All eyez on Tupac Shakur at Grammy Museum

An exhibit about the life and music of Tupac Shakur is on display at the Grammy Museum in Downtown L.A., called “All Eyez on Me: The Writings of Tupac Shakur.” The space reserved for Shakur showcases some of his own studio notes, handwritten lyrics, outfits, and music. Shakur, who was he was shot and killed in 1996 at age 25, changed hip hop through powerful song writing.

All Eyez On Me: The Writings of Tupac Shakur will run through April 22. Visit the Grammy Museum at 800 W. Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles. [Read more…]

Christian Rap: Swag meets salvation

Everyone is familiar with the traditional sounds of Sunday morning. The sound of choir voices and organ riffs coming together to deliver the gospel, but USC student Makiah Green gets her gospel in a more contemporary form.

Makiah Green

Makiah Green believes Christian rap should not be alternative music but the standard. (Photo by Maria Eubanks)

“Oh man, I went to a church, Pastor for Christ Movement, filled with young people, and in service, they would play these really cool rap songs. And so I would just start asking who is this, who is this, who is this,” said Green. “They had a DJ that would play during service, and I went up to him and he put a playlist on a flash drive. And that was the beginnings.” [Read more…]

LA Weekly makes their picks for the best LA rap albums of all time

Listen to an audio story by Annenberg Radio News

imageSome of the most popular rap music in the world comes from South Los Angeles. LA Weekly published a list of its top 20 LA Rap albums of all times. Not surprisingly, South LA artists were prominent. Check out the top five.

Monte ‘M-Bone’ Talbert killed in drive-by shooting

imageA vigil was held Monday evening in honor of 22 year-old M-Bone, born Monte Talbert, a member of the popular rap group Cali Swag District. Talbert was killed in a drive-by shooting after being shot twice in the head Sunday night while sitting in a vehicle. The vigil was held in Inglewood, Talbert’s hometown, near the intersection of La Brea Avenue and Hazel Street where he was gunned down.

The gathering was organized by Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable founder Earl Ofari Hutchinson and facilitated by Eddie Jones, president of the Los Angeles Civil Rights Association.

Cali Swag District exploded onto the music scene in 2010 with the song “Teach Me How to Dougie”, an ode to Hip Hop pioneer Doug E. Fresh. They are signed to Capitol Records and are expected to drop their debut album this year. The song was so popular that a dance craze soon followed. First Lady Michelle Obama even incorporated the dance into her “Let’s Move” campaign.

Celebrity news site TMZ is reporting that his death is possibly linked to a Twitter beef over a woman. Friends have told police that Talbert was allegedly threatened by someone who lived in the same building as the woman and the two men exchanged jabs on online. Police are investigating why he was found dead in a car registered to the woman in question.

Community members, fans and the family of Talbert came out in hopes of getting more information about his death and to encourage the community to stop the violence.

Community and Gang Prevention Activist Lita Herron gave an impromtu speech to the crowd about breaking the code of silence that stifles the police’s ability to solve a crime.

Jones spoke of his own devastation upon hearing about Talbert’s death because he grew up with his father.

Hutchinson delivered an impassioned plea for justice to be served by finding the killer.

Talbert’s grandmother, Mary Alice Phillips, spoke on behalf of the family thanking everyone for their support.

A parked car began to loudly play Talbert’s hit song as the vigil came to a close and people began to sing and dance along to the music. It was very reminiscent of the scene in Brooklyn, NY in the mid 90s after the funeral of rapper Biggie Smalls. Yet for the music world and Inglewood community, this type of celebration is one they would rather not have.

The Inglewood Police Department is asking anyone with information to come forward and call its homicide division at (310) 412-5246 or its 24-hour anonymous hotline number, (888) 41 CRIME, or (888) 412-7463.