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Hip Hop Herald 04.10.13: Jay-Z and Beyonce, Lupe Fiasco's Downward Spiral, Rick Ross, More
Posted by Bill Wannop on 04.10.2013

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.

Be for we start, be sure to check out some of our exclusive interviews as well as follow me on Twitter.

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Jay Z and Beyonce in Cuba
Jay Z

Jay-Z and Beyoncé seem to be in hot water by celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary in Cuba last week. The duo had photographs taken as they toured Havana, which has raised the ire of at least two members of Congress. United States Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart, asked Adam Szubin, who serves as Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control, for "information regarding the type of license that Beyonce and Jay-Z received, for what purpose, and who approved such travel."

"Despite the clear prohibition against tourism in Cuba, numerous press reports described the couple's trip as tourism, and the Castro regime touted it as such in its propaganda," read the letter. "We represent a community of many who have been deeply and personally harmed by the Castro Regime's atrocities, including former political prisoners and the families of murdered innocents."

While this may not seem to be that big of a deal to most people, the fact of the matter is that there is a United States embargo against Cuba and it is prohibited from any American citizen from travelling to or spending money in Cuba, without a valid license. It appears that Jay-Z and Beyonce did not have a valid license and therefore broke the embargo. I am not sure what the punishment is (likely just a fine) but it does seem somewhat like a slap in the face to President Obama, whom Jay-Z is said to be a big supporter of.

I would imagine that somehow it will be revealed that the couple was there on ‘official' business which is somewhat crazy as the couple went for their wedding anniversary…

Lupe Fiasco Continues Crazy Behaviour
Lupe Fiasco

Lupe Fiasco has continued his full on meltdown last week at the University of Cincinnati when someone in the crowd threw a glow stick at the Chicago rapper, hitting him in the head.

Lupe immediately stopped the concert and addressed the person:
"Listen, hold up two seconds we'll get back to the show, listen. I know you a jerk, and that's cool. I know that you came here and you thought that 'I'ma get some shine real quick and throw some shit at Lupe and hit him in the face.'"

Lupe continued, letting the crowd know that he had not one, but four black belts in martial arts. "But, let me remind you of something, okay? Hold on y'all, just hold on. We gonna get back to the show... Let me remind you something...you see this waist? This waist right here? There used to be four black belts around this waist."

"So listen, Everybody that wanna throw some shit, kindly step over to the side of the stage….and I'll give you five minutes of fame here. I'll seek whatever you want from this show to make sure they don't get your broken up ass outside of jail.

"In the words of Jay-Z, 'It ain't a movie dog,' don't get fucked up,"

While I don't condone throwing objects at the performers on stage, Lupe has to accept that this is part of what happens when you are a performer. Stopping the show to threaten the audience is not the way to go about diffusing the situation, as that may in fact cause more people to throw objects in order to get a rise out of Lupe.

Lupe has been somewhat in a downward spiral as of late, and it seems more and more likely that he is going to completely have a meltdown and snap one of these days. Hopefully he is able to release a couple more good albums before that happens…

Protest Over Rick Ross Lyrics
Rick Ross

Rick Ross is also in hot water over some of his lyrics, so much so that UltraViolet, a women's rights group, protested at a Reebok store, due to the sponsorship deal between the two. UltraViolet is protesting because of lyrics in Ross' verse on Rocko's "U.N.E.N.O." where he raps about putting molly in a girl's drink without her knowing and then taking her home.

"We are appalled that Reebok would pay a spokesperson who brags about enjoying drugging and raping a woman," Nita Chaudhary, co-founder of UltraViolet, explained. "Reebok devotes a lot of time, energy and money to marketing to women–and now they are paying a man who is literally bragging about raping us while absurdly insisting it can't possibly be rape if he doesn't use the word 'rape.' Reebok is apparently okay promoting rape culture, but when one out of five women are the victim of an attempted or completed rape, that has consequences."

"Reebok and Rick Ross have crossed a line— not only does Ross brag about drugging and raping a woman, he is pushing the idea that if you don't use the word ‘rape,' it doesn't count. We are fed up and disgusted with Reebok and Thursday we will bring this fight to their front steps."

The lyric in question is below.

"Put Molly all in her champagne. She ain't even know it," he says on the track. "I took her home and I enjoyed that. She ain't even know it."

Rick Ross has come out and openly apologized for the lyric. What is craziest about this situation is that there are far bigger names that have said much worse in songs, yet they have not gotten anywhere near the response Rick Ross has. While Ross's lyric may have been inappropriate, you have to remember that he is an entertainer and he has the freedom to say anything he wants in his songs. The moment that Rick Ross signed that deal with Reebok he had to be conscious that he was more in the public eye and that anything he did could cost him that deal. Ross had the choice to continue doing what he does, or to lay off the overly offensive lyrics in order to keep the relationship with Reebok. There is currently no word yet on if Reebok will end their relationship with Ross or not.

Release Dates & Album Updates
We have a good amount of new music news this week, starting with Nicki Minaj, who has decided that she is going focus on putting out her next album. Instead of going on a summer tour. Nicki has been busy as of late with American Idol dominating the majority of her time, and working on a new album really is the best decision if she wants to try and cash in on her increased publicity. There was no word on when she expects her next album to drop.

Joe Budden was on MTV's Rapfix and dropped news that Slaugherhouse is working on their next album, the follow up to their 2012 album, welcome to: our HOUSE. Again no information was given on a planned release, with Budden simply stating that the group is spending this month focused on their next album.

Additionally, Nas dropped hints that he is planning on releasing the next album of his career, potentially this summer. Nas sated that he plans to being the roll out of his next project in May. It is not clear what the project will be, whether it is a new solo album, a follow up to the collab album with Damian Marley or potentially something else altogether.

Lastly Immortal Technique let out that he is not only working on a new solo album, but that he has started work on a Rebel Armz collab album. Immortal Tech's upcoming solo is titled The Middle Passage is about half done and he expects to release it in the last quarter of this year. Speaking on the Rebel Armz album, Tech had the following to say:

"I'll be able to put out The Middle Passage, 'The Martyr [2]' and me, [Poison] Pen, Diabolic and the rest of the crew have been kicking the idea around a lot about doing a Rebel Armz album and I think it's overdue. So I'm gonna say [it] here on DX, since y'all like exclusives, that we are definitely gonna do it. This is the first time I'm saying it. The Rebel Armz album [with] Immortal Technique and the whole fuckin' squad is gonna happen. It's going down."

The Rebel Armz consists of various emcees including Technique, Chino XL, Swave Sevah and Akir.

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April 20
Styles P & Scram Jones - Float

April 23
Talib Kweli - Prisoner Of Consciousness
Kid CuDi – indicud
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May 7
The-Dream - Fourplay
Havoc - 13
Gene The Southern Child & Parallel Thought - Artillery Splurgin'

May 14
Eve - Lip Lock

May 21
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May 28
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June 18
Statik Selektah – Extended Play

June 25
Serengeti - Kenny Dennis
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50 Cent – Street King Immortal

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