Occasionally, things slow down in moneymaking Manhattan, New York. Off the beaten path, a mouthwatering six-figure whip is conspicuously parked on Harlem’s west side, where the traffic is clear and life slows down…for a minute.
It’s another sunny, 74-degree afternoon in Los Angeles and casa Wentz is abuzz with activity. “I woke up to cameras,” Fall Out Boy’s bassist and lyricist Pete Wentz says, referring to the MTV crew encamped at his Hollywood Hills home, shooting an episode of “MTV Cribs.”
Here’s the plot: there’s this fighter who grew up poor and used to make a little side-money as an enforcer/debt collector. He later becomes beloved by his fans for his hard-hitting fighting style and warrior mentality. After starting out in small-time local bouts, he eventually works his way up to the big stage and a title shot for the championship of the world. He is pretty much living the American Dream.
Admit it. When the first few beats of Tical (Def Jam, 1994) hit your eardrums, you knew you were listening to something special…no, outstanding. Wu-Tang Clan’s untouchable debut, Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) (Loud/RCA, 1993), set the bar high for anything that might originate from the Wu camp...
Jay-Z’s debut album in 1996, “Reasonable Doubt” (Roc-A-Fella/Priority, 1996), put just that in artists attempting to compete with the soon-to-be rap mogul in the hip-hop game. Kansas City Chiefs running back Larry Johnson did the exact same thing in 2003 when he entered the NFL driving reasonable doubt into opposing teams by running over and around defenders on the gridiron.
One of the strengths of the Wu-Tang Clan is the individual talents of each member of the collective, of which Ghostface Killah (aka Tony Starks and Ironman) has been deemed by many as the most consistent, with such hits as Ironman (Razor Sharp/Epic, 1996), Supreme Clientele (Razor Sharp/Epic, 2000), The Pretty Toney Album (Def Jam, 2004), and more recently, Fishscale (Def Jam, 2006) and More Fish (Def Jam, 2006).
Amerie sparked a worldwide love affair when she asked, “Why Don’t We Fall in Love?” in 2002, and she has kept it flowing through the years. This spring, she released her third album, Because I Love It (Sony Urban/Columbia, 2007), which promised to bring more banging grooves like her notorious body-moving “1 Thing,” from her sophomore album Touch (Sony Urban/Columbia, 2005).
In November of 1993, while mainstream hip-hop was in its infancy and the genre was still defining itself, a young group from Cleveland, Ohio dreamed of hitting the big time. Like countless aspiring rappers, these ambitious Clevelanders idolized the hard-edged beats of Eazy-E and N.W.A. But because they were separated by almost 2,400 miles of country, the suburbs of Compton (arguably the cultural epicenter of gangsta rap) seemed like the other side of the world, a promised land of booze, women and weed, where the best and the brightest gathered to create the musical climate from scratch.