Monday, October 31, 2005

Bossman's reply to Mullyman
I already kinda set off some controversy in the comments on my post about Mully's diss, and even though it led to some interesting discussion and I think/hope noone's pissed at me about any of that now, I'm reluctant to break the seal on more arguments about this. But in the interest of keeping it balanced, I'm doing an update on Bossman's response and if people wanna argue about who ripped who in the comments that's cool, I'm just gonna chill and try to be a journalist, I'm not tryin' to piss off anyone either side by speaking on it. And radio is really promoting this so much now that people are gonna be talking about it anyway, so I don't think I'm doing anything negative by saying something about it.

So when Bossman played Mully's record on 92Q last Sunday and talked to Mully over the phone on the air, he said a couple times that he wasn't gonna make a response record. But then, Friday night, he was back at the station saying that he was cool with them playing it then and on Tuesday when Mully's album dropped, but he didn't get mad until Thursday when Mully was back on the air with Ghostface, who was in town for a show and guests on a song on Mully's album, and played the track for Ghost.

So he debuted his diss record, a long 6-minute thing over an original beat, Jigga sample from "The Watcher 2" on the hook ("it's only right, I got the right to be king"), kinda weirdly structured with an a cappella section where it sounds like it's gonna end and then the beat starts up again and he keeps going. And not as focused as Mully's, like he could be talking about anybody for the whole first verse until he gets more specific. Hating on the collabs mostly ("his album got more features than a new BMW") and for some reason harping on the fact that Mully's sister is also a rapper on his label, spending the last verse shouting out Northeast street names and saying Mully lives in Glen Burnie and referencing Weekend At Bernie's.

Maybe I'm just in an optimistic mood because last week Jay and Nas performed onstage together for the first time, but I do hope Mully and Bossman get these disses of their system and then they can just hold a grudge and move on with their careers seperately.

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Sunday, October 30, 2005

Young Leek just got signed to Def Jam. Congrats to K-Swift and Blaq Starr and Next Level Management for making it happen. Bossman and Paula Campbell and now him, one more step towards getting the whole damn city signed.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Style Warz this Thursday.


Monday, October 24, 2005

Mullyman - Ready freestyle (Bossman diss)
I don't like to talk about beef here. When some rapper in Baltimore talks shit about someone else, which is pretty much constantly, I usually turn the other way and hope it blows over. But this is two artists I post about frequently, two of the biggest in the city right now. I wish them both success and I hope this doesn't become some big beef that's part of their public images. You see how beef can boost someone's profile. It's bullshit. The only people who need beef to get them interested in an artist are fucking vultures, and as a member of the local media I don't wanna be part of the problem. So I don't wanna have to post about this a lot, I'm just keeping you updated because I'd be sleeping if I didn't.

Everyone knew who Mully was talking about when he said "I don't beef, I set the record straight/fuck king of my city, I'm takin' every state" on "Home Of Da Realest", but it at least wasn't too explicit or direct. But here he was, taking a big, unambiguous shot at Bossman over the beat from the new Black Rob, 3 verses of every angle you can think of, Jermaine Dupri and Sisqo jokes, hating on Biggie samples and Brooke Valentine collabos, saying Boss is from the suburbs just because he's from the Northeast (Mully is from the West side), calling him "the Kyle Bowler of hip hop" (Ravens fans actually cheered when Bowler got injured in the first game of this season). And of course, shouting the Mullymania release date at the beginning and the end of the track, just in case there was any doubt that this is being treated as a promotional opportunity. And I mean, I interviewed Mullyman recently, look for the article in the City Paper this week, and I'm not takin' sides or anything. I almost called him when I heard that just to say, man, don't do that shit, but it's not really my place to say anything.

Bossman's been a co-host on Rap Attack on 92Q most Sunday nights for the last couple months, and last night he was on there and they went ahead and played the record, and then he and Rod Madd Flava talked about it on the air, not even really in a hostile way, but just kind of trying to analyze it and figure out where it's coming from, but Bossman still taking his shots, "I stand on my own, I don't need Bleek, Freeway, Clipse, I stand on my own on records". And "I'm doin' his promotion now, pick up the album on the 25th and get ready for a disappointment".

And then, Mully calling into the station, and him and Bossman talking over the phone on the air, both still biting their tongues, Boss staying calm and saying he doesn't want to swear but spelling out that he thinks Mully is a b-i-t-c-h in that funny junior high way it sounds when you spell out swears, Mully kind of talking fast and blurting things out and interrupting people, flustered like he wasn't expecting to get called out so fast. Bossman citing that Mully had talked to him and bought a CD from him as recently as this summer at the Believe tour, asking over and over, "where does it come from?", and Mully stonewalling with "that's information I can't give to the public right now". But apparently that's why Mully was a no-show at the show last week, even though he was listed on the bill on the Ottobar website and in the City Paper. Some references were made to Bossman saying Mully's name onstage, which I don't remember, but I can't say I heard every word said onstage clearly, I must've missed something.

Then, Bossman and Mully continuing the discussion off the air while the DJ spun each of their new singles, resolving it to some degree and Bossman saying he won't be doing any response records. People like Little Clayway and Ms. Tris calling in and saying what we're all thinking, that this can't get serious and that they're both in a good position and this city isn't big enough for beef, everyone plays the same venues and there's no way it would not escalate. Rod Madd Flava saying at the end of the show, "They already cleared they beef, it is what it is, leave it alone. Don't be callin' askin' to hear the beef records."

3:38 pm EDIT: Kye Stephenson (who wrote the Mullyman article in the October issue of the Source) checks in with his two cents:

al, just wanted to put you d on a few things concerning the mully and bossman beef...

first off, mully and bossman have been subliminally dissin each other for a minute. plain out, they don't like each other. but the thing that sparked the beef was bossman calling mully a bitch at the show. he was doing a joint and the hook was saying mully is a bitch. those were his exact words, "mullyman is a bitch." so mully's camp got word and actually have the shit on dvd of him saying this shit. so, of course, they go record the diss and take it up to radio. and radio has to play it because the shit is hot. bossman got fuckin destroyed on that shit. and of course, he ain't gonna respond because he ain't no battle rapper. this is my point of view...mully wasn't plannin no diss. bossman sparked it and just so happened to do it right before mully's album is droppin. it wasn't no promotional shit, but they are like "hey, if he's that dumb that he's gonna diss us right before our album comes out, we'll take it, thanks." and another thing is, why is bossman even dissin mully? bossman is signed. why would you even worry about somebody who doesn't even have a record deal? cause you're jealous that someone else is getting spins and you ain't the hottest shit out anymore. so, what i'm sayin is...bossman is stupid. mully can end bossman's career.

just a little insight because i heard the whole thing firsthand. and for the record, that mully dis is insane!!!!!!!!! peace.

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Sunday, October 23, 2005

Pictures from the Ottobar show.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Bossman, Skarr Akbar, D.O.G., Sonny Grams, Q, Dirty Hearts, ABM and others
@ The Ottobar
Sunday, October 16th

I got to the show maybe 20 minutes after it was supposed to start, and it was already so full inside there was a crowd waiting outside the door, and things were getting a little anxious. The Ottobar is generally an indie rock club and I've seen dozens of shows there, but I don't know if they really know how to handle a rap show like this, or if they were expecting this kind of turnout for a bunch of local artists. And there were more police at the show than I've ever seen at an Ottobar show (which is to say, more than zero). Waiting outside, I saw Kelly Connelly from Music Monthly and introduced myself. I've been reading her Street Beat column for a long time, she's been covering the Baltimore hip hop movement really thoroughly for years, big respect to her, so it was cool to meet her and find out she's seen Gov't Names and my work for the City Paper. It was starting to become a mob scene outside, with Ottobar staff saying that if you don't have a pre-purchased ticket or are with a performer, you can't get in. Turned out 20 of the 30 people standing outside were with Skarr Akbar. That dude pretty much travels with his own personal army, not for nothing do they call him The General. I was starting to wonder if we'd ever get in there, but we managed to muscle in as members of the press and all that. I don't know who went on before I got inside, but it sounded like Tyree Colion might've been onstage while I was stuck outside. But I saw him after the show and copped a CD from him and got the info about his release party/video shoot that was in my last post.

When I got inside, D.O.G. and the Invisible Set were onstage. D.O.G. kinda came out of nowhere in the last few months from not being real well known locally to his soft R&B type track "Hello" becoming one of the most requested songs on 92Q. But his live show is more straight hip hop, D.O.G. onstage wearing the Biggie w/ crown shirt, bandana, sunglasses that he didn't take off the entire time he was in the club, songs like "Higher" and other stuff on his new mixtape, and even when he did "Hello" it was just one verse of it over the "So Seductive" beat. He stayed in the crowd and watched a lot of people perform after him, which I give him respect for, not a lot of the performers did that.

Q came out next and rocked a short set. He was introduced as "one of them radio dudes" and when he talked during his set he came off semi-apologetic, semi-defensive about it, like "yeah, I got a beat from Rod Lee because I wanted to get on the radio", which is pretty much his main claim to fame so far, the song "No". At the end of his set, though, he laid down this long a cappella freestyle, kinda introspective and all about his career, just full of real talk, and that really won people over and he got a big applause at the end.

Skarr Akbar's set was just vicious, him and his Arabz crew plus who knows how many other people onstage wearing "Skarr Akbar Is The Streets" shirts, nothing but hardcore, aggressive material, one song I recognized from his old mixtapes and a bunch of new stuff. He called me a few days before the show to make sure I was coming and said he had a new mixtape out, and he said hi to me real quick after he performed but I think he left quick after that and I never got the mixtape, so I'm gonna have to get that from him soon.

There were a lot of people on the bill, some of whom I know or am very familiar with their music, some I only vaguely know or straight up had not heard of. And no disrespect to the no-names that came out and did their thing. There was a guy named Woods, who bragged that he had come straight from a video shoot, and had all his video hoes come up onstage to dance during his single. The ABM crew, from All Bout Music Records, probably set the record of the night for most people in promotional tees, and the largest variety of logos and shirt designs. They came on after Skarr and said some dumb cocky shit like "we wanna thank everyone who performed before us for opening for us" which deservedly got some boos. Mostly it was all peace in the room the whole night, but it's like they say, Baltimore is a town full of crabs, and a lot of people here just hate on anyone outside their own crew.

There were some people who were good. I kinda wish some of the lesser known performers would identify themselves more, even the ones who repped their company or their crew constantly wouldn't mention their individual names a lot of times. Like, who was the big dude in the white and yellow jacket that was onstage with Sonny Grams? That dude was amazing, easily one of the best MCs on the stage that night. DJ Debonair Samir was up onstage for a while. Dirty Hearts were alright. There was one dude out of their crew who started freestyling, and he kept going even after the DJ cut off the beat, and he pretty much kept going as fast as possible just so noone would get a chance to stop and he just hogged the mic with this frantic doubletime style and ended up coming up with some pretty ridiculous rhymes. It was kind of an uncomfortable moment but still a good performance.

By the time Bossman finally hit the stage I was in the back bar chilling and didn't even realize at first that he was on. It was his usual crew, Dollars and Tony Manson from N.E.K., and they ran through a set of almost entirely new material from the new Bossman/DJ Envy mixtape they were selling at the show, This Is A Warning. Started with "Absence of Hope", went into that ridiculous new track "Jackin 4 Beatz" where Bossman rhymes over like 20 different beats in quick succession. Only old song he did was "Oh", and even that just the beginning, and then went into a fucking sick new song that loops up the "tinted Crown Vic's with the hundred spoke tires" slowed down to screwed speed, which kinda made me mad, no joke, I had an idea for a track with that line as part of the hook.

The only real incident of the whole night happened in the middle of Bossman's set, when 2 dudes, neither of which was with NEK, started scrapping in the back of the stage over by the DJ, somebody attacking one of the people with a video camera or something. It happened right between songs when Bossman was talking about how he buys everyone else's CDs and supports people and still gets hated on because he's at the top, too. The cops immediately showed up onstage and it didn't escalate but it kinda fucked up the set. Somehow the DJ's gear got unplugged for a minute, I think DJ Spontaneous was DJing the whole night, but the mics were on, so Bossman did some a cappella shit and found someone who could beatbox, and did the song "Let's Go" (which he did at the Ogun release party back in April and said that was his next single, but I've yet to hear a studio version of that anywhere). Bossman also did "Untouchable" and the new single "Handclap" (which for some reason isn't on the new mixtape but you can download it here), I think he said they're shooting the video for that soon.

After Bossman's set, there were still some people going onstage and performing, but things were winding down and a lot of people were leaving and the people left weren't even paying attention to the stage. There were more people watching Bossman talk to a camera for someone's DVD than whoever was onstage. I left shortly after, but I pretty much saw most of the show, and of the billed performers, Huli Shallone, Mullyman and Paula Campbell were no-shows, as far as I know. Tim Trees was on the radio that night and said he'd be there, but I called his manager Manny because I''d exchanged some e-mails with him lately, and they sounded like they weren't sure if they were coming, especially after I told them about the crowd waiting out front. I heard something about Little Clayway and April Love being there, and they had posters up in the club, but I didn't see them perform.

Towards the end of the show, I talked to Kelly Connelly some more and she introduced me to C-Love, who I've seen around at a lot of local shows and who organizes the monthly Style Warz battles. I'd talked to her through e-mail recently and linked her blog, so it was nice to meet her. It was also cool to meet DNA for a minute and get a mixtape and a business card from him. All in all a cool night, kind of a long show and not always that well organized, but I respect everyone involved for putting it together and getting a bill that good to happen, even if not with all the people billed.

(Bossman photo by Jefferson Jackson Steele)

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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Tyree Colion
The Problem And The Solution mixtape release party and "Bass Drop" video shoot

This Thursday, Oct. 20th
@ The Five Seasons
830 Guilford Ave, Baltimore MD

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Monday, October 17, 2005




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Friday, October 14, 2005

Darkroom Productions presents Hamsterdam: The Best of Baltimore, Vol. 1

My review of this ran in the City Paper this week, check it out if you haven't already. It's been out since late August and they've moved about 4k so far. Big thanks to Juan Donovan, who got in touch with me and made sure I got an advance of the mixtape after I posted about Diablo's "Jail Flick", which is featured on the CD. Darkroom's official site just went up recently, and you can hear a bunch of audio samples on there and find out how to get yourself a copy of the mixtape.

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Thursday, October 13, 2005

This Sunday, Oct. 16th
Bossman, Huli Shallone, Mullyman, Skarr Akbar, D.O.G., Paula Campbell, Q, and Dirty Hearts
@ the Ottobar

Some recent Bossman articles in The Baltimore Sun and The Flywire. The Flywire one has a lot of details on the Virgin deal and what's gonna be on the album.

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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Young Leek, Blaq Starr, Next Level, let's go

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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Milestone Media MC Battle this Thursday, October 6th


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