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How 2020 Became the Year Everyone Started to Love Chris Crack

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We talked to Chris Crack about why 2020 was his most successful year, his recording style, and getting co-signed by Madlib.

Earlier in the year, Chris Crack had a minor run-in with the Chicago police.

“We were walking to the store or some shit. And the police were, like, riding through the alley, shining their light at us,” Chris Crack, blunt dangling from his mouth, said over a Zoom conversation in mid-December. “And I was like, ‘Bro, them niggas is some bitches.’”

He later went to the studio and titled a track he was working on “All Cops Are Bitches.” “I think I might have saw ACAB on something. It might have been lingering in my mind,” Chris said. “Who knows? But I saw that, and I was like, ‘all cops are bitches.’”

The song, the opening track off of Washed Rappers Ain’t Legends, isn’t a loud “fuck you” to the police or a gripping personal narrative about living in a police state. The track is Crack getting bars like “The games came to an end you gotta fight Bowser” off. 

This is the gift of Chris Crack, the funniest, most spontaneous, productive, and consistent rapper working in contemporary hip-hop. He’s doesn’t make “statement” music. The songs he makes are what’s on his mind at the time. He thinks eight seconds at a time, with the best idea he’s ever had being his current one. (Chris records raps in such an extemporaneous manner he often forgets individual songs he’s done.) With Chris Crack, songs rarely touch two minutes; most contain loops of soul and R&B cuts from the ’70s and ’80s; his lyrics are are a stream of consciousness; and the titles of his songs are random jokes, tracks with titles like “Fap with the Good Lotion,” “Face Sitting with Frank Ocean,” and “Chipped My Tooth Eating Pussy.”

Chris has been rapping for years, coming up with other underground Chicago MCs like MC Tree and Vic Spencer. And, working primarily with producers Cutta and Blckwndr, he has put out 16 albums over the last three years. But the five albums he put out in 2020 — White People Love Algorithms, Cute Boys (The Rise of Lil Delicious), Good Cops Don’t Exist, the aforementioned Washed Rappers Ain’t Legends, and Haters Forget They were Fans First — have been some of the most acclaimed work of his career. Chris has noticed the attention, calling 2020 his “biggest, best year in streaming.”

Part of the reason why there are more eyeballs is that, with the success of the Griselda camp, Freddie Gibbs, and Mach-Hommy, underground, wordplay-driven hip-hop is having a moment. But no one in that scene raps like Chris. His music is pretty low stakes. Unlike other underground MCs, he doesn’t record like he’s trying to make the next Life After Death. He raps like he’s recording shit for the homies. That levity mixed with his wordplay, his gift for melody, and his love for old-school grooves and loops mean Chris is the closest we got to this era’s Max B.

Chris Crack, who is 32, grew up in West Chicago. In past interviews, he’s talked about some of the trouble he got into as a kid. About his childhood, he told Passion of the Weiss: “I mean, we was playing basketball and regular kid’s shit. Football, all that shit, breaking windows, ding dong ditch, all the way up to gang activity, drug sales, and all types of wild shit.” But he was mum when we asked about his upbringing, saying “I been seeing a lot of rappers get indicted lately, so I’m going to be cool… but you know.”

But the important thing to know about his childhood — alongside the fact he grew up in West Chicago the son of a mother who was a math teacher — is he came up snapping. Chris and his friends would spend hours just joking on each other, at times savagely.  

“[Growing up] we used to have hour-long roasting sessions, bro,” Chris said. “Like four or five hours, like daily. At least five times a week. “

That foundation explains why Chris does what he does so well. In some ways, Chris Crack’s career has been just one long roast session. 

With the year wrapping up, we talked to Chris Crack about why 2020 was his most successful year, his recording style, the music he grew up listening to, and how he felt seeing that Madlib co-sign.

As told to Dimas Sanfiorenzo

On what a Chris Crack recording session is like.

Man, it’s me and Cutta. We do all that shit. You know, just me and him. We just lock in and we like to just fuck around, man. Everything’s too serious in life, you know what I’m saying? We just like to fuck around and have fun. Fun is the most important thing about making music. Even if it’s sad, you should have fun making it.

On not knowing his songs.

I don’t know any of my songs. I write too many and record too many to know them. I just know the ones that I’m going to need to perform. You know, I got my bunch. I probably got like, 40 songs that I perform and shit. And I know the old songs. But, other than that, I don’t know no songs. People ask me all the time, “Man, what’s that song you said da, da, da, da, da in?” And I’m like, “Bro, I am the worst person at that.” You’re better off Googling the lyrics or some shit.

On how he’s handled the pandemic.

I was quarantining before the quarantine, you know what I mean? I was always to myself — dolo, recording. Just studio, home, studio, home. So this ain’t nothing new to me. It’s actually kind of fun because when I go out, [there’s] nobody out. I can just travel around, fuck around, do whatever I want. I ain’t got to worry about crowds and being all around people and shit.

On coming up with song titles.

Whatever is the first thing that comes to my mind when I listen to the song. Like, when the song’s done — I’m like yeah, this song’s done, cool. Then it’s time to name it. The first thing that comes to my mind when I hear the song, just boom.

 I just like shit to be free. For you, it’s a funny song title, right? But for me, it’s going to remind me of the time, what I was wearing that day, how I was feeling. You know what I mean? What I was thinking. Was I in a good mood? Was I in a bad mood? It’s like a key for me. 

Chris Crack

Photo Credit: Skyler Durden

On if there are any politics in albums like Good Cops Don’t Exist.

Oh, no. My shit is not really anything. Like, I’m not going to put it in any box, any of my projects. I don’t want them at all in any boxes or any ceilings. It just is what it is. Because you interpret it different than somebody else. So for you, it might be a political project. For somebody else, it might be to work out to.

On being a funny person.

 I wouldn’t say that I’m funny, because then I’d feel like that’s kind of being conceited. But a lot of people tell me that I’m funny. I wanted to be a comedian when I was a kid, so that’s where the funny aspect of my music comes from.

[Growing up] we used to have hour-long roasting sessions, bro, like four or five hours, like daily. At least five times a week. That’s what made me so witty with the wordplay? Witty with the word play — that’s a song title. It made me fast with the comebacks and shit like that. Because man, we used to talk about each other for hours and hours and hours. 

[There] was this dude I grew up with named Bo Bo. He would get on motherfuckers there, and he just wouldn’t stop. And he made people cry. But there was this one joke that always used to get him so mad, he would want to fight. I believe I started the joke. But other people would throw it at him, and he would want to fight. He would want to go get his gun. He would want to go do all kinds of stuff. And it’s like, “Damn, bro, but you talk about everybody and their mama, bro.” But yeah, I mean you know how kids be, man. They want to [dish] it out, but they can’t take that shit.

On the rappers he loved growing up. 

I was really fucking with Missy [Elliott] was super hard. I was fucking with Timbaland really hard. I was fucking with Master P and Lil Wayne, man. Them was the rappers I fucked with. Them was the rappers I literally looked up to.

It’s sad as fuck to see Lil Wayne selling his fucking masters for $100 million dollars. Like, I don’t give a fuck if it was $1 billion dollars. His masters is worth way more. His masters ain’t worth nothing, because the motherfuckers is priceless. They could have given him a $1 billion dollars, and I’d have been like, “No, bro, what the fuck?”  Lil Wayne sold hundreds of millions of records, and they’re only going to give him $100 million dollars? Like, what the fuck? Hell no. But me, if they wanted to give me $100 million dollars for my catalog… they can have two of them motherfuckers, bro.

You know what I’m going to do with that shit? No, we’re talking about Lil Wayne. He’s going to spend that fucking $100 million dollars in two to three, four years. And then what you got? I hope not neither because if you know how I feel about Lil Wayne, then you would know I’m not shading him. But I just know the game, and it’s like, damn bro, you tweaked. What the fuck were you thinking?

On loving R&B.

I grew up on R&B shit. Rap was all around me. But I’ve always been a little different. So, it was like always around. So I would like to do something a little different, listen to R&B. 

 I used to love Monica. I used to love Brandy. I used to love Whitney [Houston.] I used to love fucking Total, XSCAP3. You know, all of that shit. I was fucking around, you know what I’m saying? I was definitely fucking around. I loved R&B. And Jodeci my favorite group of all time — for the record.

On rappers who overthink.  

 You can tell, bro. It’s annoying. You’re not even having fun, bro. You’re just, you’re doing this, you’re like a slave, just being whipped, and you’re just working because you feel like, “Oh, I got to, I got to make another song.” It’s like, “no bro, that shit’s trash, dude.” You can see when they’re trying too hard. You can see when they’re not trying enough. You can see when they’re annoyed. You can tell when somebody got a cold. I can hear that shit.

Them artists that be talking about they be in the studio, “Oh, I’m in the studio… ” You all don’t even do as much music as me. And I don’t even be in there every single day all the time.

On listening to his own music.

I be feeling like I’m being conceited when I listen to my own music. I hate when you get in the car with a rapper, and he just playing his own shit the whole fucking time. Just going like he didn’t make this shit. It’s like, “bro, can we get something else, my nigga? Like, what up?” I’ve never done that ever in my life because I hate when other people do that shit, so I’m not going to be that guy.

On being shouted out by Madlib.

I didn’t grow up on Madlib. I found out about him later and shit. And he’s super cool. And for him to have noticed me… My phone melted that day when he mentioned me. G, my phone melted. I couldn’t even use that motherfucker ’till the next day.

“Might delete later.” Just keep that in mind. I can’t really say nothing. “Might delete later.” That’s real soon. Like, no bullshit, real soon.

On classic albums.

I don’t believe in classics. I said this on Twitter, I don’t even like when people call my shit classic. I don’t believe it can be classic when it come out. I believe it’s got to stand the test of time. Because if you know anything about music, you know it’s here and gone real fast. 

I don’t believe anything of this decade is a classic, to be real. We’ll take “Bad and Boujee” for a perfect example, right? “Bad and Boujee” was the hottest song. I loved the fucking song. I’m sure you loved it. Every fucking one from toddlers to fucking elderly people loved that song. It was the greatest song in the world. Now we’re like, three years down the line. Maybe four, I don’t know. That song ain’t timeless. And it’s only been four years.

On planning out albums.

My homie just recently said that I should do a concept album. He’s like, I’ve already put out good music already. Like, why don’t I try something kind of tunnel vision-like, you know what I mean? A straight story or a concept. I don’t know. My mind ain’t like that. I might try that shit, man. But I might get indicted. I ain’t going to lie to you, G. I can’t tell the stories that I want to tell in a record.





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Liza Rios Sets The Record Straight On Fat Joe Giving Her $1M!!!

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The wife of the late legendary rapper Christopher”Big Pun”Big” Rios spoke out. Liza Rios and her attorney Lita Rosario-Richardson Esq spoke with hosts O’God and SamAnt. During the interview, Liza gave her perspective on the situation involving Joseph”Fat Joe” Cartagena and Big Pun. Liza’s attorney cleared up the rumors that have lingered for more than a decade. Especially, as it relates to the alleged $1 million dollars.

Will Liza Ever Recover Pun’s Music Rights?

Some people were wondering what really happened between Big Pun and Fat Joe. And, throughout the years we have been given different accounts. There is Rios’s account, and there is Fat Joe’s. I was always told, that the truth lies in the middle. With that being said, Rios shared she never accused Cartagena(Fat Joe) of stealing any money. But Liza mentioned in the interview that the alleged $1 million Cartagena gave her never happened. In fact, Rios admits she asked Cartagena to provide receipts. And, he never did.

It does appear that something went on back then between Rios and Cartagena that was problematic. Especially, since Rios (Big Pun) did not get royalties for songs. And, Rios (Big Pun’s wife) is fighting so that her husband can be paid what she believes he is owed. According to Rios attorney Rosario-Richardson, they are working to get Rios Masters. Of course, the process of a music artist owning their masters is very complex. Rios is a woman on a mission to protect her husband’s legacy as well as his ownership. Who could blame Rios for advocating for her children’s legacy? Hopefully, Rios will be successful.

liz n fat joe

Check out the video above for more details.

For more Hip Hop Entertainment check out Hip Hop News Uncensored. It’s the best Hip Hop YouTube channel.

 



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The 16 New TV Shows You Should Binge This Fall

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Robyn Mowatt

Robyn Mowatt is a staff writer at Okayplayer where she…

Squid Game tv shows

Netflix’s ultra violent Korean TV series Squid Game is the most streamed original series of all time on the platform, surpassing Shonda Rhimes’ Bridgerton. Photo Credit: Noh Juhan/Netflix

Fall TV’s expansive lineup of topics and settings are sure to invigorate you. Here are 16 TV shows you should stream this fall.

After a wacky year in which the entire entertainment industry was shaken up due to the pandemic, we can officially say TV is back. Beyond the appetite for TV has growing in 2021, it’s also become a pivotal part of everyone’s lives since millions of people are working from home. Broadcast networks and streaming platforms have taken note of this and have been shelling out options ranging from comedies to dramas to projects based on real-life experiences.

Regardless of which types of episodic series you plan to queue up, this  season’s lineup of TV shows doesn’t disappoint. Fall TV’s expansive lineup of topics and settings are sure to invigorate you and pique your curiosity. Since cold weather is almost in full swing it’s refreshing to have a consistent queue of new Netflix options that are binge-ready. But for those who prefer selections that drop each week, there’s room for you too. 

Here are 16 new TV shows you should check out this fall.

Impeachment (American Crime Story) 

Ryan Murphy’s American Crime Story returns to paint a picture of the messy Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky scandal. The cast is stacked with heavy hitters: Sarah Paulson (Linda Tripp), Clive Owen (Bill Clinton), Beanie Feldstein (Monica), and Edie Falco (Hilary Clinton).

Stream now on FX. 

Squid Game 

Netflix’s ultra violent Korean TV series Squid Game is the most streamed original series of all time on the platform, surpassing Shonda Rhimes’ Bridgerton. The premise: In order to win millions, players must partake in an assortment of childhood games. Each of these games have a twist, if you lose, you die. 

Stream now on Netflix 

Queen Sugar 

Ava DuVernay’s Queen Sugar shared hints that COVID-19 would be looming when last season ended. Now, sheltering at home has ended, and — for the sixth season — the Bordelon family is out and about living their lives as normally as they can amid the pandemic. For Charlie (Dawn Lyen-Gardner) that looks like continuing to explore a relationship with her ex-husband. Ralph Angel (Kofi Siriboe) and Darla (Bianca Lawson) are preparing for the baby while Nova (Rutina Wesley) is battling with the backlash of being a truth-teller and community activist.

Stream now on OWN 

Sex Education 

Sex Education, by Laurie Nunn, has been serving up some of the wittiest and funniest TV centering sex in recent years. In season three, Otis (Asa Butterfield) and Maeve (Emma Mackey) are battling it out with a new headteacher who is cutting out all forms of sexual expression and also individuality at Moordale. Jean (Gillian Anderson) is counseling again, but she’s also pregnant and figuring out co-parenting. The new season also digs a bit into Eric (Ncuti Gatwa) exploring his life as a Black gay high schooler. 

Stream now on Netflix

The Morning Show 

The star-studded first season of Apple TV+’s The Morning Show was a wild ride. In it, Alex Levy (Jennifer Anniston) and Bradley Jackson (Reese Witherspoon) left things nearly unfixable for the network when they exposed them for sweeping unsavory misconduct under the rug. We’ll be watching the new season to see how the network addresses the co-hosts’ attempt at dragging their name through the mud.

Stream now on Apple TV+

The Wonder Years 

Streamers love a reboot. One of this season’s newest is The Wonder Years. Set in Montgomery, Alabama in the ‘60s, a Black family is the center of this scripted series from Saladin K. Patterson. The show is told from the eyes of teen Dean Williams (Elisha E.J. Williams).

Stream now on ABC

Dear White People: Vol. 4 

Netflix’s Dear White People, created by Justin Simien, decided to take the musical route for its fourth season. Previously coined as a satirical series, its highly anticipated return centers around the star students performing with dance numbers no one asked for. College after all is only four years, so it appears Siemen and co-showrunner Jaclyn Moore wanted to end the series with a bang. We’ll be sad to say goodbye to Joelle (Ashley Blaine Featherson), Coco (Antoinette Smith), Reggie (Marques Richardson), and Troy (Brandon P. Bell). 

Stream now on Netflix

BMF

50 Cent is the executive producer of Starz’s BMF. He seeks to tell the story of two figures that are forever ingrained in hip-hop culture, the fashion community, and the drug game: Demetrius “Big Meech” Flenory and his brother Terry “Southwest T” Flenory. The primetime show starts in Detroit and follows the duo as they rake in money, success, and go after their biggest dreams. 

Stream now on Starz

Maid 

Based on Stephanie Land’s memoir Maid, this gripping Netflix adaptation stars Margaret Quallay as a single mother on her journey rising out of homelessness. Her road is also met with pushback from a violent ex who is the father of her daughter. 

Stream now on Netflix

On My Block 

For their fourth season of Netflix’s On My Block, the group is officially back to share a new chapter of their East LA lives. The latest season picks up where things left off when Monse (Sierra Capri), Jamal (Brett Gray), Ruby (Jason Genao), and Cesar (Diego Tinoco) were heading into their last year of high school.

Stream now on Netflix

Dopesick 

Over the last decade the opioid epidemic has taken over both local and national news station coverage. Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company That Addicted America seeks to tell a story about a doctor (Michael Keaton) in a Virginia mining town who had first hand interactions with patients who became addicted to OxyContin. 

Stream now on Hulu

Succession

 

The Waystar Royco family’s return is something that has been widely anticipated since the end of season two in 2019. Middle son Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong) is once again aiming to take his father down with corporate scandals. This wealthy family is back to its old ways: sneaky alliances, screaming matches, and loyalties being questioned. 

Stream now on HBO Max

Insecure

Issa Rae’s creation, the HBO Emmy-winning series Insecure, has captured the hearts (and ears) of many since 2016. For its fifth and final season, the show will focus on Issa as a budding entrepreneur and also will give us answers on if her and Molly (Yvonne Orji) plan to rekindle their friendship or call it quits. The cliffhangers that last season left behind will obviously take up space when the show returns. Prepare to see cast favorites like Lawrence (Jay Ellis), Kelly (Natasha Rothwell), Tiffany (Amanda Seales), and even Seqouia (Courtney Taylor).

Stream on HBO Max starting on October 24th

The Shrink Next Door

Have you heard the story of the Manhattan psychiatrist Isaac Herschkopf (Paul Rudd) who upturned the life of his wealthy Long Island patient Martin Markowitz (Will Ferrell)? This new dark comedy pulling from real-life events explores exactly how Markowitz was manipulated out of money, a home and more by his trusted psychiatrist.

Stream on Apple TV+ starting November 12th

Mayor of Kingstown 

Did we need a series about a family running a private-prison scheme? Paramount+ thinks so. The first trailer for Mayor Of Kingstown is volatile and violent. The main cast features Jeremy Renner, Kyle Chandler, Dianne Wiest, Taylor Handley, and Hugh Dillon. Mayor of Kingstown was written and executive produced by Yellowstone’s Taylor Sheridan, Dillon also receives an exec producer credit. 

Stream on Paramount TV+ starting on November 14th

Power Book II: Ghost

 

It’s Tariq Saint Patrick’s (Michael Rainey Jr.) world and we’re just living in it. For the second season of Power Book II: Ghost is caught up in the investigation of his former professor’s death. We’re ready to see the chain of events following this major death and Monet Tejada’s (Mary J. Blige) ongoing power struggle with her son Cane (Woody McClain).

Stream on Starz starting on November 21st

 



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“Friends” Actor James Michael Tyler Dies At 59 – Halla Back Free Promotion

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James Michael Tyler, best known for his role as Gunther on the iconic sitcom, Friends, died Sunday at 59-years-old. The actor had suffered from Stage 4 prostate cancer.

Tyler’s passing was announced in a statement from his representative Toni Benson.

“The world knew him as Gunther (the seventh “Friend”), from the hit series Friends, but Michael’s loved ones knew him as an actor, musician, cancer-awareness advocate, and loving husband,” Benson wrote. “… Michael loved live music, cheering on his Clemson Tigers, and would often find himself in fun and unplanned adventures. If you met him once you made a friend for life.”

Paul Zimmerman / Getty Images

Tyler revealed his cancer diagnosis on NBC’s Today Show back in June, explaining that it was discovered during a routine physical when he was 56. Prior to his death, cancer had spread to his bones leaving him unable to walk.

Tyler’s character, Gunther, served as the manager of the Central Perk coffee shop, a primary location in the series. He also acted in ScrubsModern Music, and more.

“Warner Bros. Television mourns the loss of James Michael Tyler, a beloved actor and integral part of our FRIENDS family,” the Friends Twitter account tweeted. “Our thoughts are with his family, friends, colleagues and fans.”

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J. Balvin Apologizes For “Perra” Music Video Following Criticism





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