January 30, 2009

RZA Interview & Performance On "Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson"

Pretty Good Street Drummer!

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 (globalGrind.com), 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.