For Valentine’s Day, emcees were asked to discuss their favorite love songs in Hip Hop. As tracks were mentioned, rappers like Fabolous, 50 Cent and Talib Kweli shared their perspectives on how those love songs impacted them. ”The word ‘love’ was reserved for LL Cool J when I fell in love with Hip Hop,” 50 Cent shared with MTV. Others echoed Fif as LL’s “I Need Love” was mentioned several times. Fabolous agreed. ”That was one of the first heartfelt Rap songs,” he said, praising the track. Another song mentioned was Method Man’s “I’ll Be There For You/You’re All I Need To Get By,” which features Mary J. Blige. ”It captured everything,” Juelz Santana explained. “It captured the love but it [also] captured the hood. The beat, everything, records like that, those records don’t just happen every day.” According to Talib Kweli, all emcees and other musicians strive to make love songs. ”I think all musicians want to make love songs,” he said. “That’s what we all strive for.”
Just a week ago, Beyoncé announced her upcoming “The Mrs. Carter Show” world tour to the delight of her fans. For the U.S. portion of the tour, Queen B will give an exclusive performance at the 2013 ESSENCE Festival this summer in New Orleans at the Superdome. ESSENCE announced the addition of Beyoncé to the lineup, stating that the Houston bombshell will headline one of the three nighttime shows of the festival which takes place on July 4-7. ”We are incredibly excited to welcome Beyoncé back to the 2013 ESSENCE Festival line-up,” said Essence Communications president Michelle Ebanks via a press statement. ”She is truly the ultimate ESSENCE woman. If you missed her tour de force in New Orleans, please join us this Fourth of July weekend so that you can experience it live for yourself at the ESSENCE Festival. The ESSENCE Festival features the best in music, culture, arts and entertainment—all of which Beyoncé captures through her extraordinary gifts.” The show addition marks a return for Beyoncé, who last performed at the festival in 2009 as a soloist. Jay-Z‘s wife and Destiny’s Child were also headliners in 2005. Joining Beyoncé in the Big Easy will be Jill Scott, LL Cool J, New Edition, Maxwell and more.
In a recent report from MTV, it appears that LL will be performing alongside Public Enemy front man Chuck D,Travis Barker, Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello and DJ Z-Trip at the Grammy Awards. The performance is reportedly a mash-up of Hip Hop, rock and EDM. The Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow spoke about the performance, saying the idea spawned from LL’s history as a host for the Grammy Awards. ”LL is part of our family now. He’s not a hired gun and last year after we did the nominations show we said, ‘Let’s do [something] this year,’ and he was up for it,” Portnow explained. “He represents so much history with his work in Hip Hop…to this day he’s in it, he’s respected for it and we thought, ‘Gee, it’s right under our noses, let’s do something with LL and have a lot of fun with that.’” Portnow added, “[The performance is] not so much a tribute to [LL's] music, so much as a celebration of the kind of music he’s been known for and others that have followed.” Other performances lined-up for the 55th Annual Grammy Awards include Miguel, Wiz Khalifa, Frank Ocean, Alicia Keys and more.
According to Shan, his diss track aimed at LL “Beat Biter” came about after LL stole Marley Marl’s production from Shan’s song “Marley Scratch” for his own song “Rock the Bells.” Although LL never ended up responding, Shan recalled an incident in which he snapped a copy of “Rock the Bells” as a sign of disrespect.
“How ‘Beat Biter’ came about, it was because LL had took the beat to ‘Marley Scratch.’ If you was to play ‘Rock The Bells’ and ‘Marley Scratch’ side-by-side? That was the ‘Marley Scratch’ beat pattern. In those days we had a lot of pride in being an artist. Be original, don’t copy, and if you said something that was close to mine it was like, ‘You a biter and I’ma diss you!’ When he took my beat, that was a total violation of Hip Hop ethics. We would say, ‘Don’t bite a rhyme,’ but I took it to another level. ‘Don’t take my beat or we’ll have a problem!’”
Shan continued, “He never responded. There’s a DVD out called Beef and they tell the story of all the LL battles that he ever had, and they briefly show me but they never mentioned me. It’s like they just tried to look over the fact that Shan went at LL. As far as me and LL having shows together, we used to tour together, that’s how he got my ‘Marley Scratch’ beat. We had one show where we were supposed to battle—it was in Syracuse—and I did that ‘Beat Biter.’ Marley was cutting the record up, back and forth. I went over to the turntable and I snatched LL’s record off and I snapped the record! I still had the microphone in my hand, and when I snapped the record the sound resonated through the speakers, the crowd went crazy and LL never got on stage that night! They tried to turn his limo over, just for that. True story.”
LL Cool J left many of us disappointing when he released a new song called ‘Ratchet‘ which came with an announcement that his next album is titled Authentic Hip Hop. Apart from the fact that the title was nothing “authentic”, especially coming from a legend like Cool James, the song was itself shallow.
LL turns things around with the second taste off his forthcoming CD, a collaboration with two veterans — singer Joe and production duo The Trackmasters. He gave the green light to a few radio stations this week to play the song and here it is in CD quality. This is more like it!…by Navjosh