Introducing Ken Harris aka FAT MAC DA GREAT


MILLER-BELL MEDIA PRODUCTIONS LLC proudly presents,  one of the rawest underground hip-hop artist representing the boot shaped state of Louisiana, KEN HARRIS AKA FAT MAC .

Some of his inspirations in music include but not limited to Scarface,
2-pac, Ice Cube and Ludacris. This versatile artist can get into character and rise to a performance level that is a cut above on each track that he performs on! Those that have heard him cannot believe it is the same artist.

Although various styles linger in his realm, he has taken the challenge of making you not only bounce your head to the rhythms but also take heed to the message in his lyrics.

Ken Harris
Click to Visit Ken Harris on Reverb Nation

His life has not been easy and is a constant challenge and struggle. At an early age, he lost key people in his life. He lost his mother, father, and grandparents. He found solitude in his music to help him cope and continue. When asked about losing those so close and dear to him his response is “THE LORD ALMIGHTY IS MY MOTHER, FATHER AND EVERYTHING ELSE NEEDED”

In the past he has performed in various venues from San Diego to Oakland including clubs on the world famous Sunset Strip in Hollywood California. Well educated and working as a Kidney Care Technician Ken aka Fat Mac has and knows what patience and understanding is to get things right.

He has been marveled for his performances with Da Ying Yang Twins, Young Buck, Lloyd Banks of G-Unit, and Ice-T just to name a few. In closing you are in for a real treat so get ready for the next evolution in music for Ken Harris aka Fat Mac “Old School with a New Swing”



 

Your Favorite Rapper Is a Girl – Tamara Bubble



You have got to check out Tamara Bubble! Tamara is a rapper, singer songwriter and commentator on the human condition. Bubble on Deck is a brilliant and hilarious podcast where Tamara will discuss any topic from airport security to Pringles. You can also check out Tamara’s EP release below.

On this EP release, Tamara doesn’t shy away from the stigma of being labeled a “female rapper” as long as you know she’s your favorite rapper PERIOD. Tamara Bubble is primarily known for her singing in many genres, but she’s back with 100% bars this time because her fans asked for it! Within 7 tracks, Tamara will turn you on, make you dance, think, and lyrically turn you out! Topics include domestic violence, gambling vs. saving, investing,

Tamara Bubble
Check out Bubble on Deck



 

FFM’s Indonesian Ambassador, Dita Nurdian has released a new track – Soba Ni Itai Yo


Dita Nurdian
Dita Nurdian

Soba Ni Itai Yo (feat. Maniac Mac) – Single

Dita Nurdian
Click to hear on itunes
Also’ you can listen my music on Tidal, iHeartRadio, Google play Music and many more
And this is my social media link :

FFM Ambassador for Indonesia – Dita Nurdian



Stormzy praised over Grenfell rap at Brit Awards



Riley Krause

Stormzy was praised as he asked Theresa May “where’s the money for Grenfell?” in his live performance at the Brit Awards.It was an eventful night for the Croydon grime artist, who won both the British male solo artist and British album of the year awards.

In a freestyle rap, he said: “Theresa May where’s the money for Grenfell? What you thought we just forgot about Grenfell?”You criminals, and you’ve got the cheek to call us savages, you should do some jail time, you should pay some damages, you should burn your house down and see if you can manage this.”

Brits viewers were quick to praise Stormzy for the performance.One person described it as “so powerful” while another said: “#Stormzy using his platform for good, making sure that hundreds of families from Grenfell continue to be remembered.

“Whether you agree with his use of the platform or not, you can’t say it hasn’t got you thinking. #BRITS.”Labour MP David Lammy also joined in on the applause.

He wrote: “Theresa May where’s the money for Grenfell? You think we forgot about Grenfell?”. Respect @Stormzy1 speaking truth to power. #BRITs2018.”

The Tottenham MP also congratulated the music star for his double win, and added: “He’s changed the game, his story is so inspiring and his music has given a voice to a generation of young people living in our inner cities. Respect and love from Tottenham.”

Labour MP for Kensington Emma Dent Coad tweeted: “Thank you for speaking truth to power, @Stormzy1. “Theresa May where’s the money for Grenfell? You think we forgot about Grenfell?” he sang live on the #BRITs.”In Kensington we will never forget. We will never stop fighting for Justice. No justice, no peace.”

Earlier at the awards, Stormzy became emotional when he was revealed as the winner of the British male solo artist prize.He then became overwhelmed as he was announced as the winner of the most coveted prize of the night, the British album award, beating favourite Ed Sheeran to the accolade.

He fell to the ground in shock while in the audience as he was announced the winner for his debut record Gang Signs And Prayer.Accepting his prize, the rapper told the audience: “Firstly, I always give all the glory to God, God this is all you, this is all you God.

“I know that a lot of people, when I give the glory to God, it seems such a strange thing, but if you know God, you know it’s all him.”

My 39 Favorite Albums Of 2017 – Hanif Abdurraqib






Go to the profile of Hanif Abdurraqib

 

Much like last year, I have decided on a somewhat random number of albums. I do appreciate how the list format can be equal parts exciting and somewhat exhausting during this time of year. But for me, it’s a good place to mention a lot of albums that I loved but didn’t always get to write about or talk about a lot this year. In 2017, I went from (arguably) writing too much about music to not having nearly as much time to write about music as I wanted to. I hope to strike a balance in 2018. In the meantime, here are my 39 favorite albums of the year. Like last year, if there was good writing on the artist or album, I’ll link that as well.

39. Big K.R.I.T. — 4eva Is a Mighty Long Time

This track-by-track breakdown is really cool.

38. Wiki — No Mountains In Manhattan

37. Migos — Culture

You’ve probably read enough about Migos this year. Here’s a gif I like of Offset adjusting his cuff links in preparation for a potential physical altercation.

36. Paramore — After Laughter

This one really came and went for a lot of folks! This NYT profile was good.This Fader piece was also good. And though I try not to share my own stuff when I do these, I also enjoyed dissecting the album.

35. Syd — Fin

34. Gas — Narkopop

33. Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings — Soul Of A Woman

This piece on the making of the album after the death of Sharon Jones is heartbreaking and good.

32. Sabrina Claudio — About Time

31. Julien Baker — Turn Out The Lights

A lot of good writing on Julien Baker this year — I most enjoyed thisthis, and this.

30. DJ Quik & Problem — Rosecrans

29. Bell Witch — Mirror Reaper

This Bandcamp piece about the album’s making and process is good.

28. Jonwayne — Rap Album 2

Jonwayne is not too big on interviews, but The Guardian did a solid one.

27. Idles — Brutalism

A good profile was done here.

26. Vince Staples — Big Fish Theory




Mychal Denzel Smith on Vince Staples was one of my favorite things to read this year.

25. Sleigh Bells — Kid Kruschev

24. Harry Styles — Harry Styles

Anne Donahue wrote many things on Styles this year, this was among my favorites.

23. Slowdive — Slowdive

Lots of cool stuff written on Slowdive’s return this year. I most enjoyed This Noisey profile and this NYT Piece on Shoegaze.

22. Converge — The Dusk In Us

It’s quite long, but this exhaustive history of Converge is very good.

21. Stormzy — Gang Signs And Prayer

There’s not enough good writing on Stormzy, I think. But I did enjoy this British GQ profile.

20. Chelsea Wolfe — Hiss Spun

19. Kendrick Lamar — Damn

A lot has been written about Kendrick and that’s fine but instead of any of those things, here’s 2 Chainz freestyling over the DNA instrumental — which was my favorite freestyle of the year until like three weeks ago.

18. Kelela — Take Me Apart

Loved this piece in The Fader.




17. Protomartyr — Relatives In Descent

All Songs Considered broke down the album well.

16. Rapsody — Laila’s Wisdom

15. Grizzly Bear — Painted Ruins

I enjoyed reading this GQ piece.

14. L.A. Witch — L.A. Witch

13. Power Trip — Nightmare Logic

A couple good interviews with Power Trip Here and Here.

12. Oddisee — The Iceberg

This profile was good.

11. Kelly Clarkson — The Meaning Of Life

There should be more in-depth writing on this era of Clarkson IMO, but this piece was a good one.

10. Daymé Arocena — Cubafonía

Short, but a good piece on the artist for those potentially unfamiliar.

9. 2 Chainz — Pretty Girls Like Trap Music

I wrote this pretty weird thing about 2 Chains and bowling.

8. LCD Soundsystem — American Dream

7. Jlin — Black Origami

Great feature on Jlin here.

6. Lorde — Melodrama

A lot has been written on Lorde this year, but I got some joy out of revisiting this Rolling Stone article from 2013, and then reading this one from 2017.

5. Thundercat — Drunk

Good profile here.

4. Open Mike Eagle — Brick Body Kids Still Daydream

3. Kehlani — SweetSexySavage

2. Richard Dawson — Peasant

1. Sza — CTRL

Here and Here and Here.

We are really ambitious for our members and in 2018 we want to offer scholarships, bursaries and financial assistance to aspiring musicians.

Help us achieve this by visiting our sponsor below








Album sales up as streaming soars






UK music fans streamed more music than ever before in 2017 – an astonishing total of 68.1 billion songs.

That’s the equivalent of everyone in the country playing 1,036 tracks, or almost three continuous days of music, on sites like Apple Music and Spotify.

Most of those songs were apparently by Ed Sheeran – who had four of the Top 10 biggest-selling singles of the year.

Trade body the BPI says streaming now accounts for more than half (50.4%) of all music consumption in the UK.

The figure is up from 36.4% last year – with a record 1.5 billion streams served in one week last December.

To put that in context, we are now streaming more songs in a single week than we did in the first six months of 2012.

If anything, though, the BPI is actually underplaying the success of streaming, as it relies on data from the Official Charts Company, which does not currently count music played on YouTube towards its figures.

It has been estimated that if YouTube was included, the number of streams accessed by music fans in the UK would double.

Most-streamed artists of 2017
1) Ed Sheeran
2) Drake
3) Little Mix
4) Eminem
5) The Weeknd
6) Calvin Harris
7) Coldplay
8) Kendrick Lamar
9) Stormzy
10) Post Malone

Overall, sales of music generated £1.2 billion for the UK economy last year, according to the Entertainment Retailers Association.

At the opposite end of the technological scale, sales of vinyl continued to grow, with 4.1 million LPs purchased in 2017.

Again, Ed Sheeran was the most popular artist on the format – closely followed by Liam Gallagher and Amy Winehouse’s Back To Black, which featured in the top five vinyl albums for the third year in a row.

CD sales down

However, vinyl only accounts for 3% of the overall music market, and its success is in stark contrast to the decline in CDs and downloads.




CD sales, which peaked at 162.4 million in 2004, now languish at 41.6 million.

Digital downloads are also on the way out, with just 13.8 million albums bought on stores like iTunes and Amazon last year, a drop of 23%.

Overall, music consumption was up by 8.7% – the fastest rise since 1998.

Sales and streams contributed £1.2 billion to the UK economy, according to the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA).

Chart showing music consumption in the UK

Apart from Sheeran, the UK’s biggest artists included Rag N Bone Man, whose album Human shifted more than 885,000 copies by the end of the year.

Little Mix’s Glory Days continued to sell well, while Pink and Drake were the best-selling international artists.

It was also a better year for new artists after a dismal 2016, where only one British debut album (Bradley Walsh’s Chasing Dreams) went gold.

2017 saw the likes of Dua Lipa, Stormzy, Harry Styles and J Hus achieve the 100,000 sales milestone.

Rag 'N' Bone Man
Top 10 albums of 2017 (combined sales and streams)
Artist Title
1) Ed Sheeran ÷
2) Rag ‘N’ Bone Man (pictured) Human
3) Sam Smith The Thrill Of It All
4) Little Mix Glory Days
5) Pink Beautiful Trauma
6) Ed Sheeran x
7) Michael Ball & Alfie Boe Together Again
8) Drake More Life
9) Liam Gallagher As You Were
10) Stormzy Gang Signs & Prayer
Zara Larsson
Top 10 singles of 2017
Artist Title
1) Ed Sheeran Shape Of You
2) Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee ft Justin Bieber Despacito (Remix)
3) Ed Sheeran Castle On The Hill
4) French Montana ft Swae Lee Unforgettable
5) Ed Sheeran Galway Girl
6) Ed Sheeran Perfect
7) Clean Bandit ft Zara Larsson (pictured) Symphony
8) Rag ‘N’ Bone Man Human
9) Chainsmokers & Coldplay Something Just Like This
10) Jax Jones ft Raye You Don’t Know Me
Amy WinehouseImage copyrightPA
Top 10 vinyl albums of 2017
Artist Title
1) Ed Sheeran ÷
2) Liam Gallagher As You Were
3) Fleetwood Mac Rumours
4) Various Artists Guardians of the Galaxy Awesome Mix 1
5) Amy Winehouse (pictured) Back To Black
6) Rag ‘N’ Bone Man Human
7) Pink Floyd Dark Side Of The Moon
8) The Beatles Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
9) Oasis (What’s The Story) Morning Glory
10) David Bowie Legacy

Overall, the entertainment industry enjoyed a bumper year in 2017, with sales of video games, films, TV programmes, and music all recording growth for the fifth consecutive year.

Disney had the two biggest-selling film titles of the year – with the live action remake of Beauty And The Beast and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story collectively selling more than 2.9 million copies.

DVDs and Blu-Rays both saw a double-digit decline in sales, but revenues from streaming services like Netflix and Amazon grew by 22.2%, and now account for more than 70% of the video market.

According to ERA, the entertainment market as a whole reached a “new all-time-high”, generating £7.24 billion last year.

CEO Kim Bayley called it “an historic result” driven by new technology and innovation.

“New digital services are bringing ever increasing numbers of the UK population back to entertainment with 24/7 access to the music, video and games they want,” she said.

We are really ambitious for our members and in 2018 we want to offer scholarships, bursaries and financial assistance to aspiring musicians.

Help us achieve this by visiting our sponsor below








Today’s FFM stage belongs to Auko – Millions



Aston icely
Aston Icely, Auko

“Brand new heavy track about money and motivation, produced by me featuring Morgan.”

Spread the love by subscribing to and sharing Auko at Youtube.

Help FFM by visiting our sponsor below







How I stopped being a jazz singer and started loving myself.






Go to the profile of José James

If you don’t know me, my name is José James. I’m currently signed to Blue Note Records and according to the NYTimes I sound like this:

“The result of the black-pop continuum, jazz and soul and hip-hop and R&B, slow-cooked for more than 50 years.”

(I’m actually only 39 so that’s technically impossible, but thanks guys!)

I have made a career out of experimentation, freely embracing or discarding sounds, traditions and expectations. I learned from jazz legends like Junior Mance, Chico Hamilton and McCoy Tyner and then branched out to work with artists as diverse as Flying Lotus, Goldie and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Now, a decade after my debut album “The Dreamer” was released people are wondering, “Who is the real José James?”

Here’s the truth: It’s me. It’s all me. Everything that I’ve written, sung, recorded, produced and conceived is from me. No one put a gun to my head or a piece of paper in front of me and said, “Son, this’ll make you famous,” or, “Do this OR ELSE!”

I’m very happy with my work. Honest. I’m turning 40 next month (woo-hoo!!) and if I died tomorrow (God forbid!) then I would die being happy with my output, with my legacy. 7 albums in 10 years, that’s not bad. The Dreamer.BLACKMAGIC. For All We Know. No Beginning No End. While You Were Sleeping. Yesterday I Had the Blues: The Music of Billie Holiday. Love in a Time of Madness.

I know you might have your favorites. I have mine, too. While You Were Sleeping is the closest to my heart. That was the most “José James” you’re gonna get. I produced, conceived and wrote that album along with a genius all-star cast and I’m proud of that one. Yes, it was moody. Yes, it’s kind of dark. I needed an outlet from the hell of going through a divorce and that’s what came out.

Let’s backtrack.

In 2011 I decided to take artistic control of my life. I had no label, no management, no idea of home. I had lived as an adult in both London and New York and the only home I knew was the road. My life is the stage. I invested my savings in a session with Pino Palladino, Chris Dave and Robert Glasper. With Russ Elevado engineering. Bad boiz. We recorded at the now defunct Magic Shop NYC (RIP!!!!! All cozy condos now!! Wow, gentrification is ruining NY, London and every culture mecca the world has. But I digress).I also did a session with the amazing Hindi Zahra in Paris, again on my own dime, without a label.

I took the mixes to Don Was, the new president of Blue Note Records, and I became his first signee (thanks, Don!). It was and is an honor to be on such a legendary music label. I went straight back into the studio, this time working with producer Brian Bender to create my first Blue Note album, “No Beginning No End.”

This was 2011 still. I was so happy and in love it was disgusting. That’s what you hear in songs like “Come to My Door,” “Trouble” and “Do You Feel.” Pure optimism. I know that’s why my fans want me to keep making albums like that. Everyone does. I want Obama back in the White House and the UK to have voted “remain,” but life moves on. I moved on. We all moved on. There was no way, no possibility, no chance that I would be able to make that album again. It was a moment, an artistic moment. A beautiful moment, and I cherish that moment, but that moment is gone.




Still with me? This is the un-fun part, the bad stuff, the mess that no one talks about unless you’re famous and you go on Oprah. I’m not famous and I didn’t go on Oprah. Instead I went through one of the most painful experiences a human being can have, my divorce. I’m getting over it now 4 years later, thus the explanation. I can’t go back y’all, but you deserve to know why. 

At some point in my career, I became known for my blend of jazz, R&B and hip-hop. I enjoyed the press and the love. “The return of jazz.” All that shit. I even coined the description “The jazz singer for the hip-hop generation.” I was that. I was. But I’m not anymore.

A lot of things happened, some simple, some complex. Mostly I realized that although the art form of jazz — the only true original American art form??!! — is open to endless variation, study and exploration, the jazz industry is not. The collection of managers, promoters, agents, lawyers, labels, artistic directors, impresarios, collectors and producers. The people that exist between the artists, the musicians and their fans.

Someday I will write a book that will include all the racist and sexist things I have felt, heard and seen in the industry, but not today. But believe me that stuff pushes one roughly towards a door marked “jaded.” I have not yet opened the door, but I know its color, shape and size. My hand has rested on the doorknob, and I know all too well what waits on the other side. Misery. Gloom. Sadness. Depression. Hatred. Anger. Failure. We have all seen artists that we cherish, love and adore walk through that door. I don’t want to be one of them.

Where does that leave my fans? A lot of you feel as though you know the “real” José James. There he is, on The Dreamer. No, he’s the crooner singing jazz in a tux in the 50 Shades Darker film. Nope!! He’s that bad mf who collaborated with Gilles Peterson and Moodymann and Taylor McFerrin and only exists on vinyl!!! (180 gram, if you please). Wrong again, he’s the next step in post jazz neo-soul with No Beginning No End! Making jazz cool again with no solos and Emily King features! Hmm he’s definitely not the tortured guy trying to sing indie rock. Or trap. Or whatever goddam future R&B shit he’s trying to ruin his God-given voice on these days (yeah I know some of you guys didn’t dig LIATOM, let’s all move on shall we?).

Where does this leave me? Who is José James?

Is he the awkward mixed race/biracial kid that grew up in the white, blue-collar NE Minneapolis 80’s where everyone seemed to hate him? Yes. Is he the kid who loved jazz because his dad did, made his daddy’s dreams his own to try to get attention and then surpassed him? Hell yeah. Is he the Black kid who was raised white so he didn’t fit in anywhere but loved everything and all music? Does he see himself in all others? Is he defined by an absence, by not belonging? Did he hate school and all that it stood for (including music school)? Love the nightlife and clubs? Was he a genius giant fuckup until he wrote “The Dreamer” at age 27?

Still with me? What if anything does this have to do with jazz, with R&B and with Black culture? Everything, everything, everything. Train tracks and guitars. Sirens and red and blue lights. Getting pulled over for a violent frisk and grope by Minneapolis’ finest. Prince and Michael Jackson dying of overdoses. My dreams expressed in a Thelonious Monk solo. In Eric Dolphy’s horn. In Coltrane’s search. In Miles’ bloody collar. In Nat Cole’s smile. In Billie’s cry. Why not Dead Prez? OutKast? Nirvana? Rage Against the Machine? Bjork? Maria Callas? Joni Mitchell? Sufjan Stevens? Baden Powell? SZA? Kehlani? Drake, Snoop, Pac, Digable Planets, Al Green, Marvin, Baldwin, Twain, Whitman and Toni Morrison?




“Urge and urge and urge,
Always the procreant urge of the world”

I’m not turning my back on jazz. I am jazz. I am the son of a jazz musician. How fucking dare you. I will always be the music, which has existed since before we had words, definitions, cages for it. I have given my life, my heart, my everything to the stage and to the One. Amen.

And now I want to go home y’all. No not America, land of the greed and home of the slave. I was born here, probably gon’ die here (with a song on my lips — cue violins!).

“Sittin’ in a park in Paris, France
Reading the news and it sure looks bad
They won’t give peace a chance
That was just a dream some of us had.”

I can’t go back and neither can you, but we can go forward, together. That is my wish for us. One family, a human family. Naive definitely, but I’d rather believe in a dream that includes all.

I’m sorry if I confused you, misled you, perplexed you or disappointed you with my music. I assure you I had (and have!) the best intentions. But I hear you. “Pick a gottdam lane, shit!!” Lmao. It’s true though, you’re entitled to that. I hear you.

So I offer, in the spirit of brotherhood, of sisterhood, the music of Bill Withers. A music of pride, of community. Of Grandma’s Hands, unwed mothers, apple cores and a piece ‘a candy. Of overcoming discrimination, obstacles, boundaries. A music of love and of friendship.

Shit is real right now. So real. We are in trouble and we need to unite to save ourselves and save the planet. We need to believe women and people of color. We need to listen and be honest with ourselves and with each other. We need to understand how our words and our actions impact the world that we live in and are creating/destroying. We need to value each other’s voices and stories.

I thank you for riding with me this far. I hope I sang a song or two that made you laugh, cry, think, shout, feel and dance in the last ten years. Thank you for the beautiful nights and stages in the last decade. The full houses, empty houses, walkouts and standing ovations. For everything. I love you and I love music. Now let’s go make this world a better place, together.

  • JJ



“Eminem? Jay-Z? They’re a combined 92 years old! Does their music even matter?” Yes, it does. Rap’s never been this great and this old before.





2017’s two most commercially successful and critically judged rap albums are assuredly going to come from Jay-Z, via June-released 4:44, and Eminem, with his December 15-releasing, ninth studio album, Revival. As hip-hop culture prepares to enter its 45th year, it’s possibly shocking to note that artists who are as old as Kool Herc’s DJ set at Bronx, NY address 1520 Sedgwick Avenue on August 11, 1973 (Jay-Z is 47 and Eminem is 45) could be at the vanguard of the genre. However, it’s astoundingly 19-year old pop rapper Lil Yachty who has the best perspective on how and why this turn of events has come to pass. As he told Hypebeast in August 2017, “[Now], you can do anything at any age, and we have it all at our finger tips. It’s amazing, it’s like the best thing ever.” In reflecting on what Yachty said, the idea that, maybe being a commercially and culturally viable personality in rap music is no longer intrinsically tethered to being between the ages of 18–40, is an evolution worth discussing.

Reasons why one should believe that hip-hop cultural excellence is a gift that’s only reserved for the young are many. Firstly, Biggie and 2Pac died at 24 and 25 years old, respectively. Also significant are facts like Will Smith released his last album at 37, and his children Jaden and Willow are currently a combined total 36 years of age. Last, but certainly not least, Cardi B, Chance the Rapper, and Lil Uzi Vert are under 25.

Prior to a year where Jay-Z could win Grammy’s Album of the Year and Eminem could release a series of flyover state and #RESIST anthems, hip-hop’s most significant cultural icons were never allowed to age while maintaining pop relevance within the culture. Kanye is currently living through his Pablo-esque surrealist mid-life crisis at the age of 40. Apple employed, legendary, and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-inducted 52-year old billionaire Dr. Dre will still occasionally get grilled by the general public as to the release date for Detox.

Whether by invocation of some “27 Club”-esque rule or because, as Moby once told me, “22-year olds are always going to make great records and the most interesting culture,” there’s ample reason to believe that the idea that two rappers with a combined 92 years of age between them releasing rap’s albums of the year is a thing that should not be.

How then, is this happening?





The most significant thing to note about being well past 40 and making dope rap records is that the context into which your creativity is considered could heighten. The expectation for success if this occurs involves recordings having to successfully shift in tone to discover creative comfort when being judged by an advanced critical paradigm. If this occurs, the payoff comes in almost immediately achieving a more iconic level of success.

Songs made by young/younger artists just trend in teeny bopper and early adult bottle popper nightclubs, and the top of Billboard charts. Comparatively, the hubbub surrounding both Shawn Carter and Marshall Mathers’ more old age-aware 2017 output is a mind-blower when contemplating the breath and depth of the artists’ impressively dynamic socio-cultural reach.

  • Jay-Z matured from “big pimpin’ and spendin’ cheese” with then Roc-A-Fella Records co-founder Damon Dash to discussing how his marital infidelities and subsequent psychological therapy sessions with 61-year old New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet.
  • As far as Eminem, he’s matured from being “interesting,” and “the best thing since wrestling” to being quite possibly the most ardent Midwestern and “red state”-representing voice in opposition to the chicanery surrounding the United States Presidential administration of 71-year old Donald Trump. As The Daily Beast notes, “Em has thrown himself into the center of the national dialogue on race, Donald Trump and white supremacy.”

Jay-Z has advanced to the status of being a wizened sage. Thus, he is not rapping as he once did. Rather, he has become a preacher of the gospel that we should all — as a unified, and nearly five decade old hip-hop adoring body politic — generally be able to be intelligent enough to be “smart enough to know better.” On 4:44 this idea is prevalent enough in the album’s narrative for CNBC to report that on 4:44’s brilliant “The Story of O.J.” that, “the rapper bemoans rising real estate values in his home city, calling out one of Brooklyn’s trendiest neighborhoods and saying, ‘I could have bought a place in Dumbo before it was Dumbo for like $2 million. That same building today is worth $25 million. And guess how I’m feelin’? Dumbo.’” As well, they note that Jay “touches on return on investment — he earned on artwork he purchased years ago for $1 million that is now worth $8 million — and underlines the importance of a buy-and-hold strategy.”

Also, in a manner meant to invoke the — and I’ll coin this phrase here — Lauryn Hill doctrine of “adding a motherfucker so the ignant niggas hear me,” Jay also states in “The Story of O.J.” that “You wanna know what’s more important than throwin’ away money at a strip club? Credit. You ever wonder why Jewish people own all the property in America? This how they did it.” The Atlantic was right to note that “it’s beneath Carter, a writer and artist of astonishing ability and sophistication,” to recall “the anti-Semitic canard that Jews maintain financial control of everything you see.” But, as related to the “Lauryn Hill doctrine” outlined in the previously linked Fugees’ track “Zealots,” in Decoded, Jay-Z notes regarding prior claims regarding his possible anti-Semitism that, “when I use lines like this, I count on people knowing who I am and my intentions, knowing that I’m not anti-Semitic or racist, even when I use stereotypes in my rhymes.”




Regarding Eminem, he’s recently premiered “Walk On Water,” a duet with intriguingly enough, Jay-Z’s wife Beyonce, as his lead-in single to Revival’s release. As Billboard notes, the track’s lyrical content offers something more refined and world-aware from the 45 year old and twice-divorced father of three, (including an adult Haile Jade Scott Mathers, who is now 21). “[r]ather than knife his way through the track with his brash, animalistic delivery, Em enters a reflective state and addresses his insecurities regarding fame and his current standing in hip-hop.” This includes Em saying that he’s “not a God,”and “a beautiful mess.” Moreover, he alludes to having gotten rid of the bleached blonde hair associated with his caustic career as a younger emcee, and also notes that he might one day “fall” from the “heights” of his career.

Unlike Jay-Z, whose success has afforded him an opulent, white collar and high class semi-retired rap life that very few men in the universe could ever achieve, Eminem is in a different situation. Jay is largely above any critical commentary. However, Eminem, by virtue of his blue collar and impoverished upbringing is old, yet still hustling for approval. Thus, he is likely, because he’s “too old to be doing this,” more critically approachable. Though the lyrics to “Walk On Water” may note that he may not believe it, Eminem’s indeed a Jesus-like “Rap God” who can walk among the “scribes and Pharisees” and be subject to their derision.

This critical concern makes itself even more apparent in an Uproxx report that notes, “Em is going back to the drawing board to reassess the release of his what will be his ninth solo album. The first step in that process appears to be be distancing himself from ‘Walk On Water,’ the album’s supposed lead single with Beyonce, as Eminem has stopped promoting the song as his lead single. The track debuted at #14 this week on Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart, a high debut for sure, but a disappointing one on the heels of Beyonce’s first musical appearance since Lemonade, an SNL performance, and a massive rollout.”

By virtue of being a white person, Eminem can’t “add a (metaphorical) motherfucker so the ignant niggas — and yes, this extends to ignorant people of all racial extractions who love hip-hop culture — hear him.” So, his “smart enough to know better” campaign has had a tougher road to navigate insofar as hip-hop fanatics who are entrenched within the culture. However, when it comes to those who are — and yes, after 50 years there are those who are — newly accepting of hip-hop having a place in their existences, it’s a different story. Eminem, because his age allows him to have established pop (meaning, beyond initially hip-hop specific) cultural resonance, stands to gain much in the way of support of the multi-racial, multi-ethnic, Democratic and Facebook adoring anti-Trump #resistance. To that end, somewhere between his instantaneously iconic and Trump-lambasting BET Awards freestyle and Revival’s “new” lead single “Untouchable” which literally starts “black boy black boy, we ain’t gonna lie to you / black boy black boy, we don’t like the sight of you,” the change in tone aligns well with a demographic in line with his age and the nation’s anger best collide for commercial success.




Speaking directly to the aforementioned point, The FADER noted that Eminem’s BET freestyle was “red meat for #TheResistance,” but also noted that, “the rap itself…is bad.” Via their own advertising site, The FADER lists its core demographic as being an 18–34 year old male college attender (note, not necessarily a graduate) earning $40,000 year. In the same FADER piece, it was written that Keith Olbermann, host of GQ’s “The Resistance,” tweeted, “After 27 years of doubts about rap I am now a fan. Best political writing of the year, period. 👏👏👏👏👏 #Eminem2020.” Keith Olbermann is a 58-year old male college graduate, who in 2011 was rumored to be earning $10 million a year on Al Gore’s Current TV. Clearly, numbers and words never lie.


On January 28, 2018, it’s more than entirely possible that 47-year old rapper Jay-Z will make a clean sweep of the Grammy Awards for Song (“4:44”), Record (“The Story of O.J.”), and Album (4:44) of the Year. As well, if there’s any justice, we’ll probably get a performance by Eminem of “Untouchable,” too. In the crowd, marveling at how the depth and scope of expectations for excellence have shifted in hip-hop will be rappers who are half these artists age who will be suddenly confronted with the fact that they now have twice as much to learn about how to succeed and sustain within the genre. Lil Yachty’s right. Because of their age-driven maturity, Jay and Em have everyone from the New York Times to President Trump within a fingertip’s reach, and have likely created 2017’s best and most important rap albums, respectively.

Maybe it’s true that youth is wasted on the young?



The latest release from China Marie – What is you doin’?





China-Marie is preparing for a strong 2018 with the release of her new EP “Made In China” coming in February.
Until then you can expect to hear a few more singles from her featuring some dope artist.
For the “What Is You Doin?” remix China-Marie linked up with Columbia Records artist Symba.
Be sure to support China-Marie by adding this record to your playlist on Spotify and share on your social media networks.
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