Even independently released music is usually done on a label (less’n you’re releasing a white label). But in this world where it’s so easy to release music, things get dicey.

It’s nothing for someone to scrub their past work from existence. Once they begin to ascend, their lesser polished material takes the dirt nap. Similarly, old labels and contracts also kick the bucket. Whenever I don’t find announcements of signing or parting, I gets curious.

Yung Bleu knew he wanted to be a musician since he was eleven rapping into his white Nokia. Wanting to be a teen star, Bleu…


I used to love artists and then wonder where they went. Before social media, and before the internet really took off, you just never heard from them again. Maybe you’d revel in the one song or one album.

But as I’ve started studying the business more I see — there’s a recurring theme — the missing album. Some artists worked for years, months, and days, never to see their album released. Paula Perry was one of my favorite MCs from the mid 90s…and I never got an album. Why?

Back when you got introduced to rappers via cameos, Paula Perry’s…


for·mu·lae: a recipe or prescription — rec·i·pe: something which is likely to lead to a particular outcome — pre·scrip·tion: a recommendation that is authoritatively put forward.

Now, these are unabridged, half-cocked, simplified, third grade level online bullshit definitions, but they’ll suffice.

Usually when we hear that someone is adhering to a formula it’s taken as negative. I’ve used the word before in regards to Rick Ross and folks thought I was trashing him. I’m not. I mean formula in the truest definition of the word. And if anyone personifies the application of a formula it’s Drizzy Drake.

When Cortez Bryant…


Marvel Comics’ editor-in-chief Jim Shooter had to make a publishing event to land the Mattel licensing contract. Shooter was told by Mattel’s tests that the words ‘wars’ and ‘secret’ tested positive with children. Thus, “Secret Wars.”

Growing up, comics were life. Me and my older brother were more into artists than titles. Walt Simonson, John Byrne, George Perez, Frank Miller, etc. Titles like Marvel Superheroes Secret Wars snuck through the crack simply based on what-the-fuckness. That’s how I knew The Last Emperor.

Back in 1997, Philly rapper, Last Emperor, made a song “Secret Wars.” It was superhero vs rapper ode…


“What?” If I tell you the year I discovered Michael Christmas you’ll be shocked. You’ll run down the list of the hundreds of MCs that actually rap. You’ll talk about J. Cole’s releases. You’ll mention Kendrick Lamar.

You might even look at the years 2014–5 as some of the best years in recent times when it comes to the genre. But there has been something missing from Rap for quite some time — at least to me — fun. Michael Christmas makes fun music.

I’m not talking corny or cheesy. There’s tons of that to go around. Nor am I…


I am mauludSADIQ. I am your guide through these vast new realities. Follow me and dare to face the unknown, and ponder the question…What if? Ok, not really. I won’t go all Watcher on you. But I will do some pondering.

Because the rapper that existed prior to 24 May 2000 was headed on a different trajectory — one filled with label-picked songs and videos — the outcome of that rapper would’ve been totally different.

Ever heard “The Glow?” It’s ok if you didn’t. The only thing that makes the record a novelty is that it was Fif’s first recording…


I ain’t know that Blahzay Blahzay was a group. I knew there’s two people on the album cover. I did. I was confused. Confused because sometimes the MC is referred to as Blahzay. But they’re a group…like Gangstarr was. DJ/Producer & MC under one name.

The MC’s name is Out Loud which is often interchangeable with the name Blahzay. And he goes back. Back to the days when Latin Quarters was king. Then he was known as MC Outloud and he recorded a 12" “Clean and Sober” b/w “I’ll Put a Hurten.”

Even on that release, the East New York…


As long as there’s been a music industry, youth have been getting exploited. From Frankie Lymon being separated from the Teenagers to countless rappers, giving deals to children who haven’t developed their prefrontal cortex has been an excellent business model.

I’m not saying it’s predatory but what would you call a grown man that studied teen and pre-teen’s social media, offered trinkets and shiny things to them, then pulled the rug up from them as they got older?

That’s why when Polo G first began getting courted by labels, his mother, Stacia Mac, stepped in. “The offers were for $5,000…


Flavor Flav, Coolio, Snoop, Benzino, Jim Jones, Remy Ma, TI — the list goes on. For the past twenty years, “Reality” TV has been a viable option for rappers in no matter what stage their career is in.

The model for the modern “Reality” show was The Real World and a Jersey City rapper was one of the original cast — BDP’s Heather B.

We knew Heather from “7 DeeJays” (she killed that er suffix sound jawn).

Heather B met Kenny Parker at St. Peter’s University. When she found out Parker’s brother was KRS One, she had to meet him…


This is about one simple line in “Lean Back” although it could easily have been about Fat Joe’s ubiquity.

Joe ‘The Fat Gangsta’ has been in the public’s eye for two decades — no small feat. In 2021, we got a joint project with DJ Drama — his debut was back in 93 — and in between there was “Lean Back” — a monster during the Summer of 94.

But how did folks make sense of this line:

Kay keep tellin’ me to speak about the Rucker
Matter of fact, I don’t wanna speak about the Rucker
Not even Pee Wee Kirkland…

mauludSADIQ

b-boy, Hip-Hop Investigating, music lovin’ Muslim

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