J. Ivy & Blitz the Ambassador Present… “WAR” // @J_Ivy @BLITZAMBASSADOR

J. Ivy is best known for his feature on Kanye West’s “Never Let Me Down”, the piece he performed over John Legend’s “So High”, and his appearances on Def Poetry Jam. In this latest effort, he teamed up with respected underground emcee, Blitz the Ambassador, and film director, Kurt Williamson, to create a song and video that capture the war-like aesthetic that encapsulates these present times. Rather than guns or missiles, Ivy sees humanity as being the true “weapons of mass destruction”. As you take in the captivating visuals, be sure to listen carefully to the words. The overall message is powerful.

“The basic problems facing the world today are not susceptible to a military solution.” – JFK

Bridge B. – “Diggin It” (Produced by Redd Lettaz) // @BRIDGEBISCUIT @reddlettaz @NeoPsalmzMusiQ

This is one of those tracks that I could easily play back to back 20 times without thinking twice about it. As I wrote in a previous post, Bridge B is one of those rappers who drops so many gems in one verse that you have to play it at least five times to catch everything. I don’t knooow… It sounds like Mr Lettaz and the Neo Psalmz crew are setting out to take our headphones hostage for the rest of this year and going into the next, but I’m not complaining. A Prelude to A Renaissance is coming very soon, so stay on the look out for that link. Furthermore, I must say that I’ve been enjoying these promotional videos — like the one I’ve posted below. Props for creativity and Peanuts! As always, I hope you enjoy the music and spread the word to your friends and family. G+P…Oh yeah, and HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!! :)

Dee-1 – “The Garden of Eden” Music Video // @Dee1music

“The Garden of Eden” is one of my favorite songs that I’ve heard by Dee-1, because it highlights his strengths as an artist. When I listen to one of his songs, I’m not necessarily listening for punchlines or cadence, though those elements are present in his music. Dee-1 has the rare ability, at least in hip-hop, to paint pictures with his words. Those who have mastered this craft, from Slick Rick to Common, are counted among the greats. Therefore, I have no problem with classifying Dee-1 as one of the greatest emcees of our time. I was encouraged to see correspondence between him and Lecrae on Twitter, as well as an interview posted on DaSouth.com, because I feel that artists like him are often undervalued in the Christian community– until they collaborate with Mary Mary or Kirk Franklin. CHH artists have a hard enough time being accepted by the church as a whole, but it’s even more challenging for Christian rappers who don’t always quote scriptures or preach the Gospel in their music. Also, if you’re embraced by the secular community, which Dee-1 has been for some time, people often subconsciously assume that your theology is diluted or your light is dim. What could a real Christian possibly have in common with sinners that would make them embrace him but not necessarily his faith in Christ? Actually, quite a bit…mainly things that are often glossed over or ignored in many of today’s churches. This is why I support Dee-1, and I’m glad to see other Christians not only privately but publicly support him as well. I hope that his career continues along this positive, upward trajectory and that, by this time next year, far more people will know his name, his music, and his mission. Enjoy the video and feel free to pass it along! Also, download his mixtape, I Hope They Hear Me Vol. 2, if you haven’t already. G+P

116 – “Man Up Anthem” Music Video // @reachrecords @ReachLife

Director, Kyle Dettman, did a good job of capturing the essence of this song with visuals that are equally as biting and cutting edge as the message. When KB walked down the street mean-muggin with that flag in hand, I was like “Aww snap! They’re about to go in”. But I must say things took a turn from great to epic when Prop walked in making the “I belong in an asylum” face and started swinging those dreads. Ahhh this vid goes so hard! Great job, 1-1-Six! G+P

Mali Music “Go”es Off In New Song Addressing The Critics // @MaliMusic

Would it be awkward to point out that this song reminds me of Akon or is that one of those artistic things I was supposed to pick up on? Anywhoo…It looks like Mali got tired of folks talking smack about his latest business ventures (Side rant: this choppy video on Youtube was the most reputable source I could find), so he decided to formally address the critics in the best way an artist can — he put it in a song. I must say that I appreciate dude for not crying all over the track but, rather, keeping it simple and to the point. This isn’t something I would bump in my headphones on the daily, but I don’t think that was the purpose anyway. The decision to address the public in this format was clever, in my opinion, because it accomplishes two things: 1) It tells the haters to “have a seat _/” in the most loving, Christiany way possible. 2) It appeases the Mali fanatics who’ve been waiting on life support for dude to release some new music. And there you have it, folks! If this song doesn’t quite give you your fix, be sure to go cop “The Job Experience” on iTunes and vote for his new video which he recently premiered on 106 & Park. It’s not enough to have the kingdom walk up in the building; we gotta tear that sucker down too! Let me know your thoughts (in other words, leave a comment so I don’t feel like I’m writing to myself). G+P! :)

I Got Nuttin But Love For Ya, Heavy D!

Side Note: Check out son in the clear rainsuit…All these years, and I still cannot!

I couldn’t let this moment go by without acknowledging one of the great music icons of my generation. It’s a shame that I didn’t appreciate him more while he was still with us, because he really did help to usher in my experience with and love for Hip-Hop at a young age. I didn’t know much about music except that I liked what I liked and all that mattered was the way that it made me feel. Whenever a Heavy D video came on, it made me feel happy and free. My hope and pray is that his soul is now happy and free, resting comfortably in the care of the Father. As we take this time to mourn and reflect, let’s allow the words of his final tweet to resonate deeply with our hearts…