The Rap-Up is a weekly round-up of all things hip-hop. Check it out every Wednesday.
Def Jam’s impact is highlighted in a new book, Soulja Boy’s rise gets documented and Hollywood Floss shows that he’s more than a name -- read on for The Rap-Up.
Def Jam Book Sheds Light On Label’s Remarkable Impact
Plenty has been said about the impact of Def Jam Recordings on the rap world and the larger music industry but it’s still not enough. Consider that LL Cool, Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, Jay-Z, Ludacris, DMX, Ja Rule, Kanye West, Rihanna, Rick Ross and Young Jeezy are among a short list of artists signed to the label, and it’s staggering to see how much the venerable imprint founded by Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin has brought to the musical landscape.
In the new book “Def Jam Recordings: The First 25 Years of the Last Great Record Label,” former Def Jam employees Bill Adler (the label’s initial publicist) and Cey Adams (the imprint’s creative director) helmed the book and through interviews with artists and executives, the pair shed remarkable insight into one of rap’s most important brands. It’s essential reading for rap fans.
Soulja Boy’s Movie Shows The Evolution Of A Star
Soulja Boy became a sensation online and by the end of 2007 had sold more than 3 million mastertones of his “Crank That (Soulja Boy)” single. Today, the Atlanta-based rapper and entrepreneur stands as one of the earliest and best examples of how to become a superstar in the ever-evolving music industry.
His story has been documented in “Soulja Boy: The Movie.” Now available on DVD at Best Buy and Wal-Mart and online at Amazon.com, the film gives a fist-hand look at how Soulja Boy used his music, his computer and his online networking skills to become a phenomenon. The film was directed by Peter Spirer, who has directed such revered rap DVD releases as “Beef, Tupac Shakur: Thug Angel and Rhyme & Reason.” Watch and learn.
It’s Not All In A Name For Hollywood Floss
It’s said that it’s all in a name. One exception to the rule is Hollywood Floss. The emerging rapper isn’t from the city the movie industry made famous. Rather, he’s from Houston. Nonetheless, the Texan has material that demonstrates he may deserve some time in the spotlight.
His free album “One Fan A Time” features solid production and well-executed concepts and lyrics. “Dear Fans” salutes his followers and includes a well-placed and imaginative beat change, while “Champion SH!t” features him trading rhymes with Kidz in the Hall’s Naledge.
Although it’s not on “One Fan At A Time,” Floss also engages in some clever wordplay on “Attack of Hollywood REDUX,” where he cleverly weaves the name of actors and films into a compelling narrative, a la GZA/Genius. Hollywood Floss clearly isn’t in the same league as the Wu-Tang Claner yet, but he’s definitely got potential.
For more from Soren Baker follow him on Twitter: @SorenBaker.