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    ALLHIPHOP REVIEWS: Notorious C.O.P. (Book)
    Saturday. 9.2.06 9:08 pm
    Artist: Book Review
    Title: Notorious C.O.P. (Book)
    Rating:
    Reviewed by: Sidik Fofana

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    When the NYPD decides that it's going place heavy surveillance on a culture of black musicians, to say that an explanation is warranted is a ripe understatement. With the almighty dollar as a wonderful lubricant, retired NYPD detective Derrick Parker teams up with journalist Matt Diehl to shed apparency on what would otherwise be a riot inspiring case of racial profiling. Notorious C.O.P. (St. Martin's Press) is centered around the Miami Herald's discovery of a NYPD dossier which detailed the criminal activity of numerous rappers and their affiliates within the Hip-Hop industry.

    Notorious C.O.P. makes its readers petrifyingly aware that New York is a city which in some ways is still governed by crime. It is a city where many law offenders not only commit multiple crimes, but they also use the knowledge of their criminal surroundings as currency to lessen their own sentences. Derrick Parker gives shocking reflections of a city with a rotting skeleton of criminal behavior occurring at the most prestigious midtown bars and at the most humble Washington Heights villas alike.

    It is clear from the chapter "White Lines" that Hip-Hop crime has been a horrible mutant of the music's incestuous relationship with the drug world. In fact, for most of the rappers profiled in the book, crack was the initial investment that subsidized their career. Derrick Parker explains that laundering money into the rap industry is not uncommon, just like the whole druglord turned record executive phenomenon. Yet, Parker maintains that his book is not another work demonizing the rap community and also goes as far as to portray rappers themselves as victims of crime. Still, it is difficult to ignore that Hip-Hop has become violently siamesed with crime, leading to some of the most severe martyrdoms of our time, allegedly.

    Notorious C.O.P. is an intriguing book for the grown-up Hardy Boy type crowd who love holding the magnifying glass over both solved and unsolved cases. For Hip-Hop heads, it might be hard to swallow because Parker tends to disturb the sanctity of the dead. For one, he claims it was Biggie himself who ordered Tupac's 1994 shooting, and he also claims that Jam Master Jay was involved in a drug deal gone awry before his death. Notorious C.O.P. is a great story of what's really going on in the industry from a cop's viewpoint, but even the NYPD itself will tell you: examine the motive.

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    ALLHIPHOP FEATURE: Crunchy Black: Crunch Time
    Saturday. 9.2.06 9:02 pm
    F or Darnell Carlton, March 5, 2006 was supposed to be the payoff for over 15 years of loyalty and dedication. But, as Three-6-Mafia took home the Academy Award for Best Original Song, their performance marked one of the final times the man more commonly known as Crunchy Black would perform with the group. When remaining members Juicy J and DJ Paul resurfaced weeks later on HOT 97’s Summer Jam stage stating that their Oscar statue had replaced Crunchy Black, it merely confirmed the rumors that Memphis’ favorite rap collective was now a two-man operation.

    Breakups are usually ugly, and the rap game hardly an exception. Despite claims from both sides that there is no bad blood, accusations of underhanded business practices have left a cloud of controversy surrounding Crunchy’s rationale for leaving the group at the zenith of their popularity.

    While lines such as, “N***a I don’t rap anyway, N***a I rob,” have never caused anyone to label Crunchy Black a lyrical assassin, very few people would question his brutal honesty. After years of quietly playing the background and hitting fans with the occasional verse and his trademark “Gangsta' Walk,” Crunchy Black sounds off on his newfound solo status.

    AllHipHop.com: Most of us know how you got the nickname Crunchy Black, but who gave it to you?

    Crunchy Black: Where I'm from, Scudderfield, which is in North Memphis, me and another dude used to run together. Both of us were dark as hell, and back then, in the projects, you didn’t really call people on the phone. We’d just stand outside each other’s houses and holler for the person we wanted. Me and the other dude’s nicknames were both “Black,” so when someone was standing outside yelling, “Black,” we never knew which one of us it was for and we’d both be standing at our door. One day he said, “God damn it, we gonna' stop all this right here. We’re both black as hell, but your ass is crunchy, so I’mma call you Crunchy Black.” After that, people in the hood would holler out, “Crunchy Black,” and it just kind of stuck.

    AllHipHop.com: What were you listening to back then?

    Crunchy Black: We mostly jammed off of DJ Paul and Juicy J. Back then, they were just DJs and weren’t really rappers. They were actually the two crunkest DJs in Memphis. Whenever they used to get a job to do a party or something, we would just listen to whatever Paul and J had, then there this other DJ named Squeaky. He was jammin’ too.

    AllHipHop.com: When we think of the Memphis rap scene today songs like “Triggerman,” “Armed Robbery” and, of course, “Tear Da' Club Up” come to mind. What was it like to be around when those classics were being made?

    Crunchy Black: Ahh yeah, “Triggerman.” [8Ball] and [MJG], them some good boys. All that was a fun time.

    AllHipHop.com: You’ve become famous for “Gangsta Walking,” can you explain how that happened?

    Crunchy Black: Basically, back in them days that we were talking about, we used to all go to this club called Studio G, the G stood for gangster, so that pretty much tells you what kind of spot it was. Later it changed to The Plush Club, I heard that it might be getting shut down. But anyway, everybody would come up there at midnight to hear Paul, J and Squeaky, and the club wouldn’t shut down until after three in the morning. Paul and J would let their beats run for a whole hour, I’m talkin’ about s**t that’s loud with a whole bunch of bass and noise in it. Even when the song started to go off, they’d either bring it back or mix it in with another cut.

    So during that time, everybody is getting buck, getting crunk. We used to have this thing called, “Last Man Standing.” That’s where you’d try to invent a new dance, even if the s**t was bad. This one dude was doing it, but he was f**kin’ it up. We all knew that he was doing it wrong, but he just kept on dancing. So, I really didn’t invent the “Gangsta’ Walk,” but I was so tough that I became the champ at that s**t.

    AllHipHop.com: Would you say that winning the Oscar last year was your highest point?

    Crunchy Black: Yeah, but there was a lot that led up to that point. People were always buying our s**t, but when you get that award it exposes you to a whole different set of people so you can sell more records. Paul and Juicy are smart like a motherf**ker, so throughout this whole time dealing with Sony they were doing the right deals.

    I think they outsmarted Sony, because it got to a point where they didn’t really need the label and they threatened to leave. That was the whole thing behind Most Known Unknown, ‘cause they was going Gold or still getting good paper no matter how many records we sold based off how the deal was. Now with this record, you see three videos and n***as on 106 & Park, ‘cause [Sony] wanna' put them out there and see how much they can get.

    AllHipHop.com: That’s some pretty high praise for your former group members, so it doesn’t seem like a beef thing. What led to you leaving the group?

    Crunchy Black: Part of it was that, besides Project Pat, I felt like I was the only real n***a. If you look at Most Known Unknown, that really was most of my s**t. I had made an album called From Me To You: 1 The Hard Way, and they used some of that material for this new album. It’s my ideas, but I’m one whose verses are getting cut on “Stay Fly” and “Poppin’ My Collar.” For me to be down with them n***as for 15, 16 years and be a real n***a, I felt that I deserved better than that. And when I say that, I don’t want people to think that it’s beef or no s**t like that.

    A lot of other people had left the group because they didn’t feel like they were getting taken care of as far as the money was concerned. I was tired of my [solo] album getting ignored, so really I was gonna leave before this album even came out, but I stayed for one more year. When it came time to get the record ready, Paul and J come telling me that I need to pay $50,000 for an entertainment lawyer, so I gave them the $50,000. When we get there to have the meeting with the lawyer, everybody’s telling me I have to wait outside.

    AllHipHop.com: So all that time your money wasn’t being handled correctly?

    Crunchy Black: Yeah, but I’m a real n***a so I just have to charge that one to the game. You can take my songs and each get $150,000 off of it, but I can’t see no royalties? When I got home, I hired my own lawyer and he told me that for $50,000 he’d represent me for life! To look over a contract is only about $75 and for an entertainment lawyer, [$2,000] is really too much to be paying, let alone [$50,000] -you feel what I’m saying?

    AllHipHop.com: Was that when you decided to leave?

    Crunchy Black: Nah, the last straw was that whole time that we touring, I’m having to come out of my pocket and get my own hotel rooms and rent cars and s**t. We had got pulled over ‘cause the n***a that was driving was doing some crazy s**t. Since we were by the border of Mexico the police searched the car, they had the dogs and everything. Now I was sleep this whole time before they searched the car, and I had some weed on me but they never found anything. All of a sudden, when we get to the venue Paul is talking about I almost got us locked up. How? The cop ain’t pull us over because he smelled weed, he pulled us over because the n***a who y’all had driving was f**kin’ up. So after that they come sending one of my boys to tell me that I have to find my own way to the next show; they didn’t even come tell me themselves and we’re supposed to have been tight for 15 years. They’re the ones with the tour bus, and I’m coming out of pocket to get myself to the venue and getting there before them! Sony’s sending them money, but I’m checking myself into the hotel every time and paying for my own room.

    People had left the group ‘cause of their money not being done right and other stuff too, but if it’s only three n***as in the group there’s no excuse not to pay a n***a. So while we were in New York, I called Sony and told them that I was leaving the group. That next day I got on a plane and left. And it ain’t no beef, I’m not about to make a record talking about I want to kill Paul and J or no s**t like that. I don’t appreciate that s**t they did as far as my money and taking my songs, but I learned a lot about the business from them. If you’re a fan of them, stay a fan, don’t jump over on my bandwagon ‘cause of what happened between me and them.

    AllHipHop.com: There were originally quite a few members of Three-6-Mafia. Now that you’re a soloist, do you talk with them?

    Crunchy Black: I’ve got my crew called The Real Hard Hitters. LaChat tried to do some f**k s**t and come out with a crew called The Hard Hitters, but that’s just some copycat s**t. If you look on my website which is www.myspace.com/crunchyblackandtherealhardhitters then you can tell the difference. On our CDs, it looks just like the Tennessee [license plate] and the logo is in the corner.

    I had Gangsta Boo down in the studio at my house one time, but she was rapping some old Three-6 stuff. It ain’t nothing personal, but this is something new so we got to leave all of that old stuff behind. If we’re going to do something you’ve got to come with some new raps and s**t, don’t nobody want to hear that old s**t. And Lord Infamous was just lost, lost in the sauce on them drugs, so I can’t do anything with him.

    All this time I had my real n***as from back home telling me, “Come on Crunchy, open up a studio or something so we don’t have to be out here selling this s**t!” I’m down to help anyone who’s down to help themselves. I told them that once they got their act together we could do something. These are my same three boys who’ve been down with me this whole time, Pharaoh “The Prince of The City,” Explosive and Buck 4 Luck.

    AllHipHop.com: Are you still affiliated with Sony or are you independent?

    Crunchy Black: I’ve been talking with Ruthless Records and Ruff Ryders. I’m leaning toward Ruff Ryders because when I sat down and talked with them, they just kept it real with me. Plus, it makes more sense to go with someone who can get me out to that area where they might not be that familiar with me.

    AllHipHop.com: Any last words?

    Crunchy Black: We’re coming to every city. If you need studio time and you’re trying to do something positive and get some money in your pocket we’re going to see you. When I came home I didn’t know what to do. I just prayed that if God would help me then I’d put this good word out. We’ll help you get that paper, but if you’re on that bulls**t, we can’t do anything for you.

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    Daily Hip-Hop News:SOHH Exclusive: Method Man, "The Indie Route Is The Best Route Right Now"
    Saturday. 9.2.06 8:49 pm

    Friday - September 1, 2006 by Carl Chery
    Method Man

    With his fourth solo album, 4:21: The Day After, hitting stores, Method Man spoke to SOHH.com on the state of hip-hop and his preferences on independent labels versus major companies.

    After releasing albums via major labels for well over a decade, Method Man has since himself gone from a priority to an act fighting for his company's support. In fact, independence is looking pretty good to Mef these days.

    "The indie route is the best route right now, all you need is distribution. You don't necessarily need the record companies anymore," Mef told SOHH.com. "That's why I root for the underdog. I'd love to see more independents doing shit, for the simple fact that I'm tired of getting raped." [Watch]

    He may be turned off by majors, but Mef isn't part of the "hip-hop is dead" bandwagon like most veteran artists. He just thinks some key emcees aren't given a voice.

    "What do I think of the state of NY hip-hop? Well NY hip-hop, I mean it's still here just the right motherfuckers just ain't being heard, and like I said, the media is playing a big part in that, cause they poppin all that shit like we ain't significant anymore, but a lot of it has to do with the music," he explained. "There's this new production going on now and It's like either you get with it or get lost. It's like NY always had its own sound and shit, you know niggas is stubborn, 'we ain't trying to do that, let them do that, that's they thing, we ain't trying to do what they do, that's they thing, let them do that, we gonna do us.' It all comes back around though, they gonna want the grimy shit again." [Watch]

    Method Man's 4:21: The Day After is in stores now.

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    Another Whoop-Dee-Damn-Doo VMA Blog!
    Saturday. 9.2.06 8:04 am
    Fuck, has it been another year already?

    mtv-moonman.jpg

    Due to prior obligations, I couldn’t attend the VMAs to give you folks the lowdown on what was really goins on… so we’re just gonna do what we do best. Thank god last night’s production was by far the worst VMA I’d ever seen. We’re gonna sit around in a circle and light these niggas up.

    Nacho, you’ve really let yourself go, haven’t you? Jack Black look like he bout halfway to Chris Farley. Okay, maybe only a third. But he’s definitely a space cowboy with Burger King in his food tube.

    Speaking of big, bucking chicken… why does Rihanna sound like Penelope Cruz? I’ve never heard her speak aside from announcing the award with 2005 Johnny Mathis. (Yes, that’s a closet joke.)

    I was, of course, paying attention to the cutaways and seating arrangements just as much as you were. Did Jay-Z and Nas really have to sit next to one another like best buddies? Got Kelis and Beyonce on the outsides posted up like The First Wifeys’ Club. Boss lady got her ring. I wonder how long Hova is gonna pipe for free.

    Did y’all catch that Beyonce performance? It was pretty good. I respect going live with the dance routine a la Janet Jackson in her prime, pre-titty. However, what the fuck is goin on? I am convinced Beyonce goes to the bleach clinic. She continues to get lighter every time. A couple years ago I thought I was watching a J-Lo performance on SNL. This time she came out looking like Carmen Sandiego. I’m waiting for some 11-year-olds to run around dropping placemarkers on the floor looking for Uzbekistan.

    Switching gears, All-American Rejects really ripped shit. They also got hella ripped. When they won their award I don’t think they had any idea they were even up. Dude was blented, coked up and talking to hoes. Did you see the acceptance speech? “I’m getting sooooo trashed tonight.” Yet the rappers are supposed to be the bad influence on little Timmy in Idaho.

    I'm surprised them backstage cameras didn't catch nobody snortin up or puffin on a vanilla Dutch.

    You know who else is filthy? Panic! At The Disco. That was one of the better live performances I’ve seen at the VMA. The dudes on the treadmills were cool. If only Jamiroquai hadn’t shut that routine down 10 years ago, it would have been really impressive.

    WTF is up with Jared Leto? Wasn’t he a semi-respectable actor at one point. Oh… Jake Gyllenhaal took all his cookies, didn’t he? Daaaamn, homie! In high school you was the maaaan, homie. The fuck happened to you? I remember cats used to want to be him. Little did we know Jared wanted to be Freddie Mercury, but settled for lead singer of The White Stripes. (Except Jack White will lean your punk ass.) I guess this is J-Let’s final role.

    Damn, I gotta get up on my white boy music. I’ve obviously been slippin this year. Too much “Chain Hang Low.”

    You know something is wrong with the VMAs when that Stayfree maxi pad commercial Shakira and Wyclef made is nominated for like fitty-leven moonmen. Sweet Christ! Do you think Clef hit it?

    Puffy is getting more Deion Sanders by the day. As this thought crossed my mind, Young Dro and T.I. come out to “Shoulder Lean.” “Now I’m ridin’ Deion!” Strange, indeed.

    I can’t be the only nigga that likes “loaded AYYYY! OHHHH!” better than “loaded .44” in “What You Know” can I?

    What the fuck was Napoleon of the South doing with that chorus of retarded children? Was that the well-behaved MIS class of Bankhead? Looked like Jerry’s Kids doin the lean wit it, rock wit it.

    On the subject of retards and otherwise Special Olympic hopefuls, I've never suggested or endorsed anything like this even in jest, but... If you watch “Laguna Beach,” kill yourself.

    Peace to Chamillionaire. No jokes this time. He got burned one of the hardest on the blog this season. His acceptance was truly heartwarming and he deserved that shit. "Ridin’" was definitely the best video out of the ones nominated. Kanye believes the outcome would have been different had “Touch The Sky” been nominated instead of “Gold Digger” but eh, fuck Kanye.

    Also, fuck Fergie. How she gets to come on stage without Peas is beyond me. Their entire institution disgusts me as you all well know.

    Eh, fuck that little girl too. Little Miss Sunshine or whatever. She can’t read or dance and she ain’t gonna be “cute” forever. She better watch Macaulay Culkin’s moves real close or else she gonna be on Flavor of Love in 15 years.

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    SPOTLIGHT: MY TOP SOURCES
    Saturday. 9.2.06 7:53 am
    I WANT TO JUST PUT SOME OF MY TOP SOURCES UP

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