December 29, 2009

Spike Lee On Hollywood's "Coonery & Buffoonery"

At the 2009 Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference & Expo, one of the featured speakers was Spike Lee. During his segment, he was asked about the representation of black culture in TV and film. His example of our need for an improved representation was Tyler Perry's "House of Pain" and "Meet The Browns". He claims that even though it is generating a lot of revenue, it is taking us back to the minstrel days of Mantan Moreland and Sleep 'N Eat. Watch a segment of the interview and comment with your opinion.

If you want Tyson's Take on the matter, I feel that Spike makes a very valid point. We have to create more accurate representations of our entire culture or much of our history may be washed away by shuckin' & jivin'. With that being said, I also feel that Tyler Perry should not change his format or characters. Madea, Mr. Brown, and the rest of his lively characters always have a moral or positive religious undertone in each movie and story. I feel it should be less about getting someone to stop doing what he's doing, and it should be more about cultivating NEW black filmmakers to offer other representations of who we are.

- Steve Tyson Jr.

December 15, 2009

2010 Nobel Peace Prize Afterparty

You knew when we finally got a black president things would be different around here. But at the Nobel Peace Prize after party, "change" was the name of the game. Will Smith and Wyclef Jean rocked the mic during the party and jam session that followed the formal ceremony and they were accompanied by Natasha Bedingfield and Toby Keith. I'm glad to see the core elements of Hip-Hop thriving in an environment where typically you'd have waltzes and bowties.

PS: Check out the whole video and you'll even get to see Toby Keith spittin' "Rapper's Delight" with the Fresh Prince, plus Wyclef & Natasha Bedingfield performing The Fugees' hit song "Ready or Not"!

- Steve Tyson

December 04, 2009

Stevie Wonder & John Legend Pay Tribute To MJ

At the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 25th Anniversary ceremony, inductee Stevie Wonder was accompanied by John Legend for a lively rendition of Michael Jackson's hit single "The Way You Make Me Feel". Halfway through the performance, Stevie got emotional and shed tears for the fallen King of Pop. A truly touching performance, I'm sure Mr. Wonder gave it as much as he could in order to finish. Check it out below.

- Steve Tyson Jr.

November 20, 2009

KRS-One Urges For A Jay-Z vs. 50 Cent Battle!

Yo... now THIS is an ill idea. Get the two biggest MC's in the game to battle it out for supremacy of New York! KRS has the idea that if they engage in a Hip-Hop battle it would benefit the entire culture of Hip-Hop. Plus, he feels that money could be raised to help combat many of the ills in the world (including breast cancer, poverty, etc.)

I think Hip-Hop culture NEEDS this battle to happen. For so many years MC's have talked a lot of shit about PPV battles and tournaments, but nothing has ever materialized. I know that if this happens and independent MC's are allowed to try out for the undercard battles, I'm definitely signing up!

- Steve Tyson

October 29, 2009

BET Freestyle Cypher '09

I've always been a fan of the Hip-Hop cypher, and when BET compiles some of the illest MC's in the game to get together and represent for the culture you KNOW it's gotta be good. Check out this year's freestyles below!

Mos Def, Black Thought, & Eminem demolish the classic beat spun by DJ Premier!

Nikki Minaj, Buckshot, Joe Budden & Crown Royyal go off in this cypher too!

September 24, 2009

Ridiculous: The Tea Party Protest in D.C. 9/12

In all my life I've never seen such a large group of uninformed, unintelligent, and completely ignorant people all together in one place. Now obviously everybody there wasn't as extreme as everyone shown in the video, but there is a HUGE difference between voicing an informed opinion and spouting some bullshit rhetoric that you saw on TV. I am glad to say though, beyond all of this propaganda-driven lunacy, there are millions of people who are actively making progressive changes in this country. It's just messed up that there are many more millions of Americans who disagree with what these people are saying but remain stuck on the couch screaming at the TV or just "beat a dead horse" while debating with peers, instead of actually going out and making a difference too.

- Steve Tyson Jr.

September 20, 2009

Lyrical God - Ammunition (With 2 Pens & A Table!)

Dude is a beast on this track "Ammunition"! His name Lyrical God is for certain, but what trumps the flow is his ability to bang out a heavy beat with just two pens on a wood table. It's pretty coincidental how the heavy snare pen is reminiscent of the clap of a gun too. Gotta give him his props... and it's good to see the pulse of Hip-Hop still beating strong.

- Steve Tyson Jr.

Loon Discusses His Conversion To Islam!

Loon (now Amir Junaid Muhadith), formerly of Bad Boy Entertainment, sits down with The Deen Show in Dubai, UAE to discuss his conversion to the Islamic faith and how it has given his life peace & inspired a new musical creativity. Check out the full 28 minute interview and drop a comment! Do you think there will be more MC's who are unafraid to throw away stereotypical imagery of a "rapper" and follow their own journey to create the true music that they want to make?

- Steve Tyson Jr.

July 18, 2009

July 10, 2009

Even The Greatest Learned From The Greatest

Ever since the beautiful memorial service was held for Michael Jackson, I’ve found myself consistently looking for videos and interviews to gain a broader understanding of who MJ was as a person and how he crafted himself to become the greatest entertainer ever. Now I already knew like many of you that Gene Kelly, James Brown, and Fred Astaire were MAJOR influences on Michael. Check out a classic Fred Astaire movie “The Band Wagon” and you'll see how MJ borrowed Astaire’s “The Girl Hunt” sequence to create the videos for “Billie Jean”, “Smooth Criminal”, “Bad”, “You Rock My Word” and the narrative portion of the song “Dangerous”.

What I didn’t know, was how much of an influence legendary choreographer Bob Fosse was on Michael Jackson. A friend of mine told me about the striking similarities between what Fosse did and Michael’s stage performance, so I had to see for myself. After doing a little research what I noticed was amazing. There are many Fosse clips that show MJ similarities but the coolest one had to have been “The Snake In The Grass” slip from the movie “The Little Prince” (which MJ was a HUGE fan of!). Notice his highwater black pants, white spats accentuating the shoes, angular leg movements, and fluidity of motion that Michael incorporated into his own dancing. It’s sensational!

These are just some of many videos that you can look up and see the influence they’ve had on the performances of Michael Jackson. I hope this is was just as enjoyable for you as it was for me, and I know all of these performers will continue to be inspirations for generations of entertainers to come!

- Steve Tyson Jr.

PS: Here's a little something to enjoy!

July 02, 2009

Michael Jackson Is Now Immortal

The King of Pop is doing the Moonwalk with the King of Kings.
It’s taken me a week to really put things into enough perspective to write my first thoughts on the death of Michael Joseph Jackson.

Only know, wherever I go/
we’re as close as two friends can be
There have been others/
but never two lovers
Like music, music and me

- Music and Me

For myself, listening to Michael started in the womb. My father would put headphones over my mother’s stomach bumping a variety of music including two of his favorite albums, “Off The Wall” and “Thriller”. He told me I used to kick back in response to Michael and Quincy Jones’ rhythms. As a kid, the “Thriller” dance was also the first time I remember trying to really memorize an entire dance, but that was only after the werewolf part of the movie scared the living piss out of me.

You can shout out all you want to/
cause there ain’t no sin in folks all getting loud
If you take a chance and do it/
There ain’t no one who’s gonna put you down

- Off The Wall

I remember holding the vinyl of “Bad” on the living room floor and studying every buckle on the cover while blaring the masterpiece that MJ, Quincy, and synthesizer guru Greg Phillinganes crafted through the same speakers I currently bump my own music through (yes the same speakers, crystal sound, 20+ years later). When CD players were invented and my family finally got one, the first CD I ever owned was “Dangerous”. I traded my father a Bruce Springsteen CD I won at school, for the fresh copy of “Dangerous” he had brought home that same day. Out of all the music I’d listened to during those elementary-middle school years, this is easily the album that got the most rotation.

We’re sendin’ out a major love/
and this is our message to you
The planets are linin’ up/
we’re bringin’ brighter days
They’re all in line waitin’ for you/
Can’t you see
- Another Part Of Me

Fast forward past the devilish people who tried to ruin his life through false allegations and lies, to “HIStory: Past, Present, and Future – Book 1”. When listening to this album it was clear that a man who grew up as an idol to America, ended up feeling disgraced and betrayed by a media who tried to ruin him and a culture who bought into a ton of false gossip. But in the midst of the many pain-scarred songs on the album were gems of beauty like “You Are Not Alone” that you can clearly envision the young, Afro’d out Michael singing his heart out on.

It’s slander! You say it’s not a sword/
but with your pen you torture men
You’d crucify the Lord
…So why do we keep fooling ourselves
- Tabloid Junkie

I’d say his personal bottom is evident in the symbolic title of his remix album “Blood On The Dancefloor” and in it’s song “Morphine”. In the track, MJ is clearly venting his deepest, darkest thoughts in an almost free-associative coded manner, while clutching onto the pain convincing Lisa Marie that he’s kicked the drug habit (read her blog post here). Hell, he even drops a line about it being “always to please Daddy”… whew… this brother was really going through it during the mid-90’s. And after kicking the habit, then shaking off the negative aura surrounding the first round of allegations and going toe-to-toe with Sony Music, he came back proving to the world that he’s “Invincible”.

Now I’m just wondering why you think/
that you can get to me with anything
Seems like you’d know by now/
when and how I get down
And will all that I’ve been through, I’m still around

- Unbreakable

Even after the wave of Roc-A-Fella and Ruff Ryders establishing themselves as the new major movements in music, it was "Invincible" that was the album I was most excited for. The day it came out I got the silver covered version and my Dad got the orange one. I was so psyched for this album if you had told me it would be his last solo LP I may have fallen off the deep end. Rodney Jerkins and Michael’s production was and still is ahead of it’s time, although you can finally hear today’s music catching up to that sound with releases like the newest Black Eyed Peas joint (Will.I.Am was also working with MJ on new material, so you know ideas were definitely exchanged). And now there will have to be new generations of musicians and artists to take their craft to new heights just as Michael did.

You can change the world/
I can’t do it by myself
You can touch the sky /
gonna take somebody’s help
You’re the chosen one/
I’m gonna need some kind of sign
If we all cry at the same time tonight

- Cry

It’s as though his presence here was a test for himself and for the rest of us. Here’s a child who was born into the spotlight. He had our entire country focused on his every footstep with people hounding him around every corner, not understanding why every single person he ever met obsessed over him in an almost deranged yet loving manner. I mean wouldn’t that make you afraid at times as a child? Then he grew into a man trying to shake those childish fears but instead of being scared, he was going to scare YOU. (Hence, the underlying concept of "Thriller")

Well they say the sky’s the limit/
and to me that’s really true
But my friend you have seen nothin’/
just wait ‘til I get through

- Bad

Unfortunately, due to his vitiligo and increasingly private lifestyle he really did begin to scare a lot of us. Newspapers and tabloids began reporting a mass of lies just to sell copies. People began concocting elaborate plans to ruin his career by saying he corrupted the only kinds of people he unconditionally loved on this planet... children. He even got us taking a harder look at the pointlessness of race, once his skin disease fully consumed his body we had white-looking Black American telling us it doesn’t matter what our color is in order for us to love one another. No one knew better, that’s for sure.

There’s a place in your heart/
and I know that it is Love
And this place could be/
Much brighter than tomorrow

- Heal The World

And now he’s gone. Leaving us his messages through song. The crazy part about it is that this is only going to make more people listen to his music, and if we actually start to heed his message and truths this world could really be a better place for you and for me.

Your presence here gave a spark within us all, and because of that you are now immortal. Thank you for 50 years of magic and I will continue to love you Michael, just as we all will.

- Steve Tyson Jr.

June 08, 2009

JusListen Ent. presents: The Awakening (FREE Mixtape)

Cover image: "Step Into Tomorrow" © Stephen J. Tyson, Sr.

The BRAND NEW mixtape from Mr. Tyson & TRE dMC can be yours FREE just by clicking the link below!

Step 1: Copy the link above & paste in your browser
Step 2: Click "Click here to start download" on page
Step 3: Enjoy some FRESH new Hip-Hop for '09!

1. Mr. Tyson - Reppin' 4 A Dream
2. Mr. Tyson - I Said Sit Down
3. TRE dMC - All I Know
4. Mr. Tyson - Better Than I've Ever Been
5. Mr. Tyson - Tricks (remix)
6. TRE dMC - Bring It Back
7. Mr. Tyson - Self-Instruction
8. Mr. Tyson - A Kid's Story
9. TRE dMC - Neva Care
10. Mr. Tyson - Jack In The Box
11. Mr. Tyson - Money Don't Make Me
12. TRE dMC - Need Time
13. Mr. Tyson - Shimmy Shimmy Ya
14. Mr. Tyson - Ain't No Half Steppin'
15. TRE dMC - Tell 'Em What
16. Mr. Tyson - Can It Be?!
17. Mr. Tyson - Like A Star
18. TRE dMC - This Is Where It's At! (340 Anthem)

PS: If you enjoy "The Awakening" be sure to purchase "The Virtuous Lyricist" for just $9 at!

May 15, 2009

Eminem - Relapse: Album Review

On Tuesday, May 19th Eminem will release his sixth studio album “Relapse”. Now I'm not reviewing this album because I want to be a "critic" or any kind of shit like that. I'm just a fan of music and like to express my opinion on new albums I come across. With that being said, let's get into the latest effort from Marshall Mathers...

1. Dr. West – The best intro since the PSA’s on his first two albums. The audio engineering is really masterful, and the deranged therapist in Dr. West (played by "The Wire" star Dominic West) clearly shows why Marshall relapsed in the first place. (5/5)

2. 3 A.M. – Back on his psycho Hannibal Lecter/Jeffrey Dahmer rampage, the visuals he paints with his lyrics stand out like blood on a white wall. Some people get put off by his crazyness, but this track is really creative (esp. with the “Lotion in the bucket” part). If you get the chance to see the uncensored music video, you’re really in for it. (4/5)

3. My Mom – Another ode to Debbie Mathers. Legit beat by Dr. Dre, reminds me of elephants stomping through the jungle or something. Eminem breaks down how she’s been hooking him on prescription drugs since he was a child and the deranged parenting that made him the way he is. Oh, and the Auto-Tune cameo at the end of the bridge is hilarious! (5/5)

4. Insane – Um… he’s insane. I don’t know if the subject matter of this song really happened in some way but the gay-Stepfather-incest-rape scenario is pretty disturbing. On a positive note, it’s got a killer beat by Dr. Dre. (3.5/5)

5. Bagpipes From Baghdad – At first I really didn’t get where he was going with this track, but after listening to it several times it’s pretty much a “F*ck-You-Nick-Cannon-Mariah-Is-Mine” kind of track. Decent beat but too frivolous for me. (3/5)

6. Hello – Now THIS beat knocks! And Eminem’s re-introduction to the masses after a 4-year hiatus serves its purpose well. Not only is he saying “hello” to us by the way, he’s also waving happily at all of the bottle of pills that taunt him mercilessly. (4/5)

7. Tonya (skit) – Clearly an intro to the next track… poor Tonya, depending on that OnStar was not a good look. The sound effects make it really seem like an audio movie in a way. (3/5)

8. Same Song & Dance – Creative, creative, creative. For example, in the hook you think he’s telling the ladies to “shake that ass” but really he’s talking to the bound & gagged victim he’s got in the passengers seat. Looks like he’s getting back into his story-mode, which is never a bad thing. (4/5)

9. We Made You – The beat is pretty good, his flow is on point, but for some reason I’m not really feeling this track like I did with songs like “Without Me” & “Real Slim Shady”. At least it’s better than “Just Lose It”. (3/5)

10. Medicine Ball – And just when I thought the album would get disappointing, from here on out it holds its own. This track is absolutely hilarious, especially when he starts spitting as Christopher Reeves, challenging himself to a breakdance battle of all things. Oh, and Dre’s beat is phenomenal. (5/5)

11. Paul (skit) – Of course Eminem had to do the typical Paul Rosenberg skit, and as usual he can’t handle the kind of subject matter that’s on the album. (3/5)

12. Stay Wide Awake – “Soon as my flow starts, I compose art like the ghost of Mozart”… yes, 80% of the time he does. And this track falls into that category, no question. The rap game has clearly missed a lyricist of Eminem’s caliber. It’s good to have someone back that pushes the envelope. (5/5)

13. Old Times Sake (feat. Dr. Dre) – The dynamic duo does not disappoint. This should be the next single off the album. It’s great to hear Dre spittin like back in “The Chronic” days and offers a green inspirational message to those out there who stand up in the face of defeat. Eminem’s got some hilarious lines in here too, with quips like “I believe I can fly, while I pee on a girl, you won’t catch me C.S.I.” (5/5)

14. Must Be The Ganja – At first, the beat made my expectations of this song drop significantly. For some reason I didn’t really like it, but after listening to it over & over again I've grown to think it fits well with the track. Overall it’s a decent song, praises serial killers & herb, but nothing too spectacular. And at the end he admits he didn't even burn or drink during the recording of the song. (2.5/5)

15. Mr. Mathers (skit) – What it must’ve been like for him during the last 4 years. Great sound engineering once again. (4/5)

16. Déjà Vu – Marshall fighting his demons. Pretty much the internal struggle he went through with the drugs, alcohol, and Proof’s murder. Glad he was able to clean up his act and express his pain and experiences to us through music. Very good song (5/5)

17. Beautiful – Classic. Classic. Classic. Shooting for empathy and scores. The only track on the album that Eminem produced himself. All he needed was one. (5/5)

18. Crack A Bottle (feat. Dr. Dre & 50 Cent) – The first full-length track I heard off of Relapse. Eminem’s verse is solid, Dre’s verse is par, but 50’s is lazy and uninteresting. I would've taken a second Eminem verse instead of adding 50's... real talk. (4/5)

19. Steve Berman (skit) – The usual Steve Berman skit, this time Berman’s so pissed he pulls a gun on Eminem, lol. But the skit does elude to the fact that this is the first of TWO albums from Slim Shady this year… (4/5)

20. Underground/Ken Kaniff – So where’s he been? Underground. And it’s clear while he was away he was sharpening his lyrical swords, because this track is furious. The beat is a monster and Eminem slaughters the rhyming dictionary with hilarious lines and detailed storytelling. The Ken Kaniff skit at the end is a funny end to a dark, internal, and masterful album. (5/5)

Overall: (4/5) This is probably one of the better comebacks in Hip-Hop and music history. A 4-year stint of drug abuse and depression would do the average person in, but in Marshall’s case he used his detriment to his advantage. It’s clear this album might have done more for him than a therapist, and if he’s really going to release that second album of material I cannot imagine the quality of music it would contain. But since I’m only reviewing this one, I’ll have to go ahead and say this album will be considered a classic by most… including me.

May 07, 2009

DJ ear.2.ear - Illumination In 4D [MUSIC VIDEO]

Filmed on Sunset Beach, O'ahu, Hawai'i. Home of the O'Neill World Cup of Surfing, the Duke Kahanamoku Classic, and the Quiksilver Big Wave Invitational.

April 15, 2009

The Power Of CHI

Now imagine if it was ingrained within our Western culture to promote daily meditation. How many people would be able to help others without doping folks up on prescription pills and stuff. Not saying all Western medicine is bad or anything, but the things this guy is able to do is really on some next-level-of-humanity-type stuff... too bad they pissed off his ancient master at the end.

April 07, 2009

Mos Def Challenges Jay-Z, Lil' Wayne, Kanye, Andre 3K, and ALL To A PPV Rap Battle!

If this ever goes down I'd easily pay the $50 bucks to watch it! Between him, Hov, Weezy, Kanye, 3K, Freeway, Beans, and if Talib (and Black Thought) showed up?!?! Who knows who'd end up with the crown after that... I say it'd be a finals between Andre 3K and Talib to be honest. What do you think?

March 01, 2009

DJ ear.2.ear - Rise: That 9 Ether [MUSIC VIDEO]

Since I've been asked, I figured I'd explain how I came up with the song's concept.

I was searching through YouTube one day lookin' for Jay-Z videos and came across different related videos of Nuwaubian teachings and philosophies, and one of the topics revolved around the symbolism of the number 9. Here is just a snippet of what they had to say:

"9-Ether represents the combination of all existing gases of nature, also known as the "all in all". Nothing anywhere can be as powerful as all existing gases. Therefore, 9-Ether is the most potent power in the universes, 9 to the 9th power of 9. Nine is symbolic of heaven, hell, creation and birth. 9-Ether is even represented in human form, within the hair follicles of African descendants which grows in the number 9 (the "curl").

So I figured, if 9 is the number which represents all... is that just another way of saying "God" but in numeric fashion? And if God is at the top then we've obviously gotta try to get as close to that level as possible, don't we?

Which means we've got to stop the financial corruption, stop the hatred, the global scandals, the wars (no matter WHAT the reason for them were, even if the reason was "God"), and work to develop a more positive society so that our children & our children's children don't have to grow up with the same social retardations that we currently hold ourselves back with... and work towards creating the brand new, and the better.

I don't even know if that's what they were trying to say, but this is what I got out of it. Yes, it's ambitious. But hey it's just music, and with all that said I hope y'all feel it and let me know what you think.

- Steve Tyson Jr.

February 23, 2009

M.K. Asante's "It's Bigger Than Hip-Hop"

So I received a copy of M.K. Asante Jr.’s book “It’s Bigger Than Hip-Hop” from my father for my birthday, and it’s very much an eye-opener that snaps your attention to the future of our culture.

Now, like many of you I first heard the phrase “It’s bigger than hip-hop” from Dead Prez. The concept was always intriguing, but I never really thought of it as describing the progression of our culture. When reading Prof. Asante’s book, I began to understand how even though I’M part of the next-generation of Hip-Hop there are youth behind me that will shape the culture even further than I could have imagined.

Kind of how like in the 80’s we were making movies like “Krush Groove” and today you can see films like “8 Mile” and “Hustle & Flow”. Not saying they were as classic or pioneering as the original, but it re-invented what was already there to fit with the present.

And that’s pretty much the way Hip-Hop culture will continue to be… there will always be the pioneers of the past to influence the current generation, and while the current generation is doing their thing there is a whole new wave of youth that will take elements of what you’re doing and create something brand new. We can continue to say that “Hip-Hop is this” or “Hip-Hop is that”, but what will ultimately drive us forward is the realization that we can take what Hip-Hop gives us and make it bigger, better, and more applicable than anyone could have realized. And THAT’S bigger than Hip-Hop.

- Steve Tyson Jr.

February 10, 2009

7 Questions

It’s February 10th, now where do I begin?
Where I last left off, let’s pick up from the end.

Stevie Wonder and the Jonas Brothers at the Grammys?!
I feel bad for the legend, and the whole Morris family

A-Rod juiced up while he was playing for the Rangers
Do you think his Hall-of-Fame enshrinement is in danger?

Chris Brown turned Rihanna into Robin Givens
Will they break up? Or do you think he’ll be forgiven?

The stimulus check is still stuck in the Senate
Do you think it’ll get passed before the Cubs win the pennant?

And congrats to the Steelers and their 6th Super Bowl
Will Mike Tomlin be around for as long as they kept Chuck Noll?

All of these stories you can find on globalGrind.
Find out about the world, so you can expand your mind

These are just a couple topics that I really had to vent,
I want to hear your opinion, so be sure to comment!

originally posted at:

February 05, 2009

Exile - Funky Worm (Chopped on MPC)

Exile - Funky Worm Chop from FWMJ on Vimeo

The Image CNN Didn't Want White America To See!

This photograph of The Body of Christ praying over President Barack Obama was not aired on CNN in fears that rural, white America would make an uproar about it...


After winning Super Bowl XLIII, Troy Polamalu of the Pittsburgh Steelers does a stage dive into a crowd of 300,000 people during the Super Bowl Parade!

February 04, 2009

KRS-One On The Government

It's in your best interests to watch in its entirety and then comment with your own opinion below.

February 03, 2009

globalGrind Blog: 2.3.09

It’s February 3rd, and I’ve got a couple questions
For the people of the world, let’s begin my blogging section.

Kwame Kilpatrick was released from the pen
After serving 99-days will he do it again?

Rick Ross is pissed off over baby mama drama, cuz 50 found his info
Faster than we’ve found Osama.

Obama’s got the FDA fighting salmonella, it’s a thriller that our
Peanut butter has become a killer.

Michael Phelps was in a photograph ripping a bong, now ask yourselves
“Was the Olympic swimmer really wrong?”

Jennifer Hudson’s national anthem had me thinking,
Did she really just kill it? or was she lip-synching?

Rakim blames NY for Hip-Hop’s demise
Do you think it’s still alive? or do you think it’s in disguise?

All of these stories you can find on globalGrind,
Find out about the world, so you can expand your mind

These are just a couple topics that I really had to vent,
I want to hear your opinion so be sure to comment.

- Steve Tyson

originally posted at:

January 20, 2009

Jay-Z & Young Jeezy: My President Is Black (Live @ Love in D.C.)

The 44th Inauguration

Today officially marks the induction of Barack Obama into the office of President of the United States. I'm sure a lot of us, especially those who are Black or of African descent, can see this day as the culmination of “The Dream” Dr. Martin Luther King spoke of so eloquently on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

In my opinion, the dream of our society living in an era where we can “judge each other not by the color of our skin, but by the content of our character” is still on the horizon. Just because there have been a lot of people who’s racist tendencies have been put aside in order to make the logical vote in choosing Barack Obama, does not mean that we have made such a great stride as set forth by Dr. King.

Like when CNN took a poll of people they considered "black" and people they considered "white" to see if they thought King's "dream" was fulfilled. 69% of "blacks" said yes, and around 50% of "whites" said yes. So then they run crawl at the bottom of the screen that says "Fact: Most blacks think MLK's dream is fulfilled".

No one asked me. Have they asked you?

The moment Dr. King's "dream" is fulfilled, is the moment when The United States of America will be accepting of not just a Black President, but of an Asian President, a Hispanic President, a female president, an Indian President, an African President, or any other variation of human that our President could be. When we can pass through inductions and inaugurations of those types of Presidents without flinching, will be the day that we can proudy hold our heads high in understanding of “the dream” Dr. King had envisioned.

Congradualtions to President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, the first family Malia, Sasha, & Marian Robinson, and to Vice-President Biden and his family.

This is the beginning of a new era in American history, and I am just proud to have been able to witness it and will pass the emotions I retain inside on to my children and their children in hopes of a brighter future for us all.

- Steve Tyson Jr.

January 13, 2009

Talib Kweli's Words of Wisdom

It was the night of November 11, 2006 at the ASFC of Franklin & Marshall College. There was not a cloud in the sky and the stars were in full effect as JusListen Entertainment prepared to take the stage and open up the concert for Talib Kweli…”

After a one hour set, leaving many people in the crowd stunned at the fact that two of their classmates & peers had just set the stage on fire, we congratulated each other and proceeded backstage to wind down. For the show, JusListen Ent. consisted of myself, T.R.E. (Dave Dennis), Ashton Williams, Dubb (Paul Fields), and P-Gunna (Patrick Delisser). We sat in amazement and watched Talib mount the stage with DJ Chaps of the 12” Assassins to a roar from the crowd.

Now that’s how to rock the house.

Seeing a sea of people who were of all races, genders, and generations spit his lyrics as though they had written them was priceless. Those were the same faces that we saw from the stage, and it took us almost the first half of the show until we won them over. So it was at that moment we knew that there was still a long way to go in this Hip-Hop game.
After his set, we met up with him and his peoples in the press area upstairs and he gave JusListen Ent. some words of advice that will remain with me forever. He said:

When we got the set list, it didn’t have your names on it as performers. It only referred to you guys as ‘Local Support’. Now that’s OK though, because I started out as ‘local support’ and without any you’ll never be successful. Look at where you are now and what you have done to get here. You know you’re on the right path, all you have to do is keep walking.”

And that’s exactly what I’ve done since. I’ve kept walking. I walked right across that Graduation stage, walked the streets of NYC petitioning for Barack Obama & Save The Children, walked from music label to music label looking for a job, until I walked right into the front doors of globalGrind, and will continue to walk my path until I’m carried away.

If you’re reading this, thank you Talib Kweli for the words of wisdom, and know that they did not fall upon deaf ears.

- Steve Tyson Jr.

January 07, 2009

Dr. Dre Is An MC's Best Friend

Everyone respects Dr. Dre for the way he keeps heads boppin’ and speakers thumpin’ but sometimes they’ll criticize the repetitiveness of the way his beats loop every 4- or 8-bars and how simple & elemental they can be. And that’s precisely the genius of his craft.

The way he spaces out his music allows any MC the ability to utilize his or her flow to the best of their abilities. From the poetic rappers like Tupac Shakur & Nas, to lyrical assassins like Eminem & Busta Rhymes, to masters of “flow” like Jay-Z & 50 Cent, to even singers like Mary J. Blige & Michel’le he allows people to express themselves as best as they can.

For example, take his latest production “Crack A Bottle”. A few of us here at Global Grind were listening to it, and you can easily hear how intricate Eminem is able to weave his lyrics in and out of the beat with ease. When it’s Dr. Dre’s turn to get on the mic he’s a little more somber and plodding with his flow, which might not work over most beats but is seamless when laced on top of his own production. 50 Cent is a disappointment on the song, but nevertheless he gets the final verse. Even though he’s as lazy as he’s ever been when rapping, his verse still locks into the beat better than a Lego.

I just can’t wait to hear what MC’s he enlists for “Detox”. Those beats he’s kept in the can just for this album have to be some of the best production he’s ever done if the music he’s been releasing became hits like “In The Club”, “The Set Up”, “Outta Control”, “How We Do” and “Lost One”. And apparently even if what he creates is simplistic in nature, word is he’s getting some production assistance from Hi-Tek, DJ Khalil, Mike Elizondo, Mark Ronson, & The RZA so you know there will be some crafty organization.

Hopefully the good Doctor will continue to produce and arrange music long enough for me to reach the spotlight and get down on a track or two, haha.

I’ll show him how the new generation gets down…

- Steve Tyson Jr.

January 05, 2009

Let The Beef Build

First it was Jim Jones vs. Max B. Then it was T.I. vs. Shawty Lo. Then it became Lil’ Wayne vs. 50 Cent. Now it’s Katt Williams vs. Steve Harvey? I know people are always gunnin’ for the top spot, but these beefs are getting a little out of hand.

When the aftermath of 2Pac vs. Biggie played out, everyone was afraid to beef until Can-I-Bus started busting shots at LL Cool J. Then 50 Cent went on a tirade against everyone in the industry on “How To Rob”. Once he became a mega-success after his beef with Ja Rule, it seemed like the most popular thing to do in Hip-Hop was beef with any random nigga who’s willing to respond. Now we’re starting to come full circle, where the crews of rappers like T.I. and Shawty Lo are firing gunshots at one another. This is only going to lead to the same situation we found ourselves in when Biggie & ‘Pac were killed.

Which leads me to Katt Williams and Steve Harvey… now, I would not have guessed Steve Harvey was a beefin’ kinda guy but I’ve found myself mistaken. It seems like when he took off the toupee, he also took the gloves off and is willing to square off against any young comedian in the game. Katt Williams was the first to step up to the comedy legend, and his presence is really turning this into one of the best things to happen to stand-up comedy since Def Comedy Jam. I cannot recall a time when comedians would come at one another so openly, I mean could you imagine Eddie Murphy and Richard Pryor dissing each other?

Maybe beefs and challenges are what the game needs sometimes. When things become too repetitive and stale or when the same people are in the spotlight for too long, there needs to be a changeover. It’s just when the insults get taken too far and the retaliation becomes more physical than verbal is when people need to watch out.

I doubt it will get like that with Katt & Steve, and I doubt it will even get like that between most of the rappers, but when it comes to some of the folk who surround the people that are beefing… you never know.

- Steve Tyson Jr.

2009: Year Of The Grind

I don’t know about the rest of y’all but I’m glad that 2008 is in the past and we’ve crossed into a brand new year. We’ve got a new President, a new homepage for Hip-Hop (, and some new resolutions to fulfill.

Looking back on the last year I have come to understand that in order for a person to be where they want to be, they will have to pay some dues and earn the respect of their peers in combination with the determination to never settle for less. I’ve learned that things do not always come as immediately as you would like, and that’s part of the beauty of it all. Because patience is clearly a virtue, it pays off when you’ve worked extremely hard at something over a long period of time and it finally starts to come to fruition.

That is the mindset I’m utilizing when looking ahead at 2009. For me, it’s really “The Year Of The Grind”. I released my debut album at the end of last year, so now I must focus on promoting it and gaining more exposure for myself. I must also remain focused on helping Global Grind become one of the most popular and premier websites to ever grace the Internet. Between juggling those two ambitions, I will also be creating a video blog later on this year that will feature exclusive freestyles from myself and other affiliates of JusListen Entertainment.

Those are just some of the things I’m looking forward to this year. If I let y’all know everything I had planned, well it just wouldn’t be the same now would it? Haha.

I hope everyone enjoys this new year. If 2008 was horrible, you’ve got something to look forward to. If 2008 was the greatest, you’ve got something to build upon for the future. Either way, we’re almost a decade into the new millennium and things are finally starting to look up.

Peace, Love, Unity, & Have Fun!

- Steve Tyson Jr.