My definition of urban alchemy is using the elements of the environment to achieve the highest elevation of one's transformation. Just as base metals were used in the traditional form of alchemy, heavy base sounds and heavy metal loops are required to achieve the same goals of an urban alchemist.
Eminem recently dropped a surprise album titled, “Kamikaze” in which he took aim at a few rappers and addressed the poor reception he received for his last album “Revival.” On first listen I will say Em was “rappin’ rappin” (say it twice for full effect). He definitely had something to prove as it was beginning to feel as if he lost his touch.
Since people began streaming music (legally or illegally), labels have struggled to get a hold on how to properly pay make money and pay artist for their music. These struggles are present today as streaming services like Apple Music, Google Play Music, Spotify, and others have been called out by artists who feel they have not been properly compensated for their work. Even Jay-Z has attempted to remedy this situation by launching his own “artist friendly” streaming service, Tidal.
There are a few rappers who always show out when they collaborate with another particular artist, Method Man and Redman, Lil Wayne and Drake, Jay-Z and Rick Ross, even A$AP Rocky and ScHoolboy Q have heat when the hook-up. These unofficial duos have always garnered anticipation of what a full project from them would sound like.
Let's be clear; I expected nothing less from Eminem in his BET Hip-Hop Awards cypher. He has always been a super talented emcee who goes against the grain and says precisely what he's feeling. I'm not mad about that, nor am I upset that he used his white privilege and platform in a beautiful way to address racism, and convey a message that Black people have been screaming to get across since number 45 announced his candidacy.
Sunday, May 21, 2017, music star Drake came away with a record-breaking 13 BillBoard Awards including, top artist, top male artist, and best album for "Views." Breaking the record (12), which was held previously by Adele in 2012, is a major accomplishment for any artist regardless of genre. The Billboards are where artist gauge their success based on where they land on the charts.
Drake has a song that charted on the top 200 since the year 2009, I was in the tenth grade.
So when taking his success into account, and current status at the top of Hip-Hop specifically, I have to begin to think about when it's time to go after the giant that is Jay-Z.
Chuck D from the legendary Hip Hop Group Public Enemy stated, “Attention is the new currency.” If this is the case, then the Internet has provided new revenue streams for young women with high quality figures and low self-esteem. Young women showing off their bodies and dancing in a suggestive manner called twerking has taken the country by storm. Normally this type of adult entertainment would be reserved for those who were at a nightclub and everyone there would be of age. But the Internet has opened a whole new vortex by which access to what used to be private and sacred is available to anyone and everyone.