Summer events leave hip-hop in a state of satisfaction

By Landon Antonetti

The summer of ’08 was a big one for hip-hop and music in general. From reunited crews to comeback albums all the way to some unlikely collaborations, I don’t remember ever being so satisfied with the state of hip-hop. So, in no particular order, here’s my recap of the summer that was … hip-hop edition.

1. The return of Ice Cube — the rapper

Ice Cube wears many hats, and lately none of them have been as a rapper. Until this summer. Cube hasn’t put a halt on his acting career by any means, but he took the time out of his busy schedule to release “Raw Footage,” a return to his gangster roots. Check it out if you haven’t already.

Bonus: Ice Cube is supposedly playing B.A. Baracus in a new A-Team movie slated for summer 2009.

2. Kno calling out all DOOMposters

MF DOOM is up to his old tricks again. Sending imposters to perform for him at shows and subsequently having them booed off stage in most venues. Some call it a genius marketing tool for his forthcoming album “DOOMposter,” but Kno of CunninLynguists calls it a “piss-poor Milli Vanilli routine” in an open letter he wrote to the super-villain. Peep the letter online, (, if you’ve got time for some well-written and utter hilarity.

3. The return of Large Professor

Xtra P is back with a brand new album! On this one, we find The Professor flexing his own skills on the mic while showcasing some of New York’s finest MCs over an array of his classic beats. The new album, “Main Source,” is set to be released this fall.

4. Blueprint 3

The third installment of Jay-Z’s “Blueprint” series is being catapulted our way with the scorching single “Jockin’ Jay-Z” at its forefront. With Kanye West and Just Blaze as confirmed producers on the project, this album should be nothing short of a smash.

5. Free music

Now I don’t advocate illegal downloading in any sense, but when your favorite artist is offering up his or her album for nothing wouldn’t you be hot on the downloading trail? Thought so. Murs & 9th Wonder released their third joint album for free about a month back, and, of course, there are endless amounts of free mix tapes floating around the Internet as well. Close your eyes and imagine your favorite artist. Now walk to your computer and search because chances are they’re giving up a small chunk of their catalogue legally and free.

6. Termanology, Bun B (Produced by DJ Premier) — “This is How we Rock”

Termanology, Bun B and DJ Premier all on one track, what more could you ask for? When two lyrical monsters and hip-hop’s top beat-maker jump on one project the only result can be a track that drips gasoline.

7. The Smoking Section Presents: 1998 Week

The Smoking Section, a top site for hip-hop news, gossip and overall pop culture banter, blessed Internet crowds this summer with an entire week of everything ’98. From album reviews to sports moments and infamous White House scandals, no stone was left unturned by this talented crew of writers from across the nation.

3. Rock The Bells reuniting all your favorite old-school crews

Rock The Bells managed to get these groups back together:

n The Pharcyde

n A Tribe Called Quest

n Raekwon and Ghostface (technically not a group, but it’s good to see two Wu Tang affiliates still talking to each other)

n De La Soul (De La never broke up, but every time they hit the stage it’s one performance closer to their last…until they release another album, but I wouldn’t hold my breath).

9. Joell Ortiz — “Good Times”

As one of New York’s premier MC’s, Joell Ortiz dropped this bombshell on fans late July, and it’s been banging ever since. A summer jam with that old-school feel, complete with positive lyrics, you can’t go wrong.

10. Big Boi’s table scraps

As Big Boi (half of Outkast) gears up for the release of his solo album, “Sir Luscious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty,” he has been a good sport by throwing fans a couple of singles here and there. I’m not the only one who can agree that this album is one of the most anticipated of the year. With singles featuring Mary J. Blige and Raekwon already circulating on iPod playlists, fans everywhere are waiting for Big Boi to let go of the whole plate.

Landon Antonetti is a journalism junior and the production director for WRFL. E-mail [email protected]