by / November 13th, 2012 /

Top Story: A Month In…Hip-Hop

The idea of a hip-hop artist performing at a U.S presidential rally would have been inconceivable at one time but on the eve of the election, it seems The President called upon his best mate Jay Z to help seal the deal. With a cheeky grin, Jay told the crowd at the event in Columbus Ohio, “I didn’t get clearance from the secret service for this so if they tackle me, you have to come and save me”. Jigga then launched into his classic ‘99 Problems’, which he gave an appropriately political twist by singing ‘I’ve got 99 problems but Mitt ain’t one’. It’s unlikely that Obama’s opponent, Mitt Romney will be holding up the diamond sign at the next Jay Z gig, but let’s hope that he saw the funny side.

The persistent conspiracy theories about Tupac’s death are creepy enough but a hoax surrounding his biopic is a strange one even by Hollywood standards. The fledgling production truly seemed jinxed with two directors backing out of the project as a suitable lead actor could not be found. A legal battle between Pac’s mother Afeni and the film production company didn’t help matters. With an agreement reached an official trailer for the movie was released but there is now speculation that even the trailer itself is a fake. Reportedly the movie will be released in Summer 2013 an all eyes are on this one.

In celebration of 50 years of Jamaican independence, godfathers of reggae, Ernest Ranglin and Sly & Robbie are performing in Whelan’s on December 2nd. Ranglin – who is credited with inventing the ‘scratching’ style of guitar playing – continues to perform, bringing a blend of Ska, Blues and Jazz to live audiences. A Jamaican hall of fame inductee, he has recorded with Bob Marley, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry and Jimmy Cliff. His unmistakable riffs have become an integral part of the traditional Caribbean sound. Sharing the stage, the ‘masters of groove propulsion’ Sly and Robbie will bring their own eclectic reggae fusion to proceedings. Ever prolific, their experimentation within the genre has seen them reinvent the reggae sound. So put away the winter woollies and drift into your own Island fantasy, for one night anyway.

The man with the hip hop world at his feet and Dr. Dre on his speed dial, Kendrick Lamar comes to Dublin’s Vicar St on January 14th 2013. Tickets are on sale now for rap’s new hot commodity. Get there quick as this one is sure to sell out fast.

Meek Mill wins track of the month for his latest single, ‘Maybach Curtins’. Taken from his new album Dreams And Nightmares, this collaboration with Nas, John Legend and Rick Ross is a soulful hip hop ballad. Inspired by his days looking through the curtains at his rough Philadelphia neighbourhood while dreaming of stardom, Mill gets a little help from his friends as Queensbridge icon Nas contributes a raw yet eloquent rhyme, label boss Rick Ross ways in with his own larger then life verse. The track is complete with John Legend’s soaring vocals on the anthemic chorus.

See you in four weeks.