music / Columns

Hip Hop Herald 08.17.11: Watch The Throne Sales, Ghostface’s Lawsuit, Tha Carter IV Update, Dre Scores Big, More

August 17, 2011 | Posted by Bill Wannop

Welcome one and all to the Hip Hop Herald. The column will deal with anything related to hip hop whether it be underground, mainstream, or the new-age pop infused rap (you know the stuff Timberlake and Timbaland make). We will cover news, opinions, release dates as well as feature some music and of course videos.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter.

Music Intro
In anticipation for the upcoming release of the R.E.D. album by Game on August 23rd, we give to you the latest track from the album, which is produced by the legendary DJ Premier. This track has that vintage Premier sound, mixed with Game’s lyrics and great flow. After listening to this track the anticipation for the Game’s latest album should be at an all time high!

Before we get to the news, I would like to draw your attention to an interview we conducted with underground rapper Apathy this past week. Apathy has been steadily making a name for himself in the world of hip hop and is set to drop his latest album Honkey Kong August 23rd. The album features production from DJ Premier, DJ Muggs, Statik Selektah, as well as features guest appearances from Celph Titled, Xzibit, Esoteric, Vinnie Paz, Slaine and Ill Bill. In the interview Apathy talks about the album, working with DJ Premier, interactions with fans, upcoming projects with the Demigodz and Get Busy Committee, dealing with depression as well as parting ways with Atlantic Records. You can listen to the interview below, or the full transcript can be found here.


Watch The Throne Puts Up Huge Digital Numbers

Kanye West

Jay-Z and Kanye West’s collaborative album Watch the Throne, which was released exclusively to iTunes last Monday (August 8th), has broken a record for the online store.

According to reports, the LP has become the highest selling album in the store’s history for first-week sales, moving about 290,000 copies to break Coldplay’s previous record with 2008’s Viva La Vida, which sold 155,000 copies.

Jay-Z and Kanye West continue to own things with their latest album, and showed the music industry how to make money, while not letting your album leak. They embraced the digital age, while many record companies have tried to kill it. I fully expect more and more labels to have initial digital releases, which ultimately means the death to small retail stores.

One thing I don’t get however is why they are charging more for the digital album, then the physical one? I mean the digital album is basically all profits, where you cut the costs of the actual media. I would expect digital albums to be slightly cheaper than physical ones, but that is just me.

Tour Announcements


Some big tours are being announced with some legendary acts making their way across North American. First Ghostface, Raekwon and Mobb Deep are heading out across the US first, then Ghostface is making his way across Canada. The dates are listed below:

Raekwon and Ghostface performingOnly Built for Cuban Linx
Mobb Deep performing The Infamous
Aug 12 New Orleans, LA – House of Blues
Aug 13 Houston, TX – House of Blues
Aug 14 Dallas, TX – House of Blues
Aug 16 Philadelphia, PA – Theater of Living Arts
Aug 20 Los Angeles – San Manuel Amphitheatre (RTB Festival Show)
Aug 21 San Diego, CA – House of Blues
Aug 22 Las Vegas, NV – House of Blues
Aug 27 San Francisco, CA – Shoreline Amphitheatre (RTB Festival Show)
Aug 30 Indianapolis, IN – Egyptian Room
Aug 31 Cincinnati, OH – Bogart’s
Sep 01 Detroit, MI – Saint Andrew’s Hall
Sep 03 New York, NY – Governors Island (RTB Festival Show)
Sep 08 Cleveland, OH – House of Blues
Sep 10 Boston, MA – Comcast Center (RTB Festival Show)
Sep 13 Miami Beach, FL – Fillmore Miami Beach
Sep 15 Atlanta, GA – Tabernacle
Sep 16 Myrtle Beach, SC – House of Blues
Sep 17 Charlotte, NC – Fillmore Charlotte

Ghostface only Canadian shows:
Nov 26 – Toronto, ON Kool Haus
Nov 27 – Montreal, QC Club Soda
Nov 28 – Ottawa, ON Ritual
Nov 29 – Peterborough, ON The Venue
Nov 30 – Oshawa, ON Status
Dec 1 – Barrie, ON Mansion
Dec 4 – Winnipeg, MB Republik
Dec 5 – Saskatoon, SK Odeon
Dec 6 – Lethbridge, AB Blarney Stone
Dec 7 – Red Deer, AB The Club
Dec 8 – Calgary, AB The Whiskey
Dec 9 – Edmonton, AB Empire
Dec 10 – Kelowna, BC Sapphire Nightclub
Dec 11 – Vancouver, BC Rickshaw Theatre
Dec 12 – Victoria, BC Club 919

As well Method Man is hitting the road with Curren$y, Big K.R.I.T., Smoke DZA, Fiend, The Pricks and Corner Boy P for the fall jaunt.

The tour kicks off at New Haven, Connecticut’s Toad’s Place on October 12th. Throughout the trek, the gang will stop at New York City, New York, Montreal, Quebec, Detroit, Michigan and Las Vegas, Nevada. After nearly two months on the road, the tour will wrap up at Allentown, Pennsylvania’s Crocodile Cafe on November 22nd.

Check the tour dates below.

10-12 New Haven, CT – Toad’s Place
10-13 Atlantic City, NJ – House of Blues
10-14 New York, NY – Best Buy Theater
10-15 Sayreville, NJ – Starland Ballroom
10-16 Providence, RI – Lupos
10-18 Burlington, VT – Higher Ground
10-19 Clifton Park, NY – Northern Lights
10-20 Montreal, Quebec – Club Soda
10-21 Toronto, Ontario – Kool Haus
10-22 Detroit, MI – Royal Oak Music Hall
10-23 Indianapolis, IN – Egyptian Room
10-25 St. Louis, MO – The Pageant
10-26 Milwaukee, WI – The Rave
10-28 Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue
10-29 Omaha, NE – Sokol Auditorium
10-30 Denver, CO – Ogden Theater
11-01 Reno, NV – Harrah’s Convention Hall
11-02 San Francisco, CA – The Warfield
11-04 Scottsdale, AZ – Venue of Scottsdale
11-06 Las Vegas, NV – House of Blues
11-09 Dallas, TX – Granada Theater
11-10 Austin, TX – Stubb’s
11-11 Houston, TX – Warehouse Live
11-13 Atlanta, GA – Masquerade
11-15 Charleston, SC – Music Farm
11-16 Charlotte, NC – Amos
11-17 Richmond, VA – The National
11-18 Norfolk, VA – Norva Theater
11-20 Baltimore, MD – Rams Head Live
11-21 Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
11-22 Allentown, PA – Crocodile Café

Lastly Jay-Z and Kanye West have added some shows to their Watch The Throne tour. The full tour dates are listed below with the added dates in bold:

10-28 – Atlanta, GA – Phillips Arena
10-29 Atlanta, GA – Philips Arena
10-30 Greensboro, NC – Greensboro Coliseum
11-01 Baltimore, MD – 1st Mariner Arena
11-02 Philadelphia, PA – Wells Fargo Center
11-03 Washington, DC – Verizon Center
11-05-06 East Rutherford, NJ – Izod Center
11-14 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL – BankAtlantic Center
11-15 – Miami, FL – American Airlines Arena
11-19 – Atlantic City, NJ – Boardwalk Hall
11-21 Boston, MA – TD Garden
11-22 – Montreal, QC – Bell Centre
11-23 Toronto, Ontario – Air Canada Centre
11-24 – Toronto, ON – Air Canada Centre
11-26 Detroit, MI – Palace of Auburn Hills
11-27 – Pittsburgh, PA – Consol Energy Center
11-29 – Kansas City, MO – Sprint Center
12-01 Chicago, IL – United Center
12-03 – New Orleans, LA – New Orleans Arena
12-05 Houston, TX – Toyota Center
12-06 Dallas, TX – American Airlines Center
12-09 Las Vegas, NV – MGM Grand Garden Arena
12-10 San Jose, CA – HP Pavilion
12-12 Los Angeles, CA – Staples Center
12-16 – Tacoma, WA – Tacoma Dome
12-17 – Vancouver, BC – Rogers Arena
12-18 Vancouver, British Columbia – Rogers Arena

Ghostface Sues Universal For Royalties

Sticking with Ghostface, he has filed a lawsuit against Universal Music Group to recoup royalties withheld in a supposed contract violation.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Wu-Tang Clan swordsman claims that UMG holds a 25 percent stake in the group’s songs and not a 50 percent copyright interest, as the label purports. He is seeking to recover royalties withheld by the music conglomerate.

This is an interesting situation and really shows how artists must always pay attention and keep track of their finances, both what they owe and what they are owed!

Carter IV Official Tracklist


After many false tracklists have hit the net, the official album cuts have been announced and are listed below:

1. Intro
2. Blunt Blowin
3. MegaMan
4. 6 Foot 7 Foot (Feat. Cory Gunz)
5. Nightmares Of The Bottom
6. She Will (Feat. Drake)
7. How To Hate (Feat. T-Pain)
8. Interlude (Feat. Tech N9ne)
9. John (Feat. Rick Ross)
10. Abortion
11. So Special (Feat. John Legend)
12. How To Love
13. President Carter
14. Its Good (Feat. Drake & Jadakiss)
15. Outro (Feat. Bun B, Nas, Shyne & Busta Rhymes)

I am glad to see that the track with Tech N9ne made the album, as well track 15 “Outro” will likely be a great lyrical track. Aside from that I am somewhat disappointed basically in the fact, that the album seems somewhat sort, especially considering that we have heard many of the tracks on the list before.

Also another anticipated album announced its tracklisting, this time it was by Yelawolf for his upcoming Shady Records debut, Radio-Active. The tracklisting can be seen below:

The official tracklist has been revealed for Yelawolf’s upcoming Shady Records debut Radioactive, due September 27th.

The album features a healthy roster of guest appearances including Busta Rhymes, Gucci Mane, Eminem, CyHi Da Prynce, Tech N9ne, Big Boi, Chamillionaire, Travis Barker, Rittz the Rapper, Kendrick Lamar, Game and Slaughterhouse.

Check the official tracklist below.

01. Gadsden
02. Old Mossberg
03. I’m Drunk as Hell (Feat. Busta Rhymes & Travis Barker)
04. Catfish
05. Yellow Canaries (Feat. Gucci Mane)
06. Rock N’ Roll
07. Through The Night (Feat. Eminem)
08. Double Effect
09. Gangster of Love (Feat. Cyhi Da Prince)
10. Rider of the Storm
11. Box Chevy 4 (Feat. Rittz the Rapper)
12. Sad Nightmares (Feat. Tech N9ne)
13. Sleeping Awake
14. Fast Life (Feat. Chamillionaire & Travis Barker)
15. Radioactive (Feat. Big Boi)
16. Simple Man
17. Alabama to Compton (Feat. Kendrick Lamar & The Game)
18. Chainsaw (Feat. Slaughterhouse)

To me this is looking like a much better album then Tha Carter IV on paper. Yelawolf has owned his guest spots recently, and so I eagerly await his debut album which will be released on September 27.

Dr. Dre Strikes $300 Million Deal with HTC

Dr Dre

Dr Dre recently pocketed a ton of money thanks to his Beats by Dre headphones. Dre has struck a $300 million deal between his Beats Electronics and Taiwan-based smartphone maker HTC, which is taking a 51 percent stake in the company (via RR).

Beats, which produces the popular Beats by Dre headphones, will work with HTC to build “high performance mobile sound products such as HTC devices with built-in Beats sound innovations,” arriving as early as this fall.

“The marriage of these two companies is very, very good. We are very good for each other,” says Jimmy Iovine. “With HTC’s innovation, technology and leadership, we feel we can really compete with anybody in this area.”

Beats Electronics has already struck some lucrative partnership deals with HP and Chrysler, the latter of which is integrating Beats into its sound system for the upcoming 2012 Chrysler 300S.

This is a great move for Dre who is showing that he can be a great businessman outside of music. Lets just hope that Detox will arrive shortly!

Release Dates

Albums of the Year (already released)
Saigon – The Greatest Story Never Told
Raekwon – Shaolin Vs. Wu-Tang
REKS – R.E.K.S. (Rhythmatic Eternal King Supreme)
Travis Barker – Give The Drummer Some
Brotha Lynch Hung – Coathanga Strangla
Atmosphere – Family Sign
Kool G Rap – Riches, Royaly, Respect
Bad Meets Evil (Eminem & Royce Da 5’9″) – Hell: The Sequel

No new major announcements, but September is shaping up to be a big month with releases from Fabulous, Swizz Beats, Akon, BIG KRITT, J Cole & Yelaswolf, while the end of August helps us leave summer with a bang with the release of Lil’Wayns Tha Carter IV

August 16
Slaine – A World With No Skies 2.0
Slim Thug Presents… – Boss Hogg Outlawz – Serve and Collect Part 3 (Immahogg)

August 23
Game – The R.E.D. Album
J-Live – S.P.T.A. (Said Person of that Ability)
Pusha T – Fear Of God Part 2: Let Us Pray
Apathy – Honkey Kong
Outerspace – My Brother’s Keeper

August 29
Lil Wayne – Tha Carter IV

August 30
DJ Drama – Third Power
Glasses Malone – Beach Cruiser
Ja Rule – Pain Is Love 2
Glasses Malone – Beach Cruiser
Soopafly – Best Kept Secret

September 6
Oddisee – Rock Creek Park

September 13
Bronze Nazareth – School For the Blindman
Shawn Chrystopher – Silent Films For the Blind
Swizz Beatz – Haute Living
Fabolous – Loso’s Way 2
Akon – Stadium

September 20
DTMD – Makin’ Dollas
Mary J. Blige – My Life II: The Journey Continues
Tragedy Khadafi – Thug Matrix 3
Young Jeezy – Thug Motivation 103

September 27
9th Wonder – The Wonder Years
Big K.R.I.T. – Live From the Underground
Cormega – Mega Raw/Greatest Hits
J. Cole – Cole World: The Sideline Story
J-Live – S.P.T.A. (Said Person of That Ability)
Phonte – Charity Starts At Home
Yelawolf – Radioactive

Other Recent Announcements
Chino XL – RICANstruction [Summer 2011]
Xzibit – MMXI [Summer TBA]
The HRSMN – TBD [Summer TBA]
Masta Ace & Doom – MADOOM [October]
Everlast – Songs Of The Ungrateful Living [Oct 18]
Drake – Take Care [Oct 24]
Common – The Dreamer, The Believer [Nov. 22]
Kool G Rap & Necro – The Godfathers [Q4 2011]

Hip Hop Sales


Music Outro
The music Outro comes coutesy of Slaine off his new album A World With No Skies 2.0 which was released on Tuesday August 16. He may look familiar as he is also an actor who has started recently in The Town, opposite Ben Afflick. The album is a great underground debut album from the La Coka Nostra member, and we will be featuring an interview with Slaine in next week column. As well a full review of the album should be posted on the site shortly.

Exclusive Interviews
Tech N9ne
Swollen Members



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Bill Wannop
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