25 Aug

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The 25 Funniest Celebrity Twitter Hacks (COMPLEX)

22 Jun

My second piece for COMPLEX was one of the most fun, and most challenging pieces I’ve had to write. In another article for their TECH section, I made a list of the 25 funniest celebrity Twitter hacks. The hacks aren’t just hip-hop artists, either: rappers, singers, professional athletes, and even politicians get got in this list. I’m just now realizing that the site doesn’t allow copy and paste, so I won’t use any text, ha – just check the article.

CLICK HERE to read.


HipHopDX Producer’s Corner: Jerry “Wonda” Duplessis

22 Jun

 For the latest segment of HipHopDX Producer’s Corner, I interviewed Jerry “Wonda” Duplessis. He isn’t a celebrity name, but plenty of music lovers will recognize his work with Wyclef Jean. The Haitian-born musician has co-produced or played on nearly all of Clef’s classics – The Fugees’ seminal The Score, to Carlos Santana’s “Maria Maria,” and many more. Check out an excerpt below:

DX: Don’t mean to only focus on Fugees, but how would you describe a studio session with them? If I were to randomly walk into one of your sessions, what would I see?

Jerry Wonda: It would be like going to a family dinner. You see everybody hanging, chilling, eating, drinking and laughing. Nothing that crazy, just everybody chilling. We used to have everything, with the equipment. Nobody knew we were doing a classic album. I just remember I used to play the Top 40 singles and hustle, because I was buying equipment. I’d go play with Top 40 bands then come back to the studio and do what I was doing with Wyclef and Ms. Hill. At the time, that’s what we had. If you walked in there, it was just chillin!

CLICK HERE to read the rest of the interview.

Big Sean and Random Axe Album Reviews

22 Jun

As the managing editor of MichiganHipHop, it only makes sense that I’d review two of the state’s biggest releases for HipHopDX. After getting a preview of Random Axe a couple months ago, I finally got my press copy for review a few days before it dropped. I received my review link of Big Sean’s oft-delayed debut Finally Famous last Tuesday. I’ve covered Big Sean and two thirds of Random Axe (Black Milk and Guilty Simpson) extensively throughout my career for several publications, so it’s always great to get an opportunity for that to continue.

Let me know what you think about the albums, and how accurate my reviews portray them.

CLICK HERE to read Random Axe Album Review (HipHopDX)

CLICK HERE to read Big Sean Finally Famous Album Review (HipHopDX)


Five Reasons House Parties Are Better Than Clubs

17 Jun

As I’m writing this, the rest of my BLAT! Pack crew is the club, getting down as the brilliant DJ Ruckus mans the ones and twos. Every time I hit the club, I head outside 30 minutes early. On the other hand, at the last few house parties I’ve been to – the anniversary party for Memorial Day weekend, a mutual friend’s birthday, and a cookout at my crib – I’ve had the time of my life. Below, read five reasons of why I prefer residential parties over clubs. Maybe this will even inspire a change in your plans for the weekend.
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VIBE Apr/May 2011 – NEXT (Travis Porter, Bria Murphy)

13 Jun

VIBE Apr/May 2011 - NEXT (Bria Murphy, Travis Porter)

A few months ago, I interviewed model Bria Murphy and Atlanta rap trio Travis Porter for my first contributions to VIBE magazine. Click to enlarge. This issue, with 50 Cent on the cover, may be tough to find now that the latest issue has already hit newsstands, but it was incredible from cover to cover. The world music spread was amazing, and the 50 interview was solid. Shouts to Clover Hope for the assignments and the help, Bria and Travis Porter for being good sports, and to everyone who showed love as a result of the article. Hopefully, you’ll see more of my byline in VIBE sooner than later.

If you’d like to read more of my print and web features, click the FEATURES tab in the navigational bar above.

Memorial Day: Rappers Remember Fallen Friends Through Lyrics

31 May

I know I’m a day late on posting this; I worked as long as I could yesterday before hosting a BBQ at my house for the holiday. In my first piece in a while for XXL, I used a Memorial Day theme to find lyrics that different emcees such as Kanye West (pictured above with his mother, R.I.P.) used to pay homage to deceased loved ones. Read below for the intro.

CLICK HERE to read the entire article.

WEKetchum Review of eLZhi’s “eLmatic”

25 May

A clear sign of how long ago the photo above was taken: me still feeling the need to mean mug the camera. But I was all smiles after hearing eLmatic, eLZhi’s new tribute mixtape to Nas’ classic debut. It’s been years in the making, but the consensus is that the project is worth the wait despite other emcees dropping their own remakes since he had initially announced the idea back in 2008. Here’s an excerpt from my review:

Detroit emcee eLZhi has been heralded as one of hip-hop’s most talented for years now, but to some, there was something missing. Despite the witty punchlines, multi-syllabic rhyme patterns and conceptual genius shown on songs like “Guessing Game” and “Rules of Rap,” harsher critics said he couldn’t evoke emotion—one of musician’s most important tasks. Well, the years since his official debut album The Preface have been wrought with painful situations: his former manager HexMurda had a nearly fatal stroke, and his group Slum Village was dramatically torn apart through label politics and what he saw as betrayal from his partners. With eLmatic, eLZhi seems to have drawn from those experiences and read between the lines of Nas’ classic debut Illmatic, to capture the intangibles that make his technical skills truly undeniable.

To read the full review on, CLICK HERE.

A Lesson From Kobe Bryant and Spike Lee

28 Apr

(photo from

One of my favorite methods of procrastination/escapism is watching movies. The storylines and comedy help me get away from my workload for a couple hours, and I can usually find a message in the film that gives me ample reason to get back to my hustle.

The latest film to help in both fronts is “Kobe Doin’ Work,” a 2009 Spike Lee Joint that follows Kobe Bryant around during one of his game days. The bulk of the film is Kobe Bryant breaking down every minute of the game: why he makes certain plays, how he studies his opponents to exploit their weaknesses, the ways he uses and encourages his teammates, and more.

The film connected with me because it felt like a companion piece to my Becoming Undeniable post a while back. Kobe’s definitely a talented basketball player, but his focus to detail was the determining factor in his victory. He knew his opponents’ statistics to exploit their weaknesses, their playing tendencies to always be one step ahead, and he even spoke in other languages to communicate with teammates from other countries. As a manager, I need the same attentiveness: I need to know my opponent – in this case, the music industry – like the back of my hand, and I need to know my teammates’ skills so I can put them in ideal situations to score. As a journalist, I need to keep a keen eye on the latest music news – especially of my interview subjects – and craft my pitches and writing methods accordingly.

Some thought the film was boring, but I felt that the tediousness only made it resonate more. All my fellow journalists know that transcribing interviews is one of the most monotonous tasks of the job. On the management tip, dealing with booking, media and sponsorship logistics is a pain in the ass too. But the game isn’t fun for every minute of every quarter, and you don’t nab that alley-oop on Sportscenter unless you do the grunt work to execute it.

COMPLEX: 9 Reasons I’m Sticking with Blackberry

12 Apr

The timing for this article is perfect. I’ve been trying for years to land an article in COMPLEX; it’s my favorite magazine after GQ, because of how engaging both their online and print content is, and how well they convey their brand and serve their audience. Coincidentally, the day that COMPLEX published this, I switched over to Sprint and gave my soul to Research In Motion for another two years. The article I’m linking to here is a list I made of both realistic and comical, irreverent reasons why I’m sticking with my Blackberry for even longer.

BTW, readers, let me know: is the comedy here clear to you all? Or does it seem like I actually enjoy having to reset my phone all the time, and that I really think Brickbreaker (which I don’t play at all, lmao) would be a better game than Angry Birds?

Anyway, CLICK HERE to read “Mobile Manifesto: 9 Reasons I’m Sticking With Blackberry.”