At this point, the tension between Wu-Tang Clan is pretty obvious. Both RZA and Raekwon have stated why there have been recent differences between them regarding the upcoming Wu album, A Better Tomorrow. Now it seems a resolution is coming, as RZA told Sports Illustrated that he is giving Rae 30 days to either get involved with the project, or it may never get released. The album is currently scheduled to drop in July.
Raekwon previously toldRolling Stone that he is currently on strike from the group, while RZA explained that the differences came down to a lack of communication.
Leave it to Puff to turn this, one of the biggest moments in an already amazing life, into an opportunity to interact with the people. That knack for business—that remarkable marketing acumen—is something Howard University taught him.
Howard’s 146th Commencement ceremony takes place bright and early on Saturday, May 10. The world will be watching, with all eyes on the man himself.
One brand that dominated hip-hop style in the ’90s was Tommy Hilfiger. Everywhere you turned, the red, white, and blue nautical flag was flying high, and the label was known by the designer’s first name. The label started off catering to a preppy, casual crowd that wasn’t afraid to shine a little, and was soon appropriated by the streets, where it absolutely flourished. However, there were popular rumors throughout the decade that Tommy Hilfiger didn’t want the hip-hop community wearing his clothes, which was ultimately untrue.
Eventually, Tommy’s clothing fell out of favor with both the preppy crowd and the hip-hop heads, and it was soon rare to see any stylish dude rocking the brand’s gear. But in the midst of a comeback, “Bloomberg Businessweek” sat down with the designer to speak on everything from the brand’s humble beginnings to its current goals. But what interested us the most was when Businessweek asked Hilfiger about hip-hop’s infatuation with his label, and the implications of that.
Businessweek: There was a bit of controversy at the time because the classic preppy base abandoned the Tommy brand when it was adopted by the hip-hop community. And when hip-hop moved on to a new trend, you were left hanging.
Tommy Hilfiger: Look, it fueled a lot of growth, but it took us away from our roots. We came back to our roots 10 years ago; that’s when our business started to really stabilize and grow again. When people ask me advice, I say stick to who you are. Stick to your guns. There is an image and attitude to most brands and that’s really important. I like to stick to my heritage and not chase trends and at that point we were chasing trends. Chasing trends was easy but it was dangerous. It’s more important to me now to be consistent.
What do you think of Hilfiger’s answer? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
50 Cent really isn’t pulling any punches in his recent interviews. The latest comes from MTV UK, where Curtis was asked about Kanye West‘s last album, Yeezus. In true 50 Cent fashion, he didn’t hold back his opinion of the album, saying:
“”That last record, to be honest, I’m not playing it right now. I still play “Flashing Lights,” “Gold Digger” and that whole (College Dropout) project. But some of the new stuff is so creative and feels like he’s trying to create a whole new sound.”
Curtis continued with, “It doesn’t feel like hip-hop to me.” He did praise Ye though, saying he is an artist, and that he doesn’t have to agree with what everyone else does. 50′s new album, Animal Ambition, is set to drop on June 3.
Earlier this month, Mobb Deep released their new album The Infamous Mobb Deep, their first full-length project in eight years. The album comes 19 years after the Queensbridge duo dropped their seminal release The Infamous in 1995. 20 years if you include when the project was actually recorded.
Prodigy and Havoc recently sat down with Complex TV to talk about the legacy of The Infamous, which in turn was a mark of inspiration for their latest album. “For us to get back in the studio and make this new album, it was just like another day for us,” Prodigy says. “We were just happy about it, excited.” While many things have changed in the last 20 years, Havoc shares one factor that has remained the same. “I definitely look toward my friends as inspiration still,” he says. “I’m close to the streets still. A lot of my friends are there. That’s where we come from, so you can’t forget that.” The duo also talk about gaining wisdom early in their career from executives like Steve Rifkind, Rich Isaacson, and the late Chris Lighty.
Mobb Deep’s The Infamous Mobb Deep is available on iTunes. Guests on the project include Nas, Busta Rhymes, Bun B, French Montana, and more.
Last summer J. Cole delighted fans with his “Dollar & a Dream” tour, where entrance to the show was, you guessed it, $1 dollar. Good news, Jermaine is bringing the tour back this summer, and will be performing his classic mixtape, The Warm Up, in full to celebrate it’s fifth year anniversary. The dates and ticket information are not yet available, but we will update you once more details are available.
“They be like ‘What you doin’ Nicki?’ Branding.”- Up in Flames
There’s a blurry clip from “The Come Up” DVD series on YouTube where a younger, wavy-haired Nicki Minaj clutches a Baby Phat purse with curved acrylic tips and tries to rap her way out of a project staircase. You can’t see her ass or her chest. Her clothes (and door knockers) were the same as any other Queens girl. What you can see is the same talent that attracted the eye of Deb Antney and, later, Lil Wayne. If you can’t see that talent, you’re blind—and this is coming from someone who is often conflicted about whether or not I am a Nicki Minaj fan. Turns out a lot of people are, too. Scroll down the YouTube page and you’ll see a bunch of comments like “RIP old Nicki :’(” and “Where this girl go?”
On stage, in fact, Kid Cudi showed three mere inches of bare midriff and got everybody talking. As MTV so eloquently understated, “the response wasn’t exactly positive.” Not that shade is likely to discourage someone as young and rebellious as Cudi, or any other of hip-hop’s stars who have elevated to a legendary status; a place where they are free to push sonic, behavioral, and aesthetic boundaries that was previously only occupied by rock ‘n roll stars.
Beyond streetwear and sneaker loyalties, now hip-hop artists like Cudi, Kanye, Pharrell, A$AP Mob, and lately Young Thug are recasting the essential hip-hop “look,” promoting flair over masculinity. This transition to donning apparel absolutely makes the trolls put their homophobia and resistance to any sort of deviation from the norm on full view, but it isn’t brand-new to hip-hop. What’s remarkable is the fact that the limelight is now solely on hip-hop artists, with very few rock ‘n roll musicians influencing the trickle-down of fashion with the same intensity. Continue reading →
Future just released his sophomore album Honest today, which has been getting some pretty good reviews. Fans of the Atlanta rapper will be in for a treat later this year, as Future says he has plans to release another project in 2014.
During an interview with V-103 in Atlanta, Future revealed he had a number of songs recorded that didn’t fit the theme of Honest. He plans on taking those leftovers and adding them to a new project. “I’m saving it for another album. I want to drop two entire albums this year,” he says. “We working on the next one, and I’m going to be able to put the records that didn’t make Honest on that, if it fits.”