Boston On The Rise 1

For those who don’t know, I have been living in Houston the last 11 years but am originally from Boston, and for years Boston has struggled with a face of the city when it came to rap. Forever lost in the giant shadows of New York, you had a few names like the late great Guru, Benzino and… Sam Adams?

lc93r13iob22wn4pbdlp

But like Sam Cooke said, “change gon come.” Names like Michael Christmas, OG Swaggerdick, Haasan Barclay, Avenue and Cousin Stizz are now propelling Boston to new heights.

A show that featured Boston’s own, OG Swaggerdick, Jay Leano, Jefe Replay, Cousin Stizz and Michael Christmas.

Michael Christmas was the first name I seen popping around 2012-13. A funny dude whose personality bleeds through his music, he is dynamic on the mic.

His biggest song to date, and a track produced by Mac Miller.

OG Swaggerdick was the next name that crept onto my radar. Found through Michael, OG is definitely a character. Lil B seems like a huge influence to OG. Check our post on Lil B here. OG is hilarious and that carries over to his music. Fun yet clever, his tracks show major potential of a serious artist. Guys like OG and Lil B, I wish would be serious more often.

My favorite OG tune, and a cool video plus nice collab with Haasan Barclay.

Through OG, I found Haasan Barclay. Starting as a producer, he has some tracks with OG, Haasan has made the crossover to artist creating some very unique works of art.

Like I said, unique. Check Haasan’s debut album here.

Avenue is actually the last artist I found on this list but you’ll understand why I put him here briefly. Avenue, very easily, released one of my favorite projects so far this year, Mass Ave & Lenox. Something that popped in my mind while listening to this project was that it sounds like an east coast version of Kendrick’s Overly Dedicated. Doing some further digging on Avenue, I actually remembered him from a cypher I was shown in 2011. Six years later I am now a fan. Comes to show creatives how long you have to work before seeing results, it just takes that one. His project prior to Mass Ave showed this potential but didn’t have the gravitational pull sonically. Mass Ave And Lenox was it.

Cousin Stizz. Dude may very well be my favorite rapper out right now. This could be a bias statement because we are from the same neighborhood, Fields Corner, but fuck it, Stizz is my favorite rapper right now.

Outro to Stizz’s latest album. This convinced me he’s my favorite rapper.

Last October, I visited my old neighborhood and asked my guys who’s popping from the city? Without hesitation, everyone’s reply was Cousin Stizz. I have been seeing Stizz’s name on blogs a couple months before but never checked him out. That same night I decided to listen to MONDA. It didn’t make me the fan I am today, but I didn’t brush it off after the first listen. The simplicity in design as far as beats, rhyme and song structure sort of captivated me subconsciously. I just kept listening.

“You know he’s from Fields Corner? Look at all his videos,” my homies said nonchalantly. Man I got back to Houston and watched all those videos ecstatic as hell. Grinning ear to ear so proud that someone from the city was making it out. Stizz was making the noise a lot of Boston rappers in the past were unable to.

I know people do it but I am definitely not the person that can separate the music from the person. This is why wack people are in places of high influence. Not enough folks care about supporting people of good character, let’s give those people a platform. That being said, after watching Stizz’s Noisey documentary the deal was signed. This short film gave me insight on his life, Monda, and him as a person. S/o to a friend I grew up with, George, during a concert in the documentary he was on stage getting hype with Stizz. Glad you’re well bro.

Towards the end of the documentary, Stizz was posted with his boys in DYC. An old staple in our community that has long been shut down. Here he was talking about resurrecting it. This was something I wanted to do if ever given the chance. Something I’m creating a chance to do, assist the youth. DYC was a place for kids to hangout and get mentored by older guys in the community. A guy that helped my friends and I a lot was Al Ski, a former basketball player. This man gave us tickets to Antoine Walker’s camp, took us to Rucker Park in NY, trained us himself at the park, and linked us up with a kid I believe was his nephew. A young talent we called Tmac, because of his slim, slender physique and lazy eye, he lived on the outskirts of Boston. Ski would drive us out there to enjoy the day just playing ball, coaching us up and whatnot. I can’t thank the man enough for some of the things he did.

Wrapping up, Stizz’s music captivated me enough to dig and I feel I struck gold. With only 3 projects out, each have been a little different sonically but all have been consistent musically. His latest release, One Night Only, is also one of my favorites thus far this year.

Stizz is at the forefront of Boston rap but behind him is a trail of great artists. So many that I had to make Boston On The Rise into a series. Check the guys above and stay tuned for more. Show some love and leave a comment below. Part 2 on the way.

@wemajorwemajor

@_jackietran

Advertisements

The Notorious Dom K.. What Happened?

Dom Kennedy In Concert

One of the Westcoast’s most promising young stars, 1997 was when I became a fan of Dom Kennedy. Dom was never a true lyricist, nor did he try to be, he was simply a cool cat with fly raps. Dom could bounce from hype, to something to ride to, to something for the ladies, with little effort.

The Original Dom Kennedy, From Westside With Love I, and II were all positive steps up the ladder but something happened along that climb. For me, it was when he dropped The Yellow Album. At the peak of his career he dropped a dud. There were some beats and tracks but let’s call a spade a spade. That project was as bad as this line he boasted, “my bitch.. bad piece.. yo bitch.. got bad feet!” That line was horrendous. I mean Dom was the dude who did his thing years ago on She Needs Me RMX with a dynamite Kendrick Lamar, where did that Dom go? At this point in time (The Yellow Album), both Dom and Kendrick were solidifying their spots in the hiphop scene nationwide, and Dom Kennedy blew it. You see it now but it was subliminally shown back then. Dom’s verse versus Kendrick’s in We Ball.

Dom was known to keep his lyrics simple yet it touched the people. You pair that natural way of words with an effortless flow, and it was a match made in heaven. This time around that was not the case. His effortless flow was paired with effortless rhymes that belonged in the unreleased folder.

Since that time I quit checking for Dom. Since then, it may not have been so great for Dom either.

I recently went back to check some of his new music. When his album, By Dom Kennedy, initially dropped, I gave it a listen, and it was alright but didn’t have that same impact his earlier work did. It didn’t reel me in. He just.. didn’t sound the same.

That was 2015. About two months ago, I saw that he may have suffered a stroke. Now there’s no confirmed source, just word of mouth, but I googled for a source and all I found was a Coli thread that asked the same question. “Did Dom Kennedy suffer a stroke?”

http://www.thecoli.com/threads/forreal-tho-did-dom-kennedy-have-a-stroke-or-something.456886/page-2

If you listen to his latest record Los Angeles Is Not For Sale, it does sound like he’s off beat. Just some milliseconds but enough to notice something is off. It’s like he’s struggling to flow from bar to bar at times. His delivery also lacks that punch he used to have. Here is when I start to feel like a douche. I go listen to the Half-A-Mil 3 EP with him and Hit-Boy (should’ve stayed with G.O.O.D. Music, Hit), and here he sounded weak as well. I’m aware of cases where rappers have regressed lyrically, but to hear a rapper regress so much in delivery? Impossible, right? Being creative, understandably, can get tougher but the recording process should be easier with experience?

1e61ab_9ffe241a0f1045c1a192ff9222fc2464-mv2

Definitely feeling like a full douche at this point. Hearing Los Angeles Is Not For Sale with this new found information, who am I to judge anyone’s art. I don’t know what everyone is going through, the blood, sweat and tears that went into their work. All that time invested into perfecting it just for someone like me to swoop in and call it trash within 3 songs, man I’m trash. I wish I could just appreciate all art for what it is but I just can’t. It’s not in me. I was already opinionated, then I went to art school where it’s pounded in our heads to critically analyze everything. Art is meant to be critiqued anyways. All that said though, I will always respect a person willing to work no matter the conditions. He didn’t allow it to stop his hustle.

Though his flow can get a little rough around the edges on Los Angeles Is Not For Sale, he is actually spitting. If he would’ve did this joint instead of The Yellow Album, he would be straight. Maybe up there with the Wales, Big Seans, A$APs, JColes and Kendricks, who knows.

Sidebar, he raps about respect in the hood a lot and I believe that goes a long way in hiphop. Especially in these times where it feels so political and in-genuine. Someone with that type of respect in the streets could turn the industry upside down. If it was the right handler. Dom could’ve been the gatekeeper of the Westcoast.

Some lines from his 96 Cris track, “I’m grinning hardly as much as when I was younger, thinking they would acknowledge me, I couldn’t have been dumber, I’d still rap better than y’all if I was a plumber.” To me, that sounds like someone that knew he missed his opportunity. As time passes and people reflect on their past, sometimes you can’t help but feel some regret. He may have missed the opportunity but he’s still living the dream and enjoying life in the process.

I was once a lost fan but now I’m back. Los Angeles Is Not For Sale is solid work, and I’m not sure if this was his aim but that title sounds like what I mean with my respect in the streets/turning the industry upside down text. He’s no sellout?

Give the project a listen and show some love if y’all feeling it. This is a project I have been listening to often as of late. Please watch your health as well, it’s important.

I’m not a writer.

@wemajorwemajor

@_jackietran

Lil B Is Hiphop; Black Ken Is The Essence

Most folks take Lil B as a joke because of his music and character, but he is indeed hiphop as well as The Godfather to a lot of these newer cats.

Lil-b-2-22-17

And that’s the problem. Casual rap fans may never take Lil B serious even if he were to drop a My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. The reason for my statement stems from me being thoroughly impressed with his latest album, Black Ken. I will get into this a little later.

I first got into Lil B around 2011-12, when I was in line overnight for some Jordans at Premium Goods. Maybe 2010. I think it was a limited release for the Olympic 6’s but I’m not sure. Anyway, dude in front of me put me on because I didn’t understand how anyone could like his music. Off the strength of that conversation I dug into Lil B with a newly opened mind.

9th Wonder speaking on Lil B..

During my search, I came to find 9th Wonder praising Lil B and the following is a paraphrase of what he said, “all the serious tracks Lil B releases barely have any views compared to when he does that stupid stuff.” When Lil B dropped his controversial I’m Gay (I’m Happy) album, even Lupe came out to say something along the lines of, “he’s really spitting some shit if you listen.” After hearing his collabs with 9th, Tony Yayo and Clams Casino, I was pleasantly surprised. I now understood why people liked Lil B. They saw through the facade I couldn’t see passed previously. He was smart enough to know what worked for him, and though he may have went against the grain, he never went against his own.

Peep the reaction to the icon live in NYC…

Note, don’t come for Lil B because he will respond. That’s real hiphop. Joe Budden know (also KD haha). Lil B may be a “joke” to some in hiphop, but he made it to Sportscenter by clowning around. You really can’t deny his impact.

Getting to the new album, Black Ken, now. 

Lil_B_Black_Ken-front-large

Produced By BasedGod is the intro to his new album Black Ken. Here he has a reverse reverb effect followed by “BasedGod” as a tag. I’m not sure if that’s the actual effect but whatever. The funny thing to point out is that the homie BassRob been using that tag. I know he feels a way (lol). “I don’t want no smoke with The BasedGod,” exclaims BassRob. I believe Black Ken is self produced.

There is some “pretty boy music” in this, which is what Lil B calls some of his Based tracks, but what gets me is how hiphop this album is. I call Black Ken the essence because I can’t help but get that classic hiphop feel. 1/3 into the album and it hints early rap with lyrics, tone, delivery, constant crowd chants, constant shouts of DJ, the production, the LL, Bone Thugs and Westcoast influence? Man listen.

I played some cuts from the album for DRE and instantly, “these sounds are what my uncle used when he was trying to get in the rap game.” DRE’s uncle is now 50. “He was really into Westcoast funk and this album sounds exactly like that, this is nostalgic.”

Lil B says early on track 2, “it’s 2017 and I’m here to represent.” Represent what? Hiphop and the Westcoast. If you follow Lil B you know how much love he has for both. Later in the album he says, “I took 2 years off to perfect my craft,” the art of producing this classic hiphop sounding album. He even mentions names like Kanye, Jay Z, Charles Hamilton and Pharrell in his raps. I get the sense this whole album is an ode to hiphop. In the middle of the album, when we travel to Mexico, he has a song called Zam Bose that sounds a bit Neptunes influenced.

My House was our first offering from the album before 2016 ended. Produced by Metro Boomin, I was sad to see it didn’t make the album when they released the track list, but it makes sense. Though the direction is completely different sonically, the actual direction is not so different, if that makes sense. My House samples the classic Bone Thugs-Crossroads record. He was telling us the direction it was headed. Classic rap.

I respect Lil B. He made his own lane on his own terms, kept it real throughout, appreciates and is clearly a student of hiphop. Give Black Ken a listen with an open mind if you’re not a Lil B fan. Let us know if you get the same feeling. At the moment, Berkeley is my favorite song from the album.

@wemajorwemajor

@_jackietran

Eric Plus Teases ‘Sports’ Album

Eric Plus is a producer I have been following on Twitter for a while. Dating back to the golden ages of the underground culture (09-13). I came across Eric through a circle of creatives/hiphop lovers on Twitter during that time. If you have been checking the site frequently you know how much I love that era. The music, sneaker, streetwear scene was different, shit the people and Internet too. It’s really wack to think about but whatever, I just play that old Dom Kennedy and catch nostalgia because there’s a storm brewing.

Lord Byron and ANXT are some artists from that era. Click the hyperlinks to check our posts on them.

Above is a podcast episode that features Eric Plus and NY rapper Lijah Rios. Lijah Rios is someone Eric has been working with for some time now. Lijah released an album in July with half of the production by Eric. Check that here. A nice take from this podcast was when it was said that they’re not listening to music based on genre but how good it is. As we all should.

From the Big Apple, Eric is influenced by Jay Z, Madlib, Prince and a bunch of people that don’t even make music. I love that because for me it’s more than just the music, it’s solid people of all sorts that inspire me.

When asked about the state of hiphop Eric said, “I don’t like where hiphop is at. Every time we take a step forward, we take 20 back. Not even music but as a culture. However, I feel there’s a bunch of young thinkers that will change the direction of where it’s headed. People I hope to work with in the future.”

This is the first project I seen and the first time I’ve heard instrumentals from him in… so long I can’t remember. But apparently, there is an album titled ‘Sports’ on the way from Eric Plus. The teaser to that is below.

A mix of beats and remixes with two of the tracks within it that’s supposed to be glimpses of the album. Overall, these cuts are smooth, great to chill to and perfect to get some work done early in the morning or late in the evening.

The same goes for Lijah Rio’s album. The beats provided from Eric for that follow this same pattern. On ineed$$$, the way the drums hit when the drum fill comes in? Panning from left to right with Lijah delivering the content to fully embed you in that East Coast flavor? These dudes are definitely something to keep an eye on. I hope it doesn’t turn out like the Thelonious Martin x Evan Holt project. That was another great producer/rapper duo that didn’t manifest how I hoped.

Check the work out, show some love if you’re digging them and leave a comment. We’ll be back with some more Eric Plus in the future. Excited to hear what the album sounds like.

@wemajorwemajor

@_jackietran

No Lies From Justin Jermaine // Insomniac Vol 3

The man said he would be consistently out here and sure enough, here he is.

In about a week’s time, Justin drops a new mix of screwed vibes and he said it best, “I’m not going to say too much, I’m going to let the music talk.” That’s the motto here at #WeMajor. We believe in the power of the product. Indie artists, work on your craft and brand, grind harder, give it time and a little luck will come your way. Apparently, he will be blessing us with new volumes weekly. Some of the artists in this week’s mix include Mariah Carey, Tupac, Tyler The Creator, Future, Drake, Quavo, Gary Wilson, Camp Lo and Dipset.​​

Justin Jermaine chilling in the lab. Music is from Vol 2 mix.

Check the homie and show some love if you’re feeling it. We are.

Click here to hear Insomniac Vol 2.

#LONGLIVETHEUNDERGROUND #WEMAJOREVERYTHING

@wemajorwemajor

@_jackietran

Insomniac Track Attack Vol. 2 || Justin Jermaine

Back off a little hiatus, Justine Jermaine told me we should be seeing more of him as he dropped off a flaming Chopped & Screwed mix on this fine Sunday.

A mix consisting of Quavo, Debbie Deb, Curren$y, Jadakiss, Jay Electronica, MF Doom, J Dilla and Prodigy, man look. This mix had the perfect vibe when I stepped out the crib this afternoon banging it. You can get more details of this mix in the description of the link above.


A conversation between Justin and I. In an era where we are so oversaturated with art and perfect branding, you have to appreciate raw potential. This is what we’re about here at WeMajor. I feel like I’m always repeating myself but we’re for giving the underground artists a fighting chance.

Check out the mix and let us know what you think. If you don’t know Justin Jermaine, you can get familiar here. That link also links to other links that can help familiarize you as well (lol). Hell just type, Justin Jermaine, in our search engine.

#LONGLIVETHEUNDERGROUND #WEMAJOREVERYTHING

@wemajorwemajor

@_jackietran

Where Is ANXT? Watching Paint Dry

Chicago, a city of two narratives, Chief Keef and Chance The Rapper perfectly sum it up. A beautiful city where darkness looms. You can be riding through a suburban area straight out of a movie script, and in an instant, pass through an area similar to what Dave Chappelle described in his Killin Em Softly stand up.

ANXT (pronounced angst) comes out of this city as a true underdog, an outsider of outsiders. He doesn’t exactly fit the Chance The Rapper mold nor does he fit the Chief Keef/drill/trap rap mold. A fan of Aesop Rock, Earl Sweatshirt and Lupe Fiasco, ANXT is just that. His lyrics, ideas and concepts are a little more complex than your average millennial rapper.

I first heard of ANXT when he was going as Trill Yen circa 2012 via a Mobb Deep sampled track (song no longer on the net but it’s in my library though). “I keep the Mac next to my mattress like Apple fanatics,” the formerly known as Trill Yen rapper boasted on this neck breaking beat. A good kid from a mad city, since the jump ANXT has relayed the message, “I’m not into violence but don’t push me.”

4 years ago. A video for Trill Yen’s ‘Favorite Record’ track.

That Mobb Deep sampled track gave ANXT a buzz I don’t think he was fully prepared for at the time. That’s how crazy the net is, you just never know. A lot of us splashed onto the Internet making art because we loved it. We didn’t understand it was a business. I think he’s learned plenty since then. We all have.

Since that moment, ANXT has been riddled by the lows of the music scene. It is troublesome knowing the effort you put into your craft just to see publications promote those who could care less about the culture. Words can’t fully describe the emotions artists feel when stuck in this sunken place.

http://www.datpiff.com/embed/m3cb2189/

Sub Urban Mixtape from 2012.

Despite everything, this past year or so, has been a very good one for ANXT. He released some raps over electronic rap production as well as something geared to appeal more for the masses (sound-wise).

Electronic

Masses

His music, to me, represents a constant battle against mainstream and sheep resulting from the Internet era.

I went out to Chicago in November of 2016 for an interview/documentary. Footage below.

Never got to meet ANXT due to a couple issues but it’s all good because our paths will cross in the future. Speaking with ANXT, this short video actually fits this post.

ANXT recently released a lo-fi project titled, Watching Paint Dry.

A sonically pleasing, colorful piece that touches the soul like Ether to top the wonderful run he’s been on. This 6track, 17min long project is something I can hear on Adult Swim, or paired with compilation videos of Anime, both of which he’s a fan of. Also, a wave I’m noticing a lot of people slowly pick up. I can hear ANXT scoffing “sheep” as I type this. If memory serves me correct, ANXT once said he wanted to make an anime or was working towards it.

It has been roughly 2-3 months since the release of Watching Paint Dry, and I have yet to fully decipher the true meaning behind each song. Instead I will speak on how it feels from what I’ve picked up so far.

Track1 (Alchemy prod E.N.C): Someone pressed and down on his luck, trying to stay hopeful but running out of faith/patience. He’s on the edge. Chicago’s violent reputation adds to this character.

Track2 (Dirt On My Teeth prod E.N.C): He is being tested so he has to show people what’s what. He is pacing around losing the mental war in his mind. He has his enemy tied in a chair as he torments him, more through fear and less through physical torture. “Get grimey when I need to, try me if you need to.”

Track3 (Necrophillia prod Donn $oulo): This is the torture, power and reign part. Here he is like the boss of the Mafia family basking in his glory (Al Capone). The darkness of Chicago has fully engulfed him at this point. He is off the edge and embracing it. The sample at the end of the song leading to the next is like a moment of clarity.

Since I started writing this post ANXT has revealed what he meant in this track:


Track4 (Godssential prod Save Allen): Love is in the air, but not about a woman (could be). It’s the city he once loved and falls back in love with. This is the beauty of Chicago. The moment of clarity that transitioned into this song could be like a situation that made him realize the big picture, “what am I really doing?” This song is that brief moment of clarity in full.

Track5 (Exhibit A prod E.N.C): His conscious is weighing on him. His soul leaks through a soulful sample. He is a stereotype now, just another statistic. But he intends to break out of this. He woke up this morning with a new state of mind, a creative way to live without using knives and guns.

Track6 (Sunny Side Up prod E.N.C): He reflects on his environment. How the trap is exactly that, a trap. How he was a victim of this. How he was almost a victim of this. How foolish he could’ve been. He challenges people to make real change. It doesn’t have to be his path but he challenges people to walk a different path from the norm.

A quick analysis, check out ANXT‘s new project to form your own opinion. Also, check out the rest of his music and show some love if you like it.

Maybe a month or so since the release and he’s already back with new tunes, check that below.

I’m not a writer.

@wemajorwemajor

@_jackietran

RIP Prodigy

June 20th, 2017, the legendary emcee, 1/2 of The Infamous Mobb Deep, out of Queensbridge, New York has passed away due to complications caused sickle cell anemia crisis. News broken by a Instagram post from Nas.

Prodigy-mobb-deep

At 42 years young, Prodigy made his mark as one of the grimiest street rappers hiphop has ever witnessed. Let’s take a look back and appreciate some of his career.

“I break bread, ribs, 100$ bills. Peel on Ducatis and other 4wheels. Write a book full of medicine and generate mills. Your the album, only for more sales.”

He actually wrote a book called My Infamous Life, plus a prison cookbook called My Infamous Prison Cookbook. Below is Prodigy speaking on wack/fake rappers before heading to jail exclaiming, “stop rapping and go paint a fucking house!”

Prodigy beefed with Pac, Nas, and Jay Z in their primes, and then signed to G-Unit in theirs. Here he is killing it with Curren$y.

Always loved this beat. Alchemist is the truth.

I heard from my homie BassRob that Prodigy wrote in his book about the time he first met Alchemist. On that day he said, “ah Feds think they’re slick, disguising as producers now,” because he was white, LOL. Prodigy probably tested him like make a beat right now, and when Alchemist chopped some fire Prodigy probably thought to himself, “Feds did their homework. I’ll take the beat but make sure I don’t incriminate myself on it,” LOL.

The following excerpt is my homie Justin Jermaine chiming in on Prodigy’s death.

“I don’t even know how to start this shit. Bandana fuckin’ P. His music, especially his solo work, was dear to me. He was the voice of the gritty underdog, the relentless fighter, the lamb who bumped heads with the goats and the flock of countless rappers in between. You can ask Nas and Hov, P held his own with no fucks given. His beef with 2Pac is documented on the greatest diss track of all time, I ain’t bullshittin’ you.

My nigga P was a fighter bruh. Before he had to fight half of the rap industry (lol), he got his scars and toughness from scuffling with sickle cell anima. Listen to “You Can Never Feel My Pain”, where he explains his bout with sickle cell, and how it made him the non-sociable asshole who wanted to punch you in your face just for living (he doesn’t say that in the song ha). I discovered that song around the time I was dealing with an illness myself, and that track was a tear jerker.

I felt like P was an underdog who spoke for underdogs such as myself. Whenever I heard a hot new Prodigy verse or song, it felt like a win for the home team. I rooted for that nigga because he was representing me in a sense. And it never hurts to have a representative when you feel voiceless.

Raw, unique, independent thinkers who are ahead of their time. He touched on a gang of social issues a lot of y’all are just being “awaken” to now.

I embraced his solo discography, everything from the HNIC series to the Ellsworth Bumpy Johnson EP (hold this one close to my heart), Return of the Mac, etc. He left us with enough work to hold his legacy down for ages. He helped teach niggas the Dun Language so I gotta hold it down.

I really got into Prodigy as a solo artist when he was released from Jail. It’s something about seeing black men come home from jail that makes me cheerful, like it’s a holiday. I still remember the image of him in the snow with the cigar in his mouth. 

prodigy-free

I had to shorten this because it’s so much I wanna say. I don’t wanna give y’all an essay so I’ll leave you with 5 P songs I love.

You Can Never Feel My Pain

Nickel And A Nail

I Want Out

Diamond 

Live 

Mel, you took me to see Raekwon, Ghost and Mobb Deep at the HOB, and that shit meant the world to hear them Mobb Deep joints. Recently, Prodigy performed his HNIC album with a live band in NYC and I swear I was plotting on a way to see u.

Thanks P. Keep It Thoro in the essence.”

-Justin Jermaine

Justin also left us with a couple groovy Prodigy mixes.

Screwed..

Check out the mixes. If you have any stories or songs please leave them in the comments. Even though he’s not here physically, let’s keep Prodigy’s spirit alive.

@wemajorwemajor

@_jackietran

Not Guilty Y’all Got To Feel Me! Freddie Gibbs Speaks On His Case

freddie-gibbs-768x420Not guilty! I didn’t know much about the Freddie Gibbs case except he was being charged for rape overseas. He seemed like a solid dude prior so I didn’t buy it to begin with, but when he opened up about the charge I had to check it out. The interview was done with XXL and the excerpt is below.

“XXL: Take us through July 6, 2015. What happened?

Freddie Gibbs: Pretty much on that day, July 6, 2015, I had a show in Vienna, Austria. A regular night, I did my show, people [were] backstage, the show went well. There were a lot of people backstage, DJs, other artists, females, of course. People were drinking, people were smoking, a normal backstage. When [the girls] came back [to the hotel], they were with the homies and I went up to my room and I went to sleep. Whatever happened past that I don’t know because I wasn’t up for it. Apparently the girls came to one of the homies’ room and they had sex.

The next day they filed a report on my homie. The Austrian Police contacted my booking agency a week later and they let me know that my friend was [accused of ] sexual assault. I was like, “Wow, what does this mean?” and they said, “If he comes back here, he’ll be arrested.” So I let [my homie] know [he was being accused]. At this time, I wasn’t even involved in this [case]. I wasn’t named in any allegations whatsoever. This is the first report [the women] made, [and it’s] the day after it happened. My name wasn’t in it because, clearly, I wasn’t even around and nothing physical went down. Only time I saw these females was backstage, arriving to the hotel and that’s it.

So with the allegations, I just told [my homie] that he might want to handle this. “I don’t know how serious it is to you. But I’m telling you as a friend, I don’t think you want to walk around with this rape charge hanging over your head in whatever country.” He’s American, a cat from the streets. He’s not going to go back to Austria. He was only there because I was there. My guess is [the two women] got frustrated with the fact that they weren’t going to make an end to this case. The girls got some kind of rape activist lawyer in their country. I think I arrived in Europe for my next tour on May 18, 2016, and the day after that the girls went to the police and said, “I had a flashback that Freddie Gibbs was involved in this rape, too.” They had a dream that I was also involved. Basically I got indicted for a so-called flashback, a dream and that was [what] it was.

Did your friend come tell you he just had sex with the women?

I didn’t believe him. I was like, “C’mon my nigga, you bullshittin’.” But apparently he did, the fucking physical evidence was there. Both these women, he had sex with them. Did he rape them? I don’t know. I can’t say if he did or he didn’t.

Did he know how old they were?

I can’t say that either. I don’t know what he knew or [was] thinking at the time. I knew I wasn’t fucking with these women, whether they were old enough or not for me. I don’t need to fuck no women backstage at my show that I don’t know. That’s been a rule that I’ve been playing by for years. When it came to them, like I said, it wasn’t for me.

In reports they said the other accused person was your security guard, was that guy your security guard?

They said that but it definitely wasn’t a security guard, I don’t have security guards. It was just the homie.

The day after of the incident in July 2015, the two women went to the police and filed a report on your friend. You got word through your agency a week later and told your boy. When you came back to perform again, 10 months later in May 2016, the two women went to the police again to change their story?

I was there May 18 and I believe they changed their story [to police] May 20, if I’m not mistaken. If there were any issues with anything with me, as soon as I got to Europe, I would have been arrested. I had no issues whatsoever. I wasn’t involved in this case at all.

So they went to the police in May and you were arrested in June?

Correct. That’s when they were able to catch up to me or something, I guess. I was on my tour but I wasn’t notified of anything of that nature, it was just, “[We] got your Black ass.” I was doing a show in Paris the night before, and I drove to Toulouse, France, South of France. As soon as I got to my hotel room, there’s like 20 police officers, plain clothes, I think even the damn bellboy was a cop. Niggas selling newspapers on the corner pulled out a gun. I just got snatched up. I still had my bookbag on my back. It was crazy. They just snatched me up into the police car and they initially said that it was an American matter. Like about five or six hours later, they came to my cell and said I’ve been arrested for sexual assault. I just laughed and was like, “Let’s get the bail because I know this is bullshit.” They said it’s not going to be a bail and I’m going to sit here until it’s figured out and I might be extradited to Austria.

093016-music-Freddie-Gibbs

What was the treatment like for you?

It was horrible. I’m a Black American. Every country has racism and things of that nature so I can’t put the racist label over an entire country. But it definitely had that stigma. “This where Adolf Hitler was born,” that’s all that was running through my head. Everybody in Austria is not a racist, but it was definitely a lot of racists in my situation.

You were arrested in Toulouse, France. What was the treatment like there?

It was horrible too. Those French policemen are some bitch-ass niggas. They were trying to make a nigga rap and shit like that, rap and get food. It was all on the news and everybody has a TV in their cell. So every night, I’m on the news, “A Black American rapes two White girls.” They put me in a cell block full of rapists, muthafuckas that rape their own wives and their own daughters. I don’t deserve to be in this shit. It was just a fucked-up experience. I don’t want to be amongst those muthafuckas. They really rape people. That ain’t in my DNA at all.

Who did you call first when you got arrested?

Shit, I didn’t really get to use the phone for a while. Probably like first week I was there they didn’t let me use the phone. Luckily my road manager Max Robin, he coordinated everything, got with Lambo, [my manager Ben Lambert], got with Erica and everything. They put my lawyer team together. Between Max and Lambo, they handled all of that and Erica and my lawyer [Theodore Simon], they got the foreign lawyers that I needed in France, because I had to fight the extraction to Austria and I had to fight for my bail to get released in France. I couldn’t really make any calls. The calls I made were to Lambo, my mom and my baby mama, that’s about it. Just to let them know that I was breathing. I couldn’t really coordinate anything. I thought I was about to get out because I still had dates on my tour. But the jail system doesn’t work like that overseas. Like, over there you’re guilty until proven different.

The coverage of this case was vastly different in the States than overseas. It was immensely bigger overseas while it was sporadic news coverage here. What was that like for you being public enemy No. 1?

Yeah, I was definitely public enemy No. 1 in Europe when this case was going down. People eat what they serve. It was crazy. It was a heart-breaking situation to be accused of something like that. It’s a scar on my name. Even beating the case still, I still got to fight to let people know this isn’t part of my character. I had nothing at all to do with this. People that really fuck with me and really know me, they knew off the top that this is bullshit. But you still got people out there like, “He might beat that shit and pay his way out of it” or some shit like that. Nah, I got totally acquitted. I literally never hugged these women. I was totally blindsided. We had no physical contact whatsoever. I don’t even think there was even a handshake. If you can go off that and charge somebody with rape, that’s crazy.

The stipulations and charges for shit overseas are different. They wanted to give me 10 years in prison for this. I remember one day they came to my cell and asked me, “Do you want to go home?” I said, “Fuck yeah, I want to go home. I miss my daughter, muthafucka. I’m in here for another muthafucka, for some shit I had nothing to do with. I got a daughter, my nigga.” These niggas came into my cell and said, “You got 10 years on the table, admit this shit today and we’ll give you three.” So I said, “Y’all want me to lie on myself and take three years in prison, away from my child, than fight for my freedom? Go talk to my lawyer.”

This was in Austria or France?

This was in Austria.

When you posted bail in France, what went through your mind? You had to check in with police three times a week. That had to be debilitating.

I felt like I was on a fucking leash. Every week I had to check in with them. I don’t have a passport. I’m spending all this money on apartments out there. I had to stay in certain apartments in certain areas where they can make sure where I’m at. I definitely wanted to get it over with. Something in my head was thinking and praying that this will get dropped or maybe the French government would say [they] can’t extradite me on this bullshit. But my lawyers were like, “We’re going to have to fight this head on.”

What was the prosecution’s argument? What actual evidence were they presenting?

The only evidence against me was a phony statement. There was no physical evidence against me. There were no witnesses who said I had sex with these girls or dealt with these girls in any type of matter. The girls claimed that someone drugged their drinks. I’m like, “Y’all ain’t even got good weed over there, where am I going to find a goddamn date rape drug?” I don’t even know what a date rape drug look like. I never had that in my possession whatsoever.

[The women] claimed they blacked out and they didn’t know how they got from backstage at the concert to the hotel. But it was clearly documented by the hotel cameras that they walked in under their own power. Nobody was stumbling or anything. From my recollection, I don’t even remember the girls being sloppy drunk. They weren’t incoherent or falling over the place. They were totally in control of their action. Then another person that was in the hotel claimed during the night the girls came in his room as well. This is another muthafucka who wasn’t even with us. He came to court and said the girls came into his room and had drinks. And they went downstairs after they left the hotel and they asked the receptionist for his phone number. He testified that in court. All of this behavior, to me, it’s not parallel with someone who got raped. Strolling around the hotel, going in random muthafuckas rooms. It was all totally bullshit.

Who was with you during the time you were locked up overseas and this entire process?

Max was there the whole time pretty much, and Erica came and she brought my daughter. My mom came too. It was pretty much me and them and the lawyers. It was times when I was by myself, and that was really difficult. Like I said, just getting up to go get food was fucked up.

The language barrier had to make it difficult, right?

Not just the language barrier but just the fuckin’ psychological aspect that I can’t talk to people on the street. Fuck the language barrier, like, people speak a little English and I could get around, but I feel like I couldn’t engage in any conversation because I’m on bail for rape. Imagine how that made me feel. I don’t want to talk to nobody. How the fuck I strike a conversation?

How did you tell your girl about your situation?

She knew I didn’t do that shit so it wasn’t even a question. She solid. She super solid. She knows I’m guilty of a lot of things but definitely not any shit like that. It was never a question in her mind, and I love her for that. She never ever thought that l was lying. I never got that ridicule at all from her.

What was going on when you were being extradited?

Yeah, that shit was bullshit. We had an arrangement with the Austrian government. We paid France a big-ass bill and we were like, “Can we pay bail in advance so when I get there, there’s no issues?” I’m coming in and going in to my hotel and waiting for the trial to start. And they were like, “Cool.” My lawyers made that agreement with the Austrian government so I wouldn’t have to go to jail when I get there. I can just do the trial, present all the evidence and knock it out the park because it was all bullshit. That was my thinking. Like, “Alright, I’m going to have to be there for a couple of months, but fuck it, I’ll get this off my name and be cleared and I have no fucking choice.”

So, we made that agreement with them and they sent two punk-ass cops to come and get me. They were all nice to me, getting me coffee and making it seem like it was all good. Like, they felt some kind of sympathy for me. We get to Austria kind of late in the night and I was like, “Damn, how are we going to handle this? It’s almost midnight?” So we pulled up to the prison [and] I knew these muthafuckas are about to go back on the agreement we made. Lo and behold they said, “It’s the weekend, you’re going to have to stay here for at least the weekend.”

I’m like, “What the fuck?” Sunday comes around and I go see the judge. Not the judge I made the agreement with and sent the money to already but a different judge. The [original] judge went on vacation when I was in transit. The new judge said, “Tell me your side of the story.” I let him know pretty much everything I’m telling you and he was flat out like, “I don’t believe you, so I think I’m going to leave you in investigative custody.” Basically, I had to sit jail in Vienna for another month until the first judge that I made the agreement [with] came back from vacation. That was very discouraging because if they can do this, I’m done. They definitely going to sentence me for some bullshit. I’m in their clutches.

Did you ever think, I could lose? I could go to jail for 10 years?

Correct, because I definitely wasn’t going to lie on myself and take the three years. I was going to fight it to the end.

That moment in jail, what was that like? Did you meet anyone that stuck out? Make any friends?

That was probably the roughest time I was there during that time in Austria. I felt like the guards are a little more racist. The whole set-up was kind of racist.

Did you get attacked or anything?

Fuck no, I wasn’t getting a lot of attacks, but it was definitely a lot of threats. I was in the section with the rapists and shit. So when we went out into the yards, everybody that was in their cell would be yelling all kinds of shit, definitely a lot of racial slurs. But nothing I’m not used to in America, though. It was still a fucked-up situation. I don’t care about you calling me no muthafuckin’ nigger but don’t call me no muthafuckin’ rapist at all. I don’t want that shit attached to my name whatsoever. That was the killer part, that’s what hurt me the most—and just not seeing my daughter.

I was feeling like the U.S. Embassy ain’t do shit for me. They cared more about their relationship with Austria than they did for an American citizen that’s been falsely accused. I’m being held captive for some bullshit. Any fucking real judge or lawyer can look at this case and tell it was bullshit. The case should be easily dismissed. The U.S. Embassy were just like, “Ah, we just making sure you’re alive and breathing.” They didn’t give a fuck. I feel like if I was a White American male in that situation, I’m out. I probably never would have got locked up or extradited and that’s the honest truth. [The] U.S. Embassy did not assist me any way. They brought me two bullshit books. I read them though because I didn’t have anything else to read. And, the books Erica was bringing, they didn’t let her bring those in: Korans, Black books, and things of that nature. All the Black literature that she was bringing, they wouldn’t let me get it.

How did you get updated on stuff?

I would get calls. After a while I started using the phone because at first they weren’t even letting me put my own money to use the phone. I call home probably like once or twice a week. When I got on bail I was really able to get things in order. In that situation, thank God I got a good job. If you didn’t have money, those 10 years right in your face would have been over with. It was one guy that I was in Austria jail with, I [will] never forget him and he was African. My experience with the African cats in there, a lot of them didn’t really…I felt weird. They didn’t really fuck with me. They didn’t really connect with me. Some of them did because they knew who I was, but the overall thing with them was, “You an American nigga, we don’t fuck with you.” That shit struck me as weird. I was like, “Damn man, we all over here in this bullshit.” But they weren’t fucking with me also because I was on the rapist side. Like, “You a Black American and a rapist, get the fuck out of here.”

But there was one guy that did, his name was Love. He introduced me to Dr. [Rudolf ] Mayer, one of my lawyers in Austria who [helped] put the case together against the girls and the prosecution and they made it work for me. Thanks to them and what they did because it was a long journey coming home. Longer than what some people think. I literally had 11 lawyers working on this case all in conjunction. I lost a lot of things, a lot of time from my family, luckily I didn’t lose my name. I see a lot of people glorify cats that got rape stuff attached to them. To me that shit ain’t cool. This is probably the worst thing someone can accuse you of in my book.

The videos of you in Austria court, you look so isolated.

It was literally me against the world. Their courtroom is set up different. It’s not like a stand and a judge. It’s like four judges and your legal team, and you’re sitting in the middle of this semicircle right there the whole time during trial, not understanding a word, so I got to keep looking at my lawyer facial expressions. The girls tried to sell this story so crazy, they didn’t appear in the courtroom. I had to see them via on a Goddamn screen in another room. They claimed that they were too afraid to face me because I intimidated them. They were on a video conference. They didn’t even have the guts to come in the courtroom and confront me. When they did that I knew I was going to win this shit. “It was all bullshit.”

The courtroom looked packed.

It was the prosecution, the judges, my legal team and a whole bunch of people.It
was a big case in that country. That’s why they tried to hang my Black ass, because it was a big thing. It was election year coming up for a lot of muthafuckas there, so of course they want shit like this, a high-profile case and put a nigga on his ass for some shit he didn’t do. Especially since they felt they weren’t going to ever get the other guy, they thought, let’s get me. I’m the one with the bread. Then we can sue him in civil court and take everything he got. That was the move in their mind. But when the case got presented, we had so many witnesses in our favor. We had so much evidence in our favor. I’m taking selfies of myself in my room at the time that the incident allegedly happened, I was time-stamped. We gave this shit to the prosecution months ago, but they said, “We don’t give a fuck.” We had this evidence: the cameras in the fucking hotel. I’m in my room by myself, why the fuck is it this big witch hunt? It was totally racially and financially motivated.

They used your lyrics in court too, right?

Correct, they used my lyrics in court. Of course I got some sexually suggestive lyrics. The things I rap about are definitely not for everyone’s ear, but it ain’t no rape shit in my lyrics. I won’t say no names but I hear shit recently rapping about rape and shit. And muthafuckas bumping it like it’s cool. That shit ain’t cool.

Was there a jury for the trial?

The four judges were making the whole decision. It wasn’t a jury. So that’s another fucked-up part about it. But maybe I’m glad it wasn’t a jury because how the fuck is it going to be a Goddamn jury of my peers in Austria? I’m going to fucking lose. It’s going to be a bunch of old White people sitting in front of me like, “Get his ass.”

maxresdefault

Talk about the day you got acquitted.

It was awesome. I walked in the courtroom with my head held high and I walked out the courtroom with my head held high ’cause I know I didn’t do shit. The whole time, it was a four-hour trial, I knew I was winning the whole time. It’s like, when Floyd Mayweather is cruising in a fight, that’s how I felt the whole time. My lawyer kept winking at me and like, “Yeah, we’re good.” So basically, they just wasted four months of my muthafuckin’ life for this and I’m about to slam-dunk in y’all faces. It was a great feeling. I was going home, my daughter was there, Erica was there. It was great. It was just like, I’m about to go home. But that shit really took a lot out of me. When I got home I didn’t want to do anything. I didn’t want to be involved with this rap shit really because I felt like if some fans can do this shit to me, I’m just going to chill. The only thing I was craving was time with my daughter. That was all that I was craving when I was [locked up], spending time with my daughter, and when I got back that’s all that I did.

Did the hip-hop community support you?

Definitely, it was some people that supported me heavy. My boy BJ The Chicago Kid, he was hitting me all the time. Charlamagne Tha God was hitting me all the time, that’s the homie. There were some people that were throwing little bullshit comments, I saw that. It was even niggas that showed no support at all, muthafuckas that I worked with. It’s one bitch-ass nigga in particular, while I’m over there on fucking bail for this bullshit case, I’m going through it, my family going through it, this bitch-ass nigga asked me to post his muthafuckin album that was about to come out. He said, “Damn, bro, sorry to hear that. Can you post this?” He knows who the fuck I’m talking about. Shit like that let me know how certain muthafuckas don’t give a fuck. That was a fucked-up situation to be in with no love, but by God’s grace I did get love. I ain’t worried about the few muthafuckas that were saying some dumb shit. It’s just a funny story.

The two worst things you can label someone is a rapist and a racist. How has that affected your business?

I’d be lying if I said it didn’t hit me financially. It was a huge hit. I had 11 lawyers; you can do the math on that alone. [Laughs] I missed numerous amounts of shows and appearances and who knows what other opportunities. I felt like a lot of people were like, “Let’s see what happens with this shit before we stand by Freddie.” You had people that supported me that knew me and knew I didn’t do this shit. And, you had people who didn’t really know and they were scared to touch me. Even with all the evidence out there, everyone isn’t going to read the whole article, everybody isn’t going to read all the facts. All you have to do is put rape next to somebody’s name and it’s done. It affects everybody differently and it created a scar on my name that I had to patch up. Like I said, it’s young rappers with shit like that on their name and they don’t give a fuck and the hip-hop world don’t give a fuck, but not me. I got a daughter, I have nieces, I have sisters, I have a mother.

What have you been doing since you got home?

I just been chilling, I haven’t been doing shit [Laughs]. I just been chilling with my daughter. My daughter about to be two, I just been chilling with her and watching her develop and a lot of reading. I’m trying to do some work in the community now. I’ve been doing a lot of everything but rapping.”

Incredible how horrific people in this world can be. From the girls to the prison to the judicial system. It made me really think about all the people who aren’t Gibbs. All the people who didn’t have the money to get a good team together. All the people just rotting away because they had to charge someone for the crime. So they can close the books, can you believe it? “Good work Johnson,” this world is a joke.

Crushed Glass off Freddie’s latest project, You Only Live Twice, the project he made when he got out.

Immediately I began streaming Freddie’s music. I know it’s not much but I just wanted to do what I could to get him some revenue. We need to support each other. Locals, small businesses, independent artists, good people. Most importantly, support good people. We can change the world this way.

Go stream/buy You Only Live Twice, Pinata and whatever else on any medium you can! We’re with you Gibbs.

@wemajorwemajor

@_jackietran