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lauryn Hill

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cd-coverWho didn’t love this album???? *crickets* Even though Lauryn Hill has seems to have left this part of her behind long ago, like us she still likes to reminisce. Check out this Reebok Classics interview special on the classic album!

And before you duck out to go over to Youtube to reminisce further, we’ve saved you the trouble…

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Lauryn Hill’s slot at the New York leg of annual hip hop festival Rock the Bells was the talk of the music industry this past weekend. The respected and much-loved singer was on top form at the show, not necessarily in voice, but definitely in enthusiam. And she bought out some special guests to sweeten the deal, in the form of Jay-Z, Beyonce, Mary J Blige, comedian Chris Rock, a heavily pregnant Alicia Keys, Alicia’s new hubby Swizz Beatz and John Legend.

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UPDATED: January 21st 2011: Okay, so it’s been nearly six months since I wrote the below post and I admit Nicki Minaj has managed to win me over since then. I’m man woman enough to admit when I have been a bit hasty with my words. Although I think I was justified with my opinion at the time. However it was her verse on Kanye’s Monster, where she out-did both Kanye and fellow featured guest ‘the mighty’ Jay-Z, that did it (It was probably that verse that prompted ‘Kanye to make such a statement in the first place! Lol!). She killed it! Before then, her guest verses just weren’t impressing me, and she was coming across as a caricature with no real substance, but she got me with that one. Good and proper! Now her quirky image,voices and personality are not simply annoying and crazy, as combined with her clearly showcased talent, her whole package makes for a very likeable artist.

And she’s continue to impress ever me since. Pink Friday is a very tight album, I cannot lie, and it is selling like crazy, so I’m clearly not the only one who thinks so. Although popularity and tabloid press doesn’t mean you are talented, the fact she managed to bring London, England to a standstill wherever she went on her press jaunt last week, was pretty amazing as the pandemonium that ensued is not something that happens when the average female rapper comes to town. Heck, I even went to a recent fancy dress party dressed as Nicki, complete with fake over-sized bumper! I STILL feel like she’s got a LONG way to go to live up to Kanye’s prediction, but what a difference six months can make, and I think she could probably give a few of the below women on the below list a run for their money right now. What do you reckon? Do you agree? And if so, which ones?

ORIGINAL POST: August 13th, 2010: So Kanye West thinks that Nicki Minaj has it in her to be the best rapper of all time, next to Eminem? I love Kanye and all he does in the studio and a lot of things out of it, but his statement: ‘I think she has the most potential out of everyone to be the Number 2 rapper of all time’ is something I can not and will not cosign! To paraphrase one of his own rhymes ‘Bitch… are you smoking reefer?’ (Roses, Late Registration, 2005), no matter how big Nicki Minaj gets she ain’t never gonna be no second greatest rapper of all time, and that’s coming from somebody that actually likes her. I also don’t agree on the Eminem thing either,  but that is another discussion for another time. So back to Nicki, and it’s not just the fact that she is not even in the running to be the second greatest rapper of all time, she isn’t even in the running to be the greatest ‘female’ rapper of all time. I acknowledge that ‘Ye did say potential, but I’m still not buying.

There is a long list of female rappers that will always be greater than Nicki Minaj in my humble opinion. I admit a lot of are them are either washed up, in jail, on hiatus or out of the game and unlikely to make any real comeback now, but at their peak they were great. The fact that all of them have had hits that date back to at least the 90s is pure coincidence, but it also says a lot about the current state of hip hop, as it seems in the absence of anything truly amazing, peeps (like Kanye) are handing out unworthy titles, like an MTV award to Taylor Swift just before Mr West bum-rushes the stage! I will say image, lyrics, videos, impact and emotion all play a part here. Sales do too, but not as much – so we are talking quality not quantity . So… In no particular order (I’m way too indecisive to do it any other way), here goes my ‘Ten Female rappers greater than Nicki Minaj’

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Pairing: Beyonce and Alicia Keys in Rio

Pairing: Beyonce and Alicia Keys in Rio

This week the web has been buzzing with stolen shots of Alicia Keys and Beyonce filming the new video for their duet Put It In A Love Song. Set  in sunny Rio de Janeiro, the video appears to have a colourful carnival theme, with the ladies dressed in an array of sexy and African-inspired outfits.

I wasn’t a major fan of the ballad, which features on Alicia Key’s current album The Element of Freedom, when I initially heard it, but the video is looking good.

Alicia and Beyonce getting together on a song made me cast my mind back to some memorable old school  female collaborations. check them out after the cut!

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Grammy Fever is in the air, with the 52nd edition of prestigious annual award ceremony airing tomorrow night. So in honour of the show, I decided to list my top ten unforgettable 80s and 90s Grammy moments. They are not really in any particular order, but the fact that Michael Jackson comes in the first three is not exactly a coincidence. Enjoy!

MICHAEL JACKSON THRILLS THE WORLD (1984)

This was the year Michael was honoured with 12 Grammy nominations and eight Grammy wins! And with the masterpiece which was Thriller, it was well deserved! Michael became the first to set the record for the most nominations in one year, most wins in one night! Seven of the awards were for Thriller ( including Album of the Year) and the other one was for the E.T. storybook track Someone In The Dark.

I love this clip for two reasons, one, Michael is so sweet when he speaks about taking off his glasses, and two, I love how he brings his sisters up on stage. How cute does young Janet look? In his illustrious career Mike pulled in 18 Grammys, including the prestigious (Living) Legend Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award.

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