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hip-hop faculty advice bun b

Bun B

Advice: Know your numbers.
Bun B: [One of the] key factors that has changed is the financial aspect. People generally talk about the fact that the cost of recording has gone down significantly over the past 10 years. A lot of people have got relationships with other artists, so you do an appearance here for an appearance there, and people are using more local producers, who are not charging a lot. You don’t have to sell gold or platinum to make money if you’re recording an album for $50,000. The cost of shooting a video is now the price of an HD video camera. All of these different things that used to make it difficult to recoup money on the back end have changed. And there are more ways for an artist to make money today. It used to be just a single, an EP or an album, but now you’ve got ringtones, liquor sponsorships, clothing companies, TV shows, movie trailers. There are people who can make five, six, $700,000 off of one song.
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Bun B Will Not Attend Drake’s Houston Appreciation Weekend Festival

Next week, Houston will be taken over by October Very Own's Drake. With Drake shutting down the city with his first annual Houston Appreciation Weekend, you have to think the all the ambassadors and heavy hitters will be in attendance, right...

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Bishop Nehru

When did you first hear Illmatic?
Man, I wish I could tell you. Honestly, I don’t even remember. But I was young. I think probably the first time I heard it, I was probably maybe 8 or 9. Around there. My aunt is a huge Nas fan, she has all his tapes. She won tickets on the radio to his concerts and everything. So she is like diehard Nas fan. Ever since I was a kid, he was really playing Nas and into Nas. I think the first time when I could understand it was probably a couple years ago. Maybe, two, three years ago. Even sometimes when I listen to it, I catch new things. It’s a real good album. Real crazy album.

What was your initial reaction?
I guess I could tell you the reaction from a couple of years ago when I heard it again. When I heard it a couple of years ago, it was everything that was coming out a couple years ago, that was when the real trap stuff, Waka Flocka, was coming through strong. That was when that stuff was taking over. In New York, it was the same thing, people were listening to it as well. I was into trap stuff. I liked it, but I don’t like it as in I can listen to it over and over and over and over. I gotta have some type of variety to it.

When I was exploring different types of music around that time a couple years back, I guess I just listened to Nas’ album again. I don’t even know how to explain it. I was just playing it again one day and from the intro to the ending, I was just amazed. It’s just like a total experience. It’s like you can feel that album.

How did it affect you?
I think it affected my rapping style a lot. I think it affected a lot of people’s rap styles. I think that was the first rap album that really changed the structure of how hip-hop was. There wasn’t really too much structure in hip-hop before that. It was still figuring it out. I think Illmatic was one of the first albums to really bring a structure. The verses, the choruses. Everything is really lined up.

If you listen to Enter The Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers, which came out a year before, you don’t really hear 16 bars, chorus, 16 bars, chorus. You kind of hear a sloppier, a lot more raw [strucure]. I think Nas was the first person to sit down and make it an art. He decided to really do something with it.

Is there any rapper’s debut album that you feel is in the same league as Illmatic?
I think there’s a lot of albums that are in the same league as Illmatic, just like there’s a lot of basketball players in the same league. It’s just how you rank them. I think there’s some albums up there in the same league. Enter The 36 Chambers, Ready To Die, ‘Pac’s albums. I would name them, but just the discography. Liquid Swords. 

What is your favorite song off Illmatic?
“Life’s A Bitch,” “One Time For Your Mind, “Halftime,” “It Ain’t Hard To Tell.” I’m basically naming the tracklist. “NY State Of Mind.” The only reason I can’t pick one favorite because it is so short. It’s only ten tracks. You’re like, "Fuck!" And all the tracks hit. I don’t know. I like all of them. “Memory Lane.”

How does it hold up after 20 years?
I think it still holds up very well. That’s crazy that I can listen to it now 20 years later and it still holds up against anything out. Twenty years later. I think it’s gonna stand 20 more years as well.

Bishop Nehru

When did you first hear Illmatic?
Man, I wish I could tell you. Honestly, I don’t even remember. But I was young. I think probably the first time I heard it, I was probably maybe 8 or 9. Around there. My aunt is a huge Nas fan, she has all his tapes. She won tickets on the radio to his concerts and everything. So she is like diehard Nas fan. Ever since I was a kid, he was really playing Nas and into Nas. I think the first time when I could understand it was probably a couple years ago. Maybe, two, three years ago. Even sometimes when I listen to it, I catch new things. It’s a real good album. Real crazy album.

What was your initial reaction?
I guess I could tell you the reaction from a couple of years ago when I heard it again. When I heard it a couple of years ago, it was everything that was coming out a couple years ago, that was when the real trap stuff, Waka Flocka, was coming through strong. That was when that stuff was taking over. In New York, it was the same thing, people were listening to it as well. I was into trap stuff. I liked it, but I don’t like it as in I can listen to it over and over and over and over. I gotta have some type of variety to it.

When I was exploring different types of music around that time a couple years back, I guess I just listened to Nas’ album again. I don’t even know how to explain it. I was just playing it again one day and from the intro to the ending, I was just amazed. It’s just like a total experience. It’s like you can feel that album.

How did it affect you?
I think it affected my rapping style a lot. I think it affected a lot of people’s rap styles. I think that was the first rap album that really changed the structure of how hip-hop was. There wasn’t really too much structure in hip-hop before that. It was still figuring it out. I think Illmatic was one of the first albums to really bring a structure. The verses, the choruses. Everything is really lined up.

If you listen to Enter The Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers, which came out a year before, you don’t really hear 16 bars, chorus, 16 bars, chorus. You kind of hear a sloppier, a lot more raw [strucure]. I think Nas was the first person to sit down and make it an art. He decided to really do something with it.

Is there any rapper’s debut album that you feel is in the same league as Illmatic?
I think there’s a lot of albums that are in the same league as Illmatic, just like there’s a lot of basketball players in the same league. It’s just how you rank them. I think there’s some albums up there in the same league. Enter The 36 Chambers, Ready To Die, ‘Pac’s albums. I would name them, but just the discography. Liquid Swords.

What is your favorite song off Illmatic?
“Life’s A Bitch,” “One Time For Your Mind, “Halftime,” “It Ain’t Hard To Tell.” I’m basically naming the tracklist. “NY State Of Mind.” The only reason I can’t pick one favorite because it is so short. It’s only ten tracks. You’re like, "Fuck!" And all the tracks hit. I don’t know. I like all of them. “Memory Lane.”

How does it hold up after 20 years?
I think it still holds up very well. That’s crazy that I can listen to it now 20 years later and it still holds up against anything out. Twenty years later. I think it’s gonna stand 20 more years as well.

[

Bishop Nehru Will Join Nas On A European Tour

Talk about making a huge come up. Bishop Nehru will have the opportunity to hit the stage with Nas on a European Tour starting next month...

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