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Review: Redman's 'Pancakes & Syrup' Mixtape

If anything can be said about Redman it’s that he’s been the poster boy for consistency. In a music game where yesterday’s rappers try to keep up with Generation Y by emulating the latest style and thus changing up their whole sound, Redman has continuously been that gritty MC from the Bricks that Marshall Mathers has at the top of his all-time list. The chronic-induced lyrics, zany metaphors and steady-as-that-time-of-the-month flow has kept Reggie Noble in our ears a full clip and some extra shells. And he’s still popping off. 

Now I’m not one to advocate the use of Auto-Tune to make hip-hop music (maybe R&B). I think it’s a cheap ploy that rappers use to mask their lack of talent and skills, but I’d be lying if I said Redman didn’t take that electronic sound to a new, entertaining and maybe even satirical level on Pancakes And Syrup. By combining his madcap style and creative lyrical content with the reason T-Pain can afford ridiculous $12,000 top hats, Reggie was able to make joints like “I’m Sick,” ”Haterz” and  “F.L.Y.” as comedic as groove-able.

But regardless of how much fun Red sounds like he’s having when he’s making “computer love,” he proves that he’s still the same old Reggie on “Mr. Jigsaw” and  “Soopaman Syrup,” where he spits,  “They seen me in ‘How High,’ they say I’m dumb funny/A grown man making moves like Young Money/I never share my weed, you get none, sonny/you either run with me or you run from me/stay outta mine before it be part 2 of a Colombine… Don’t stand to close, boy, it’s not proper/you seen the DVD on Math Hoffa/buy weed everywhere. I’m a grasshopper/no bodyguard, baby. I’m Kev Costner/veteran, stay on the medicine/no sleep. Working late nights – Letterman/shine like I’m blood relative to Edison.” Yep, same old Red.

While the mixtape served more as an example of the levels of nuttiness that Mr. Noble can reach rather than an actual body of work where he fully demonstrates the mythical beast that is Redman, Pancakes & Syrup was a damn good appetizer to the main course, Reggie. And even though hearing Red experiment with a new element and actually creating something worthwhile, I’m hoping that it was just that: an experiment. Hip-hop needs Reggie to continue to showcase the Soopa MC that showed us that there wuz a darkside before Joseph Cartagena did. —Omar Mazariego 


Hottest Joint: “Mr. Jigsaw”

Weakest Joint: “Big Spendaz”

Rating: A

Rating System: G’d Up (Gangst’d Up), A (All good in every hood); B (Block Leveler); C (Could’ve been better/worse); D (Doodoo); F (Fugazy)

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YG Takes The "Stop Snitchin" Rule Back To Slavery Days In New Video

YG is trying his hand at more cinematically stimulating music video fare for his newest release. For the past two weekends at Coachella, the Compton, Calif. rapper worked through grief and treated the massive crowd to a brand new single from his forthcoming album, 4REAL 4REAL.

During his Coachella set, "Stop Snitchin" called out loose lips from the likes of Tekashi 6ix9ine and others, but the official video released today (April 24) pivots in a totally different direction: to slavery. In the slightly comical visual, YG plays one of several slaves who plots to escape the plantation in search of freedom. However, an individual reluctant to flee falls behind on the night in question and, as the song title suggests, rats them out.

Don't expect the video to be any sort of conscious offering—it gets a little weird when he's hanging from a tree—but if you need a chuckle-inducing break from a stressful day, let a dancing, old cloth-wearing YG be your relief.

As you wait for the fast-approaching release of his album, now due on May 3, watch the video for "Stop Snitchin" up top.

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Lil Uzi Vert Returns With "That's A Rack" Music Video: Watch

Lil Uzi Vert is back! The rapper just dropped the music video for "That's a Rack" on Wednesday (April 24).

Nudity must be the theme of this video. The visuals open with Uzi weaving through rows of naked violinists and cellists. As it progresses, the camera shifts to naked women bathing and posing in blue paint.

"That's a Rack" arrives shortly after Uzi decided to come out of retirement. It follows "Sanguine Paradise" and "Free Uzi." "Free Uzi" was reportedly removed from streaming services, however, due to "licensing issues and copyright concerns."

Lil Uzi Vert is prepping for his next album, Eternal Atake. It's unclear when the album is slated to drop as Uzi has previously cited scheduling and production issues.

Watch the video for "That's A Rack" above.

 

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A post shared by 16 (@liluzivert) on Apr 23, 2019 at 4:28pm PDT

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Beyoncé performs onstage during 2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival Weekend 1 at the Empire Polo Field on April 14, 2018 in Indio, California.
Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Coachella

Homecoming: The 5 Best Moments Of Beyoncé’s Documentary

Once Beyoncé became the first African-American woman to headline in its nearly 20-year history, we knew Coachella would never the same. To mark the superstar’s historic moment, the 2018 music and arts festival was appropriately dubbed #Beychella and fans went into a frenzy on social media as her illustrious performance was live-streamed by thousands. (Remember when fans recreated her choreographed number to O.T. Genasis’ “Everybody Mad”?)

With a legion of dancers, singers and musicians adorned with gorgeous costumes showcasing custom-made crests, the singer’s whirlwind performance honored black Greek letter organizations, Egyptian queen Nefertiti, and paid homage to historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Aside from the essence of black musical subgenres like Houston’s chopped and screwed and Washington D.C.’s go-go music, the entertainer performed “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” also known as “The Black National Anthem,” and implemented a dancehall number, sampling the legendary Jamaican DJ and singer, Sister Nancy, to show off the versatility of black culture.

One year after #Beychella’s historic set, the insightful concert film, Homecoming, began streaming on Netflix and unveiled the rigorous months of planning that went into the iconic event. The 2-hour 17-minute documentary highlights Beyoncé’s enviable work ethic and dedication to her craft, proving why this performance will be cemented in popular culture forever. Here are the best moments from Beyoncé’s Homecoming documentary.

The Intentional Blackness

“Instead of me bringing out my flower crown, it was more important that I brought our culture to Coachella.”

Throughout the documentary, Beyoncé made it known that everything and everyone included in the creative process leading up to the annual festival was deliberately chosen. “I personally selected each dancer, every light, the material on the steps, the height of the pyramid, the shape of the pyramid,” says Beyoncé. “Every tiny detail had an intention.” When speaking on black people as a collective the entertainer notes, “The swag is limitless.” Perhaps the most beautiful moments in Homecoming are the shots that focus on the uniqueness of black hair and its versatility. What’s appreciated above all is the singer’s commitment to celebrating the various facets of blackness and detailing why black culture needs to be celebrated on a global scale.

Beyoncé’s Love And Respect For HBCUs

#Beychella — which spanned two consecutive weekends of Coachella’s annual festival — was inspired by elements of HBCU homecomings, so it was no surprise when the singer revealed she always wanted to attend one. “I grew up in Houston, Texas visiting Prairie View. We rehearsed at TSU [Texas Southern University] for many years in Third Ward, and I always dreamed of going to an HBCU. My college was Destiny's Child. My college was traveling around the world and life was my teacher.” Brief vignettes in the film showcased marching bands, drumlines and the majorettes from notable HBCUs that comprise of the black homecoming experience. In the concert flick, one of the dancers affectionately states, “Homecoming for an HBCU is the Super Bowl. It is the Coachella.” However, beyond the outfits that sport a direct resemblance to Greek organizations, Beyoncé communicated an important message that remains a focal point in the film: “There is something incredibly important about the HBCU experience that must be celebrated and protected.”

The Familiar Faces

Despite being joined by hundreds of dancers, musicians and singers on-stage, the entertainer was joined by some familiar faces to share the monumental moment with her. While making a minor appearance in the documentary, her husband and rapper/mogul Jay-Z came out to perform “Deja Vu” with his wife. Next, fans were blessed by the best trio to ever do it as Kelly and Michelle joined the singer with renditions of their hit singles including “Say My Name,” “Soldier,” and more. On top of this star-studded list, Solange Knowles graced the “Beychella” stage and playfully danced with her older sister to the infectious “Get Me Bodied.”

Her Balance Of Being A Mother And A Star

Originally slated to headline the annual festival in 2017, the singer notes that she “got pregnant unexpectedly...and it ended up being twins.” Suffering from preeclampsia, high blood pressure, toxemia and undergoing an emergency C-section, the entertainer candidly details how difficult it was adjusting post-partum and how she had to reconnect with her body after experiencing a traumatizing delivery. “In the beginning, it was so many muscle spasms. Just, internally, my body was not connected. My body was not there.” Rehearsing for a total of 8 months, the singer sacrificed quality time with her children in order to nail the technical elements that came with the preparation for her Coachella set. “I’m limiting myself to no bread, no carbs, no sugar, no dairy, no meat, no fish, no alcohol … and I’m hungry.” Somehow, throughout all of this, she still had to be a mom. “My mind wanted to be with my children,” she says. Perhaps one of the most admirable moments in the film was witnessing Beyoncé’s dedication to her family but also to her craft.

The Wise Words From Black Visionaries

Homecoming opens with a quote from the late, Maya Angelou stating, “If you surrender to the air, you can ride it.” The film includes rich and prophetic quotes from the likes of Alice Walker, Nina Simone, Toni Morrison, and notable Black thinkers, reaffirming Beyoncé’s decision to highlight black culture. The quotes speak to her womanhood and the entertainer’s undeniable strength as a black woman.

Blue Ivy’s Cuteness

Last, but certainly not least, Blue Ivy‘s appearance in the concert film is nothing short of precious. One of the special moments in the documentary zeroes in on the 7-year-old singing to a group of people whilst Beyoncé sweetly feeds the lyrics into her ears. After finishing, Blue says: “I wanna do that again” with Beyoncé replying with “You wanna be like mommy, huh?” Seen throughout Homecoming rehearsing and mirroring Beyoncé’s moves, Blue just might follow in her mother’s footsteps as she gets older.

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