After yesterday’s 100-plus comments regarding the issue, I feel like it’s time to have a legitimate and comprehensive way to settle this once and for all. Thus, introducing the CONSENSUS Top 5 rappers of all time!! This is an opportunity for each of you to make your opinions known, and to vote for who you feel should be in that Top 5 rappers of all time list. First the rules;
- Each of you will be asked to select your Top 5 rappers of all time. Feel free to explain or justify your picks, just be sure that if and when you reply, you leave me your Top 5.
- Once you send your Top 5 each rapper will receive a number based on their place (For example if your list has Jay-Z at #1, he receives a 1). That number will be averaged against all of the other numbers that rapper receives, and that average score will determine that rappers place in the Top 5. The final Top 5 will be an average of all of the voters picks, giving us the CONSENSUS vote. There is a little more math to it, but really you don’t need to know all that.
I’m sure each of you have your own set of criteria for judging who makes it into your Top 5. By all means state your case using your personal set of criteria, however below you’ll find what we consider General Criteria for judging the Top 5. Feel free to adopt any of the following to incorporate into your own criteria;
1) BATTING AVERAGE - If your rapper made 100 songs, how many of them were bangers? Look at the rappers entire catalog, then figure how many dope songs he has. Divide the hits from the total catalog, and you come up with a batting average - just like in Baseball. Batting Average is a great way to judge a rappers success at making songs that bang out. The higher the batting average, the better the rapper.
2) IMPACT ON THE GAME - What was your rapper’s impact on Hip Hop? Who has he influenced? How did his flow and his music change the game? Did he start a movement? Basically, how did this rapper affect the culture of Hip Hop? The best rappers have all had a big impact on the game. Consider this when choosing.
3) CONSISTENCY OF RELEVANCE - In the nutsshell, this criteria speaks to the length of time the rapper was relevant in the game of Hip Hop. Just like the best music, the best rappers maintain relevance for a long time. How consistent has your artist been at spitting that fire? Did he fall off after 2 years, or is his music still played hard even though he’s dead? Consistency and span of relevance is important when deciding who is the best in the game.
4) LYRICS - Of course if we are discussing rappers, then the main measuring stick has got to be lyrics. This is probably the most subjective criteria because everyone has different tastes, still if any rapper wants to be DOWN BY LAW then he knows that he must be lyrically agile, adept and able to move the crowd. You, the consumers ARE the crowd. Who moves you?
The Polls will be open until Friday July 1st 2011 at noon. Vote by either replying to this blog, or by sending me a FaceBook email message titled “Top 5”. You can only vote once. The results will be announced on my FaceBook page on July 5th 2011 at Noon. Debates are encouraged, and wack choices will be ridiculed. If any of you place Bow Wow on your Top 5 list, I promise to blow it up to the Tumblr and the Facebook and Twitter communities!! This is a serious voting process, so we expect serious answers!
It’s on!!! Let the voting begin!!!! The CONSENSUS Top 5 Rappers of ALL TIME!!!!
Good Brother Productions Presents - Back to Brooklyn 2: The Gemini Theory at Bamboo Lounge and Grill on Friday June 10th 2011!!! All Geminis are FREE until Midnight!! Music by THE AHFICIONADOS!!
Back to Brooklyn was started in 2010 as a way to celebrate growing up in the greatest County on the planet, the legendary County of Kings. There is an affinity that all Brooklyn-ites share, whether its a scholastic affinity, a neighborhood affinity, or a familial one. Back to Brooklyn is a way to bring those affinities together for one night, to celebrate the Brooklyn Experience.
The first Back to Brooklyn was held at Rustik Tavern on DeKalb Avenue in Bedford Stuyvesant.It bought out 250 of Brooklyn’s Finest men and women and everyone had a wonderful night! Bed Stuy, Clinton Hill, Fort Greene, Flatbush - they all represented for one night while DJ Saucee spun the fresh tunes. It was such a success that we decided to do it again. This time though we wanted to step it up a notch. (BAM!)
The first thing to do is to get a living legendary set to provide the sound. Without a doubt the freshest sound set in the borough is the Ahficionados and DJ Free like ‘frei!!
Free is a monster with more crates than America has States. His vibe and musical intelligence are both apparent the moment he touches a set. Their whole crew - The Block Association/The Daily Regiment are spearheading a movement I like to call Neo-Nostalgic - forward movement with the proper dedication to our roots. It’s a perfect fit to have them provide the soundtrack to celebrate Brooklyn!
Also, this year we are celebrating Geminis - that crazy, schizo, creatively genius zodiac sign!! It’s an opportunity for all Gemmy’s to come and celebrate their birthdays with GBP Co-Founder Marlon Rice!!
When you put Brooklyn’s Finest men and women in a room with a bunch of crazy Geminis and The Ahficionados on the set, the result is a night to remember!! For more information check the FB Event Page at: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/event.php?eid=215887515099054
I’m sitting in the airport with over an hour to spare before my flight. Being from New York where everything is always bustling, you teach yourself to be at the airport at least 90 minutes prior to take off to allow for the common airport processing. I arrived here 2 hours prior to my flight, and was finished with everything in 15 minutes. With the extra time I had a chance to ponder on the things I enjoy about my visit, and also the things I didn’t love so much. Lists work well on blogs from what I hear, and so I present to you Truth and Soul’s first list. The five things I loved about Barbados!!!
5) The Airport – Let’s start with where we are right now. This airport is one of the most quiet and spacious airports I have ever been in. There were absolutely NO lines. I handled boarding, customs, and security in no time flat. Maybe their security checkpoint was a bit too leisurely – You just dump your stuff through the machine and step through the detector, no TSA pat downs or fingers in your asshole - but it was definitely quick, and without the overkill military presence of Manley International Airport in Jamaica, or even a lot of the airports in the states. Every duty free store was well stocked, and empty. The customer service was excellent. And, oh by the way the gates in this airport are not enclosed. You actually walk out onto the tarmac to board the plane old-school style, like you see in the movies. That alone makes this a cool airport.
4) The Green Monkey – I was sitting in the Brown Sugar Restaurant in St. Michaels Parish enjoying a luncheon sponsored by the wedding party of the wedding I was attending out here. We were sitting in a verandah-type section of the eatery, outside but enclosed with bamboo and wooden planks, when out of the corner of my eye I noticed something running across one of the roofs in the verandah. I turned to find a monkey running across the roof, yes a real live monkey.
Now, I’m not Carmen San Diego. I haven’t been all over the world, but I have been to a few places. Usually if a country has monkeys, they are caged behind bars in a zoo. This is the first place I’ve been where monkeys run free, and if it isn’t then this is the first place where I’ve actually witnessed a free monkey. And I didn’t have to go through the jungle to see him, he actually passed through as I was eating some pepper pot and fish cakes.
3) Pine Ju-C
Pine Ju-C is simply the best pineapple soda I’ve ever tasted, and you can find it just about everywhere in Barbados. It’s light and bubbly, and oh so pineappley! This is something that would definitely be a hit in NYC. A lady in a movie theater I went to tried to offer me Red Ju-C. I asked her what flavor is the Red Ju-C, and she replied “red”. For obvious reasons I didn’t try it. Maybe when they specify the flavor of the Red Ju-C we will reconsider, but for now the Pine Ju-C is the lick. I’m going to see about getting a case in Brooklyn.
2) The People I met – I was in Barbados for a wedding. The groom was a Guyanese man raised in London, the bride a Bajan woman raised in Canada. There were family and friends from 4 of the seven continents, and representing probably around 15 nations. In all honesty I think I may have been the only African-American at the wedding. Being a Black American, I’m used to family events consisting of your relatives from the city, and your down south relatives. That’s pretty much as wordly an event as you’re going to get from a Black American, unless Uncle Harold decides to bring back something from the Army base he’s stationed at. One thing I admire about Afro-Caribbeans is that they are moreso people of the world. They mix and mingle freely amongst the world, as the world mixes and mingles freely in the Caribbean. I met some great people this week, and was inspired to be more a part of the world. (By the way, I had my own beautiful, wonderful and interesting companion on the trip, and although she didn’t make this list she’s number one with me.)
And the number one thing I loved about Barbados is……
The number one thing has to be Chefette!!! Chefette is a fast food franchise that is literally all over the island! No, seriously. I saw more Chefette workers than cops. I counted at least ten Chefettes in the four mile radius of my stay on the island. This place is better than McDonalds. Better than Wendy’s. Even better than the incomparable White Castle! Why, because Chefette’s has turned Roti into a fast food meal! Forget everything else they sell at Chefette’s, the Roti is the absolute bomb!! Without Roti on the menu, Chefette is just another cheap chicken spot, but its the Roti that sets this food chain apart from the others. I wouldn’t be surprised if Chefette employs 25% of the island, and feeds the other 75%. I personally had about 7 roti’s and 5 Pine Ju-c’s from Chefette in 6 days. In fact as I’m writing this blog in the airport, guess what I’m eating…
And just as an added bonus, they serve Vanilla Ice Cream that is orange!! Yeah man, gotta love Chefette!!
Once a month, Good Brother hosts a panel discussion/networking mixer called “Nights at the Round Table”. Each month panelists from selected fields of endeavor are invited to the beautiful Bamboo Grill and Lounge to discuss different topics. The topics are chosen with the intent of sparking discussion as well as to provide the community with a resource for sharing diverse ideas and concepts in an informal social setting. It’s like a mix between a community town hall meeting, and a late night talk show plus with great drinks and a great latin-inspired menu. This event combines the social setting young professionals come to enjoy, with the opportunity to share views on issues that connect us all. Marlon Rice moderates the discussions. If you know Marlon, then you know this means the talk is spirited, to say the least.
March’s Panel Discussion was titled “Owning the Process: From Pen and Pad to becoming a Published Author. We invited four published authors to come discuss their personal journeys, the business of being an author, as well as information to support and inspire young writers to fulfill their dreams of becoming an author. The panel consisted of Erick Gray, author of 13 novels, and currently signed to Urban Books; Yoshe the Author, another Urban Books author who penned the controversal novel “Taboo”; Ayana Ellis, owner of Purpose Publishing and author of “Full Circle”, a telling novel about domestic violence; and Keith “KL” Belvin, owner of Bravin Publishing and and Dean of Students at the Urban Action Academy.
April’s panel discussion was titled: Venus vs Mars: The State of the Union between Man and Woman. This was a no-holds barred look at some of the issues all Men and Women deal with - the traditional issues such as rules of courting, and the institution of marriage, and the not-so traditional issues such as jump-offs and online dating. We discussed the need for images of Black Love in media, whether spirituality is still important when choosing a mate, and the disparity of the sexes when it comes to educational matriculation. We had a beautiful panel which included Giocanda Phillips, CEO of Gio Faces Artistry; EZ Bey, Celebrity Hair Stylist; Okema Moore, Media extraordinaire and Entertainer, and Kel Spencer, Writer and Founder of “Salon Stories”.
Great food - Great drinks - Great conversation!! What better way to enjoy your evening!! We look forward to future Nights at the Round Table events through the summer. Stay tuned for information and dates of future discussions. Peace
I was in a dollar cab this weekend. Yes, a dollar cab. For those of you not familiar, dollar cabs are vans that travel along major thorofares in Brooklyn, picking up and dropping off passenger for $2 a pop. It is an inexpensive way to hop around the borough, if you don’t mind reckless West Indian drivers, and a crowded passenger pool that spans from young killers to old ladies (I happen to fit somewhere in between). So, i’m in the dollar cab headed to Flatbush when this young guy gets in at Empire Blvd. Nothing noticeable about the cat, I might not have even noticed him if it wasn’t for the phone conversation he was on when he got in. He sat directly behind me, and I know he was speaking to a guy named Gussy because he kept saying his name (Shout out to Gussy). I’m a ear hustler. I’ll admit it, it’s part of what makes me such an efficient writer - my ability to archive conversations I hear on the street or in passing. So, this young guy is talking to Gussy as our driver is swerving reckless down Flatbush Avenue, stopping short enough to jostle us everytime he sees someone waiting for a pickup. The kid says to Gussy, “Gussy. Yeah Gussy, you remember that chick that Snoop bought through? Yeah, the one she say her name is Sparkle. Yeah, well the bitch owed me some money so I ran down on her. Yeah, I ran down on the bitch Gussy. I got her coat, her rings and her phone. Nah Gussy, I’m keeping her shit until I get my money.”
Listen, I’m in a dollar cab speeding down Flatbush Avenue at like 11 at night on a Friday, so this conversation he’s having isn’t much of a surprise to me. I mean, this IS Brooklyn you know. There are all types of animals in this borough -snakes, birds, lambs, and wolves. You grow up in Brooklyn learning which animals are harmless, and which ones are poisonous. Obviously the kid thought that this Sparkle chick needed to be taught a lesson, and by all accounts Gussy agreed too.
If that had been the extent of the conversation, I wouldn’t be wasting my Sunday night jotting my thoughts onto this blog. It’s what happened next that made this story a must-tell. After the kid gets off the phone with Gussy, a phone starts to ring. It isn’t the phone in his hand though, it’s the phone in his pocket. He reaches into his jean jacket (BTW jean jackets are back in style. Pick yourself up one) and pulls the phone out. He answers it, and then there is silence on his end for the better part of a minute. When he finally talks, he says something like this;
“Miss first of all I don’t know any Tiffany. The bitch I took the phone from is named Sparkle. Ok, but in the streets we call her Sparkle. Now if Sparkle is your daughter that’s all well and good but she owes me $40 so I took her shit. It isn’t about the money miss, it’s the principal. Your daughter used my name to get $40 worth of credit for some shit, and I want my money. Huh? Yes miss I had to take her shit because she didn’t have my money. I didn’t hit your daughter, all I did was choke her up. You should teach your daughter not to get credit on other niggas name then.”
At this point a couple of things are crystal clear. The first is that this robbery/assault happened recently, like in the last few minutes because the kid still has this Sparkle girl’s stuff on him. The second thing is that he is on the phone with her mother, explaining to her why he just jacked her daughter. Now this is the kind of shit I ear hustle for daily!! I’m ignoring the driver and his recklessness at this point, unaware of where we are or even if I’ve missed my stop. The only thing I want to do is hear how this conversation ends. He goes back and forth with the lady for a minute or so, and finally says,
“Okay, if you’re gonna send Sparkle out with my $40 then I’ll give her her shit back. Yeah, she knows where to find me. I won’t hurt her as long as she has my $40. Tell ya daughter stop playing these street games if she ain’t ready. Keep her in the house then. Okay, thank you miss. Peace.”
And that was it. No threats to call the Police, no cursing out, in fact he never even sounded like he was defending himself. Just another night in the County of Kings. A young man assaults and robs a young girl for her coat her jewelry and her phone over $40, and when the mother calls the kid coerces her into getting the money for him. I wasn’t sure who I should feel ashamed of. Maybe I should be embarrassed and ashamed of this young man who is from the same part of the planet as me, but is lost in this role he feels he should be playing without realizing that this role ends in jail or death, every time. Or maybe I should be ashamed of and embarrassed at the mother, the alleged adult in the situation, who rather than call the Police on this wolf who preyed on her daughter, preferred to cough up the $40 and send her child back into the streets to see this man again. Shit, maybe I should be mad at Sparkle. Like the kid said, she shouldn’t be playing these street games if she ain’t ready. I did find myself feeling ashamed though, without knowing at whom or why. I got to Ditmas Ave, paid my $2 and hopped out of the van. Just then it hit me. I’m ashamed of myself and every one of us in this community that giggles or laughs when we see ignorance, that turns a blind eye when we see young blacks hurt other young blacks. I’m ashamed that I watch the Worldstar videos, ashamed that I actually enjoyed the Bloody Loco video. If we don’t express our disgust at this sort of mentality, this way of thinking that seems to hover over every inner city in the nation, then who will?
I sure hope Sparkle came up with that bread…
I couldn’t give this blog an official kickoff without reminding you to remember the name… ASSSSSSSSSAP!! This kid could have a future in Sales, he’s quite persistent.