Tonight the Live In the Cipher Team pays tribute to Big L. 13 years ago today the hip hop world lost a legendary MC who was taken from us way to early. Big L known for his word play and delivery was tragically gunned down on February 15, 1999, shot 9 times in the face and chest.
Big L gave us countless underground hits and commercial hits. From Put it on, M.V.P, Da Graveyard to Ebonics. L was well known around the game and ready to take it to another level. Unfortunately for his fans and fans of hip hop he was taken from us before we were able to witness his full potential.
So tonight you will hear some of his well known songs along with some freestyles that L released during his time. Join us in paying tribute to one of the best to do it while he was around.
The Team along with you will review Up and Coming MC Kaydensz tonight on the Live In The Cipher Show. Here is what Kaydensz has to say about himself. Taken from Kaydensz site:
What is music? To some, it is simply just a way to gain fame and fortune. To others, it is an entertainment outlet that you can utilize with the simple press of a button. To Kaydensz, however, music is much more. Born Chance McIntosh in Newark (Da Bricks) and raised in East Orange (Illtown), he was brought into a world full of confusion and anguish. Growing up, Chance was a very good student, consistently receiving high grades throughout his youth. Although his mother worked very hard to provide a good life for him, his environment as well as the relationship with his father, caused him to be quick-tempered and confrontational.
His love for music started to surface when he was 11, when he began turning his unfocused energy into poetry. When he was 14 however, his uphill progress suddenly took a turn for the worse when his father suddenly passed away after years of alcohol and drug addiction. That equipped with the pressures of dealing with a new environment (he attended boarding school), caused Chance to fall into a deep depression and also caused his intrinsic personality. Feeling like no one understood him, he began writing poetry again to release his pain. Influenced by the likes of Jay-Z, Eminem, Nas, as well as his oldest brother Ali Armz, Chance started writing raps when he was 15, initially as a means of fun for him and his friends. Chance kept writing, and his skills drastically improved, but it wasn’t until tragedy struck again that Chance fully connected with his music and everything became real. His uncle, who stepped in as a father figure after Chance’s father had died, passed away after a severe battle with cancer.
This devastated Chance, and not only caused him to fall into an even deeper depression but also plunged him to an alcohol and prescription pill binge. Some good did come from this, however, because during this time Chance began writing very introspective and intrinsic lyrics. By writing about his individual pains and personal pressures, he was able to realize that his story was not unique, and that it was his responsibility to tell not only his but the stories of others as well to the world, whether it be good or bad. After cleaning himself up, Chance set his goal on being the best and began writing even more profusely in order to master his craft. Soon after, Kaydensz Tha Savage was born. Kaydensz brings honesty, reality, diversity and respect to the game, with his style emphasizing wit, flow, cleverness, poetic structure, and wordplay. Producer/DJ Ja-Hi noticed his grind and talent and the two began making music together. With his help, Kaydensz will be releasing his first piece of work entitled The Twisted Soul EP, which released March 1st 2011!!!!!!!
So you ask, what is music to Kaydensz? It is a way to show the world the painting him and his peers call reality. Music is life.
Tonight on the Live In The Cipher show we welcome back Nina Foxx, former co host of the Cipher show, she is delivering us her latest hip hop release Who Is Nina Foxx? If her past work is any indication this will be another banger for your ears. Also tonight we have the legendary Vita, formerly of Murder Inc, she is making her way back into the hip hop world after taking time to act in feature movies, Belly, and handle the business side of the industry. Tune in and hear what this legendary female rapper has to say about the industry and how things have changed since she was part of the rise of Murder Inc.. We also have Danteze our unsigned shine artist for the night. Its going to be a jam packed show full of the real hip hop the world has been waiting for so join us!
Artist Review: Nina Foxx
Some refer to Jersey City, NJ as "Wall Street West" because of its industrial areas. To Nina Foxx its simply home. Born Felicia Pryer, Nina Foxx grew up on the harder side of JC. Being an only child can be pleasurable for some, but for a young Felicia it had its flaws, the biggest being not having anyone to share life's ups and downs. For therapy, she started to amass her thoughts and daily life activities in a journal. This played a major role in what would later make her the H.B.I.C.
At the young age of 11 years old, Felicia relocated to Florida forcing her to start over leaving Jersey City a distant memory...for now. Unaware that she was about to uncover one of the biggest pieces to her life’s puzzle, Nina adapted to her surroundings swiftly. At 13 years of age, not only did she learn to play various instruments but also how to read music, another crucial piece to her puzzle. This would teach her how to transform her daily entries in her journal into a melodic flow.
For Nina Foxx, High school was where she could showcase her talent. Instead of eating food at lunch time, Nina would get full off of the energy of her classmates who would double as her audience. It was in the cafeteria that she and a few friends would spit bars back and forth, entertaining the crowd until the bell sounded off. Her love for music also influenced her to join the varsity marching band for the Dillard High School Panthers as well. As thing were going good, December 1997 would find Nina and her family back in Jersey City. This would open her eyes to a whole new world. The daily entries in her journal would become more candid and vivid. By age 15 the streets would become Nina’s new BFF, labeling her not only a bona fide hustler but also a Gangstress.
Now in her twenties Nina Foxx has accumulated knowledge from both the streets and the industry. She has taken what she’s learned from both to overcome many obstacles. Graduating at the top of her class for Audio Engineering and Production, she not only has the biggest buzz from a female artist in Jersey City which is rapidly spreading across the tri-state, but she continues to make herself relevant through not only her own music but through the music of those she mentors.
Nina Foxx released her long awaited mix tape, NewBreed Of Female: 16 Bars and Hooks!, which is now available on itunes.com and datpiff.com. She has been featured in the 13th issue of Grindahz Magazine www.Grindahz.com and is featured as the only female rap artist on Big 7, one of Jersey’s Elite exec’s, mixtape titled Time2Grind hosted by DJ Kay Slay, which was released in March 2011. Tune in every Wednesday, on BKS1radio.com where Nina Foxx was a co-host of the Hip Hop segment, Live in the Cipher, reviewing the latest hip hop releases as well as covering hip-hop news and related topics. She has since moved on to promote her solo career but still remains part of the bks1 family. For bookings, features, media, music links and audio engineering contact
. Follow on twitter @DAREALHBIC201.
Special Guest: Vita
Vita introduced to the hip hop world as the first lady of Murda Inc Record Label. As she grew as an artist Vita moved on from Murda Inc, and got into acting and refocusing her career. Vita is back with her own thing now VitaBaby Inc. Check out her site www.vitababyinc.com, follow her on twitter @officialvita.
Here is a video of one of Vita hit songs Vita, Vita, Vita.
Unsigned Shine Artist: Danteze
At the vibrant age of 18, the New Jersey artist known as Donteze is turning his dreams to reality. Plainfield born, Piscataway raised, Donteze is currently New Jersey's newest big deal. With influence from his older brother who's a hip hop enthusiast, and popular rap artists like Ghostface Killah, Method Man, Gangstarr, and The Loxx Donteze was quickly exposed to the richness of hip hop music and culture.
By elementary school, he had written and executed his first poem. Poetry soon became a major part of his life and by the end of his high school career,his mixtape "50 Cent Sodas" was released. His fan base instantly expanded throughout his hometown, as he was frequently able to perform.
As a freshman student at Kean University, Union NJ Donteze is climbing new heights. Recently releasing a new mixtape entitled "The Opposite", he is expanding his network, and creating new ways to capitalize on his passion for making good music. Most recently, the single from the mixtape "Goodnight" was featured on 90.3FM and UndeniableTV. Also, Donteze performs locally at popular venues such as The Brownstone in Newark,NJ.
A brand new mixtape, "Martin Little" is underway and will soon be released, which includes a concepts of the late MLK and Malcolm X. Critics compare his style and lyricism to rappers such as Wale, Kanye West, Drake, and Big Sean, however Donteze never fails to keep it fresh and original.
Tonight the Live In The Cipher team pays tribute to the Legendary Adam "MCA" Yauch of the hip hop super group Beastie Boys. Signed to Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin's Def Jam Recordings, the Beastie Boys took the hip hop world and music industry by storm with their first release License to ILL. Selling upwards of 40 million copies worldwide License To ILL showed the world what the Beastie Boys had to offer.
The trio delivered to the hip hop world hit after hit for many years to come. Adam "MCA" Yauch was so much more than just a hip hop artist though. He was a philanthropist, activist and supporter for human rights, role model. An iconic figure who transcended cultural lines to bring people together for positive causes. Tonight we pay tribute to the musician, the man and his music. Rest In Peace Adam "MCA" Yauch the world will miss his contributions in more ways than one.
Artist Review: Reks
Corey Isiah Christie (born August 24, 1977), better known as Reks, is an American rapper. Reks emerged from Lawrence, Massachusetts, where he took the underground rap scene by storm with the release of his debut album, entitled Along Came The Chosen, in 2001 released under Brick Records. Since then, Reks has released four additional albums and has appeared on numerous other albums and mixtapes. He is closely associated with Statik Selektah who has produced on everyone of his album, and entirely produced his 2012 album, Straight, No Chaser.
Inspectah Deck, is an American rapper, producer, and member of the Wu-Tang Clan. Although he has not gained the same level of mainstream success in his solo career as some of his Wu-Tang counterparts like Method Man, he has acquired critical praise for his intricate lyricism, and for his verses on many of the group's most revered songs. He has grown to become a producer in his own right, taking up tracks for fellow clansmen and his own projects.
Inspectah Deck's debut album Uncontrolled Substance was initially set for a late 1997 release, however, this experienced several delays due to a flood in producer RZA's basement studio, which destroyed over one hundred beats, including those made for the album. Wu-Tang affiliate Cilvaringz stated in a 2010 interview "Recently Deck pulled out some disks from the flood and they worked again and he used one for his upcoming album on Koch.
In September 1999, Uncontrolled Substance was released, and featured more of Deck's own production, and appearances from several lesser known affiliates. The album received generally favorable reviews from music critics, but failed to garner the reception attained by earlier Wu-Tang solo projects. Shortly after this release, Deck returned to the Wu-Tang fold for the group albums The W (2000), and Iron Flag (2001).
In 2003, Inspectah Deck released his second studio album, The Movement (for which he would later state did not live up to his expectations) and in 2006, he released The Resident Patient, intended as a precursor to The Movement. In 2007, the rapper reconvened with the Wu-Tang Clan to record the group album 8 Diagrams. Along with Raekwon, and Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck partook in the controversy, sparked when several group members disparaged RZA's tight artistic control of the album, championing Ghost's album The Big Doe Rehab.
Around this time the rapper announced two projects: a collaborative album called Czarface with Boston's 7L & Esoteric featuring the legendary DJ Premier and his up-coming solo album The Rebellion, confirming production from RZA and the Wu-Elements; it is now set to come after The Resident Patient II, and will reportedly be his final album as a solo artist
Chances are, if you are anywhere near the Detroit music scene, you have heard of the influential hip hop trio that makes up Slum Village. The group was founded in the early 90′s by 3 childhood friends: Baatin, T3, rapper and producer J Dilla, who all grew up together in the Conant Gardens neighborhood of Detroit, MI.
After leaving Pershing High School, the trio began to forge a path into the Detroit underground hip hop scene and quickly found themselves steadily gaining popularity, where they originally went by the name Ssenepod.
With a growing momentum now cemented in the underground, the group took on a forward trajectory toward bigger and better things, and in 1991 changed their name to Slum Village. J Dilla joined the production team known as The Ummah, which produced the two last A Tribe Called Quest studio albums, as well as hits for a number of R&B and hip hop musicians, and in 1996, they recorded their first album Vol. 1″ , recorded in Dillas basement and RJ Rice Studios, it was critically acclaimed in the Detroit underground scene. It later found its way into the hands of A Tribe Called Quest’s own Q-Tip, who played it for some of hip hop’s elite, such as Busta Rhymes, Questlove, and D’angelo. This fruitful alliance led to an opening gig for A Tribe Called Quest on their Farewell tour in 1998.
Slum Village landed their first record deal in 1998 with Barak/AM records. Due to label politics, the group was forced to release their album “Best Kept Secret” under the alias J-88,. Their now classic record, “Fantastic, Vol. 2″ was also in production, but was not officially released until 2000 through Barak/GoodVibe Records. “Fantastic Vol. 2″ was dubbed an immediate classic from fans and industry tastemakers. This album featured an A list line up including Busta Rhymes, Common, D’angelo, Jazzy Jeff, Pete Rock, Kurupt, and Q-Tip who passed the torch to Slum Village on the record “Hold Tight”. On the heels of this record release followed a tour with The Roots on the Okay Players tour/D’angelo Voodoo tour.
Maybach Music Group (MMG) is a record label imprint founded by American rapper Rick Ross. Maybach Music Group albums were formerly distributed by Warner Bros. Records, which took over distribution following the expiration of a deal with Def Jam Recordings.
As of December 11, 2012 the labels releases are now distributed by Atlantic Records. Six solo and two compilation albums have been released by Maybach Music Group, including three certified Gold albums. The label is home to artists such as Ross himself, Wale, Meek Mill, French Montana, Omarion and Gunplay among others.
Maybach Music Group released its first album in the summer of 2009, which was Rick Ross' third studio album Deeper Than Rap. After the release, Ross focused more on signing artists to his label, in the process discovering musicians such as Masspike Miles & hip hop group Triple C's who consists of members Gunplay, Torch, & Young Breed. On October 27, 2009 Ross released Triple C's debut studio album Custom Cars & Cycles through Def Jam.
In 2010, MMG issued Teflon Don, with another album titled Color, Cut & Clarity by Triple C's also scheduled for distribution, but was delayed and has yet to be released. That same year, Ross made an offer to rapper Wiz Khalifa to sign to Maybach Music Group. Khalifa at the time was already signed with Atlantic Records.
In 2011, Ross confirmed that he intended to launch Maybach Music Jamaica along with Maybach Music Latino.He also signed Maybach Music Group's first reggae artist, Magazeen. On March 25, 2011, it was announced that R&B & Soul singer Teedra Moses had signed to Maybach Music Group via Warner Bros. Records as its first female artist.Her second studio album entitled The Lioness is scheduled to be released there sometime in 2013.
Meek Mill, is an American hip hop recording artist from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was briefly signed to Atlanta rapper T.I.'s label Grand Hustle Records and in February 2011 signed to Miami-based rapper Rick Ross' Maybach Music Group. He released his debut album Dreams and Nightmares in 2012 and it debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200. Career beginnings with The Bloodhoundz
Meek Mill, along with three of his friends formed a rap group called "The Bloodhoundz". The group lasted long enough to release four mixtapes.
2008-2010: Mixtapes and Grand Hustle
In 2008, Meek Mill released his fourth mixtape, Flamers 2: Hottest in tha City, which spawned promotional singles, "I'm So Fly," "Prolli," and "Hottest in the City." Upon release of Flamerz 2, it caught the attention of Charlie Mack, founder and President of 215Aphillyated Records. Mack was so immediately impressed with Mill, that he signed him to his management company. During that same year, Meek Mill also met the founder and owner of Grand Hustle Records, T.I.
The Atlanta-based rapper was also so impressed by Mill's lyrical ability that he offered him an opportunity to travel to Los Angeles, to meet with him along with Warner Bros. Records; within one week both record companies offered him a deal. Although he was offered other record deals, Mill felt collaborating with T.I. was an opportunity of a lifetime and chose his label. Just when things were starting to look up for Mill, a record deal and the chance to work with T.I., a setback occurred. He was arrested, charged with a crime and order to serve seven months in jail. Mill was then released during the early portion of 2009. Due to label boss T.I.'s and Mill's respective legal troubles, Mill was never able to release an album under Grand Hustle and they parted ways in 2010.
Black Milk, is a hip hop producer and MC from Detroit, Michigan. In 2004, he formed B.R. Gunna, with Young RJ, and Fat Ray, and together they released Dirty District: Vol. 2, a follow up to a compilation released in 2001 by Slum Village, which he had contributed production to.
Black Milk released a solo album, Sound of the City, Vol. 1, the following year and in 2006 he signed a record contract with Fat Beats Records (Fat Beats is currently distributed by Koch Entertainment, the largest independent distributor in the U.S.). In the fall of 2006, he released an EP, entitled Broken Wax. March 13, 2007 he released a second album, Popular Demand.
In addition to Slum Village, Black Milk has worked with J Dilla Elzhi, Phat Kat, Frank-N-Dank, Lloyd Banks, Canibus and Pharoah Monch, and handled most of the production on T3's Olio mixtape of 2006.
Black Milk released an album with Fat Ray entitled The Set Up on March 4, 2008 and his third official solo release "Tronic" on October 28, 2008. He also handled the majority of production on Elzhi's album The Preface, released August 12.
Elzhi's "The Leftovers Unmixedtape" was released on December 11, 2009. Black Milk produced four of the tracks on it.
On December 25, 2009, he leaked the first single from his upcoming album Album of the Year. The song is called "Keep Going". He also released two more singles named "Welcome (Gotta Go)" and "Deadly Medley" featuring Royce da 5'9" and Elzhi.
On August 22, 2010, he released the music video for "Deadly Medley". The video features Black Milk, Royce da 5'9" and Elzhi.
Album of the Year was released on September 14, 2010 through Fat Beats and Decon. Black Milk has announced he has already started work on his 5th studio album which he aims to finish and release some time in Summer 2012.
In March 2011, Black Milk released a 7" single entitled "Brain". The single was the result of a collaboration between, Black Milk and his band (AB, Daru Jones and Malik Hunter) and Jack White of the White Stripes. A B Side, entitled Royal Mega, was also released. He plans on releasing his new album in October called "No Poison No Paradise" with guests such as Black Thought, Dwele, Robert Glasper & Quelle Chris.
Jersey City rapper Randy Nichols, better known as Ransom, was originally born in Brooklyn, NY in September 1980. His father's slaying and mother's serious illness forced Nichols to stay in foster care a few years, but he and his mother eventually relocated to Jersey City when he was about eight years old. A lifestyle of selling drugs, which landed him in and out of jail as a teen, ensued; however, the young rapper wanted out. In 2000, he and his friends put up money to buy a recording studio, which initiated Nichols' rap career under the moniker Ransom. Not long afterwards, he teamed up with fellow rapper Hitchcock to form the A-Team.
Known for their Hardhood Classics street albums, the two became staples on the mixtape circuit in New Jersey, but barely dented the scene in neighboring New York. After a deal with Def Jam didn't pan out, the two went their separate ways around 2006. Ransom did not lose much momentum, constantly appearing on DJ Clue mixtapes as well as shelling out his own, including the Best in the Cityvolumes and Ransom Note. In 2007, Ransom received some press over traded lyrical barbs with Joe Budden, also a Jersey City native, who included a verse from Ransom and Hitchcock on his Mood Muzik 3 mix album, claiming a reunion by the defunct A-Team. Later that year, Ransom geared up to release his Street Cinema mixtape, distributed via N.Y. indie Babygrande.
Statik Selektah, is an East Coast-based DJ, producer and CEO of Showoff Records (www.showoffhiphop.com). Statik Selektah was introduced to music at a young age, experimenting with his parents eight-track machine, cassette recorders, and turntable. By middle school, he was already DJing school functions, but he was inspired to be a true wheels-of-steel artiste after hearing DJ Premier & Funkmaster Flex scratch and mix records on Hot 97fm in New York City.
Statik began doing radio at Phillips Exeter Academy’s WPEA, where he also occasionally DJ’ ed some of the Afro-Latino Society Parties. Naming himself DJ Statik, (the "Selektah" came later after hearing a local reggae artist say it unconsciously) he began to start to DJ at clubs and private parties up and down the New England Coast.
In 2000, Selektah moved back to Massachusetts from New Hampshire to pursue an audio production degree at Boston's New England Institute of Art. Around this time, Statik started to put out his own mixtape series titled "Spell My Name Right." In 2003, Statik created ShowOff Marketing, which has had clients such as Reebok, G-Unit Records, Virgin Records, Capital, Universal Records, Diddy’s Vote or Die campaign and many others. In 2006, Statik Selektah made Showoff into a record label and put out Termanology’s Out the Gate as the labels first release.
In 2007, Statik released his first LP, titled Spell My Name Right, and came out with a second Stick 2 the Script in 2009. In 2010, Statik Selektah dropped another album100 Proof: The Hangover which reached 37 on Billboards Heatseeker Albums Chart. Besides dropping his own albums, he also has produced on many other artist's projects. Statik currently has a show on Thursday nights Eminem’s Shade 45 XM/Sirus Radio Station.
In 2010, Statik Selektah was featured as a DJ on GTA IV's hip hop radio station The Beat 102.7.
While recording with rapper Freeway on Ustream he announced a song off his next album, Population Control, called "Groupie Love" which features Mac Miller. This track was included on the final release of Population Control in 2011.