Tuesday, September 30, 2008


If you type "Apple and Eagle Streets, New Orleans, LA" into Google Maps, you can see Lil Wayne standing on the corner in the Street View.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

This is the Way We Harmonize

Nice & Smooth's first album has been reissued.

Here they look more like magicians than rappers. 

If you don't know Nice & Smooth, you should check out this Bronx power duo with more Smurf references in their lyrics than any other rap group out there. I bought their second album, Aint A Damn Thing Changed, the same day I bought A Tribe Called Quest's Low End Theory -- I loved it just as much as Tribe back then, and it still holds up today.

Greg Nice goes all the way back to T La Rock, who had the first single on Def Jam Records. If you remember Tupac rhyming, "Hey yo, Dizzy Gillespie played a sax..." in Juice, that's a Greg Nice line. He also gave us gems like "kickin' wicked rhymes like a fortune teller" and "Rickety Rocket was my favorite cartoon/After marriage, the honeymoon."

I've heard Smooth B's voice described as sounding like a British butler on a bad American sitcom. That's actually pretty accurate, but it doesn't convey how crazy good he sounds.

Here's a couple highlights from their 1989 debut album:

Because I'm choosy and I'm small
I'm like Cinderella at the ball

-- Greg Nice, , “Early to Rise”

By the tone of my voice maybe you could tell
That I shampoo with Prell
And live life well.
When I pass you on the street it’s like, “I feel your smell.”

-- Smooth B, “Early to Rise”

Check out the video for "Hip Hop Junkies," off their 1991 album Ain't A Damn Thing Changed:

I am pretty certain they kiss each other at the beginning of it.

Friday, September 26, 2008

In Case of Fire

Too slow.

Too late.


Real but Unlikely-Sounding Rap Names

Psycho Les
Lil Half Dead

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Fall of Hip Hop

Hip hop stuff I'm excited about this Fall:

This Friday, Sept 26 at the Knitting Factory in NYC: Smif n Wessun and Black Moon team up to perform both their debut albums in their entirety.

Then Oct 6 at 10 PM is VH1's Hip Hop Honors has a stellar lineup of honorees this year. Last year's show was a big disappointment after three strong years. but they're back on track, even honoring the great De La Soul, one of my all-time favorites and a group I thought VH1 had forgotten about.

Finally, Oct 15 at the Trocadero in Philly is Redman and Method Man. Check out Redman rhyming in a Smart Car. Thanks to Count Bass D for the link!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Real But Unlikely-Sounding Rap Names

Mr. Walt
Deacon the Villain

I'm reading at the Sunday Salon Series in Chicago, Sunday, October 26th @ 7:30pm


Book Culture on Tuesday, December 2 @ 7PM