Artist: DJ Khaled featuring Ludacris, T-Pain, Busta Rhymes, Twista, Mavado, Birdman, Ace Hood, Fat Joe, Jadakiss, Bun B & Waka Flocka Song: “Welcome To My Hood (Remix)” Producer: The Renegades Album: We The Best Forever Director: Dayo
Kanye West & Maik Yusef present G.O.O.D Morning G.O.O.D Night. Including collaborations with KRS-One, Michelle Williams (Destiny’s Child), Twista, Adam Levine (Maroon 5), Jennifer Hudson, Paul Wall, Mr Hudson, Raheem DeVaughn and Bun B (UGK).
Admittedly himself a backpacker (i.e. Hip Hop purist) and occasional coffee shop poet, it’s not that far-fetched that Kanye West release an experimental project from unique spoken word artist Malik Yusef.
While an exciting and promisingly bold venture at first, the actual amount of projects released through Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music label has been a little scant since launching in 2004. Excluding releases from John Legend, Consequence and Common, in addition to occasional singles and the odd mixtape, Kanye’s progressive label has yet to drop another album, until now. The man is busy conquering the world and seemingly allowing his artists to grow before launching them on the world, so I guess you can give him a pass for that.
The latest album release on G.O.O.D. Music happens to be Malik Yusef’s maiden voyage, a two-disc excursion of words and music (divided into two parts; Dawn and Dusk) titled Kanye West and Malik Yusef Present G.O.O.D. Morning, G.O.O.D. Night. Despite the Kanye West stamp of approval (and one guest verse), G.O.O.D. Morning, G.O.O.D. Night is all Malik Yusef.
Malik Yusef was raised in Chicago’s infamous South Side. Some differences aside, his life story is very much aligned with the likes of hip hop founding father Afrika Bambaataa, who like Yusef spent his formative years involved in street hustler culture, before ultimately turning to creative endeavours to express himself and teach others from his experiences. A member of the Islamic street faction The Blackstone Rangers as a teen, it was during this period that Yusef became friendly with a member of the Four Corner Hustlers group. That man would later become his label-mate and ghetto articulator par excellence, Common.
For a man that suffered from dyslexia in his younger days, Yusef’s mastery of the English language and vocalization of the human condition is what has made him a household name and respected figure. Not simply preaching, the activist and father of three leads by example, having establishing several organizations in his local community, including the For Yourself Foundation (a literacy program), Girl Power (a non-profit designed to empower young females) and the Drop Squad (dedicated to keeping the Chicago streets free of debris and litter).
Malik Yusef’s first break in the entertainment industry came in 1997, when he was enlisted to coach actor Larenz Tate for his starring role as a poet in the film Love Jones. It was in 2002 that Yusef began to firmly cement himself as a spoken word artist, making a memorable appearance on the famed Def Poetry Jam series, performing his poem I Spit? The following year would mark the birth of Malik Yusef the recording artist, as he inked a deal with Universal Records to release The Great Chicago Fire; A Cold Day in Hell.
Now with Chicago established as the hottest music city in the United States outside of Miami, along with the backing of G.O.O.D. Music and a wider acceptance of spoken word poetry in the general public, G.O.O.D. Morning, G.O.O.D. Night is set to bring Yusef’s poetical fervor to the global stage.
At a time when America’s financial future is hanging in the balance and the threat of global warming continues to loom, 2009 feels like the perfect year for Yusef’s thinking-man ballads of religion, materialism, love, hate and racism, delivered over soulful and sophisticated live instrument backdrops.
G.O.O.D. Morning, G.O.O.D. Night is available now through Shock Records/G.O.O.D. Music
“Music is in my soul and shocking the game is my goal. I live and breathe hip-hop each and every day. My game plan is to redefine and expand Rap as an art form.” Respect, a vicious flow and bringing a fresh element to the game is what it’s all about for this 22-year old rapper.
Born Yannique Barker, Stack$ spent his early years in D.C. and Maryland. His story is a sure sign of hip-hop’s ever-expanding appeal from its inner city roots. Stack$ earned his name from a Miami rapper, Brisco, referring to his ill songwriting skills and multi-dimensional personality. He has plenty to talk about using elaborate rhyme schemes with a new kind of story —a young entrepreneur and film director immersed in hip hop, creating and finding his own way. The music business is in his blood – his father managed Sly & the Family Stone, along with Peaches and Herb. He also co-produced “Midnight Train To Georgia” with his partner, Tony Camillo, before he founded and built a successful, global aerospace company, and then later moved the family to Miami. Hip-hop’s far-reaching tentacles had already snagged Stack$, giving him the confidence to go after his dream. He submerged himself in studying the masters — Rakim, Biggie and 2Pac — crafting lyrics in the tradition of the great storytellers. “I rep 305 and Dade County,” Stack$ says. “A lot of people think I only hang out in South Beach. I rep South Beach and hang out in the hood, at the same time. I spit about partying, sex, true life experiences, and the trials and tribulations of trying to gain acceptance in an industry refusing to change. I rap about the sublime and the ridiculous … from humorous incidents that go down in the hood to the injustices and disparities that occur every day in society.”
“Everyone said I wouldn’t make it in hip hop, but I’m stubborn. I had to prove them all wrong,” says the new voice of Miami — a smooth, resonant and confident voice that strikes a nerve. With hip hop heavyweight producers Swizz Beatz, Pharrell, Steve Morales, and Scott Storch signing on, Stack$ aims to change the rules with his undeniable skills on his debut album, CraZee and ConfuZed. The album, a chronicle of Stack$’ personal experiences, is a mash up of styles, regions and eras. It’s an exercise in organized chaos, which inspired the title. “You can’t give buzz to a new style without paying respect to the people who opened the game for you,” he says.
Featuring an all-star lineup of legends and new sensations, including Lil Wayne, Fat Joe, Twista, The Game, Paul Wall, MJG, 8Ball, Phyllisia, Trick Daddy, Beenie Man, Jah Cure, and Urban Mystic, the chips are piled high. The first track, “Money Ova Here,” is a smooth banger with swagger, featuring Lil’ Wayne. The follow-up single, “Whatcha Lookin’ At?” is an upbeat club-banga produced by multi-platinum producer Swizz Beatz. With this monster track, Swizz introduces the young MC to the game, asking the question “Whatcha Lookin’ At?” directed to all haters.
Stack$ attended two years at USC’s School of Film and Cinematography in California, but set aside filmmaking after he met Scott Storch during a spring break. He shifted his focus from the camera to the mic, his second love. “My life is dedicated to telling stories, whether in songs or in movies, or in any other medium.” He also focused his energy on the business side of the operation, launching SoBe Entertainment with his father and sister, releasing tracks and albums by Brooke Hogan, Lola, Jah Cure, Ce’Cile and Urban Mystic.
From Pops, as he calls his dad, Stack$ learned that hard work ultimately leads to rewards; but it’s not money that motivates him. “Money can be a gift or it can be a curse in this life. Pops taught me that my ‘self worth’ is more important than my ‘net worth.’ My goal in the music business is to gain acceptance throughout the industry. Some people forget that hip-hop has touched everyone on this planet. What I rap about are real life experiences – disappointment, failure, success, drug abuse, sex, partying, financial woes, love, cheating, social, economic, judicial and political chaos – the type of problems we all face in our lives, no matter what our race, religion or culture.”
Stack$ reminds us, “All that should ever matter as a person or as a rapper is that one stays true to oneself and that we are real with each other; sooner or later, ‘real recognizes real.”’
DJ Drama ft. Nelly, T.I., Diddy, Yung Joc, Willie the Kid, Young Jeezy & Twista – 5000 Ones video
Drama’s “Gangsta Grillz: The Album” in stores December 4th! Grand Hustle/Atlantic Records
TRACKLISTING 1. The Setup 2. Gangsta Grillz – Drama feat. Lil Jon 3. Takin Pictures – Drama feat. Young Jeezy, Willie The Kid, Jim Jones, Rick Ross, Young Buck & T.I. 4. Keep It Gangsta – Drama feat. Yo Gotti, Webbie & Lil Boosie 5. Cannon RMX – Drama feat. Lil’ Wayne, Willie The Kid, Freeway & T.I. 6. Makin Money Smokin – Drama feat. Willie The Kid & LÀ The Darkman 7. 5000 Ones – Drama feat. Nelly, T.I., Diddy, Yung Joc, Willie The Kid, Young Jeezy & Twista 8. The Art Of Storytellin Part 4 – Drama feat. Outkast & Marsha Ambrosius 9. Katt Williams Interlude 10. 187 – Drama feat. Project Pat, BG & Eightball & MJG 11. The Mad DJ 12. Beneath The Diamonds – Drama feat. Devin The Dude, Twista, LÀ The Darkman, & Mr. Porter 13. Talk Bout Me – Drama feat. Young Buck, Lloyd Banks & Tony Yayo 14. No More – Drama feat. Lloyd, Willie The Kid & T.I. 15. Diddy Interlude 16. Throw Ya Sets Up – Drama feat. Young Joc, Willie The Kid, Jadakiss & LÀ The Darkman 17. Aye – Drama feat. Young Dro & Big Kuntry 18. Grillz Gleamin – Drama feat. Bohagen, Lil Scrappy, Diamond & Princess 19. Gettin Money – Drama feat. Paul Wall, Killa Kyleon, Lil Keke & Slim Thug 20. Outro 21. Cheers – Drama feat. Pharrell & The Clipse
THE RETURN OF THE REAL ISH…10 YEARS IN THE MAKING… TWISTA…
ADRENALINE RUSH 2007ARRIVES SEPTEMBER 18, 2007
Features “Give It Up” w/ Pharrell Williams
Production & guests include R Kelly, Lil’ Wayne, T- Pain, Bone Thugs N Harmony, Ceelo & Jazze Pha
· 1973, November 27 Carl Terrell Mitchell Born in Chicago, Illinois
· 1991 released Runnin’ Off at Da Mouth under the name of Tung Twista.
· 1996 teamed with fellow Chicago act Do or Die on the track “Po’ Pimp;” the track became a hit single, leading to a contract with Atlantic Records
· 1997 released Adrenaline Rush which went platinum. Many fans regard this album as Twista’s best album.
· 1998 Mobstability hit stores
· 2004 Kamikaze hits number-one on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart
· 2005 the game Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition was released and featuring three of Twista’s songs; “Sunshine”, “like a 24”, which featured T.I. & Liffy Stokes; and “Overnight Celebrity”, which featured and was produced by Kanye West
· 2005 “Hope” appeared on the soundtrack to the film, Coach Carter
· 2006 joined Kanye West & Keyshia Cole for the lead single “Impossible” on the Mission Impossible 3 Soundtrack
· 2007 Twista begins his Red Eye column with the Chicago Tribune, where he answers readers questions about ongoing social issues
· Spring 2007 Twista called out President Bush, condemning him as ‘bogus’ for vetoing a bill to withdraw American troops from Irag and inspiring Americans to not be afraid to speak out
· 2007, July 7th Give It Up w/Pharrell videopremieres on AOL
· 2007, July 11th Twista hosts ‘Behind the Cut’ Listening Event sponsored by NASCAR & Red Bull. This is the first collaboration between NASCAR and a hip-hop-artist
· 2007, July 31 Twista responds to McDonald’s decision to cancel his participation in the McDonald’s live tour
· RETURN OF THE REAL SH** ADRENALINE RUSH 2007 IN STORES SEPTEMBER 18, 2007
Unbeknownst to most, Twista’s tornado into the rap game began as far back as ’91 – and he’s still here stronger than ever. There aren’t too many rap artists from the late 80’s or early 90’s that can boast of that kind of longevity. Twista can put another feather in his pimp hat for how he’s done it; the man is on pace for growing larger with each decade. Twista has risen from his notoriety as the Guinness Book of World Record’s “Fastest Rapper” in the 90’s, all the way to his smash hit single “Slow Jams” with Kanye West and Jamie Fox. In 2007 Twista has blown his way to NYC promoting his new album “Adrenaline Rush” out in stores this August and MVRemix had an exclusive sit down with the Chi-town icon.
MVRemix: Many people may not know that you’ve been on the scene since ’91. Describe your entrance into the game.
Twista: I’m like Christopher Columbus baby – I been discovered and around for years! Nah [laughs], I won a contest to get on the radio. From that contest I met my first manager. From that manager, I met a promoter who worked for Loud Records in LA. A guy named Fade who worked at Loud heard my stuff and I was rapping all fast and shit–and no one else was doing that. We all set it off from there – that was in ’91.
MVRemix: What were your musical influences at the time?
Twista: A lot of the stuff that I used to hear in the Taverns, you know? Like that my step pop used to play. He used to DJ in this Tavern around the way. So my very first influence was him playing a lot of blues and slow jams. But the movie that started it all for me was Crush Groove. Once I seen it that was it – it was on and poppin’ after that.
MVRemix: Would you say hip hop today is on a decline or are we in a good place?
Twista: I would say we in a cocoon like stage…and when it hatches I don’t know what the fuck is gonna happen [laughs].
MVRemix: So you’re pleased with what’s coming out lately?
Twista: Man, when you stop liking things, you really got to stop and wonder if it’s really just you getting old. Once you stop liking stuff that’s usually the case. You gotta think about what you was talking about as a young rapper, you know what I’m saying?
MVRemix: I know you’ve been asked a million times, but describe your affiliations with Kanye and the with the Roc.
Twista: I met Kanye in Chicago and I would always see him. A lot of times I’d go to his house and listen to different beats and just hang out. I used watch Kanye and my other man battle all the time. Kanye always thought he could beat everybody and him and my boy thought they could beat each other so we used to sit and watch them go at it. This was back before everything. We had regular, fun, hip hop times.
MVRemix: In the South it’s hooky and bouncy, in the east we look for lyrics, what’s the Chi-town hip hop scene like?
Twista: It’s a melting pot. We got a lot of Common, we got a lot of Kanye, but then you also got people like Mickey who was down with Cash Money Records at one time. You got the street and the style element with acts like me, Crucial Conflict, Do or Die – we got our own sound.
MVRemix: Is that a good or bad thing for blowing up into the mainstream?
Twista: It does make it harder. That’s kind of the same reason why it’s been so hard for the Midwest to get in, every coast caters to their audience. Everyone has to sell something to somewhere, and everybody on the outskirts sells to the middle. But it’s hard for us in the middle to really branch out to everyone else.
MVRemix: I know house is pretty big in Chicago. Do you listen to house?
Twista: Oh yea – for sure. House is big out there and sure it influences some of the music. You don’t realize but you could blend my whole album to a house track.
MVRemix: Are there any house DJ’s you pay homage to?
Twista: Fast Eddy. That’s my man right there. We gonna work together in the future too.
MVRemix: What would you say is the secret to your longevity?
Twista: Man – Chicago is like Count Crystal Lake and I’m Jason. [The industry] tried to drown [Chicago]. Then they tried to swim threw our city like shit is all sweet then I jumped out the water all scuffed up with the blade in hand just hacking mother fuckers up. Then it’s Jason more cheese part one, Jason more cheese part 2… and then you realize, no matter how many bogus deals I get, no matter how many fucked up sound scan albums he put out, Twista, “The Black Jason of Rap”, always keep coming back.
MVRemix: Besides your Guinness Book of Records recognized fast flow, what else sets you apart from the rest?
Twista: Hmmm… [pause] Aside from the fast flow… style. Even it it’s not fast, it’s the way I’ll rap to a beat. No matter what track I’m featured on, I take the way I flow over the beat to heart. I put my all into giving them what I think they want and what I think the track needs.
MVRemix: In your opinion, what’s your highest achievement thus far?
Twista: Not just music?
MVRemix: Anything, anything you’re most proud of or anything that made you look back and say, ok this is my pinnacle, or anything that made you say, “I made it.”
Twista: Man… [pause] That’s a good question. Everything I got. But I think it’s when I first bought my house, and when I was able to take care of my family. Flat out, being able to pay bills and take care of my family.
MVRemix: When did you buy the house?
Twista: Man… I can’t even remember. Recently though. Just recently.
MVRemix: Was there a memorable low point of your career where you were feeling “I just don’t know”.
Twista: Oh yeah. I wasn’t always a happy Atlantic [Records] artist. I’ve been going through a lot of trials and tribulations. I been rapping since 12 and I got a deal at 18. So I grew up in the industry and when I first got a deal that’s when niggas came at me with pistols and shit, that’s when I had to run and hide for my life and shit.
MVRemix: Our publication caters to an audience of hip hop lovers, many who are trying to get in the game or just simply fans of hip hop. As a successful artist with impressive longevity, what advice would you give to aspiring rappers looking at you?
Twista: Let ’em bite in the neck 3 times and you’ll live long [laughs]. Nah, but like I said – stay youthful. Once you see the “Walk it Out” and the “Chicken Noodle Soup”, and you diss and put them in a category, understand it’s a style of music. They all blowin’ up so people must wanna hear it. So you got to figure “Okay, how can I not be into that?” But give them just a little to compromise. But stay young – try to understand all this young new music, and be smart and intelligent.
MVRemix: After the Imus situation, a lot of focus has been placed on the vulgarity of rap lyrics. What’s your take on the situation?
Twista: I think we straight. We just take a couple blows when somebody do something wrong and need somebody to blame. I think hip hop was cool and people just search around in other directions. What should be addressed was what was said. [Hip hop is] cultural music. It got huge but it’s still cultural music. That’s just how we feel and we understand it. Ain’t nobody getting mad. Don’t walk in our kitchen and tell is to turn our music down. The day my black sisters band together and say they don’t like it – then that’s when I’ll stop.
MVRemix: Your album. You came out with “Adrenaline Rush” in 1997, why “Adrenaline Rush” in 2007?
Twista: Just bringing it back. It’s 10 years later. I’m a numbers person and I like the number 7 and we coming back in 07. So it’s 07, 10 years later, let’s hit ’em with an adrenaline rush again.
MVRemix: What will we be hearing in this album that we haven’t heard before?
Twista: Slow lyrics. People heard [slower lyrics from me] before – but not in the way you gonna hear it in this album. It’s enough to make a fan say damn – he snapped!
MVRemix: So is the fast rap thing something you eventually want to evolve out of?
Twista: I want to stay me, but I definitely want to give different things and a little something new every time.
MVRemix: Any parting words?
Twista: To hear more from Twista, grab that Speed knot Mobsters album, “Nation Business” coming to you in October. To a theater near you! [laughs].
MVRemix: And “Adrenaline Rush” of course.
Twista: Oh yeah, of course. Twista the Black Jason coming out in store near you!
Twista is back with the brand new album Adrenaline Rush 2007. Album in stores August 14th!
You can call him the fastest MC in hip-hop history, the man with the flawless flow or simply the Chi-Town legend. After years of building one of rap’s most loyal street followings and accumulating immeasurable respect among his peers in the music industry, Twista finally was rewarded with mainstream recognition and over two million sales of his seventh album, the classic Kamikaze.
Now back with the follow-up to the 1997 original Adrenaline Rush, Twista is taking it back to that Chicago street sound. The album features Pharrell, Lil Wayne and more.