This week, Wale's highly-anticipated The Gifted dropped and received a positive review, the Tim Dogg saga got stranger, and CPO Boss Hogg spoke on his involvement in Tupac's "Picture Me Rollin'." Meanwhile, Sean Price tried his luck at the pawn shop, and Tech N9ne claimed immortality.
Wale's The Gifted Sure To Satisfy Core Fans
Wale raised eyebrows upon signing to Rick Ross' Maybach Music group, as fans questioned how the introspective and often sensitive emcee would fit on the label. The Gifted appears to have allayed such concerns, according to HipHopDX's review:
"Those looking for substance in Hip Hop need look no further than tracks like 'Gullible' or 'Golden Salvation (Jesus Piece).' While the subject of Jesus pieces has definitely been covered excessively in Hip Hop as of late, Wale’s lyrics separate his effort from the other recently released, similar tracks. Wale raps, 'Don’t bow your head for grace, though I’m keeping you graceful / Brothers was born to cheat, though I question who faithful / Fast for me, nope, Blasphemy though / Rap to it, so racks up, to match up with me froze / How can a diamond supersede my wisdom? / I seen a reverend with five of me as he read his scripture…' He comes back in the second verse with 'Sierra Leone Diamonds, LA to New York got ‘em / If nobody’s stores got me, some probably wouldn’t know about me / All over paparazzi, shout out to Murakami / See they commercialize me, I’m sure there’ll be more robberies…'"
The review concludes that Wale's The Gifted is a return to the D.C. native's roots. "Overall, The Gifted is a good album. Wale presents substance without being overly preachy, and still takes it back to the Go-Go for those who have been following him since "Paint A Picture." While not without its flaws...those questioning the direction Wale was going post MMG affiliation will more than likely be pleased with The Gifted."
CPO Boss Hogg Recalls Involvement On Tupac's "Picture Me Rollin'"
One of Compton, California's first artists to be signed to a major label, CPO Boss Hogg was around to collaborate with N.W.A., Tupac, and RBX, among others. The veteran West Coast emcee sat down with HipHopDX to discuss a particular collaboration: Tupac's "Picture Me Rollin'," which occurred shortly after Tupac's release from prison and signing to Death Row Records.
CPO described the recording process, saying that Pac laid his vocals down first. "So we laid it and everything. We sat there and listened to it. He dropped the music on my part which I thought that was interesting. I was like, 'That’s kind of cool, accenting my voice and everything.' [My friends] asked if we’re going to use this song and I knew damn well they're not going to use this shit. I was [thinking], 'Isn’t this nice that they are doing all this for the fat guy?' My boys were like, 'Did you realize you just did a song with Tupac.' I said, 'Let me explain something to you, he is not going to use that song.' The thing is what you do is you go in, you do a whole lot of songs and then you choose from the songs that you like, and then you put those on the album."
"Little did I know that every fucking song he was doing, he was going to use all of them," he said, laughing.
The song would eventually become "Picture Me Rollin'," which ended up on Pac's All Eyez On Me, the final album release while he was alive.
Despite getting paid by Tupac, CPO fell on hard times. "In 2000, I don’t know what the hell happened to my finances, but I was super-broke," he said. "I had left my job because I got hurt on the job. They were supposed to pay me workers [compensation], but it hadn’t come through."
"I was so fuckin' broke that I decided to do the unthinkable, and call Death Row. I knew I was going to be told 'hell no,' but I decided to call Death Row and say, 'I want to talk to somebody about the song I did with Tupac.'"
Much to CPO's surprise, the call ended resulted in the rapper getting a check. "I got a letter in the mail from Universal, it looked like a check. I’m sitting there thinking what if it’s $1,500 that would be the shit right now—and then I’m thinking what if it’s $5,000," he recalled. "Then I’m like, 'Chill cuzz, it’s not $5,000, open the check and be happy with what you get.' I open the check and it was a little over $37,000, and I was like 'Whoa, I’m rich, bitch!'"
"I still get paid for that song to this day," he said, emotionally. "Fate, that’s all I can say about how that came together."
"'Pac did more for me than anybody else."
Kool Keith Says Tim Dog Is Alive, Releases Song With Him
Earlier this year, reports stated that Hip Hop legend Tim Dog had passed away at the age of 46, after suffering a seizure brought on by diabetes.
"Tim Dog is alive. A cornball made the rumor. The press said he died," said Keith on the song, titled "Falsified." "ABC News calls. CBS News calls me. NBC News calls me. Magazines all call me. It's falsified."
"It was a fun record to do," said Keith in an exclusive statement to HipHopDX,. "Tim still got it. Good showmanship in the booth. He bought everybody in the studio chocolate milkshakes."
Tech N9ne Says He Feels "Immortal"
Tech N9ne's career stretches back to the 1980s. So it's no surprise he compares himself to one of the most famous immortal characters in history after lasting so long in an industry known for notoriously short careers for artists.
"I'm feeling more and more like Dracula everyday," said Tech N9ne in an exclusive interview with HipHopDX. "He's supposed to be immortal. He's been here for centuries. It seems like in the Hip Hop game, I feel like Dracula because I've been here for the rise and fall of a lot of major emcees and I'm still on the incline. It feels like every time I look in the mirror, every year I get older, but I've started looking like I'm in my 20s. They call me 'Alucard,' Dracula backwards because it's like I'll be here [forever]. Since I've been rapping, I've seen so many emcees come and go and I've been rapping just as long and I keep on having new life every time I do an album. Why wouldn't I feel immortal?"
"The only difference is, I don't bite," he added. "Nothing, from nobody. I innovate."
Sean Price Tries To Make A Hard Sell
Sean Price is one of the fiercest lyricists around, but even he was no match for "Pawn Star's" Chumlee.
In a video by Duck Down Music, the rapper's attempt to sell a potato was chronicled in The History Channel show's format, during which P! refers to himself as "the brokest rapper you know."
Check the video to see whether Price's endeavour was a success:
Other items of note: