Music News

Friday Rap-Up: Jay-Z, Skillz, Remy Ma, Free Mixtape!

Jay-Z fades to black

Everyone in the hip-hop world pretty much knew it was going to happen, but Jay-Z made it official on Christmas and turned in his two weeks' notice as president of Def Jam Records.

"I've been incredibly fortunate to have served as president of such a culturally-defining label as Def Jam over the last three years," Hov said via this statement. "During that time, I've had the pleasure of working with many of the world's most dynamic artists and many of the most dedicated and talented executives in the music business today, including [IDJMG Chairman/ CEO] Antonio "L.A." Reid. But now it's time for me to take on new challenges. I am pleased to have had the opportunity to build upon the Def Jam legacy, helping to move the company into a new era of artistic success."

Jay-Z will continue to record as a Def Jam artist, if he does choose to record again. He has said in the past that he has wanted to concentrate on his 40/40 Clubs and hopes to build a franchise.

Skillz raps up 2007 in hip-hop

For the last five years, veteran rapper Skillz (a.k.a. Mad Skillz) has been capping off the year with a summary of what happened in hip-hop in the last 12 months. Some may think the wrap-up songs may be a bit played out, but it’s been good for Skillz. It’s the only song of his that gets played on the radio every year! Check out this year’s edition:

For the songs from previous years, check out Rawkus' Blog.

Remy Ma facing $10 million lawsuit

This is what trying to be a gangsta will get you. Rapper Remy Ma is accused of shooting her friend Makeda Barnes-Joseph earlier this year and is currently facing charges on attempted murder, assault and weapons possession. Now Barnes-Joseph is adding insult to injury by filing a $10 million lawsuit against Remy claiming the rapper "willfully, wantonly and maliciously" shot her. The suit also names Remy’s record label Universal Music Group and Sure Shot Recordings, claiming that the companies encourage Remy to commit criminal acts to toughen up her image. Apparently, Remy shot Barnes-Joseph because the rapper thought that she took some loot out of her purse. But isn’t that what friends are for?

Free Mixtape! In the spirit of Christmas, here’s a free mixtape from Denver DJs, Sounds Supreme and DJ Amen. Enjoy!

-- Quibian Salazar-Moreno

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Sean Cronin