Dr. Dre

Is Tito Lopez Hip-Hop’s Next Star?

Tito Lopez Mama Proud

Tito Lopez is hip-hop’s new buzz name, it seems. He has released this song called “Mama Proud” that has made such a splash that Tito Lopez has now been cosigned by Dr. Dre, and the single has made it to onto Billboard’s Top 100 Hip-Hop/R&B charts. So the question is: Is Tito Lopez hip-hop’s next star?

Frankly, I think this song is totally overrated. Sure, it’s doing some things right. Those include:

 

  • Singing a song to his mama. I admit, I love that tactic. It’s definitely what caught my eye in the first place and made me listen.
  • Good rhymes. Yes, the dude can rhyme. That much is clear with one listen of Mama Proud.
  • Creating a video showing the impoverished rural South. That’s got charm to it as well; you can’t deny that.
So why the hell would I say it’s overrated? There’s one glaring problem with this song.

It’s all been done before.

Tito Lopez is telling a story of getting iced up, stayin trill at the wheel, following the thug love lifestyle, and knowing he’s the next big thing. Newsflash, Tito. This same song has been created, recreated, remixed, chopped and screwed, swallowed, spit out, thrown up, devoured and created again. You are bringing nothing new to the table. And what’s worse? Your hook has no connection to its verses. You’re saying this shit is what will make your mama proud of you? Something tells me you could be makin’ your mama isn’t a huge fan of thug love. But I mean, that’s just me.

 

So the worst part of it all is that Tito Lopez is totally exploiting that first bullet point I gave him under the Pros category. He’s singing a song to his mama. But it almost seems like a marketing campaign. “Hey guys! I’m singing a song that says ‘I just want my mama to be proud of me/ That’s all I want!’” Sounds intriguing. Press play, and suddenly you’re listening to two different songs. You’ve got the sappiness that we all loved in Tupac when he released “Dear Mama” in a hook, but then you’ve got every single washed-up rapper and wananbe rapper who tried to make it big in an instant in the verses. There is nothing different or unique about those verses. And it surely has little to do with his mama.

 

So there’s my rant. How do you feel? Am I missing something? Is there any reason for SPIN calling Tito Lopez the Gotye of hip-hop?
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Kendrick Lamar ft. Dr. Dre – The Recipe

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This is the highlight of my day so far. Well, with a day that involves two papers, and some calculus, it’s easy to have a highlight. But besides that, Kendrick Lamar is an animal. There’s no question in that. He’s earned his respect and K. Dot has become one of my favorite spitters.

There were rumors of him and Dr. Dre working in the studio together and here is the first taste of what they’ve been cooking up! Pun intended.

Kendrick Lamar ft. Dr. Dre – The Recipe

His previous release, Cartoon & Cereal, was amazing, as well. To call it anything less is blasphemy.

Kendrick Lamar >>>>

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Friday at Five [Weekend Music]

New Friday at Five!

You know the drill. It’s Friday. Work and school can kick rocks. Let’s get down and dirty. What are ya’ll up to this weekend?

1. Still D.R.E (Shatterhors Sitdown Refix) – Dr. Dre

2. The Night Out (Madeon Remix) – Martin Solveig

3. Tough Love (Poindexter Remix) – Sailor & I

4. Little Man (Vindata Remix) – Little Dragon

5. Stars Come Out (Dillon Francis Remix) – Zedd


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Throwback Thursday – Crafting Your Musical Identity

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We’ve all been there before — on Facebook, Google+, or maybe (god forbid) even myspace. We’re there, staring at the “favorite music” section, scheming about what artists we should write in to portray our true musical identity. Or perhaps our not-so-true musical identity. Pshh, no one needs to know about that Christina Aguilera album I listen to everyday when I work out. Or maybe Pshh, so what if I only have one Dr. Dre song, I swear he’s one of my favorite artists. Yeah, I’m talking to you.

MP3: “The Watcher” – Dr. Dre

I can’t lie, I’ve been there done that. Topping my guilty pleasure top three list is probably 1. True Blood, 2. Girl Scout Thin Mints, and 3. Akon. Love me some good Akon. Still, even if it’s true, I probably wouldn’t tell people that on any sort of social media (wait…fuck). Anyways, to be honest, I’ve always found it too treacherous to fill those “favorite music” sections out, and anytime I do end up writing something, I delete it eventually. It never seems to quite convey the musical identity I want it to…or maybe it’s that it makes me feel toolish. I don’t know. But what if Facebook automatically plugged in the favorite music section by connecting to your iTunes/iPod and adding the top 10 played artists/songs? What would it show? For me, Andrew Bird would sit at number one, by a disgusting and beautifully vast lead. Yet mingled in there, though, are songs I would never dare admit I listen to (*cough* Justin Bieber *cough*). C’mon, judge me. Fuck you.

MP3: “Sunny Day” – Akon
I’m squirming at the idea of posting this on Sunset. But it could’ve been JB, so count your blessings. Listen for Wyclef’s mediocre verse, but awesome voice somewhere around 1:45.
MP3: “The Happy Birthday Song” – Andrew Bird

But back on track, a question this poses is what is one’s true musical identity? Is it what one listens to the most? Or is it something else, like artists one listens to less frequently but finds more meaningful? Maybe artists or songs that have influenced your life in some way. It’s hard to say what it is, but one thing I’m convinced is true is that one’s musical identity is strongly intertwined with one’s identity identity. You’re sitting there filling in your favorite music section, and whether consciously or not, you’re filling it in not to let people know what music you listen to, but to let them know what type of person you are. I’m a gourmet blend of Andrew Bird and Jack Johnson, with some Outkast swirls and a heavy dusting of the finest Jay Z and Eminem. And some after notes of Coconut Records. And I get better with age.

MP3: “Microphone” – Coconut Records.
Coconut Records is Jason Schwartzmann. You know, Darjeeling Limited, Rushmore. Jason Schwartzmann. Check out the wacky but great music video to the song:

And also this amazingly ridiculous iPad advertisement:

Sorry, that must’ve been distracting. Again, anyways, perhaps more indicative of the type of person you are isn’t actually the music you listen to, but the music you want people to think you listen to. I think that might be why I feel uncomfortable filling out “favorites” sections…a part of my brain knows that I’m trying to give off a certain vibe, and another part of my brain is calling that first part a douche. I guess I don’t feel genuine. Does that make sense?

But nevertheless, in terms of accurately portraying the type of person one is, I think that musical identities really are like vibes; they aren’t always accurate, but sometimes they hit the nail on the goddamned head. I remember reading a FML a while back that went something like this: “I’ve been crushing hard on this girl for months, and last night we finally became friends on Facebook. When I went to her page, I saw she was a republican and liked Nickleback. FML.”

My freshman year of college, we all had to fill out a roommate selection form that had fill-in-the-bubble scales of things like how late you stay up, how early you get up, socialness, cleanliness, and a bunch of other things. There was one place to write in your favorite music. Finally, you could choose one of the items on the form to give the most weight to when it came to assigning you a roommate, and I obviously chose music. Not because I cared so much about what he listened to, but because I thought I’d get along best with someone who shared the same musical tastes as I did. Our music tastes weren’t so similar, but he was an awesome roommate nonetheless. I know amazing people who love terrible music. And I also know people who hate my music but don’t think I’m so bad either (I hope).

MP3: “It’s the Chemicals (feat. Scarub)” – Inspired Flight . This song is amazing.

Well, that’s it for another edition Not-So-Throwback Thursday, see you guys next week!

patrick

PS: This made me laugh so hard: Every time I smell old milk to see if it’s still ok:

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