music / Columns

Hip Hop Herald 02.12.12: Grammy Nominations Revealed, Biggie Autopsy Released, Rick Ross Cancels Tour And More!

December 12, 2012 | 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 for we start, be sure to check out some of our exclusive interviews as well as follow me on Twitter.

Exclusive Interviews
Tech N9ne
Chino XL
Kottonmouth Kings
Jedi Mind tricks
Tech N9ne
Swollen Members

Music Intro
We start this week with a bonus track off of the Game’s new album, Jesus Piece. The track is called “Blood of Christ” and features Game firing shots at 50 Cent, G-Unit, Shyne, and 40 Glocc.

Grammy Nominations Revealed
The yearly Grammy award nominations have been revealed, and there were some big surprises in terms of hip hop representation this year.

Not surprising is that Drake and Lil Wayne have been nominated for Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song. Jay-Z and Kanye West do the same for their Watch the Throne collaborations. Nas is also included in the Best Rap/Sung Collaboration and Best Rap Album.

Along with Nas in that category will be several other big names in Hip Hop. Drake’s Take Care, Lupe Fiasco’s Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album, Pt. 1 and 2 Chainz’s Based on a T.R.U. Story albums are also nominated. The Roots’ latest release undun and Rick Ross’ God Forgives, I Don’t round out that category.

Frank Ocean is the most recognized in this year’s nominees list. Ocean has six nominations including Record of the Year, Best New Artist, and Album of the Year for Channel Orange.

I think this year’s list really shows how out of touch the Grammy Awards committee is in regards to hip hop. The fact that they simply went with the albums that were the most mainstream and names that are the most well known. Now I don’t expect them to pick some underground gem as album of the year, but they lose all credibility by placing 2 Chainz in the running for hip hop album of the year.

What do you think are some of the top hip hop albums that were released in 2012?

The Grammy Awards take place on February 10 with the event being held in LA in the Staples Center. The full list of nominations can be seen below:

Album of the Year
El Camino – The Black Keys
Some Nights – fun.
Babel – Mumford & Sons
Channel Orange – Frank Ocean
Blunderbuss – Jack White

Record of the Year
“Lonely Boy” – The Black Keys
“Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)”- Kelly Clarkson
“We Are Young” – fun. featuring Janelle Monáe
“Somebody That I Used to Know” – Gotye featuring Kimbra
“Thinkin Bout You” – Frank Ocean
“We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” – Taylor Swift

Song of the Year
“The A Team” – Ed Sheeran
“Adorn” – Miguel
“Call Me Maybe” – Carly Rae Jepsen
“Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” – Kelly Clarkson
“We Are Young” – fun. featuring Janelle Monáe

Best New Artist
Hunter Hayes
Frank Ocean
Alabama Shakes
The Lumineers

Best R&B Performance
“Thank You” – Estelle
“Gonna Be Alright (F.T.B.)” – Robert Glasper Experiment featuring Ledisi
“I Want You” – Luke James
“Adorn” – Miguel
“Climax” – Usher

Best Traditional R&B Performance
“Lately” – Anita Baker
“Love On Top” – Beyoncé
“Wrong Side Of A Love Song” – Melanie Fiona
“Real Good Hands” – Gregory Porter
“If Only You Knew” – SWV

Best R&B Song
“Adorn” – Miguel
“Beautiful Surprise” – Tamia
“Heart Attack” – Trey Songz
“Pray For Me” – Anthony Hamilton
“Refill” – Elle Varner

Best Urban Contemporary Album
Fortune – Chris Brown
Kaleidoscope Dream – Miguel
Channel Orange – Frank Ocean

Best R&B Album
Black Radio – Robert Glasper Experiment
Back To Love – Anthony Hamilton
Write Me Back – R. Kelly
Beautiful Surprise – Tamia
Open Invitation – Tyrese

Best Rap Performance
“HYFR (Hell Ya F***ing Right)” – Drake featuring Lil Wayne
“N****s In Paris” – Jay-Z & Kanye West
“Daughters” – Nas
“Mercy” – Kanye West featuring Big Sean, Pusha T & 2 Chainz
“I Do” – Young Jeezy featuring Jay-Z & André 3000

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration
“Wild Ones” – Flo Rida Featuring Sia
“No Church In The Wild” – Jay-Z & Kanye West featuring Frank Ocean & The-Dream
“Tonight (Best You Ever Had)” – John Legend featuring Ludacris
“Cherry Wine” – Nas featuring Amy Winehouse
“Talk That Talk” – Rihanna featuring Jay-Z

Best Rap Song
“Daughters” – Nas
“Lotus Flower Bomb” – Wale featuring Miguel
“Mercy” – Kanye West featuring Big Sean, Pusha T & 2 Chainz
“The Motto” – Drake featuring Lil Wayne
“N****s In Paris” – Jay-Z & Kanye West
“Young, Wild & Free” – Snoop Dogg & Wiz Khalifa featuring Bruno Mars

Best Rap Album
Take Care – Drake
Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album, Pt. 1 – Lupe Fiasco
Life Is Good – Nas
Undun – The Roots
God Forgives, I Don’t – Rick Ross
Based On A T.R.U. Story – 2 Chainz

Best Pop Solo Performance
“Set Fire To The Rain [Live]” – Adele
“Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” – Kelly Clarkson
“Call Me Maybe” – Carly Rae Jepsen
“Wide Awake” – Katy Perry
“Where Have You Been” – Rihanna

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
“Shake It Out” – Florence + the Machine
“We Are Young” – fun. featuring Janelle Monáe
“Somebody That I Used To Know” – Gotye featuring Kimbra
“Sexy And I Know It” – LMFAO
“Payphone” – Maroon 5 & Wiz Khalifa

Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical
Dan Auerbach
Jeff Bhasker
Markus Dravs
Salaam Remi

Best Short Form Music Video
“Houdini” – Foster The People
“No Church In The Wild” – Jay-Z & Kanye West featuring Frank Ocean & The-Dream
“Bad Girls” – M.I.A.
“We Found Love” – Rihanna featuring Calvin Harris
“Run Boy Run” – Woodkid

BIG Autopsy Revealed
In a strange turn of events, the autopsy report for the Notorious B.I.G. was resently released more than a decade after his passing in 1997.

The report, released on TMZ, shows that Biggie was shot four times in the drive by on Wilshire Blvd. while he was sitting in the passenger seat of a Chevy Suburban. In the report it states that three of the four shots were not fatal. The first bullet hit in his left forearm and traveled down to his wrist; the second hit him in the back, missing all vital organs, and exited through his left shoulder; and the third hit his outer left thigh and left through his inner thigh. The last bullet was fatal, entering his right hip before striking his colon, liver, heart and upper lobe of his left lung.

This is bizarre in that the autopsy is being released now, over 10 years after his murder. Thinking about BIG and his death all those many years ago it is crazy to think what he would be doing today. I think hip hop would be a very different place if he was still alive. I don’t think Jay Z would have become the hip hop icon he is today, as he would be always in BIG’s shadow.

What is equally crazy is the fact that the murder was never solved and that there are people out there who actually got away with killing the Notorious BIG.

Rick Ross Cancels Tour
Rick Ross recently had to cancel the rest of his tour dates, with the rumor being due to gang threats. However Ross recently spoke about the issue and gave his reason as to why the tour was cancelled:

“I canceled the rest of the tour due to the promoter was really not handling his business. He canceled a date of mine. I was going to Tuscon, Arizona and I was really a few hours outside of the market when I heard. I believe it was Tuscon, this was a week and a half ago,” he said. “And I let the dude know how we move and just to communicate a little better. So I woke up and realized that two more dates had been canceled. I felt like that was some power I needed to take away from homie, so I canceled the rest of the dates.”

In reality Ross’s response makes little sense on its own, but may have some truths in it. Perhaps the promoter did cancel some dates without telling Ross. However, if tour dates get cancelled the promoter losses a ton of money. There had to be reasons for him cancelling dates, and it could have potentially been due to gang threats. I think that if Ross really wanted to finish the tour he could have fired the promoter and continued on with the dates.

Release Dates & Album Updates

Not many new album updates this week as the updated info I got comes from Juelz Santana, who is supposed to be working on a joint album with Lil Wayne titled I Can’t Feel My Face. However until that album ever sees the light of day, the two hip hop acts will work together on Juelz next solo album, with Wayne acting as the executive producer.

As always the schedule of release dates can be seen below with anticipated releases in RED and new additions underlined.

December 11
Game – Jesus Piece
Big Boi – Vicious Lie and Dangerous Rumors
Masta Killa – Selling My Soul

December 18
T.I. – Trouble Man
Chief Keef – Finally Rich

January 15
A$AP Rocky – LongLiveA$AP

January 22
Asher Roth – Untitled (formerly Is This Too Orange
Joe Budden – No Love Lost

January 28
J. Cole – Born Sinner

January 29, 2013
Ill Bill – The Grimy Awards
Oh No – Disrupted Ads

February 12, 2013
LL Cool J – Authentic Hip-Hop
Lil Wayne – I Am Not A Human Being 2

February 26
50 Cent – Street King Immortal

March, 2013
Tyga – Hotel California

Other Recent Announcements
Nate Dogg: It’s A Wonderful Life [2013]
R.A. the Rugged Man – Legends Never Die [2013]
Inspectah Deck and 7L & Esoteric – CZARFACE [Feb 2013]
Cee Lo – Everybody’s Brother [2013]
Goodie Mob – Age Against the Machine [2013]
Kool G Rap & Necro – The Godfathers [2013]
Demigodz – Killmatic [January 2013]
E-40 – The Block Brochure: Welcome to the Soil 4, 5 & 6 [March 26, 2013]

What I Am Listening To
I had a chance to listen to both Big Boi and Game’s latest albums and I must say that both artists really put out quality work and continue to impress in terms of their high quality releases. Starting with Big Boi, he had a lot of pressure to follow up his critically acclaimed album Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty and he did so quite well with Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors. While the album is quite different from Sir Lucious Left Foot, it shows how Big Boi is a very underrated solo artist and really brings home the point that he was just as much a part of Outkast as Andre 300 was.

As for Game, he again proved that in terms of making albums, he always brings the heat. Jesus Piece is a well-crafted album with some great beats and great lyrics from Game. While the album does is not as good as his recent RED Album, it still stands as one of the top albums of the year. The only major flaw I can see with the album is mainly in the feature selection. It seemed as though Game picked the features based on who is popular at the time, and the result is some odd collaborations.

While 50 Cent may have sold many more albums with Get Rich or Die Trying there is no denying that Game has put out much more consistent albums over the years and Jesus Piece continues that trend.

Speaking on the top albums of the year, stay tuned to 411mania as we will count down the top 25 albums of 2012 in the coming weeks!

Exclusive Interviews
Tech N9ne
Chino XL
Kottonmouth Kings
Jedi Mind tricks
Tech N9ne
Swollen Members



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Bill Wannop

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