Tag: Big Daddy Kane

LL Cool J to Become Kennedy Center’s First Hip-Hop Honoree

LLCoolJ (photo via npr.org)

by Rodney Carmichael via npr.org

Thirty years after becoming rap’s first sex symbol, LL Cool J will be the first hip-hop artist to receive Kennedy Center Honors in its 40-year history.

The rapper-turned-actor born James Todd Smith will be inducted with a prestigious 2017 class — including pop stars Lionel Richie, Gloria Estefan, television icon Norman Lear and choreographer Carmen de Lavallade – on Sunday, Dec. 3 at the Kennedy Center Opera House in Washington, D.C.

The honorees will be saluted by performers while seated alongside President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump. While Kennedy Center Honors acknowledge the lifetime achievements of contributors to American culture, the list has traditionally been limited in scope. But the inclusion of LL, born James Todd Smith, in this year’s honoree list further expands the center’s growing embrace of hip-hop culture.

Earlier this year the center appointed Simone Eccleston as its first director of Hip-Hop Culture after naming A Tribe Called Quest’s Q-Tip as artistic director of Hip-Hop Culture in 2016. Historic performances by Kendrick Lamar and Common have also underlined the center’s investment, and more programming for the 2017-18 season is expected to be announced in the coming months.

At 49, LL will be the Kennedy Center’s youngest honoree since Stevie Wonder. It’s a long way from home for the St. Albans, Queens native who made his first record, “I Need A Beat,” at 16, after his demo tape made it to the ears of producer and Def Jam founder Rick Rubin. As rap’s first bona fide solo star, LL was larger than life in the 1980s, the first to embody the street-corner swagger and sex appeal that would become a blueprint for future hip-hop icons ranging from Big Daddy Kane to Biggie.

Before an artist like Drake could legitimately mix hip-hop lyricism with R&B vulnerability, LL turned out the first hit rap ballad with 1987’s “I Need Love.” And the ladies loved him for it. Best known today for his starring roles in TV and film, he received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame last year. But after a career spanning 30-plus years and 13 albums, he’s yet to leave rap alone — he’s rumored to be in the studio recording with Dr. Dre.

To read full article, go to: LL Cool J To Become Kennedy Center’s First Hip-Hop Honoree : The Record : NPR

MUSIC: All 9 Jackson Family Siblings Have Now Had Solo Hits on the Billboard Charts

The Jackson Five photographed in Amsterdam circa 1977.   (GIJSBERT HANEKROOT/REDFERNS)

article by Trevor Anderson via billboard.com

Tito Jackson joins his brothers and sisters like Michael and Janet, and scores his first solo hit on the Billboard charts with “Get It Baby.”  With the single’s recent debut, Tito becomes the ninth and final Jackson family sibling to place a solo single on the charts.

Michael Jackson’s Top 50 Billboard Hits

For over 45 years, the Jackson family has been charting hits — stretching back to the 1969 debut of the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” on the Billboard Hot 100. In the following decades, the children of Joe and Katherine Jackson all embarked on solo careers, most spectacularly with Michael Jackson. By 1989, eight of the nine siblings had reached the charts.

“Get It Baby,” featuring Big Daddy Kane, debuts at No. 30 on the Billboard + Twitter Top Tracks chart dated June 11, and climbs 29-26 on the Adult R&B Songs airplay chart in its second week.

The Jackson siblings’ solo chart runs date back to October 30, 1971, when Michael Jackson’s debut single, “Got to Be There,” started at No. 89 on the Hot 100. Since Michael kicked off his string, nine of the Jackson children have scored hits on a Billboard songs chart (listed in birth order):

Maureen “Rebbie” Jackson – seven charted titles on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, including two top 10s in 1984’s “Centipede” (No. 4) and 1988’s “Plaything” (No. 8).

Sigmund “Jackie” Jackson – two charted titles on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, including a 1989 top 40 hit “Stay” (No. 39).

Tito Jackson – “Get It Baby” debuted at No. 29 on Adult R&B Songs on the June 4, 2016 chart and Billboard + Twitter Top Tracks the following week.

Jermaine Jackson – 17 charted titles on the Hot 100, including two top 10 hits: “Daddy’s Home” in 1973 and “Let’s Get Serious” in 1980. Both cuts peaked at No. 9.

LaToya Jackson – nine charted titles on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, including four top 40 hits. Her highest ranking track, “Bet’cha Gonna Need My Lovin’” climbed to No. 22 in 1983.

Marlon Jackson – two charted titles on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, including the No. 2 smash “Don’t Go” in 1987.

Michael Jackson – 50 charted titles on the Hot 100, including 13 No. 1s, the most by any male artist in Hot 100 history.

Steven “Randy” Jackson – three charted titles on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart (one as a solo artist and two as part of Randy & The Gypsys). Of those three, 1990’s “Love You Honey” scored the best rank, topping out at No. 16.

Janet Jackson – 40 charted titles on the Hot 100, including 10 No. 1s.

Of course, the Jacksons also made music history working together. The Jackson 5 — a lineup consisting of Jackie, Jermaine, Marlon, Michael and Tito — scored Hot 100 No. 1s with their first four releases on Motown: “I Want You Back,” “ABC,” “The Love You Save” and “I’ll Be There.”

After a break with the label, the group shifted to Epic Records and was renamed The Jacksons (with Randy replacing Jermaine). The new quintet racked up three more Hot 100 top 10s between 1977 and 1984.

Ice-T Breaks Down Why “Art of Rap” Festival in July is Important to Hip-Hop, Art and Music

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“The Message” by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five is by far one of the most important records known to man.  A “total knock out of the park” as Public Enemy’s Chuck D once told Rolling Stone, the 1982 record marked a pivotal moment for hip-hop.  The first of its kind, at seven-minutes rapper Melle Mel and co-writer Duke Bootee traded clear-cut lines about the everyday struggle and decay in America’s ghettos. From the ubiquitous “broken glass” to the “junkies in the alley” and how the kids that are “born with no state of mind” end up succumbing to the live fast, die young statistic. It’s an monumental piece of recording that perfectly demonstrates the foundation on which hip-hop was founded.

Beyond that though, it’s also the very record that Mickey Bentson, co-founder of The Universal Zulu Nation, and Ice-T brought up during a phone conversation with REVOLT. “Grandmaster Flash and Melle Mel made one of the hardest records ever: “The Message” with no cursing. Wow. That’s unbelievable,” Bentson exclaimed.  “Where you gonna get all this stuff at? Nowhere but at the Art of Rap Festival baby.”

In 2012, Ice-T chronicled the rich foundation and importance of the hip-hop into a one hour-and-a-half epic, better known as the critically-acclaimed documentary, “Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap.” An intimate journey that uncovers the layers, elements, and science of hip-hop, the film took it back to the essence, while bringing along famous faces like Dr. Dre, Kanye West, Eminem, Q-Tip, Chuck D and many more for a discussion on the art form. Three years since he opened the conversation, Ice-T,  joined by Bentson, has added another layer (and new meaning) to the “The Art of Rap,” with an inaugural event he is calling “the most prolific and essential hip-hop festival ever.”

The Art of Rap Festival, which will take place over the course of two days in California, features a dream team line-up of emcees that range from Big Daddy Kane to Rakim, Afrika Bambaataa, EPMD, Doug E. Fresh, Grandmaster Melle Mel, King T, Kurtis Blow, Biz Markie, and more. Just like the film, the festival, which will feature co-headliners including Game and Ice-T at its July 18th Irvine date and Ice-T at the July 19th Mountain View show, takes it back to the essence.

Speaking about the summer must-attend festival, Ice-T and Mickey Bentson hopped on the phone with REVOLT and discussed just how and why this event came together.

In 2012, Ice-T, you released this film and now it has transformed into a full blown festival. How did you two come together for this?

Ice-T: Well, [The Art of Rap] happened for me, I was sitting around and for a while when you would say you an emcee, people actually had this heavy respect for you. Well the point that when you would say ‘rapper,’ people would kind of look at you like a clown. Rappers were kind of acting up and I didn’t like that, so I said you know what I want to make a film that makes people really respect the art of rap. It’s not a game, it’s real stuff. I worked really hard on my music, I grew up with [Big Daddy] Kane and Rakim and people like that, and I said this is serious business. So we shot the film, it did what it was supposed to do, make people understand that it is an art form and the next obvious move was to take it on the road. The Art of Rap Tour is meant to be about the craft and the culture of hip-hop, so we go all the way from The Soulsonic Force to somebody like The Game.

As you mentioned, this festival is about the craft and culture. Why is this such an important element for this event? 

T: We want people to take pride in what they do. If you take pride in your music, you’re going to do good music. If you look at music as just a way to get paid, then you might throw up any ol’ shit, and you also ain’t gonna represent it right, [because] when you get interviewed you gonna say any ol’ s*** — and that bothers the artists. That’s like me coming into jazz and not knowing who Miles Davis was, and there’s going to be people who’s going to have feelings about that.  Continue reading “Ice-T Breaks Down Why “Art of Rap” Festival in July is Important to Hip-Hop, Art and Music”

Jay-Z Comes Home to Repay a Debt to Brooklyn, Performs At Newly-Opened Barclays Center

 

Richard Perry/The New York Times

For many years, Jay-Z closed out his concerts with “Encore,” a soothing, triumphant number from “The Black Album,” which at the time of its release in 2003 was billed as something of a retirement. “From Marcy to Madison Square,” he rapped, sketching an arc that had taken him from a Brooklyn housing project to headlining the most symbolically important arena in the country.

That used to be enough, goal-wise, but no musician has reframed the potential for bucket-list completion and brand extension like Jay-Z, who in the past decade has consistently sought new ceilings to break through. That journey brought him to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Friday night, for the first show of a sold-out eight-night run in this new rusty bunker that will house the Brooklyn Nets, a team that he owns a small piece of, and for which he is the unofficial ambassador. Continue reading “Jay-Z Comes Home to Repay a Debt to Brooklyn, Performs At Newly-Opened Barclays Center”