WIB’s three-week construction hiatus is over and I’m going to try to past few weeks of news and condense it into some kind of logical, understandable roundup.

We have Hologram Tupac, live performances from Paid Dues, rappers speaking at universities, Mos Def’s tribute to Trayvon Martin, rappers’ reactions to Hologram Tupac, and much more.

The biggest story revolved around the (digital) face of hip hop, Tupac. Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg performed at Cochella with a hologram of Tupac. To my surprise, the performance sparked a bit of controversy but the reaction from artists in the industry has been overwhelmingly positive. (As you’ll read throughout this roundup.)

Suge Knight

Suge Knight didn’t like Hologram Tupac because they removed his Death Row chain. [via Perez Hilton]

However, if you’re interested in the hologram itself, here’s a good read on the company who made the performance possible. [via MTV.com]

Oh, and Dre already said he plans to take Hologram Tupac on the road. Also, he (and every other rapper) has other artists they would like to see digitally resurrected. Dre’s are Marvin Gaye and Jimi Hendrix. [via Rolling Stone]

Speaking of live music festivals in California, you can watch the full stream of Wu Tang and Oddfuture’s performances at the Paid Dues Festival here.

Speaking of Wu-Tang, here’s Raekwon’s take on Hologram Tupac and what rapper he’d bring back in hologram form:

[qutote]”That was brilliant. I tip my hat to Dre because it really shows the sense of love he had for Pac,” Raekwon explains. “Just to see someone do it for the first time ever. We only seen sh*t like that on TV.

“It made me think about Ol’ Dirty, too,” Rae says. “I would definitely have to have a understanding with his moms. I think it all starts with [her] respect level. If [she] want us to do it and they feel like it’s cool that’s when we would continue to move on and do that. I wouldn’t jump up out of the blue and just say ‘yo, I want to reincarnate your son this way.’ I think it’s important that you give moms respect for her son.”[/quote]

[via Vibe]


Staying with Wu-Tang, GZA recently spoke with Rolling Stone about his collegiate lecture circuit, his new physics-inspired album, Dark Matter, and future projects.

Here’s the bit about his lecture circuits:

“You’ve been pretty busy on the lecture circuit recently. What have you been talking about?
It’s just about music, Wu-Tang, whatever they ask. Lately, they had a little outline about what they wanted to hear me speak about: the globalization of hip-hop, lyrics, Wu-Tang’s early years, my affiliation with Wu. Everything is hip-hop, it’s all about hip-hop, but there are some specific things they wanted me to touch on.

“So how did you start doing these?
It all started with Harvard several months ago. I don’t know exactly how it unfolded. Y’know, the schools have been calling, and I have been going.”

Next, he talked about Dark Matter and the physics-related inspiration:

“You have a new album, Dark Matter, that is coming out. I understand that you put another record on hold to start on this. What made this record more urgent?
I didn’t make it urgent. I just pick and choose. I mean, it would probably be urgent in the sense that I decided to do this before. Plus, the other needed more of a setup and different type of approach. I
mean I had several different ideas and concepts in my head. It’s just a journey of the universe. Dark matter, dark energy.

“So this is about astronomy and physics?
Yes. And not necessarily so in that sense. It’s just a beautiful story – planets, black holes, comets.”

And finally, what new with Mr. Genius:

“What else do you have coming up on the horizon, aside from Dark Matter?
I’m just working. I’m constantly writing. I’m always out. I have been running several months now. I’ve been on the road. I was just in Europe for a month. I did 31 shows in 29 days in 14 countries. I spent New Year’s in Australia. I toured out there for about two weeks alone. Then I came back and linked back up with Wu-Tang. I was on the road with them for a month or so. I’m writing, doing pilots. Working on a script or two, and some ideas.

[via Rolling Stone]


As always, Nas was busy over the past few weeks. He praised hologram Tupac, was on Behind the Music and made music for the NFL Draft with Gary Clark Jr.

We’ll start with Nasty Nas’ thoughts on Hologram Tupac:

“Tupac has almost become Elvis, where people still think he’s alive, so the hologram thing I thought was genius of Dr. Dre and Snoop,” the veteran MC tells Billboard.com. “It just shows you how amazing Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg are, and how they hard they’re riding for their West Coast brother Tupac, in the name of hip-hop music. I thought it was a great look for hip-hop as a whole — it stepped hip-hop up a notch. And it was also revolutionary on a performance scale.”

[via Billboard]

He also gave Diddy his next “idea” to steal during an interview with Rolling Stone when he said, “If they can use Biggie next, that’d be crazy.”

I didn’t catch the Behind the Scenes episode but, judging by what I’ve heard, I should’ve.

Here’s a snippet of a recap from MTV.com:

“Nas went through his storied beef history, discussing his tense relationship with Tupac Shakur after both sides believed one another were talking trash. On his legendary spat with Jay-Z, Nas was painted as the defensive winner. The program claimed Hov started the beef and Nas was forced to respond to keep his pride – a claim that is sure to raise some eyebrows amongst hip-hop diehards.

“Another controversial segment explored Nas’ marriage to Kelis. Again painted as the victim, the rapper’s manager, Anthony, claimed that Kelis was blowing through Nas’ wealth during the marriage and that she was oddly secretive during the birthing process for their son Knight. Apparently, Nas didn’t know what hospital Knight was being born in and was 10 minutes late because of the lack of communication.

“In all, it was one of the more fascinating episodes of “Behind The Music” as the private artist really opened-up and gave new information on subjects that fans have long wondered about.”

[via MTV.com]


Now, we go from Nas to Common Sense who goes against the grain and voices his monumental disdain love for Hologram Tupac. (Oh,wait, that’s how everybody feels. Well, except this guy.) He also took a page outta GZA’s book and spoke at Ohio State University and the University of Missouri – St. Louis. Other than that, he threw out the first pitch at a White Sox game before hosting a benefit for urban youth.

Instead of regurgitating Common’s praise of Hologram Tupac, we’ll play, “What dead rapper does Common want to take on tour?”

You have 10 seconds (or how ever long it takes to read the next blurb) to answer.

And the answer is, J Dilla.

Common told the Urban Daily he “would love to do something like that. I mean J Dilla is one of the greatest influences on me ever in my career. He is one of my greatest friends since I got to know him. I would love to pay homage to him and do that.”

Thanks for playing. Next up, what popular TV show did Mos Def appear on during WIB’s break?

If you guessed Dexter, you’re probably a fan of the show and your prize is this link to Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter’s sister) talking about Mos Def’s acting prowess.

Yasiin Bey

On a somber note, Yasiin Bey weighed in on the Trayvon Martin tragedy:

“In this country, you see a casual, systemic, indifference to black life,” Bey explained. “At a certain point, you have to respond. It’s in your own self-interest. It’s not even like outstanding or courageous. It’s a survival issue—either we’re going to fix this or we’re just going to agree to be slaves. And that don’t honor nothing that we’ve ever been about…”

[via HipHopDX]

Bey also worked with Dead Prez on a tribute track to Trayvon, titled “Made You Die”, in which they rap over Nas’ “Made You Look”. The track isn’t out yet but here’s a sneak peek/behind the scenes video.

Mos has also worked with Q-Tip who looks to be working with Kanye in the near future as he signed with West’s G.O.O.D. Music Label. [via Los Angeles Times]

More news out of L.A., F. Gary Gray, the director of Friday, appears to be directing the NWA biopic. [via Hollywood Reporter]

“I don’t wanna be 40 with my pants caught down trying to do something like ‘Throw your hands in the air. Shake your ass bitch.’ I said we need to make an honest-ass record and that’s what will determine what it is.” – ?uestlove on making The Roots’ album. They also resigned with Def Jam. [via Complex Music]

?uestlove, Kid Rock, Black Thought and Travie McCoy performed the Beastie Boys tribute at their Hall of Fame induction ceremony. [via HipHopDX]

In DOOM news, the Doomster released a t-shirt line through Akomplice Clothing and Madvillainy 2: The Madlib Remix was officially released on vinyl. [via Soul Culture and Baller Status]

And, I’m spent. Regular posts are back tomorrow.

– Sean

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