Minneapolis, MN – The Fifth Element retail store is saying goodbye. Rhymesayers Entertainment made the announcement on Friday (March 27), explaining the Minneapolis-based Hip Hop shop will effectively close its doors on April 1.
“Last year, while discussing our next steps for 2020 and the coming decade, we began developing some creative new strategies to better serve the needs of our artists and our community, and we’re excited to begin this work,” the post read in part. “With that out look in mind, and with respect for recent events requiring temporary closure, we’ve chosen to permanently close our Uptown Minneapolis retail store.”
“Please continue to support independent artists and businesses as best you can in these challenging times,” it concluded. “Stay safe and stay tuned for more new and exciting chapters in our story, for 2020 and beyond.”
As noted in the announcement, fifthelementonline.com will transition to shop.rhymesayers.com, the “official source for all things Rhymesayers Entertainment.” For now, everything on the Fifth Element website is 25 percent off through March 31.
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Fifth Element was established in 1999 as an extension of the Rhymesayers imprint. It stocked CDs, vinyl, art supplies, clothing and specialty items. It wasn’t uncommon to run into Atmosphere’s Sean “Slug” Daley or other RSE artists while shopping at the store. It will be missed.
Often, “Old Heads” in hip hop are criticized for not giving new generations artists the benefit the doubt. As generations grow and evolve, there will always be some hint division, but elders have complained that some youngsters aren’t giving them the respect they deserve. This isn’t an absolute, because Lil Baby made it clear that he may have achieved more than others at his age, but it doesn’t mean their successes should be compared.
Cindy Ord / Staff / Getty s
During a recent chat with Ebro Darden for Rap Life, the radio and podcast host mentioned Jay Z in the conversation. Ebro noted that Lil Baby is 25-years-old with all his success, adding that Jay hadn’t even released his classic debut album Reasonable Doubt at his age (Hov was 26 when he shared that album). “I can’t compare myself to nobody in that gap ’cause it is a lotta more sh*t nowadays,” Baby said. “I got a whole Instagram with 10 million followers. No way Jay Z and them had that]. It’s so many different ways where I won’t even let that get ‘caught in my head.”
A trailer for the new season Growing Up Hip Hop was released on Friday (March 27) and the show is certainly turning up the drama. Pepa and Treach’s daughter Egypt Criss finds herself at odds with her friends over her fiancé Sam. Things even come to blows with Briana Latrise, former step-daughter to Mary J. Blige. While things kick up with that storyline, the tit-for-tat between Angela Simmons and Romeo rages on.
The Millers suggested that Romeo was doing the right thing with Angela, especially because he could have taken advantage her while she was morning the death her son’s father, Sutton Tennyson. In a later scene, Romeo and Master P are confronted by others like Dame Dash’s son Boogie Dash and Eazy-E’s son Lil Eazy-E. Things get heated during the talk and Percy Miller wasn’t about to have anything go left in his presence. Check out the trailer for the explosive season below including Dame getting arrested and speaking about the accusations against him.
SpaceGhostPurrp has apparently decided to put A$AP Rocky on blast. On Thursday (March 26), Purrp hopped on Twitter and shared a photo of the A$AP Mob member in a hot tub that allegedly proves Rocky is a homoual.
“I’m tired of holding my tongue,” he wrote. “Back in 2011 I was invited to dis party in new York by asap rocky I was pullin up wit my girl n shit and I was on da phone like yo bruh where u at I don’t see he was like ‘YO LOOK DOWN IM RIGHT HERE.’ Next thing u know he in da pool rubbin a mans ass.”
Purrp is adamant this is why he’s ostracized by the majority of his rap peers.
“SO IF U WANNA KNOW WHY ‘ASAP ROCKY AND ASAP and EVERY RAPPER’ HATE ME so much it’s because I stopped hangin wit him becuase he didnt tell me dat he was homoual on da low,” he continued. “and I felt like he lied bout his life so n order for him 2 keep his secret. he got me black listed in music.”
SO IF U WANNA KNOW WHY "ASAP ROCKY AND ASAP and EVERY RAPPER" HATE ME so much it's because I stopped hangin wit him becuase he didnt tell me dat he was homosecual on da low and I felt like he lied bout his life so n order for him 2 keep his secret ,he got me black listed in music
Rocky’s uality has been internet fodder for years. In an 2013 interview with Interview magazine, the platinum-selling rapper addressed the “gay thing” and insisted it shouldn’t matter in Hip Hop.
“So now that I’m here and I’ve got a microphone in my hand and about 6,000 people watching me, I need to tell them how I feel,” he said. “For instance, one big issue in Hip Hop is the gay thing. It’s 2013, and it’s a shame that, to this day, that topic still gets people all excited. It’s crazy.
“And it makes me upset that this topic even matters when it comes to Hip Hop, because it makes it seem like everybody in hip hop is small-minded or stupid — and that’s not the case.”
But Purrp maintains he has figured it out.
“This is the main real reason why ‘EVERYBODY HATES SPACEGHOSTPURRP’ FOR no reason and been bashing my name because I found out his biggest secret and he hot mad because I cut him off for lyin bout his uality.”
This is the main real reason why "EVERYBODY HATES SPACEGHOSTPURRP" FOR no reason and been bashing my name becuase I found out his biggest secret and he hot mad because I cut him off for lyin bout his uality ,
G MiMs comes from Hip Hop royalty. His father is Kool DJ Red Alert and his cousin is Bad Boy legend Craig Mack. Needless to say, Hip Hop runs through his veins. On Friday (March 27), the New York-bred MC decided to pay tribute to his late cousin with a video for “New Flava,” a nod to Mack’s 1994 hit “Flava In Ya Ear.”
“It’s an honor to learn that my family has such prominent figures in Hip Hop,” MiMs tells HipHopDX. “Craig Mack was my late cousin and I just wanted to create something that paid homage to his legacy.”
Directed by NoCap, the video was shot at New York’s Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, the same place Mack shot “Flava In Ya Ear.” It features MiMs and collaborator Yung Flii Boy flexing their musical prowess over a sample of the classic cut. The song is the next in a series of joints to come from MiMs and Flii Boy.
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Mack passed away from heart failure on March 12, 2018 at a hospital near his home in Walterboro, South Carolina.
Producer Alvin Toney, who helped craft Mack’s debut album Project: Funk da World, was working on a documentary about the Trenton, New Jersey-born rapper at the time.
“Nobody got to understand his story,” Toney said. “I wanted the world to know the talent he had. It was something I wanted people to enjoy, but it was cut short because he was very religious and wanted to go to church.”
Toney revealed Mack had been sick for awhile prior to his death.
“He was prepared for whatever comes, to go home to the Lord,” Toney said. “He was prepared to do that. He wasn’t scared. He was ready.”
It’s been almost three weeks since Enemy Radio MC Jahi and seasoned producer Configa dropped their collaborative album, Forever Future. After sharing a visual for the title track, the duo is back with a new video for “Mindfulness.”
Directed by Black Camera Productions, the beautifully shot video finds the Cleveland native posted up by the water, penning his verses as he sits by a pit fire.
“The nighttime is the right time for me to kick a rhyme,” he spits. “20 years later, still reaching my prime without the Amazon or the cameras on.”
While speaking to HipHopDX, Jahi revealed this is a daily part of life for him.
“The song is really an interpersonal look into my life as I try to maintain my mindfulness,” Jahi told DX. “It speaks to the inner work a person can do to bring balance to the mind, body and spirit. The video shows you where I go and what I do to achieve mindfulness. For me, it’s being near water that helps me center. And I’m a night owl.
“When it’s quiet outside, I can think inside. With all that is going on in the world and the need for mental health awareness in Hip Hop, Configa and I thought this would be a good time to share it with folks as a cultural PSA.”
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Forever Future arrived on March 7 and boasts 11 tracks bursting at the seams with nothing but raw Hip Hop and introspective lyrics.
Watch the “Mindfulness” video up top and find the album here.
Nashville, TN – DMX was a guest on Tory Lanez’s recently erected Quarantine Radio show on Instagram Live, where he confirmed he was working on his new album.
Although X’s time in the session was brief, the Canadian rapper had time to praise X for all of his accomplishments, saying, “We are complete fans, right now. We fucking love everything you’ve done for Hip Hop.”
“I’m ready to do it again,” X replies. “I’m down here in Nashville, working on the album. Music don’t stop!”
Lanez then asks if X would spit a verse from the upcoming project, but he says, “You could [ask], but I probably won’t.” From there, the energy explodes as X delivers his signature growl.
X, who has battled substance abuse off-and-on for years, recently did another stint in rehab. He hasn’t dropped a project since 2015’s Redemption of the Beast but while serving time for tax evasion in 2018, he said he was looking forward to making more music.
Upon his release, he signed a new deal with Def Jam and reconnected with longtime collaborator Swizz Beatz.
Last year, X returned to the stage after getting out of rehab. During a show at Las Vegas nightclub, X delivered a powerful message to the crowd, saying, “When you fall down, get back up. Everyone here has been through some shit … and you never know what God is willing to do for you until you need him to do something for you.
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“You won’t know if he’s willing to pick you up unless you fall down. You won’t know if he’s willing to help you find a way unless you get lost.”
E-40 will be releasing a bi-monthly EP series titled The Curb Commentator.
The veteran Bay Area rapper and business mogul made the announcement on social media along with the cover art for the first EP, Channel 1.
In the photo, Forty Water is suited up while sporting a beanie and his diamond-studded ‘Forty Water’ chain as he sits behind a news desk as an anchor for a sports television network. A bottle of E.Cuarenta – E-40’s tequila brand – sits to his left.
While no tracklist or features have been announced, Bay Area producer DJ Fresh commented on his involvement, which was confirmed by E-40’s response.
“Glad to be apart of this 1,” Fresh wrote, followed by the piano key emoji. E-40 responded with the “100” and top hat emojis.
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E-40 was recently involved in a short-lived beef with fellow Bay Area Hip Hop legend Richie Rich. After E-40 labeled Richie a snitch and words were exchanged on social media, the pair made peace over a meal.
Channel 1 is expected to arrive on April 17, Channel 2 on June 19, Channel 3 on August 14 and Channel 4 on October 16.
Slim Thug has dropped a new album titled Thug Life. The LP’s release comes just a few days after the Houston Hip Hop veteran announced he tested positive for COVID-19.
The Boss Hogg Outlawz leader’s latest work is comprised of 10 tracks. Scarface, Z-Ro, LE$, Yung Al and the late M.U.G. are featured on the project.
Check out Slim’s Thug Life stream, cover art and tracklist below.
1. No Lie
2. THUG LIFE (Life is Crazy)
3. Make It Right f. Z-Ro
4. This World
5. Paradise f. Yung Al
6. Both Eyes Open f. Z-Ro & Scarface
8. Standing Alone
9. Won’t Be Long (Apart) f. LE$ & M.U.G.
10. My Shoes
The N.W.A. icon was reportedly admitted to the hospital for a severe cough in February 1995 and was given his diagnosis. On March 16, he made a public statement. Four days later, he drafted a letter to his fans. On March 26, the 30-year-old rapper had passed away. Since that time there have been conspiracy theories about how Eazy-E contracted HIV/AIDS, but it’s believed that he got it from a ual partner.
Eazy-E’s legacy has continued and today, the rapper’s son, Lil Eazy-E, shared a touching video that included clips from his father’s funeral. Lil Eazy-E wanted to make sure people celebrated the life and legacy his dad. “25 YEARS,” he wrote in the caption. “Man no matter how many years it still hurts but I’m goin to continue to Represent……..RIP POPS I LOVE N MISS YOU EVERYDAY OF MY LIFE #Ripeazye #EazyE #compton #25 #Kingcompton.” Check out the tribute below.
Atlanta, GA – Jesseca Dupart couldn’t wait to reveal the big surprise gift to her girlfriend Da Brat in the couple’s house garage on March 16.
In an Instagram video posted by Dupart on Wednesday (March 26), the CEO and founder of Kaleidoscope Hair Products kept the modest “Gonna Give It To You” lyricist from running away in disbelief as she showed Da Brat her swanky, new Bentley for her 46th birthday.
Although Da Brat’s birthday is April 14, Dupart said in the post’s caption, “…with the way things were going and my excitement I couldn’t wait.”
“SHE HATES TO ACCEPT ANY GIFTS FROM ME, that’s y she was running. But she deserves the WORLD and so much more,” Dupart added.
The person who completed the transaction for the luxury race car is longtime Sid Barron.
He has sold Bentleys to a rolling list of Hip Hop artists including Future, Big Boi of Outkast, Lil Yachty, Lil Jon, Zaytoven, Southside and comedians such as Steve Harvey and Chris Tucker at the company’s Atlanta dealership.
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He recalled selling Da Brat her first car when she released her first single “Funkafied” released on Jermaine Dupri’s So So Def imprint in 1994.
“She and I have been friends for 25 years. I’ve known her since she was a teenager,” Barron told HipHopDX.
“I sold her just one car before, a BMW, but we stayed in touch because she hadn’t been a real big car person over the years. But if someone gives you a Bentley, you’re going to be a car person immediately.”
In addition to the gift, Dupart and Da Brat mutually confirmed their romantic relationship in their two respective Instagram posts.
“I’ve never been SOOOO happy and honestly think that it’s not only because of our connection but also because we really been to ourselves. But then all these videos keep popping up like we hiding. But WE BE IN PUBLIC why is y’all hiding to get footage. My better half , my forever , my twin flame @sosobrat HAPPY EARLY BIRTHDAY BABY BIRTHDAY,” Dupart said.
Da Brat gave an emotional thank you and love confessional to her significant other.
“I’ve always been a kind of private person until I met my heart’s match who handles some things differently than I do,” Da Brat said. “Thank you baby @darealbbjudy for far more than this incredible birthday gift. I have never experienced this feeling. It’s so overwhelming that often I find myself in a daze hoping to never get pinched to see if it’s real so I can live in this dream forever.”
It has been 25 years since the death of Eric “Eazy-E” Wright, at the age of 30.
Throughout his life, Eazy-E didn’t just embrace the role of the underdog — he relished it. As a founding member of N.W.A, he helped himself and his Compton hometown flourish despite no radio airplay and strong opposition from the F.B.I.
And when Ice Cube and Dr. Dre switched from group mates to foes, the soonly anointed “Godfather of Gangsta Rap,” persevered with some help from another underdog.
Gangsta Dresta spent five years of his adolescence in the California juvenile justice system, which turned out, had a media program. Dresta, whose real name is Andre Wicker, learned music and video production around the same time Hip Hop was becoming a fixture in popular culture.
Dresta had a connection to Eazy who, as fate would have it, was in need of someone with a magic pen.
“The relationship with us was predestined, Dresta recalls to HipHopDX in an exclusive conversation. “I was in Youth Authority for about five years, and I knew Eric before I went in. Me and his sister went to Roosevelt junior high school together. My mother was in prison, so I lived with my aunt one street over from Eazy’s mother’s house. They lived on Muriel I lived on Caress at the time. Throughout my time at Youth Authority I was building my reputation up as a writer and MC. I used to record songs, mixtapes, I helped create a media production program where they allowed us to learn how to record music and film. I was actually on the front page of the Los Angeles Times for that. I would make songs about the neighborhood so a lot of people already knew me from that. I’m really one of the first dudes in Compton that was doing mixtape songs, like 1986-1987,” he added.
Dresta had a reputation for being able to write rhymes. In a perfect piece of timing, he along with his brother B.G. Knocc Out caught the attention of Eazy-E, who had just taken a gut punch from Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg in the form of their Chronic diss track “Fuck Wit Dre Day (And Everybody’s Celebratin’)” Once again the underdog, Eazy needed to hit back and at the very last minute, Dresta came through for him in the clutch.
“A lot of people don’t know, It’s On Dr. Dre was already being pressed as I wrote ‘Real Compton City G’s,’ (a.k.a. ‘Real Muthaphuckkin G’s’), so once that song was done, the album stopped being pressed and we made that the first single. That’s how big it was,” Dresta remembered. “It brought a lot of inspiration to people all over the world who were seeing the direction of Death Row’s involvement in trying to sabotage Eazy-E’s career. And it wasn’t just them, it goes back to Ice Cube’s ‘No Vaseline,’ Dre leaving, it was a domino effect of trying to get Eazy-E out the way and that song kinda brought life back to Ruthless Records.”
From there, Dresta became an integral part of the new-look Ruthless Records.
“I actually co-directed the video for “Real Muthaphuckkin G’s.” A lot of those locations were picked by me, from my neighborhood. I wrote my own verses as well as verses for Eazy on ‘Sippin’ On A 40,’ ‘Ole School Shit,’ and ‘Gangsta Beat 4 Tha Street.’ A lot of people don’t know on ‘Ole School Shit,’ I wrote Sylk-E. Fyne’s verse. To this day, she said I’m the only male that’s ever written for her and that was the first song that got her known as a solo MC,” noted Dresta.
“Str8 Off Tha Streetz Of Muthafukkin’ Compton was supposed to be Eazy-E’s first double album, but when Eric passed, they put it together as one album with what they had. I believe Eric would have been the first rapper with a double CD.” [Editor-In-Chief note: DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince’s 1988 Grammy Award-winning album He’s the DJ, I’m the Rapper was actually Hip Hop’s first double project (and the first Grammy win for that matter).]
In addition to working on his own album and overseeing the careers of rising superstar group Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Dresta revealed that Eazy-E was ready to release another N.W.A album whether the original members came back or not.
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“He wanted to do an N.W.A record when he was trying to get Dr. Dre and Cube to come back together, but they wasn’t really with it at the time. So Eazy had a thought: He wanted to do a N.W.A record with just a black cover with ’N.W.A’ written on it and he was gonna include him, me, [B.G. Knoccout], and I think he was pitching to DJ Quik to be in the group.
“That was one of his ideas as well that he never got to. He owned the rights to the name N.W.A so if he couldn’t get the original members he was gonna do a record with no cover photo and have us as the rappers,” he added.
Around the time they were recording songs for Str8 Off The Streetz, Dresta and Eazy had a brief falling out over business. Thankfully they were able to work things out before the Comptown Records CEO’s death.
“Before his passing, we had just started back communicating. We fell out for a minute cause I kinda felt like we were being shut out as far as my relationship with Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. I helped with them in the beginning. We had a verbal agreement that I was supposed to be involved in [Creepin’ on ah Come Up] and receive points from it.
“We were having disputes about a few other things as well so I was doing little things to rebel and show E that the business practices needed to be better,” remembered Dresta. “But even though we fell apart for a minute we were getting back in the process of talking again. He said he was gonna rectify a lot of the issues we had.”
Although it’s been a quarter of a century since Eazy’s death, Dresta hopes to keep his legacy alive.
“I’ve written verses for his son Lil Eazy-E before on a mixtape song or two, but we’ve been speaking – me, him and my little brother B.G. Knocc Out – about doing a Real Compton City G’s group project and bringing back the essence of that nucleus we had,” he explains. “We’ve been talking about it but we haven’t really had the time to sit down and hash out the details and make it all make sense. I think it would be a good thing though,” said Dresta. “Eazy was just a spirit that a lot of people gravitated to cause of his youthfulness. He never tried to act like he was bigger than people. We didn’t have social media at the time so people didn’t know the extent to which he was involved in helping sick children and visiting The Children’s Hospital, the things that a lot of people do now for publicity, he didn’t do it for media attention. He always put in effort to give back in that way more than anything.”
Fittingly, one of Dresta’s fondest memories of Eazy centered around where it all began, the video for “Real Compton City G’s.”
“There was always a lot of laughter around him. One memory that always sticks with me, the day before we started filming the video for ‘Real Compton City G’s’ we all had Jheri curls, including myself. Eazy would tell you, ‘I don’t have a Jheri curl, nigga it’s a wave nouveau.’ He would never admit to having a Jheri curl, he called it a wave nouveau because of ‘No Vaseline.’ The day before we started filming, him being the visionary that he was, he was already trying to anticipate the response [from the other side] that we would receive from the song. He’s putting the visual together, I’m looking at it ahead of time like, okay they [Death Row] are gonna use three characters with Jheri curls, like the way them and us used A.J. Johnson. I figured they would use three dudes with Jheri curls, so I chose to go to the barbershop and cut my Jheri curl off the day before.
“When I made it to the video shoot, Eazy looked at me and said, ‘Man, what did you do?’ I said, ‘I’m not finna have these fools come back at me with no Jheri curl video so I chose to be the one without the Jheri curl.’ He said, ‘Nah nigga, you should’ve waited, do the filming first and then we shoulda cut the hair and sold it.’ I said, ‘Nigga, you talkin’ about cutting Jheri curls off, putting it into a bag and selling the Jheri curl?’ That was the kind of thinking he had.”
Listen to some classic Eazy-E below in honor of his legacy.
Tory Lanez appears to be quick at dishing out punches – and just as fast at fleeing the scene.
R&B singer Joshua Benoit posted an Instagram video of a heated Lanez launching a punch at his face. In the caption, he says Lanez ran immediately. Benoit also claims he repeatedly tried to contact Lanez regarding the incident to no avail.
“Yo @torylanez you’re going to sucker punch me and run out after?” Benoit wrote. “I’m not one to take to social media about things, but I reached out to you many times and this is the only way I can get your attention.
“Besides, I already seen this video going around, so It is what it is. I reached out to you to resolve this like men a few times! We live in the same city… get at me. This is the last time I’ll speak on it. If anyone has the full video DM me ASAP!!”
Lanez commented on the post, promising to share what transpired in an extended video on Friday (March 27).
“Ima post the full video on Friday,” he wrote. “Since u wanna cap !!!!!”
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This isn’t the first scuffle the Toronto rapper has been involved in. Last November, the Canadian rapper was caught on camera throwing a fist at Love & Hip Hop: Miami cast member Prince Michael Harty in a Miami nightclub.
Lanez’s new project New Toronto 3 is expected before the end of the month – his first release since completing his deal with Interscope Records.