The Rap-Up is a weekly round-up of all things hip-hop. Check it out every Wednesday.
Jay-Z celebrates his pending fatherhood, Glasses Malone is the thinking man’s gangster rapper and No I.D. goes from ghetto streets to executive suites -- read on for The Rap-Up.
Jay-Z Looks Forward To Being A Father
The great news keeps rolling in for Jay-Z. The Brooklyn mogul is one of the most successful rapper-businessmen in music history. He makes tens of millions of dollars a year and he married Beyonce. Now, he’s going to be a father.
Beyonce famously showed off her baby bump at the VMAs Sunday and on “Watch The Throne,” Jigga was preparing himself for his pending fatherhood. The album’s “New Day” features Hova talking to his unborn child, a male in this incarnation. Jay-Z, of course, had almost no interaction with his father throughout his life, so he makes it clear on “New Day” that he’s going to remain in his child’s life forever.
It’s encouraging to hear a rapper of such significance openly say that he’s going to break the cycle and not make his offspring a fatherless child.
Glasses Malone’s “Beach Cruiser” Arrives With A-List Firepower
It’s been several years in the making, but Glasses Malone’s “Beach Cruiser” album finally arrived in stores this week. The Watts rapper’s collection features a bevy of A-List guests, including Snoop Dogg and Nipsey Hussle on “Eastsidin”; Akon on “Certified”; and T-Pain, Rick Ross and Birdman on “Til Da Sun Come Up.”
The 15-cut collection certainly contains plenty of menacing gangster rap, but it’s when Glasses gets reflective and comments on society that the album soars. “Car Wash,” for instance, details how the families of gangbangers killed in the line of duty often need to have car washes and bake sales to pay for their funerals, while “Club Heaven” imagines Glasses going to a club where his deceased friends and family members join him as they listen to and enjoy the music of late members of the hip-hop community.
These kinds of songs demonstrate that Glasses Malone isn’t the average rapper. He’s on a higher level.
Platinum Producer No I.D. Gets Major Major Label Gig
Producer No I.D. earned his early stripes in the mid ’90s by producing the majority of Common’s material when the Chi-Town rhymer was rapping as Common Sense. That’s how long No I.D. has been putting it down.
Since then, he’s done beat work for Jay-Z (he co-produced “Run This Town” with Kanye West), Kanye West, Big Sean, Rick Ross, Nas and Method Man, among others. Now, No I.D. has been named Executive Vice President of A&R for Def Jam Recordings.
He also has an exclusive label deal through the seminal rap imprint for his own Artium Recordings. In the new role, No I.D. (who put out “Accept Your Own & Be Yourself [The Black Album]” in 1997) will oversee projects of new and current artists and will be actively seeking out new talent. This is exactly the type of music industry executive rappers and rap fans need in a position of power. For No I.D., it’s about the music -- as it should be.
For more from Soren Baker follow him on Twitter: @SorenBaker.