The Rap-Up is a weekly round-up of all things hip-hop. Check it out every Wednesday.
Report: Jim Jones Gets Arrested
He’s remained an independent music force, but Jim Jones has been amassing other types of records: criminal records. The Dipset rapper was arrested in New York City February 27 for allegedly driving with a suspended license, according to TMZ.
This arrest comes just days after his trip behind bars February 24 for participating in a brawl at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut. In that incident, The Harlemite was maced, arrested and charged with assaulting a Connecticut state trooper. Although he was later released on bond, the Vampire Life honcho apologized February 27 to his son Pudy via Twitter about the incident, writing that that’s not the example he wants to set for him.
It’s nice to see an artist take accountability for their actions, but not so impressive getting bagged later that day. So much for a “Perfect Day.”
New Music: Garcia’s New Video Wonders “Why Not Me”
Miami seems to be on the verge of another musical breakthrough thanks to a fresh wave of talent that has been bubbling for the last several years. One such representative is Garcia, whose “Off The Beaten Path” EP is the Gunshine State rapper’s fifth release.
It’s a well-rounded collection that features Queens’ N.O.R.E., Boston’s REKS and Miami’s Mayday (Bernz and Wrekonize, in particular). The moody production courtesy of Big Drain, Miami Beat Wave, Hazardis Soundz, Davincci and others alternates between somber potency (“Stolen Soul”) and up-tempo elegance (“2 Gun Salute”).
The new video for “Why Not Me” has a surprising storyline, showing that his talents are not limited to the mic. All said, Garcia’s introspective, street-centered raps about struggle are accented by solid wordplay and stellar production.
Rap Comeback: Big Tray Deee Pimps His Pen In A New Way
At the turn of the century, Big Tray Deee joined with mentor Snoop Dogg and fellow rapper Goldie Loc to form the supergroup from Long Beach Tha Eastsidaz, whose first two albums went platinum and gold, respectively.
But in 2005, Big Tray Deee was hit with a 12-year prison sentence for his role in a 2003 shooting. The Long Beach rapper has stayed busy while behind bars, as evidenced by the just-released “Streetz Gon’ Cry” a novel he co-authored with fellow inmate Anthony Brown.
The book follows the travails of the King Crips and the Vernon Boys, two gangs set on controlling the cocaine trade in the treacherous Crenshaw District section of Los Angeles. With two certified gangsters penning the tale, “Streetz Gon’ Cry” should certainly ring with authenticity.