This is the End..But Not Really, it’s Mostly the Beginning

The time has come. After two years, I have (along with my classmates) completed the CreComm program.

Well, not fully – technically.

I’m about to head to school to hand in my final written assignment, still have a few Pluganomics podcast episodes to record (hit that subscribe button!), and a three-week work placement to do -BUT- after that, I’m being released back into the wild.

This time, however, I feel more prepared than I have been for anything else in my life, and to say it was the best experience ever is a total understatement. For starters I got to do all kinds of amazing things, like conceive, create, and manage this blog for you, my readers. And being the extreme hip-hop enthusiast that I am, nothing (besides spinning) has given as much joy as writing this weekly post and sharing all the new music I love.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the ride too.

Having said that, and I’m sure I’m not the only CreComm to have said this, but I plan to continue writing and managing this site. Maybe not every week, but definitely as consistently as possible.

We’ll see where life takes me and my new friends, as I’m sure we’re all off to do some pretty incredible stuff.

Some of my buds have already embarked on this journey, and have landed full-time gigs. Some are off to internships in other cities. And some are planning well-deserved trips to far way places.

Me? I’ll be here in Winnipeg (save for a week in Chicago in May with fellow CreCommers) but I’ll be doing what I love, and that’s spinning at events, going fishing, and hanging out with friends and family.

Some things should just never change.

But mostly I’ll be getting myself organized to find a new job in the communications field. I’m armed and ready to go, thanks to a lot of hard work, both individual, and as part of the many groups I was privileged to work with.

This is the part where I thank everyone I’ve met in the past two years, from my incredibly wonderful and talented instructors and classmates, to RRC support staff, and even the random strangers who contributed to the endless assignments and projects we created during our time in CreComm.

If you’re reading this and considering applying to CreComm, I say do it. BUT, be prepared. It’s a huge commitment, and a totally worthwhile one. It becomes your life and yet it helps positively shape your life.

I guess this means I’m now a part of the famous “CreComm Mafia”.

SWEET

Lastly, I want to wish all my class of 2016 friends nothing but the best in their future endeavours. I hope we can all stay in touch as much as possible (we are communications professionals after all), and I look forward to following your careers and all the great things you are sure to accomplish.

And to the first-years. It’s great to see such amazing people coming up to take over the preverbal reigns, as we did from the 2015 class. My only advice to you is to keep your heads up and hunker down, no matter how challenging things may seem at times, because you will be happy you did when it’s over.

And enjoy every minute because just like that you will be writing a post like I am now.

Best of luck to you all, and remember, I am, along with the rest of us, just a message or phone call away. If I can help in any way, I’d be happy to do so.

Bye for now, and remember,

LET’S BUILD

B

(More rap stuff to come later when I get home)

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This Week in Hip-Hop

It’s hard to believe, but next week is my final week of Crecomm. It’s also going to be my final regular post here. Having said that, I’ll do my best to continue to use this site as often as possible. It’s been an awesome two years, and it’s clear that blogging is a fantastic platform to communicate with my publics.

Last week was the the event at Bar Italia, and it was beyond my expectations. Big thanks to everyone who made it out, and congrats to the contest winner.

On Monday I’ll be making a presentation to my class about the blog communication strategy, and I’m happy to say I met most of my goals. So, thank you again to my followers and casual visitors. I hope this site has become a great resource for you hip hop heads.

I want to finish this post with a couple of new releases I’m excited about.

Meant to post this one last week but didn’t get to it, so I’ll do it now. A$AP Ferg is finally getting ready to drop his sophomore album, Always Strive and Prosper, and he blessed us with his latest video for the next single from the album. The track is called Let it Bang, featuring TDE’s SchoolBoy Q. It’s not as intense as his first song A New Level, but it’s just as dope. Ferg also just announced he’s going on tour with Torey Lanez for the Level Up tour. Check out the dates, and go see him if you can.

 

Awful Records boss, Father just released his new album called I’m a Piece of S**t, and here’s the second vid from that called Slide Through. Check it out:

 

Last but not least, Drake leaked a couple of songs from his new album, Views from the Six, due this month. Here’s Controlla featuring Popcaan. Look for the album to drop ant day now.

 

Thanks for stopping by, see you next week.

B

Beats, Rhymes, and LIFE

It’s been a crazy week. Brussels, the budget, Rob Ford, Gary Shandling, and of course, Phife Dawg.

There continues to be so much strife in the world, but at the end of the day we all have to forge ahead and do the best we can with the time we have here. Love yourself, your family, and those around you.

These are my attempt at words of wisdom.

I may not be qualified but it comes from my heart.

I mentioned Phife again because this is a hip-hop blog, and if you read my last post from a couple of days ago you know that I pay my eternal respect to the five-foot assassin.

It should be mentioned here that I’m in the middle of making a push to drive traffic to this blog, and it just so happened that life intersected with this effort. So, please know and understand that I am using this platform to show love to Phife and his contributions to rap music and  hip-hop culture.

Further to the acknowledgement here and with a CD giveaway in his honour, watch for the next Pluganomics episode, where I do a whole episode dedicated to Phife.

As well, this weekend’s Bloggin’ Them Thangs event at Bar Italia will also prominently feature his music for everyone to enjoy.

I’ll be spinning on Saturday along with my friends, Mike B. SallyBoo, and James from Vikings. Come through and vibe out with us, you will love every minute.

The chance to win the free Tribe CD will close at 6pm tomorrow, and I will announce the winner shortly after, so stay tuned.

Hope to see some of you there.

As always, thanks for stopping by, and peace be with you all.

B

 

 

BTT Event and ATCQ CD Giveaway. RIP Phife Dawg

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In conjunction with the Bloggin’ Them Thangs event this weekend at Bar Italia, and in honour of legendary MC, Phife Dawg, this is your chance to win a free A Tribe Called Quest CD.

All you have to do is follow this blog and share this post on one of your social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) then tag me (Neil Ferguson or @ishaboibruce) and comment telling us a quick story about what Tribe and Phife means to you as a hip-hop fan.

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Long live the 5-foot Assassin

 

 

Bloggin’ Them Thangs Celebration at Bar Italia March 26

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AYEE,

That’s my flyer. It’s a work of art; in progress — very contemporary — just like my blog.

Next Saturday, March 26, at Bar Italia.

Since I began CreComm in September 2014, I’ve been posting weekly, giving my readers the latest news and releases by many of today’s most poppin hip-hop artists.

So, next Saturday at Bar Italia in association with #LETSBUILDSATURDAYS, I will be hosting a #function with some of my friends (and hopefully some of you) to celebrate life and drive more traffic to this blog.

Some of my my DJ homies will be taking turns on the turns, and the  music will be bangin’.

There’s NO COVER, and the patio might just be open.

Again, thanks for following and reading. Hope to see some of you next Saturday.

Here are a few vids I’m feeling this week:

 

 

As always, thanks for stopping by.

B

This Week in Hip-Hop

I’m still processing the new Kanye album, The Life of Pablo (TLOP) and so, apparently, is everyone else, including ‘ye. He took the album down from his website almost as soon as he put it up so now it’s currently only available for stream on Tidal.

Having said that, the Internet has gone nuts for the album, and in particular, the a cappella track, I Love Kanye.

Everyone from DJ Premier to J.U.S.T.I.C.E League have released a version, and they’re pretty dope. Here’s a few of my faves:

 

DJ Premier:

TM88:

 

Statik Selektah & Green Lantern:

Key Wane Remix

 

And lastly on the Kanye TLOP tip is this remix to the song Freestyle 4 by Odd Future’s Tyler, The Creator featuring A$AP Rocky. Check it out.

 

Here’s hoping Kanye finally leaves well enough alone and puts the album out for everyone, however, he says it will never be for sale on Apple. Who knows with this dude.

Thanks for stopping by. B

This Week in HiP HoP

Here are a couple of notable releases from this week that I think you might want to check out:

We’re going to start big.

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Earlier this week, TDE bawse, Top Dawg, said fans could expect a release by one of the TDE artists at “some random point this week”. Well, last night was the night and the project was by King K Dot himself, Kendrick Lamar.

It’s been just shy of one year since we last heard any new material from Lamar, so this was a total surprise and the Internet went nuts for the 8-track album, called Untitled and Unmastered.

That’s the title because that’s exactly what the project is. None of the songs have names and may or may not be of the highest quality. It’s also been said that we have NBA superstar, Lebron James to thank for this as he tweeted at Top Dawg recently telling him we need to get all this material Kendrick has been performing live.

And it would seem that’s what this is – not that anyone is complaining. Untitled and Unmastered is available on iTunes and Spotify.

*note – track seven is apparently produced by Swizz Beatz’ and Alicia Keys’ 5-year-old son, Egypt. (WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE???)

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Also last night, 2 Chainz, fresh off his last mixtape, Felt Like Cappin’, has teamed up with Lil Wayne. The two have released a mixtape called, Collegrove, and it bangs hard. I personally like it.  Also available on iTunes

 

Short post today but I might have time to add to it later this evening. Been a busy week. Thanks for stopping by as always. B

 

This Week in Hip-Hop

Lots of great stuff to write about in today’s post – it was another good week for rap releases and news.

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By now it’s safe to say most Kanye West fans have heard his latest, and seventh, album, TLOP (The Life of Pablo). While the release and promo was a bit bizarre, it seems only fitting that the album reflects Mr. West’s current star in life. From asking Mark Zuckerberg for a billion dollars (on Twitter no less) to beefing with Wiz and writing weird lyrics about Taylor Swift, and comparing himself to Picasso and Einstein, it seems Yeezus himself is in some kind of pre-mid-life-crisis mode.

But that’s none of my business.d1b

What is my business is the music. And after giving the album a few listens, I’ll say that I personally like it – as I usually do with his records.

You guys know by now that I’m not one to break down records and review everything to the last detail, however, it must be noted that TLOP does not crack my top five Kanye albums. Those spots are reserved for (in no particular order) The College Dropout, Late Registration, Graduation, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, and Yeezus.

Having said that, there’s lots to get excited about with this album, including the highlight, Ultralight Beam. Ye said this would be a gospel album and he wasn’t kidding. The first track sets the tone and with guests Kirk Franklin, Kelly Price, and The-Dream. But really, it’s fellow Chi-town spitter, Chance The Rapper who steals the show. I mean, he steals the WHOLE show. ULB is far and away the best track and he makes it so along with the production and overall soulful feels.

Other great moments include a seemingly rejuvenated Kid Cudi on Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1, the energetic solo effort, Feedback, Famous featuring Rihanna and long-time collaborator, Swizz Beatz, The hype (and Tyler, The Creator approved) Freestyle 4 ft. the unstoppable Future, a guest appearance by the legend, Andre 3000, and the current Internet fave, I Love Kanye (just google all the different versions already). I could do without the Chris Brown feature, and Pt. 2 is cool, but I’d rather just remind people to listen to the original effort, Panda, by the latest G.O.O.D. Music signee, 18-year-old Brooklyn rapper, Desiigner. Of course Real Friends is great, and No More Parties in LA is the kind of song all the old Kanye fans will love for it’s dusty Madlib samples.

Yikes, I guess that was sort of a review. Okay, just listen for yourself and decide where TLOP lands on your list.

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Of course, anyone who has been following the Kanye saga remembers the stir he caused last month when he announced (before settling on TLOP) that his album would be called WAVES. Wiz responded, twitter blew up, and the rest we unfortunately remember. However, on the heels of this whole thing, French Montana has gone and released his latest mixtape and it’s called Wave Gods. Amazing, right? Even better is he got the original Wave God, and central figure in this whole fiasco, Dipset’s Max B. (who’s incarcerated for the next few decades) to host! Unreal.

The tape is actually pretty good too. An d guess who shows up on the first single? You got it, Mr. West joins French and rap legend, Nas on the track, Figure it Out.

I’ve always been on the fence with French, but he seems to always pick pretty nice beats and gets good features and he’s somehow snuck into my rotation. Incidently, he also just released the vid for the remix of his 2015 hit, Off the Rip featuring A$AP Rocky.

Other highlights on Wave Gods include my fave joint, Lockjaw featuring upstart Florida rapper, Kodak Black, who IS POISED for a big 2016. If I haven’t featured him yet, I will be sure to do that in the next week or so – he is POPPIN rn.

Wave Gods also features Future, Quavo, Big Sean, Travis Scott, Puff Daddy & Styles P., and the late coke boys rep, Chinx. Check it out.

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I’d be remiss if after all the Future mentions this week (and every week) if I didn’t post his new Banger, Kung Fu. The song is actually by Baauer (remember the Harlem Shake guy?) and features Pusha T. This one is at the bottom of this post but will be at the top of your playlist for the foreseeable future (sorry).

 

 

BONUS Here’s the vid for Jazz Cartier’s Opera. Grab Hotel Paranoia now and keep an eye on this cat.

 

 

This week in hip hop

It was a great week for rap music, with Future releasing his second mixtape of 2016, EVOL.

Future says the title is actually “LOVE” spelled backwards (for anyone who couldn’t figure that out).

Highlights include, Program, Low Life feat The Weeknd, and Fly Shit Only – to name a few.

No videos yet, but if the last few mixtape are any indication, we should be getting at least a couple of visuals very soon. No guest features either (except for The Weeknd).

I’ve said it a few times now but Future looks to be busy in 2016 and says he has several more projects to release.

That’s good news for the hardcore fans, but it begs the question: will there be Future overload?

Personally, I’m good with a new Future project every week, but many people wonder if maybe it’s time for the ATL emcee to slow up even just a little.

Like 2 Chainz, and even Waka Flocka Flame before him, Future has been releasing material at an almost impossible rate.

Both those other rappers experienced a similar trajectory to the top of the rap world only to fall back down to earth after the public had enough.

2 Chainz is now of course back on everyone’s radar after his last two mixtapes and in particular his track, watch out, which has become his biggest hit in years (read last week’s post) .

Waka is still touring and releasing material but hasn’t enjoyed the same success as he did in 2011 and before.

Of course in the rap game, like the movie business, you’re only one hit away from being on everybody’s lips. So who knows, Waka could be poised for a big 2016 too. Only time will tell.

As for Future, it seems his star is still rising and with the Drake assisted mixtape (WATTBA) in his pocket, he has every chance of gaining the mainstream popularity that he is clearly deserving of.

Here’s hoping.

THIS WEEK IN HIP-HOP

Last week I talked about how I like to post videos for you to watch. And it’s true, I do. But this week didn’t really see too many good ones to share, so I’m going to focus this post on some new music.

Things are really picking up for releases and I have so much new stuff in my library it’s gonna be tough to get through it all this weekend (CreComm calls). So I’ll just highlight some songs, mixtapes and Eps and leave them here for you to digest.

Yesterday saw some pretty highly anticipated material released by some of today’s biggest  and best.

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First up is the new Young Thug mixtape, I’m Up. This was supposed to be the third instalment of the Slime Season series, But Thugga decided to switch titles at the last minute – a popular trend these days (Kanye?).

The 9-track effort was released yesterday and has guest spots by Offset, Quavo, and Lil’ Durk. I haven’t had a chance to listen to the whole thing yet, but if you follow Thug you have most likely heard the track, F Cancer – a song dedicated to fellow rapper, Boosie Badazz, who was recently diagnosed with the life-threatening disease. Other than that everything is new so click the link and enjoy it over the weekend.

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I haven’t been the biggest Wiz Khalifa fan over the years, but every now and then the Pittsburgh native releases something that catches my radar. This is one of those times. Now, I haven’t heard the whole album front to back, but coming off his fresh beef with Kanye West, and the new track, Bake Sale feat. Travis Scott, I thought I’d take a chance. So far so good. In addition to Travis, the album features Juicy J, Rico Love, and Ty Dolla $ign, so that’s appealing. Khalifa is now available on iTunes.

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Toronto-based rapper, Jazz Cartier also released his sophomore effort, Hotel Paranoia this week. He initially had it available for stream only on his Soundcloud but ultimately decided to give it away for free. Fans will recognize the auto-tune-heavy track, Opera, which he leaked last month. Production his largely handled by Lantz, and the sole feature is by River Tiber. I’ve had a chance to listen to this once all the way through and I definitely think fans and newcomers alike will dig it. Standouts include 100 Roses, Red Alert, Stick & Move, Opera, and How We Do It – which uses a clever sample of the ’90s Montell Jordan hit, This is How We Do it.

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It seems like it was just a few weeks ago that LE$ dropped Steak & Shrimp 2. It was longer than that, however, already he’s back with a new mixtape, Dreamcast. This is definitely a smoked out project that was likely inspired by his love for video games. I’m a big fan so I’ve already got it on my phone ready to listen this weekend. If you plan to chill and vid out and watch the Superbowl on Sunday, you might want to do the same.

Lastly, here are a couple of tracks that I heard this week and which you will be most likely hearing in the near future:

DesiignerPanda.  Rumour is that the 19-year-old outta Brooklyn will be joining the G.O.O.D. Music crew. This infectious song has taken the Internet by storm with almost one million views on YouTube alone.

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The remix to Yo Gotti’s hit Down in the DM dropped this week, and it features Nicki Minaj. Check it out.

Okay, here’s the video too.

 

That’s all for this week – should be enough to keep you satisfied. Thanks for checking in. Next week I’ll be talking Future again as he prepares to drop his second mixtape of 2016, EVOL.