It feels like just yesterday that I started the blog to cover South Jersey hip-hop. Although the semester is drawing to a close and were not required to continue our work, I’m going to keep this blog up instead of letting it sit as reminder of my past work.
For now here are my Favorite 5 Posts from the semester:
When you attend one of Lyrical Alliance’s open mics, poetry slams, workshops or even a general meeting, you witness the battle cry of one of Rowan University’s most diverse and talented groups.
-“Can I get an L.A.? “
I finally got a chance to compile and organize the second part of last week’s interview with Rich Quick. This interview goes more in depth as he describes: his start in music, what influences it, the current state of South Jersey hip-hop, and lastly, what keeps him driven as an artist. Give it a listen.
I think that a lot of the times, I wind up doing this to prove a whole bunch of people wrong; and then a lot of times, I feel like I do this to prove myself right.
Last Sunday, I got the chance to spend some time with Rich Quick, a Woodbury rapper who’s made a name for himself in the Philadelphia and South Jersey hip-hop scene. We got the chance to speak about many different topics including his new music, South Jersey hip-hop, his beginnings, his drive and other random topics. The second part of this interview will be posted soon, but for now take a peek at what Rich has to say about his upcoming project.
His Last release, “I’m With The Dj”, is available for download here.
While attending a concert in Atlantic City this past Friday, I was handed a free mixtape that featured mostly underground hip hop artists. Even though I had never heard many of these artists before, I figured it would hurt to give the collection a listen. The name of the CD is “That’s Fresh”, and it is a mixtape compiled by Jay Bennett, or JayFromJerz, as I was introduced.
Initially I expected the CD to feature nothing but artists from the south jersey and philly area. However, after a very tedious search through social networks, YouTube and other Google generated results would have have me realizing otherwise.
The purpose of this map is to display the locations generally represented by each artist featured in JayFromJerz’s compilation. It’s underlying duty is also to show that despite the fact that many of the elements of the music are similar (good old, boop bap) good music is not limited to a specific area. It is available for download here.
Each marked location below represents the area where the performing artists is from or best associates with.
Aside from being a south jersey native and Rowan Alumni, Bennett helps promote underground hip hop through the release of these compilations, which often feature artists from the south jersey and Philly area.
Drake Interview on EVR
Elliott Wilson was joined by Drake on his weekly show, “Keepin’ It Thoro”. The Toronto rapper spoke on numerous issues including his upcoming album, “Nothing Was The Same”, and his ongoing problems with Chris Brown. He also spoke on his relationship with other artists and noted that new music would be released later this week.
The complete broadcast can be found on East Village Radio.
Or can be heard below.
New Music: “King Remembered In Time” – Big K.R.I.T.
Rick Ross Lyric Controversy
Following the controversy that came from a lyric from the remix to Rocko’s U.O.E.N.O. , Reebok dropped Rick Ross from his endorsement deal. Despite his various attempts at apologizing for what he called a misinterpretation, pressure had been place on the company to drop the spokesman after a protest and a petition by women’s rights group, UltraViolet in New York. Following his release from the company, the rapper released an official statement, thanking Reebok and actually apologizing.
Jay-Z Open Letter (Y’all Gon Learn Today)
Jay-Z faced scrutiny from 2 Cuban-American U.S. representatives after taking a honeymoon trip to Cuba. In response to the all the drama (including his move to become a sports agent) he released this song to address the situation.
This gallery contains 6 photos.
There was a faint smell in the air as I walked into the shed in Fairless Hills, PA. A smell reminiscent of cigarettes and a myriad of crazy nights, could enter your lungs and take you out surprise. This was the kind of place described in stories that often begin with, “You remember that time […]
I hope everyone has enjoyed the blog so far. There is only a few weeks left within the semester but it’s sure to be packed with much more content for your ears and eyes.We have featured several SJ emcees during our time and will continue to do so, during the next few weeks.
My Weekend Obsession With Death
Chuck Thomas‘s next project, “My Weekend Obsession With Death”, was supposed to be released this past Tuesday, however it has been delayed until further notice. Nonetheless, We will keep you up to date with it’s release
For now, here is the first single of the project, “Perfect”.
SjBRL will be experimenting with various forms of media in our coverage of our favorite topic. Expect audio and video interviews over the next several weeks.
Beats, Rhymes & Life: Live Show?
What better way to showcase some of SJ’s best talent then hosting a live show?
Although it is currently a work in progress, SjBRL is working on hosting a live event that would feature artists showcased on the site, as well as other artist from the area that want to be heard. The plan is still being figured out of course, but feel free to contact me if you would like to be featured or would like to assist the process.
Now that spring break is over, it’s time to get back on the grind. If you saw the South Jersey Video Playlist post, you may have seen our next guest in the Corfu cypher or on “Backyard Boogalo” with Miilkbone. Nonetheless, I was able to contact Skrewtape over the break for a quick interview to help provide some more insight into his work and upcoming projects.
Skrewtape is a culmination of the elements that made 90’s hip-hop it’s edge. He’s not the kind of rapper you would catch wearing skinny jeans and Harlem shaking, but his energy and rhymes can get a crowd rocking any day.
How long have you been rapping for?
Well over a decade, Since I was 13, I guess. I didn’t start taking it seriously until later on though. From the age of 17 to 21 I got a real taste for it, but it wasn’t ‘til I cleaned up and got sober around the age of 26 that I committed most of my focus to it. That’s when shit started to open up for me.
- Where did you rap name come from?
I adopted the name from a book by C.S. Lewis, “The Screwtape Letters”. I felt the writing style and concept of the book and its main character paralleled my approach to music. You’d have to read it to really understand how the name is significant, but basically the chapters in it highlight human nature’s inherent goodness, while written thru the eyes of pure evil.
I read it for the first time years ago and dug that paradox of duality. Plus, I thought the name sounded cool at the time. The name stuck. Most people just call me Skrew though. Looking back on my philosophy now, I probably should have chosen a name from an Alan Watts book or something.
- What inspires your music?
A desire to express myself and highlight certain aspects of our lifestyle and culture. Aspects that I feel have been forgotten or misrepresented. I get inspired by almost anything. I enjoy seeing a whole become more than the sum of its parts. Words and sounds coming together to form complex ideas and moods is a miracle in my eyes. Being able to do that is what inspires me. Sometimes I just like to talk some shit though. That’s why I love Hip-Hop: No rules.
- What is the message behind it?
Street wise with a deep side. My message depends on the song. Every life has a story, every story has a lesson. As a human being, my everyday message would be to: 1. Know more about the universe than you did yesterday, and 2. Lessen the suffering of others. As an artist, my message would be that it’s all just music. Some take themselves too seriously, and some not enough. I’m somewhere in between all that, just doing what I love.
At times, I wish my music reflected more heavily on my personal philosophy, but then again, I’d hate for every song of mine to sound like a metaphysics text-book. Music is about having fun. If I can slip some gems in there while doing that, mission accomplished.
Lately, a lot of the music I’ve been putting out for this Skumbag Millionaires LP has been on some straight grimy style, cipher poem type shit. Witty wordplay, gritty content. The type of shit that I grew up listening to. Basically I’ve been paying homage to the years of my life I spent on the streets involved with drugs, doing dumb shit. Years that shaped my personality, but hopefully not my character.
- What is CORFU and who’s [Am] down with it?
Corfu is a collective, if you will. Like minded and talented individuals building, booking shows, and promoting with one another. There is a core group of emcee/producers and also a wealth of supporters who are “Am Down” for the cause.
- How many albums have you dropped and when is the next one coming?
Skumbag Millionaires (dropping in May) is my first solo effort, tho you could hardly call it that. Featured artists include Pace Won, Young Zee, Mr. Green, Tame One, Copywrite, Reef The Lost Cauze, C-Rayz Walz, Shabaam Sahdeeq, Thirstin Howl III, El Da Sensei, MiilkBone, Nems, Kevlaar 7, Apollo The Great, Renagade, Biz Mighty, Rich Quick, Voss, and a gang of other established up and comers. It’s an ambitious project with a lotta tracks, but I’m hoping it will be regarded as an indie/underground classic.
As far as other projects, i have a few in the works for after Skumbag Millionaires drops. I’ve been putting out tracks here and there for years. Also, back in 2010, Expo, DJ Gravity, and myself released “Mushroom Cloud“. There’s a bunch of music out there, but way more to come.
- When is your next show?
Seems I’ve been doing 3-4 shows a month lately. You can catch me on any given weekend in Philly or Jersey. The next BIG event is the 420 celebration on April 19 in Atlantic City at the Grande Fromage. I’ll be rocking with Reef The Lost Cauze, Dutch Dap, Elsworth, and my Corfu Family among others. The show is sponsored by NORML, so for a 420 event, it’s gon’ be pretty official.
- If you could hop on the track with any rapper who would it be and why?
Wow, Good question. There’s a bunch. I’ve had so many influences musically. If I had to pick one though maybe Brother Ali? Depending on the mood I’m in. He’s dope on any occasion. If I’m feeling particularly fly that day though, I might have to go with a Ghostface or an Action Bronson.
For more Skrewtape, check him out on:
Its that time of the week again.
If you haven’t been keeping up with the festivities at SXSW, here are a just a few highlights of this weeks events.
- TDE Show @ The Fader Fort
- Bonus: “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe Remix (Ft. Jay-Z)”
- Earl Sweatshirt’s performs “Whoa”
- Usher performing Acapella (“Bad Girl”, “You Got It Bad”, “Lovers & Friends”)
- Macklemore performing “Thrift Shop”
For more performances check out the Fader Fort.
Gat is better known as Officer Maurice Gattison, president of Irvington’s police union, and the other three men are decorated township officers. All four are now the subject of an internal investigation because of the video, which has reignited a debate about what police officers can and can’t say. Does the right of free speech trump department rules and regulations when the cops are off-duty? (The Star Ledger/Nj.com)
Move over Rick Ross, there’s a new
sheriff officer in town. Ethical issue or just bad idea altogether?
Coming soon: An interview with Camden’s own Skrewtape.