Pulse Report: Chicago Police Go Chief Keef Hunting, Jay-Z's Best Ever Feature Story, Nicki Minaj Can't Get Mercy
Friday, Sep 7, 2012 1:30PM
In this week's Pulse Report, we watch how the tweets and police are watching Chief Keef, admire quite possibly Jay-Z's best-ever feature story, shake our heads at how Nicki Minaj played herself and oh SOHH much more!
[Editor's Note: The views expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect those of SOHH]
1. Chief Keefing
There are just so many things that I cannot relate to out in Chicago. I take pride in my Bronx, New York roots but when trying to understand how chaotic things are out in Chi-Town? I give up. I hear and see the interviews by Rhymefest and Lupe Fiasco talking about just how violent things are but it took a teenager getting slain and Chief Keef laughing about it for me to literally stop and see what's really going down out there.
The Tribune and Sun-Times are reporting that 17-year-old much-buzzed-about local rapper Chief Keef is being looked into by police for connections to the tragically fatal shooting of fellow Chicago teen rapper Lil JoJo (real name Joseph Coleman). According to reports, Coleman's death follows a possibly gang related feud between Coleman and Chief Keef's (real name Keith Cozart) "300 squad." Coleman's recent song "3hunna K," released digitally, mocked Keef's crew, who are known to have gang affiliations. (Gapers Block)
Coleman was gunned down in a drive-by shooting Tuesday night in the South Side's Englewood neighborhood. In the hours following Coleman's death, Chief Keef sent out a tweet that read: "Its Sad Cuz Dat N**** Jojo Wanted To Be Jus Like Us #LMAO." (The Internet acronym "LMAO" stands for "Laughing My A** Off.") After tying together Coleman's death, the public rivalry between the rappers and Keef's tweet, police are currently investigating the possibility that this was a gang-related crime and whether or not Cozart had any involvement. (Gapers Block)
You've got to really be cold-blooded to actually laugh at someone you know getting killed. Keep in mind though, I know nothing about the Chicago area and just like we shouldn't judge the ways other countries govern themselves and insert our democratic way of life, I have to make sure not to wag my finger at anything I don't really get.
For starters, you've got to just think that violence has really gotta be so bad that teenagers are showing how ruthless they are by laughing at their peers' deaths. I've read a lot of blogs where bloggers have spit pure venom out over all of this and I don't want to go that route. I just want to understand.
Chief Keef is 17 or 18, signed to Interscope Records, has a movie deal and headphones line popping off and is still in Chicago dealing with this stuff? Something's not adding up. To make things even worse, it's looking like those tweets could get him connected to the murder. There's the saying any press, including bad, is good press, but I don't think Interscope Records could co-sign all this.
I don't know if I've ever told y'all, but Notorious B.I.G., Big Pun and Jay-Z have to be my top three favorite rappers. Sometimes they may switch in order, but those are my top picks. With that being said, I'm always fascinated when there's some new tid-bits that I read about them. Maybe it's an unreleased Biggie verse, an untold Pun story from Fat Joe or a solid interview courtesy of the New York Times. I don't know much about Zadie Smith but this new piece she penned on Jay forced me to take away the Nicki Minaj/Mitt Romney stuff and give props. There's a lot more than what you're seeing here, so make sure to read the feature from start to finish as well!
Jay-Z Talks Trayvon Martin & President Barack Obama
The fish sandwich arrives. Conversation turns to the schoolboy who was shot to death, Trayvon Martin -- "It's really heartbreaking, that that still can happen in this day and age" -- and, soon after, to Obama: "I've said the election of Obama has made the hustler less relevant." When he first made this point, "People took it in a way that I was almost dismissing what I am. And I was like: no, it's a good thing!" He didn't have Obama growing up, only the local hustler. "No one came to our neighborhoods, with stand-up jobs, and showed us there's a different way. Maybe had I seen different role models, maybe I'd've turned on to that." Difficult to keep these two Americas in your mind. Imagine living it -- within one lifetime! (New York Times)
Jay-Z Reveals "The Wire" Reference 5-0 Cent Made
In "Decoded," Jay-Z writes that "rap is built to handle contradictions," and Hova, as he is nicknamed, is as contradictory as they come. Partly because he's a generalist. Biggie had better boasts, Tupac dropped more knowledge, Eminem is -- as "Renegade" demonstrated -- more formally dexterous. But Hova's the all-rounder. His albums are showrooms of hip-hop, displaying the various possibilities of the form. The persona is cool, calm, almost frustratingly self-controlled: "Yeah, 50 Cent told me that one time. He said: 'You got me looking like Barksdale' " -- the hot-blooded drug kingpin from HBO's "The Wire" -- "and you get to be Stringer Bell!" -- Barksdale's levelheaded partner. The rapper Memphis Bleek, who has known Jay-Z since Bleek himself was 14, confirms this impression: "He had a sense of calm way before music. This was Jay's plan from day one: to take over. I guess that's why he smiles and is so calm, 'cause he did exactly what he planned in the '90s." And now, by virtue of being 42 and not dead, he can claim his own unique selling proposition: he's an artist as old as his art form. The two have grown up together. (New York Times)
Jay-Z Explains Why He Switched His Style Up
Jay-Z, like rap itself, started out pyrotechnical. Extremely fast, stacked, dense. But time passed and his flow got slower, opened up. Why? "I didn't have enough life experience, so what I was doing was more technical. I was trying to impress technically. To do things that other people cannot do. Like, you can't do this" -- insert beat-box and simultaneous freestyle here -- "you just can't do that." Nope. Can't even think of a notation to demonstrate what he just did. Jay-Z in technician mode is human voice as pure syncopation. On a track like "I Can't Get With That," from 1994, the manifest content of the music is never really the words themselves; it's the rhythm they create. And if you don't care about beats, he says, "You've missed the whole point." (New York Times)
Jay-Z Discusses The New Hip-Hop Generations
Sure are. Odd Future. Waka Flocka Flame. Chief Keef. Returning to what appear to be the basic building blocks of rap: shock tactics, obscenity, perversely simplistic language. After the sophistication of Rakim, Q-Tip, Nas, Lupe Fiasco, Kanye West and Jay himself, are we back on the corner again? "Yeah, but Tupac was an angel compared to these artists!" He shakes his head, apparently amused at himself. And it's true: listening to a Tupac record these days feels like listening to a pleasant slice of Sinatra. But Jay-Z does not suffer from nostalgia. He loves Odd Future and their punk rock vibe. He sees their anger as a general "aversion to corporate America," particularly as far as it has despoiled the planet. "People have a real aversion to what people in power did to the country. So they're just lashing out, like: 'This is the son that you made. Look at your son. Look at what you've done.' " (New York Times)
There's so much stuff written in here and while quotes are always hot, it's the way Zadie Smith intertwines quotes, eloquent writing and a prowess with each sentence that kept me grounded and wanting to read more. Spare a quick 15-20 minutes and read the entire feature, it's the best write-up I've ever read on Jay. Big props.
3. Moment of the Week: Nicki Minaj's Voter Registration
I'm not going to lie to you all, I was going to put Nicki Minaj's "Mitt Romney" comments as the moment of the week but when this news about her not even being able to legally vote came out? SMH. This is such a big moment on so many levels. Where do I even start? Actually, let's make sure all of y'all are caught up to what I'm talking about:
If Nicki Minaj makes the decision to endorse Mitt Romney in the forthcoming election, she may want to take care of something first: registering to vote. Minaj was flooded with media clips Tuesday (Sept. 4) when a snippet from her lyrics on Lil Wayne's Dedication 4 mixtape revealed that she is a Republican and voting for Romney. The line may have been blown out of proportion but in an age when personal information is just a Google search away, the 29-year-old was quickly exposed for her voting past, or lack thereof. As it turns out, in the three states where she's lived, Minaj is not registered to vote. Having resided in Georgia, New York and California the Young Money Barbie never seemed to find the time to fill out and mail in a registration card, or do it online. (Hip Hop Wired)
There are so many problems with this that it's actually not even funny. For starters, you can't be 27 or 29 years old and NOT registered to vote. If I even thought about not registering to vote back when I turned 18, my parents would have either killed me or kicked me out of the house. That goes without saying, you're too old to not have taken part in the past two elections. That's inexcusable.
The second biggest problem is getting on a rap song rapping about VOTING and you can't even vote. That's just silly. I get that rappers make up stuff left and right but come on Nicki, you set yourself right there. You're not registered to vote and you're talking about voting? C'mon.
I could ramble on but we'll leave it right there.
4. Mrs. Butterworth: Danielle Miller
There's something special brewing in Europe, specifically England. You can look at a dime piece like Rita Ora and Estelle or even take it back in the day with Sade and you realize it's just popping over there. That accent is an instant turn-on to any doggy, especially me, and if any of y'all deny it, I've got to seriously question your taste in the finer things in life. That said, I had to snatch up some tea and crumpets for this week's pick, Danielle Miller. Don't be so quick to judge b/c even I was doubtful of her goods, but the accent, backside and chocolate complexion won me over.
And to top it off...
She's got the looks of Kelly Rowland, voice of Estelle (non-singing of course) and the thickness of Buffie...LOL, OK, but you get the point.
5. Rappers Say The Darndest Things
Now any of y'all that have been following me for a minute know I only do this under certain circumstances. I couldn't rock out with five different rappers saying stuff that'd even make your grandparents cringe, although I easily could, because of what Lil B said on Twitter. Keep in mind, we are talking about Lil B. LIL B!!!! This doesn't even need commentary. If you have to question why this is getting put up, then you obviously have lack of knowledge in basketball, Lil B or both.
"This is the second time KD backed down playing one on one game with Lil B Keep it forellllaa i dont no who really bout that hoop li - Lil B," Lil B tweeted September 2nd.
"If u serious bout dat hoop or nba DM me - Lil B," he tweeted September 3rd. (Lil B's Twitter)
***I love my New York Yankees but there's only one thing that's most important this weekend, GANG GREEN! My Jets are going out for that Super Bowl march starting Sunday, 1 PM EST. You might see Sanchez, you might see Tebow, who knows, but just plan on seeing us victorious come 4 PM EST! Time to let the bragging begin, the Buffalo Bills go down Sunday! I'll catch y'all next week! --BB***
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[Editor's Note: The views expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect those of SOHH]