Live in the cipher will be reviewing Lil Wayne’s latest release I Am Not A Human Being II. Join the cipher team as we rate and review this hip hop heavy weight. Known for his witty word play and ability to produce hit songs, can Lil Wayne keep up the success he has been known to deliver?
Artist Review: Lil Wayne
Lil Wayne, is an American rapper. At age of nine, Lil Wayne joined Cash Money Records as the youngest member of the label, and half of the duo, The B.G.'z, with B.G.
In 1997, Lil Wayne joined the group Hot Boys, which also included rappers Juvenile, B.G., and Turk. Hot Boys would release three albums, “Get It How U Live!” in 1997, “Guerrilla Warfare” in 1999, and “Let 'Em Burn” in 2003. In 1998, Lil Wayne appeared on the hit single “Back That Azz Up” by fellow Hot Boys rapper Juvenile, which reached #18 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart and #5 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles chart.
Lil Wayne's debut solo album, 1999’s “Tha Block Is Hot” at age 17 featured significant contributions from the Hot Boys and was certified double platinum, debuting at #3 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart. It also went to #1 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. The lead single was “Tha Block Is Hot” which peaked at #24 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
His 2000 follow-up album “Lights Out” failed to attain the level of success achieved by his debut but was certified gold by RIAA. The lead single was “Get Off The Corner” which was followed by the second single, “Shine” featuring Hot Boys.
Lil Wayne's third album “500 Degreez,” released in 2002, followed the format of his previous two, with significant contributions from the Hot Boys and Mannie Fresh. While certified Gold like its predecessor, it too failed to match the success of his debut.
Beginning in 2003, Lil Wayne began recording a series of mixtapes titled “Da Drought” that led up to his 2004 album “Tha Carter.” “Go D.J.,” the lead single from “Tha Carter,” reached #14 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album went on to peak at #5 on the Billboard 200 and #2 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, eventually the album was certified gold by the RIAA. Lil Wayne also made a guest performance on another Top 10 single, 2004’s “Soldier” by Destiny's Child.
Originally founded in 1990 by two Connecticut teens; Reflex and Open Mic (known then as Jedi). Calling themselves “The Nobility,” they were heavily influenced by the progressive hip-hop of the time, including Public Enemy and the Native Tongues Posse. The duo recorded countless demos in Reflex’s garage with the song lyrics focusing on science fiction and conspiracy theories.
In an attempt to be heard they hooked up with University of Connecticut radio DJ Cool C to showcase their songs over the local college airwaves. The buzz being created by the airtime resulted in numerous battles with local MCs which also increased the recognition of the increasingly-popular teens. It was also during this time that Open Mic renamed the group “The Demigodz,” taking inspiration from one of his own verses.
During their high school years the group expanded with the additions of New London County lyricists; Feedback & De Ja Vu who were involved in the recording of the Demigodz: Coming Like A Storm To Your City demo. One day when the tape was playing on UConn’s 97.1 radio station it caught the ears of a young aspiring rapper named Apathy.
During the early nineties the Demigodz were taking countless trips to New York City, and were slowly but surely breaking into the industry. Shopping their demo around town and spitting in ciphers on Harlem’s 125th St., they began to get connections including Force Five (famous for their roles in the “House Party” movies) who taught them the ropes of the production scene by allowing them to sit in on their recording sessions.
In late 1994 the group split in half due to musical differences. Reflex and Feedback left the group and formed Skin N Bones (also known as French Connection), while Open Mic and De Ja Vu scouted for new talent to fill the void left by the former members. Through a friend of former Demigodz MC Feedback, Open Mic was introduced to Apathy (at the time known as Apathy The Alien Tongue), who he immediately brought in as a member. With his superior lyrical abilities Apathy soon became the group’s most prominent member and formed a strong friendship with Open Mic. Not long after Apathy joined up De Ja Vu dropped out.
During the summer of 1995 the duo joined the New England chapter of the Zulu Nation but soon left and became affiliated with the New York based Alien Nation instead. Using their connections in the Alien Nation the group added MCs Eternia and Naptron the Meta Predator to the Demigodz roster. With new production equipment purchased by Open Mic the group put out a new demo which circulated around the underground and created a buzz on the independent hip-hop scene.
Let's go its hip hop Wednesdays on bks1radio.com get ready for the Live In The Cipher Show from 9 pm to 11:30 pm et. Join us right now as we rate and review along with you the listener new artist Basic his new release XXV. Special guests will be artist Hemi and also Rich Boy. We got hip hop news, gossip, trivia and more. Chat live or if you got skills call in and give us a hot 16 bars 646-233-1302
Special Guest: Rich Boy
Rich Boy, is an American rapper from Mobile, Alabama. He is best known for the hit single "Throw Some D's". His self-titled debut album was released in early 2007. Richards dropped out of his studies of mechanical engineering at Tuskegee University in order to concentrate on trying to rap. Rich Boy signed a contract with Zone 4 through Interscope Records and started to work on his debut album.
In the meantime, he appeared one of Ludacris' Disturbing tha Peace compilations and on a few mix tapes, such as Comeback Season by Canadian rapper Drake and Da Bottom, Vol. 5 by DJ Ideal and Jermaine Dupri.
On March 13, 2007, Rich Boy released his self-titled debut album, with the singles "Throw Some D's," "Boy Looka Here," "Good Things", and "Let's Get This Paper". "Throw Some D's" reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100, #3 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, and #2 on the Hot Rap Tracks chart. "Boy Looka Here" and "Good Things" both peaked around #50 on the R&B chart.
He recently released a single "Top of the World", part of the More Than a Game soundtrack album. Rich Boy's second album Resurrected in Diamonds is slated for a 2013 release. The intended first single released off the album was "Drop" which had been released in the beginning of early 2009. Another track "She Luvs Me (She Luvs Mi Knot)" featuring Polow da Don was released on June 21, 2010. Both Dr. Dre and Polow da Don are confirmed producers for the album. Rich Boy has also worked with R&B singer Lloyd and Young Money artist Drake, on a track called "To the Floor".
Strong words guided by an even stronger conviction. “Rap is too easy. Everyone thinks they can rap because they made music in a studio,” complains Bronx heavyweight Hemi.” “You don’t play videogames and say you are a basketball player? Too many people apply that mentality to music. It is a craft. Not a hobby for me.”
The South Bronx native feels strongly about the right way to approach his life’s passion. Born David Harris, the Morrisana resident grew up in the epicenter of pop culture’s breakthrough genre. An early affinity for music guided him to the St. Augustine School of the Arts where he learned how to play a multitude of instruments, read sheet music and perform. His formal training shaped his respect for the process of making music. Hours rehearsing are ingrained in his work ethic and the catalyst behind his push to make it the music business. While building a love for the creative arts he also tested his talents as a city ball player.
One of the timeless avenues where early dedication can lead to lifelong rewards and recognition. “I was a knucklehead in growing up so I didn’t realize the opportunities i had in front of me.” Too much trouble and not enough focus lead him to bounce around to different high schools growing up. Even though his talent shuttled him alongside some of New York’s top basketball players, his independent attitude derailed him as well. “Not having focus causes you to learn things the hard way. I got kicked out of All Hallows and Rice High Schools growing up because I wasn’t focused on school. My independent attitude didn’t sit well in that catholic school environment i guess.”
It wasn’t until a failed attempt at Junior College in Midland Odessa, Texas did Hemi give up on his hoop dreams. But it wasn’t bitter sweet. Being on his own in Texas gave him an opportunity to experience real life decision making and open his ears to new music. “I hated screw music at first, but now i appreciate getting different tastes of music. You have to open your playlist sometimes.” His stint in a different environment put him in a different state of mind, helping his music take center stage in his life.
Once back in New York he linked up with childhood friend, Roger “Mista Raja” Greene. A&R extraordinaire, Roger has worked with Lil Kim, P.Diddy, Roscoe Dash, Maino and BG. Recipient of a BMI songwriter of the year award, he has a primal instinct when it comes to making a hit record. Since linking together the two have been working on producing new music and developing Hemi’s sound. “Every time I stepped foot back into the Bronx I would run into little Dave until one day he wasn’t little any more and said he wanted to do music,” Roger explains. “He was so determined to do music the name Hemi naturally fit him, because of his drive.”
That little push has turned into a huge advantage once Hemi created a buzz with his soon to be released mixtpae, “I Am Hemi Hosted By Hot97′s DJ Big Ben.” Fueled by the street friendly single, “Blow It”, the Bronx newcomer now has his eyes set on staying focused and crafting his next hit.
Live in the cipher show rates and reviews Planet Asia & Gensu Dean new release Abrasions. Join our interactive review process where your opinion counts. Hip hop news, rumors, gossip and more! MC's call 646-233-1302 spit your hot 16. Chat live or call in with your thoughts on hip hop. Join the bks1 radio movement.