Category Archives: Hip Hop Culture | Hip Hop Arts and Lifestyle

ASAP Ferg and Felipe Pantone Have The Combo That Will Get Your Party Lit

It is true what they say… you have not party partied… unless you’ve been “Uptown.”

It is so true, that generations have flocked to the village of Harlem to get their fly on. Sugar Hill. Apollo. Cotton Club. 125. Dapper Dan. “The Show” from Doug E. Fresh.  Soul in the Horn. If you ask those who really know about having a ball they will tell you that basically the “get fly” and the “get right” might have started in Harlem.

So it makes good sense for Hennessy to connect with one of Uptown’s top celebrity tastemakers to collaborate with one of their influencers in creating a cocktail that will get the party started.

Recently, Hennessy introduced The Dimensional cocktail to the world. The drink, which is sure to turn the party all the way up, is a collab between A$AP Ferg and renowned digital graffiti artist, Felipe Pantone. But how did this even happen? What party did fairy whispered in their corporate ears to make this happen?

Well, Hennessy V.S, which is known as the world’s best-selling Cognac, has been pulling together cultural combos like this for some time. The brand has had a lengthy “history of celebrating the arts and those that ‘Never stop. Never settle.’ through their Very Special Limited Edition Series. For the last nine years, they have been selecting special personalities to create not just cool drink combos, but who may place an indelible mark on the spirits cultural history.

This year the collaboration was with Pantone.

Based on his original artwork “W-3 Dimensional Three Stars,” a piece inspired by Hennessy’s past, they created a limited edition bottle aesthetic called “Remixing the Present” for fans. Doing out of the pocket art installations (and the bottle is an artistic installation) is nothing new for this porteño, a native from the country of Buenos Aires. Starting as a streetwise experimental graffitist, who has forged his own path by finding the intersection of vintage typography and optical art with kinetics. His visual language resonates in a collision of mesmerizing color, bold graphics and 3D illusions, while his technique explores an appreciation of history that is constantly being transformed by forward-looking technology. His work has been exhibited all over Europe, America, Australia, and Asia.

Connecting him with Hip-Hop gem, A$AP Ferg was a no brainer (as Ferg has been working with the Cognac for over a year). Marrying two cultural voices (loud & brashy, yet smooth & thought provocative) to create a party-popping cocktail was genius. What it did was mix that Spanish Alegria with Upton swag to move an idea for a popping drink to the next level or dimension.

Thus the name.

The Dimensional cocktail is vibrant in color and delivers a nuanced taste that marries both artists’ minds and palates.

The Dimensional

Recipe:

  • 1.5 oz Hennessy V.S Cognac
  • .5 oz Ginger Liqueur
  • 2 dashes Hella bitters Ginger
  • 2 oz. Hibiscus tea
  • .5 oz Lemon juice
  • .5 oz Pomegranate Grenadine
  • Garnish: Candied ginger

This August, the new Felipe Pantone x A$AP Ferg REMIXED Cocktail Kit for Hennessy V.S so that you can make the drink at home for friends and family will be available as a cocktail kit for purchase exclusively at CocktailCourier.com.

 

 

The post ASAP Ferg and Felipe Pantone Have The Combo That Will Get Your Party Lit appeared first on The Source.

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Congressional Black Caucus Cites Human Rights Violations in A$AP Rocky Imprisonment

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus are getting involved in the attempt to free A$AP Rocky from a Swedish jail. It was previously reported that he was facing inhumane conditions, but those claims were later refuted by a Sweden authority.

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York says the Congressional Black Caucus will “continue to weigh in forcefully” until we say #FreeFlacko backwards.

“The situation with ASAP Rocky is unfortunate, it’s outrageous, it needs to be addressed,” Jeffries explained. “You can expect that members of Congress, particularly those of us who are part of the Congressional Black Caucus, are going to continue to weigh in forcefully until ASAP Rocky is free.”

Jeffries added that Rep. André Carson has been applying the pressure on the State department to stay on top of the Swedish government and resolve the issue as quickly as possible.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of State delivered a statement addressing the Swedish government over Rocky’s alleged treatment. “There are certainly some facts about the arrest and detention that raise concerns,” a spokesperson for the department said. “We expect all governments, including Sweden, to treat American citizens fairly and with respect. We hope to see ASAP Rocky and his colleagues back on tour and reunited with friends and family soon.”

The post Congressional Black Caucus Cites Human Rights Violations in A$AP Rocky Imprisonment appeared first on The Source.

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Cardi B Publicly Supports Bernie Sanders’ 2020 Presidential Campaign

It’s about five more months left of the year, and the race to get Donald Trump out of the White House has already begun.

The Democratic party is receiving lots of celebrity endorsement. According to filings by the 2019 Federal Election Commission, Barbra Streisand donated $1,000 each last quarter to the campaigns of Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke, Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg.

Anna Wintour and Shonda Rhimes have both made donations to candidates also. Bernie Sanders is noticeably missing from the list, but Cardi B just put his campaign in the eyes of millions of young people.

“I been reading about Bernie Sanders and I’m really sad how we let him down in 2016 This man been fighting for equal rights,HUMAN rights for such along time,” Cardi wrote. “Seeing this country become a better place been really his passion for a long time not a new front for a campaign.”

“Our fight for justice is far from over,” Bernie wrote.

The post Cardi B Publicly Supports Bernie Sanders’ 2020 Presidential Campaign appeared first on The Source.

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2Pac’s Prison Letter to Madonna Will Go Up For Auction Starting at $100K

Tupac Shakur and Madonna shared a lot in common on both a professional and personal level (see: “Madonna MC: 10 Times Madame X Flexed Her Hip-Hop Cred“), so much so that Pac was driven to write a letter to Madonna during his highly-publicized stint in prison back in 1995. Now, following the pop queen’s failed attempt to appeal the sale of it last month, that letter will now go to auction for a starting price set in the six figures.


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One of the most significant music artifacts to ever come to auction. This handwritten love letter from Tupac Shakur to Madonna is being offered at auction for the first time ever. This now famous, extremely personal, three-page handwritten and signed letter was written by Tupac Shakur to Madonna from prison. Tupac addressed the letter to “M”, dated it, “Jan 15 1995, 9:30 A.M.” and signed it “Always, 2PAC, Tupac Shakur” in black ink on lined paper. The deep connection between Tupac and Madonna is seen throughout the letter. He writes about their relationship in terms of race and celebrity status, and how societal norms affect their relationship, writing “I must apologize to you. Because like you said I haven’t been the kind of friend I know I am capable of being. Not because I am evil or because you weren’t worthy but at the risk of sounding over dramatic, the effects of racism make it difficult for a young black man to properly show affection for an older white woman.” He further writes about his fears about his own death, which he feared would come soon, writing, “If there is any information you can share with me regarding Jack & crew please do it could very well be a matter of live & death”. The letter is going up for sale in less than a week on July 17th! Register now, link in bio! #gottahaverockandroll #tupacfan #tupacfans #tupac #tupacnews #2pacnews #madonna #madonnanews #madonnamemorabilia #madonnacollection #madonnacollector #madonnacollectors #tupacmemorabilia #tupacshakur #2pac #2pacvideos #news #rapnews #auctionnews #entertainmentnews #memorabilia #rapmemorabilia #musicmemorabilia #rockmemorabilia #auction #onlineauction #onlineauctions #rockauction #rapauction

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Tupac wrote this “love letter” during January 1995, a month after he and Charles Fuller had been convicted on rape charges and incarcerated with a multimillion-dollar bail. The three-page note reads very apologetic, mainly because it’s pretty much a “can-we-just-be-friends”-style break-up letter. One of the most prominent points he makes about needing the break came down to race unsurprisingly enough. He writes, “…at the risk of sounding over dramatic, the effects of racism make it difficult for a young black man to properly show affection for an older white woman. Can U understand that?[sic]” He goes on to state that the idea of them basically being a ’90s power couple, him being a West Coast Rap King and her being the Queen of Pop, would’ve made her seem “open & exciting” while making him look as if he’s “letting down” the rap community that uplifted him to that status in the first place. The emotional note is clearly a stamp of decades-old music history, but whether or not it evades the privacy of two pop icons, or if its even worth the minimum of $100,000 USD overall, is still up for debate.

The auction for Tupac’s love note (i.e. “friendzone letter”) to Madonna will go live starting next Wednesday (July 17) over on GottaHaveRockAndRoll.com. Hear the duo’s unreleased remix of her ‘Bedtime Stories‘ album cut “I’d Rather Be Your Lover” below:

The post 2Pac’s Prison Letter to Madonna Will Go Up For Auction Starting at $100K appeared first on The Source.

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Kanye West Sneaker Empire Worth to Make $1.5 Billion Dollars in 2019

Just a few years ago, Kanye West was reportedly in massive debt trying to get his clothing line off the ground. Now, his vision has come to pass, and his company is a smashing success.

Besides his love of music, Kanye West loves fashion. But instead of just buying clothes, West has built a fashion empire that is bringing in major coin.

Kanye West’s sneaker empire is a billion-dollar enterprise, according to a new cover story on the rapper’s business endeavors by Forbes magazine.

The incredibly popular Yeezy sneaker line, which began at Nike, now with Adidas, is projected to make over $1.5 billion in sales in 2019. West is said to have taken home over $150 million in income over the past year, as reported by Forbes.

Since moving the Yeezy line from Nike to Adidas in 2013, West has struck what Forbes calls an ‘unprecedented deal’ for 15 percent royalty on wholesale, plus a marketing fee.

For comparison, Michael Jordan is said to get a royalty rate of 5 percent on the Air Jordan line, which does annual sales of about $3 billion.

West has had a major turnaround from a few just a few years ago. He sent social media ablaze when he asked Mark Zuckerberg to invest $1 billion in his “ideas” and claimed to be $53 million in debt.

“I’m just blessed through the grace of God to go from tweeting at Mark Zuckerberg” to ask for money, West says, to where he is today. He can laugh at himself a little now. “People wondered, ‘Why did you tweet at Mark Zuckerberg?’ And I was like, ‘Hey, I heard he was looking for aliens.’ ”

The post Kanye West Sneaker Empire Worth to Make $1.5 Billion Dollars in 2019 appeared first on The Source.

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JAY-Z Enters the Cannabis Industry as Chief Brand Strategist For Caliva

The billions just keep on ringing in for Hov! JAY-Z, a Renaissance Man of many hats, is now getting into the business of bud by signing on as the Chief Brand Strategist of cannabis consumer product company Caliva.



The California-based organization was founded in 2015 and boasts the top-selling indoor flower brands Fun Uncle, Bad Apple, Deli and its namesake strand Caliva. For Mr. Carter’s part, the rapper will work alongside the brand to fight social justice issues relating to the legalization of marijuana. Hov also sees major potential in the product, stating in a quote on the company’s website, “Caliva’s expertise and ethos makes them the best partner for this endeavor. We want to create something amazing, have fun in the process, do good and bring people along the way.”

Here’s an official description of what his role will entail, via Caliva:

“In this position, Mr. Carter will focus on and work to increase the economic participation of citizens returning from incarceration – many of who are not seeing the monetary benefits of legalization – through advocacy, job training, and overall employee and workforce development.”

Being that Caliva currently only delivers to customers located in California, we can see how including someone like, you know, the biggest rapper in the game for the better part of two decades now could be beneficial to overall brand notoriety. We might even see the celebrated MC get his own strand named after him, too. “Hova Hash” or “Carter Kush” sounds pretty good right about now!

Read up more on JAY-Z’s new venture with Caliva on the brand’s website. Enjoy responsibly!

The post JAY-Z Enters the Cannabis Industry as Chief Brand Strategist For Caliva appeared first on The Source.

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Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sues Iconix For ‘Massive Fraud’

The New York Post’s Page Six has reported that Hip-Hop billionaire Jay-Z and his company Roc Nation are suing a city licensing firm, alleging it of bilking investors in a “massive years-long fraud,” according to a new lawsuit. Roc Nation first sold the men’s clothing brand Rocawear to Iconix for $204 million in 2007.

According to court documents in the Manhattan Supreme Court, the suit says that the Iconix Brand Group Inc., duped it and other companies — including Ecko, Ed Hardy and PONY — into doing business by not being honest about its financials, and then made off with their money without delivering the services that the company promised.

The feds have been investigating Iconix, which court documents reveal have “amass[ed] a portfolio of trademarks under false pretenses,” and detailed that they committed fraud by having “absconded with its licensees’ money without providing the branding and retail support it promised.” Roc Nation had been doing business with the firm after selling men’s clothing brand Rocawear to them for $204 million back in 2007. Though the company’s stocks were strong through 2015, the suit points out that, today, they are worth “less than a dollar per share.”

Iconix then “absconded with its licensees’ money without providing the branding and retail support it promised,” the court documents allege.

“Plaintiffs never would have entangled their business interests with Iconix had it disclosed the true condition of its business or the massive accounting fraud in which it was engaged,” the court documents claim.

The representation for Roc Nation is requesting that Iconix should pay for the all legal costs accrued when Jay-Z had to testify after the SEC subpoenaed him and for other unspecified damages.

We’ll have more on the story as it develops.

The post Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sues Iconix For ‘Massive Fraud’ appeared first on The Source.

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Gay & Hip-Hop: 5 Emcees That Will Change the Stigma of Homophobia in Rap

We hope the entire LGBTQ community and those that consider themselves allies had an amazing Pride Month for the entire duration of June!

As the Pride festivities comes to a close today, we wanted to identify that longstanding issue between those who proudly identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or any nonconforming sexual identity and the heteronormative and oftentimes hyper-masculine behavior that Hip-Hop has been built on for decades now, while also standing firmly against any kind of hate that may have resulted from that complicated relationship. Thankfully, we are progressing into a more inclusive era of human interaction, and there are many rappers who are helping to lead the way into a brighter future.

Keep scrolling for a look at five rappers who we feel will push the culture of Hip-Hop into a world that embraces the LGBTQ lifestyle:


Kevin Abstract of Brockhampton

As one of the forefront members of the highly popular “boyband” rap collective known as Brockhampton, Kevin Abstract has made it known countless times that he in fact a proud gay Black man. The 22-year-old came out in 2016, and proudly boasts his longtime boyfriend Jaden Walker on social media. Plus, he was one of the stars in Calvin Klein’s recent “I Speak My Truth in #MYCALVINS” campaign. Keep speaking it, fam!


Young M.A

One of the illest MCs to touch a mic in today’s era of rap, male or female alike, Young M.A is truly putting on with an unapologetic take on what it means to be a lesbian in Hip-Hop. The way she handled that unfortunate back-and-forth with Kodak Black earlier this year alone was worthy of respect, and we see her continuing to put on for the “AGs” that can finally see themselves represented in both her lyrics and personality. The story of her sexuality is broken down perfectly during her 2018 interview on Noisey’s The Therapist seen above.


Lil Uzi Vert

You don’t have to “be” gay to show your Pride — that’s essentially what an ally is. Lil Uzi Vert has been doing so since his first run-in with mainstream success just a few years ago, especially with his flamboyantly fly outfit choices and mannerisms. Just a few days ago, he flexed on IG (seen above) rocking Nike’s latest BETRUE. collection for 2019, complete with a rainbow-themed tee and the new Air Max 720. Looking good, fam!


Taylor Bennett

Even with a jaw-dropping girlfriend and beautiful newborn baby boy — what’s good young Charlie! — Taylor Bennett is very vocal about the fact that he is, in fact, bisexual. It’s a topic that plays a lot into his music, visuals for singles and most recent interviews, and he’s proving that sexuality doesn’t always have to fit into the box that society so often likes to put people in. Along with his big bro Chance the Rapper, Taylor Bennett is a much-needed voice in revolutionizing rap for the better.


JAY-Z

Sometimes it starts from the top, and it doesn’t really get much higher than Shawn Carter when it comes to the rap game. As his mother Gloria Carter identifies as a lesbian herself, JAY-Z has one of the most personal connections to the LGBTQ community. However, the power he holds in changing the stigma of homophobia in Hip-Hop lies in the fact that, quite honestly, he used to be one of the main perpetrators of emasculating his foes with “F bombs” and derogatory bars during the earlier part of his career. It’s his strength in seeing those flaws, standing in his mistakes and ultimately being able to rap about them like he did with “Smile” off 4:44 (seen above) that truly makes him the biggest pioneer in bridging that gap between the two warring worlds. We see you, Hov.

The post Gay & Hip-Hop: 5 Emcees That Will Change the Stigma of Homophobia in Rap appeared first on The Source.

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Kirk Franklin Supports Kanye West’s Sunday Service

Gospel megastar Kirk Franklin has been the leading voice of the genre for almost 30 years. He has crossed over the mainstream with his version of R&B influenced gospel. Many have been wondering what does the “I Smile” singer/songwriter think of Kanye West’s Sunday Service movement. Franklin, without hesitation, endorsed Pastor Kanye’s growing congregation.

When Kirk, along with his wife Tammy, arrived at the 2019 BET Awards, the gospel legend conversed about Mr. West’s weekly Sunday Service with ET’s news correspondent Kevin Frazier. He also took a few moments to plug the upcoming season of his highly successful singing competition, BET’s Sunday Best on June 30.

“Well, you know, if Kanye’s doing it, then we gotta do it,” he said on the red carpet with a laugh. Later, he hinted that Sunday Service has been a big source of positivity for West, stating, “That’s my little brother, man. That thing, you know, let the music heal him.”

While he didn’t say if he made his way to Sunday Service, he did reveal that he and West have talked about it numerous times.

“Well, you know, we talk through ‘em. We talk through ‘em as brothers,” Franklin shared. “We’re always having conversations and I’m so proud to see the music do what it’s created to do – to heal people. And it can heal everybody.”

In an interview on Beats 1 on Monday (June 24), Franklin again gave Kanye his support. “Let that be his medicine, he ain’t making no loot doing it,” Franklin responded. “You could always tell intent on how people spend their money. How people spend their money is a reflection of their heart. And so, the fact that this is something that he’s doing on his own, let that be his medicine.”

Check out the full conversation with The Franklins below.

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Exclusive: Here’s Your First Look at the Cover For Rakim’s New Memoir ‘Sweat The Technique’

When anyone who respects and understands the culture of Hip-Hop refers to Rakim as “The God MC,” there’s never any real debate to challenge that bestowment. The reason? He literally is the greatest lyricist of all time and would have no problem proving that today in or out the booth, on or off the stage, at the wise age of 51 years old.

However, if you still need a crash course on his legendary stature in the rap game, all you have to do is read his new memoir, Sweat The Technique: Revelations On Creativity From The Lyrical Genius, which The Source is exclusively unveiling the cover for today.

Amistad Press / HarperCollins Publishers

As the official description states, Sweat the Technique is a “part memoir, part writing guide” penned by the rap pioneer alongside seasoned journalist Touré. The book details how Rakim influenced and even changed the way rappers actually rhymed, his intrinsic skills that helped make a certified classic debut album alongside Eric B. with their 1987 magnum opus Paid in Full and ultimately his journey from a young Black man hailing from Long Island with nothing but a dream and talent into the most respected MC of his era.

So, why now? Sure there’s a market for rap memoirs at the moment — JAY-Z’s classic Decoded, Common’s eye-opening Let Love Have the Last Word and My Famous Life by the late Prodigy of Mobb Deep are all gems — but what makes this moment so special for Rakim? We’ll leave it to the man himself to tell it via this exclusive quote he gave us to go with the cover reveal:

“Why now for ‘Sweat The Technique‘? There’s been a lot of points of reflection in my life over the last couple of years. I turned 50; my first album turned 30. I’ve welcomed some new editions to my family and lost some beloved ones. I got back together with my partner Eric to tour and release a box set and, while we were doing interviews, the same questions all seemed to come up. A lot of those questions were rehashes of some issues that I wanted to finally speak about and, more importantly, almost none of them covered what my fans and supporters are always asking….which is pretty much ‘How do you do it?’ It made sense to put a little focus on the craft and where I, and hopefully the readers, can search for inspiration. After over three decades of being an artist who mostly speaks through his music, the time felt right to pull back the curtain.”

Rakim, The God MC

Get your reading glasses out — this one definitely sounds like it will make for a good read! Sweat The Technique: Revelations On Creativity From The Lyrical Genius, the prolific new memoir by Rakim, goes on sale starting September 24.

Take a #ThrowbackThursday moment with us by watching our Source TV interview with The God MC from 2010 below:

The post Exclusive: Here’s Your First Look at the Cover For Rakim’s New Memoir ‘Sweat The Technique’ appeared first on The Source.

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