All posts in Hip Hop

Kimye on Vogue

kim and kanye vogueThe uproar from the highbrow fashion world coud be heard all over the social media landscape the minute it was announced that Kim Kardashian along with her fiancee Kanye West (annoyingly dubbed Kimye) would be on the cover of Vogue’s Spring issue.

The minute it hit the Twittersphere, there were several tweets from folks who were shocked that Vogue Editor Anna Wintour chose reality star Kim Kardashian to grace the cover. Most notable was actress Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) who tweeted that she was cancelling her subscription.

It is a bit of surprise to see Kim on the cover. Kanye, not so much. He has been forging a path in the fashion world from his Fendi internship to countless appearances front row at fashion shows. But Kim has not been a favourite of Ms. Wintour’s, so seeing her on the cover seems a ploy to create controversy. It’s been speculated that she was banned from the MET gala for years but was only allowed in recently as Kanye’s date, but was kept off Vogue’s best dressed list after she wore that hideous floral print full body table cloth.

The fashion world will say that Vogue needs to stick to models on its cover, or at the very least celebs with talent. That a reality star who had no fashion sense that was memorable until Kanye’s stylist did an overhaul of her wardrobe, hasn’t earned a coveted seat on the cover of fashion’s Bible.

Anna Wintour had to defend this choice in her letter to the editor in the same issue, saying that she wasn’t put up to this after Kanye begged her to put Kim on the cover but that the Vogue team all chose this cover. Stating that as a couple, Kimye are influential in today’s culture.

Personally, I’m not a fan of the Kimye phenom and was taken a back to see them on the cover. Do they cause a stir and are talked about? Yes, but does that warrant a highly coveted fashion cover? For Kanye, yes. He is making waves in fashion and despite his rants and obnoxious behaviour I can’t despite his talent. But Kim, no. There is no talent there and any fashion sense has been curated and handed to her. Which I get is no different than a model, but at least with a model we already agree that’s their job. To just wear the clothes and make us envision ourselves in them. However with Kim, we are being told that this is a standard of beauty and class to be emulated. No thanks. Lest we forget how she got here.

Grammy’s 2014

Of all the award shows, the Grammy’s are my least favorite. The outfits are more bizarre than haute couture and the awards rarely go to artists that I find deserve it, but seem to be the most easy to digest.

However, the Grammy’s have been the platform for memorable performances. It was during the 1984 show when Michael Jackson debuted the moonwalk while performing ‘Billie Jean’. An unforgettable moment in music when a legend showed the world why he was the King of Pop.

So although I didn’t tune in last night, I followed along here and there on Twitter (you can find me on @RealDelina) and there were three performances that stood out – Beyonce’s ‘Drunk In Love’, Kendrick Lamar and Imagine Dragon’s ‘Radioactive/m.A.A.d. City’ and lastly Pharrell and Daft Punk with Stevie Wonder for ‘Get Lucky’.

Beyonce-Jay-Z-Grammys-2014

Since Beyonce secretly dropped her last album, the song ‘Drunk In Love’ has been a huge hit. I probably play it once a day. Do Not Judge! So you take the formula of gorgeous Beyonce and her track record of being a power house on any stage, this performance was guaranteed to be off the charts. But maybe it was over hyped for me, because I was left feeling less than satisfied.

grammys_beyonce__jay_z_e1

Don’t get me wrong, she worked that chair and that stage was steaming afterwards, but between the awkwardness of Jay-Z and the crowd who looked like they were all caught accidentally stumbling on a couple in an intimate act, there was a disconnect somewhere. There have been folks on Twitter who had an issue with how racy it was saying that there were kids who tuned in. I may not have kids, but I wouldn’t allow them to watch the Grammy’s to begin with. What exactly is there on the Grammy’s that an 8 years old needs to see? It wasn’t the provocative nature of the performance (she’s a grown woman comfortable enough to express her sexuality to her husband. Kudos to her!) it was the subdued nature of it after she got off the chair. Nonetheless, Beyonce still delivered.

Pharrell Williams, Daft Punk, Nile Rodgers

I’ve been a huge fan of Daft Punk ever since I was 16 and saw the video for ‘Da Funk’ featuring a human size dog lost in NYC. That album ‘Homework’ still gets played in my car every now and then. And their follow up album, ‘Discovery’ featured another track I can never forget, ‘Harder Better Faster Stronger’. You might remember it as the track Kanye sampled in  his song ‘Stronger’. This French duo are known for never showing their face and doing interviews in various disguises, which I admire. In an industry that focuses too much on what musicians look like, what they wear, how fit they are and so on its refreshing that these two have gone the distance to hide their physical identity to contain their anonymity. With them its about the music and just the music.

pharrell at grammy 2014

So its no surprise that their recent album ‘Random Access Memories’ garnered Grammy wins last night. But this performance seemed so disjointed. Not sure if having Stevie join them threw things off, but it seemed like they hadn’t rehearsed. Although the crowd got up and were dancing, Pharrell looked like he didn’t know what to do with his hands and feet half of the time, bouncing from Stevie to Nile Rodgers (gentleman on the guitar). Always great to see Stevie but I think this would’ve been better if Daft Punk was allowed to do a medley of their hits and Pharrell was left to rock out.

Kendrick Lamar Grammy

Hands down the best performance of the night was Kendrick Lamar and Imagine Dragons who teamed up to do a mash up of rock and rap together. I couldn’t find a clip on YouTube but the best clip I saw was on HipHopDX. It started of with Imagine Dragons doing their song ‘Radioactive’ then Kendrick  jumps into his track ‘m.A.A.d City’. I’m not familiar with Imagine Dragons, but Kendrick I know. His second album ‘Good Kid, m.A.A.d City’ was nominated for Album of The Year. This album is a poetic look into Kendrick’s life growing up in Compton, California. When it first dropped, critics to hip hop legends hailed Kendrick for bringing back story telling to hip hop. It is a remarkable album that I suggest you check out if you haven’t already.

Mixing two genres is hard. Mixing two genres at the Grammy’s….almost career suicide. But this performance had the crowd jumping. Imagine Dragons backed up Kendrick perfectly while he rapped and Kendrick even got on the drums when Imagine Dragons sang. Random, but my favourite part was seeing Steven Tyler from Aerosmith rock out as I remembered him and Run DMC being the first guys to merge hip hop and rock. Although both genres have grown so much since then, they are still close in audience impact.

Even though Kendrick didn’t win for rap or best album and there has been a lot of social media buzz about whether Macklemore deserved to win over Kendrick, in terms of owning the stage Kendrick won hands down.

Did you guys tune in and if so, which performances did you enjoy?

I want a love like….

 

I’ve watched this poem “I Want A Love Like” by Shihan over a thousand times.  

Dr Maya Angelou’s words with Tupac

Tupac was using vile language and preparing to fight someone on the set of Poetic Justice. Dr.  Maya Angelou was on set and here are the powerful words she employed to diffuse the fight which eventually made Tupac cry:

“When was the last time that anyone told you that ‘it’s all for you,’ that we lived 300 years on the edge of a dime so that you can exist? When is the last time? Do you know that we stood on slave ship decks and stood on auction blocks and were hosed down like dogs for you, so that you can live?’

The Black Ivy

 

The Black Ivy (animated) by Gyimah Gariba (2011)

Check out his work

http://garibage.tumblr.com/

 

My Friday money dance.

 

 

Late 1970s – early 1980s:

New York

SNAP Downtown coverage of Raise It Up For Your Ma Dukes

The July issue of SNAP Downtown covered ear2much collective’s May 26th event, Raise It Up For Your Ma Dukes. The event was held at Walnut Studios and featured some of Toronto’s talented artists exhibiting a wide range of photography, paintings and t-shirts. The event was a great success and there’s a mini-video featuring yours truly discussing the event.

Urbanology Coverage of ear2much Event

Urbanology posted their article today reviewing the event that my team and I at ear2much held a few weeks ago, Raise It Up For Your Ma Dukes. It was great to meet reporter Ranjit Dhatt and photographer Fitzroy Facey, who did a great job covering the event.

Thanks Urbanology!

Raise It Up For Your Ma Dukes

Looking forward to having folks join us as we showcase works by Anna Keenan, Char Loro, and Yannick Anton as well as artist re-interpretations of their images documenting
Maureen ‘MaDukes’ Yancey’s visit to Toronto (February 2011).

Music + Art + Film = A Great Night.

Participating Visual Artists:
Nicolas Dabideen
Lindsay Bess
Melissa Doldron
Peterson Joseph
Samiha Khan
Gabrielle Lasporte
Danilo McDowell
Cheryl Rock
Quentin Vercetty

Curated by Gabrielle Lasporte

Opening Night Party Featuring Music, Screening and MORE!!
Thursday, May 26 2011 – Door open at 7pm
VIEWING
Friday, May 27 2011 – 12pm to 7pm
Saturday May 28 2011 – 12pm to 7pm
@ Walnut Studio 83 Walnut Ave. Toronto