Friday Rap-Up: Maestro Jeff Hughes, Snoop Dogg, Diddy, Kanye West
Ever since he started roaming the streets of Denver last year and then putting the footage on YouTube, Maestro Jeff Hughes has been a hot commodity. As Colorado’s own hip-hop violinist, Hughes impresses even the most critical of hip-hop haters by deftly adding a classical touch to hip-hop classics. But now Hughes is getting a bunch of attention for covering the Foo Fighters’ “The Pretender” for the My Grammy Moment contest making the top 15. On Monday February 4, the top 3 instrumentalists will be announced. But for now, check out Hughes covering Jay-Z, The Firm, and Lupe Fiasco at The Roxy earlier this month:
Snoop Dogg hosts sixth annual Snoop Bowl
For the last six years now, Snoop has taken his Los Angeles Pop Warner football team to the city where the Super Bowl is held and offering to take on all challengers. This year the Snoop Dogg All-Stars youth football team will head down to Phoenix on February 2 to battle against the best youth players Arizona has to offer.
"For five years now we have had a great time organizing and preparing for the Snoop Bowl. It gives the kids a reason to work and play hard throughout the season, knowing that it all culminates on this day," Snoop Dogg said in a statement. "It is about so much more than the game, the Snoop Youth Football League gives kids hope and meaning outside of just the sport."
Snoop’s all-star team is made up of kids who participate in his Snoop Youth Football League in L.A. which now includes more than 3,000 kids. A portion of the proceeds will go towards Arizona Cardinal Matt Leinart’s Foundation, who will also be in attendance.
Diddy looking for new assistant on VH1
Last year, Diddy (soon to be Sean John?) made headlines by hosting a YouTube contest looking for a new personal assistant. Apparently the chick that was chosen didn’t work out because the hip-hop mogul is on the hunt again for a new assistant – and VH1 is documenting the entire process.
The search for the top 20 candidates to appear on the show begins this weekend in several cities including New York, Atlanta, Chicago, and Los Angeles. If you’re interested in being humiliated by one of hip-hop’s hardest-to-work-for bosses, check out the website and fill out the application.
Kanye ends mourning with national tour
The last couple of months have been a time of mourning for Kanye West after losing his mother in November, even though he finished his European tour. Now the rap superstar is ready to get back to work in the States. Kanye announced on his blog that his U.S. and Canadian tour, titled “Glow in the Dark,” will feature Rihanna, Lupe Fiasco, and the Pharrell Williams-led band N*E*R*D.
No dates have been announced, but Fiasco is currently finishing up a tour promoting his new album The Cool and both Pharrell and Rihanna are in the studio working on their respective new projects.
The Next Step
Big who? Yeah, even some of the most die-hard hip-hop heads may not know who Big John is but he’s trying to change that. The Tacoma, Washington rapper has tapped Kool G Rap, Canibus, Ra the Rugged Man, and Esoteric to appear on his album with production from unknown beatsmiths Loptimist (South Korea), DC The Midi Alien (USA), Carling Edno (Italy), Beyonder (USA), Lizzo (Germany) and others.
You really can’t get more underground than New Jersey-based emcee Y@k Balls. Although he’s been on the indie hip-hop scene since the '90s, 2006’s Scifentology grabbed a bunch of attention because of its affiliation with hip-hop clothing company Scifen. Now he’s returned with Scifentology II, more of that gritty, underground hip-hop with production from Aesop Rock, Camu Tao and Mondee.
Philadelphia duo Young Gunz (Young Chris and Young Neef) was the victim of the headline grabbing Roc-A-Fella Records dissolution a few years ago. Now launching a label of their own, Chris and Neef have released Rapid Fire, their fourth album together. What can you expect from former Roc-A-Fella artists? Drugs, money and murder, of course!