Diggy Simmons Releases Exceptional Debut Album

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Dated: Monday – March 26, 2012


Diggy Simmons has hip-hop in his blood.

His father is Joseph Simmons, aka Rev Run, a member of Run-DMC and one of the biggest hip-hop artists in music history, and Diggy’s uncle is Russell Simmons, one of the biggest hip-hop moguls in the music business. With these genes, he’s seemingly destined for greatness.

But Diggy did not simply ride the coattails of his elders’ successes; with ambition and talent, he has shown that he can stand on his own.

Diggy started a blog, “Life of the Jet Setter,” which helped him create his own fan base known as “jetsetters.” He posted his freestyle over the Nas track “Made You Look,” catching the attention of hip-hop listeners everywhere and prompting Kanye West to re-post the video on his blog.

Despite the pressure of big-name artist cosigns, debut hype and the family name, Diggy steps up to the plate, with Unexpected Arrival delivering one of the most bold albums any 17-year-old rapper could.

Diggy puts this confidence on display right away on the early tracks of the album. He officially announces his arrival on the track “Hello World,” full of stadium-sounding drums and a distorted voice yelling strongly “I’m here, and I’m here to stay” on the hook.

Simmons continues this show of swagger and confidence with “88,” in which he raps about rising to fame and fortune that could be traced back to 1988 even though he wasn’t born yet. Jadakiss brings his signature gritty rapping style to the song as well, describing his own life and financial success in 1988 when he was just 13 years old, ending his verse saying, “I’m still spending money that’s 24 years old.”

This confidence comes through especially on songs focused on girls, and none does this better than the lead single, “Do It Like You,” featuring singer Jeremih.

Diggy raps to his dream girl about how she leaves everyone else in the dust with the way she carries herself. He even lets out a bit of a serenade when he sings, “You’re such boss but carry yourself like a lady / The baddest out ya crew and that is not up for debating.” Though Diggy acknowledges that it seems “every rapper only wants that sexual healing / Marvin Gaye,” he makes a pretty convincing argument that he wants her for much more than that.

Lyrically, Unexpected Arrival has its share of songs that allow Diggy to simply flow over pretty good beats. “Tom Edison” has an up-tempo rhythm that incorporates rock music, such as electric guitar and drums.

Here, Diggy drops lines specifically intended for his critics, telling them “All you do is talk a good game like Bob Costas.” Similarly, he puts his wordplay abilities on display with lines like “On a scale of one through 10, I come after nine / You half of mine, so that makes you a Jackson Five.”

Diggy’s background is a prominent theme throughout the album, but he specifically focuses on this during the song “Unforgivable Blackness.”

Though the beat has a very cheesy “everyone come together” feel to it, Diggy raps about unity, about all black people being equally black, whether you come from an inner-city neighborhood or a wealthy family.

The first lines of the track are quite possibly its strongest lyrics as Diggy raps, “They wanna take away my black card ’cause I got a black card / Say I don’t rap hard ’cause I don’t act hard / But if I act hard, they would say that’s odd / And they would still hate, man, I don’t get that part.” Here, Diggy’s thorough and logical rap exemplifies just how intelligent and well-spoken he already is, despite his young age.

For such a young rapper to put out an album like Unexpected Arrival, Diggy should be more than satisfied with his work. Though the album seems to cater to a younger demographic at times, Diggy proves that age is nothing but a number for him when it comes to being able to put together a solid rap album. At only 17 years old, there is no doubt that Diggy will continue to improve in every musical aspect.

Though his arrival might not have been as unexpected as his peers, he has arrived, nonetheless.

The Most Anticipated Hip Hop Albums Of 2012

Rap News, Hip Hop News - Gutta World


The staff at Gutta World highlights 10 releases this year that we are personally excited about. And no, we’re not counting on “Detox” either.

After so many colorful releases in 2011, Hip Hop fans have a lot to look forward to in 2012. No, we’re not actually basing our hopes on Dr. Dre’s Detox or Jay Electronica’s elusive debut, the mythical merger of Nas and DJ Premier or the long-delayed complete reunion of Goodie Mob. Like any fan, we would love if any or all of those released before we purchased new calendars, but there are a plethora of albums already underway that have a ton of promise in making this year musical.

Younger artists who had powerful impact in ’11 as well as some “golden era” alumni keeping the hardcore alive are slated to make bold statements with their music this year, and the Gutta World staff sat down and compiled 10 releases that we can count on, and why we think they’ll make 2012 all the more exciting.

The Ecology by Fashawn


Few debut albums in recent memory were as potent and honest as Fashawn’s 2009 debut Boy Meets World. The independent release, produced entirely by Exile, helped rush the forefront of a West Coast renaissance of music coming from young emcees with wisdom well beyond their years. Late this summer, when the Fresno DXnext alum announced that he was going to uphold the formula with Ex on the boards, the Gutta World staff rejoiced. Expect colorful sample-driven sounds and common-man themes as the Young Santiago helps expand his legacy as one of the more resonant voices of this time. As Common, Talib Kweli and Mos Def all began as independent artists in the ’90s before reaching mainstream stature, Fash is another poised to have that kind of impact.

Trouble Man by T.I.


2010′s No Mercy felt like a rushed T.I. album, as the Grand Hustle founder was quickly recording as a free man before serving for his latest (and hopefully last) felonious brush with the law. Given Tip’s track record for every-other-album being outstanding (see Paper Trail and King), the album sharing a name with the Marvin Gaye hit sounds audiobiographical and brutally honest before it even nears roll-out. Hopefully the man who made Atlantic Records relevant to Rap music can go in and delicately walk that line with a mainstream-friendly album that still carries plenty of trappings.

The Kolexion by Bumpy Knuckles & DJ Premier


Dating back to O.C.’s Jewelz, Bumpy Knuckles and DJ Premier share a musical chemistry that reflects their strong personal bonds. Two “kings of the underground sound,” these masons of the East Coast Hip Hop sound have teamed up for a March album that’s fully collaborative. Whereas 2000′s Industry Shakedown was a mosiac from the likes of Pete Rock, Diamond D and The Alchemist, The Kolexion is a project the fans have been asking for and brings Premier back to one of the fiercest emcees of the Gang Starr Foundation glory years. We anticipate a mosaic of wisdom and aggression.

Live From The Underground by Big K.R.I.T.


Few artists have the ability to appeal to the streets and the college campuses as well as Meridian, Mississippi’s Big K.R.I.T. With two mixtapes that easily could have been albums held in the highest regard, the Cinematic/Def Jam emcee, like J. Cole has the ability to make an album entirely by himself that could change the face of Hip Hop. Given K.R.I.T.’s history of working with icons that influenced him such as 8Ball & MJG, Devin The Dude and Ludacris, even if that’s not the case, the expectations for this are high. Plus, with Sha Money XL (who made classic albums with 50 Cent and Game as G-Unit Records’ former President) having a strong hand in the project, this is an album that could prove to be another Def Jam southern game-changer in the line of debuts from Ludacris, Young Jeezy and Rick Ross.

Good Kid In A Mad City by Kendrick Lamar


After making the “album of 2011″ (according to us, anyway), Compton, California’s Kendrick Lamar is expected to go right back and drop another one. Good Kid In A Mad City, as its known now anyway, finds Jay Rock’s lil’ homie dealing with rumors of an Aftermath deal, Tech N9ne, Game, and Drake working with him, as well as a whole different place than he was in just a year ago. We hope the supporting cast is as obscure as they were last time (GLC, RZA, J. Cole, Terrace Martin), but that one of the smartest 24 year-olds you’ll ever meet has more anthems that carry Hip Hop out of its stupor.


God Forgives, I Don’t by Rick Ross


Few superstars have the ear for beats that Ricky Rozay possesses. Just as Teflon Don was one of the best-produced albums in recent years, we expect a refreshed (hopefully healthier) Rawss to make another gem. With the Maybach Music Group compilation and Wale’s sophomore LP being winners of 2011, this seems in the cards to one of the biggest voices and personalities in Rap since the 1980s. Moreover, like Drake and Lil Wayne, Rick’s guest-lists usually pack surprises that change lives, just ask Styles P.

R.A.P. Music by Killer Mike & El-P


Ten years ago, this collaboration would have sounded like a clunky April Fool’s joke. However, Company Flow-meets-Dungeon Family next year, as Brooklyn-meets-Adamsville. Mike Bigga and El-Producto have been at work on this album for years, and two of the smartest guys in Hip Hop music are expected to make joints that sound informed as well as experimental. Hopefully it puts each talent in front of audiences previously not exposed to their greatness. El-P’s track record with producing others’ albums (see Cage’s Hell’s Winter and Cannibal Ox’s The Cold Vein) is of the highest level. We are trying to get subs back in the trunk before this rolls out.

Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded by Nicki Minaj


The emcee with 2010′s “Verse of The Year” has proved herself to be one of Rap’s most animated lyricists since Busta Rhymes. While her debut, Pink Friday may have been guilty of trying to do too much, after strong appearances with Lil Wayne, Drake and Big Sean, Oneka is the one to watch in ’12. Mainstream Hip Hop fans should tune in to see this 2008 DXnext alum step in and give Lil Wayne a run for his millions as YMCM’s sharpest spitter.

The Make Believe Album by David Banner


2005 belonged to Houston. 2008 belonged to Detroit. 2012 may belong to Mississippi. The Magnolia State’s Hip Hop pioneer David Banner, along with K.R.I.T. may shake things up with brutal honesty over-top self-produced beats. After making ethery commentary on 2011′s “Swag” (an inclusion on The Make Believe Album), expect D.B. to come out vocally swinging. In late ’10, David brought out one of his strongest works to date in Death of A Pop Star. Now removed from the controls of SRC Records, this Rap veteran may do for ’12 what Killer Mike did for ’08.

Godfathers by Kool G. Rap & Necro


For years, Necro’s rhyme delivery has been compared to Kool G. Rap, and the Psycho Logical Records’ founder will proudly admit that the Juice Crew spitter is a deep influence. As not all G Rap works have sounded cohesive since Roots of Evil, hardcore Hip Hop fans can count on this merging of the musicians to sound grimier than New York in the 1970s. Meanwhile, this is a perfect vehicle for Necro to bring his brand of “Death Rap” and amazing sources for sounds back into the ears of common Hip Hop fans. As Riches, Royalty and Respect went under the radars of most, this is a perfect collaboration for two cult followed icons.

What albums are you most looking forward to in 2012?

REVIEW: BIG SEAN – Finally Famous: The Album

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Big Sean maybe new to a lot of people, but he has actually been around for a cool minute. Sean met Kanye West at a radio station in 2005 and left him his demo tape. Dropping mixtapes and remixes paid off as Kanye signed the Detroit native to his G.O.O.D Music record label in 2007. Four years later, the 23 year old dropped his debut album Finally Famous: The Album.

There are two things that can sum up the project: One, is the over packed guest appearances. Features from Chris Brown to Lupe Fiasco to Kanye West to Wiz Khalifa to Rick Ross is a little much. And the second being, he is in the Drake/Wiz Khalifa catalogue…a rapper singing. Not that it is a bad thing. But at times, it’s easy to forget who you are listening to.

But there’s no need to worry because the album has a lot to offer. From fresh beats to clever lyrics, the album is fitting for the summer. The lead single My Last, featuring Chris Brown, could be the song the people will recognize but there are plenty of other good ones as well. Marvin Gaye & Chardonnay, featuring Kanye West and Roscoe Dash, is one that will bang in the clubs for sure. Memories (Part II), featuring John Legend, is a cool track that has Sean reminisce about his past. While Livin This Dream has Sean talking about his flashy life with some assistance from The-Dream. Celebrity, featuring Dwele, might be the smoothest track of them all. This in part has to do with Chicago producer No I.D. as he is responsible for producing half of the album. Others include The Neptunes, The Legendary Traxters, Mike Dean, Tricky Stewart, Boi-1da, and Exile just to name a few. Needless to say, there are plenty of beats to choose from. This alone makes the album a great listen.

However, there are some negative spots on the album as well. Songs like I Do It, Dance(A$$), and High are either forced or flat out corny. But thankfully, it’s only a small list. With a boost from top beatmakers and a major league guest lineup, the album is solid. It’s rare that a new artist gets this much for his debut album. But Sean takes advantage of it and delivers. Only question now is: What will be in stores for his next album? But being in a roster like G.O.O.D Music, there’s no need to worry.

Standout Tracks: “My Last”, “Livin This Life”, “Celebrity”

Motown Dispels Folding Rumors Started By Erykah Badu

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Motown Records has been putting out hit-after-hit since the late 50s and even when the factories stopped running in Detroit, Barry Gordy still managed to break music records in nearly every category. However, in 1988, Gordy called it quits selling Motown to MCA, Polygram and then to Universal. Some say Motown’s last great artist was Marvin Gaye so the label isn’t a huge player on the music scene anymore.

Erykah Badu must share the same sentiments tweeting the historic record label had finally disbanded after pushing out music for nearly 6 decades. “Motown Folded,” Badu tweeted on Wednesday (June 8) and within hours Twitter filled with RIPS, obituaries and memorials until Billboard released a statement shutting down the rumors.


“Although [Motown] is undergoing restructuring in the wake of Sylvia Rhone’s departure last month, it is not folding. At the time of Rhone’s departure, UMG planned to begin interviewing candidates to replace her, although what title that person will get depends on the qualifications he or she brings to the job. With Barry Weiss serving as the chairman/CEO of Island Def Jam and Universal Motown Republic Group, it is not clear that the replacement will hold the title of president.”

Rhone stepped down from her post in late May validating Badu’s claims to her 300,000 followers even though it wasn’t true. Badu later recanted her statement saying, “There must have been a better verb I could have used, ‘folded’ seems a little …I don’t know, cowardly, huh? Honest mistake.”

Badu signed to Universal in 1997 when she released her multi-platinum debut Baduizm. Motown Records might be going through a slump, but it’s certainly alive and kicking.

Source

Kelly brings it home, with feeling

Posted: Tuesday – October 13, 2009

Like Marvin Gaye and Al Green, the legendary lovermen whose songs set the mood before he took the stage, R. Kelly has a potent sway over women. He inspires them to do all kinds of things, from scribbling their phone numbers on pieces of paper tossed onstage, to dabbing his sweaty brow, to hurling their pink panties in his direction. And that’s just the stuff we can mention in a family newspaper.

When the R&B superstar took the stage at the Citi Wang Theatre Friday night, playing to a glaringly small crowd that filled maybe a third of the 3,600 seats, it was clear this was an evening for the fairer sex. Hence his new tour’s title: “Ladies Make Some Noise.’’

And they certainly did during the uneven but wildly enjoyable show that momentarily transcended all the scandals that have kept R. Kelly in the public eye more than his music has in recent years.

True to his theatrics, he strutted onstage with a hype man amid two roped-off sections of female fans and launched into a mashup of hits, including Kanye West’s “Flashing Lights’’ and Snoop Dogg’s “That’s That.’’

Kelly acted shocked to tell the crowd he’s been at this for 20 years, but he’s well aware of his legacy. “Have you ever made love to my music? Make some noise,’’ he crooned in all earnestness. (Survey says: A lot of people at the Wang had.)

When Kelly wasn’t in slow-jam mode with his band and backup singers, he tended to breeze through his songs in a start-stop sequence that diluted their original glory. Still, the parade of hits was impressive: “Bump ’n’ Grind,’’ “Ignition,’’ “I’m a Flirt,’’ “12 Play,’’ and current single “Number One.’’

But Kelly essentially upended his performance down the stretch, suddenly making the earlier portions feel hurried and inconsequential. Until then, he had been establishing an intimate groove, but the last few songs found a focus and clarity that shot the entire concert to another, and exhilarating, level.

After a touching video homage to his mentor, Michael Jackson (including private footage of the late icon dancing to “Ignition’’), Kelly returned in a charcoal suit and red suspenders. Unleashing his inner soul singer, Kelly scored with a pair of Sam Cooke hits (“Bring It on Home to Me,’’ “A Change Is Gonna Come’’). They were the perfect setup to two of Kelly’s own R&B classics, “Step in the Name of Love’’ and “Happy People.’’

By the time the final spray of confetti wafted down, the ladies had held up their end of the bargain. They had spent an hour and a half making some noise for a man who, in typical fashion, had just loved them and left them.

Source: Boston.com

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