There is no sugar coating what occurred in Ferguson, MO on August 9. Michael Brown’s death is nothing short of a tragedy, and quite frankly, it’s hard to say anything about this heartbreaking event–and those which followed–that hasn’t already been said.
However, it is important to keep the conversation going, to consistently spread conscious and accurate information, and to promote strong, influential voices during a time when so many feel voiceless.
As the protests rage on, now spreading into other states, the Hip-Hop community remains vocal, some taking to the booth, others to social media, and a few to the streets of Ferguson. J. Cole, among one the most vocal figures in Hip-Hop to address Michael Brown’s death, made it out to Ferguson to show support, and also released the cracked-voiced and emotionally heavy track, “Be Free.”
In response to the saddening events, Big Krit (pictured above) shared with HardKnock that he’s just glad artists and civilians alike are taking a stand. Continue reading
On Friday, August 22, BMI congratulated Ludacris with the 2014 BMI President’s Award at the BMI R&B/Hip-Hop Awards ceremony.
The red carpet rolled out on Hollywood Boulevard for a star-studded guest list, which included the likes of Mike Will, Chris Brown, DJ Mustard, Big Krit, Eric Bellinger, Faith Evans, Future, and many more. And while the awards honored many songwriters, producers and publishers of the most-performed R&B/hip-hop songs of the past year, this night belonged to Luda.
According to the BMI President & CEO, Mike O’Neil,“The President’s Award is bestowed to an individual who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in songwriting with profound global influence on culture and the entertainment industry. Christopher ‘Ludacris’ Bridges’ songs traverse boundaries and reach listeners of all genres, making him a global presence. Additionally, his philanthropic efforts go beyond measure with the work he does by way of his charitable organization, The Ludacris Foundation, making him a natural for the BMI President’s Award.”
On winning the President’s Award, Ludacris told HardKnock TV:
It’s about 12:45 a.m. on a warm summer night in Los Angeles, and the writer of this article has just jumped into an Uber after leaving a listening event for DJ Mustard’s latest release, 10 Summers. No less than 5 minutes go by during the commute when Trey Songz “Na Na,” produced by the same DJ Mustard, invades the airspace. Reaffirming a topic of discussion held only a few hours prior, the same writer says quietly to himself, “Wow…DJ Mustard really is everywhere.” His companion in the back seat emphatically replies, “Yup.”, as they both casually bounce their shoulders throughout the ride home.
To say that DJ Mustard has grown in popularity would be a gross understatement. He is the producer at the moment, with his sound being ubiquitous on just about every urban radio station (more on that later) and club in the country. Ever since landing a mega hit with Tyga’s “Rack City,” Mustard has continued to pound out tracks, creating a trademark sound that has been in demand by the hottest artists in the industry. Continue reading
Get the behind the scenes as Nick talks to Common about Chicago and hangs backstage with Save Money’s Vic Mensa and Chance The Rapper, Z-Trip, Run The Jewels (Killer Mike, EL-P and Trackstar), Fitz and The Tantrums ‘ Noelle Scaggs, and Chromeo. Video also Chicago rapper ADD-2 giving us insight into Chicago and performances from Vic Mensa and Chance The Rapper. Cant forget the Chicago deep dish! After hearing all the hype we had to try it out for ourselves! Thanks to the good folks at Canon for making Nick and Hard Knock TV part of their #BRINGIT campaign! All footage from festival was filmed with VIXIA Mini X and Canon 5D Mark III.
Take a journey with Hard Knock TV’s Nick Huff Barili as he visits Chicago to experience Lollapalooza for the first time. Along the way Nick hangs backstage with Save Money’s Vic Mensa and Chance The Rapper, Z-Trip, Run The Jewels (Killer Mike, EL-P and Trackstar), Fitz and The Tantrums ‘ Noelle Scaggs, and Chromeo. Video also includes performances from Vic Mensa, Chance The Rapper and Run The Jewels with guest appearance by Z-Trip. Make sure you check out the Behind The Scenes video for more! Thanks to the good folks at Canon for making Nick and Hard Knock TV part of their #BRINGIT campaign! All footage from festival was filmed with VIXIA Mini X and Canon 5D Mark III.
On Saturday August 9th, Hard Knock suited up with the homies for our annual Hard Knock Hoops 3×3 celebrity basketball tournament which took place at LA Live this year. The star-studded event saw the likes of Chris Brown, Game, Taco (of Odd Future), Quincy, Steelo Brim, Pac Div, Thurz, DJ Khalil, DJ Bizzy and Ben Lyons among other industry influencers, all going head to head for the chance to take home that prized number one slot. As it turns out, your boy, Chef Dubble, knows how to do a little more than just flambé some lamb chops. The celebrity chef and his squad came out on top, proudly walking away with the Hard Knock Hoops division trophy and some seriously well-deserved bragging rights.
I recently stopped by the studio of up-and-coming recording artist, Luke Christopher, to chop it up about the different projects he had brewing. When I walked in, he was mid-meeting with one of Hip-Hop’s most prominent DJ/producers, busy politicking about some unannounced collaborations on the down low. But from the jump, the good vibes were infectious. The young hit-maker spoke about his music with a fire in his eyes, and when it was my time to chat with him, I understood why.
The Los Angeles native has so much to look forward to in the near future: a position locked in to begin a West Coast tour with Juicy J, an independently released mixtape in the works, and his official debut album dropping soon after that.
Only hours before Sir Michael Rocks dropped his debut solo album, he agreed to some good ol’fashion Q&A with Hard Knock TV, blessing us with an exclusive perspective on the highly anticipated project.
The 15-track full-length, titled Banco, sees the Cool Kid rapper taking a matured approach to his music, hitting us with overloads of symbolism and personal philosophies. Even with a heavy line-up of featured artists, including Mac Miller, Iamsu!, DJ Mustard, Twista, Too $hort, and, fellow Cool Kid, Chuck Inglish, Mikey isn’t overshadowed as he keeps a ferocious, yet cool, stance throughout the creative brainchild.
In part three of our in-depth interview with Young Guru, he talks with Nick Huff Barili about a couple post he made of twitter. Nick asks Guru to elaborate on what he meant when he posted: “No offense but Jean-Michel Basquiat can’t touch this man. Dondi was king!!! Style Master General!!!…” Guru explains that Basquiat gets more praise because certain “taste-makers” co-sign him as one of the greats but in his book Guru thinks Dondi Cia is the best. Guru thinks that Basquiat theory of art is great but Basquiat actual pieces don’t resonate with him. There is also the debate of Street art vs Gallery art. Dondi did a lot of his work in the train yards where he had to be on the look out for authorities and other crews as well as dealing with other elements that an artist doing gallery pieces wouldn’t have to deal with. The second topic Guru addresses is his post that stated “When the news stays on a story this long with no new information, it’s time to pay close attention to the government.” Guru points out that the law to create Federal Reserve system was slid in the day before people went on Christmas break so that no one would object to it. Such a monumental law which Guru points out is illegal by our constitution, should be debated and not just passed under the radar. Guru says that when news media is focused solely on one story for long periods of time, that there are other stories not being covered. He makes sure to particularly pay attention at those times to see what is not being told.
Business As Usual: Dilated Peoples Return After Eight Years Apart With Their Release, Directors of Photography
There are few things in life that one can take a significant time away from, and then resume with the same level of skill as if they had never left. Riding a bike, or swimming might come to mind, but generally speaking, it is more difficult than easy to just “pick up where you left off”. The same could be said for friendships and relationships, though when the situation occurs where time and distance doesn’t interfere with the original chemistry, it can be a beautiful thing. In music, these examples seem more a rarity than common occurrence, but for the L.A. based hip-hop trio Dilated Peoples, it appears being apart hasn’t hindered them one bit. In fact, their upcoming release titled, Directors of Photography might prove that Continue reading