30 September 2012

Advice with Steph Bmore: I don't want this shit

Hey guys (and gals)!!! Once again it's one. Check out the video. Like, comment, share with others.... If you need advice feel free to hit me up at flyspacequeen (at) gmail.com Thanks!!

14 September 2012

Album Review: Substantial - Home Is Where The Art Is

Substantial’s latest album, Home Is Where The Art Is, is a well-executed from top to bottom. With executive producer Oddisee at the helm and a host of exceptional producers, Substantial is a welcome addition to the Mello Music Group’s roster.
        I’ll be honest, when I found out Substantial was dropping  HIWTAI on Mello Music, I was hoping Oddisee handled all the production. However, after giving the album a few listens, I’m glad that he didn’t. While Oddisee does have the Midas touch, including other producers on this project shows that Mello Music Group is bigger than one act and should be recognized as such. The roster of producers on HIWTAI (Algorythm of The Stuyvesants, Street Orchestra, Oddisee, Slopfunkdust, Eric Lau, Surock and M-Phazes) is a definite plus. Hearing how the producers were on the same page production wise made the album sound more cohesive, rather than having an album with a slew of producers with extremely different styles trying to outshine each other. HIWTAI comes off more like a team effort instead of a collection of songs competing to be the best track on the album. With Oddisee as the executive producer, this album has a sound that is fast becoming Mello Music Group’s signature; dope synths, punchy bass and samples for a new school boom bap sound. Substantial is definitely in his element with this production.
        Lyrically speaking, this album is top notch. Substantial is as hungry an MC as ever and he brought that mindset to the table on each track.  The cadence he brings to a song gets you hooked and his subject matter keeps you listening; always a successful recipe.  Check out the tracks Check The Resume, See Hear, and Mr.Consistent for a taste of what is one of the better albums to drop in the past few months.
       As HIWTAI plays through, you might catch yourself waiting for the sub-par track, you know, the one that leaves you wondering why they even put it on the album. Let me go ahead and spoil the surprise, there isn’t one. As HIWTAI plays through, each track has a consistent feel without getting repetitive. Couple that with Substantial’s abilities as an MC and what you have is an album that will get more repeat plays than you might be ready to admit to.
       Home Is Where The Art Is shows that Substantial has no plans of stopping any time soon. With a new home on Mello Music Group, it seems like Substantial has found a good team with a common goal, to continue providing that good music you never knew you were looking for.

13 September 2012

Joey BadA$$: Rejex

Guess who’s back at it? The one, the only Joey BadA$$ came with it again. This is this kid’s second mixtape in three months.  1999 was born a classic with the whole Pro Era camp spittin’ dope verses on the joint. “Rejex” is a 14 track joint that precedes it. Joey comes with the same old school style that he did in the first tape. Most of the tracks remind you of A Tribe called Quest's vibe. Joey just isn’t your average new school rapper, he is the truth. The social norm for the youth of hip-hop culture is to talk about bitches, money, gang life, and/or other ignorant irrelevant aspects that true lovers of hip hop would not succumb to as calling it just that (shoutouts to Chief Keef). I love Joey’s connection with old school hip-hop. Within the past year, there have been comparisons of artists to Nas, such as Earl the Sweatshirt. I like Earl but honestly if anyone came close to that mix of style I would say it would be Joey Bada$$. His story telling is not on par with the great Nas, but his wordplay, ability to use words, and overall lyricism favors him.

“Rejex” isn’t a mixtape that has length to it but the lyrics and tracks make up for it. My favorite track is “Catharsis.” It’s a dark track that you cruise to late at night as if you were in a hood movie like “Belly.” Joey starts out with, “Vigorous, the illest realest lyricist/ I’m sick like syphilis got a certificate for killing shit/ and any innocent who witness it the fucking incident/ got a team of militants punch lines crush ligaments.” WHOA! This kid is like 16 and he is saying dope shit like this.

Joey gets in touch with his softer side on two tracks which is a first. “Silent Night” and “Update” is when Joey gets into his feelings. “Silent Night” is him describing the heartbreak he got from his girl he was pouring love into but she only wanted currency. Somebody should’ve played “That thing” by Lauryn Hill for the kid before he got caught up in the mix. “Update” is another song that starts off with young teenage love but takes a turn for the worst when he gets hostile with shawty’s father. Oh. Shit. Son.

Overall I love this mixtape, I just wish it was longer; but it is his second mixtape in two months and he is in high school so I’ll be lenient. To me it still isn’t better than his first tape “1999,” with hisself and the whole Pro Era team. This is an upcoming artist that everyone should be out on the lookout for. The kid has BARS *Kevin Hart Chocolate Drop voice*!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

11 September 2012

TOP TEN!!!!!!!

If you have been following us, by now you would know that the BITM crew is essentially on never ending email threads with one another ranging from a variety of topics, but of course largely focused on hip-hop. 

The idea of listing our "top 10 dead or alive" (we know it's "top 5 dead or alive," but we learned quickly that picking just 5 emcees would be improbable) has been in the works for a while now, mostly so the readers get more of a sense of who we are/who we listen to. We are very proud to promote diverse ideas/opinions here at BITM; we feel it is one of our greatest assets and we believe our lists reflect that. So without further ado. here are our lists.

The Niftian

Ms Proper
Tech N9ne
Slick Rick
Jean Grae
Black Thought
Andre 3000


Notorious B.I.G.
Tupac Shakur
Royce Da 5'9
Andre 3000
Black Thought

Irish Ninja

Black Milk
Grip Grand
Andre 3K
Aesop Rock
Masta Ace


Big Pun
Styles P
Andre 3000
Yasiin Bey
Big L

Ra'z Al Ghoul

Talib Kweli
Kanye West
Notorious B.I.G.
Andre 3000


Mos Def
Jay Z 
Andre 3000
Royce da 5'9
Big Pun

Visit our individual bios to see "extra" lists we had (honorable mentions..up and coming..etc). 
And last but not least..please let us know what you think. Agree..disagree? Which list do you like the best..the least? Give us your top ten!

10 September 2012

Advice with Steph B-More: I need more attention (vlog)

Once again it's on....this time I talk a little bit about me and answer the age old question "How can I make my man pay more attention to me?"
I appreciate any comments, YOUR advice, and your suggestions.
Let's build.

*For the time being my advice column won't be every Friday. But it will be once a week!!!! And sometimes vlogged, sometimes written but I'll always be real and awesome.

Follow me on twitter: www.twitter.com/StephBMore 

06 September 2012

Take Two: Lupe Fiasco vs. Chief Keef

This article comes off the heels of reading the recent tweet-beef between fellow Chicagoan rappers Lupe Fiasco and Chief Keef (Peep the article here).

Lupe makes an amazing point, in that all of the true knuckleheads out there who exist for no other reason than to run the streets terrorizing and acting wreckless all look like Chief Keef. I have to be honest, I even have family members who look almost identical to Chief Keef, with the same level of ignorance, just broke. At this point, Keef's one saving grace is that he has a little money in his pockets now, but youngins out there in the streets won't hesitate to attack their own kin if they felt they could make a quick stack off it.

It's that group that Lupe Fiasco is shining light on, and him pointing out the fact OUR generation fears THAT generation couldn't be more accurate. What makes Lupe's revelation even more troubling is the fact that there is virtually no one who can get through to a "Chief Keef" type. "We gon do what the FUCK we wanna do," would probably be the response you get. What does one do when they see a rottweiler running around with no leash? A wreckless and uncontrollable generation that cannot be saved by anyone. Are these kids really our future?

It's easy to see this as Lupe backing down to a teenager, but it's far deeper than just a one on one twitter beef. Lupe is addressing an entire generation that is lost, and it's a shame that artist's like Keef are allowed to have deals because they are doing nothing but exacerbating a lifestyle and a mentality that has no future in the free world.

Above all else, though, my main problem with all of this from a musical standpoint is the fact that Lupe is indirectly promoting Chief Keef right now, which is the last thing that needs to happen. I suppose it couldn't be avoided though, much like this article, because a far more important issue needed to be addressed.

@ChiefKeef vs. @LupeFiasco - But Why?

We here at BITM have this thing we do on our e-mail thread where we talk about some of our guilty pleasures. Considering ourselves to be die hard hip hop heads, we find ourselves feeling ashamed at some of the radio "hits" that we bang in the privacy of our own homes and cars. Although we strongly dislike the predominant stance and content of the songs of some of these "wannabe thugs," occasionally a song will come on that finds us tapping our feet or turning up the bass in the system...but we'd never tell anyone except other people in the BITM crew.

I tell you that because Chief Keef quickly jumped onto my list of "Ign'ant Ass Rappers" when he came onto the scene with his radio/club banger "I Don't Like." I threw him in the mix with the new breed of ratchetness like Wacka Flocka Flame, Future and others. However, when the "I Don't Like (remix)" came out, I went ham over Pusha T's verse. Shame on me, right? Well, in my defense, I always turned the song off after Pusha's verse, LOL.

Anyhoo, I figured that Chief Keef's ignorance would be limited to his songwriting abilities (or lack thereof), namely due to the bidding war that occurred over major labels trying to sign him. I thought that anyone that was willing to throw movie deals, millions of dollars and endorsements his way took him as someone who was much more intelligent than his lyrics suggested.

I was wrong.

Earlier this week, Lupe Fiasco made a comment in an interview stating that he was "scared of Chief Keef." Not scared as in 'this dude makes me check under my bed at night,' but scared as in looking at the influence artists like Chief Keef have over our youth. Our youth, who try to embody the lyrics that they hear on the radio, who try to justify the glorification of violence, drugs and loose women in these albums by taking it to the streets. When I listened to the interview, I understood exactly what Lupe was saying, and I knew he wasn't trying to come slick out of his mouth toward Chief Keef.

Chief Keef took to Twitter after that, saying that Lupe is a "hoe ass nigga" and threatening to smack Fiasco the next time he saw him. Chief, how could you BE SO STUPID?! Lupe attempted to reach out in understanding, but I think the ignorance had already set in. Set aside the fact that you literally broke the law by threatening this man in front of thousands, if not millions, of people online, think about your choice to respond with negativity instead of a positive resolution. Keef, if you were offended by what Lupe Fiasco said, that's fine; you have that right. However, to come at him in such an ignorant and blatantly negative manner only makes you look like the dummy.

So many youth look up to you, whether you believe it or not. Maybe you didn't enter the rap game to become a role model, which is fine. But you must stop and think about the power that you currently wield. You keep this up and you'll end up just like the rest: forgotten, a past trend, old news. I could be wrong, but I doubt it; that's that shit you won't like...

05 September 2012

Album Review: The Alchemist - Russian Roulette

Russian Roulette, the latest release from The Alchemist, is not your typical hip hop.  For this journey, Alchemist passed on rhyming (thankfully) and went into crate digging mode: finding rare records and dusty samples, creating funky loops, and sprinkling enough lyricists throughout Russian Roulette to create a unique experience. Off tops, this album is not going to be everybody’s thing. If you know about the works of: Kid Koala, Madlib, Exile, Oh No, or DJ Q-Bert, then you can begin to imagine what Alchemist laid down this time around.  If you have no clue and feel adventurous, then jump in.

This album is more of a whole creation rather than the average release with 15 individual tracks. Russian Roulette is 30 tracks deep but is only around 45 minutes long. While there are definitely tracks that stand out on Russian Roulette, this album was designed to be played from beginning to end. The way each track flows from one to the next, Russian Roulette plays like a random radio station in the middle of nowhere (or Russia, I’m guessing from the title). While there is a lot going on, you consistently keep hearing things to keep you interested. This is one of those albums where every once in a while you hear something that makes you press rewind because you can’t believe what you just heard (Check for the typewriter……you’ll see what I’m saying).

In honesty, the album does veer off into some ….different territory at points, but if you commit to the whole listen you get taken by surprise when a dope beat or a particular MC stands out.  If you still buy physical copies of CDs, the inside of the cover has artwork that correlates to each of the tracks, which is actually pretty cool. At points where you get lost in what Alchemist is laying down, along comes an MC that brings it back to keep you hooked until the album’s end.  With features from: Guilty Simpson, Evidence, Roc Marciano, Action Bronson, MiDaz, Danny Brown, FaShawn and Schoolboy Q and others, it is easy to see why there are tracks that roll through that might have the tendency to catch you off guard the first time you listen to this album.

The tracks that are music and loops should not be dismissed by any means. It is a careful construction. I know that sounds nerdy but I can’t say it any other way. Hearing this side of Alchemist makes me wonder what other creations he may have waiting.

This is definitely an album you put on while you are on a road trip or chilling at home. After a few plays  you will have favorite segments (right now mine are Flight Confirmation, Training Montage, and Oleg’s Fight) and segments you can do without sometimes. Overall, Russian Roulette balances instrumentals and lyrics for an auditory journey you won’t mind taking when you just need to get away for a little while.