Happy 44th Birthday Tupac

June 16th, 1971 - a Hip Hop legend was born.

Still idolized to this day, Tupac had the juice, the knowledge, the character, the hunger of an ambitious and passionate not just rapper but humanist, too. From bookworm to poet, actor to artist, and thug to activist, Tupac remains (and will forever remain) an idol of the culture.

Every Tupac aficionado knows there was so much more to Tupac than the uncensored, big mouthed and strong willed individual. He was true to his artistry and real to the people, which is what made him to be loved by so many. 

Below is the Tupac fix you've feened for all day in celebration for the icons birthday (and every other day).

You're welcome.


Music:


Movies:

Unfortunately, it's not so easy to legally find a full movie to watch online (especially if it's from the '90s) but if you're a risk taker and you're dying to watch a Tupac film, check out these three trailers below and Google away!


Interviews:


Documentaries:


Poems:

Code Green

Providence, Rhode Island hip hop trio, Code Green, has been putting in work as a collective since 2009 and now, with their recently dropped visual for their catchy single "Too Silly,"  fans and new listeners catch onto the CG wave.

Their vibrant, colorful and scenic music video premiered on AshleyOutrageous.com February 2, 2015.

As a fan of Code Green myself, JRecognize linked up with ER, Evo and Nesi (the CG trio) for a short yet informative interview that took place on The Gold Factory radio show regarding "Too Silly" and what fans should be on the look out for, among other things.


We’ve been working underground for a while now just trying to get our shit right. Just so it’s like... once we come, we come hard.
— Code Green

Musical chemistry for the trio was found back in their high school days and as they continued to have fun with their style, Code Green has had the diligence to develop their sound before releasing any material to the public. "We've been working underground for a while now just trying to get our shit right. Just so it's like... once we come, we come hard," said Code Green.

Influences for the trio come from an array of different genres and musical styles. From alternative to R&B and Michael Jackson to Max B, Code Green appreciates good music with a fresh sound. "Just crazy sounding shit that can just open up my mind to new things," as they described it.

They don't label or perceive themselves as strictly East Coast artists, as they believe that the East Coast versus West Coast Hip Hop history is a thing of the past. Avoiding the regional barriers, Code Green's sound goes beyond the Providence and is relatable to Hip Hop listeners who have an ear for various Hip Hop styles.  "We just make songs that we would like to listen to," they said, adding that they do have down south bounce that rides, storytelling and palm tree vibes. 

Young Thug's flow is currently a heavy influence, alongside Future. Thugger is an artist they're eager to collaborate with.

The hip hop scene in Rhode Island is very much present and with Boston emerging not too far away, Code Green said that they've been grinding hand in hand. "It's all love between us. We all know where everybody stands and we all know each other," said Code Green. 

"At the end of the day, what's competition," they said, "Obviously, we're all competing in this field but it's like everybody got their own lane and there's enough room for everybody to do their own thing."

Unexpectedly, "Too Silly" acclaimed house party playlist fame so the trio decided it was time to not only give it a visual but create their first music video, which was directed by John Greene. "If you think about it, a lot of things can be too silly," they said, "Your outlook on certain things or your opinion on something."

All these different types of vibes that you can catch but it works cohesively.
— Code Green

Within the next month, Code Green is set out to provide the listeners with more than just "Too Silly." Having revisited a current project multiple times that has been in the works, they are focused on making it fresh and adding new things before they make any official announcements. "There's a lot of different flavors," they described, "It's like a color wheel. All these different colors. All these different types of vibes that you can catch but it works cohesively." 

Make sure you stay on the look out for Code Green's upcoming project release and if you want to stay posted on all things Code Green, click on one of the buttons below. 

One morning, One decision, One summer, One hour

Taking my love for Hip Hop to another level started when I took a course called "Rap, Culture, and God," spring semester of this year.

After taking that course I decided to enroll in the Hip Hop minor offered here at the University of Arizona's department of Africana Studies, having introduced the nation's first Hip Hop minor (maybe even the world).  

This, at the moment, was what I thought would embark me to become not just a fan of Hip Hop but a student of Hip Hop (and it did). 

As summer vacation soon approached, I decided to see if I could possibly apply what I had learned so far into the field. It felt like a long shot because I was, truly, fresh off the boat and was well aware that there was much more I needed to learn. But what can you lose from putting yourself out there and seeing what can happen, right? I knew I was passionate enough. 

So there I was, visiting all Hip Hop related websites, many of which I frequently visit and others that I had stumbled upon for the first time. I looked for that "Internships" tab or the "Contact" tab, typically at the bottom of the sites homepage and sent in my resume and cover letter. 

Time passes and I receive a reply from the Editor in Chief of HipHopDX.com, Justin Hunte, simply stating, "Our internships are based in Los Angeles. Will you be able to work out of Hollywood for the duration of the program?" And all I read was possibility. 

[Of course, there was a process of e-mails being received and sent, questions being asked and answered, and clarifications from both sides to be made within this period.]

Although I only had two weeks to make it happen, I did. 

I put in some extra hours at work, collected enough money to change the tires on my car, moved out early from my apartment at the time and found a place to stay in Los Angeles. 

From one morning, one decision, and one summer, my life changed forever. I went from a fan, to a student, to an intern, to a contributor of Hip Hop. Now... I am all of the above. 

The internship lasted a little over two months and I returned home right back in time before my senior year of college started. 

Within those two months, I met and made friendships with some amazing people. Not only that, but I worked under some of the most talented and respected (in my eyes) journalists in the industry. 

Before departing the HHDX office, Justin Hunte had what he calls "exit interviews" with each of the Summer 2014 interns. Exit interviews are simply meant for seeing the interns perspective on the program, what improvements can be made, and reflecting on the experience, usually lasting about fifteen minutes. 

Of course, my exit interview lasted no where near the fifteen minutes. I mean, who could blame me right? I was talking to the Editor-in-Chief of HHDX! "The Company Man." The man who changed the course of my summer, offered me the opportunity of a lifetime, and now I had the time to sit down, one on one with him. 

One hour later the interview ended with me asking him all the questions. I learned an abundance of information in this one hour just as much as I did over the course of the two months. Okay, maybe that's an exaggeration, but I did learn a lot! If it wasn't for the DX Daily we easily would've been out there (in the patio where the interviews took place) for at least another hour.

Needless to say, in that one hour outside under the California sun, I got a horrible shorts tan. Three months later and I can still see the tan lines. It was all worth it though! 

Even though I wish we had more time to talk that afternoon, I got enough from that interview to recognize Justin Hunte on the site and do a write up. I know eventually, I will be able to add more to the story. But until then...  I hope you enjoy what came from the one hour that I had with "The Company Man."

In love with Hip-Hop

Since I have been getting more and more involved with the Hip Hop community, I feel it is only right for me to write where my love for it lies. 

Hip Hop is that genre that has many underlying sub-categories, satisfying everyone from the straight thug with a gat in his back strap to the full-time college student who has pb sandwiches on the menu everyday. 

I like to say that Hip Hop found me because when it did... I found a lot of myself. Just like I know many other Hip Hop heads did when they first heard that ONE Hip Hop song that changed everything.

Unfortunately, Hip Hop, like many individuals who love it, is misunderstood.

Yes, N.W.A showed their hatred towards the police in '88. Yes, Dr. Dre said "bitches ain't shit" in '92. Yes, Common also voiced his concern for where Hip Hop was headed in '94. Yes, Mobb Deep did not believe that halfway crooks existed in '95. Yes, Jay Z was pimpin' women in '99. Yes, we were painted a vivid picture of rape and suicide by Immortal Technique in '01. Yes, A$AP Mob has hella hoes today. 

But Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five delivered a powerful message in '82. Ll Cool J needed love in '87. Ice Cube had a good day in '92. Tupac showed his unconditional love to his momma in '95. Bone-Thugs-n-Harmony displayed their undying faith in God, staying constant on prayer in '96. Notorious B.I.G. and 112 said the sky is the limit in '97. Nas encouraged children that they can be whoever they want to be in '02. 

Just like you can find the bad areas of a beautiful city, the crumbs in the bottom of your delicious Lay's chips bag, the burgers that look nothing like those in an advertisement, and your favorite pair of white kicks that will eventually get dirty... Hip Hop has it's "flaws." 

But you can find beautiful people in the bad areas of a city, those chips had no choice but to crumble through the shipment and travel, those misrepresented burgers still taste good, and those white kicks can be cleaned. 

It's the swaying, smooth bumps of "The Jam (remix)" by Consequence that causes me to get lost in the night. It's the classic Hip Hop, funk blend from Sugar Hill Gangs "Rapper's Delight" that makes my hips wiggle and my shoulders roll.  It's A Tribe Called Quest's "Bonita Applebum" sweet beat that gets me weak at the knees. It's the jazzy rap in Digable Planet's "Rebirth of Slick" that gets me to start snapping my fingers . It's the harmonization in Lauren Hill's "Doo Wop" that soothes my soul. 

So why am I in love with Hip Hop? It's simple. Because Hip Hop is in love with me.

She saw me for me and nothing else. Caught me slippin' on the slopes of life and swooped me up in her whip on a warm summer evening. Showed me her intangible substance and leaked her way into my heart.

She appreciates creativity. She speaks when I am speechless. She loves poetry the same way I love poetry. She is empathetic where others may only be sympathetic. She saves the lives of those who feel victimized. She can be the light at the end of a very narrow tunnel. She evolves as the world around her evolves, ever-changing with the seasons but her roots remaining in tact.

There's so much to her. A woman rich in history, in trials and tribulations, in victories and successes. I would need a whole other website to delve into her many stories, her many wonders... 

And after all she's been through, Hip Hop discriminates nobody. She welcomes everyone with open arms to come and tune in while you're strolling in the park, cruisin' with your windows down in the neighborhood or simply lazing in your bed.

Hip Hop has a home for each individual. Whether it be for the graffiti artist, the emcee, the dancer or the deejay or, of course, the fan.  

Thank you Hip Hop for showing love and being there for the activists that changed the course of history, the legends, the street corner mobs, the down the alley cypher groups in the Bronx, the underground head bobbers, the got no other option dealers, the dreamers, the misunderstood and the now not so hopeless or lonely individual.