Friday Rap-Up

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This may be Jay-Z’s last year at Def Jam

Right now Jay-Z is celebrating a pretty good year as CEO/President of Def Jam. His label garnered 26 Grammy nominations last week, his artists Rihanna and Ne-Yo are blowing up worldwide and his own project, American Gangster, is topping year-end lists. But at the end of the month, his contract as Def Jam’s boss is up, and he may be out the door.

“I don't know. We'll see how it goes,” Jay-Z told Entertainment Weekly. “But seriously, it's not about money. It's really about the future of the music business, and not wasting anyone's time. I don't ever want to sit in a seat just to sit in a seat. I could be off doing something else that's beneficial to the future of the music business as well as myself.”

Raekwon to release his own Wu album

The Wu-Tang’s album, 8 Diagrams hit stores this week, and despite what Raekwon and Ghostface have been saying, it’s actually a pretty good album. But Raekwon isn’t trying to hear it. He told MTV News that he’s supporting the album, but he believes it’s not the Wu’s best because RZA had his own vision. So what’s he going to do about it? He’s going to release an album featuring all of the Wu except for RZA called “Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang.”

It's coming and it's gonna be a lesson learned,” Rae told MTV. “That's a lesson to bust the Abbott's (RZA’s) ass and let him know what we do. At the end of the day, if nobody don't do nothing, Chef's gonna show and prove. You [can only] hold in but so much, my dude."

Well, as long as it doesn’t sound like that Ice Water junk that he released earlier this year, it should be a decent project.

Mobb Deep’s Prodigy says cops wanted to setup 50 Cent

Mobb Deep rapper Prodigy is gearing to head to prison in January to serve three and half years on weapons charges. In the meantime he’s working on various projects including a new album, a DVD, and he’s even blogging now. In his first post he broke down the whole story of what happened the night he got arrested but also what was going down at the holding cell at the police station.

“When I was in my cell later that night I saw the true devil come out these niggas,” Prodigy wrote on his blog. “All night they tried to get me to set up 50 Cent, they wanted me to plant guns in his car, plant drugs, or arrange a buy & bust. I was shocked how many times they tried and how many different detectives and ATF agents they tried to send at me. It was crazy.”

The Hip-Hop Police Task Force is real; rappers watch your back!

$3 billion lawsuit against Dr. Dre dismissed… whew!

Three former City of Detroit employees filed a $3 billion (!) lawsuit against legendary rapper-producer Dr. Dre citing invasion of privacy for taping a private conversation where Greg Bowens -- spokesman to then-Mayor Dennis Archer -- then-police spokeswoman Paula Bridges and then-police Cmdr. Gary Brown asked concert producers to refrain from showing a video containing nudity to an audience attending a July 2000 show at Joe Louis Arena. The conversation was then added to the Up in Smoke Tour DVD. But Wayne County Circuit Judge John A. Murphy dismissed the lawsuit saying "Under the circumstances, the plaintiffs could not have a reasonable expectation of privacy,” according to the Detroit Free Press. The plaintiffs plan to appeal the dismissal, but really, $3 billion? What kind of Dr. Evil lawsuit money is that?


A trio of well-known Denver hip-hop artists have united to create a sort of super-group called 3 The Hard Way. DJ Cysko Rokwel, A.V.I.U.S. and Es-Nine have dropped their first missive as a group called “Wild Style West”, which features Maneline’s Mane Rok. The song is pretty much an ode to Colorado and the city of Denver. Not a bad tune, check it out here:

New Releases:

Wu-Tang Clan 8 Diagrams They haven’t released a group album six years, but the group hasn’t lost a step lyrically and the RZA is an absolute genius on the beats. It’s one of the best albums of the year.

DJ Hi-Tek Hi-Technology 3 Hi-Tek third album features appearances from Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, Talib Kweli, Young Buck, Little Brother and a whole lot of unknown cats. It’s alright, but what the people really want is another Reflection Eternal project. Can we get that already?

Beanie Sigel The Solution Beanie has said he’s learned his lesson about hanging out in the streets when he should be hanging out in the studio (He served a 10-month prison sentence in 2005). But from listening to his album, ummm, it does sound like it. Because rappers really do what they rap about, right?

Bow Wow & Omarion Face Off Rapper Bow Wow and singer Omarion are trying to do what Jay-Z and R. Kelly couldn’t do – make a R&B rap album that’s good. But unless you grew up listening to these dudes (folks under 25), you’re probably not going to be into it.

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


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