The Rap-Up is a weekly round-up of all things hip-hop. Check it out every Wednesday.
?uestlove Gets His Grub On
The role of frontman is typically reserved for the rapper/vocalist, but ?uestlove, the drummer for the Roots, is undeniably the group's leader and spokesman. Also a prolific producer and DJ, he’s now teamed with the chef Graham Elliot to launch a food line called ?uest Loves Food Powered by Graham Elliot.
The partnership’s self-proclaimed goal is to mix food, music and artistry. Some of the culinary treats offered by the line include "Love’s Drumsticks," black + white popcorn, lovepops and truffled deviled eggs. The items were featured at the line’s launch in New York earlier this week. If ?uest Loves Food Powered by Graham Elliot succeeds, maybe rappers will move beyond record labels and clothing lines.
Wu-Tang Clan Offshoots Keep Delivering Quality Music
When the Wu-Tang Clan debuted in 1993, its mission was ambitious and revolutionary: The group would become one of rap’s most significant, and each of its nine-member crew would have a successful solo career.
There is no doubt that the Wu achieved their first goal. On top of that, more than half of the crew made good on the second portion of the Clan’s initial agenda; RZA, Method Man, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Ghostface Killah, Raekwon and GZA/Genius all had at least one gold album. But what may be more impressive is that the Wu-Tang Clan’s offshoots continue arriving and delivering high-quality material nearly 20 years on.
One of the latest is Detroit-based trio Dezert Eez (5-Star, O’Nill and Nivek), whose new single “Figure 4” features Bronze Nazareth. The selection appears on Dezert Eez’s “Ghettoboxx” album, which is now available in a deluxe version and includes appearances from Game and Inspectah Deck, among others.
Ray Allen The Focus Of Tribute From Ea$y Money
Rappers have long dropped the names of potent b-ballers into their rhymes. Old school pioneer Kurtis Blow even had a song dedicated to the sport. More recently, Memphis up-and-comer Don Trip released a tribute cut to Allen Iverson. So with the NBA playoffs in full swing, it was perfect time for Termanology affiliate Ea$y Money to drop his “Ray Allen” video, as a salute to the Boston Celtics shooting guard.
The Boston-based rapper says he’s like Ray Allen from the free throw line -- he gets it in. Ea$y backs up his words on the ATG-produced cut, which features Ea$y flowing effortlessly about his no-nonsense demeanor over crisp drums, soulful organs and otherworldly sound effects. Allen and Ea$y are gunning for championships in different games and in different ways, but both with high quality results.