Hip Hop Artists Collaborate To Find Talent

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Date: Monday – January 30, 2012



Should independent hip hop artist Joe Bird make it big, there’s at least one thing he says fans can count on: He won’t hide his High Desert roots.

Just as the 26-year-old Victorville rapper — who’s opened for Chris Brown and 112 — works to fast-track his own career, he’s trying to instill a greater sense of pride, unity and collaboration among fellow local underground artists.

“For so long people would mock really where I come from, but it’s time for the people here to have pride,” said Bird, who graduated from Victor Valley High School and University of California, Riverside with a bachelor’s degree in history. “I’m really trying to spearhead a movement out here in this entertainment scene. I believe there is enough talent for the High Desert to be going for it.”

For years there’s been talk of a “760 movement” to put the High Desert in the hip hop spotlight, but for the most part the idea that there could be strength in numbers hadn’t really caught on, said Brian Eudy a.k.a. “ETA,” 28, a Victorville native who started the Royal Family Records label.

Eudy said a handful of locals have had success and continued to represent the region, like The Static Gang in the 1990s, while others seem to shed their ties to the Victor Valley once they gained fame. Hip hop duo The New Boyz, for instance, now on an Asia concert tour, were in Victorville high schools only a few years ago but their official biographies refer only to Southern California or the Los Angeles area.

Lately, however, momentum seems to be building to earn local artists credibility and facilitate an environment for learning from each other, instead of being pitted against one another in a cutthroat competition.

“Right now the hip hop scene out here is at a level that it’s never been before. It’s got a new energy, and it’s made me want to work harder at it,” said Josh Bowles a.k.a. “JDB,” 25, of Victorville. “It’s something fresh and I like the way we’re going with it. We could go toe to toe with anybody.”

Social media platforms have played a big role in driving local collaboration, including music hosting, promoting and networking sites like DatPiff, ReverbNation and SoundCloud.

A few months ago, Bird formed the Facebook group “HD Hip Hop.” Eudy has been running the “High Desert Hot 16,” a mixtape he produces after posting beats online and compiling submissions from local artists.

“People feed off of each other,” Bird said. “I strongly believe that one of us has to be able to make it and that the cream rises to the top, so I wanted to create a platform where whoever that may be can actually succeed.”

Now more than 100 local artists, producers, promoters and others use the Facebook group to share music and post feedback, publicize shows and, more recently, plan meetups for events like a cypher, an informal gathering of a group of rappers showing off their skills.

“I’ve come across new people that I’ve never heard of because of the group. We’re starting to get a little bit of unity,” Bowles said. “Before, everyone wanted to just be ‘the man.’ If someone’s going to blow up out here, I think it’s going to be a lot easier if we go at it together and work as a team.”

Earlier this month the group hosted a cypher, with participants rapping verses they’d prepared based on a 16-bar beat posted online and doing some freestyle a cappella around a turntable in the driveway of a Victorville home. In an effort to chronicle the momentum of the local scene, the cypher was filmed by artist Brandon Martinez a.k.a. “HEXXX,” a Sultana High School graduate who founded the Newport Beach-based Night Breed Films and record label.

The styles and content of various local artists are eclectic, with topics ranging from partying at the club to rough experiences in Old Town Victorville. Some verses contain foul language and are inappropriate for younger audiences, but the rappers explain hip hop is about direct, raw lyrics and telling it like it is.

“I don’t appreciate hip hop that’s vulgar just for vulgar’s sake, but there are a lot of things in life that are not pretty, and I think that hip hop is willing to touch on those things,” Eudy said. “Sometimes that makes people really uncomfortable, but in my opinion all really good rock and roll or hip hop should be a little bit dangerous.”

In Bird’s song “High Desert Livin’,” one verse goes “Joshua Trees, tumble weeds, tweekers with no teeth/Riding the D for dope down on D Street,” and the song’s hook closes with, “The High Desert is full of cities that don’t sleep.” Bird said he draws inspiration from a wide variety of music — including jazz, ’80s and ’90s hip hop and Gospel music — and that he views hip hop as an art form, likening the culture to the Harlem Renaissance.

To promote his next album set for release this spring, Bird plans to do street performances at local parks. Eudy plans to release his second solo album in July, and Bowles is finishing his fourth solo mixtape.

“Don’t let the naysayers bring you down — people saying, ‘Oh this is Victorville, nothing’s going to happen here,’” Bowles advised aspiring artists. “If you love doing something, just do it.”

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Ice-T’s Rap Documentary

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Date: Monday – January 30, 2012



The Indomina Group has acquired worldwide rights to Ice-T’s documentary “Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap,” the company said Sunday.

The sales price was not disclosed.

In the performance movie, Ice-T travels across the country, working with Afrika Bambaataa, Grandmaster Caz, Nas, Mos Def, Eminem, Chuck D, KRS-One, Run-DMC, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube and Snoop Dogg.

The movie, which Ice-T directed with Andy Baybutt, is a personal story of the music that saved Ice-T’s life.

“Something From Nothing” shows the craft and skill of rap and explores what goes on inside the minds of the genre’s legends.

“The Art of Rap is a perfect fit for Indomina,” the company’s vice chairman and CEO, Jasbinder Singh Mann, said in a statement. “A masterfully crafted, superbly riveting and star studded film about rap that only Ice-T could deliver. This is a film that shares the same DNA as Indomina and speaks directly to our core audience. We’re thrilled to have ‘Art of Rap’ on our theatrical release slate and eager to give audiences around the world the opportunity discover this brilliant film.”

Indomina plans a theatrical release in North America this summer.

Mann launched the Indomina Group in 2008. The company operates in Los Angeles and the Dominican Republic.

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Bow Wow Needs To Hire An Accountant

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Date: Monday – January 30, 2012



Bow Wow needs to hire himself a new accountant — because not only does he have a tax lien against him for unpaid taxes from 2006 … but now it turns out he owes back taxes from 2008 and 2010 as well!

As TMZ first reported, a tax lien in Florida for the year 2006 put Bow Wow on the hook for $91,105.61. The lien has still not been paid off.

Now a new lien was filed on January 9, this time in Georgia, saying Bow Wow owes $15, 279.62 for unpaid taxes from 2008 and another $19.700.91 for 2010.

Put it all together … and you’ve got $126,086.14.

Calls to Bow Wow’s rep were not returned.

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Machine Gun Kelly Arrested for Disorderly Conduct

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Date: Monday – January 30, 2012



Rapper Machine Gun Kelly’s tour took an unexpected stop early this morning — to jail … after he was busted by police in Florida for misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

According to the website for the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, MGK (real name Richard Baker) was busted at 4:12 AM and released a few hours later after posting $100 bond.

Kelly tweeted about the arrest, saying, “Just spent my entire night in a fucking Florida jail…shitt escaladed way to quick last night, it always does with us though.”

MGK is currently touring and played the State Theatre in St. Petersburg last night. His next tour date is in Los Angeles on February 8.

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Cory Gunz Arrested For Gun Possession

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Date: Monday – January 20, 2012



Last year, Cory Gunz earned mad props for his rap on Lil Wayne’s ’6 Foot 7 Foot,’. So far, 2012 is off to a less promising start. As MTV reports, the 24-year-old rapper was arrested  (Jan. 28) in his hometown of the Bronx, N.Y., after being caught with a loaded firearm.

The Young Money MC was picked up around 2PM, and while his father, veteran rhymer Peter Gunz, says police sometimes “like to make an example” out of young hip-hop artists, that doesn’t appear to have been the case here.

“I spoke to the arresting officer, and so far, what I’m hearing from him is that they got a phone call at the station saying they should ‘look out,’” the elder Gunz told MTV. “According to [the officer], they didn’t know he was Cory Gunz. They just saw a bunch of kids following him around.”

He added that it was “definitely an illegal search” and said that the officer “felt bad about the situation” — perhaps because in New York, such gun charges come with mandatory jail time.

This is Cory’s first such offense, and after being taken to the 43rd Precinct, he was transferred to Central Booking. As of Sunday afternoon, he remained in police custody.

“To go to a precinct and see your son, your junior, in handcuffs, it’s heartbreaking,” Peter told MTV. “Anytime you see your child in jail, in the cell, in handcuffs, it’s very hard. He’s walked down some of the same paths that I walked down, but you never want to see your kids go through what you went through.”

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Snoop Dogg Blasts Kim Kardashian [VIDEO]

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Date: Sunday – January 29, 2012



Snoop Dogg has blasted Kim Kardashianin an web video in which he calls her a “cold-blooded bitch”.

The rapper has released the video online under his alter-ego Nemo and in it he addresses the socialite’s estranged husband Kris Humphries – who Kim dumped in October after just 72 days of marriage.

Snoop’s words of advice to the basketball player include telling him he should never have tried to “wife the bitch” because she gets around.

In the video – posted on mrgrassys.com – the hip-hop star says: “First advice is you should have never tried to wife the bitch man. She’s not that type of a ho, she gets around … She’s cold-blooded, I’m pretty sure she’ll have a book in a month talking about all the niggers that she got and how she played them. So, my advice is you can’t make a ho a housewife. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel.”

Snoop also mentions two of Kim’s ex-lovers, NFL player Reggie Bush and singer Ray J, who is his cousin.

The ‘Wet’ rapper claims Ray J – who appeared in a home made sex tape with Kim which was eventually released on DVD – is the only guy who “bounced back from the bitch”.

 

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