We attended Justin Timberlake FutureSex/LoveShow on Saturday and it was my best concert going experience in the Seattle area to date. A lot had to do with the location. The Tacoma Dome being an enclosed building and a sports arena has the right combination of acoustics and availability of vending services. I attended  Eminem’s Anger Management 3 and Kenny Chesney’s The Road & Radio at the White River Amphitheatre and Qwest Field respectively and both locations were suffered from lousy acoustics because they were open air locations. 

We missed the opening band which didn’t bother me once it was confirmed that it was not going to be Timbaland. JT’s performance was top notch, he not only performed the hits from both albums but also threw in some unexpected surprises like his verses from Gone and Dick in a Box. After the audience was done singing along to the latter, he joked “You guys watch too much YouTube”. I was amused that he didn’t say “You guys watch too much SNL”. He also mentioned that it had just won an Emmy that night. “Only in America,” he laughed. 

I was surprised to notice that audience seemed to have been an older crowd than the crowd from Bumbershoot. That said, all those JT fans in their 20s and 30s still scream like teenage girls so I’d suggest some ear plugs if you’re ever thinking of attending one of his concerts. 

Now playing: Justin Timberlake - What Goes Around.../...Comes Around Interlude


Categories: Music

We were at Bumbershoot on Monday because one of Jenna's friends is the drummer in the Sneaky Thieves and we came to show our love. Since we were already there we decided to stay for two of the main stage concerts.

We saw John Legend in the afternoon and his set was quite good even though the acoustics weren’t that great since it’s an open air stadium. Once we figured out that we needed to go down in front of the stage instead of sitting up in the bleachers, it went from “aight” to “tight”.

The late show was Wu-Tang Clan and they represented. There were tracks from solo albums, from their classic first and second albums and even some of Ol’ Dirty’s singles rapped by Method Man. It was sick. The main surprise of the show was seeing how many kids who look like they weren’t born when Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) first dropped were in attendance. It was also kinda scary seeing so many kids blowing doja but I tried to remember that it was the same way when I was in my teens. Dang, I’m already getting too old for concerts.

In between John Legend and Wu-Tang, we went to see Rush Hour 3. It was pretty bad. Not only did the plot make no sense at all but they also reused plot elements from the previous movies in a non-ironic way. There were laughs but they came infrequently and the action was heavily toned down [probably because Jackie Chan is now in his fifties]. Overall, I give it *** out of ***** because it was still better than most of the crap Hollywood puts out these days.   

Now playing: Wu-Tang Clan - Protect Ya Neck


Categories: Movie Review | Music | Personal

Via Anil Dash, I've found out that R. Kelly will be releasing a sequel to Trapped in the Closet, Chapters 1 - 12 this month. How ridiculously bad is "Trapped in the Closet"? Watch the video recap from Chapter 13 which is embedded below.

The original was such a favorite in our household that when I tried to introduce my fiancée's son to the greatness that was He-Man: Season One he rejected it and asked to watch "Trapped in the Closet" instead. I've already pre-ordered my copy from Amazon. 


Categories: Music

April 29, 2007
@ 12:13 PM

I really got into Nigerian hip hop and R&B music while I was there over the past few weeks. Below are links to my favorite songs from my trip, many of which are fairly old but were new to me.

  1. Tongolo by D'Banj: A club banger done in a mix of pidgin English and Yoruba

  2. Raise the Roof by Jazzman Olofin: Don't be fooled by the English title this song is mostly in Yoruba. The song is a general exhortation to dance which is a fairly popular topic for Yoruba hit music

  3. Iya Basira by Styl-Plus: A humorous song about a guy who gets so hooked on food from Iya Basira's (i.e. Basira's Mom) restaurant that he thinks she is using jazz (i.e. magic, voodooo, juju, etc) to make the food taste so good.

  4. Nfana Ibaga (No Problem) by 2Face Idibia: The opening rap is beyond wack but the song itself is quite good. He scored an international hit with a song called African Queen which I really didn't feel that much.

  5. Imagine That by Styl-Plus: This is a fairly crappy video but I love the song. The chorus is a mix of Yoruba and English. Roughly translated it goes "Imagine That! She says she doesn't want us to do this anymore. Imagine That! After everything I've done for her. Imagine That! What does she expect to become of me if she goes. Imagine That! If she goes".


Categories: Music | Personal | Trip Report

January 18, 2007
@ 11:34 PM

I've always wondered how mixtape DJs can get away with selling CDs consisting of people rapping over hot beats from popular pop songs without a nod to the original artist or producer. According to the New York Time story With Arrest of DJ Drama, the Law Takes Aim at Mixtapes it looks like they won't be getting away with it anymore. Excerpt below

In the world of hip-hop few music executives have more influence than DJ Drama. His “Gangsta Grillz” compilations have helped define this decade’s Southern rap explosion. He has been instrumental in the careers of rappers like Young Jeezy and Lil Wayne. He appears on the cover of the March issue of the hip-hop magazine XXL, alongside his friend and business partner T.I., the top-selling rapper of 2006. And later this year DJ Drama is scheduled to make his Atlantic Records debut with “Gangsta Grillz: The Album.”
Mixtapes are, by definition, unregulated: DJs don’t get permission from record companies, and record companies have traditionally ignored and sometimes bankrolled mixtapes, reasoning that they serve as valuable promotional tools. And rappers have grown increasingly canny at using mixtapes to promote themselves. The career of 50 Cent has a lot to do with his mastery of the mixtape form, and now no serious rapper can afford to be absent from this market for too long.
DJ Drama’s mixtapes are often great. He has turned “Gangsta Grillz” into a prestige brand: each is a carefully compiled disc, full of exclusive tracks, devoted to a single rapper who is also the host. Rappers often seem proud to be considered good enough for a “Gangsta Grillz” mixtape. On “Dedication,” the first of his two excellent “Gangsta Grillz” mixtapes, Lil Wayne announces, “I hooked up with dude, now we ’bout to make history.” The compilation showed off Lil Wayne more effectively than his albums ever had, and “Dedication” helped revive his career.

This sucks. I love mixtapes and would hate for the RIAA to cause an end to mixtape series like Gangsta Grillz or G-Unit Radio. What I didn't expect was that Lil Wayne would start talking smack about DJ Drama after he helped resurrect his career though. From the VH1 article, 'Play The Game Fair': Lil Wayne Responds To DJ Drama's Mixtape Bust

"Smarten up," Lil Wayne advised mixtape DJs. "Smarten up."

For the past few years, Wayne has seen his entire career shift thanks to his performance on mixtapes. Street CDs such as his Gangsta Grillz classics The Dedication and The Dedication 2 have catapulted him to the lyrical elite in the minds of fans. Last year, he may have been the MC with the most material on the mixtape circuit.

"It's a bad thing," Wayne said of the Aphilliates' arrests, "but you gotta play the game fair. If you don't play fair, all kind of things can happen. You gotta watch people like DJ Clue, watch people like DJ Khaled. They do it right."

Wow. All I can say to that is Stop Snitching.


Categories: Music

December 28, 2006
@ 03:52 PM

The Wired Vaporware Awards '06 was announced this week and item #8 is The IPod Killer. Specifically the article states

8. The "IPod Killer"

Every time we hear about a new portable audio device, it's touted as the magic bullet that will end the iPod's reign once and for all.

Oh, you mean that thing? The one with the ugly design and clunky user interface? Does it at least work with iTunes?

Microsoft's Zune was supposed to do the trick, but it's sitting on the shelves (even the SanDisk Sansa is selling better than Zune) while the kids are all enjoying their freshly unwrapped, shiny new iPods.

Note to everyone: It's a White Wire World. Get over it.

I've bought a lot of iPods in my day and I've been making a list of things I'd like to see out of Microsoft's Zune effort that would tip the scales and make us go from a multiple iPod household to a Zune household. Below is a list of the 5 things that I think it would take to convert myself, my girlfriend and her oldest daughter from iPod users to Zune users based on conversations we've had about switching.

  1. Improve the Pocketability Factor: If you check out pictures of an iPod and a Zune side by side you'll notice that the iPod is thinner and shorter. Since I carry an MP3 player around a few hours a day either around my arm when working out or when walking around at work, the less bulky it is the better. My girlfriend definitely doesn't want to walk around with the outline of a rectangular brick in her pants especially now that skinny jeans are in

  2. Do Something Cool with the Wifi: At Christmas dinner, I was talking to a family friend who just graduated from college and she asked me about the Zune. She perked up when she heard about the Wifi capabilities and music sharing until she found out the limitations in the music sharing capabilities (3 days or 3 plays) which she described as lame. I doubt that there is much that can be done to make the music sharing feature interesting to college kids since [as she told me] they just want free music. However there are a lot of cool things I can imagine doing with a portable music player that has Wifi. For example, what if I was listening to a song on the radio on my Zune then could purchase that song in a few clicks right from the device? What if I could receive internet radio with no ads on my device?  

  3. iPod Dock Connector Compatibility: A lot of people mistakenly think that the large investment that prevents people from switching from an iPod is the library of songs they've purchased from iTMS which won't be compatible with another DRM system. However in my experience I've noticed that the huge range of iPod dock connector accessories is becoming more of a factor. After all, auto manufacturers from Chrysler to Ford, GM and Mazda are all shipping iPod-ready cars. We spent a few hundred dollars converting my girlfriend's SUV to an iPod-ready one. Then there's all the travel speakers, including my Christmas present a FUNKit DJ iPod Speakers. Re-buying hundreds of dollars worth of accessories doesn't fill me with glee. However if we could go to an electronics store like RadioShack and get a an iPod<->Zune connector that would ease the transition a great deal.

  4. Smaller, Cheaper Versions: The iPod Nano has totally swept the young girl demographic. Whenever we end up at the mall and I'm dragged to Claire's I tend to see a lot of iPod Nano accessories but very few for the video iPod. We need a Zune that targets that demographic.

  5. Celebrity Product Placement: I almost feel embarrassed to admit this but the tipping point for getting my first iPod wasn't when all the gadget wunderkinds at work got one or when I almost fell of the treadmill because I was switching CDs on my portable CD player. No, the tipping point was when I saw 50 Cent using one in the P.I.M.P. video. If you want to impress me with the cool kids that are using the player, don't show me annoying looking hipsters I probably couldn't stand if I met in real life. Another good example of this kind of product placement is Mariah Carey using a RAZR in the Shake It Off video.

What would it take for you to switch to a Zune?

Categories: Music

December 5, 2006
@ 01:26 PM

Any Zune owners got any good stories about using the music sharing feature yet? The Zune ads make it looks so cool but I wonder how it actually works out socially. Do people ask each other for songs or is it more like the comic strip above?

Categories: Music

November 6, 2006
@ 03:41 AM

My girlfriend's iPod Mini seems to have a corrupted file system after the kids unplugged and restarted the PC with it attached. This seemed like a good opportunity for her to get a new MP3 player and I suggested that suggested that she get a Zune. She liked the idea and was almost completely sold until she remembered that we'd already spent a couple of hundred dollars iPod-enabling her car. Since I haven't heard any rumors that Zunes will be compatible with the iPod connectors I lost that argument.

When we went to the mall, the Apple store was busy so we got her new iPod from the iPod vending machine at Macy's instead. I'm not sure which was the most mind boggling thing about the purchase. The fact that iPod vending machines exist? The fact that there was actually a line at the iPod vending machine? Or that the machine seemed to be getting enough regular usage to be sold out of iPod Nanos? Wow.

The Zune is definitely going to have an uphill battle for mindshare. It's from the same folks who brought us XBox so they've gone up against a deeply entrenched incumbent in the personal electronics game before. This will be interesting to watch. 


Categories: Music

Cesar Menendez has a blog post entitled Zune and DRM (or "My Bad; I mis-Blogged") where he addresses some of the concerns around the Wi-Fi sharing features of the Zune. He writes

I misspoke (mis-blogged) on last week’s post. We don’t actually “wrap all songs up in DRM:” Zune to Zune Sharing doesn’t change the DRM on a song, and it doesn’t impose DRM restrictions on any files that are unprotected. If you have a song - say that you got “free and clear” - Zune to Zune Sharing won’t apply any DRM to that song. The 3-day/3-play limitation is built into the device, and it only applies on the Zune device: when you receive a song in your Inbox, the file remains unchanged. After 3 plays or 3 days, you can no longer play the song; however, you can still see a listing of the songs with the associated metadata.

So, to answer the direct question, Zune doesn’t have “viral DRM.” And mea culpa on telling everyone that we impose DRM.

In reading this, it seems that although Cesar has clarified the implementation the behavior [to end users] is still the same whether the music files are wrapped in DRM or the Zune knows that any song it gets over Wi-Fi can no longer be played 3 plays or 3 days without having to alter the files. I'm curious to see what the answers are to some of the questions asked by Joshua O'Madadhain about the 3 play/3 day feature since this is currently the most interesting feature of the device.

PS: I finally got to play with a Zune device at work and I like what they've done with album art in the music experience. The wider screen for watching videos is also a nice touch. I did have some difficulty with the controls because I kept trying to treat the D-pad as a scroll wheel due to my over-familiarity with the iPod. Check out the videos of playing music and videos on the Zune and Zune to Zune music sharing on Youtube if you want to see what it's like.


Categories: Music

September 19, 2006
@ 07:56 PM

A number of recent events in the digital music space has made me start coming around to Cory Doctorow's way of thinking on DRM. Specifically, I've been debating on whether to get a Zune as my next digital music player once I'm done with my current music player. One of the issues that has come to mind is highlighted in Charles Miller's post entitled The greatest trick where he states

Meanwhile, once you’ve started buying music on iTunes, unless you start illegally breaking the DRM locks, your next DAP is going to have to be an iPod, and the one after, and the one after.

Remember when the iTunes Music Store was launched, and Apple’s public line on FairPlay was: “Yes, it’s DRM, but we fought so hard with the recording industry to make sure we can let you burn CDs and play music on multiple devices!”

The greatest trick Apple pulled was to build a market where lock-in is mandated, but convince the world that this was something they did reluctantly, at the behest of the villainous recording industry.

Like most iPod users, I don't have a ton of music that was purchased from the iTunes music store but I still don't want to end up losing that music once I switch devices. Thanks to proprietary DRM, a portion of my music library is forever tied to Apple's family of digital audio players.

On a related note, I just noticed that Napster is for sale which isn't a good sign. Before this is all over, it is likely that one or more online music services will disappear as a natural effect of competition in the marketplace. In this case, what happens to the music libraries of all the people who have purchased DRMed music from these services? When I buy a CD, I don't have to worry about losing my music if the record label goes out of business. Thanks to DRM, I now have to worry about the long term viability of the company's products before buying music. I now have to make music purchasing decisions based on whether I think iPod/iTunes or Zune/Zune Marketplace will be around in 5 years. That sucks.

I'm definitely not buying DRMed music anymore. Ripping from CDs is the way to go.


Categories: Music

September 19, 2006
@ 12:04 AM

I saw the following entry entitled Premiere Cancelled on Weird Al Yankovic's MySpace page where he writes

I'm very sorry to say that the AOL "First View" Premiere of the "White & Nerdy" video has been cancelled.

Apparently, the video has already leaked online, and AOL doesn't feel comfortable doing a "World Premiere" promotion for a video that a number of people have seen already. (I can understand songs leaking, but a video? How'd THAT happen?)

Anyway, it's really a bummer... it would have been great promotion for the album... but hey, life goes on.

I was just watching the video on YouTube which now seems to have been taken down. It sucks that Weird Al is losing a promotional opportunity because his video leaked onto YouTube. I just might go ahead and pickup this CD as a show of solidarity.

The song is sweet, you can hear it for yourself at http://www.myspace.com/weirdal.


Categories: Music

A BBC article entitled iPod fans 'shunning iTunes store' states

The Jupiter Research report says that, on average, only 20 of the tracks on an iPod will be from the iTunes shop.

Far more important to iPod owners, said the study, was free music ripped from CDs someone already owned or acquired from file-sharing sites.

The report's authors claimed their findings had profound implications for the future of the online music market.
However, the report into the habits of iPod users reveals that 83% of iPod owners do not buy digital music regularly. The minority, 17%, buy and download music, usually single tracks, at least once per month.

On average, the study reports, only 5% of the music on an iPod will be bought from online music stores. The rest will be from CDs the owner of an MP3 player already has or tracks they have downloaded from file-sharing sites.

This jibes with the anecdotal evidence from my usage of the iPod and that of others I know who own iPods. This means that Apple made the right call by overcharging for the hardware and taking a hit on the price of the music as opposed to a strategy of subsidizing the hardware with the intent of making up the difference from the sale of music from the iTunes Music Store. Someone should send a memo to Jonathan Schwartz (who's suggested that car companies give away cars and make up the difference in subscription services) letting him know that this isn't always a brilliant strategy.

As others have pointed out, people have been buying CDs for about 20 years and only been using iTunes for the past 3 or so years. Thus it is to be expected that people have more music that they've ripped from CD than they got via the iTunes store. Once you throw in all the music have gotten over the years from file sharing networks like Napster, Kazaa & even just network shares in college dorms the percentage of music purchased from the iTunes Music Store on an iPod seems reasonable. It's also quite interesting that the article ends on the following note

Perhaps the only salient characteristic shared by all owners of portable music players was that they were more likely to buy more music - especially CDs.

"Digital music purchasing has not yet fundamentally changed the way in which digital music customers buy music," read the report.

Again, this also jibes with my experience with my iPod as well. I spend a lot more time listening to music from the same device now that I have my iPod. I listen to it while working out, while in the car and while working at my desk. Since I now spend more time listening to music from the same source as opposed to having to haul around CDs from place to place if I want to listen to the same music in my car and at my desk, I consume more music. The portable MP3 player is probably the best thing to happen to the music industry in decades.


Categories: Music

September 14, 2006
@ 07:33 PM

From the Microsoft press release Microsoft’s Zune Delivers Connected Music and Entertainment Experience we learn

The Zune Experience

Available this holiday season in the United States, Zune includes a 30GB digital media player, the Zune Marketplace music service and a foundation for an online community that will enable music fans to discover new music. The Zune device features wireless technology, a built-in FM tuner and a bright, 3-inch screen that allows users to not only show off music, pictures and video, but also to customize the experience with personal pictures or themes to truly make the device their own. Zune comes in three colors: black, brown and white.

Every Zune device creates an opportunity for connection. Wireless Zune-to-Zune sharing lets consumers spontaneously share full-length sample tracks of select songs, homemade recordings, playlists or pictures with friends between Zune devices. Listen to the full track of any song you receive up to three times over three days. If you like a song you hear and want to buy it, you can flag it right on your device and easily purchase it from the Zune Marketplace.

Zune makes it easy to find music you love — whether it’s songs in your existing library or new music from the Zune Marketplace. Easily import your existing music, pictures and videos in many popular formats and browse millions of songs on Zune Marketplace, where you can choose to purchase tracks individually or to buy a Zune Pass subscription to download as many songs as you want for a flat fee.

To get started with great music and videos out of the box, every Zune device is preloaded with content from record labels such as DTS, EMI Music’s Astralwerks Records and Virgin Records, Ninja Tune, Playlouderecordings, Quango Music Group, Sub Pop Records, and V2/Artemis Records.

Nice. The ability to share songs with friends so they can try before they buy is quite nice. I don't know about coming preloaded with music if it's going to be the kind of stuff you see pimped in the blogs of Zune insiders like Cesar Menendez and Richard Winn. What would be sweet, would be getting themed preloaded music (e.g. hip hop, heavy metal, or pretentious emo music preloads). I'd prefer that to a one size fits all approach to preloading music on the devices.

You can also find more information about Zune devices including pictures in Cesar Menendez's blog post entitled Zune Details Revealed.


Categories: Music

I've probably mentioned that in my teenage years I was in a rap group with some friends from high school. Eventually, I became a computer geek and now work at Microsoft. However some of my friends kept at it and some of their friends have as well. Thanks to YouTube, I can now share their music with you

  1. My name is... by Ikechukwu

  2. Delicious by BigLo feat. 2shotz

It's great to see some of my friends living their dream. It's definitely made my day.

By the way, uploading videos to YouTube is ridiculously easy. Any Microsoft competitor in this space will have a hard act to follow. It will be interesting to see if YouTube ends up getting usurped from the #1 spot.


Categories: Music | Personal

June 20, 2006
@ 07:07 PM

I've counted myself lucky to find a girlfriend who has similar tastes in music to me. Most of my friends don't like equal parts Lil Jon, Metallica, G-Unit and Backstreet Boys but my girlfriend does. In addition, she likes the crunk hip hop clubs just like I do. In fact, the clubs we tend to like going to regularly seem to end up getting closed down for being too crunk (e.g. Mr Lucky, Larry's).

So you can imagine that I was quite surprised by her recent request that we attend a Kenny Chesney concert. So I asked here "Who's Kenny Chesney?" and she replied that he was a country singer. I was like "But you don't like country music" and she replied that actually she did. Since this revelation, you are now just as likely to hear us listening to Settle for a Slowdown or What Hurts the Most as you are to hear Poppin' My Collar or Hustlin' as we drive down the street. How times change.

The concert is this weekend and I'm not sure I have appropriate attire. If one of my coworkers who reads my blog has a cowboy hat that I can borrow, I'd greatly appreciate it.


Categories: Music | Personal

December 14, 2005
@ 05:44 PM

An artist's transition from gangsta rapper to pop star is always a weird one for fans. For example, there was a joke on this week's episode of the Boondocks about how Ice Cube "the guy who makes family movies" used to be a hard core gangsta rapper. I've personally been amused by how the subject matter of their songs changes as they realize that their fan base is dominated by prepubescent and teenage suburbanites as opposed to hip hop heads from the 'hood. 

On the album Blueprint 2: The Gift & The Curse Jay-Z has a song called Poppin' Tags which is about going to the mall and shopping. The subject matter of the song is the kind of thing you'd expect from Hilary Duff not Jigga. 

However 50 Cent has Jay-Z beat when it comes to songs targetted at the teenage mallrat crowd. On the soundtrack to his movie Get Rich or Die Tryin' 50 has two songs that belie his status as a gangsta rapper. There's the poorly crooned Window Shopper about how 50 Cent gets to go to the mall to buy stuff you can't afford. Then there's Best Friend where he begs to be some girl's "best friend" if the other guy in her life is "just a friend". 

But it gets worse.

Mike Torres sent me a link to a post entitled 50 Cent Caught Red Handed which is excerpted below

Remember that story about 50 Cent performing at some little girl's bat mitzvah? Yeah, you wish it didn't really happen. Nothing says hardcore gangster rapper like a teenie-bop white girl dancing to your music with two hundred of her closest white teenie-bop friends.

More pictures from the $500,000 bat mitzvah after the jump.

UPDATE: You can see all the photos from the bat mitzvah here.

Keep it real, Fiddy.


Categories: Music

December 5, 2005
@ 08:06 PM

The time has come again for me to share the top five crunk tracks getting heavy rotation on my iPod. If you like Lil' Jon or the Ying Yang Twinz but don't know what else from the dirty south might tickle your fancy, try some of these tracks.

    1. Grillz - Nelly feat. Paul Wall & St. Lunatics
    2. What U Drankin' On - Jim Jones feat. P.Diddy, Paul Wall & Jha' Jha
    3. Stay Fly - Three Six Mafia feat. Young Buck, Eightball & MJG
    4. Stay Fly (Still Fly Remix) - Three Six Mafia feat. Slim Thug, Trick Daddy & Project Pat
    5. Turn It Up - Chamillionaire feat. Lil Flip

During the intro for Three Six Mafia's Most Known Unknown, they complain that they influenced a lot of what is popular in hip hop today but don't get the credit. These seems very true to me. I remember listening to tracks like Tear the Club Up and Hit a Muthafucka back in the late '90s in Atlanta before any of the ATL rappers really became hot down south. I'd definitely recommend the Most Known Unknown Hits to any fan of the genre.

PS: I don't like D4L's Laffy Taffy but it is the first song that I've seen have about a dozen people doing synchronized dance steps in a club. So it gets an honorary mention.


Categories: Music

Can't write lyrics worth a damn, can't rap to save his life but can make phat beats and has an ego the size of a small planet. I guess we now know what it takes to be a successful rapper and it has nothing to do with rapping.


Categories: Music

I was at the Anger Management 3 concert last night and it was quite the show. Lil' Jon & The Eastside Boyz were a welcome surprise as the opening act. They cycled through the BME clique hits from "Get Low" to "Salt Shaker" for the 30 minutes they were on stage. The problem with Lil' Jon is that most of the hits you associate him with are collaborations so at concerts you end up getting half the performance not being live for songs such as "Yeah!" or "Lovers & Friends".

The next set had the entire G-Unit record label including newly signed acts like Mobb Deep & M.O.P. performing for just over an hour. The first part of the G-Unit set sucked because we had to sit through the crap singles from Tony Yayo, Young Buck and Lloyd Banks solo efforts as well as some of the crud from The Massacre. Halfway through it picked up with the better songs from The Massacre (Disco Inferno, Candy Shop), old hits from Get Rich or Die Tryin' (P.I.M.P., In Da Club, Wanksta) and G-Unit's Beg for Mercy (I Wanna Get To Know Ya). M.O.P. did their hit from a few years ago, "Ante Up", and Mobb Deep hit the crowd with "Quiet Storm" without Lil' Kim. There was a momentary infusion of crap when a lot of time was devoted to a new 50 Cent & Mobb Deep song but the show got back on track after that. The G-Unit set was OK but I'd have loved t hear some of their mix tape cuts instead of just mainstream tracks.

Eminem killed. He made the concert go from OK to fantastic with almost an hour and a half of performances from himself and D12. Even 50 Cent got in on the act when they performed "Patiently Waiting" and "Gatman & Robin". The parts of the show where Eminem riffed with the audience about tabloids, Mariah Carey and Michael Jackson were also golden.

If this show is going to hit your town you should definitely check it out.


Categories: Music

Over the weekend, while watching a Game video I started thinking of various beefs across Hip Hop history and came up with a mental list of my favorite diss tracks. Below is my top 5 list in no particular order.

  1. Wit Dre Day by Snoop Doggy Dogg & Dr. Dre - dissing Tim Dog, Luke & Eazy E
  2. Mama Said Knock You Out by LL Cool J - dissing Kool Moe Dee
  3. Backdown by 50 Cent - dissing Ja Rule (honorable mention to the entire Invasion part II mix tape)
  4. Ether by Nas - dissing Jay-Z
  5. Stomp by Young Buck, Ludacris & T.I. - T.I. and Ludacris dissing each other

The last entry isn't as good as the others but the fact that both rappers diss each other on the same track is what propelled it onto the list. What does your list look like?


Categories: Music