up as a fresh artist. He’s toured with Ron Artest, Mobb Deep, and Capone and Noreaga to date and has opened for 112, Keshia Cole & Bubba Sparxxx. With over 21 songs under his belt, V12 has plenty of steam left and continues to partner up with household names.

Ironically one of his best jams is a collaboration with God’s Son called “King of the Hood.” Laced with haunted jingles that ring eerily, he injects a dangerously smooth but sharp-edged element. Along with Nas’s consistent fluency is the leveled crooning that V12 adds when he issues a warning. It’s a threat about going to QB and getting popped. But mostly he wants you to recognize who’s popping you. And it ain’t Nas.

Check out V12 on myspace at: http://www.myspace.com/vjuni

Original Article

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Articles

The Rap Game’s embrace of the Crack Game

words by Joshua Stohl

Cocaine and crack have always had a place in rap. What better preachers to push drug dealing ideologies than those that lived it. However every song I hear lately has a blatant reference to it. From White Girl to Pushin’, to White Lines and Dope Man, cocaine is a strongarm of the rap game, leaving runny noses in the dust. Often times it feels like there is a “pledge allegiance” to cocaine. Honestly, I get tired of hearing about dope. It gets dull and old, only a few rappers seem to actually pull it off in a luxurious manner (Jay Z, BIG, Clipse, NWA, Dipset, Ice Cube, Rick Ross, T.I.).

The rest seem to be on the bandwagon of slinging rhymes by the kilos. I will admit, I do have the occasional urge to blast some lyrically-crisp rap spoken through Vaseline-lubed bricks, however, the concept becomes over-done.

It’s ironic that many rappers who rhyme about it have never moved an ounce in their life. But the action of dealing really doesn’t matter, it’s the swift mentality, fluent delivery, and rugged rhymes that speak volume to the ear. Why sell coke if you can rhyme about it and get paid?

If you want to learn how to sell coke with swift finesse, just listen to Clipse’s “I’m not you” an authentic portrayal of dealing blow.

“I keep the Ziploc bustin at the stitches“
“From the panel to the dash, its four pounds of slab”
“Rappers is talking to me as if we in the same boat,
I tell them quick no I move Coke.”

Clipse brings a horribly riveting elegance to the coke trade, much like the film Scarface did. What I appreciate about Malice and Pusha (Clipse) is their genuinely candid lyrics that capture the pain of dealing drugs. “It shames me to no end / to feed poison to those that could very well be my kin / But where there’s demand, someone will supply / So I feed them their needs at the same time cry.” It’s a rarity in hip hop that rappers can not only effortlessly peel off lyrics about drug dealing, but layer them in such rawness.

Despite the inevitable outcome of drug dealing (prison, death), many rappers have had their fair share resulting in successful rap careers. Crack and coke have a ferocious appetite within the hip hop marketplace. If you sling crack crumbs on the corner or move “snowflakes by the O Z” (Jay-Z) through the hood, can passionately spit rhymes, then you may have an opportunity to win over anxiously waiting fans. Like Nas said, “Somehow the rap game reminds me of the crack game.” Rap reels in fans like dope fiends hit after hit.

Rap and pushing drugs often require the same necessities. Stamina, street smarts, ability to hustle, bravado, ego, strategic placement of products, expansion, commitment and a hostile persona of not resting on glory. Moving weight is big money.

Drugs make loot whether they’re being rapped about or smuggled across cities. I don’t hear rap songs about dealing weed too often. And heroin is too taboo to rap about, aside from a line by Clipse, “One give you the sniffles, the other, leave you with the itches.” Junkies don’t exactly portray an attractive lifestyle, but coke is a lucrative drug glorified by numerous celebrities and musicians. Now crack, well that just shatters souls hit after hit, but is definitely a vital component to many rap tracks.

“Ten Crack Commandments” has to be the number one rap song strictly dedicated to enforcing the rules of the crack game. “I done squeezed mad clips at these cats for they bricks and chips” , “Number five, never sell no crack where you rest at, I don’t care if they want a ounce, tell em bounce.” This song is preached by a man who practiced it. Biggie made slinging crack sound respectfully artistic in a street fashioned approach.

In the end, I appreciate artists that have consistently delivered albums despite what they rap about. I just get bored with every upcoming entrepreneur-rapper that boasts his claim to selling drugs and how they’re kings. It’s a joke to me. A king would be considered the legendary Pablo Escobar from Columbia who happened to create the coke trade within America over 30 years ago. If he were still alive and happened to rap, he’d be on the charts and the most sought after artist. Rappers fall off the market all the time and go unheard of. Like I said before, the rap game and drug game involve the same marketing tools to become triumphant.

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50 cent Articles

What Would 50 Cent Do?

About a month ago, I wrote a little piece detailing what I would do if I were Jay-Z and President of Def Jam. Basically my premise was that Jay-Z could have helped is artists out more and focused on their careers, similar to how 50 Cent use to assist everyone in G-Unit with a hook for their single, boosting the buzz for that song and the album.

I’m not saying 50 would be a better executive, but what would 50 do (WW50D) if one of Cam’ron’s or The Game’s songs were used to promote his video game? The commercial I saw for the latest Def Jam video game uses Jimmy Jones “Ballin” as its theme music. I pretty sure Jay-Z did not sign off on it (LA Reid probably didn’t either), but I am pretty sure if Jimmy Iovine used “Oh Boy” for the next “Bulletproof” game he would be Steve Stouted in a minute.

And what about R. Kelly being in Jeezy’s (the second most marketable rapper after Jay on the roster) second single and video with that lawsuit out there. WW50D in that situation? You tell me and post your comments.

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Articles

Is Cousin Carlton Fergalicious?

I was watching Fergie’s “Glamorous Life” video the other day and I swore I saw Carlton dancing at the house party.

Whoa. Ok, I’ll slow down because I realize your first reaction must be “what were you doing watching a Fergie video anyway”? Well if you must know… my girlfriend had the remote and wanted to watch it. No excuses like the batteries in my remote died and I was too lazy to get up; it was her turn to pick so I had to do my time (life is about compromise fellas and sometimes we have to share the remote). Anyway, I thought I saw Alfonso Ribeiro aka Carlton Banks from the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Of course she disagreed with me so I started asking my friends and googling it but got no further. The answers were split 50-50 and no one, I mean no one was unsure about their answer. Either they remembered the same Carlton shuffle I remembered, or they were 100% certain that it was not him and started explaining the differences in eye brows and jaw lines. Pretty weak arguments (can’t eyebrows change in ten years?) but I excepted them…..until now that is.

I am now proclaiming that Carlton Banks (screw his government) is in Fergie’s “Glamorous Life” video.

If you don’t believe me check this out…

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Articles Interviews

Dru Down Interview

by Jeremy Simmonds

MVRemix: Where in the world have you toured?

Dru Down: I’ve been all over. Everywhere except China.

MVRemix: That would be pretty big if Dru Down rocked China. Have you been to Canada?

Dru Down: Yeah I’ve been to Canada a few times. As far as rocking shows, I’ve never done one, but I’ve been there cuz I do this pimp thang! You know what talking ‘bout I’m real in the fields.

MVRemix: In September of 2006 you dropped your sixth studio album titled “Cash Me Out” in collaboration with your cousin Lee Majors. Tell everyone out there about this project and your upcoming “Crack Muzic” mixtapes?

Dru Down: Crack Muzic is all out about taking a mutahfucka-it’s going to be inspired by it’s some different from Dru Down. People ain’t heard me rap over others, been waiting for. It’s with my blood cousins, but at the same time there gonna have to love my cousins…which is real family.

MVRemix:In your music you make a point to express your roots and where you come from. Tell me about how Oakland shaped you as a person and why you take such pride in representing your town?

Dru Down: I’m 35, people don’t know. I feel like I’m still 20, like Jay Z. We’re out here in the gusto, if you see me you think of that. Hyphy is just another term of mobbin’. As far as the 50s, that’s the hometown. That’s my base, that’ my heart, that’s where I was raised. I been here for a lifetime. Everyone have a grandchild when they been here, I been back in forth between counties in La. But you know I stay town bound to the fullest. East Oakland, North and West, that’s my town, we all Oakland.

MVRemix: Do you ever feel as though you’d get more acclaim and attention if you were based in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta?

Dru Down: Well right now maybe Atlanta, ‘cause it’s on fire. Right now they on fire. We had that, then LA took it, and New York. But as far as respect, I get respect as soon as I step off a plane. I’m different by my ways, I stay oceaned up, curls, gold teeth, town business all the time. People ain’t gona say I’m NY, people know I’m a Cali cat, you know East O.

MVRemix: On a number of your songs you talk about police corruption and police brutality, such as “Bad Boys” among others.

Dru Down: Police ain’t nothing but a gang. They’ve been a gang, that’s way back if you look at the Al Capone days. They made it bigger, legit, just to stop him. People may do crime in the streets, and they’re made to catch it. That’s all it is, some people don’t understand crime, they a gang. Fuck the police, in my book. Any time they try to arrest me, I’m running. Any time they try to put a cuff on me, I’m out the dirt! American society is up on police brutality, that’s why people run, cuz of the situation of brutality. They don’t know what’s gonna happen. But when you’re legit, you can talk shit! [laughs]

MVRemix: Explain the origin of your word “pimpydoism” and what it means.

Dru Down: Oh pimpydoism is a mix of everything. That’s me, within all the game a mofo got and what goes with it, town business, within family origin of blood line; a pimp.

MVRemix: You have a lot of character and creativity in your writing and rapping. Among them is Jackrabbit the Bugsy. How would you describe that character, how it is incorporated into your music, and you come up with it?

Dru Down: Just fast rapping, Dru Down is typically more slow, but from my album “Pimpin Phernelia” that’s how everyone know about Jackrabbit the Bugsy. The fast style of rhyming.

Original Article