Dame Grease On VIBE's Best Producer Contest: 'I'm Kicking Ass'

The first round of VIBE’s Best Producer of All Time competition is underway, and it’s already sparked some heated debate among fellow producers, artists and those who were left off the list.

Yonkers, N.Y., native Dame Grease, who’s the 14th seed in the Boom Bap category, is currently up against third seed Marley Marl. And Grease wants your vote. Despite the stiff competition, the beatmaker behind much of DMX’s multiplatinum debut, It’s Dark And Hell Is Hot, thinks he’s got this locked. 

“I’m kicking ass. I mean, right now more kids know who I am than Marley Marl so just on the competition, I have to crush him. I respect him but I’m taking this," Grease tells VIBE. "Nah actually, Marley is the O.G. I’m honored to fucking go up against Marley Marl. That’s Marley Marl. He got Kool G Rap and all this shit, the music that I actually started on. I like the boom bap. The street thing is my day job, but you should have me in the film-scoring category. Nobody could fuck with me in the film-scoring category. [Laughs]"

While Grease has nothing but respect for the pioneers, he’s confident he’ll advance to the second round, where he’d battle it out with Q-Tip or Large Professor.

“I’d crush Large Professor but I’m a fan of Q-Tip’s. To tell the truth, nobody has the relevance of 13 years in their career like I have,” says Grease, adding that the young Internet voters may cause some major upsets. “Right now it's really based on relevancy. Of course, everybody love [Dr.] Dre but it looks like Dre’s getting bumped out by Toomp. When you think about kids right now today logging on, they know what the fuck they know. They know T.I., they know Snoop, they know X from going to jail and shit. I’ma keep it one hundred, if I win over Marley Marl people gon’ be mad. They mad already over this shit. Like, 'Goddammit, Grease again, we can’t get rid of him!' You damn right. [Laughs]”

If Grease could only cosign one other producer on the list, he says he’d go with Easy Mo B, because of his “monumental” work with Notorious B.I.G., Craig Mack and others. “Through all this shit, I respect him as a person,” says Grease. “Producers, we hear things that other people don’t hear so he pulled me to the side [once], like, ‘Yo Grease, that whole string style with all the strings that Dre used, I know you started that. I’m like I know, I’m glad you hear it too.’ [Laughs].”

While he continues rallying votes on Twitter (@DameGrease), Grease has some last words for voters: “Let’s look at the statistics," he says. "Shouts out to all the producers. I actually like this [competition] because it really showcases producers and the work that they’ve done, not just the main singles but their work entirely.” --Clover Hope

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Freeway Reveals Death Of 20-Year-Old Son, Jihad

Freeway is mourning the death of his beloved son, Jihad Pridgen.

The Philly native shared the devastating news on Instagram on Thursday (Oct. 29). “God knows I try my best to be strong, but this right here is a pain like I never felt,” he captioned a graduation photo of his son. “Please cherish your time and your [loved] ones because we’re not [promised] the next breath. I Pray Allah forgives my son for all of his sins and I pray that Allah grants him the highest level of paradise.”

The Muslim rapper did not go into detail about how his son passed away. In closing, he asked fans to make dua (an Islamic invocation) for his son and family. Jihad, 20, was following in his father’s footsteps in becoming a rapper. He went by the stage name “Snowhadd.”


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God knows I try my best to be strong, but this right here is a pain like I never felt. Please cherish your time and your love ones because we’re not promise the next breath. I Pray Allah forgives my son for all Of his sins and I pray that Allah grants him the highest level of paradise. Ameen 😢 Please make dua for him & my family.

A post shared by Freeway (@phillyfreeway) on Oct 29, 2020 at 3:28am PDT

New’s of Jihad’s death follows the death of the son of fellow State Property member and former Roc-A-Fella rapper, Oschino Vasquez.  “I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. Devastation at its finest,” the grieving father wrote on Instagram revealing that Freeway attended his son’s funeral last week. “Then I got that bad news. What [are] the chances that [we] both lose our sons. F*ck rap beef that’s fake sh*t. This is real life. I’ve never been depressed before but I [am] now.”

The cause of death is unclear, but according to varying reports, Oschino’s son and his son's pregnant girlfriend may have passed away in a car accident.

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Kenya Barris To Make Directorial Debut With Richard Pryor Biopic

Kenya Barris has signed on to write and direct a forthcoming biopic on Richard Pryor for MGM. The movie studio acquired the film in a heated bidding war, Deadline reports.

The biopic will mark Barris’ directorial debut. In addition to directing and penning the script, the Black-Ish creator will also produce the film through his company, Khalabo Ink Society. Additional producers include Pryor’s widow, Jennifer Lee Pryor, through her Tarnished Angel imprint, and Tory Metzger for Levantine Films.

“The way Pryor did what he did — with truth and specificity that was somehow self-aware and self-deprecating, and said with an unmatched level of vulnerability – that was the power and impact of his work,” Barris said in a statement. “Pryor had a voice that was distinctly his and, in many ways, comedy since then has been derivative of what he created. To me, this is a film about that voice, the journey that shaped it, and what it took for it to come to be.”

There have been several attempts to bring Pryor’s story to the big screen, including in 2016 when The Weinstein Company teamed with Jennifer and Lee Daniels on a script by Oscar-winning screenwriter Bill Condon. Mike Epps was slated to start as the comic legend, and Oprah Winfrey was going to play his grandmother, Eddie Murphy as his father, and Kate Hudson at Jennifer.

Pryor began his comedy career in the early 1960s playing local clubs around New York. By the following decade, Pryor rose up the ranks to become one of the most popular Black comedians in the genre appearing in films like Lady Sings the Blues, The Mack, Uptown Saturday Night, Car Wash, Harlem Nights, and The Wiz. Pryor was also a talented writer and producer (he wrote his stand-up comedy specials as well as other shows such as Sanford & Son, The Richard Pryor Show).

The 65-year-old comedian passed away from Parkinson’s Disease in 2005.

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Beenie Man Speaks Out After Fainting At Mother’s Funeral

Beenie Man broke his silence amid rumors that he was hospitalized after fainting at his mother’s funeral. Footage of the dancehall icon passing out in front of his mother's casket began circulating the web last weekend.

In a heartfelt message posted on social media on Wednesday (Oct. 27), the dancehall star thanked well-wishers, and poured out his grief. “One Sunday, October 25th I laid my Mom to rest. It was by far and still is the most difficult thing I have ever had to do,” he explained. “Leading up to the day of the funeral I was [physically] involved in every aspect of the planning an execution.”

Beenie’s mother, Lilieth Sewell, suffered a stroke in July. Her health began declining after she was released from the hospital.  She passed away in September at age 63.

“I kept telling myself, maybe if it remained active I will be able to function,” Beenie said. “Unfortunately, when it came down to that very last moment, it hit me and hit very hards. This would be the last time I would see my mom. Despite the noise, the singing, the mourning, all I could hear was silence while watching my mom’s body being lowered into the tomb.

“My heart broke and I blacked out for a few minutes,” he continues. “When I revived, I saw my closet friends and family were around me.”

The Grammy winner added that he was not “hospitalized,” but was comforted by friends and family. “Please continue to pray for us as we heal and moved forward.”

Read his full statement below.


— Beenie Man (@KingBeenieMan) October 27, 2020

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