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Kanye West is going to be performing at the Democratic Convention. Also, Barack Obama might be appearing at Lollapalooza. Man, Democrats are so much hipper than Republicans. Although John McCain does have the endorsements of, well, no musicians, as far as I can tell. I guess music is a sore subject for Republicans these days.

The GZA released a dis track towards 50 Cent. I’m starting to feel bad for 50. I mean, he’s kind of out of the picture now. It may be all about album sales, but T.O.S. kind of hit the P.O.S. mark on that, at least by G-Unit standards, so I don’t know what 50’s spin is these days.

Okay, I like Freeway, even if this song has nothing to do with free speech in the way that, say, Nas might mean it. But damn if I don’t hate snitches. Plus, it’s a good track:
Freeway – “Freedom of Speech”

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After a rather ominous “greatest hits” post on Friday, Tom Breihan has officially announced the end of his blog, Status Ain’t Hood. Obviously, this isn’t the end of Tom Breihan’s music criticism, so there’s no need to get too upset, not that such an event should be too upsetting anyway, but I do want to stop for a moment and pay a little tribute to one of my favorite music blogs.

Tom Breihan is not always the best critic. He is pretty self-absorbed, and he ranked “Party Like A Rockstar” as one of his favorite tracks from last year, despite the fact that it is pretty much the worst song ever made. In fact, he routinely stakes out praiseworthy stances of trashy, overproduced commercialized rap tracks. However, I like reading Tom Breihan’s blog because at heart, he’s pretty similar to me. That is, he’s an indie kid who fell in love with the world of hip hop, even though he is perennially forced to observe it as an outsider. This presents problems, since he often seems condescendingly amused by rapper antics, but I can forgive him because rappers do a lot of ridiculous things. Also, he’s just about the only voice in the mainstream music criticism establishment who sincerely likes Southern rap. As a fellow lover of the genre, I can’t help but be drawn to him.

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First things first: I have a new mashup that I’m really excited about and I’m working really hard on. I’m going to release it here either tomorrow or the next day most likely. But it’s going to be really cool once it’s ready, so make sure you come back and get it in the next day or two.

Anyway, tonight I attended the Paid Dues Festival in New York. On top of the Hot 97 Summer Jam on Sunday, I have seen a ridiculous number of hip hop artists this week.

Of course, given the lineup, there were plenty of backpackers there. What was funny, though, was that there were a lot of people there who were literally wearing backpacks. It’s even funnier because I’m pretty sure it wasn’t deliberate and the irony was completely lost on them.

Anyway, the first act was Yak Ballz. They suck.

Kidz in the Hall was next. I’ve heard a lot about these guys, but I never bothered to actually track down and listen to their music before the show tonight. The MC came out wearing a vest and a tie with jeans, like he thought he was a cross between Kanye West and Justin Timberlake or something.

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