by / March 4th, 2014 /

A Month In: Hip-Hop – February

Common chimes in on the N-word debate

“At one point, my mother asked me [not to] use it, at one point Dr. Maya Angelou said she didn’t support it and you know, I love her”, Common said during a special ESPN broadcast regarding the use of the N-word in NFL. “This is the way we talk. This is part of the language and when I’m speaking to the people that need to receive the word, I’m speaking in the language that we do talk and if I talk over those people’s heads or I don’t use language that I naturally would speak in my raps, they may not get the message and that’s what I think our attention behind the usage of the word has to be understood.

“I won’t stop communicating like that but I will make people aware that it’s certain people who shouldn’t use this word because of the root of the word.” He continued, “Unfortunately some people don’t understand that they shouldn’t use it so we gotta make them aware. No, you can’t use this word. This is something that’s off-limits to you.”

As hip-hop’s favourite bone of contention rears its head again, it proves that rap and political correctness just don’t mix.

Coss unites ‘street’ and ‘conscious’ hip-hop

Troy ‘Coss’ Johnson is a MC from LA’s Westside and although he’s still on the fringes of the mainstream, he is making a name for himself with what has been described as street and conscious rap stemming from exposure to gang violence while growing up in a religious household. With jazz-influenced production and a focus on fluid rhymes, Coss claims that he wants to rap about every day experiences. His raps are aimed at the thugs, nerds and everyone in between. His back catalogue and his latest EP titled I Used to Lust Her are all available to download for free from

New music from Amiri

Staying with fresh, talent Amiri is another MC worth watching out for in 2014. A South Carolina native, he sites artists like Kurtis Blow and Run DMC as childhood inspiration. Amiri honed his skills and developed a signature sound that recreates the classic 90′s era of hip hop. He went on to work with many underground emcees such as Spectac and Rashad Tribe Called Quest. Since 2010, he has released two solo albums, two albums as Spectac & Amiri, numerous remixes and beat tapes in addition to producing for other artists. His third solo LP is entitled ‘This Is Part Time’ and is available to download now.

Big Daddy Kane plays the Sugar Club

Hip-hop legend Big Daddy Kane plays live at The Sugar Club on 3rd May. 25 years into his career, Kane continues to build his reputation on his theatrical approach into hip-hop. Tailored costumes, choreography, helped to make the Brookyln MC, one of rap’s first real showmen. Aside from his live performances, he released several gold albums including Long Live The Kane and Taste of Chocolate which saw him collaborate with Barry White, Teddy Riley and Quincy Jones among others. This is one show not to be missed. Tickets are on sale now.

LL Cool J works with hip-hop’s new crop

During a visit to the recently reincarnated Arsenio Hall Show, LL Cool J spoke about hip hop’s new breed of artists. While he praised Kid Ink Tyga and Chris Brown, with whom he worked with on a remix of ‘Main Chick’, he wasn’t as friendly towards Kayne West. With his tongue in his cheek, he said “Kanye West,(is doing well) when he’s not complaining. I love you, man, but stop complainin’, B.”. On making music Cool J said “I just want it to feel good. Don’t concern yourself with whether or not I said the slickest analogy, metaphor or simile or my couplet. It’s just about how it makes you feel.”.