Music News

The Friday Rap-Up: DJ Low Key, Jay-Z, KRS-One, Buckshot, Dr. Dre

Locals Only

DJ Low Key is doing big things in Denver right now. The last year was a big one for the Basementalism Radio Show alum and 2008 is looking to be just as big. He ended 2007 having his mixtape Median’s Relief in the Making (hosted by 9th Wonder) on several critical year-end lists and he continues to make similar moves. He just completed a mixtape with hip-hop group Tanya Morgan and their artist Ilwil called Beat Thieves 2 (download it for free here). and is, at present, promoting his Thursday nights, “The Solution,” at Funky Buddah and his Friday nights, “Refresh Fridays,” at Club Vinyl, which will feature Pete Rock on March 14 and Nicolay & Kay on March 21.

“I'm also working on some stuff with Red Bull for the Music Academy, a mixtape with Spitkicker that’s going to be on some Tony Touch 50 MCs type stuff (it'll be Mixing In Action #3), and I executive produced a video for hip-hop duo Blu & Exile last month that should be online in a week or two,” LowKey said. “For the last year, I've been real focused on working on projects that I think are cool. Not top 40-ish to pay bills, which isn't a bad thing, but right now I'm trying to work on the kind of nights, projects, etc. that I'd want to go to and check for.”

If it seems like it’s too much to keep up with, it probably is. That’s why Low Key keeps his people up to date on his website/blog with upcoming events, his current playlist and of course free mixtapes.

“Right now there's a ton of great stuff that I'm fortunate enough to be involved with, both locally and nationally,” Low Key said.

Jay-Z being sued for $5 billion

According to the New York Observer, Jay-Z, real estate developer Bruce Ratner and Barclays are being sued for $5 billion by Brooklyn activist Clive Campbell (not to be confused with Kool Herc). What would be cause for a lawsuit seeking Dr. Evil-type money? According to Campbell’s suit, he’s looking for slavery reparations. The suit says, that Ratner and Jay-Z worked “in concert” with Barclays, and “profited from the African Slave Trade and continue to profit from these gains, through a conspiracy dating back hundreds of years and continue to date to oppress Black people, enslave them, unlawfully deport them to all corners of the Earth.” Jigga, Ratner, and Barclays are all involved in the building the $4 billion Atlantic Yards Project, a project that will see a basketball arena for the 2009-10 Brooklyn Nets and more than 6,000 apartments in the middle of Brooklyn, New York. Who knew Jay-Z was shipping Africans to build an arena for hundreds of years?

KRS-One, Buckshot plan collaborative album

This week, lauded underground hip-hop label Duck Down Records (Black Moon, Boot Camp Clik, Sean Price) announced that they have signed hip-hop vet KRS-One to their label. To add icing to the cake, the label also announced that KRS-One will be doing an album with Buckshot (of Black Moon).

“This collaboration with KRS-One is going to be an album full of hip-hop conversation, ranging from New World Order, to socially conscious topics such as unemployment, poverty, and politics,” Buckshot said. “At the same time, we will speak to the streets, as that is what I'm known to do. It's a dream to be able to work with KRS-One. Before I even began rapping that is who I checked for. I kept the [KRS’] Blueprint album on me at all times. That is all I listened to for an entire summer."

According to the release, three songs are already done and are looking to drop the album sometime this year.

Dr. Dre gets into the liquor business

If you’re wondering why it’s taking Dr. Dre so long to come out with his new album, Detox, it could be because his interests and investments are elsewhere. Drinks Americas Holdings Inc. announced that they’ve entered a partnership to identify, develop, and market premium non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages. Their first drink will be a super-premium cognac followed by sparkling vodkas and premium tequilas.

"I'm always down for a new challenge," Dr. Dre said. "When Drinks Americas approached me about going into business with them, I knew there was a lot of competition out there but it was the same way when I started doing music. I'm going to put the best product out there, because that's what I do."

Drinks Americas’ current and growing portfolio of products including Donald Trump's Trump Super Premium Vodka, Willie Nelson's Old Whiskey River Bourbon, and Paul Newman's Lightly Sparkling Fruit Juice Drinks and Flavored Waters.

New Releases

NY’s Finest Pete Rock Legendary hip-hop producer Pete Rock’s new album is pretty much what you would expect from the beatsmith: head-banging beats with a bevy of talented emcees spitting over them. Redman, Little Brother, Raekwon, Jim Jones, Styles P and a host of others all make appearances on the album. You can’t pass this one up.

Savage Life 2 Webbie Webbie’s hit single “Independent” has grabbed the attention of many independent women across the nation, but there’s still nothing too profound on his new album. It’s your run-of-the-mill Southern 808 drums and claps with superficial lyrics to go along with it. The songs featuring LeToya Luckett, Rick Ross, Pimp C (R.I.P) and Bun B offer some decent stuff, but the rest is ho-hum.

Mood Muzik 3: The Album Joe Budden Joe Budden blew up in 2003 with his hit single “Pump It Up” but disappeared from the mainstream after that. He kept his name afloat in the underground by dropping mixtapes and dissing Jay-Z and he’s ready to get back to where he was. Ultimately, the album sounds like just another mixtape despite appearances from Fabolous and Joell Ortiz. It lacks the polish of his debut album.

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Sean Cronin