[Dixielandjazz] New Orleans Rap???? - What????
barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Tue Dec 6 06:45:02 PST 2005
NOT OKOM, IN FACT ABOUT A GENRE DETESTED BY MANY OKOMers. DELETE NOW UNLESS
YOU ARE CURIOUS ABOUT NEW ORLEANS CURRENTLY AS A CENTER OF RAP, AND THE NEW
DEFINITION OF CRIBS.
THE BELOW QUOTE FROM THE ARTICLE IS A BIT MUCH, NO? :-) VBG
"And yet hip-hop is by far New Orleans's most popular musical export, and
perhaps the most exciting."
-Set to Put New Orleans Rap Back on Top
By KELEFA SANNEH - December 6, 2005 - NY TIMES
Last Friday, the rapper Lil Wayne made his way to the Midtown studios of
MTV. With teeth, wrists and neck aglitter with jewelry, he hyped his new
album, out today, then told viewers to stay tuned for an episode of "Cribs,"
featuring tours of some celebrity houses, including his.
He paused. "I don't even have that crib no more," he said, nonchalantly.
"Due to the hurricane."
Never mind. The house, in Lil Wayne's hometown, New Orleans, lives on in
reruns, thanks to the MTV archives.
Even before Hurricane Katrina, this was a busy year for Lil Wayne. He
appeared on hit records by Destiny's Child and Bobby Valentino. He was named
president of Cash Money Records, the hugely influential New Orleans label
that signed him more than a decade ago. He split with his longtime producer
Mannie Fresh, who composed almost all of the music on Lil Wayne's first four
solo albums. He enrolled part-time at the University of Houston, where he is
studying for a degree in psychology. And in September, he celebrated his
Lil Wayne, born D'Wayne Carter Jr., was a professional rapper before he was
a teenager. He says he wrote his first rhyme at 8. When he was 10, he caught
the ear of the Williams brothers, Bryan (known as Baby or Birdman) and
Ronald (known as Slim), who own Cash Money. The brothers eventually set Lil
Wayne up with three other New Orleans rappers - Young Turk, B.G. and
Juvenile - and called the group the Hot Boy$. By 1999, when Lil Wayne
released his solo debut, "Tha Block Is Hot," he had already rapped on two of
the era's most enduring hip-hop hits: Juvenile's evergreen club track "Back
That Thing Up" and B.G.'s "Bling Bling," which changed the English language
Today, Lil Wayne releases "Tha Carter II" (Cash Money/Universal), his fifth
solo album. It's an impressive CD, and in some sense historic: it is poised
to become the first top-selling New Orleans album since the hurricane. The
first single, "Fireman," is already on the radio, and Lil Wayne recently
shot a video for the next one, a gentle make-out song called "Grown Man."
It should probably come as no surprise that the New Orleans rap scene has
largely been ignored by those talking and writing about New Orleans over the
last few months. For all its mainstream success, hip-hop still isn't quite
And yet hip-hop is by far New Orleans's most popular musical export, and
perhaps the most exciting. The city nurtures its own hip-hop subgenre,
bounce music (imagine a drum-machine version of a marching-band version of a
funk track), and has churned out a fistful of mainstream stars, including
Master P, Mystikal and Juvenile, the former Hot Boy, who still makes hits.
(His next album is due in February.)
In a dressing room after the MTV session, Lil Wayne said he had been too
preoccupied recently to worry about whether New Orleans hip-hop was getting
its due. He moved his mother out of the city to Miami, where he lives these
days. (He studies online, and goes to Houston only for exams.) But his old
New Orleans neighborhood, Hollygrove, was devastated, and he said he was
dealing with it by trying not to think about it. "You really don't want to
dwell on it because if you do, you'll bring yourself down," he said.
He took the same attitude when faced with his biggest musical loss: the
defection of Mannie Fresh, who left Cash Money earlier this year to start
his own label. (The other three Hot Boy$ have also left Cash Money, none
happily.) The jovial Fresh and the precocious Lil Wayne made a great team.
On "Block Burner," 1997, Fresh concocted a rubbery, futuristic beat and Lil
Wayne, 14 at the time, rhymed over it in his eerie, sing-song croak. More
recently, the two collaborated on "Go D.J.," a hit that revolved around a
simple party chant that doubled as a rapper's tribute to his producer: "Go
D.J./ 'Cause that's my D.J."
This time, Lil Wayne was forced to go it alone. Fortunately, he had already
begun to change focus; "Tha Carter," released a year ago, was a showcase for
increasingly intricate rhymes. This evolution is no accident. Lil Wayne
knows that some people still see him as a former child star, even though he
never made children's music. He says that despite his success (all of his
albums have been certified gold or platinum), big-name rappers and producers
have been slow to respond to his requests for cameo appearances. But he has
generally declined to take offense. Snoop Dogg recently had a big hit with
"Drop It Like It's Hot," based on a New Orleans catchphrase that Lil Wayne
popularized. He responded on a mixtape track, turning an old Jay-Z boast
into an unusual - perhaps unprecedented - show of hip-hop humility: "Nah I
ain't a hater, don't get me wrong/ I made it a hot line, you made it a hot
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