University of Missouri Offering “Jay-Z and Kanye West” Class by Soren Baker

University of Missouri Offering "Jay-Z and Kanye West" Class

The “Jay-Z and Kanye West” class at University of Missouri explores the relationship between the two rappers.

This fall, University of Missouri will be offering for a second time “Jay-Z and Kanye West,” a class that focuses on the relationship between the two rappers, consequenceofsound.com reports.

Offered through the English department, the class’s instructor says that Jay Z and Kanye West should be considered poets.

“I really do think that these guys are warming up to the level of major poets, and not many people think of it in those terms,” says Andrew Hoberek, the class’s instructor. ”Because it’s not just on a page, but it’s video art, too. So, we looked at how those complicated the questions, and how do books about poetry help us to understand rap with Jay and Kanye at the forefront. We looked at the larger history of rap as an art form. Specifically, how, especially with Blueprint 3 and Yeezus, there’s an identifiable push to get beyond what’s happening in the art form. They’re very much like painters and novelists in the 20th century, moving beyond the confines of the art form’s boundaries.”

In an article on the class, time.com agrees that Jay Z and Kanye West’s work has moved beyond just the musical realm. “Jay Z and Kanye’s projects are now multidisciplinary, mingling visual and performance arts as integral elements of their albums and concerts, to a greater extent than their predecessors,” the article says. “And their collaborations inform their solo projects. All of this is worth exploring in an academic setting.”

Rick Ross Says Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Name Will Live Forever” [Danielle Harling]

In a special segment with Revolt TV, Miami rapper Rick Ross touched on the legacy of the late civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. While speaking on Dr. King, Ross recalled chatting with an older man about Dr. King while in Memphis, Tennessee.

According to the Maybach Music Group helmsman, the man complimented Dr. King on his “I Have A Dream” speech, but shared his belief that the speech that got Dr. King murdered was delivered shortly before his death.

“We all carry that burden to continue the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.,” Ross said during the REVOLT TV interview. “We all are responsible for making sure that resonates with everybody else that’s underneath us and around us. That was most definitely a very peaceful, very powerful, influential brother. I actually was having a conversation with another older gentleman and I was just asking about Martin Luther King. We was actually in Memphis. This brother was like, ‘The ‘I Have A Dream’ speech, that was a beautiful speech. Powerful speech. Powerful speech.’ They said ‘But that’s not the speech that got the brother murdered.’ I said ‘It’s not?’ I said ‘What was?’”

Ross says the man then revealed that in that particular speech, Dr. King called for black people to begin buying land.

“He said, ‘Brother Martin gave a speech at a church a few days before he was murdered. Telling black people to buy land. Buy all the land you can. We need land.’ And I’m just looking at the brother. He said ‘You remember that. You remember that.’ I said ‘I’m gonna remember that, Pops.’ Him telling me that, man it just let me know it’s so much that I don’t know about the brother. His name will live forever.”

Delivered one day before Dr. King’s death on April 4, 1968, the speech Ross may have been referring to was the late leader’s “I’ve Been To The Mountaintop” speech. Dr. King’s “I’ve Been To The Mountaintop” speech was made on April 3, 1968 at the Mason Temple in Memphis, Tennessee. In his speech, Dr. King calls for a boycott against Coca-Cola, Wonder Bread and other products before calling on those in attendance to “strengthen black institutions.”

“And so, as a result of this, we are asking you tonight, to go out and tell your neighbors not to buy Coca-Cola in Memphis,” Dr. King said, according to AmericanRhetoric.com. “Go by and tell them not to buy Sealtest milk. Tell them not to buy — what is the other bread? — Wonder Bread. And what is the other bread company, Jesse? Tell them not to buy Hart’s bread. As Jesse Jackson has said, up to now, only the garbage men have been feeling pain; now we must kind of redistribute the pain. We are choosing these companies because they haven’t been fair in their hiring policies; and we are choosing them because they can begin the process of saying they are going to support the needs and the rights of these men who are on strike…But not only that, we’ve got to strengthen black institutions.”

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Jay Z & Beyonce Take Blue Ivy To The White House [Soren Baker]

Jay Z and Beyonce took Blue Ivy on a tour of the White House last weekend, according to marieclaire.co.uk.

Beyonce was in Washington, D.C. to perform at Michelle Obama’s fiftieth birthday party, which was also attended by Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder and Samuel L. Jackson.

In 2010, Jay Z and Beyonce made their first trip to the White House while Jay Z was in Washington as part of his Blueprint 3 Tour.

Photos of Blue Ivy’s trip to the White House are as follows, courtesy of marieclaire.co.uk:

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Wale Says Beyonce’s Album Saved People’s Careers [Danielle Harling]

D.C. rapper Wale continued to address his now notorious phone call to the Complex offices during an appearance on Peter Rosenberg and Cipha Sounds’ Juan Epstein podcast. Wale revealed that as a result of the incident he plans on being less carefree with those he chooses to do media for.

Wale’s conversation with Rosenberg and Cipha Sounds quickly changed direction as the Maybach Music Group rapper spoke on Beyonce’s newly-released album and how the project has saved the sanity and careers of a lot of people.

“One thing I’m gonna change now is I’m not gonna do media for everybody now. Cause I don’t think it’s worth it,” said Wale. “You got treat this shit like an expensive pair of sneakers dog or a good jacket or some shit…I think the labels gotta wake up. Beyonce did—she saved a lot of people’s careers, man, with that move, dog. She saved a lot of people’s sanity I’ll say because no rollout. Just—it’s about the art. Like obviously, niggas gon’ still have they rollout, but she made it so it’s like less focused on the rollout and more about the music.”

Wale continued to speak on album rollouts as he addressed his third studio album, The Gifted. Released in June of this year, The Gifted is a project the rapper says could have had a better rollout.

“The one thing I wish I could change about The Gifted rollout…I wasn’t doing the things that I wanted to do with my time,” said the MMG emcee. “I was doing like a little in-store [in] a little, small city for like five people. With bad promotion nobody came. And it was just like ‘Yo, why am I here? When I could be—or doing a radio interview.’ Which is odd. Radio is super important. I super have respect for it, but it’s like I could have been shooting two or three videos in that time. Before my album came out. And let them videos fall when they may. Now I didn’t have no time. I went right on tour. I didn’t have no time to shoot no videos. So it’s like hindsight, 20/20, and all that, but I wanna take more control over what I do and what I don’t do.”

Following a phone conversation in which Wale threatened Complex staff after not being included on the publication’s Top 50 Albums of 2013 list, he shared his belief that he wasn’t added to the list due to a beef with fellow artist Kid Cudi.

“I’m a bit of conspiracy theorist a little bit,” said Wale during an interview with Hot 97. “So, I believe that me and [Kid Cudi’s] fallout had something to do with a lack of support [from Complex].”

Wale Says J. Cole Is “More Of A Jerk” Than He Is [Danielle Harling]

D.C. rapper Wale kicked off this week’s interview with The Breakfast Club by speaking on the recent controversy involving Complex magazine. While speaking on the incident, which involved the Maybach Music Group emcee threatening Complex staff, Wale revealed that he’s not in the music industry for the money and therefore takes more issue with not being included on roundups like Complex’s “50 Best Albums Of 2013″ list.

He also questioned why he wasn’t nominated for a Grammy award for The Gifted when a Kendrick Lamar song that appeared on the NBA 2K14 soundtrack and was a good kid, m.A.A.d city bonus track did receive a nomination.

“I don’t care about the money, Joe. I like the sport, yo,” Wale said. “I played sports my whole life. So, I like the competitive nature. You know what I’m saying? I like the sport of rhyming. I want to have quadruple entendres on certain records. And everybody to be rewinding ‘em. And it be in the locker room or at the lunch table talking about ‘You heard what he said?’ That’s what I care about…It’s just a combination of things, but I’m in a place now where it’s like I’m at bat trying again to do it.”

Wale also spoke on meeting his grandfather for the first time while in Nigeria filming Revolt TV’s Wale: I Am From documentary. While speaking on Nigeria, the D.C. spitter also addressed those who feel he’d be more successful if he was more vocal about his Nigerian roots.

“So, I met my grandfather for the first time. So, it was really intense,” he said. “And I don’t really show that side of myself. I like to keep my personal life away. Y’all get my emotional, but y’all don’t really get the—y’all don’t know who I’m dating…I use my real, Nigerian name. That’s the first red flag of embracing it. You know what I’m saying? My first album I sampled a famous African record. Did a video for it. I’ve worked with Wizkid. I’ve worked with [Olamide]. I’ve worked with a lot of these people. Just because they not on the U.S. radar—I don’t know if I need to go Lil Wayne on niggas and put the tattoo of a Nigerian scripture, Nigerian Yoruba scriptures on the side of my face so they can be like ‘Yeah.’ I don’t know if I gotta come in wearing an agbada or something like that. But I do my best…That’s like Drake walking around with a yamaka.”

Towards the end of Wale’s interview with The Breakfast Club, he revealed that friend and fellow rapper J. Cole is “more of a jerk” than he is and accepted the fact that he’ll never be considered a media darling.

“People love Cole and Cole’s a jerk, yo,” Wale said. “That’s one of my best friends though, but Cole is a jerk too. He’s a jerk. He’s more of a jerk than me. He’s just quiet. He’s quiet. He’s light-skinned. I’m like black ass, D.C. loud…Let’s just let it be known now that I’m not gonna be a media darling. I’m not gon’ be Janelle Monae. You know what I’m saying? Janelle Monae talented as fuck. We can do the same amount of numbers, but she can get Good Morning America. A Saturday Night Live. She can get to sit on Letterman or something like that. We can do the same amount, but I ain’t getting none of that. So, I’ve accepted it.”

This week’s interview comes one month after a recorded phone call between Wale and Complex magazine’s Insanul Ahmed was released online. During the roughly three-minute long conversation, Wale threatened to visit the publication’s office and “start knocking niggas the fuck out.”

“Fuck you, dog. You know it’s disrespect. I swear to God I’ll come to that office and start knocking niggas the fuck out,” the rapper said. “Y’all wanna see some ghetto ignorant shit? That’s what y’all promote. That’s the only thing y’all promote from niggas.”

Dr. Dre & Jimmy Iovine’s Beats Music Now Available [Roman Cooper]

Beats Music, the latest product from Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine’s Beats Electronics, is set to launch on January 21.

The subscription streaming service, originally called Daisy, is expected to compete with Spotify, Pandora, and Apple’s iTunes Radio. Beats Music also has Trent Reznor of Nine Inch as its chief creative officer.

In a profile of Beats Music on The New York Times, Jimmy Iovine spoke about the service. “What song comes next,” he said, “is as important as what song is playing now.”

Ben Arnold, an analyst at the NPD Group, also spoke on the new streaming provider. “If they are coming at this from a new angle, not just that we want to be the Beats version of Spotify, it’s a great idea,” he said. “If not, then you’ve got to rely on your brand. There’s something for them there, but it’s tougher.”

The marketing campaign includes an integration deal with cellular provider AT&T, a Super Bowl ad, and plugs on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”

U2′s Bono also spoke on Beats Music. “There’s so much music to hear online, people have become a bit deaf to the choices,” he said in an email. “Jimmy believes that Beats-style curation will become the discovery model that the music business is waiting for. I would never bet against him.”

Beats Music will only be available in the United States for the time being.

(January 12)

UPDATE: Beats Music is now available for $9.99 a month and features a catalog of 20 million songs, according to complex.com.

The service differentiates itself by presenting several ways that it introduces the consumer to music, though its “Just For You” screen, among others.

Kanye West Reportedly Negotiating Settlement With Alleged Assault Victim [Andres Tardio]

The 18-year-old man who Kanye West allegedly assaulted last week is currently in negotiations with the rapper’s camp for several hundred thousand dollars in a civil settlement, according to TMZ.

As reported on January 13, Kim Kardashian, Kanye West’s fiancee, was reportedly confronted by an 18-year-old man who allegedly called paparazzi “faggot-ass niggers.” The man allegedly also told Kardashian: “Fuck you, bitch. Just trying to help you. Shut up nigger lover, stupid slut,” according to TMZ’s report at the time. When West heard about the incident, he reportedly found the 18-year-old and allegedly punched the man.

Now the alleged victim is requesting several hundred thousand dollars in a civil settlement, reportedly hoping to avoid a public trial. The man has also reportedly not cooperated with police since the incident took place.

Days after the alleged assault, witnesses reported that West punched the alleged victim more than 30 times. TMZ now reports that the man has no apparent injuries from the alleged altercation.

West is currently in negotiations with the alleged victim, according to the TMZ report.

Jay Z’s Original “Reasonable Doubt” Tracklist Revealed To Public [Paul Meara

Jay Z’s Reasonable Doubt has long been heralded as one of his most acclaimed releases. Even Jay himself named the album his personal best.

Now, a new revelation has been released about Jay Z’s debut album–the believed to be original tracklisting for the project. 2DopeBoyz in coordination with the album’s art director/designer, Adrien Vargas, have made public an early version of Reasonable Doubt’s tracklist.

The list features 17 tracks (not including a bonus for “Dead Presidents [Remix]“) as opposed to the 14 on the mid-’90s released version. The songs “The Hurt,” “Tell Me,” and “Hot” apparently did not make the album and have never surfaced in any format.

Reasonable Doubt was released on June 25, 1996. It peaked at #23 on the US Billboard 200 and charted for 18 weeks. In 2002, it attained platinum status after becoming gold within its first five months. Upon release, the album received good reviews, including four mics in The Source magazine.

View the newly released early tracklisting below:

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