#66Raw Mixshow

Happy 18th Birthday to Nas' 'I Am...'

 

I Am… is the third studio album by American/Queens, NY rapper Nas, released April 6, 1999 on Columbia Records. Following the commercial and critical success of 1996's It Was Written, Nas put to work on a double album that merged the styles of his first two albums and detailed entire aspects of his life. But a majority of the material leaked onto the internet in MP3 format, forcing him to record new material for a single-disc release. The album debuted at number 1 on the Billboard 200, selling over 470,000 copies in its first week. I Am… would later be certified Double Platinum in the United States, making this Nas' second best-selling release behind It Was Written. Upon its release, I Am... received generally positive reviews from music critics.

This album was originally to have been a double album titled I Am...The Autobiography, however most of the original sessions were bootlegged forcing Nas to discard many songs and adjust the release to one disc. I Am...became one of the first major label releases to be widely leaked using MP3 technology. Some of the leaked songs were later released on the compilation LP The Lost Tapes in 2002. The concept of this album as can be seen by tracks such as "Fetus" from The Lost Tapes was to be an autobiography of sorts for Nas. Although several bootleg versions have appeared on the internet over the years, an official version of the intended double album has never leaked and it remains unclear whether or not it was ever completed.

The two singles from I Am... were "Hate Me Now" and "Nas Is Like". "Hate Me Now" features Puff Daddy and is produced by D-Moet, Pretty Boy and The Trackmasters. It was a Billboard Hot 100 hit, and had a controversial music video directed by Hype Williams. The song had a version of the O Fortuna from Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana." "Nas Is Like" is one of two tracks produced by DJ Premier who scratches vocal samples from Nas' "It Ain't Hard To Tell" into the chorus. The "Nas Is Like" music video was directed by Nick Quested and is still very popular in underground circles and continued a long list of popular Nas/DJ Premier collaborations.

The album also contained the song "We Will Survive", a tribute to Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G. The song criticized his peers, most notably Jay-Z, who "claimed to be New York's king" following B.I.G.'s death, the record has been cited as potentially encouraging the Nas vs. Jay-Z feud.

Famed photographer Danny Hastings has shot iconic cover images for Big Pun’s Capital Punishment and Raekwon’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, but his album art shoot for I Am... almost ended in disaster. In order to make the iconic mask featured on the cover, Hastings and his crew put a clay mold on his face and poked air holes so he could breathe, but he almost suffocated after clay got lodged in his nose.

“The funny part was that the first attempt, Nas was getting asphyxiated. We almost killed Nas," Hastings told MTV.com. “We cleaned him up, and he was like, 'Let's do it again!' Nas was a true sport."

He also explained the meaning behind the cover, and how it built off of previous album art for Illmatic and It Was Written. "The first one, you have him being a boy, very young. The second was a little bit older. And the third one, he was a king," he continued. "He already conquered the world. He was on top of the world. He was doing a lot of big things. We came with the concept of making a King Tut sarcophagus piece.

Check out the Classic Video below from Nas' Lead Single 'Hate Me Now' feat. Puff Daddy!

Yeeeah Baby is the second (and first posthumous) studio album by Bronx rapper Big Pun. In the wake of Big Pun's death in February 2000, it was released in April of the same year as planned, peaked at #3 on the Billboard 200 charts selling 179,000 units during the week it was released & subsequently was certified Gold. Fat Joe, Pun's close friend and mentor, is the executive producer of the album.

Struggling with morbid obesity, Pun experienced breathing problems throughout the album’s recording process, slowing down his iconic flow. He died at 28 years of age, just two months before the album’s release.

The album consists of two of Big Pun's biggest hits, the first single "It's So Hard" and the Puerto Rican anthem "100%". In the former song, he exclaims: "It's hard work, baby. I just lost 100 pounds. I'm trying to live. I ain't going nowhere."

In his last magazine interview, conducted by Industry Insider only a week before his death, Pun detailed that his approach on Yeeeah Baby was not as "hardcore" as his previous album Capital Punishment, in an attempt to reach out to an even wider fanbase than his debut album already had.

Terror Squad members and affiliates such as Sunkiss, Tony Sunshine, Prospect, Cuban Link, Remy Ma, and Fat Joe were featured on the album.

The album featured lighthearted songs like "100%" and "It's So Hard". It opens with an introduction "The Creation", likening Big Pun to Frankenstein. The first song "Watch Those" is a rock-oriented rap song with the beat derived from the theme song of Starsky and Hutch. With Tony Sunshine, there were also jokey R&B ballads like "My Dick" and "Laughing at You", an interpretation of Notorious B.I.G.'s "Juicy" with lyrics like "It was all a scheme / I used to load the tech with the magazine". The track "Nigga Shit" is a two-minute skit where Pun jokes about indulging in African-American stereotypes. There were also hardcore revenge-fantasy songs with a dark sinister sound like "Off With His Head", "LeatherFace" and "Wrong Ones". "Laughing at You" samples Simple Minds' Don't You (Forget About Me). In the song "My Turn", Big Pun made a jab at a then up-and-coming rapper 50 Cent in response to the remark 50 made about Pun in his song How to Rob.

Yeeeah Baby posted a strong debut on the Billboard 200, the album sold more than 179,000 copies in its first week in stores to take the third slot on the chart.  It reached Gold status within three months.

 

R.I.P. Big Pun!

On April 4, 2009, Run-D.M.C. became the second rap group to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, after Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five who were inducted in 2007. This honor came well deserved after the illustrious career of the trio. Run-D.M.C. helped to build a musical cross culture as well as serve as the cornerstone artist of one Hip Hop most powerful empires, Def Jam Records. Run-D.M.C.’s brand is timeless and iconic and can be said to be one of the launching boards for Hip Hop culture as a whole.

From their music to their style, Run-D.M.C. has immortalized their image in music history. In honor of this crowning achievement, we have compiled a list of examples to prove as to why Run-D.M.C. is considered to be the icons that they are.

Moment of Truth is the fifth album by hip hop duo Gang Starr, released on March 31, 1998 by Noo Trybe Records and Virgin Records. Guru and DJ Premier bka Gang Starr recorded Moment of Truth in sessions at D&D Studios.

Released four years after its previous album, Hard to Earn, this album could be perceived as a comeback, with a newer, updated style of the group's already-established jazz-tinged hip hop, as stated by Guru in the introduction. Lyrically, the album is more emotional and socially conscious than previous installments.

 

Kendrick Lamar returns with a vengance on his new track titled "Humble" taking aim at artist and the fakeness of the world! With a Banging track and an equally vicious video this is the record that the world will be talking about next! Check out the full video here on 66RAW.com and the 66RAW Radio app and also be sure to check it out spinning in our rotation on 66RAW Radio!

Kendrick Lamar returns with a vengance on his new track titled "Humble" taking aim at artist and the fakeness of the world! With a Banging track and an equally vicious video this is the record that the world will be talking about next! Check out the full video here on 66RAW.com and the 66RAW Radio app and also be sure to check it out spinning in our rotation on 66RAW Radio!

Kendrick Lamar returns with a vengance on his new track titled "Humble" taking aim at artist and the fakeness of the world! With a Banging track and an equally vicious video this is the record that the world will be talking about next! Check out the full video here on 66RAW.com and the 66RAW Radio app and also be sure to check it out spinning in our rotation on 66RAW Radio!

Bacdafucup /ˈbækdəfʌkʌp/ (read as "back the fuck up") is the debut album from hardcore rap group Onyx of South Jamaica, Queens, New York. The group is composed of East Coast rappers Sticky Fingaz and Fredro Starr. Sonny Seeza (formerly known as both Suavé and Sonsee) and the late Big DS (Marlon Fletcher) were also members; Big DS left after the group's debut album. 

The album featured their breakout single, "Slam", which received heavy airplay on both radio and television (MTV and BET), leading the song to reach #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. Bacdafucup was certified Platinum by the RIAA on October 25, 1993. The album is broken down track-by-track by Onyx in Brian Coleman's book Check the Technique.

In addition to Slam, two other singles made it to the charts, "Throw Ya Gunz" and "Shiftee". Shiftee was covered by punk-rock group Mindless Self Indulgence.

In 1998, the album was selected as one of The Source's 100 Best Rap Albums of All Time. Music videos were released for the tracks "Bacdafucup", "Throw Ya Gunz", "Slam", "Shiftee" and "Da Nex Niguz".

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