Mark Wahlberg Reveals Some Interesting Information About Hip-Hop

The man has a point.

Speaking with BET ahead of the release of Transformers: The Last Knight, Mark Wahlberg revealed details that show he hasn’t forgotten his roots. The former Marky Mark of the Funky Bunch dove into his iPhone to show not just who had a permanent place on it, but who his favorite rappers of today and all time are.

Stating that “there are so many I love from my era” he listed out Kool G Rap, Rakim, Tupac, Nas, and Jay Z specific. He also mentioned that “Eminem is fantastic.” In specific while he liked to watch old YouTube video of Kool G, it was two albums in particular that had a permanent place on his phone.

Stating that only two whole rap albums stay on his phone he named them as “Jay Z and Kanye, Watch the Throne” and “Tupac’s greatest hits.”

When speaking about his favorite rappers he stated that it was a “really tough question” and that there were “so many that I love from my era.” He said that the list of who he loved simply “goes on and on.” He stated that he has a hard time as he has a “love for so many other rappers” but admitted to listening to music “like Adele because I’m not a great flyer.”

He also made jokes about featuring on a song, saying that, “I’m going to have to talk to DJ Khaled about that.” Previously, Wahlberg has been dropping cryptic hints about working with the mega-producer:

Do you listen to some of the greats that Mark Wahlberg listens to? Share this article, and let us know in the comments!

Russell Simmons Offers Up His Thoughts On Hip-Hop Today

One of the best ever speaks out.

Russell Simmons
via http://okp-cdn.okayplayer.com/

One of hip-hop’s greatest assets for almost four decades is undoubtedly Russell Simmons. From producing with Def Jam, to clothing with Phat Farm, to finance with RushCard, and even yoga with Tantris Simmons is the master of the hip-hop trade.

A native son of Queens, , the brother of Run-DMC’s Reverend Run recently sat down with Reuters to talk about how he went from the child of park and school administrators to hip-hop mogul.

“[My parents]” taught me to be frugal” Simmons related, “Money was never primary any of our choices for education in life.” He stated that this led to his parents pushing the brothers to pursue their passions, to “take the route that inspired us, rather than the one that produced the most money.”

This of course led to being a co-founder of Def Jam, Simmons did not realize that he was beginning a cultural movement, just that, “When I made a good record, the world moved slowly.” Def Jam taught him that, “[this] is what we want in life: to be more present.”

Expanding out from Def Jam, Simmons learned that “you have to have faith in your business.” That hard work, determination, and faith were the backbone to success, and above all, “this takes time…I’ve learned you can’t fail until you quit.”

Despite his success, Simmons finds himself turning towards the communities that have empowered him to his position. Saying of RushCard, the prepaid debit card company he co-founded 15 years ago, that he, “wanted to empower those families who had been cut out of the modern banking economy.” From this simple beginning, he has created an alternative for “working class, middle class, and affluent families.”

In addition he chairs the “Foundation of Ethnic Understanding, fighting anti-Semitism and Islamophobia” even though he himself is neither jewish or a muslim. Simmons said he is driven to do so, “because no one else is doing it.”

Simmons imparted two lasting takeaways from his life. The first that success is nothing but, “stable, lasting happiness.” That this happiness is, “a practice, and you get there by being more compassionate, more giving, and less anxious.” Secondly, that he wishes he passes on the lesson to not, “waste any of God’s resources.” Stating that “money is small” but the not being “wasteful is big.”

“Having a frugal attitude is what I’d like them to take away.”

Have you been impacted by Russell Simmons? Chances are you have! Share the article, and let us know in the comments!

5 Famous Hip-Hop Jewelry Suppliers

Apart from us, of course 😉

Jay Jacob
Thornton/CWPA/INFphoto.com

Hip hop and bling go together like ham and cheese. It’s impossible to think of one without the other. Cash is one thing, but to be able to wear your money puts you at a level far and above people that can only flash stacks. Money is temporary, bling is a lifestyle.

So where are the biggest hip-hop stars getting bling’d out?

One of the most well-known jewelers is Jacob Arabo, otherwise known as Jacob the Jeweler. While the average person may think that his wares are gaudy, Jay-Z, Nas, and Puff Daddy have worn his unique jewel-encrusted gold, as well as diamond chains, watches, and rings. While Jacob got sent upstate from Manhattan 2008 for money-laundering, he was released in 2010, and continues to cater to those looking for his exorbitant pieces.

Queens native Greg Yuna switched from being a mortgage broker to a jeweler. He picked up his first celebrity client in Floyd Mayweather, and coined his nickname — Mr. Flawless. He’s since gathered clients in Rick Ross, 50 Cent, and Raekwon. What sets Yuna apart, though, is how thoroughly urban his makes are. When you wear Yuna, you’re wearing a piece that has the soul of the boroughs.

Rafaello & Co, on the other hand, provide jewels for anybody that wants to assert how rich and famous they are. From 11 pound gold for Jay-Z, to Saudi royalty, to a $500,000 diamond ring for a DJ Khaled publicity stunt, the Gabriel Jacobs-helmed store exists to make waves in the best way possible.

Down South in , T.V. Johnny (aka Johnny Dang) made his mark in the 2010 Nelly hit “Grillz,” which featured a Johnny-made Grill on Paul Wall. Ever since, he’s been called upon by Lil Jon, David Banner, Rick Ross, and more to provide his signature jewelry. His fame has hit the point where he appears not just on reality shows, but in rap videos themselves.

Ben Baller knew the hip hop game before he became a jeweler. Starting as a DJ for Dr. Dre, and playing a hand in getting Jay-Z signed, Baller is based in . He lives up to his name, with luxury cars, a huge house, and a client list that would give a heart attack to most: Kanye, Drake, Nas, Frank Ocean, the Kardashians, and more. His company IF & Co has been profiled from the LA Times all the way to the Wall Street Journal.

Who would you like to produce your bling? Where are you shopping? Share this article, and let us know in the comments!

Kendrick Lamar Won Best Male Hip-Hop Artist At BET 2017

In case you missed it.

Kendrick Lamar, Future
via http://media.pitchfork.com/

Beating out multiple contenders Kendrick Lamar won the Best Male Hip-Hop Artist prize at the 2017 BET Awards. Kendrick beat out over heavyweights Big Sean, Chance the Rapper, Drake, Future, and J. Cole.

In his acceptance speech, K. Dot paid tribute to the late Prodigy who had passed away the week before. Lamar stated that Prodigy, “inspired my first mixtape at 16 years old.”

Earlier in the evening Kendrick had shocked the crowd with a appearance during Future’s performance of “Mask Off.” Both rappers, both nominated for the Best Male Hip-Hop Artist award, combined to perform the remix of the hit song.

The TDE signed artist is continuing to have a monster year. He has inspired a film based off of a single verse in his song “Lust” and is scheduled to perform at Rihanna’s 2017 Diamond Ball. Hosted by Dave Chappelle the fundraiser is designed to support Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation. Lamar’s album DAMN. is a platinum selling masterpiece.

Watch K. Dot’s acceptance speech below:

What do you think of Kendrick’s win? Share this story and let us know in the comments below!

Hip-Hop Themed Restaurant Open In Jersey

The menu looks dope!

Burgers
via https://www.yelp.com

A new restaurant and lounge just opened in — it takes its name from Beat Street, the 1984 movie about graffiti, hip-hop, the Bronx, and breakdancing. The restaurant has a hip-hop theme.

The restaurant’s aim is capturing the feel and energy of the early days of hip-hop. KC Macias, who is teaming up with Transmission owner Howard Brunner and head chef Darryl Harmon, confirmed as much. The renowned chef calls his menu “elevated street food.”

Beat Street sits in a narrow space previously occupied by a bar and lounge attached to a nightclub, and has a dining room, murals, a lounge area, cassette-tape tables, and a grand piano. The bar sits 15, and outdoor seating wraps around the building. You can find it all on the corner of Provost and Bay street.

Brunner told .com he’d been thinking about adding a dining establishment to Transmission, but was hesitant and selective because of the narrow, unusual nature of the space. He found a solution in Harmon, who has worked in Philly, Atlantic City, and as a top chef.

The menu is pretty wild. You can find 80’s relics like Pop Rocks on the menu, but the entrees are where it’s at. You can order sous vide lobster mac and cheese, which comes with Cheez-Its. You can also order sliders that come sandwiched between tostones, and come adorned with a sofrito sauce.

Sliders and other “little bites” are popular, but a massive 42-ounce tomahawk steak, sliced tableside and served with garlic flan, is available for a cool $60.

Best of all, Macias is featuring live music every night, and isn’t charging any cover. The DJ booth has barstools surrounding it, so interested patrons can have a look at the masters at work.

Hours, for now, are Tuesday-Saturday from 5:00-11:00. The owners intend to open a little earlier to include brunch after getting the hang of things.

Think you’ll try this restaurant? Let us know!

Sad News For Hip-Hop As Legend Prodigy Passes Away

Sad news today.

Prodigy, Mobb Deep
via https://roneb92.files.wordpress.com

Sad news today. Queens rapper and hip-hop legend, Prodigy (of Mobb Deep fame), passed away today at the age of 42.

Prodigy was born Albert Johnson in Hempstead, Long Island. His career is the stuff of legend, and he’s made countless contributions to the game. He’s perhaps best known for forming Mobb Deep with Havoc, fellow rapper/producer, in 1992. They came straight out of the infamous Queensbridge Projects.

Their hardcore, gritty, genre-defining lyrical content and love for the art revolutionized the industry. If Pac, Snoop, and Dre were the voices of the West coast, Prodigy was one of the voices of the East coast. With Havoc, he helped invent the now infamous sound.

Prodigy’s publicist released the following statement to XXL:

“It is with extreme sadness and disbelief that we confirm the death of our dear friend Albert Johnson, better known to millions of fans as Prodigy of legendary rap duo Mobb Deep. Prodigy was hospitalized a few days ago in Vegas after a Mobb Deep performance for complications caused by a sickle cell anemia crisis. As most of his fans know, Prodigy battled the disease since birth. The exact causes of death have yet to be determined. We would like to thank everyone for respecting the family’s privacy at this time.”

We don’t know how long it’ll take to learn more about Prodigy’s death. For now, though, Twitter’s not been short on reactions and tributes to the fallen legend. Nas, Conway, and Joe Budden were some of the first to pay homage. You won’t have to look far today on Twitter to find big-hearted condolences to the rapper, his family, and his fans. It’s a sad day for hip-hop.

What do you think about Prodigy’s passing? Let us know.

Forbes’ List Of Highest-Paid Celebrities Gets Another Hip-Hop Artist

Chance The Rapper
via http://www.billboard.com

Jay Z, Dr. Dre, Puffy — nobody’s really surprised to see them top any popular lists these days. They’ve had it all, and have been recognized — no, worshipped — more than nearly anybody in the game. Drake’s been finding his way onto all the relevant hip-hop lists lately, too.

All four artists, once again, found themselves on Forbes’ “The World’s Highest-Paid Celebrities” list (for 2017). As we said, no surprise there!

However, this year’s list contains a newcomer, and he got there thanks to his illustrious rap career.

According to Forbes, Chance The Rapper brought in $33 million last year alone. Not a bad year.

Chance’s spot was #95, putting him more than at arm’s length away from Jay and Dre. Still, it’s nice to see another hip-hop mogul on the top of their game creeping their way onto one of the most respected lists in the whole industry.

It’s also worth noting that Chance is one of the youngest celebrities on the entire list. Only Kylie Jenner, Justin Bieber, and Jordan Spieth have less birthdays to their names.

As impressive as that is, it’s even more impressive that the native’s career isn’t as “robust” as many of the other A-listers’ — he has yet to sell any physical copies of his projects. By anyone’s standards, he’s killing the game, and finding new ways to do it.

“I think the free part of it is more of an attention grabbing thing and something that people can use as a marker to track what I’m doing,” he told interviewers in 2016. “Since I was 15 16 passing out mixtapes outside of my high school, I always gave them away for free.”

With endorsement deals from companies like Kit Kat and Apple, we’re likely to see Chance on the list, and hopefully higher on that list, next year.

He deserves it, after all. This winter, he gave $1 million to Chicago Public Schools.

How do you feel about Chance The Rapper? Let us know!

40 Years Of Hip-Hop In One Mashup

Hood Internet
via i.ytimg.com

Wow — just, wow. From the same duo who brought us The Hood Internet comes a mashup of 40 years of hip-hop music.

The group, who are known for their skill and talent with mashups, wanted to do something special that covered over 40 years of hip-hop music.

The mixup is titled (plainly) “40 Years of Hip-Hop,” and blends over 150 tracks, spanning over four decades. All told, the mix is just shy of the four-minute mark. True rap enthusiasts, and especially any old heads who’ve been around for awhile, will find this to be entertaining.

Take a look at the video below:

With the mix, you get a short, yet powerful history lesson.

According to The Hood Internet (during an interview with HipHopDX), the project took over a year to put together.

“Building on that approach of blending small bits of songs together to make a cohesive whole. Here we tried to take it to its logical extreme by making those bits of songs even smaller— rappers don’t even finish their own rhymes before it jumps to someone else,” they said. “The challenge was still getting the vocals to fit together in a way that sounded natural. From there it just evolved into trying to capture all eras of hip-hop in the context of one song-length song.”

How many tracks did you recognize? Let us know!

Hip-Hop Hall Of Fame Headed For Harlem

125th Street
via 6sqft.com

Cleveland, has the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. , , has the Country Music Hall Of Fame. Now, finally, will be getting a Hip-Hop Hall Of Fame.

Fact Magazine reported that the nonprofit group working on the project has already secured the necessary approval and funding to break ground on a new facility.

Apparently, the multi-story structure will be going up in Harlem. Not a bad spot to honor hip-hop and its many legends.

The group is looking to raise $150 million. Their hope is to construct a facility with an in-house cafe, gallery, gift shop, visitor center, and coolest of all — a hip-hop museum.

Should they hit their goal, we can expect to see the Hip-Hop Hall Of Fame open sometime early next year, perhaps as early as February. Should business go well, the group plans to expand the facility into a 20-story complex, which would have more museum space, a full sports bar, a five-star hotel for guests, and a concert area.

In the spirit of hip-hop’s ability to provide inspiration and opportunities to millions of people worldwide, the group is pledging to set up educational programs designed to help thousands of New York’s students visit the museum every year.

Our eyes are on this story. Rumor has it that the new venue will be located just a stone’s throw away from the Apollo Theater.

What do you think of the new Hip-Hop Hall Of Fame? Let us know!

You’ll Never Guess Who Loved Mary J. Blige Before They Died

Mary J Blige
via test-nodep.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/

Every now and again, we hear something about the music industry that sounds too weird to be true.

According to a new book written by a former soldier named Will Bardenwerper titled “The Prisoner in His Palace: Saddam Hussein, His American Guards, and What History Leaves Unsaid,” Saddam Hussein was just as big a fan of hip-hop as you I.

After being captured by U.S. troops for crimes against humanity, Hussein was guarded by American guards. These guards developed a rapport with Hussein, allowing him to watch television and listen to music as a reward for good behavior.

The book alleges that Hussein enjoyed American television shows like Sesame Street, and older movies like Dracula. It also alleges that Hussein became quite the rap fan — enjoying Mary J. Blige in particular.

It’s not easy to imagine Saddam Hussein, an internationally-hated dictator guilty of unspeakable crimes, listening to Mary J. Blige.

But that’s what “The Prince in His Palace,” which drops this month, alleges.

What do you think of this claim? Share the story and let us know!