Live In The Cipher team brings you a legend in the hip hop game. Arguably one of the top 5 MC's ever to grab the Mic Nasir Jones aka Nas delivers Life Is Good project for the hip hop world. Tune in and see if Nas can continue to deliver the quality hip hop that he is known to produce. Over 20 years in hip hop Life Is Good is Nas' 10th solo release.
Artist Review: Nas
Heralded instantly as one of New York's leading rap voices, Nas expressed an outspoken, self-empowered swagger that rallied the streets of his city and elsewhere. Whether proclaiming himself "Nasty Nas" or "Nas Escobar" or "Nastradamus" or "God's Son," the self-appointed King of New York battled numerous adversaries for his position atop the epicenter of East Coast rap, none more noteworthy than Jay-Z, who vied with Nas for the vacated throne left in the wake of the Notorious B.I.G.'s 1997 assassination.
Such headline-worthy drama informed Nas' provocative rhymes, which he delivered with both a masterful flow and a wise perspective over breathtaking beats by amazing producers: legends like DJ Premier, Large Professor, and Pete Rock; hitmakers like Trackmasters, Timbaland, and Dr. Dre; street favorites like Swizz Beatz, Megahertz, and the Alchemist; and personal favorites of his own like L.E.S., Salaam Remi, and Chucky Thompson. Nas likewise collaborated with some of the industry's leading video directors like Hype Williams and Chris Robinson, presenting singles like "Hate Me Now," "One Mic," and "I Can" with dramatic flair. Throughout all the ups (the acclaim, popularity, and success) and all the downs (the pressure, adversaries, and over-reaching), Nas continually matured as an artist, evolving from a young street disciple to a vain all-knowing sage to a humbled godly teacher. Such growth made every album release an event and prolonged his increasingly storied career to epic proportions.
Tonight the Live In The Cipher team brings you a double artist review. First we have up and coming New Jersey bred MC P. Genz with his The Preparative EP release. Then followed by the Legendary 50 Cent latest release 5 Murder By Numbers. Join our interactive review process where your opinion counts.
Artist Review: P. Genz
New Jersey representative P. Genz has taken an affinity for verbal expression. P. Genz began rapping at the age of 6 and began writing at the age of 12. He claims, " I used to write some off the wall stuff and I've always had a sense of flow when it came to rhyming". P. Genz and his undeniable talent has been deemed "ahead of his time." Surrounded by his musically inclined older brothers, P. Genz had absorbed lyrical styles of some of the greats, such as, Eric B. & Rakim, Kool G Rap, Nas, Jay Z, Redman and Wu-Tang Clan.
Now, at the more mature age of 24, P. Genz has been working harder than ever to alert the world that his music has such lyrical and stylistic quality worth taking notice and listening to in his home state of New Jersey and around the world. He has established his company, "Essence Gold Music", completed 4 solo albums, one collaboration EP with German Producer, JayBeats, and a accumulation of guest appearances. Staying focused on music and maintaining artistry, P.Genz isn't looking at anything other than onward movement to ensure that his music and the essence of his musical expression is not lost in the struggles of his past. He has come a long way and his path to success is only getting brighter.
Artist Review: 50 Cent
Curtis James Jackson III (born July 6, 1975), better known by his stage name 50 Cent (often pronounced "fitty cent"), is an American rapper, entrepreneur, investor, record producer, and actor. He rose to fame with the release of his albums Get Rich or Die Tryin' (2003) and The Massacre (2005). His album Get Rich or Die Tryin' has been certified eight times platinum by the RIAA.
Born in the South Jamaica of Queens, New York City, Jackson began drug dealing at the age of twelve during the 1980s crack epidemic. After leaving drug dealing to pursue a rap career, he was shot at and struck by nine bullets during an incident in 2000. After releasing his album Guess Who's Back? in 2002, Jackson was discovered by rapper Eminem and signed to Interscope Records. With the help of Eminem and Dr. Dre, who produced his first major commercial successes, Jackson became one of the world's highest selling rappers. In 2003, he founded the record label G-Unit Records, which signed several successful rappers such as Young Buck, Lloyd Banks, and Tony Yayo.
James Dewitt Yancey (February 7, 1974 – February 10, 2006), better known by the stage names J Dilla and Jay Dee, was an American record producer who emerged from the mid-1990s underground hip hop scene in Detroit, Michigan. According to his obituary at NPR.org, he "was one of the music industry's most influential hip-hop artists, working for big-name acts like A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Busta Rhymes and Common."
Renowned producer Pete Rock placed J Dilla on his list of the top five producers of all time, while the editors of About.com ranked him #15 on their list of the Top 50 Hip-Hop Producers.Andy Kellman of Allmusic stated that—by 2004, after being active for well over a decade as a producer—J Dilla had accomplished enough to be considered "an all-time great." J Dilla made the "Elite 8" in the search for The Greatest Hip-Hop Producer of All Time by Vibe. Also, The Source placed him on its list of the 20 greatest producers in the magazine's twenty-year history.
Live in the cipher show brings you Mayback Music Groups (MMG) latest release Self Made Vol. 2. MMG, headed by Rick Ross has delivered hit after hit for the past few years. Boasting a line up that consists of Wale, Meek Mills, Omarion, Gunplay and more. Lets see if the MMG machine can continue to put out quality music for the masses. Join the bks1 radio experience! Follow us on twitter: @liveinthecipher and like our facebook fan page: Live In The Cipher.
Born and raised in Washington, DC, at the age of fifteen Lynn was appointed youth official to the District of Columbia during Mayor Marion Barry’s first term in office. Lynn visited public schools and spoke to her peers about the down sides of using drugs and alcohol.
Upon graduating from the International Woodrow Wilson High School and completing her term as a youth official, Lynn attended Howard University where she majored in Business Management. In 1995 Lynn applied for a summer internship at The Terrie Williams Agency and was hired immediately. Lynn’s experience at the agency allowed her to capture the full scope of operating a business while coordinating events for clients such as Eddie Murphy; the late Johnnie Cochran; Boyz II Men; Essence Magazine; and the NBA Player’s Association.
After two years at The Terrie Williams Agency, Lynn decided to explore opportunities in the music industry. Lynn was appointed as the Director of Publicity at Untertainment Records, a division of Epic/Sony Music. While at Untertainment, Lynn created the publicity department to house rap artists such as Lil Kim; Junior MAFIA; Cam’Ron; and Charlie Baltimore.
In February of 1998, Lynn decided to become an Entrepreneur. HobbieCom was born (named for her last name and the abbreviation for communications). Clients over the years have included Music Executives Mark Pitts and Robert “Don Pooh” Cummins; Music Producers Rockwilder; Anthony Dent; Bink Dogg; and Bryan Michael Cox; Recording Artist Lil Mo; Authors Sister Souljah, Nikki Turner, Queen Pen; Events such as MTV’s “My Super Sweet 16” for Darnell Robinson; Grammy Award Winner Chris Brown; and Lea Robinson; Record Labels Ruff Ryders; Def Jam; Koch/E1 Entertainment; Tommy Boy Records; and Big Cat Records; and Rappers Cam’Ron; Jim Jones; Juelz Santana; Khia; Gucci Mane; Rasheedah; Reality TV Star Kimbella, Actress LisaRaye, and more.
In addition to doing PR, Ms. Hobson recently established The Black & Blue Foundation. As a Survivor of a Domestic Violence attack, Lynn is now spreading increased awareness on Domestic Violence. “I am extremely excited about my new Foundation. There are so many women out there who have not spoken up about this epidemic so I am now providing a positive platform for it”, states Lynn. Check out the Foundation’s Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/theblackandbluefoundation .
For additional information on Lynn Hobson, you may follow her on Twitter: @lynnhobson Facebook: “Diary of A Hip Hop Publicist” or check out her website at www.lynnhobson.com and/or www.hobbiecom.com.
Skyy High was birthed during the summer of 1998 when T- Bird and Duly began their journey as artists back in their hometown on Springfield Avenue in Irvington, New Jersey. Looking for a way to get on the right track and off the streets was their goal and vision. T-bird took notice of Duly’s experience with music, combined it with his own business savvy, and came up with a plan to start a music label while simultaneously repping their heritage and city. In due time the two came up with Skyy High Entertainment LLc. and began doing shows and putting out their own demos. Using their resources and talent to help build their dream into success, Skyy High began to gain attention because of their lyrical style and their ability to present stories of street life with precision laced with hypnotizing hooks.
In 2008, they released their first mix tape entitled, “Narcotics in the Hood Vol 1” . The release of their second mix tape, “Narcotics in the Hood vol.2” in 2009, coincided with doing over 80 shows and working with some of the best artists in the mix tape circuit. While working on their third mix tape, they came up with their biggest single to date "Bread Shop" featuring French Montana. The video itself had over one million hits. Other videos soon followed the trend on websites such as World Star Hip Hop, VladTV, Thisis50, Forbes, Youtube, and more.
Working with the likes of Artists such as Max B and many others gave them a chance to grow and increase their fan base outside of their city.
Skyy High was the main opening act for the First Annual Spring Concert in Newark, NJ. The duo opened up for acts such as Juelz Santana, Maino, Jadakiss, Mike Shorey, and Jim Jones. Radio stations such as Real Deal, Miss Drama, Shade 45, Road Block, and more have featured Skyy High’s music on their airwaves. Popular on the DVD circuit, the dynamic duo has also been featured on DVD’s such as Cocaine City Vol.11, Coke Wave, Fient Out TV, Trap Star DVD, and many others.
For additional information on Skyy High Entertainment, you may check out their links listed below. For interviews, contact Lynn Hobson at (212) 755-7900.
Special Guest: Q Bangz
Quori Hollinger (pronounced Cory) was born in Tallahassee, Florida and raised in Essex County, New Jersey. Quori took a liking to music at a young age. Within ears reach of New York City’s radio airwaves, he loved the "Quiet Storm" with Vaughn Harper. "At the age of 12, I started to write rhymes while in Middle School. I used to write to instrumentals from the hottest DJ's like Clue, Ron G, Craig G, Fatman Scoop, and DJ Doo Wop. Between them, I was able to practice my writing skills. I did take creative writing classes where I learned how to write bars and stanzas. That's how I developed the skills to enhance my love of words".
In addition to writing, Q used to play the piano. “I had a keyboard class. I only took a few classes, but it was enough to start me on my way to producing my own music”, Q recollects. Battle rapping in lunch rooms, locker rooms, and anywhere there was a gathering of youth, it was always going down. “Back then, it was about lyrics. It wasn't about riding the beat. It was about metaphors and analogies” states Q. After graduating from High School, Q then enrolled into the Navy. Traveling the world and learning how to defend his country on water, he still stayed consistent with his love of music. “Even though I was in the Navy, I still kept writing. I would rhyme while fueling planes”, recalls Q.
Upon his discharge from the Navy, Q took on a civilian job by day and honed his music skills by night. Heading to the studio straight after work with his ANOT crew (A Nation of Thugs), the three (3) of them each supported their blossoming musical endeavors. “The other two members were singers. I was the only Rap Artist”, states Q. “My Partners were singing about hard shit over hard beats”. And though the group never released any music, it was definitely a step up the entertainment ladder.
In late 2004, QBangz met Music Producer, Jen Cyph, an Outsiders Affiliate who has worked with New Jersey based Indie Artists such as Pace One, Gilla House, and Young Z (underground). It was through this association that QBangz made his musical debut on the title track, "Division East Project"—off of the mix tape of a white boy skater/hip hop group in 2004 where he made his debut as a feature on their release.
Wanting to not become a street statistic, Q migrated to Virginia in 2009 where he attended ITT Tech for Graphic Design. “I was just tryna better myself-- tryna get out of the streets”.
In 2010, music was still calling for QBangz so he picked back up where he left out. Now working with the likes of Indie Rap Artists Ru Spits, Pace One, Young Z, and Laquina Gardner (opera singer), QBangz is expected to make his solo debut during the Summer of 2012. Titled, FOR MEDICINAL USE ONLY, QBangz states, “For my debut mix tape, I don't want it to be like an album. A DJ will host my mix tape, but they would be more active and their presence will be felt. They will provide support and animation to the featured music. Part of the mix tape would be short original snipets of old songs, and up to date original songs along with familiar songs, like a collage”.
Crediting music as an alternative outlet to release stress from the everyday challenges life can bring, Qbangz is now ready to break out. Standing out from the broad range of up & comings, Q’s style is like no other. Not rhyming like anyone else, Q states, “My delivery is different because no one can say that I rhyme this way or that way. My delivery is like a Mobb Deep; Cormega; or Helta Skeltor depending on the mood I’m in. My voice is best described as hungry, grimy, peaceful, soothing, raw, and powerful. My voice is hungry, grimy, peaceful, soothing, raw, and powerful”.
Qbangz came partially from his first name and the “Bangz” portion came from having to always fight and defend himself. Growing up in the mean streets of Irvington, New Jersey, QBangz was always the youngest and smallest out of everyone, but he packed a powerful punch.
Musical Influences? TuPac, Nas, Jay-Z, 50 Cent, and Pace One. Those Artists always kept him motivated. He is an ASCAP Writer: Smoke Won Productions