Tag Archives: rap

Flushing resident to co-produce Asian rapper documentary


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Jaeki Cho


To Flushing resident Jaeki Cho, rap lyrics were his textbooks.

Born in Korea, Cho immigrated to Elmhurst as a child. He didn’t speak English well, but listening to hip-hop music on media outlets, such as Hot 97 and BET’s 106 & Park, helped with the language adjustment, while inspiring his love of rap.

His attraction to hip-hop ballooned as he grew older.Eventually, he started writing about rap and urban music, most recently as an editor for XXL magazine.

Like Cho, people of various ethnicities besides African-Americans are engrossed in hip-hop, even as performers. Although the genre is heavily dominated by blacks, rappers of other cultures have broken mainstream American and international hip-hop charts, but Asians have yet to have a champion in the U.S. Cho is co-producing a documentary entitled “Bad Rap,” aiming to explain why Asian rappers have not gained that attention.

“For the international spectrum, hip hop has become more global than other [genres],” Cho said. “If you go to Korea, you are going to see Korean rappers; if you go to France, you’ll see French rappers. In terms of how it is in America, there are limitations for rappers that aren’t African-American.”

The film will be directed and produced by hip-hop writer Salima Koroma, who originally reached out to Cho as a student at Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. The pair talked about the field of Asian musicians, which progressed to the idea of the film.

In a year and a half, the pair has completed a 40-minute feature and teasers. They have raised more than $14,100, as of press time, on crowdfunding site indiegogo.com, and are seeking to raise $25,000 to complete a full 70-minute documentary, which they hope to premiere later this year in New York.

The film features four Asian rappers, including Queens’ own Awkwafina and Rekstizzy, on the brink of exploding in mainstream hip-hop, but for various reasons haven’t become household names. Cho said the movie will explain the complexity of being an Asian rapper through the characters, as well as their individual struggles. He believes it could get the conversation started on a large scale.

“I think this film could shed light on a lot of things,” Cho said. “If it does well commercially, I’m sure the artists in the film will get recognition from more people.”

He added, “The kids that are going to be watching this of Asian descent … they are probably going to feel, ‘This is the same kind of issue that I face.’”

 

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‘BEASTIE BOYS’ MCA Dead at 47


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Beastie Boys” rapper MCA – real name Adam Yauch – has died.

In 2009, MCA announced he was being treated for a cancerous parotid gland and a lymph node (below). He has since undergone surgery and radiation therapy.

So far, it’s not clear if the death is related to the rapper’s battle with cancer.

Russell Simmons‘ website GlobalGrind.com first reported the death. We have spoken to people independently connected to the rapper who also say he is dead.

MCA co-founded Beastie Boys in 1979 with Mike D, and Ad Rock. The group has won multiple Grammys and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year.

MCA became a vegan at the recommendation of his Tibetan doctors.

Yauch is survived by his wife and daughter. He was 47. Read More: TMZ

Top Headlines From Around the Web


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Queens couple found dead by son, 2, in apparent murder-suicide

A man is believed to have shot and killed his girlfriend before turning the gun on himself –leaving their two-year-old son to make the grisly discovery inside their bedroom, sources said. The apparent murder-suicide took place in the family’s South Jamaica home on Dillon Street yesterday. Roxanne Lambert, 41, and her partner, whose name has not been released, were found dead with gunshot wounds to the head at 11:30 p.m., sources said. Lambert’s 16-year-old son was also home when the tragedy unfolded. Relatives said the couple had a rocky relationship and were often heard arguing. Read More: New York Post

 

Brangelina to tie knot in France

They won’t be America’s sweethearts much longer. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie plan to tie the knot at their sprawling estate in France this summer — and then live in England for at least the next two years, according to published reports yesterday. The famed Tinseltown couple has spent the last six months quietly planning to hold a lavish wedding ceremony at their manse near the village of Correns, in the south of France, London’s Daily Star reported. They’ll reportedly exchange vows in a pre-Roman chapel on the grounds. Read More: New York Post

Accused subway plotter in court on terror charges

A New Yorker accused of helping plan one of the most chilling terror plots in the US since 9-11, is in court today to stand trial on a wide range of criminal charges. Adis Medunjanin and other former school classmates launched a scheme to carry out suicide bomb attacks in New York City’s subways, federal prosecutors plan to argue in Brooklyn federal court. In preparation for the strikes, Medunjanin – along with alleged fellow-plotters Najibullah Zazi and Zarein Ahmedzay – journeyed to Pakistan to undergo bomb-making instruction at an al Qaeda terror training camp in a tribal region abutting that nation’s frontier with Afghanistan, officials say. Read More: New York Post

Jury Selection Begins In Clemens Perjury Retrial

Jury selection begins today in Washington in the perjury retrial of former New York Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens. His first trial ended in a mistrial last summer after only two days of testimony because the prosecution introduced inadmissible evidence. The seven-time Cy Young award winner is accused of of lying to Congress in 2008 while lawmakers were investigating steroid use in baseball. He faces three counts of making false statements, two counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of Congress. Read More: NY1

 

Coachella 2012: Tupac hologram joins Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre onstage at music festival

Late rapper Tupac Shakur resurrected onto the Coachella stage this past Sunday night to perform a few of his hit songs alongside music maven Snoop Dogg, to the shock and disbelief of the music festival’s 75,000 fans. “What up, Coachella?!” the bare-chested Tupac hologram greeted a roaring crowd, before joining Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre on classic single “Hail Mary.” The faux Shakur wore acid-wash jeans and Timberland boots circa 1995, just around the time he was shot dead on September 13, 1996, at the young age of 25. Read More: Daily News

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo does not want a high-profile role at 2012 Democratic National Convention

Despite having his eye on a 2016 presidential run, Gov. Cuomo wants no part of a high-profile role at this year’s Democratic National Convention, insiders say. While Cuomo will attend the convention in September in Charlotte, N.C., those close to him say he doesn’t want President Obama to consider him for a major speaking slot — though it’s not certain he would even be asked. Cuomo has learned from the example of his father, a former three-term New York governor. Mario Cuomo, like his son is now, was in his second year as governor when he was picked to deliver the keynote address at the 1984 Democratic National Convention. Read More: Daily News

 

 

Three in elite NYPD anti-gun unit accused of treating black suspects like ‘animals’

Top supervisors of an elite NYPD anti-gun unit allegedly handled white suspects with kid gloves while treating blacks like “animals” deserving of a bullet to the head, the Daily News has learned. The explosive charges appear in sworn depositions from three members of the firearms suppression unit: two current NYPD detectives and a retired first-grade detective. Their testimony, part of a federal discrimination lawsuit, details how Capt. James Coan and Lt. Daniel Davin created a hostile environment for both their black detectives and suspected minority-group gun traffickers, said the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Eric Sanders. Read More: Daily News

From St. John’s to stardom; J.Cole debut album is number one


| choahing@queenscourier.com

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Jay-Z signed him to his record label. He’s performed at Yankee Stadium. He was nominated for a BET Hip Hop Award. And his first album just debuted at number one.

Who is this hot new rap artist? It’s St. John’s University graduate J. Cole.

Jermaine Cole, 26, was born in Frankfurt, Germany, where his parents were stationed in the military, but he grew up in Fayetteville, North Carolina. When he was 12-years-old, Cole decided he wanted to be a professional rapper – like his idols Canibus, Eminem and Nas – and began writing his own lyrics. After graduating from high school in 2003, Cole headed to the Big Apple determined to achieve his goals of breaking into the music business and earning his college degree.

“On top of being a real fun major, it made me conscious of public relations, your brand and how you’re represented to the public,” Cole explained about what he learned at St. John’s. “When I have interviews or when I’m in the public light, I’m handling myself differently than another rapper might.”

After graduation, Cole worked part-time doing classified ad sales for The Queens Courier.

“It was the only job I could find that was real flexible with the hours so I could go to the [recording] studio and be up real late and then go in to work at, like, 1,” Cole recalled.

The majority of his time, however, was spent working on songs and trying to make connections with the right music biz insiders. He would look online for the names of A&R reps, producers, managers and other notable people and then cold call them.

“It took years and years of trying,” said Cole. “I was rapping on people’s voicemails. If I knew somebody was in the game, I would send a message…. It never worked, but these were the things I was trying.”

So, just how did Cole become the first hip-artist to land a deal with Jay-Z’s label Roc Nation?

“It was a very long story, but the condensed version is: I finally broke through when I met Mark Pitts, a real heavyweight in the game, who managed Biggie back in the day and signed Chris Brown and Ciara. He heard my music and loved it, and ended up playing a song called ‘Lights Please’ for Jay-Z. From there, the rest is history. Jay wanted to sign me after he met me.”

The contract was inked in February 2009.

Although he’s released several mix tapes, Cole World: The Sideline Story is the rapper’s debut full-length CD.

“Musically, it’s incredible,” Cole said. “I can’t wait for people to hear it! It’s real heavy and real emotional – family issues, life struggles, death, jail. I love that, but there’s a balance. It’s not an album where you have to be in a certain type of mood to listen to it.”

“Last year, I was on a tour with Jay-Z and shared a little bus with Wale,” said Cole. “This is the first time it’s actually my tour.”

But it was back in last September that Cole played the largest venue – so far – of his career: Yankees Stadium.

“It was crazy to be on that stage, but even better than being on that stage was just watching that,” he said about the historic two-night concert event headlined by Jay-Z and Eminem in which he served as one of the opening acts. “That was incredible. Rock artists sell out stadiums every night, but it takes two of the biggest hip-hop artists to fill up a stadium. It’s inspirational! When I really put it in perspective, it gave me a new goal. My new goal is to be the first rapper selling out stadiums on a regular basis. Even saying that lets me know how far I got to go. But how incredible would that be?”