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Black Bane Puts Eminem, Tech N9ne, and Brotha Lynch On Notice In New Video

Black Bane Puts Eminem, Tech N9ne, and Brotha Lynch On Notice With New Video

DE SF 2

First Degree The D.E. takes on the Black Bane persona and looks to raise the thought, talent, and purpose in today’s rap music

By Fahrenheit Insight’s Jimmy Blog

   Just when America needs answers, The D.E. provides. In a quest to bolster hip hop consciousness, Sacramento rapper First Degree The D.E. calls out rap heavy weights Eminem, Tech N9ne, and Brotha Lynch in new video, “Black Bane”, which can be seen HERE.

   First Degree The D.E. is a world renowned entertainer/activist and pioneer of Sacramento rap, has performed over 100 shows across the USA, and  is responsible for 55 projects in all. In addition to his uplifting message in the recording booth, First Degree is an active participant in South Sacramento community. The label he owns, Fahrenheit Records, had sold over 80,000 units world-wide , consists of artists stretching the West Coast,  and enjoys a 20 years history of quality, thoughtful, diverse music. Fahrenheit Records operates an award winning, world-wide online radio station called Fahrenheit Radio, and owns and operates 14 websites, including FirstDegreeTheDE.com, Sacramentorap.com, Californiarap.com, and USrapnews.com.

    The Fahrenheit Insight caught up with First Degree during the “I Wear Black Cuz Its Just My Style” video shoot at the 49er’s stadium in Santa Clara, CA. It was a cloudy evening with thousands of raucous, optimistic fans tailgating in the Levi Stadium paring lot for Monday Night Football’s opening of the 2015 season. The D.E.  gave us insight into the history and purpose behind Black Bane, and what it means to be a street vigilante. Who is First Degree Black Bane?

First Degree black bane 3First Degree The D.E. defines conscious lyricism with Fahrenheit’s 55 project, Black Bane The Misunderstood Genius Part 1

   Over his 20 year rap history, First Degree has put on many masks to deliver his message. This includes RoboDE, Blackulem, Shlumpulicious, and Super Black to name a few. Being Fahrenheit Records’ 55th project, the first thing The Fahrenheit Insight wanted to know about Black Bane was what the difference between it all the past First Degree characters.

   “The more things change, the more they stay the same,” First Degree explains. “Like the other recent characters I’ve portrayed on albums, I was told by the universe to take on this persona. I don’t just sit around and decide, ‘I’m gunna do this, or I’m gunna say that.’ God an His universe instructs me to do so, and I oblige.” He then went on to lay out the purpose of Black Bane.

   First Degree The D.E. went all out to detail the characteristics of Black Bane. He explained tat unlike the other characters he’s portrayed, Black Bane sees the world as a grey area, meaning there’s no definitive good or bad, just perspective. “Black Bane is a street vigilante. Once he’s locked onto a goal that’s just, he affiliates with the good and the bad in order to fulfill that purpose. He’s purpose is just, his means are questionable to some.”

Phonk Beta Black Bane

Long time Brotha Lynch producer Phonk Beta goes all the way live with his production on First Degree Black Bane

   When asked about Black Bane’s purpose and goals, First Degree related Black Bane’s vision of a fair society in which opportunities flow equally across all social and economic levels, the people are informed and inspired, and doing his part to help shed the effects of Jim Crow and return the people to the regalness that is within them. “This is what he calls fighting for the people. Black Bane just takes aggressive means and plays the role only he can play, in order to get the job did,” First Degree The D.E. asserts. He concludes, “To deliver this message, I relied on the Great Phonk Beta and challenged him to remind the people what makes him great, and he succeeded with an unbelievable array of superior, live shlumpage.”

When we got in the lab we asked ourselves how we can make this one bigger and better. We achieved that goal with thought, soul, effort, talent, time, patience, and purpose.

The Fahrenheit Record was given a copy of the First Degree Black Bane singles in preparation of this article. They include “Black Bane”, “I Wear Black Cuz Its Just My Style”, and “Say Serra”.

First Degree Black Bane Annimated Face Oji

First Degree Black Bane through the eyes of Oji

Black Bane

The first single is the title track, Black Bane. It starts with First Degree and The Celebration (his kids), telling the story of Black Bane to a dark, aggressive, piano driven, Phonk Beta beat. The first line, “The cost to be boss, atroc-it-ties, that most can’t handle, that’s that’s why you boss, that’s why you bump my blamble, that and rap scandal” provides immediate insight into the mind of Black Bane. The chorus is a daunting 8 bars of dark singing, thunder, and whipping. Black Bane’s lyrics are hard, political, and thoughtful, “Not affected by ISIS, that’s way far, the man’s cookin books here, that’s on our radar.”

The First Degree Black Bane video is another genius animation from Fahrenheit’s Oji, filled with good guys, bad guys, and all in between. The ultra creative video details the many faces and duties of Black Bane and his allies. In addition, the video includes Eminem, Tech N9ne, and Brotha Lynch. When asked why they were included in the video, First Degree explains, “Oji and I saw this video as an opportunity to remind rap’s division leaders to have purpose in their music, before its too late. I’m in cahoots with Lynch as we speak, collaborating on Strange Music’s ‘Kevlar’ album, and that ‘Black Bane Part 2, The Underestimated Villan'”. The D.E. asserts, “its time for the Brotha Lynchs, the Phonk Betas, and the First Degrees to get back together in unison and continue this legacy we’ve created.” He finishes his thought by including that Brotha Lynch was on his way back from Kansas City laying vocals for Strange Music’s Strangulation 2 album, and would will be back at work the Sactown vet as soon as he gets back.

In this single, First Degree raps, “(I’m) banned from Strange Music Inc.” When asked to elaborate, The D.E. declined, citing that it wasn’t the time and a desire to move forward. Why did he put the line in the song, The Fahrenheit Insight wonders.

First Degree Black Bane 2

NFL Network films part of the First Degree The D.E. “I Wear Black Cuz Its Just My Style” video shoot, 49er Stadium with Empire Row

I Wear Black Cuz Its Just My Style

The second single from the Black Bane album is a dedication to West Coast 90’s rap pioneers and the influence it had on world-wide American culture. ‘I Wear Black Cuz Its Just My Style’ is a 90’s style Beta beat with live pianos and live guitar played by L.A.’s Eric Otis. The sound is a nice, unique mix between old school west coast sampling, a live Curtis funk band, and the Straight Outta Cmopton movie. The song’s title and theme came from a 90’s rap group consisting of The D.E.’s good friend Big Ron and Live Wire from the L.A. area.

The “Wear Black’ video was being shot at 49ers Levi Stadium in Santa Clara, California the day of this interview. An official 49er’s tailgating pep rally, thrown by Arevalo Production’s Empire Row, served as the back drop. It was a nationally televised Monday Night Football game and the unveiling of the 49ers’ new black uniforms. It was a wild event, filled with Fahrenheit fans and 49er faithfuls alike. The scene is sure to jump off the camera as soon as the video is completed and released.

First Degree black bane 5First Degree utilizes green screen for the first time in Say Serra

Say Serra

The third Black Bane video is the most musical, lyrical, and entertaining of the bunch.” Say Serra” is a finely-crafted First Degree hit with its own sound and racially controversial lyrics that will have the streets buzzing for some time to come. This single has a hard, groovy, big production, live sound that has never and will never be duplicated. Once again, Phonk Beta is on the beat and live pianos, and Eric Otis is on the live Spanish guitar.

The Say Serra video is all D.E.. First Degree gets close up, entertains, dances, and delivers his unique brand of poetry, “That video’s gunna be up close and personal to leave no doubt what I’m sayin!” Oh boy.

When asked how one picks singles for the album, First Degree reiterates that he is a vessel of the universe and does what it instructs him to do. He also points out that local publication Sacramento News and Review leaked and reviewed one of the songs, ‘The Fahrenheit Record’, HERE. The article included reporter Raheem Hosseini’s funny individual experience with the informative song. The Fahrenheit Record mentions many Sacramento area reporters, and several of them, including the KCRA’s Edie Lambert, Kevin Riggs, and Sacramento Bee’s Chris Macias started the buzz by posting about the song on their Facebook pages.

d'angelo black messiah first degree black bane 8

D’Angelo Black Messiah played a roll in developing First Degree Black Bane

   When asked about what, if any, outside musician provided influence for Black Bane, First Degree bared a big grin and explained that the D’Angelo Black Messiah album was the first album in ten years that stimulated his mind. “D’Angelo is the greatest singing and producing entity of all time. I have never heard such funky, sticky, risky, smooth, forward thinking, live music ever. Michael Jackson is the best dancer ever, Phonk Beta is the best rap producer ever, and D’Angelo is the greatest singer/producer of all time, fa sho. I’ve listened to that album 100 times already.” First Degree goes on to justify that D’Angelos latest album Black Messiah is “gleaming with purpose” and “stimulates those that understand”. The D.E. states that Black Messiah is the reason he reached out to Phonk Beta and Eric Otis for live instrumentation.

First Degree also sites the current urban struggle, and a second meeting with hip hop legend Rakim that had influence on his new direction.

If the people take to the Black Bane album like the listeners that this reporter has witnessed, the West Coast rap game will have a new bar to try to live to.

First Degree Black Bane hits stores world-wide October 20, 2015. Live First Degree Black Bane performances will take place in the Seattle and Denver areas in December of 2015, with more locations to be announced. The album is produced by Phonk Beta, with additional production by Oji and Sultan Mir. Fahrenheit Records is distributed by City Hall Records and The Orchard.

More information can be found at FirstDegreeTheDE.com

Black Bane Cover

Fahrenheit Records’ 55th album, First Degree The D.E. “Black Bane” brings purpose to the underground rap game and hits stores October 20, 2015

I Hate Eminem, And Not Because He’s White | White Rap And The Transfer Of Power

I Hate Eminem, And Not Because He’s White  |  White Rap And The Transfer Of Power

By First Degree The D.E.

white rap eminem

 

I hate Eminem, and not because he’s White, so don’t go there.

Rap is purpose. When rap was started, it was the voice of the street. Although rap was created as Black art, there has always been artists of other races chiming in and contributing to its growth. Early pioneers like The Beastie Boys, 3rd Bass, and even Vanilla Ice brought diversity to the music. In the beginning, it wasn’t about race, it was about being a voice, uplifting, and entertaining the streets.

Fast forward 30 years, and rap is no longer owned by the streets, rap is owned by the suburbs. How did this happen? Rap’s transfer of power started with Bill Clinton’s Telecommunications Act of 1996, and a White household name rapper named Eminem. As a result, today’s version of rap is “rap lite”.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not talking down on about the growth of rap music. Once rap caught on, I didn’t expect to be a “Black genre” for long. Rap is like a beautiful bird, keeping it caged in our region and culture would be doing the world an injustice. Rap is one of many contributions Black people have made to the planet. MCs come in all shapes and sizes, races, and nationalities. However, there is a big difference between the suburbs enjoying rap and owning rap.

Being in the rap game for over 20 years, I have the right to speak on its path. When we were starting up in the 90’s, there was no Sacramento rap, or Bay rap, etc. We were inventing a new genre. That’s why its transfer of power to the suburbs especially hurt.

As a result of rap’s transfer, artists that rap about the people began to be shunned, and those rapping about nothingness were celebrated. A dark turn rap had taken. Now days, rappers like myself, that do not recognize rap’s transfer of power and cater to the suburbs, are hated.

The average rap fan will not be connected to the transfer of rap power, and will see it from a detached, consumer’s perspective. However, all can understand, when you have been part of building something, you care about its whereabouts.

 

CLINTON GORE

The Telecommunications Act of 1996

     Over 90% of the 12 and up American population listens some form of radio in a week’s time. Millions are radio listeners, and rely on it for new music. Radio airwaves are supposed to be owned by the American public, but because the Federal government is the legal voice of the citizens, The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) enacts policies and decides for the people when it comes to the airwaves.

     In the beginning of rap music, the FCC’s control over the airwaves wasn’t too much a conflict of interest. In the 90’s, mainstream as well as underground artists, could get their song on the radio. Conscious rap was the norm on hip hop radio stations. Militant artists like Public Enemy and Paris could get on the radio consistently. It was great, uplifting, and reassuring.

     Then, in search of free competition for ownership of the airwaves and the up-and-coming internet, President Bill Clinton signed into law The Telecommunications Act in 1996. The Act was the initial blow to the ownership of rap, basically clearing the way for corporations like Clear Channel to take control of radio. As a result, the corporations had become the deciders, and their purpose was money.

     The money the corporations were seeking was corporate advertising dollars. The difference between the retail dollar and the corporate advertising dollar is the control factor. As a corporate advertising dollar seeker, you don’t want to do anything to upset your advertisers. Advertisers had become radio’s lifeline and purpose. Advertisers like their rap light, purposeless, and non-talented. In their search for money, corporations had given advertisers control of rap.

     The Telecommunications Act of 1996 has done a horrible service to the American public. It has lead to less competition, less diversity, fewer views, cut off musicians, and stripped rap of what made it special, its raw purpose.

     The advertisers had become the deciders. Thanks, Bill.

white rap eminem 2

Eminem

     At its core, rap was about respect. When Eminem entered the game in the late 90’s his gimmick was talking real bad on his mom and abusing drugs. A high level of disrespect for rap was displayed by Eminem’s early work. Rap was being trampled on, and no one enjoyed this more than the suburbs. Ironically, N.W.A.’s Dr. Dre, was behind it all, earning him the nick-name “The Cracka Backa”. What once was a proud genre made by the street, for the street, was now becoming a suburbian toy in a suburbian toy box. The rap and the purpose of rap had diminished.

     Rap had officially changed hands. From that point on, when I heard Eminem’s voice, it was a symbol of defeat for something we built. This leads me to Tech N9ne and Strange Music.

 

white rap eminem tech n9neTech N9ne looks to business with Eminem

     I like Tech N9ne the person, I really do. However, the way Tech N9ne has been publically begging for Eminem’s attention makes me want to barf, it really does. Seeing rap’s top selling underground artist try to get more attention from the suburbs, and put value to the transfer of rap, literally makes me sick to my stomach. Tech is a cool dude, why this? Aren’t the juggalos enough? Is it Black seeking White acceptance? Seeing the constant begging made me reluctantly unlike him on Facebook.

     When Tech N9ne invited me to be on his “All 6’s and 7’s” album, with the likes of Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, Hopskin, and others, I was excited. I knew the following buzz would present a big stage. With a great stage, comes great responsibility. A lesson was in order. I came with Super Black’s “Listen Up, Ya Honkey”, and the world turned upside down!

 

white rap eminem first degreeFirst Degre The D.E.’s “Listen Up,Ya Honkey” Shocked The System

     “Listen Up, Ya Honkey” is not about all White people, it’s about racists! The song is often misunderstood. In response to the song, the juggalos started a “Ban First Degree” movement, which caught a little wave. Anti-First Degree sentiment was ramped up around the world, include occasional, random emails from Russia and other foreign lands. I was attacked from all over, it was great.
Before I got a chance to explain the song was just about racists, I was banned from the Strange Music message board. Why would Strange Music ban the very person that LITERALLY drove Brotha Lynch to their front door? Why would a contributing artist get shunned in favor of random, disrespectful, borderline racist consumers? Remember who owns rap, the suburbs.

 

white rap iggy azalea

Grammy Winning Rap Artist Ziggy Azalea

The Future Of Multi-Cultural Rap

     Rap is a world-wide collaborative effort now, and the Fahrenheit Movement reflects that. Fahrenheit’s range is as Black as Oakland’s Oji and his African vibe to Young Stroke’s Caucasian Gastonia, North Carolina. It’s as European as France’s Ghost D.E.S.T., as Latin as Las Vegas overlord M Sane, and as Japanese as Saterbagg’s stomping grounds. Fahrenheit’s purpose is purpose, a universal concept.

     Fahrenheit Records has recently signed some multi-cultural groups. If you wonder how someone with my views could sign non-black MCs, you have not been listening. Rap has blossomed, yet it’s about respect, and Fahrenheit is a leader in the rap game, not behind. In addition, Fahrenheit is a world-wide phenomenon. It’s much bigger than me. I just do my part.

     Most of the country doesn‘t know the Seattle area like the West Coast does. They have their own thing going on up there, it’s a unique vibe. Seattle’s urban little brother, Tacoma, is raw and ready to be heard by the world. It’s now their time. Tacomarap.com, coming soon, will keep you up on everything.

white rap blue nose musicBlue Nose Music’s 5ive 3re and Greg Double payed dues

     Tacoma’s Blue Nose Music is a multi-racial Fahrenheit group creating a buzz. Their leader, Greg Double, is a White MC. When Greg Double stepped in the game, he treated it with respect, didn’t use the “N” word, and respected the process by paying dues. This included respecting the OGs (Awall etc), hitting the street, getting on stage, and performing for the people. They deserved a chance because they are fun, and what Greg Double, Thunderchief, 5ive 3re, Cameron Couch, and United Kingdom’s Wynter Brown are trying to do is contribute to the game. Their album, “Release The Hounds” hits stores everywhere 2.17.15.

white rap eminem josh rizebergIt’s Josh Rizeberg’s (Of Beanz N Rize) time to be heard

     Beanz N Rize, also from Tacoma, is one of the most conscious rap duos of our era. Their music makes you want to be like them and know what they know. Josh Rizeberg and Cool Beanz are poetic, thoughtful MCs with an Egyptian twist. Josh Rizeberg, known for activism on the street and political level, feels that it’s important for suburbian MCs to acknowledge White privilege and racism in their music. Rize explains, “(Suburbian rappers) need to understand that Hip hop is, and originally was, a mouth-piece for the disenfranchised.” I couldn’t agree more. When I hear Beanz N Rize, I don’t hear a Jewish and Black rap group, I hear consciousness, which ascends race. The Beanz N Rize debut album hits stores 2.17.15.

white rap eminem biz markieBiz Markie and others made us laugh

     As well as rap being conscious, rap was made to be funny. Biz Markie, Flava Flav, Fresh Prince, 2 Live Crew, Bobby Jimmy, and many more, used to make us laugh. There’s nothing wrong with a good time! Fahrenheit has proudly launched Funnyrap.com dedicated to comedy rap that will have you rolling.

white rap eminem young strokeYoung Stroke isn’t a White rapper, he’s a funny rapper

     Fahrenheit only signs artists that have something wrong with them. Fahrenheit’s Sic Ill (Tacoma) and Young Stroke (San Diego/ North Carolina) are no exception. Once you get into Sic Ill and Young Stroke’s music, it won’t matter that one is a White rapper and one is Black, it will just matter that they make you laugh. I expect lots of controversy when those two’s albums drop this summer. I am looking forward to it.

white rap eminem beanz sic illCool Beanz and Sic Ill represent Tacoma well

     In a recent Facebook rant, Sic Ill reveals he has to defend his “pop-rap” to White MCs that don’t consider him a “real rapper”. His tirade included, “I’m Black! Get it through your thick skulls, you’re White! Rap is my s—,… there’s some other p—— in Seattle trying to clump their whiteness together at top and then they wonder why hip hop thinks they’re bulls—. Straight jackin’ Black people’s SMH.” The fact that Sic Ill feels the need to defend his rap to suburbian rappers is a symbol of the suburbs feeling they own rap. Again, it’s about respect.

Conclusion

     There is a silver lining in all of this. The good to come out of the Telecommunications Act is it freed up the little-known internet and brought more numbers to the rap genre. Through the “Twittagrams” and the “Instachats”, musicians are now just a few clicks away from their fans. Rap artists can connect directly with the people that matter to them. Sites like iTunes allow musicians to sell directly to their fans as well. There are now channels that corporations do not control.

     Despite the limits of radio and because of the internet, and support from Fahrenheit’s distributors City Hall Records and Orchard Music, Fahrenheit doesn’t need Target, or any other corporation, to approve its messages. Take that, corporation advertisers! Fahrenheit has even created our own online radio station, Fahrenheit Radio.

     Fahrenheit’s Greg Double of Blue Nose Music feels he and other White rappers can contribute to the rap genre, too. He reveals, “(Being a voice for the people) is not a skin tone issue at all. It’s a human condition that knows no boundaries.”

     The point is, a White rapper can be a good thing and contribute to the rap genre just like anyone else, as longs as he (or she, Ziggy Azalea) respects the game, like everyone else.

     Hits from the entire Fahrenheit roster will be featured in the upcoming album, “Fahrenheit Roll Call” due out in April of 2015.

white rap eminem recognize tacoma

#RecognizeTacoma

FahRecords.com

First Degree The D.E. & Fahrenheit Influence French Rap

french rap Ghost DEST

First Degree The D.E. And The Fahrenheit Movement Influence French Rap

The Fahrenheit Insight interviews France’s Ghost D.E.S.T. about First Degree The D.E. and Fahrenheit’s influence on the region

As a result of his 20+ years in rap music, First Degree The D.E. has influenced rap music on a global scale.

As an artist, Sacramento rap veteran First Degree The D.E. has reached a world-wide audience. His 40+  albums and his work with Brotha Lynch Hung, Andre Nickatina, and Tech N9ne, has exposed his unique talents to the world. The Fahrenheit Movement has touched the world as well.

France has one of the worlds fastest growing hip hop scenes. For the past 15 years or so, French musicians have taken American rap, inserted their culture, and created a new sound. The French hip hop sound is gritty, reminiscent of late 90’s American rap music. As a result of being around since the mid 90’s, First Degree The D.E. and The Fahrenheit Movement are influential in French rap, and French rappers.

One of the early French rap organizations was Dez Jakk’s War N Peace crew.  Dez Jakk and the gang have been putting out music since the early 2000’s and have had First Degree The D.E., and Sacramento’s E-Moe, featured on a past album called “The French Connection”.  After War N Peace’s 2010 “Inhale The Peace”,
Dez Jakk stopped making music because of his own religion convictions. The War N Peace crew was then on their own.

french rap Ghost D.E.S.T.

French Rapper Ghost D.E.S.T.

A standout member of the War N Peace corps is Ghost D.E.S.T. Ghost D.E.S.T. is 29, and was born in Roubaix “the poorest city in France”. He and his family have since moved to Switzerland. His lyrics are based on political corruption, geopolitical problems, wars, poverty in the world, the state of hip hop, the fact that weed is not legalize in France.  Ghost’s “I Am Hip Hop” drops in 2015.

Ghost D.E.S.T. proclaims First Degree The D.E. to be his favorite rapper. Ghost has all 40+ First Degree albums and has followed the Fahrenheit Shlangz for over a decade. He states, “We represent the Fahrenheit Movement here in France and Switzerland. We’re waiting for a First Degree The D.E. ‘s European Tour. French people need it!”

First Degree The D.E. hit the French rap scene hard with appearances on Brotha Lynch Hung’s 1997 “Loaded” album. The French hip hop community then experienced “The Big Black Bat” and “Planet Zero”. It was then that many  of the French underground, including Ghost D.E.S.T.,  officially became true First Degree fans.

D.E.S.T. explains he and his community loves Fahrenheit music because of it’s uniqueness. He further justifies, “Nobody does music like First Degree The D.E. How many artist can rap, sing, and make dope instrumentals? It’s much more than music to me, D.E.‘s lyrics are food for thoughts and Fahrenheit music taught me how to be a SUPER ME! My dad and my uncles are true Fahrenheit Shlangaz too! Much respect to artists like Be Gee, Soupbone, E-Moe, D-Dubb and Phonk Beta. R.I.P. P-Folks!”

When asked what makes Fahrenheit and Sacramento rap stand out, he reveals, “I like Sacramento artists like First Degree The D.E. because the music is much more different than all the other West Coast artist. I think that Sac Town artists, especially Fahrenheit music, has a special vibe. The lyric contents are so different. They are deeper and contain a lots of concepts, stories and characters (The Big Black Bat, Shlumpulicious The Jester, Robo D.E.) . This is a unique kind of rap and the mission is to bring back real rap music to hip hop addicts’ ears.

Ghost later includes, “The fact that The Fahrenheit Movement is an underground and urban movement is important to my eyes because that makes me feel like it’s all about the message and not about all the rap cliché. The purpose is to open your mind to another way of thinking, a higher level, another way to live your life, to interact with people. We all can be a part of the solution, but we need to have true leaders, and D.E. his one of mine.”

For those new to The Fahrenheit Movement, Ghost D.E.S.T. recommends First Degree The D.E. classic songs like “Link In The Chain”, “Open Wide”,  “Watchin’ My Life Go”, “You’ve Gone And Did It”,  “You Ain’t F*&# Wit My Time”, and “Bang!”. The Fahrenheit music and purpose can be sampled on Fahrenheit Radio, available at FahRadio.com, iTunes Radio, Windows Radio, and Tune In. Many First Degree videos are on Youtube as well.

With a mix of consistency, good music, purpose, and conscious lyrics, First Degree The D.E. and The Fahrenheit Movement has become a major factor in French rap and global rap music.

An Interview by Jimmy Blog of The Fahrenheit Insight

FahInsight.com

brotha lynch hung first degre beef fahrenheit collectibles

Brotha Lynch Hung & First Degree The D.E.

“Fahrenheit Collectibles”

OUT NOW!

The History Of Sacramento Rap (Part Three, The Fall)

sacramento rap HISTORY 3 fahrenheit insight

The History Of Sacramento Rap (Part Three, The Fall)

Written By First Degree The D.E. & Jimmy Blog For Fahrenheit Insight

 

Note: To prepare for part three of this series, First Degree The D.E. and Fahrenheit Insight’s Jimmy Blog sat down with Black Market’s Cedric Singleton and Fahrenheit affiliate Unc Imo. The purpose was to learn more about the fall of Sacramento rap, and what we can do to get back on top.

 

sacramento fahrenheit insight

Sacramento Rap History, Part Twelve 

What goes up, must come down.

During Sacramento’s rap peak in the 90’s, people were working together. Artists were on labels, labels and artists worked together pioneering a genre, and crews were hitting the road, spreading the word. After the dust had settled, Brotha Lynch Hung emerged as the new King of Sacramento rap music.

It was then that a plague rolled into Sacramento. That plague was ego. The ego plague would lead to the fall of Sacramento rap music as we knew it. In the 90’s, Sacramento’s big dog record label was still Black Market Records.

Although Black Market was selling thousands of units partnered with Priority Records, the Black Market/Priority relationship had gone sour. Fortunately for Ced Sing and Black Market, another major record label, Tommy Boy Records, had interest in distributing Black Market music. Tommy Boy Records wanted to go all out for Brotha Lynch and Black Market Records.

“Tommy Boy was ready to go, radio, they were prepared to do a movie, they were ready to do all of these things to promote Brotha Lynch. During that crucial time, he decided he doesn’t want to do the deal, cuz other people are spittin in his ear, saying we can do better for you,” Black Market’s Cedric Singleton reflects in anguish on The Fahrenheit Hour Urban Talk Show. Ced also accuses Priority of putting distrust of Black Market in Lynch’s ear.

Brotha Lynch Hung thought he was ready to run a record label. Boy, was he wrong.

“Now, this is where the third part of the series, The Fall Of Sacramento Rap, will start, with this very moment.” painfully cries First Degree The D.E. on The Fahrenheit Hour.

Brotha Lynch began thinking Black Market was taking advantage of him. A year after signing a 5 year deal with Black Market for big money (wanna find out how much, Fahrenheit Hour with Ced Sing), Lynch wanted out.

“My problem with Lynch is you signed a deal. and if you didn’t want deal, you should just turn in your records (4 more) and you’d be free to go, like X-Raided did,” Ced Sing rationalizes. Ced explains he’s given Lynch hundreds of thousands of dollars. However, later in the Fahrenheit Hour episode, Ced admits mistakes.

“I was there when he (Lynch) signed and got a check for (find out on Ced Sing’s feature on The Fahrenheit Hour).” First Degree reports.

Many people don’t understand that during this time, Ced Sing was in his 20’s, early 30’s, and was still wet behind the ears. “A lot people thought I knew about the music business like I know now, I didn’t know then, a lot of thing I had to learn.” Ced admits on The Fahrenheit Hour. “A lot of information I got from my attorney was actually bad information.” However, the damage, or perception of damage, was already done.

tommy boy fahrenheit insight

 “If Brotha Lynch’s career had a turning point, that was his turning point,” reflects Cedric Singleton about Lynch’s refusal to participate in the Tommy Boy deal

Sacramento Rap History, Part Thirteen

Brotha Lynch was ready to move on from Black Market Records. Lynch Hung had decided he didn’t need Black Market and wanted to start his own label with manager, Art B. They did and called it Siccmade Musicc. Lynch and Art were co-owners. Based on Broth Lynch’s name, they got nation-wide distribution by Ground Level. With all that was going on in Sacramento’s music scene, Siccmade Musicc was a serious factor. However, things weren’t the same as they were.

During Sac rap’s peak, there was unity and deals were getting made for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Yes, it was a more profitable, pre-download era in the music industry, however, the money was coming from the people and the new, world-wide interest of Sacramento rap. Around this time, C-Bo left AWOL, X-Raided left Black Market, Hollow Tip left High Side, and Fahrenheit was doing it alone. It was a local disease of division. However, there was a new rap family in Sacramento, the Siccmade family.

siccmade family fahrenheit insight

 The Siccmade Family

 

The Siccmade crew included Brotha Lynch, Art B, Phonk Beta, Zigg Zagg, C.O.S., Sicx, P-Folks, Loki, Big Reg, Tall Can G, D-Dubb, E Moe, and more. They ended up releasing 15 albums with both Ground Level and IDN, based out of New York. They enjoyed success, but it was a fraction of the income Black Market was achieving in it’s heyday. Siccmade was bringing in tens of thousands of dollars, selling cds, and occasionally, doing shows. With Phonk Beta still on the beats, the Siccmade sound was still in tact, with albums like Head Drama and Brotha Lynch Hung’s “Lynch By Inch”. Lynch’s transition from Black Market to Siccmade appeared somewhat smooth, at first.

In 2001, Siccmade artist Triple Sicx, was  charged and convicted of child molestation. Sicx’s actions were an embarrassment to Siccmade and caused division. However, the Siccmade machine rolled on.

 

brotha lynch lynch by inch fahrenheit insight

 Brotha Lynch’s “Lynch By Inch” was Siccmade’s most successful album

After burning bridges with Art B and IDN, Brotha Lynch started Madesicc Musicc. He had to change the name of his label because Art B was 50% owner of Siccmade. Current day, Madesicc is Lynch’s label. Their main artists include a reboot of Loc To Da Brain, with members G-Macc, 8 Ball, Da KAT, and Hyst. Other artists include Calico 101, Devious, Loco Ricc, Vamp Loc, Nicci Blacc, and Tanqueray Loc. The label has released a G-Macc’s “Opera/Angels & Demons”, however, Madesicc Musicc has released only a fraction of the albums Siccmade Musicc released.

Every Brotha Lynch label project has gotten worse and worse. The Madesicc/Siccmade brand is popular, yet has become watered down. Now-a-days, several entities from near and far, “claim” the Madesicc brand, even if their music isn’t own by Madesicc Musicc. Part of this is due in part to Lynch’s hard time saying no to people.

During Be Gee’s recent #Be40 event in Elk Grove, Ca, an impromptu round table of Sacramento rap history was formed. This round table included Cedric Singleton, First Degree The D.E., Death Trap’s Dalvin Pipkins, and the Fahrenheit Insight. As you can imagine, may topics were discussed, including Sacramento’s glorious rap history. Brotha Lynch was also brought up. At one point in the discussion, round table  members discussed the shady things Brotha Lynch had done to each of them. It was a very eventful, funny conversation.

 

Sacramento Rap History, Part Fourteen

As the writer of his own destiny, and no longer under the protection of the Black Market machine, Brotha Lynch gained a reputation of being difficult to deal with. In the Sacramento streets, Brotha Lynch was becoming known for being soft and started to get dissed on songs. Some of the artists dissing Lynch in songs were T-Nutty, Smigg Dirty,  M Sane, and Chill Bola. Lynch’s business partners also found it hard to work with him. However, many fascinated local  “artists” came around Lynch, just to do so. There was always a lot of people wanting to be around Lynch. Lynch was still the king. However, he was a difficult one.

First Degree The D.E. remembers Lynch’s ex-wife Zigg Zagg saying during a San Diego show, “Brotha Lynch can be your greatest asset, and your greatest crutch,”

“Tryin to throw him shows and what not, he’d act like a child, riddled with anxiety. The dumbest things happened on the road, because of Lynch” First Degree The D.E. states. “It was that point that the secret was out. The king of Sacramento was an idiot.” First Degree declares to Fahrenheit Insight. “Having the king of Sac be an idiot was bad for business.”

For those that knew, Brotha Lynch Hung was exposed. For those that didn’t, everything was the same. Despite the rumors, Lynch fans were still fanatic.

“It got the point were we’d all be together, on the road, meeting or whatever, and as soon as Kev (Brotha Lynch) left the room, everyone would talk bout how dumb he was,” First Degree reminisces. “I can remember driving to a Strange Music video shoot for Lynch. We were already late, in a new city, Strange Music’s Travis O’Guin whining on the phone, and Lynch suddenly needs Spiderman Band Aids. Travis O’Guin in panic mode, threatening to cancel the video and Lynch’s deal, and Lynch is demanding we make a stop for some damn Spiderman Band Aids at a strip mall. It was one of those many times where I had to wake him out of his stupidity, for the sake of the city.”

First Degree goes on, stating that Brotha Lynch always complained about people using him. Maybe he’s right, maybe he’s wrong. Perhaps Brotha Lynch is trying to help everyone. Perhaps he is the one using his friends.

“He was so afraid of everything. I remember being at a show with Lynch and members of the Madesicc crew. A Black fan with a quirky scar on his eye, came up to us and said, ‘are you Brotha Lynch and First Degree?’ He then pulled out a Planet Zero CD. I said yes, and we chatted a minute. He then turned to Lynch and Lynch pretended not to be himself. Lynch was hiding behind his friend, giving a fake name, practically shivering. It was very odd. If this had been a juggalo, Lynch would have embraced him. But Lynch is afraid of everything,” First Degree The D.E. adds.

brotha lynch ebk4 fahrenheit insight

Black Market’s non-Lynch, Lynch album EBK4 debuted at #4 on Billboard, even thought Lynch didn’t directly participate in it’s creation

Although Brotha Lynch had left Black Market, Black Market continued releasing Lynch albums. Prior to Loaded in ’97, Brotha Lynch signed a 5 year deal with Black Market, and Ced intended to follow through, with or without Lynch. The first of the non-Lynch, Lynch albums was EBK4. Despite being pieced together by Black Market, it debuted at #4 on the Billboard charts! Black Market went to make 5 or so more Brotha Lynch albums this way, including greatest hits albums, achieving mild success compared to the past.

On Fahrenheit Hour, Cedric Singleton explains that he got the songs for the post-Lynch, Lynch albums by buying songs Lynch had done for other people.

Brotha Lynch has always suspected Black Market got songs by taking them in an armed home invasion that occurred at Lynch’s house. According to witnesses, five or six armed, masked men entered Brotha Lynch’s house. Lynch jumped out of the window, leaving everyone behind. The men tied everyone up and stole all the reel-to-reels and ADATS (tapes used for recording) they could find. Lynch has stated that he’s heard songs taken in that robbery on Black Market non-Lynch, Lynch albums.  Brotha Lynch’s ex-wife Zigg Zagg has since released a song about the incident, scolding Lynch for jumping out of the window and leaving them behind.

After setting off on a mission to own his music, Brotha Lynch ended up owning very little. His label Madesicc, has released only released a few albums in several years of existence. Even with Art B. and E Moe’s resurrection of Siccmade Musicc, Brotha Lynch is not involved, recently tweeting on Twitter, “This nigga emoe3000 a foo! Naw he not talkin to me he talkin to First Degree the DE”

 

Sacramento Rap History, Part Fifteen

C-Bo fahrenheit insight

 In C-Bo’s second act of his career, he looked to expand his horizons in L.A.

c bo The_Final_Chapter fahrenheit insightC-Bo’s Final Chapter was his last with AWOL Records

As with Brotha Lynch, in the late 90’s, C-Bo broke away from his label, AWOL, and formed his own, West Coast Mafia Records. West Coast Mafia successfully released 25+ albums, including releases from C-Bo, Mob Figaz, Ms. Marvaless, Yukmouth, and more. Managed by Nuchie from Meadowview in Sacramento, C-Bo was constantly on the road, promoting, doing shows, and making big money. C-Bo enjoyed a successful transition from AWOL to his own label, until the trials.

During this time. C-Bo went to jail for a parole violation, stemming from anti-police lyrics. On rap site HipHopDX, C-Bo said, “I went through that. It’s already in the book. It’s already written. That can never be an issue, it’s a First Amendment right. They already tried me. They can’t try nobody else, ’cause it’s already been done.”

In 2012, C-Bo went to jail again, this time in Kansas, stemming from a marijuana sales conviction. Although West Coast Mafia Records had success releasing many albums, running the business, dealing with cases, and jail trips took its toll on C-Bo and West Coast Mafia Records. However to this day, C-Bo boasts of being part of 2.5 million record sales. That is a lot. West Coast Mafia Records has been a bigger success than Brotha Lynch’s, post-Black Market, labels.

 

brotha lynch c bo fahrenheit insight

In 2001, David Weiner, working at JCOR Records, pulled off one of the greatest Sacramento rap feats of all time, a Brotha Lynch, C-Bo album. The two weren’t in the studio together when the album was made. It reached #79 on Billboard charts. It featured a young, hungry Tech N9ne

 

 Sacramento Rap History, Part Sixteen

brotha lynch dinner movie fahrenheit insoght

Strange Music’s first Brotha Lynch Hung album “Dinner And A Movie” enjoyed a somewhat successful release. It was a chance to bring national attention to the Sacramento sound again. Instead, Brotha Lynch went with Strange Music’s sound. Brotha Lynch was managed by First Degree The D.E. at the time, as stated in the inside cover of the album

Next came what many call the official end of Sacramento rap. “I feel bad because I had a part in it,” First Degree The D.E. admits. “I helped for the city of Sacramento, though.” Brotha Lynch signed with Strange Music.

In 2009, Brotha Lynch reconnected with David Weiner, now Vice President of Strange Music. Strange Music is a record label based out of Kansas City, Mo, owned by Travis O’Guin and Tech N9ne. Strange Music got its start by tapping into ICP’s fan base, called juggalos. Juggalos are known to be grudge, rowdy Caucasians, not your typical rap audience. On many occasions, Tech N9ne has mentioned that he grew up idolizing Brotha Lynch’s music. After unsuccessfully trying to sign Lynch for many years, Strange was able to sign him in 2009. It was the beginning of the end for Sac.

By this time, Brotha Lynch’s work ethic was really bad, and Strange Music’s demands were high. After being signed to Strange Music for six months, Brotha Lynch still hadn’t submitted any songs to them, despite several attempts from Strange. In addition, Loaded and Season Of The Siccness were involved in bankruptcy (which Ced Sing later regrets) and had been taken off the shelves.

This lead to Brotha Lynch, Loki (Lynch’s manager at the time, one of many of Lynch’s career), Dave Weiner of Strange, and the Davis bankruptcy lawyer asking First Degree The D.E. to manage Brotha Lynch to help get things going. First Degree accepted the challenge, the two agreed on 20%, and D.E. got the ball rolling. He drove Brotha Lynch to Kansas City several times and did what had to be done to get Dinner and a Movie out. He also frequently met with the bankruptcy lawyer and successfully got Loaded and Season back on the shelf, with both Lynch and Ced Sing getting a piece. Although Dinner And A Movie didn’t enjoy the success prior Lynch albums did, it still did rather well.

The First Degree/Brotha Lynch relationship became rocky due to, what First Degree claims, a breach of the managing agreement. Many have chimed in. As a result, ‘First Degree Brotha Lynch beef’ is a popular search on Google. “He asked me to manage him, he was supposed to pay me 20%, I got him paid, he disappeared. That’s the root of the problem, that’s Brotha Lynch,” declares First Degree The D.E. to Fahrenheit Insight. This lead to the release of FU4’s comical single, Lynch Roast. “You won’t pay me my money, but your fans will!” sings First Degree The D.E. in Lynch Roast.

“Stop tellin’ people I owe you,” Brotha Lynch demands of First Degree The D.E. through social media.

Brotha Lynch went on to release three albums with Strange Music, all pretending to be a serial killer. To the juggalos, the albums were great. The traditional Lynch fans were left behind claiming the album sounded too fake, and lost the Sacramento sound. These traditional Lynch fans were disappointed because the new sound was not consistent with his career. Smooth, hard-hitting, soulful Phonk Beta beats were replaced by rocky, loud Strange Music beats. Lynch’s flow was precise, but even more fake. The Brotha Lynch we all knew was lost in the name of “progress”. Sacramento had officially lost its identity.

 

Sacramento Rap History, Part Seventeen

first degree big black bat fahrenheit insight

First Degree The D.E. and Pooman Dre worked magic together on “The Big Black Bat” album

Fahrenheit Records fought to keep the tradition of Sacramento music alive. Their members included First Degree The D.E., Be Gee, Soupbone, Crucial Point, Pooman Dre, and M Sane. As of now, they have released over 40 albums world-wide, more than any other label in Sacramento’s enriched history. After Planet Zero, Damn That D.E., FU1, and The Big Black Bat, First Degree The D.E. left long time Bay Area producer Pooman Dre behind, once again following the Sacramento mistake of thinking he could do it himself. Many say The D.E.’s music got too weird, lost quality, and became hard to follow after that. Also, M Sane abruptly retired after just a few albums. However, Fahrenheit Records was still on the rise. First Degree and Fahrenheit’s success in the 2000’s can be attributed to the 100+ shows First Degree performed nation-wide with Bay Area legends Andre Nickatina, Equipto, and Smoov-E.

Although Fahrenheit Records has rebounded nicely in recent years, First Degree has gotten more controversial and racially charged. First Degree The D.E.’s last solo album “Super Black, The Voice Of The Voiceless” has a song named, “Listen Up, Ya Honkey!” He calls it a guide to racial respect. “Believe it or not, its about folks showin’ respect and getting’ along,” First Degree explains. Fahrenheit has since gotten into producing urban news, online radio, and continues to release albums. However,  Fahrenheit Records has never caught up to the success and notoriety of First Degree The D.E., the artist.

“A lot of people believe that they could be their own record label, and with that lead to the decline of music in Sacramento. You look at the artists that were able to achieve the greatest level of success, those were artists that were on record labels.” Black Market’s Ced Sing summarizes.

 

Sacramento Rap History, Part Eighteen

Oh, what could have been.

On Fahrenheit Radio’s Fahrenheit Hour, First Degree The D.E. sums up the Sacramento music roller coaster experience. “Everybody started going in their own directions (the fall), and when the rise happened, everyone was working together, and thats what I’ve learned in this process.”

On his appearance on the Fahrenheit Hour, Ced Sing wonders out loud why Brotha Lynch left his home label to go to other labels, “and eventually become Tech N9ne’s fuck boy.” declares First Degree The D.E. on the the episode. Ced then suggests that he could understand if Lynch was trying to own his own music, but he wasn’t. Had the Tommy Boy, Black Market, Brotha Lynch connection come together, the possibilities in the region would have been endless. To this day, Brotha Lynch has little to show from all the albums he created since leaving Black Market.

Why do we fall, so we can get back up.

Although Sacramento music is not in the lime light anymore, there is still hope. Fahrenheit affiliate Unc Imo suggests the movers and shakers in Sacramento get on the same page together. He also asserts to, “help in your community because thats your village.”

“Im ready to get it going again,” Ced Sing declares. After doing humanitarian work in 60 countries, Ced is ready to get back into the music saddle. He states that experiences in Africa changed him. “I love Sacramento, (and) even though I have beef with Brotha Lynch. Its hard for me to say something bad about him, because without him there would be no Black Market . At the end of the day, Brotha Lynch’s life’s better, and so is mine.”

Black Market’s Cedric Singleton thinks Sactown rap is on the come-up again. First Degree The D.E. also predicts Sacramento rap will bubble once again in the near future, if the nerve centers start working together again. “It goes back to what I was saying’, people working together and it being true and it being real. Lynch catering to juggalos or what ever they call themselves, that is not real. That is not true.” First Degree manifests on The Fahrenheit Hour.

A good start to the re-rise of Sacramento music would be a new Phonk Beta produced Brotha Lynch Hung song. That’s were it all began, talented Sacramento artists, working with Sacramento producers, giving birth to that Sacramento sound.

However, to truly resurrect Sacramento’s musical legacy, new trails must be paved, like the pioneers did before them.

Does the make of the man (or woman) behind the music matter?

Sacramento rap history has too many missed opportunities. Don’t miss opportunities over ego.

As individuals, Sacramento rap will fail. Let the tales of Sacramento rap music serve as a lesson to the world. Working together breeds success. Like birds flocking.

Sacramento rap history is valued world-wide. Just about every hip hop lover in the world has discovered Sacramento rap at some point. Let’s keep it that way.

For this article, Fahrenheit Insight documented Brotha Lynch Hung’s career and labels, C-Bo’s career and labels, Black Market Records, and First Degree The D.E.’s Fahrenheit  Records because they are Sacramento’s longest lasting, most consistent artists and labels in the history on Sacramento rap music. However, there are many others that had their hand the history of Sacramento rap music, which leads us to ask…

Who will be the next king of Sac?

Other contributors to Sacramento rap history include…

T-Poe, Cris Crump, Brent Stafford, Jeff Dixon, Waynee Wayne, Thick And Thin Studios, Paradise Studios, Daniel Hubbard, Marky Mark & Livewire Studios, Walter & City Hall Records, Pooman Studios, J Dubb, Teabone, Debonair, Nick Peace, St Nick, Lavish D, W.I.L.L., Jackie Moore & Sactown Raps, Curbside, United Nations, G Idez, Foe Loco, Young Meek, Who Put Sac On The Map and Black Armor Records, Twamp Dog, Shagzilla, Polo, Smigg Dirty, Blackjack, Young Bop, Bread, GP The Beast, Thomas & Robin Gonzales, Push, Big O, C-Dubb, Bueno, Brown Hustlas, Mozzy, Lavish D, Tony Endz, Liq Sto, Flossalini, Skanless, Lil Pig, Young Jayda, Young Ridah, PCP, Dub Sac, Big Ron, Crisis, D-Dubb, CRISIS, Royal Mixxers, Nasty Train, Big Ron D, Beat Boyz The CUF, DJ Eddie Edul, DJ Brain Tedlos, Don Blanco, The Sactown Blood and Crips, and more.

 

Fahrenheit Insight’s “The History Of Sacramento Rap” thrives to be the most accurate account of Sacramento rap music ever. Thank you for being a part.

 

 

Lynch & first degree the DE Cover Upload-2

 First Degree The D.E. “Fahrenheit Collectibles, Brotha Lynch Hung & First D.E.” OUT NOW Digitally, In Record Stores 11.18.14!

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