Rap Flashback – The Sun Rises In The East

The Sun Rises In The EastMay 24th, 1994 marks the release date of Jeru The Damaja’s debut and most popular album, The Sun Rises in the East.  At a time in Rap History where West Coast artists such as Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and Ice Cube were dominating the mainstream, Jeru’s release, along with Wu-Tang Clan’s Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) and Nas’ Illmatic helped fuel the revival of East Coast Hip Hop.  The album which was entirely produced by both DJ Premier and Jeru himself, featured the smash hit “Come Clean”, and peaked at number 5 on the Billboard R&B/Hip Hop charts.

Powered by Jeru’s raspy vocals and disjointed, yet poetic flow, The Sun Rises in the East takes us back to a time in Hip Hop where concept albums reigned supreme.  Soon thereafter, with the rise of radio friendly, pop Hip Hop, mainstream Rap music’s content shifted towards tracks about money, yachts, clubbing, and bling.  That said, all it takes is a quick search through your old school Hip Hop tapes and CDs (remember those?), or a little internet research to reminisce, kick back, and enjoy what raw Hip Hop used to sound like. With that said, we at JP Lime Productions salute Jeru The Damaja for his classic contribution to one of Hip Hop’s most influential, and musically rich, periods. COME CLEAN!

‘I’m a true master, you can check my credentials / ‘cuz I choose to use my infinite potential.’

May Rap Flashback

PRESS PLAY below for your monthly dose of HipHop History with the May Rap Flashback.  This month we feature two movies tied to Hip Hop culture, we’ll mark the singles’ release of the songs “Dre Day” and “I Got 5 On It”, and we’ll send Happy Birthday wishes out to Jada, 3Stacks, and DMC.  So rewind and tune in – we are your old school Hip Hop fix.

The Oddball Show with John Garrett and Jess DaSilva of So Sol

 The Oddball Show podcastJoin us for the livest new podcast to hit the internet, The Oddball Show, a collaboration between JP Lime Productions and Oddball Magazine.  Tonight the Oddballs welcome John Garrett and Jess DaSilva, the couple at the center of the band Só Sol.  We’ll talk about the music scene in and around Boston (specifically Somerville), how it works being in a band with your spouse, and the new project entitled ‘Hold Your Own’, coming your way in July.
To TUNE IN simply PRESS PLAY below!
#WeAreAllOddballs

 

Pertinent Links

Bandcamp: https://sosol.bandcamp.com/

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/sosol

FB: https://www.facebook.com/sosolmusic/

Rap Flashback – AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted

Amerikkka's Most WantedMay 16th, 1990 was the release date of Ice Cube’s first solo album, the highly controversial Hip Hop social commentary known as AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted.  When the album title alone doubles as a political statement, you know you’re in for something heavy.  After management and compensation disputes drove Cube’s split from N.W.A, he teamed up with the New York based production team known as The Bomb Squad (best known for its work with Public Enemy), introduced his own Rap crew called Da Lench Mob, and dropped this ferocious album.

At this point in Hip Hop’s evolution, with both Ice T and N.W.A. well established, Gangsta/Reality Rap was becoming mainstream.  That said, Ice Cube’s raw, politically and socially conscious edge gave AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted more punch than its predecessors, and established Ice Cube as a force to be reckoned with for years to come.  The album peaked at number 19 on the U.S. Billboard charts, number 6 on the Hip Hop charts, and the title track, “AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted”, reached number 1 on the U.S. Rap Singles chart.

On a personal note, at the impressionable age of 10 my favorite track on this album was ‘A Gangsta’s Fairytale’ – less a political piece and more a play on fairy-tale characters with an urban twist.  With lyrics about Cinderella and Snow White fighting over the 7 dwarfs, the song both entertained and cracked me up.  I’m sure a bunch of other kids my age who probably shouldn’t have been listening to this album felt the same way.  Hey, I think most of us turned out okay.  That said, thank you Ice Cube for dropping such a memorable record. JP Lime salutes you!

‘Saw a fight over colors too / Red Riding Hood, and Little Boy Blue / A bad influence?  Yo, I don’t know / But Ice Cube’ll tell the kids how the story should go!’

Rap Flashback – Original Gangster

 

Original GangsterMay 14th 1991 was the release date of Ice T’s 4th album, entitled, O.G. – Original Gangster.  The album, widely considered Ice T’s best, contains the track “New Jack Hustler (Nino’s Theme)”, which doubled as the theme song for the Warner Bros., 1991 motion picture  ,New Jack City.  The movie, in which Ice T co-starred alongside Hollywood mainstays such as Wesley Snipes, Allen Payne, Mario Van Peebles, and a young Chris Rock, catapulted the Godfather of Gangsta Rap into the mainstream and he’s never looked back.  The album also introduced Body Count, Ice T’s controversial Heavy Metal band which would go on to release the highly controversial track, “Cop Killer”, the following year.

Over the course of his career Ice T has managed to effectively toe the line between scaring the hell out of and vastly entertaining mainstream America. For that and so much more, we at JP Lime Productions salute one of Hip Hop’s true Original Gangsters.

 

The Top Four Awesomenesses of Captain America Civil War

Captain America Civil War

Fellow True Believers, it is my duty to periodically come to you and report on the state of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and today I am glad to be able to say that the state of the MCU is awesome. My eagerness for Captain America: Civil War obviously could not be contained past opening weekend, especially given its ramifications for the larger connected universe, such as the television favorite Agents of SHIELD . What I can tell you in this spoiler-free first paragraph is that I loved it and it is difficult to imagine the casual movie-goer and true fan alike not being captivated by its excitement and depth. Again, spoilers aside, there is simply so much that the Russo Brothers and Kevin Feige got right, often in fun and surprising ways, that I’ve compiled a list of the Top Four Awesomenesses of Captain America: Civil War.

I’ll limit my disparaging comparisons to the Snyder debacle Batman v Superman in this article, but it’s worth mentioning the extent to which CA:CW shines especially in the wake of BvS’s flaws. We fans (the #NerdHerd) have been somewhat spoiled over the last decade and Zack Snyder serves to remind us of the long history of superhero movies helmed by directors that didn’t know and/or care about the source material, eager to put their own signature spin on beloved characters. What Kevin Feige, Jon Favreau, Joss Whedon, James Gunn, Christopher Nolan (except when he lost his mind on The Dark Knight Rises), and the Russo Brothers have shown is that the best pursuit with this genre is to pull the fantastic, fertile essence of these characters and stories onto the big screen and work to make the details fit in an appropriate way. There is a fine line that Feige and Co. have trod in placing their characters in a grounded reality while remaining true to the incredible and astonishing atmosphere of the comic book world.

It may be difficult for some to recall now but I remember how interesting I thought it was when Iron Man first came out in 2008 and the idea began to surface that Marvel Studios was going to build franchises (and then inter-connect them) on older, some would say less flashy heroes of the comic canon. This wasn’t Spider-Man or The Hulk (not yet anyway) and it wasn’t either of the two previously mentioned big guns of the DC world. This was Iron Man and Captain America, books whose most popular days, along with those of their Avenging teammates, lie in the bygone era of comic books’ Silver Age. Eight years, thirteen films, and three tv shows later (and counting) the success of the MCU seems a foregone conclusion rather than the result of key artistic choices, but indeed that’s exactly what makes the movies so awesome and allows for a universe where a complicated film like Captain America Civil War can exist and thrive.

SPOILER WARNING SPOILER WARNING SPOILER WARNING

Proceeding beyond this point comes with the understanding and expectation of many SPOILERS for Captain America: Civil War and the various connected entities of the MCU. If you have not yet seen the movie I would highly suggest doing so before moving on. It’s ok, I’ll wait, just leave this browser window open while you run to your local theater and strap yourself in for 2 ½ hours of superhero goodness. Then come on back and we’ll enjoy its awesomeness together over a glass of 1000-year-old Asgardian liquor.
All good? Onward then.

Characters, Influences, Easter Eggs, and Spider-Man ahead… CLICK HERE TO READ ON…

#MayThe4thBeWithYou

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