Rockie Fresh on

Here’s a quick round-up of noteworthy happenings in the rap world throughout the last week. A head-shaking round of tweets, an electro-gangster collaboration, a breath of new air from the Windy City and an homage to classic rap make the list this time.

50 Cent Short-Changes Japan

As the world reacts in horror and disbelief to the March 11 earthquake in Japan and the subsequent tsunami and nuclear fallout, at least one person made light of the situation. 50 Cent posted several comments on his Twitter account that were making jokes of a situation that killed several thousand people, displaced thousands more and caused an estimated $170 billion in damages.

Known for courting controversy, 50 joked that white boys would be surfing the tsunami waves and that women would lament their designer shoes and bags floating down the street. It’s one thing to go after a rapper in a real or imagined beef in order to draw attention to yourself, something 50 Cent has done since his “How To Rob” days more than a decade ago.

But making fun of a situation that is among the most catastrophic events in modern history shows that he is indeed ignorant, something he acknowledged on later tweets. The man did appear on and write the chorus to The Game’s “Hate It Or Love” song, after all. With stunts like these, more people will be hating rather than loving.

Far East Movement Collaborate With Snoop Dogg

Far East Movement are flying high with the success of their smash single “Like A G6.” Now they’re getting the blue carpet treatment with their collaboration with Snoop Dogg on their next single, “If I Was You (OMG).” The electro pop-rap quartet and The Doggfather shot the video for the song at La Cita, a downtown L.A. bar that the Movement frequents. Like the Far East Movement’s other tunes, “If I Was You” is a feel-good, club-ready tune. The song pays tribute to female objects of the Far East Movement and Snoop’s eyes, with Snoop delivering the most raunchy imagery, of course. The video for “If I Was You (OMG)” premiers March 24. If it enjoys the same success as Usher’s “OMG” collaboration with, the Far East Movement’s meteoric rise will continue.

Windy City’s Fresh Air: Rockie Fresh

After Do or Die, Twista and Crucial Conflict broke through in the mid-1990s, it took nearly a decade for Chicago to enjoy another artistic rap renaissance. Common and Twista reestablished themselves, helping to open the doors for Kanye West, who in turn led the way for Lupe Fiasco and a host of others with promise. Among them is Rockie Fresh, who is quickly garnering praise from a number of magazines and websites. Fresh’s The Otherside Redux mixtape features a bass-heavy remix for his song “So Gone,” appropriately titled the Based Remix. The Otherside Redux will features new versions of The Otherside material, as well as new tracks. Rockie Fresh will be performing in Austin, Texas March 17, 18 and 19.

Prince Aries Expands His Regime

Some of rap’s best collaborations have come when artists work with people from other cities, most notably Ice Cube teaming with the Bomb Squad for AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted. As a VJ-DJ-promoter-graphic designer and producer, Prince Aries has experienced this first-hand. When he moved from New York to the Bay Area in the mid-1990s, Aries discovered a host of new artists, including Too $hort and N.W.A. On his forthcoming mixtape The Clean Ass Whip, Aries pays tribute to some of the classic West Coast music that served as the soundtrack to his life, as well as new material that continues pushing the genre forward. Clean Ass Whip will be available in May and will also feature a series of limited edition silk-screened art prints. It’s nice to see classic material get its due, both musically and visually.


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