Either you've been in a coma or looking at Fuse TV too much if you haven't noticed the explosion of Southern hip-hop recently. According to sources, over 40 percent of the music played on pop radio in the last year has been starring, produced by or featuring Southern acts. Now major labels are striving to sign independent Southern artists to produce hits. An example is the recent renegotiated deal of Lil Scrappy, whose services will now be split evenly between Lil Jon's BME and 50 Cent's G Unit Records.
Speaking of 50, he is in the process of suing Vision Plant Pictures and Premo Pictures for trademark infringement. If you have been supporting your local bootleggers lately, you may have copped the latest edition of the hood documentary series "Infamous Times" depicting the life of late notorious New York gangster Kelvin "50 Cent" Martin. Martin is the person who rapper 50 Cent named himself after. 50 says the production companies failed to make an agreed upon charitable donation to Martin's family or the newly formed G Unit Foundation.
Independent artists Roam Bad Daddy and DJ B Lord stopped by Jackson recently. Besides collaborating with some local cats, they also put out DJ B Lord's "Best Of Trick Daddy" mixtape. Roam and Pure Pain Records are one of the hottest independent entities around right now and are being courted by several high profile majors.
David Banner's newest project "Certified" is set to drop next month. There is a new song creating a buzz entitled "Lets Roll" featuring Bone Crusher, 8Ball and Magic. If you haven't heard this one yet, make sure you burn a copy soon. I reported a little while ago that there was some controversy concerning the new Donnie Cross single "I'm A Hater." Many of you beautiful listeners made the assumption that the track was aimed at either Boo or Banner. Pick up the new DJ Drama mixtape hosted by Banner. Allegedly, he has an exclusive freestyle aimed back as a response.
Boo Da Boss Playa has reportedly been putting in work in preparation for his debut release on J Records. His new album, "One Life, One Love" is slated for a summer release. In the meantime be sure to check out Boo's mix tape hosted by DJ Khaled of Miami.
West Point rapper Doughbelly Stray inked a deal with Jive/Violator. Doughbelly Stray is a member of the infamous group the Deen Town Villains, who had a hit single called "Bend Ya Back," a few years back. Doughbelly is working his single "My Mississippi" and plans on doing a 52 -county tour of his Mississippi.
There are other releases, too: "Better Way" by Baby Stone, the self-titled compilation from Traxx Star Records, and Dez another underground album called "Non-Stop Grind." Finally, my boy Jack D has a new one called "Totally Insane." Skipp Coon's mixtape "I'm the Mayor" is due out next month, too.
"Better Way" by Baby Stone is a great album--- and the artist, having met him face to face, is humble in the face of the greatness that envelops his music. There is no limit to where he can go if he keeps his present attitude.
The album "Better Way" is available at SHADOW PLAY inside the Jackson Medical Mall, the cost is $10.00.
- c a webb