#SessionTwoReligionAndHipHop – MixTape 2

Sui Generis Continues….

#SessionTwoReligionAndHipHop #Reli157x2

What do religion and hip hop have in common?  Take a look at these images and decide for yourself which are images representing hip hop and which are images representing religion:

graffiti-religious art 1931_religious_art_bartlett_b

Religious Art OR Graffiti


Dancing  OR  Breaking

12_Hip_Hop_Concert Service Hip Hop

Church Service  OR  Hip Hop Show

robert-padovano-crowd preaching_crowd_ii

Emceeing  OR  Preaching to a Crowd

All of these images are closely related.  If you just gloss over all of these pictures, it could be difficult to tell them apart.  Both religion and hip hop provide similar outlets through which their followers/participants can use to express themselves and fellowship/gather with like-minded people.  When you really put thought into it, the lines between “religion” and Hip Hop are blurred.

#SessionTwoReligionAndHipHop – Conscious Rap and Women in Hip Hop


Do you feel women are being accurately represented in Hip Hop today?  Where did all the mainstream conscious rappers go?  I have included some of the videos from our discussions in the #Reli157x1 class I am taking and some videos of my choosing.  Take a second and browse through some of these and think about where Women and Conscious Rappers in Hip Hop have come from, who was around in the beginning, who’s around now, and the significance of women and conscious rappers in the Hip Hop communities today.  Enjoy the journey…

Lauryn Hill

Queen Latifah

Queen Latifah, Yo-Yo, TLC, MC Lyte, Nefertiti, Salt N Pepa, Patra, and Michelle Ndegeocello

Rah Digga

Brand Nubians

Public Enemy

Boogie Down Productions


Talib Kweli


Religion and Hip Hop: #SessionOneComplexSubjectivity

Welcome back to Sui Generis!

So a few weeks ago, I blogged about Anthony Pinn and Bun B’s Religion and Hip Hop class that’s currently being offered via Rice University.  Well I decided to take the course myself and luck would have it, some of our assignments are to be submitted via social media!  So I thought this would be a great opportunity for you all to share this experience with me.  Hope you enjoy and learn a thing or two…or three 😉

#SessionOneComplexSubjectivity #Reli157x1

What is the difference between the definition we offered in this session (religion as the quest for complex subjectivity) and more traditional ways religion is defined?

While both definitions address the “system of beliefs” (elemental feeling for complex subjectivity) , the more traditional definition of religion seems to focus on “who” it applies to and “what” religion is.  The definition offered in the class seems to add the “why” religion is what it is (accompanying transformation of consciousness that allows for the historically manifest battle against the terror of fixed identity). Continue reading

Religion and Hip-Hop

Religion & Hip-Hop.  The current perception of either culture is that they do not belong together.  It’s an oxy-moron.  They’re oil and water.  But are they, really?  “Jesus Walks” by Kanye West, “G.O.D.” by Common and Ceelo, “Muhammed Walks” by Lupe Fiasco, “Who Do You Believe In?” by 2Pac, “Faith” by Kendrick Lamar, “B.I.B.L.E.” by Killah Priest, “All Praises Due” by Mos Def, and countless other hip-hop artists’ songs mention or discuss religion.  Artists even have religious names or refer to themselves as deities: Hova, Charlamagne Tha God, Yeezus…Rev Run, even.

Do you feel religion has a place with hip-hop, and vice versa?  Checkout The Breakfast Clubs interview (Power 105.1) with Bun B and Anthony Pinn.  They will be co-teaching a course on Religion and Hip-Hop at Rice University.  The two of them discuss how that course came about and touch briefly on the issue of religion and hip-hop.  Details on the course are as follows:

Date: March 24th (6 week course)

Location:  Online – www.edx.org

Course Name: Religion and hIp-Hop (RELI157X)

Cost: FREE!!

New Young Talent: Rhaelon

Welcome back to the Blog all my Sui Generians!


I’m just coming off of a pretty hectic travel schedule, but I found time to make my way up to the SCMC Music Conference in Atlanta recently.  And let me tell you, the Indie music scene is where it’s at!

There was about 30 or so of us (the host, the guest panel, media, and, of course all of the talent) crammed into a small hotel ballroom.  (I’m telling y’all it was packed in there!)  No one cared who sat next to who, we all just wanted to be in the room to converse with the industry veteran guest panel, listen to our fellow indie artists/entertainers, and network.

As we slowly shuffle to our seats and get situated, this young lady sits down next to me.  She has audacious style and an air about her that says she’s very confident and sure of herself and Continue reading

Sui Generis Music Merchandise! Coming Soon!

Welcome to Sui Generis!

Hey Fans!  We want to thank you for supporting the Sui Generis Music blog!  Take our poll and let us know what kind of merchandise you would like!

Leave a comment and let me know you voted.  Two lucky fans will receive a Sui Generis Music prize pack for FREE!

Enticing Electronica: Justin Cross

Welcome to Sui Generis!

Justin Cross

Nikke Stiletto:  So!  Justin Cross!  I thought your song was pretty amazing!  I listened to it and thought it was pretty dope and refreshing!

Justin Cross:  [Laughter] Much appreciation.

NS:  And I noticed on your Facebook page that you are the “Chief Executive Guitar Slayer”! [Laugher]

JC:  [Laughter] Indeed.  I’m known to lay down a lick or two!

NS:  When did you learn to play the guitar?  Were you self-taught or did you have formal training?

JC: Yeah I’m not hanging with you Berklee grads!  I know you and Watt are serious business.    The first time I picked up a guitar I was a young teen…and I wrote a song and it was pretty horrible but I was convinced it was awesome and I just rocked it out.  I was pretty stoked about it!

NS:  I mean hey, as long as you liked it right?  You have to like your own work first, right? [Laughter] Continue reading

Need Help Solving Songwriter-Publisher Royalty Split Disputes?

“If there is a split dispute on a song, and the writers and publishers are not able to agree on how the ownership shares are to be divided, there is no way for the publishers to issue the necessary mechanical license. That means no money until the fight is settled…”

~Eric Beall – Berklee Online Instructor, respected music industry veteran, author of “Making Music Make Money”, and A&R for independent music publisher Shapiro Bernstein.

Everyone in the music industry, whether you are independent, mainstream or otherwise, should heed this warning.  Eric Beall, former songwriter for the likes of Diana Ross, The Jacksons, Brenda K. Starr, and many others, wrote an article back in 2010 titled “The Great Pie Fight” and its content still holds true today.  In it he discusses the issues associated with songwriters and publishers splitting royalties and what could (and probably will) happen when the song(s) are released but neither side can come to an agreement on who gets a percentage of the royalties and how much.

If you are an artist who wrote some, or only one, song on an album and you and your publisher are in agreement as to who gets what, this may sound like it doesn’t affect you and your royalties, but it DOES!  Beall goes on to say the following:

Over the last decade, the record labels, seeing an opportunity, have used those split disputes, along with arguments about controlled composition clauses attached to producer contracts, three-quarter rates, and sample clearances to withhold payment for ALL the songs on an album in which even ONE song has not been licensed. This means that one split dispute on one song on an album can hold up money for every songwriter and publisher with a song on that record, often for years and years.

Wallace Collins, an attorney, pointed out in that article that these problems of split disputes that cause withheld payments are predominately centered in urban music genres.  That means Hip-Hop, Rap, R&B/Soul, etc. Continue reading

A Southern Rap Original: TELA – He’s Back!

Welcome to Sui Generis!


Nikke Stiletto: Thanks for coming on the show, Tela.  I know the last time we spoke was on our interview with you on Blasturthoughts Radio.  And you’ve been pretty busy since then!

Tela: Yeah, thanks for having me again!

NS:  Of course!

So, I, personally, have been a Tela fan for a long time, but for the younger crowd and those who may not know who you are, let everyone know about Tela.

T:  Well my first album dropped in ’96, my debut album “Piece of Mind” on Suave House [Records].  I’m a cat out of Memphis, by way of H-town.  Did that thang with Tony Draper; it went Gold.  I was introduced to Draper through EightBall and MJG who I knew from back in the town in the ‘M’.  We used to frequent the same studio, OPS, and that’s how that connection was made. [My first album] could have been more [than Gold] but it was during the time when ‘Mom and Pop’ stores weren’t [working with] SoundScan and we used to sell the bulk of our records out of the mom and pop stores.  So it’s safe to say that I am one of the pioneers and trailblazers of Southern Hip Hop. It’s been a blessing and I’m fortunate to have been in the company of the greats that laid down these Southern hip hop bricks.  You know like Eightball & MJG, Scarface, Devin the Dude, the list goes on and on from a South perspective. Big Mike…you name it!  In that earlier southern movement I was a part of it. Continue reading

New Phatic Energy: Prentice Powell

Prentice PowellWelcome to Sui Generis!

Nikke Stiletto:  We’re here with Prentice Powell and he is our very first spoken word artist!  Tell us a little bit about Prentice Powell…

Prentice Powell:  Ok!  Yes, I’m a spoken word artist.  I am from Oakland, California.  I enjoy putting my insanity onto the notebooks to kind of make sense of my thoughts.  I am blessed to be able to share that with other individuals and actually have people want to hear my thoughts, which is still kind of surreal to me.

NS:  I can imagine!

PP:  It is…it definitely is.  But, I enjoy it.  I definitely realize what it is that I am embarking on and I’m doing it way bigger than me so I am just happy to be a vessel to be able to, apparently, help people out while helping myself.

NS:  Cool!  And I was noticing while I was reading up on you that you have so much success in a relatively short period of time, in comparison to others who may have started around the same time that you did, and you’re very good at what you do!  So it would seem like you have been honing your skills for years and years.  So when did you start writing poetry and what inspired you to go that route?

PP:  I always have to give credit to a cousin of mine named Tyson Amir, he’s actually a really talented emcee.  He’s a couple of months older than me.  Growing up, everything he did I tried to do, too!.  When he started playing football, I started playing football.  When he got interested in basketball, I started playing basketball.  He was always better..which was ok! [Laughter] Continue reading