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Fun Cards: 1985 Donruss LL Cool J

LL Cool J 1985 Donruss

LL Cool J oozed cool in the 1980s. He still oozes cool today. “Mama Said Knock You Out” is my jam.

Fun Cards: 1994 Score Notorious B.I.G.

Notorious BIG Rock Hall 1994 Score baseball card

I don’t want this to be a debate about whether rappers belong in the Rock Hall. It’s not really a “Rock” Hall in the first place. The museum honors popular artists, from blues to soul to country to rock, and rap is one of the most popular forms of music.

But, should Notorious B.I.G. be in before Snoop Dogg? Before LL Cool J? I understand Biggie made a big impact, even though he only released two records before he was gunned down. To me, though, Snoop and LL were much bigger stars.

Notorious is the seventh rap act to be honored by the Rock Hall, joining Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, N.W.A., Public Enemy, Beastie Boys, Run DMC, and Tupac Shakur.

R.I.P. Big Bank Hank

(August 5, 1957 – November 11, 2014)

Henry Jackson, better known as Big Bank Hank of the Sugarhill Gang, passed away today after battling cancer.

R.I.P. Rodney Bryce (a.k.a. DJ E-Z Rock)

(d. April 27, 2014)

DJ EZ Rock passes away

Half of the tandem that released the hit “It Takes Two,” rapper DJ E-Z Rock has passed away. No cause of death has been reported at this time.

Photoset: Public Enemy (June 27, 2013 @ Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati OH)

Public Enemy concert photos Cincinnati Ohio

Public Enemy brought the noise Thursday night, thrilling the crowd at Riverbend Music Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. Part of the Rock Hall’s Class of 2013, Chuck D and Flava Flav delighted old school hip hop fans for an hour with the best performance on this stop of the Kings of the Mic Tour.

Public Enemy concert photos Cincinnati Ohio

There are a ton more photos after the jump…
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Photoset: Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick (June 27, 2013 @ Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati OH)

Doug E Fresh concert photos 2013 Riverbend Cincinnati Ohio

The “Kings of the Mic” tour made a stop at Riverbend Music Center in Cincinnati on Thursday night, and classic rappers such as Doug E. Fresh (above) and Slick Rick (below) brought the jams to hip hop fans in the Queen City.

Doug E Fresh concert photos 2013 Riverbend Cincinnati Ohio

Want to see more photographs of Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick? Click through…

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Opening up my ears again

For the past couple of years I have hosted a weekly radio program focused on hard rock music, mostly from the 1980s, that is sometimes pejoratively referred to as “hair metal.” Sure, I delved into the 1970s with the monsters like Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith, and I brought in some current artists like ZO2 and Black Robot that fit in to the flow. Because of the focus of my program, I really didn’t have much time to listen to other genres of music very often. That’s all changing.

My last episode of Hard Rock Nights, the 100th episode, will air the week of August 6-12. Brian Basher, a hard rock lover like me, will take the reigns August 13 and carry HRN into the future while I will occasionally step in to give the Basher a break (like for the Halloween episode, always one of my favorite weeks).

What this means for me, musically, is that I will have more time to diversify my audible intake. Yes, I will still blare Poison and Guns N’ Roses, and will still seek out newer hard rockers like Coldspell and M.O.B, but I can also take some time to listen to groups like The Heavy without feeling too guilty about it.

I have always liked different types of music. I’m a huge fan of classic country artists like Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings; I like to get down with Parliament; I even enjoy a little bit of old-school MTV-flavored hip-hop like Young MC and Tone Loc.

In 1996, while volunteering at WRFL-FM in Lexington, I discovered a group called The Roots. Yes, Jimmy Fallon’s house band. This was way back then, though, before they were on television every night. I heard them first on a sampler CD released by DGC called Buy Product. The song was “Datskat” from their 1995 album Do You Want More?!!!??! and I was instantly enthralled with this band.

The Roots recently released a new CD, How I Got Over, their ninth from the studio. I’ve been able to give it a couple spins, and I like it. Maybe not as much as Do You Want More?!!!??!, but it’s better than most other rap offerings out there.

And I’ll forgive the group for their association with Jimmy Fallon.

U Can’t Touch This

MC Hammer performed before and after the Reds’ game Friday night. Here is “U Can’t Touch This,” performed among the fans on the field.

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