#SFTC2013 presented by @CoorsLight

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Last night I had the chance to attend one of the best live performances I've seen. Coors Light sponsors a talent search in which judges evaluate local talent in a rap showcase and then determine a winner. This group of judges travels to multiple cities and each regional winner then participates in a competition in NY in which the winner is given $20k, some studio time to make a song in which Bun B lays down a verse, a slot in DJ Drama's next upcoming mixtape, and publicity from Complex magazine.

On June 27th, this event came to Charlotte.

I first heard about it through LiveNation, where I usually get concert/event info from for major acts. The Coors Light Search for the Coldest MC populated in their list of local shows, but you could not purchase tickets to it. I was pretty confused, but the next step was to google it and I came across Power 98's page (local hip-hop station in the Charlotte area). They advertised that they were giving away tickets at a local Walmart from 3-4 pm on the day of. Needless to say I headed straight for it. When I got there I saw the Power 98 tent set up and approached a guy working there who simply gave me tickets when I asked. He then told me that Bun B and DJ Drama would be inside signing autographs (see picture above) and taking photos with people.

HOT DAMN.

I headed inside and he wasn't lying. I was 2nd in line. And i got to meet Bun B and DJ Drama.

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Fast Forward to that night around 7 pm and I was in line outside of the Fillmore in Charlotte with a friend of mine when the doors opened. We headed inside and we greeted with wristbands good for 2 FREE beers. WHAT? This was turning into the best concert ever, and it hadn’t even started. Little did I know it would get much, much better. My boy and I went straight to the front of the venue and were literally in the first row. After DJ Trauma had warmed up the crowd for a while, our host Ice Cube came out and gave us a run down of how it would work. He brought out two local acts, Z Da Matrix and another guy I honestly can’t remember his name. They each laid down a freestyle, a hot 16, and a pre-recorded song that they had previously worked on. After all was said and done, Z Da Matrix took home the belt. But this is where things really turn up.

Last year’s winner, Felony Fame (a Charlotte native) came out to show some love to the crowd. He raised his championship belt and laid down a few songs.

Next up: The H-Town Legend himself – Bun B.

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Bun played CLASSICS. “Draped Up”, “International Player’s Anthem”, his verse from Webbie’s “Girl Gimme That” and “Pushin”.

DJ Drama was next on the scene to provide myself and my friend with some ice cold Coors Lights. No shit. He gave us some beers.

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Ice Cube was next up and he had more energy than almost any performer I’ve seen. He performed “It Was a Good Day”, “Check Yo Self”, “You Can Do It” and a few others I couldn’t catch.

Lastly, the special guest of the evening: Pusha T.

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Pusha KILLED it. He came out of the gates turnt up AF to “Don’t Like” and it didn’t stop there. He played The Clipse classics “Grindin” and “Popeye’s” and then got into some newer stuff like “Mercy”, “Exodus 23:1”, “Millions”, “Blocka” and lastly he performed his brand new single “Numbers on the Boards” which will be on his upcoming album: My Name Is My Name.

This was an experience I will not forget. Coors Light just earned themselves a return customer.

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#Yeezus album review: 3/10

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Well where to begin. As you know on June 18th multiple hip-hop/rap projects dropped. This was one of them. And to be completely honest, I have no idea what Kanye was thinking. I saw the video of the live performance of “Black Skinhead” on SNL before the album dropped and I thought it was pretty cool. I couldn’t hear much of what he was saying because he was somewhat drowned out but the beat seemed pretty intense and the imagery going on was captivating.

So June 18th rolls around and I get Yeezus.

What?

As I proceeded to go through the first song “On Sight” I was telling myself things like “it’s just the first song, Kanye is being different” or “give it a chance, it’ll grow on you”. So on to the 2nd song “Black Skinhead” – which I think is the best song on the album – and I’m thinking things are turning around. I was being too judgemental too fast. On to the 3rd song “I Am A God”. Ok, I wasn’t being too judgemental. What is up with these beats?? They sound awful. And on to track 4, 5, 6, 7…. No improvement.

Flat out, there are some nice lines on this project, which is why it got those 3 out of 10. The problem is the noise going on at the same time makes you want to cut your ears off. It’s literally painful to listen to. I’ve heard some people say in Kanye’s defense that this wasn’t a “hip-hop” album or that he was trying to change the game yada yada yada. What kind of album would it be exactly? And how is making terrible beats going to change the game?

Loyal Kanye fans have got to be upset. How could someone go from making CLASSICS like College Dropout, Late Registration and Graduation make something like this? Doesn’t register with me.

Save your money, don’t buy this. You’ll thank me later.

#BornSinner 10 out of 10

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On June 18th a multitude of hip-hop/rap albums dropped, most notably Kanye’s “Yeezus”, Mac Miller’s “Watching Movies with the Sound off” and J. Cole’s “Born Sinner”. After giving each album ample listening time, there is no doubt in our minds who the unanimous winner was. NC’s very own, J. Cole. To be completely honest, Yeezus was giving me headaches. I’ll rip that album up here in a little while. But, back to the topic, actually forgot it…

Seriously though, Born Sinner is a complete, cohesive project that emphasizes Cole’s lyrical talents while showcasing his story telling abilities at the same damn time. Right off the bat on “Villuminati” Cole wastes no time in slicing up the track with his wordplay.

“Fake niggas get sprayed up / My verbal AK slay faggots / And I don’t mean no disrespect whenever I say faggot, okay faggot / Don’t be so sensitive
/ If you want to get fucked in the ass / That’s between you and whoever else’s dick it is / Pause, maybe that line was too far / Just a little joke to show how homophobic you are”

Obviously by now everyone has heard “Power Trip” ft. Miguel so we won’t even stop there.

Honestly there’s really no bad song on this album. Some standouts are “Forbidden Fruit” ft. Kendrick Lamar on the hook, “Crooked Smile” ft. TLC, “Let Nas Down”, “Born Sinner” ft. James Fauntleroy and if you copped the Deluxe Version, “New York Times” ft. 50 Cent & Bas and “Sparks Will Fly” ft. Jhene Aiko.

This is an album that you don’t have to worry about skipping ahead to a certain track. You can pop it in the deck and let it run. The numbers will speak for themselves as well. Cole sold nearly 300k in his first week, and increase of 80k units from the roughly 218k units that his debut album the Sideline Story sold. He was only about 30k units behind Yeezus.

J. Cole has cemented himself as a mainstay in the hip-hop/rap community with this sophomore project and he will continue to be a presence for the forseeable future.

If you haven’t already done so, please go purchase this album via iTunes, Best Buy etc and tell em Leeroy sent you.

#COLEWORLD