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DECODED: Joey Bada$$ and CJ Fly “Hardknock”

Following a cipher with their Pro Era crew in their native Brooklyn, up-and-coming emcees Joey Bada$$ and CJ Fly decode “Hardknock,” one of the many standout tracks from the former’s 2012 breakthrough mixtape, “1999.”



Mac Miller Sued By Lord Finesse Over Mixtape Sample, With Potentially Wide-Ranging Implications

ISH KNOWS…as if Hip Hop wasn’t already hurting, now one of the Old School cats Lord Finesse (L.F.) is suing a young star in Mac Miller and showing just how out of touch he is with the current times.

First, from a legal perspective, L.F. does NOT have much precedent going in his favor.  Mac released the mixtape ‘K.I.D.S.' for free.  He made absolutely no money off this mixtape directly.  This case is akin to Don Henley suing Frank Ocean over the use of a “Hotel California” sample on Ocean's single “American Wedding.”  The resolution to that case was that Ocean had to proactively assist in taking down the track from most online distributors and channels like  Ocean also can no longer legally perform the track live.  Essentially, the most I see Finesse getting from this case is a cease and desist against Mac Miller for this one particular track.

Secondly, L.F.’s suit is so hypocritical and so against the very heart of Hip Hop.  This genre was rooted in the very foundation of sampling.  As Mac noted, Finesse had “never cleared the Oscar Peterson sample on the original record.”  Finesse argues that grabbing various samples from other genres to make an original work is completely different than grabbing a beat and using it as is, verbatim.  It’s the same argument that Pete Rock made against Lupe Fiasco using the “T.R.O.Y.” beat for “Around my Way” (which was paid for and cleared; thus no suit).  That’s completely bogus.  The mixtape scene, especially of late, has seen numerous artists from Lil Wayne to Wiz Khalifa to Kanye West jump over firmly established instrumentals.  If L.F. is to win this case, he’d single-handedly create a terrible precedent that would hurt the the heart and soul of Hip Hop and completely undermine the very existence of the mixtape scene. 

Hip Hop was created out of the fact that inner city youth had no real access to formal music education.  As such, they took influences from other genres (notably reggae) along with other samples to create what we have today.  They made it happen without fear of legal repercussions because the system could care less about them.  So, Finesse wants to argue that sampling jazz or blues is different than just ripping a track as is…that’s BS.  Mac Miller created a completely different track with a new concept and theme.  Also, Mac’s gone on the record stating he was paying homage to an old school legend in order to educate the younger generation.  This screams real hip hop homie! 

Unfortunately, the real issue at hand is the almighty dollar.  Mac Miller is finally successful and has a notable buzz going for himself.  As such, Finesse’s thirsty ass sees an opportunity to make money off this kid’s back.  How ironic that this is exactly what those in power at labels and publishers did to Blacks in the late to early 90s.  No one gave a shit about the fact that Hip Hop was illegally sampling.  But, the minute folks saw that there was money to be made off this genre, people started suing rappers.  Similarly, ‘K.I.D.S.' came out in 2010.  Yet, Finesse decides to sue Mac Miller in 2012, right after Mac's debut album goes #1, and, the kid is starting to make money. 

Also, he’s sending the wrong message by going after  Datpiff has done an amazing job helping launch various acts.  Mixtapes are arguably the bread and butter launch pad for young up-and-coming acts.  Finesse claims this is about Hip Hop yet is suing an integral tool for young rappers to rise.  Go figure.

The hypocrisy cracks me up.  If Finesse was to be honest, he’d just admit he’s a money hungry opportunist instead of claiming he’s doing this for the integrity of Hip Hop and saying “This case is about the overall picture.. If you’re just looking at “one” point.. It’s about so much more #look deeper..”  The act of pointing out that YouTube made money on the ads for the video is further evidence that Finesse is more concerned about money and his own selfish well-being than the future of this genre I grew to love and adore in the 90’s.



Meek Mill - “Amen” (Ft. Drake & Jeremih)

Drizzy murked his verse yo lol…Dude’s soft as fuck but damn he can come off tough & kill his verses lol.

Lyrics here.



B.o.B aka Bobby Ray - “Dont Feel so Good”

Maaaaan, I was listening to my old iPhone while doing some errands when this song randomly popped up.  These lyrics are so beautiful, emotionally driven, & sincere.  Listen & read the lyrics here.  One of my fave B.o.B tracks.  I highly recommend you cop that ‘B.o.B vs Bobby Ray' mixtape too.  Some amazing music there; arguably his best. 

BTW, I’m weary of his sophomore album.  I think he’s starting to fall into the trap of making very superficial, catchy raps.  I loved his debut album btw.  Some folks said it was too pop.  Eh, I actually thought it was true to who he was on the mixtapes preceding that album.  But, some of his recent singles for his upcoming album seem to be geared mostly for radio.  I’m really hoping his album tracks not on the radio are deeper & will actually strike an emotional nerve like this track b/c B.o.B has that talent to bring us into his world & make us feel something.  That’s what true art does: speaks to one’s soul.



Kid Ink - “No Sticks No Seeds”

Ugh!  I fux w/ this sample of the classic Luniz joint “I Got 5 On It.”  Kid Ink’s arguably the most radio friendly of the up-and-coming rappers in the game.  With an XXL Freshman Class cover to his name, look for him to blow up this year. 



Big K.R.I.T. - ‘4Eva N A Day’

Finally got a chance to listen to it.  Solid project.
D/L here or here.

Big K.R.I.T. - ‘4Eva N A Day

Finally got a chance to listen to it.  Solid project.

D/L here or here.



NEW MUSIC: Big K.R.I.T. – “Boobie Miles”

So jazzy n smooth…

Full mixtape ‘4evaNaDay’ drops Feb. 20th.



New Childish Gambino Mixtape Coming Soon

via his own blog  iamdonald:

Childish Gambino - Mixtape

Coming soon.



NEW MUSIC VID: Rick Ross (Feat. Drake & French Montana) — “Stay Schemin”

ISH KNOWS…maaaaan, this track off ‘Rich Forever' goes so fuckin' hard!!!  Ya know I have a love/hate (no homo) relationship w/ Drake as an artist.  But, boooy, he went iYYn on his verse.  He def earned points for defending my hometown team's Kobe Bryant.  This verse was so cold; these bars were so raw & real!:

"Kobe bout to los3 150 m’s
Kobe my nigga, I hate it had to be him
Bitch, u wasn’t wit me shooting in the gym
Bitch, u wasn’t wit me shooting in the gym!”

ewww  **scrunches face**



NEW MUSIC: Tinie Tempah - “Like It or Love It” ft Wretch 32 & J Cole

ISH KNOWS…this right here is a banger.  This single’s off his mixtape ‘Happy Birthday' coming out soon.  Tinie's def a dope ass rapper.  Def reppin the U.K. really well.  

D/L the track here.