Hip Hop Herald 07.04.12: Yelawolf/MGK Feud, BET Awards, Lauren Hill vs. Taxman, And More!
Posted by Bill Wannop on 07.04.2012
News and thoughts on the Yelawolf/Machine Gun Kelly feud, BET awards winners, Lauryn Hill possibly facing jail time for not paying taxes and more!
Welcome one and all to the Hip Hop Herald. The column will deal with anything related to hip hop whether it be underground, mainstream, or the new-age pop infused rap (you know the stuff Timberlake and Timbaland make). We will cover news, opinions, release dates as well as feature some music and of course videos.
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It seems that for some reason when two emcees have noticeable similarities, that the trend is for the two to have a certain dislike for the other. The most recent example of this is the emerging war or words between Machine Gun Kelly and Yelawolf. The first shots were supposedly fired by Yelawolf on the Shady 2.0 Cypher at last year's BET awards. After MGK downplayed the beef Yelawolf followed up by stating that "It's probably the most insulting thing on the planet, to be asked to sign a Machine Gun Kelly autograph."
MGK has now continued the emerging battle by commenting on the age of Yelawolf. After asked about how he feels regarding comparisons to Yela, he responded, "I love him, man. You gotta respect your elders, and he's an old man so I gotta give it up. I respect all grandpas around the world doin' it big. Salute."
I still don't understand how two artists who are very similar and are in similar situations cannot come together and must constantly throw barbs at the other. Both artists have recently expressed their displeasure with their record labels, with Yelawolf calling out Interscope records for not pushing any singles off his album other then "Let's Roll". Yelawolf even went as far as to say he made the album that the label wanted to appeal to the masses and the label is still not giving him any support. Yelawolf said, "I fully compromised. But I let everyone know prior to doing Radioactive what I was doing. I was being honest with my fans. I was like, 'Yeah, I'm letting people in, we're gonna do something more melodic.' I mean, the album's called Radioactive - to be active on the Radio. It was a purposeful shot for me, because I felt like I had a fuckin' window to use. 'Oh, I can gain, I can pull more people in with this shit.' I don't know what the fuck they're doing up there."
Similar setiments were made by MGK, stating how he hated the song "Invincible" which features Ester Dean. MGK said, "First off, I hated the song when I first did it because it was brought to me by corporate America," Machine Gun Kelly revealed. "So basically Jimmy Iovine was like hey, first off they didn't even come to me with the song, it was like a contest between the Interscope rappers like Yelawolf, Kendrick Lamar and myself, which I found out. It sucked and I hated it."
"I don't operate like that. I hate cookie cutter songs," said Machine Gun Kelly. "You know like B.o.B with ‘Airplanes' and the ‘Love The Way You Lie' thing. You weren't there making the song with each other in the studio. It was presented to you. I write all my hooks…So when I got this hook I was offended. You guys think I'm a cookie cutter artist. I don't work like that. And I've never talked to Ester Dean in my life. I've never talked to the producer who's Alex Da Kid who makes those cookie cutter records."
Well MGK is not completely accurate in that he did perform the song with Ester Dean at this years Wresltemania… In any event these two artists took a similar route to get where they are now. They both compromised to give the label what they wanted and they are still unhappy with how the label has been treating them. Instead of focusing their energy on the barbs they are throwing at each other, they should focus on their own label issues and focus on their own music. At the end of the day, they both need to realize that they are more similar to each other then they first thought.
BET held their awards should last week, and the real big winners were GOOD Music members Big Sean, who won for Best New Artists, Kanye and Jay-Z won for video of the year with Otis. Elsewhere Nicki Minaj won Best Female Hip Hop Artist, while Chris Brown got the nod as the Best Male R&B artists and Entertainer of the year.
All in all there were no real surprises with the awards, and with Brown's recent performances on previous award shows it was no surprise that he was entertainer of the year. Brown has had a great year with a ton of good guest appearances. This exposure should give him great exposure for the release of his latest album Fortune this week (which in my opinion was a huge letdown of an album).
The rest of the BET award winners can be seen below, along with the show stealing performance from GOOD Music.
The Throne (Jay-Z and Kanye West)
Kevin Hart, "Think Like a Man"
Best New Artist
Best Male R&B Artist
Wale (featuring Miguel), "Lotus Flower Bomb"
Best Female R&B Artist
Best Female Hip-Hop Artist
Lifetime Achievement Award
Maze, featuring Frankie Beverly
Video of the Year
The Throne (Jay-Z and Kanye West), featuring Otis Redding, "Otis"
The Reverend Al Sharpton
Viewers' Choice Award
Video Director of the Year
Beyoncé and Alan Ferguson
Entertainer of the Year
Lauren Hill Tax Problems
Growing the ever long list of hip hop stars with tax issues, Lauren Hill could be facing up to three years in prison for failing to file her taxes going back to 2005. Lauren Hill plead guilty to the charge last week and will award sentencing in November. Hill earned 1.8 million between 2005 and 2007 yet failed to pay any taxes on that amount. Following the guilty plea, Hill took to twitter to explain her situation:
"My intention has always been to get this situation rectified. When I was working consistently without being affected by the interferences mentioned above, I filed and paid my taxes," Hill explained. "This only stopped when it was necessary to withdraw from society, in order to guarantee the safety and well-being of myself and my family."
On top of possible prison time the singer could also be forced to pay almost $100,000 in fines. Her excuse is somewhat ludicrous. Why was it necessary for her to withdraw from society in otder to ensure her safety? How would paying taxes have affected her safety? She still was able to collect royalties and monies from her music, that was safe, but paying taxes would have threatened her safety? Doesn't make sense to me, and I fully expect her to get the full sentence in order for the US government to send a message to other entertainers who fail to pay taxes (unless she made some sort of deal with the guilty plea).
Release Dates & Album Updates
Some updates on albums that have gone into limbo recently, starting with Slaughterhouse, and their Shady Records debut welcome to: Our House. The album was originally scheduled for a May release, but has been pushed back multiple times, however, Eminem confirmed that the album is done and will be released August 28.
Brother Ali is planning his next album, Mourning In America And Dreaming In Color and released the tracklist which can be seen below:
1. Letter To My Countrymen
2. Only Life I Know
3. Stop The Press
4. Mourning In America
5. Gather Round
6. Work Everyday
7. Need a Knot
8. Won More Hit
9. Say Amen
12. All You Need
13. My Beloved
14. Singing This Song
Lastly, despite no outlets showing anything in terms of an album or a release date, 50 Cent continued to tell anyone who will listen that his new album 5: Murder By Numbers will be released on July 3rd. 50 Cent went as far as to say that Eminem and Dre do not want him to release it, but he guarantees it will be out on July 3rd, and will leak it if he has to. I fully expect 50 to release comments on July 3rd about how they would not allow him to release it and they threatened to sue him if he did release. 50 Cent is one of the biggest B.S.ers on the planet and it is actually amazing how he made it as far as he did…
The rest of the dates can be seen below with new additions underlined, and anticipated albums in red!
Aesop Rock – Skelethon
La Coka Nostra - Masters Of the Dark Arts
Chino XL – RICANstruction
8Ball - Life's Quest
Alchemist - Russian Roulette
French Montana - Excuse My French
Nas – Life is Good
Masta Ace & MF DOOM – MA DOOM
Madchild (Swollen Members) - Dope Sick
REKS - REBELutionary
Big Shug - I.M. 4 E-VA
Rick Ross - God Forgives, I Don't
Necro - The Murder Murder Kill Kill Double EP
Bumpy Knuckles x Statik Selektah – Ambition
G.O.O.D. Music - Cruel Summer
2 Chainz – Based on a TRU story
Kreayshawn - Somethin' Bout Kreay
August 21 DJ Khaled – Kiss The Ring
Wiz Khalifa - O.N.I.F.C.
Slaughterhouse - welcome to: Our House
T.I. - Trouble Man
Saigon - Bread and Circuses
Ludacris - Ludaversal
Skyzoo - A Dream Deferred
Lupe Fiasco - Food & Liquor 2: The Great American Rap Album Pt. 1
Swizz Beatz - Haute Living 
Fabolous – Loso's Way 2 
Other Recent Announcements
DPG – Alumni [Early 2012]
Asher Roth – Is This Too Orange [TBD]
R.A. the Rugged Man – Legends Never Die [Mid 2012]
Inspectah Deck and 7L & Esoteric – CZARFACE [Mid 2012]
Cee Lo – Everybody's Brother 
Goodie Mob – Age Against the Machine 
Kool G Rap & Necro – The Godfathers