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Can you have a number one album without stirring up controversy?

All you rappers take note: if you want a number one album, you may want to get busted trying to buy some illegal firearms. Just kidding, but not really.

Unless you’ve been under a rock for the last two weeks or too preoccupied with when Common’s going to drop his long awaited album, you’d probably know that T.I. is living up to his alter-ego and is the KING of the charts, after moving close to 600,000 units of his album Paper Trail.

Of course it goes with out saying that T-I-P’s record was highly anticipated due to the fact that right before he started working on the record, he was looking at some serious jail time because of his run in with the law, who caught him trying to arm a small army with some serious weapons. But, it all actually worked for T.I. Kinda like it worked out for 50 getting shot nine times and Kanye West almost buying the farm after he got into that car accident that made him look like the fourth friend for Alvin & the Chipmunks.

See the pattern here? Three of the biggest selling rap artists in the world all had to overcome getting shot, not knowing how to drive, or trying to build a small militia to ensure that their records sold well.

Of course, you’re probably thinking “What about Lil’ Wayne?” Weezy F. Baby didn’t have to overcome that many steps – but he did convince enough people that the Carter 3 was going to be his last album, simply because they thought he was going to kick the bucket because of the lean he drinks. Think of it like the same way painters make way more for their art after they’re dead.

Could these be the new marketing plans to ensure that rappers will successfully chart at the coveted number one spot? If so, then Jay may have to build a space ship. There probably isn’t a rap album that’s been more anticipated than that record, so it’s clearly easy to say that there’s going to need to be some sort of “event” to build the album. Then again, we’re talking about Jay-Z here and the last thing he ever needs is any hype to promote an album.

What do you guys think? Do rappers need to do a massive “event” before their albums drop or can they just sail on their skills?


aries-spearsUnreality Magazine does a great post of 10 of the most incredible celebrity impersonations out on the web, of which, TAG Records had to share an amazing clip from Aries Spears.

Aries Spears, from Mad TV, does a crazy rap impresonation freestyle on a radio show. He impersonates LL Cool J, Snoop Dogg, DMX and Jay-Z.

TAG Body Spray - Keep it Fresh, Make History

You think with the decline of the music industry and the continued growth of video games, rappers would become digital (No RZA).

From GTA IV to pretty much any racing game out, hip-hop tracks have become the soundbed for many a franchise video game. But with the exception of 50 Cent’s “Bulletproof” and Wu-Tang Clan’s “Shaolin Style,” few rappers have taken the reigns on the digital franchise and made themselves playable.

Here’s some games I’d definitely be down to play.


Yay Area rapper E-40 delivers the ultimate racing game as players barrel through East Oakland in souped-up scrapers sitting on 22’s. Midway through the race, players have to hop out and dance around their whips. Think of it as Midnight Club meets Dance Dance Revolution.

Financial Times

Actually, I don’t think I’d be down to the play this one, but given Jay-Z’s influence in the rap world, he of all people needs a video game. Similar to Jay’s corporate rap steez, Financial Times is like a virtual Monopoly game, only with less appeal, just like rapping about your standings on the Forbes list.

Alien Vs. Predator Vs. Lil Wayne

You and Weezy are not the same, he is a Martian.

How hardbody would this game be? Sure the AVP movies were terrible, but imagine Lil’ Wayne channeling his “Phone Home” persona and bucking shots at both these space monsters. He could be like an intergalactic rapping bounty hunter.

The only thing that would make this game doper would be in Nintendo brought back the Zap gun.

Color Me Pretty

My little sister told me that there’s an online network of Flash video games where girls dress up virtual characters. Given Kanye West’s penchant for playing dress up and always wanting to look pretty, this game would be a great fit for him, don’t you think?

World of Wu-Tang
I know what you’re thinking; Wu-Tang already had a game. Well some people say that cucumbers taste better pickled, so there’s that.

Given the amount of people in the Clan plus the Killer-B team affiliates and the Wu’s love of all things surreal, there’s no reason that they couldn’t pull off a massive role-playing game based in Shaolin. Couple that with all of the Wu’s signature slang editorial out in the world and you’ve got a video game that people will be playing until they catch a coronary from lack of sleep.

Saigon Rising

If you’ve ever played Ninja Gaiden, then Saigon’s legacy should be a no brainer. Just give the Yardfather some throwing stars and a sword and watch him slice and dice his way into the record industry, only be to shafted throughout. Kind of like how every time you beat an installation of Ninja Gaiden, the ending is always messed up and you’re mad at yourself for even playing the game in the first place.

The United States government has yet to acknowledge it, Jay-Z doesn’t want to talk about it and Young Jeezy named his album after it.

Seems like everyone’s skirting the issue of the impending (and, according to most, already here) economic recession.

If there’s one thing that hip-hop’s notoriously good at, it’s skirting major issues that affect everyone except for the 1% of the notoriously wealthy.

Take that Swizz Beatz song where the producer-turned-rapper-turned-luxury-car-dealership-owner name-drops Oprah, Bill Gates and that little phone that Steve Jobs pioneered. Rather than acknowledging what most people are going through, your favorite rapper is probably letting you know what he has and you don’t.

With the exception of the Snowman who can’t be banned: Young Jeezy.

Yeahhh…that’s right.

*Cues up “Put On” Instrumental

The great thing about a multiplatinum rapper like Young Jeezy naming his album after this economic slump is that he’s doing something that no other artist in hip-hop has done yet – he’s acknowledged that it exists.

Chances are Jeezy’s album will do un-recession like numbers and he’ll be able to fill up all his exotic cars with overpriced gas. But Jeezy’s album will remain timeless because he’s naming it after a time period – one that people will be remembering for at least the next five years. After all, recessions don’t just end. It takes a while before economic stability comes back and even then there’s a lot of work that has to be done.

In fact, Jeezy could pull himself a three-peat here, a la Jay-Z making the Blueprint a trilogy, and come out with a second effort called “Economic Despair” and a third named…well let’s see if he decides to go that route.

*Stops “Put On” Instrumental

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“First the Fat Boys break up, now every day I wake up/

Somebody got a problem with Hov”

– Jay-Z “Heart of the City (Ain’t No Love)

The Blueprint

The funny thing about it is, these days; everyone’s got a problem with Hov. Since the self-proclaimed best rapper alive allegedly retired his mic only to return to the rap game with mixed results, it’s like big homey can do no right. Sure, critics pronounced American Gangster a classic, but that jawn took forever and a day to hit platinum marks while Lil’ Wayne touched a milli in a week. But while Jay-Z has his full set of detractors, haters and even some old dude claiming to the be the father of his swag, those guys will never be Jay-Z.

Just ask them why they’re “jocking” him?.

Jay’s music, unlike most of the music that litters the airwaves these days, is like a fine wine; it just gets better with age. The Blueprint record dropped in 2001—seven years ago—and every time “U Don’t Know” or “Izzo” drops at the club or block party, people act like it’s the first time they heard the song. That, my friends, is music with permanence relevance. And while most will argue that those tracks represent the high point of the legacy of Shawn Carter, they forget that he’s one of the few rappers who have managed the transition from rapper to business mogul.

Lest you forget, Jay’s cosign is like Caesar giving the thumbs-up at a gladiator fight. Dude can literally make or break something just by acknowledging its existence. Why do you think so many rappers are always taking shots at him? They know as soon as he mentions their name they’re the next thing to get played on Hot 97. But keep acting up and they may be the next contestant on that Summer Jam screen.

So, please spare the thinly veiled jabs at Hov, all you people wishing that he wasn’t rapping anymore or saying that he’s now Jordan in the Wizards area. Because Jordan, like Jay, will still serve anyone right now and have enough clout left over to not even pay you no mind.



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