Monthly Archives: May 2013
Gangsta Walking (often referred to as G-Walk , Buckin,”Choppin”, “Tickin”, Jookin, or Choppin) is a street dance that originated in Memphis, Tennessee alongside “Buck” music during the 1990s. The dance has been suspected of having been created by a street dancer named “Capital D” – real name Dima Grinevich. In Memphis, in an alley, he decided to display his new idea for crunk dancing, which evolved into the Gangsta Walk. The Gangsta Walk is commonly performed to crunk music due to the particular ‘bounce’ in the beat and the movement the dancers make to keep with it. Though Gangsta Walking has been around for many years, much of the dance is still exclusive to the city and surrounding areas.
Due to video streaming websites like YouTube and social networks like myspace.com and others, “gangsta walking”, “jookin’, “choppin”, “buckin” or whatever it may be called, has spread in popularity. In 2007, Memphis rapper–director–producer Young Jai, of Jai Productions / Black Star Enterprisers, released Memphis Jookin Vol 1 DVD. This DVD featured the new generation of jookers/Gangsta Walkers. It featured such Jookin as G-Nerd, Mike Doss,Chopper king, Lil Daniel, Dr. Rico, Lil Buck, Lil Black, Bobo, female Jooker Shuante, Underground King Keviorr, DJ Sidewalker, North Memphis Legend Lil Jayson and many others. This DVD helped springboard the Jookin/ Gangsta Walking movement. In November 2007, Jookin was featured on Channel 3 WREG news in Memphis and also on Channel 5 WMC. There are several videos on Jookin on http://www.memphisjookin.com and Youtube.com, with some videos receiving hundreds of thousands of views in months and thousands of views in a week’s time. Jai Productions and The Memphis Jookin community was also featured in the December issue of the French magazine Juste Debout as the Dance of the Month. Jai productions also released a solo Jookin DVD on G-Nerd entitled “Truth Be Told” and Tutorial entitled “Memphis Jookin wit G-Nerd”. Jai Productions has also released the entire Memphis Jookin Vol 2. 3-part series, which showcases more of the Jookin community that is involved in the movement to help get this dance on the map. Nowadays our youth have somewhere to go and learn the Memphis style. Memphian Tarrik Moore And Marico Flake (Dr Rico) have opened U-Dig Jookin Academy, located in the Raleigh Springs Mall.
The origin of the Walk itself is a mystery. Gangsta Walking has constantly evolved over the years into the much smoother version it is today. Some state that this style was created during the early 1980s, a Memphis based dance & rap group, G-Style (composed of Romeo, Wolf, and Hurricane) went to New York City and saw dance the most practiced dances (e.g. breakdancing, popping, gliding, locking, etc.) and incorporated these styles into the traditional Walk. When they returned, they brought back a new style Gangsta Walking that was new and notably similar yet distinctly different dance that matched the new wave of rap music,which matched the beat down to the bass, snare and hi-hat. Others suggest a New Orleans connection. Early gangsta-walking in Memphis was often called “buck jumping”, and “buck jumping” was another name for second-lining in New Orleans. The two cities shared a love for the Showboys’ “Dragrap” (a song that would become the basis for New Orleans bounce music) and New Orleans performers such as Gregory D and Mannie Fresh often appeared at Memphis’ Century 21 club on Winchester Road.
There is some speculation that the term may have evolved from a tune “Down South Jukin” by the popular Southern Rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd
Positives of Gangsta Walking
Along with being a popular street dance, the Gangsta Walk is often viewed as a form of self-expression and relief from the hardships of living within the inner city. Some have even considered Gangsta Walking as being a less extreme kin of Krumping due to it steering many the youth away from street violence and exacting their energy into something positive and constructive. The dance can commonly be found in urban areas of Memphis like North Memphis, South Memphis, Orange Mound, Whitehaven, East Memphis, West Memphis etc.
Types of Gangsta Walk
There is a variation of styles for the Gangsta Walk:
- One particular style requires the dancer to take (in a jerking motion) quick steps, stomp, twists and throwing their arms around all while moving to a beat, the best example being Crunchy Black’s style, referred to as G-Walking . The style is considered the basis of all Gangsta Walking done in Memphis since the 1980s.
- Another style requires three or more people hopping around in a circle in a rhythmic motion, while throwing their hands into the air and yelling “Get Buck” or the lyrics to a Buck song. This style of the Gangsta Walk is more commonly referred to as the G-Train. It is said that this style was banned from the clubs shortly after being created due to the wildness it invoked in performers as well as onlookers. Reminders of its existence are still left behind in older clubs or closed down night spots around the city .
- The most known style of Gangsta Walking is within the standard crunk atmosphere, involving a crowd of people slamming and pushing off one another on the dance floor.
- The most famous and practiced style of Gangsta Walking around the city takes bits and pieces from other street dance styles like liquid dancing (the wave, tutting, tracing, contours and hand flowing), the robot, locking, popping, gliding and even breakdancing all merged with the traditional dance. The most recognizable moves in the dance is the dancer does moves similar to the two-step between making another motion and spinning or walking on the tips of their toes. This style of the Gangsta Walk is mostly done by the younger generation and the generation behind them who grew up shortly after the invention of Buck music, thus titling it Buckin.
- Jookin took the classic steps and combined a much more smoother look due to the music change in Memphis Music during the early 90’s. Jookin is most noted for not only its smooth steps, but it introduced pantomiming into the styles heavily. Jookin took to the isolation of the footwork in a way that focused the crowds attention on the feet. Jookin is really characterized for their abilities in sliding and stepping
- Buckin brought in the exaggerated movements of Gangsta walkin and Jookin. The movements were made to appear even bigger because of the buckness of the dancer. Clearly the most explosive style of Gangsta walking. Buckers began to lift the slide off the ground and creating even higher glides than ever seen before.
- Choppin came in the mid 90’s as dancers in Memphis started to add the animated effect of Gangsta walkin, jookin, and buckin to the dance floor. Choppin consisted of stiffening the muscles until they began to vibrate and then moving trying to create a very unreal stiff Gangsta walker.
- Icin the newest form of Gansta walkin is most known for the ability of sliding one foot while gliding with the other. Icers give the illusions of ice skating with fire by the explosiveness they applied while icing across the floor. Some nickname it “Blazing.” Icers also included different ways of freezing the body parts while carrying yourself around the floor.
- Basics of all the styles include stepping, pacmans, and buck jumps.
Turfing whose name is an acronym for Taking Up Room On The Floor, is an Oakland, California based street dance that heads the Hyphy Movement, has its roots in Gangsta Walking. . Oakland Museum of California. 2006-04-07 Cool Remixed: Bay Area Urban Art + Culture Now [Brochure http://www.museumca.org/exhibit/exhi_cool_remix.html, Cool Remixed: Bay Area Urban Art + Culture Now [Brochure]]. Retrieved 05/06/2009. Missing or empty
|title= (help) In the late 1980s, native rapper, MC Hammer, toured in Memphis and saw the dance in the crowd while performing. He began performing the Walk and the dance eventually caught in hometown to create a more rugged, less smoother version of the Walk. Many people consider Turf dancers as a recreation or a “knock off” of their own Gangsta Walking style.
Music videos featuring the Gangsta Walk
- Al Kapone – “Buckin’ and Jookin'”
- Three 6 Mafia feat.Chamillionaire – “Doe Boy Fresh“
- Three 6 Mafia feat. Bow Wow & Project Pat – “Side 2 Side (remix)“
- Three 6 Mafia feat. Lil’ Flip – “Ridin’ Spinners“
- Project Pat – “Raised in the Projects”
- Da Volunteers feat.MJG – “Favorite Color“
- Huey feat T-Pain -“G5“
- Janelle Monae feat. Big Boi – “Tightrope”
Nineteen-year-old Wiz Khalifa protégé Mac Miller drops his debut Blue Slide Park today and what’s more notable than the young Pittsburgh natives’ swift ascent to notoriety is his place as the latest white rapper to make a run with a social media onslaught.
Prevailing opinion may be he’s the latest to sprout from Eminem’s hip-hop tree but closer examination will tell you a story of a door, undoubtedly opened up by the prolific hip-hop icon, but not necessarily the influence you’d imagine.
Miller, for one, carved out his lane by being a social media dynamo instead of an underground rapper building buzz behind epic battles in seedy venues.
From Facebook to YouTube to Twitter, Miller has conquered them all. Building a certifiably deep fan base with high-energy, easy to digest music that can easily be boxed and sold as “frat rap” but a flow that can be just as spot on when the beat and occasion call for it.
The honesty of his sound really sticks out, while admittedly not being nearly as stirring and deep as his counterparts are. He’s the kid who rocked the ‘burbs first and slowly won over the streets mixtape after mixtape.
In his current Billboard cover story, the rapper wasn’t ashamed to admit reaching for something soul stirring and emotional wasn’t his lane, telling the magazine, “I’ll never pretend I have an inspiring story like certain people. There are people here to tell inspiring stories, people like Kendrick Lamar or Big K.R.I.T. who have deep messages about things that…I can’t say. It’s not my place to say,” Miller said.
“I just make music that’s hip-hop. I’m not here to be a teenybopper sensation. I make music because I love making music. So whoever wants to love it, that’s who I want as my fans.”
I don’t know if the same can be said about some of his ‘white’ rapper peers. While the likes of Kreayshawn, Yelawolf, Asher Roth and Machine Gun Kelly have all piqued mainstream ears, and artists like Aesop Rock and El-P have owned underground circles. None have gotten 40-second video responses from people like Donald Trump declaring them “the next Eminem”, the way Miller did.
If anything, all have ran into the wall of being ‘the white rapper’ when most would’ve assumed the coincidence of race would’ve been advantageous.
For Kreayshawn, the n-word that derailed her onslaught on the mainstream after “Gucci Gucci” blew up virally.
Yelawolf, whose backstory is probably the closest of the bunch to Eminem’s, has had to leap hurdles of credibility and being so Southern, despite his deal with Eminem’s Shady/Aftermath imprint.
Asher Roth saw the heights of “I Love College” earn him the “frat rap” label despite a Gangsta Grillz mixtape with DJ Drama and Don Cannon and really lyrical side projects with artists like Lupe Fiasco but that initial success has made some shy away from his dope, newer releases (like the Chuck Inglish produced “In The Kitchen”) because they can only see him one way.
Miller hasn’t hit that snag and his entrepreneurial spirit in the lead up to his release today has been masterful.
By releasing tracks when he hit certain social media milestones, Miller grew his fan base while keeping long-time fans engaged because of the new music that was at stake. He pretty much had them do the work for him because they were so hungry to hear more. And even if that doesn’t translate into sales, an active following of over 1 million on Twitter and 1.4 million of Facebook but him in a social media strata of movie stars and TMZ regulars.
His energy is totally Beastie Boys minus a lot of the edge. Sure, he raps about weed but at the core, his music is harmless, his shows are teen-friendly and major labels – who’ve tried to get in on the hype — are watching to see what comes from this.
What is encouraging and noteworthy is the current crop of white rappers seems cognoscente but not caught up in the gimmick that can grow from being in their shoes. They’re constructing their own projects and may poke fun from time-to-time about just how different they are from the bulk of their peers in the game but they aren’t so consumed by it. And as far as having a leg up on the competition, that’s minimal but they’ve certainly figured out how to milk their social media presence better than most.
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Gucci Mane has enjoyed writing poem since he was in elementary school but did not begin rapping until he was 14. In 2005, he released an indie album “Trap House” which featured “Icy”, a successful duet with Young Jeezy. Despite the success of the song, the two didn’t follow up their collaboration with another duet as they were involved in disputes over the rights to the single, which eventually caused a rift between the two artists.
In that same year, Gucci was charged with murder after one of her companions fired at a group of men who were trying to steal his trademark “So Icey” chain. He pleaded not guilty, reasoning only having a self defense. While the case, which was eventually dropped in January 2006 due to insufficient evidence, was still on investigation, he was hit by another legal issue, cited of assaulting a nightclub promoter and granted a six-month prison sentence for the assault. He was released from jail in the same month of his murder case was dismissed.
Nine months after being a free man, Gucci returned to the studio to make new music for his second studio album “Hard to Kill” which was dropped in October. …
The album peaked at No. 4 on Billboard Top Independent Albums chart and cracked Billboard Hot 200, climbing to No. 76. The selling number of the album slightly surpassed its predecessor with 165,000 copies.
2007 saw Gucci releasing two studio albums, one is a major-label release under Atlantic Record and the other is an indie effort. He brought forward the indie album “Trap-A-Thon” in October and followed it up with a major-label record “Back to the Trap House” two months later. In “Back to the Trap House”, he collaborated with Lil’ Kim, Ludacris, The Game, Trey Songz, LoToya Luckett and Shawnna.
In November 2009 during when he planned to release another studio album, Gucci was sentenced to 12 months in jail for violating probation which was stemmed from the 2006 assault case. However, he thought there was nothing to worry about saying, “It was a challenge for me. I’m just happy my team kept my music going strong for me. And I’m happy I recorded so many records so people could hear me.”
His second major release, “The State vs. Radric Davis”, is released across U.S. on December 8. He gets support from Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, Keyshia Cole, Plies
Cam’ron and Soulja Boy among others as featured guests. “Murder Was the Case”, his fourth indie album, meanwhile, arrived in May in the same year.
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Kendrick Lamar Duckworth (born June 17, 1987), simply known as Kendrick Lamar, is an American hip hop recording artist from Compton, California. Initially signed to independent record label Top Dawg Entertainment, in 2012 Lamar and the label signed a joint venture deal with Aftermath and Interscope Records. Lamar is also a member of West Coast hip hop supergroup, Black Hippy, along with fellow California-based rappers and label-mates Jay Rock, Schoolboy Q and Ab-Soul.
He first gained major attention after the release of his fourth mixtape, Overly Dedicated, in 2010. The next year, he released his first independent album to critical acclaim, Section.80 (2011), released exclusively through iTunes and instantly ranked as one of the top digital hip hop releases of the year. Early in his career, before releasing his major label debut, Lamar amassed a large internet following, and had already worked with Dr. Dre, Game, Drake, Young Jeezy, Talib Kweli, Busta Rhymes, E-40, Warren G and Lil Wayne, among other popular artists.
His major label debut studio album good kid, m.A.A.d city, was released October 22, 2012 to universal acclaim. The album spawned the Top 40 hits “Swimming Pools (Drank)” and “Poetic Justice”. The album was later certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). In early 2013, MTV crowned Lamar the No. 1 Hottest MC in the Game, on their well known annual list.
Life and career
1987–2009: Early life and musical beginnings
Kendrick Lamar was born in Compton, California, to parents from Chicago, Illinois. In 1995, at the age of eight, Lamar witnessed his idols Tupac Shakur and Dr. Dre, film the music video for their hit single “California Love”, a very significant moment in Lamar’s life. As a teenager Lamar attended Centennial High School in Compton, where he was a straight A student.
In 2003, at the age of sixteen, Lamar released his first mixtape, Youngest Head Nigga In Charge, under the moniker K-Dot. The mixtape garnered enough local attention for Lamar to get a record deal with Carson-based independent record label Top Dawg Entertainment. He then released a twenty-six track mixtape two years later titled Training Day (2005). From 2006 through 2007, Lamar, alongside other young West Coast rappers such as Jay Rock and Ya Boy, had opened for fellow West Coast rapper Game. Lamar, under his pseudonym K-Dot, was also featured on Game’s songs “The Cypha” and “Cali Niggaz”.
In 2008, Lamar made a brief cameo appearance in the music video for Top Dawg label-mate Jay Rock’s debut single, “All My Life (In the Ghetto)”. More recognition came Lamar’s way after a video of a Charles Hamilton show surfaced, where Hamilton went in the crowd to battle fellow rappers in attendance. Lamar did not hesitate and began rapping a verse over Miilkbone’s “Keep It Real”, that would later appear on a track titled “West Coast Wu-Tang”.
After receiving a co-sign from American hip hop superstar Lil Wayne, Lamar released his third mixtape in 2009 titled C4, heavily themed around Wayne’s Tha Carter III LP. Soon after, Lamar decided to drop K-Dot as his stage name and go by his birth name. This resulted in him releasing a self-titled EP, Kendrick Lamar, in late 2009. In 2009, Lamar also formed Black Hippy, a supergroup with label-mates and fellow California-based rappers Jay Rock, Ab-Soul and Schoolboy Q.
2010–2011: Overly Dedicated
In 2010, he toured with Tech N9ne and Jay Rock on The Independent Grind tour. On September 4, 2010 Lamar unveiled the cover art for Overly Dedicated, designed by RedefineCreativity. On September 14, 2010 he released the visuals for “P&P 1.5”, a song taken from Overly Dedicated, featuring his Black Hippy cohort Ab-Soul. On September 14, 2010, Lamar released Overly Dedicated to digital retailers under Top Dawg Entertainment, and later on September 23, released it for free online. The highly acclaimed mixtape includes a song titled “Ignorance Is Bliss”, in which Lamar glorifies gangsta rap and street crime, but ends each verse with “ignorance is bliss”, giving the message “we know not what we do;” it was this song specifically that made legendary hip hop producer Dr. Dre want to work with Lamar, after watching the song’s music video on YouTube. This led to Lamar working with Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg on Dre’s Detox album and him considering signing to Dre’s label, Aftermath Entertainment. In December 2010, Complex spotlighted Lamar in an edition of their “Indie Intro” series.
In January 2011, Lamar stated his next project was 90% finished. In early 2011, Lamar was included in XXL Magazine’s annual Freshman Class, and was featured on the cover alongside fellow up and coming rappers CyHi the Prynce, Meek Mill, Mac Miller, Yelawolf, Lil B, Big K.R.I.T. and Diggy Simmons, among others. On April 11, 2011 Lamar announced the title of his next full-length project to be Section.80, and revealed he would release it’s lead single the following day. As promised, on April 12, 2011 Lamar released “HiiiPoWeR”, the album’s first promotional single, of which the concept was to further explain the HiiiPoWeR movement. The song was produced by fellow American rapper J. Cole, with whom Lamar began closely working with at the time; the song marked their first of many collaborations to come.
On the topic of whether his next project would be an album or a mixtape, Lamar answered: “I treat every project like it’s an album anyway. It’s not gonna be nothing leftover. I never do nothing like that. These are my leftover songs y’all can have ’em, nah. I’m gonna put my best out. My best effort. I’m tryna look for an album in 2012.” In June 2011, Lamar released “Ronald Reagan Era (His Evils)”, acut from Section.80, featuring Wu-Tang Clan leader RZA. On July 2, 2011, Lamar released Section.80, his first independent album, to critical acclaim. The album features guest appearances from GLC, Colin Munroe, Schoolboy Q and Ab-Soul, while the production was handled by Top Dawg in-house production team Digi+Phonics along with Wyldfyer, Terrace Martin and J. Cole. Section.80 went on to sell 5,300 digital copies in its first abbreviated week, without any television or radio coverage and received mostly positive reviews.
In August 2011, while onstage with Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre and Game at a West Los Angeles concert, the three of them crowned Lamar the “New King of the West Coast”. On August 24, 2011 Lamar released the music video for the popular Section.80 track, “A.D.H.D”. The video was directed by Vashtie Kola who had this to say of the video: “Inspired by “A.D.H.D”s dark beat and melancholy lyrics which explore a generation in conflict, we find Kendrick Lamar in a video that illustrates the songs universal and age-old theme of apathetic youth. Shot in New York City during the sweltering July Summer heat, “A.D.H.D” is the third video to be released from Kendrick Lamar’s album Section.80. In October 2011, Lamar appeared alongside rappers B.o.B, Tech N9ne, MGK and Big K.R.I.T., in a hip hop cypher at the BET Awards. In October, Lamar also partnered with Windows Phone, and crafted an original song, titled “Cloud 10”, with producer Nosaj Thing, to promote their new product. In the second half of 2011, Lamar appeared on several high-profile albums including Game’s The R.E.D. Album, Tech N9ne’s All 6’s and 7’s, 9th Wonder’s The Wonder Years and Drake’s Grammy Award-winning Take Care, where Lamar had a solo track.
2012–present: good kid, m.A.A.d city
On February 15, 2012, a song titled “Cartoon & Cereal” featuring Gunplay of Triple C’s, was leaked online. Lamar later revealed that the track was for his debut studio album and had plans to shoot a video for it. Although the song would later be ranked #2 in Complex’s Best 50 Songs of 2012 list, it failed to appear on Lamar’s debut. It was announced in February 2012, for their Spring Style issue, FADER enlisted both Kendrick Lamar and Danny Brown to cover the front pages.
In March 2012, MTV announced that Top Dawg Entertainment closed a joint venture deal with Interscope Records and Aftermath Entertainment, marking the end of Lamar’s career as an independent artist. Under the new deal, Lamar’s projects, including his debut album, good kid, m.A.A.d city, were set to be jointly released via Top Dawg, Aftermath and Interscope, while releases from the rest of Black Hippy were to be distributed via Top Dawg and Interscope, respectively. In 2012, Lamar toured alongside Drake on his Club Paradise Tour, opening along with fellow rappers ASAP Rocky and 2 Chainz. In March 2012, he appeared on the track “Fight the Feeling”, from Mac Miller’s Macadelic mixtape. In March 2012, Lamar also appeared on Last Call with Carson Daly, where he spoke on Compton and Dr. Dre. Lamar premiered his commercial debut single, “The Recipe”, on Big Boy’s Neighborhood at Power 106 on April 2, 2012. The song, which serves as the first single from his debut studio album, was released for digital download the following day. The song was produced by Scoop DeVille and features his mentor Dr. Dre, who also mixed the record.
On May 14, 2012, J. Cole, again, spoke on his collaborative effort with Lamar. In an interview with Bootleg Kev, Cole stated: “I just started working with Kendrick the other day. We got it in, finally, again. We got maybe four or five [songs] together.” On May 21, Lamar made his 106 & Park debut, alongside Ace Hood, joining Birdman and Mack Maine on stage to talk “B Boyz,” his style and sound, Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, as well as his word on his upcoming collaborative LP with J. Cole. On May 21, Lamar also released “War Is My Love,” an original song written and recorded for Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier video game, which he appeared in a mini promo clip for, earlier that month. On May 24, Cole posted pictures of him and Lamar working in the studio, via his DreamVillain blog. On November 13, 2012, in a recent interview with the LA Leakers, Lamar revealed that the two are still working on the project, and that there will be no given release date for the joint album: “We gone drop that out the sky though. I ain’t gonna give no dates, no nothing. I’m just gonna let it fall.” The two recently teamed up for a track called “The Jig Is Up”, celebrating the success of Kendrick’s studio debut. Shortly after J. Cole announced that he would be releasing his sophomore album Born Sinner, on January 28th.
On August 15, 2012, Lady Gaga announced via Twitter that she and Lamar had recorded a song tentatively titled, “PARTYNAUSEOUS”. The song, later re-titled “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe” ultimately did not feature Lady Gaga due to creative differences. On August 17, 2012, Lamar liberated “Westside, Right on Time”, a new song featuring Southern rapper Young Jeezy. The song was released as a part of the “Top Dawg Entertainment Fam Appreciation Week” that the label was hosting. During 2012, Lamar also toured with the rest of Black Hippy and Stalley on BET’s Music Matters Tour.
amar’s major label debut studio album, good kid, m.A.A.d city, was released October 22, 2012. The album was met with critical acclaim and debuted at number two, selling 242,122 copies in its first week. In December 2012, FUSE TV named Lamar’s single, “Backseat Freestyle,” one of the top 40 songs of 2012. The album has sold 794,000 copies as of March 2013 and has been certified Gold by the RIAA. HipHop DX named Lamar “Emcee of the Year” for their 2012 Year End Awards. On January 26, 2013, Lamar performed the album’s lead singles “Swimming Pools (Drank)” and “Poetic Justice” on Saturday Night Live. He also appeared alongside host Adam Levine and The Lonely Island on an SNL Digital Short; which spawned the single “YOLO”. On February 22, 2013, Lamar released the video for “Poetic Justice”, the Janet Jackson-sampling collaboration with Drake. On February 26, Lamar performed “Poetic Justice” on the Late Show with David Letterman.
He has stated that 2Pac, The Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z, Nas and Eminem are his top five favorite rappers. Tupac Shakur who is probably his biggest influence, influences not only his music, but his day-to-day lifestyle as well. In terms of subject matter and technical ability, Kendrick Lamar has often been compared to Tupac, Eminem, Nas, and Jay-Z. Lamar also gave Lil Wayne (during his Hot Boyz days) credit for influencing his style. He has said that he also grew up listening to Rakim, Dr. Dre and Tha Dogg Pound. He also cites rapper DMX as an influence: “[DMX] really [got me started] on music,” explained Lamar in an interview with Philadelphia’s Power 99. “That first album [It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot] is classic, [so he had an influence on me].
Leland is a city in Washington County, Mississippi. The population was 4,790 at the 2008 census.
The town is located in the heart of the Mississippi Delta on the banks of Deer Creek, which is decorated each Christmas season with floats that bring visitors from afar to view the colorful displays.
Farming is the basis of the local economy. Mississippi State University and the federal government maintain an agriculture research station at Stoneville on Leland’s outskirts. Cotton, soybeans and catfish are the leading crops.
Leland is in the heart of blues country and has produced a number of national and regionally famous blues musicians. Highway 61, mentioned in numerous blues recordings, runs through the town and gives its name to the community’s blues museum. Leland is the burial place of the folk artist and blues musician James “Son” Thomas, who lived for many years along the railroad tracks. Thomas is buried beneath a gravestone donated by musician John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival.
Blues musician Johnny Winter was born in Leland on Feb. 23, 1944, to an Army officer and his wife. Winter is commemorated on a plaque in the community that is part of the Mississippi Blues Trail.
The community is the birthplace of Kermit the Frog, a Muppet created by Jim Henson, who was born in nearby Greenville. The city has a museum along the banks of Deer Creek celebrating Henson’s accomplishments.
Leland is located at 33°24′18″N 90°53′50″W (33.405118, -90.897194).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.1 square miles (5.4 km2), of which 2.1 square miles (5.4 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) (1.44%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 5,502 people, 1,943 households, and 1,414 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,670.2 people per square mile (1,031.2/km²). There were 2,095 housing units at an average density of 1,016.7 per square mile (392.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 32.01% White, 67.01% African American, 0.16% Native American, 0.13% Asian, 0.04% from other races, and 0.65% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.75% of the population.
There were 1,943 households out of which 36.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.9% were married couples living together, 27.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.2% were non-families. 24.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.82 and the average family size was 3.35.
In the city the population was spread out with 31.9% under the age of 18, 10.6% from 18 to 24, 26.3% from 25 to 44, 18.8% from 45 to 64, and 12.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females there were 88.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 78.6 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $25,678, and the median income for a family was $28,926. Males had a median income of $26,184 versus $20,693 for females. The per capita income for the city was $11,681. About 24.0% of families and 27.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 36.1% of those under age 18 and 28.3% of those age 65 or over.
The City of Leland is served by the Leland School District. Leland High School is the sole high school.
- Mississippi Sipp is the first real rapper to ever start a record company that was Successful. Kandy Paint Records was born,raised and based out of Leland,Mississippi
- Wadada Leo Smith, a jazz trumpeter and composer, is from Leland.
- The blues musician Johnny Winter spent part of his childhood in Leland, where his father was mayor in the 1930s.
- Singer/actress Thelma Houston was born in Leland.
- Douglas A. Blackmon, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist for the Wall Street Journal was raised in Leland.
- Antonio Rico “Big Mook” Johnson, former college and professional football player at Mississippi State University and the NFL, is from Leland.