Freestyle 101

Freestyle 101: YTCracker


Posted November 18, 2008 - By Frank Meyer

Freestyle 101: YTCracker »

YTCracker (a.k.a. Bryce Case, Jr.) is a dope rapper, a hacker, a playa, and the undisputed king of Nerdcore Hip Hop. Just ask him.

The man who put the Colorado Springs rap scene on the map is also a huge G4 fan and has been down with us for years. He recorded TheFeed theme song way back when, he starred in our first Nerdcore TV promo earlier this year, and he has been featured on Attack of the Show several times.

As a rapper, YTCracker has been making indie hip hop on his own label, Digital Gangster Enterprises, since 1998, where he’s been releasing albums like Nerd Life and Dirty Nerdy. He tours constantly and has performed alongside such musical acts as Xzibit, Cypress Hill, Digital Underground and George Clinton. He even co-wrote Too Short’s “Pimpandho.com” from 2003’s Married to the Game. His next effort is a collaboration album with fellow nerd rapper/producer MC Lars, The Digital Gangster LP.

As a hacker, YT was exposed to computers by his folks at a young age and was soon programming, designing and terrorizing. In 1999, he made headlines when he defaced NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center website, as well as a few other government sites. This landed him into the media spotlight, making him a go-to talking head on internet mischievousness and teen hacking.

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Freestyle 101: H.I.T.T.M.A.N.


Posted November 11, 2008 - By Frank Meyer

Freestyle 101: Hittman »

His name stands for “His Interesting Talent To Motivate All Nations.” Hip hop heads know H.I.T.T.M.A.N. from Dr. Dre’s multi-platinum album Chronic 2001, where he practically stole the show alongside legends like Snoop Dogg, Jay-Z, Eminem and Xzibit. He’s the guy who bursts out of the screen at the end of the “Difference Between Me and You” video with Dre and Em. He was poised to be the next big thing when…well…nothing happened. He parted ways with Dre and Aftermath, he never made it to the Up In Smoke tour, and he just kinda vanished without a trace. Until now…

H.I.T.T.M.A.N.’s long-awaited self-titled debut album was just released and he’s hitting the road to take his music to the people. And with bangers like “West Coast Sh*t,” “Last Dayz,” and “La La La,” he shouldn’t have too much problem making new fans. It was a pleasure to have him stop by Engine Room Studios in Hollywood to rhyme about videogames over a Bruce Yi beat. The man knows his games and publishers, and spit a rapid fire, off the dome freestyle about ‘em just for you. In his interview, H.I.T.T.M.A.N. talks about the early days of the Los Anegeles rap scenes and how he met Dr. Dre. Turns out Dre was looking for a short, stocky Eazy-E type character that he could launch like he did Snoop Dogg with his previous landmark album, The Chronic, and N.W.A. before that.

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Vote! Vote! Vote!


Posted November 4, 2008 - By Mike D'Alonzo

As you are no doubt aware, today is Election Day, and we here at The Feed would like to encourage you to get out there and vote your little hearts out. We don't care how you vote, but, if you enjoy living in a representative democracy, you should exercise your right and responsibility and do the responsible thing. We know you might end up waiting in line, but what's an hour or so when there's years of policy making at stake?

Of course, you could stay in and watch Attack of the Show and X-Play, or you could come back after and watch them as a reward to yourself for voting. What will you see? Oh, man. First, on AOTS,  Kevin Pereira and Chris Hardwick are going to bring you coverage of the campaign no one's talking about...Cobra Commander '08. Then, it's an encore presentation of X-Play's awesome Gears of War 2 special, which has all kinds of exclusive footage and interviews you won't see anywhere else.

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Tags: Freestyle 101, G4

Freestyle 101: Kottonmouth Kings »

Today is Election Day, people! This is your chance to cast your vote and be part of Democracy! But after you get done flexing your freedom and being part of history, you might get a hankerin’ for some freestyle hip hop. You might even want said hip hop to touch on the election and get all current eventy ‘n’ stuff. Well, then do we have a Freestyle 101 for you: Orange County punk -pop legends Kottonmouth Kings!

Not normally known for political raps, Kottonmouth Kings rapper Johnny Richter was so inspired by the debates and the presidential race between Barack Obama and John McCain that he worked up a special rhyme just for you, just for today. He also threw in some Halloween lines, some references to Tupac and sellin’ dope, and made sure to take a swing at Gov. Palin just to keep it fresh. Meanwhile, Daddy X spit an off-the-top party rap over this blazin’ R.N.S. beat, and D-Loc kept it cool in the cut. The guys also chatted about growin’ up hip hop in punk rock Placentia, located behind the Orange Curtain in SoCal, and some of the rap music that inspired them to grab the mic. Freestyle 101 was happy to have the guys stop by The Engine Room in Hollywood while they were out promoting The Green Album, their latest effort on their own Suburban Noize Records.

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Freestyle 101: Insane Clown Posse »


Yes kiddies, it’s Halloween and Freestyle 101 has a special, blood-splattered, painty-face double feature for you. First up are those wicked clowns out of Detroit, the ones the Juggalos revere and your parents despise, Insane Clown Posse! Then it's ICP affiliates Twiztid, the next wave of hip hop crazies!

Insane Clown Posse have been creating horror-driven hip hop for nearly two decades now and are one of the most successful group to ever grab the mic. Sure, all your hip hop snobs will cry foul that they wear makeup and rap about fantasy and sci-fi stuff instead of “keeping it real,” but while your bust hatin’, ICP is busy makin’ millions. Yup, say what you will, but ICP owns their own label, owns their own masters, tour constantly, and make more money of t-shirts in one night than you and your whole crew do in a year. Seriously. Plus, KISS, Alice Cooper and Marilyn Manson were criticized for dressing up like ghouls and making music that wasn’t “serious” and those guys are all legends now. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope mean business and give their rapid following what they want, time and time again. They are the Grateful Dead of hip hop…except they dress up like killer clowns. And they are from Detroit. And they will kill you. So go pick up ICP’s recent effort, The Tempest, and don’t say we didn’t warn you.

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Freestyle 101: Kool Keith + Kutmasta Kurt »

Kool Keith is many MCs to many people. Some know him as the frontman of one of New York’s most respected and beloved groups, Ultramagnetic MCs. Many know him as Dr. Octagon, the alias he used for 1996’s Dr. Octagonecologyst album, which birthed the Nerdcore Hip Hop genre and launched the careers of DJ Q-Bert, Kutmasta Kurt, Dan the Automator and DJ Shadow. Yet others know him as either Black Elvis, Dr. Doom, Keith Korg, Dr. Nogatco, Mathew or The Spankmaster, depending on which of his many albums you’re talking about, under his many aliases, as part of his many groups. Whew!

Keith has collaborated with everyone from The Pretenders to Ol’ Dirty Bastard to Ice-T in the past, and releases more albums and side-projects than just about any MC alive. The man is a workhorse! And have no fear, he has even more albums under different names planned, just to keep ya guessing! Most recently though Keith teamed up again with frequent collaborator Kutmasta Kurt for Dr. Dooom 2, released Sept 23 on Threshold Records, the twisted sequel to his beloved Dr. Dooom effort. You should pick it up, as well as last year’s Ultramagnetic MCs reunion album, Best Kept Secret. Both are quite good.

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Freestyle 101: DJ Muggs + Planet Asia »

Is there a more consistent and high-quality producer in hip hop than DJ Muggs? I mean, you got your Dr. Dre, your RZA and your DJ Premier, but one could argue that those guys don’t put out albums as often as they used to and, with the exception of Premo, are a decade past their best work. Muggs on the other hand, just keeps getting better and better. His work with his group Cypress Hill is beyond legendary, having crafted more hits than just about any other rap group in history. His beats on bangers by everyone from House of Pain to KRS-One to Ice Cube to Tricky to Beastie Boys are about as rough, rugged and raw as hip hop gets. And let’s not forget his forays into rock with the likes of Pearl Jam and Sonic Youth.

But it’s his recent collaboration with his favorite MCs that have really gotten the hip hop world buzzin’ over the last coupla years. Anyone who heard his Grandmasters album with GZA and Legend of the Mask and The Assassin with Sick Jacken of Psycho Realm know that Muggs has taken his beats and songwriting to a whole other level. The best of which is the recently released Pain Language with Freestyle 101 vet Planet Asia, a molten collection of grimy beats and world class rhymes.

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Freestyle 101: Heltah Skeltah »

This is a big week for fans of true hip hop. Why? Because it marks the release of the long-awaited new album by one of raps most amazing groups, Heltah Skeltah. Yes, Ruck and Rock have reunited and D.I.R.T. (Da Incredible Rap Team) is the result, 14 cuts of down and dirty hip hop with not a pop track in site. And with Ruck’s recent re-emergence and new found popularity under his real name, Sean Price, the timing is perfect. And the album is indeed incredible.

Some of you may recall Sean Price appeared on Freestyle 101 way back in 2007 as one of our first guests. Well, he had so much fun, he was more than happy to step back in the booth with his tag-team partner Rock (a.k.a. Da Rockness Monstah) for another banger. Of course, we all know that along with Buckshot, Smif-N-Wessun, O.G.C. and others, Heltah Skeltah is part of the supergroup Boot Camp Clik. So imagine how honored we were to have the opportunity to visit them in New York and tape in DaMan Productions, where Boot Camp Clik records much of its material. It was truly a blessing to be hanging where so many classic songs were recorded, and hear these two legends spit game over a wicked Lord G track and talk about their early days on the scene.

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Freestyle 101 New Artist Month: Damani »

For our final installment of New Artist Month on Freestyle 101 we bring to you a true player, a real spitter, and a really dope MC: Damani of Dub Union.

Formerly known as Western Union (forced to change their name by some no-name delivery service), Dub Union features the Inglewood MC alongside Watts-bred rapper Bad Lucc and Long Beach reppin’ Soopafly and is overseen by the great Snoop Dogg, who brought them to the attention of Koch Records and appears on the recently released debut album, Snoop Dogg Presents Dubb Union.

Having appeared on Snoop’s albums Tha Blue Carpet Treatment and The Big Squeeze, the group has already garnered a sizable following around the West Coast, and the group’s first single, “Westurn Union,” displays its to its home-coast. But it’s Damani efforts on the mixtape circuit and the streets that keeps their name alive around the rest of the country. Always on the grind, Damani has been bangin’ out mixtapes (dig Congratulations Playa) and underground joints for years (check 2007’s "Only In LA" with Daz and WC) with the help of playas like DJ Warrior and the Dogg Pound.

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Freestyle 101 Rock The Vote Special: Aceyalone »

Underground rap legend Aceyalone is no stranger to freestyling. He co-founded renowned Los Angeles group Freestyle Fellowship and hip hop collective Project Blowd to do just that: show the world that when it comes to spittin’ off the top, L.A. ain’t playin’!

So Freestyle 101 was beyond thrilled when Acey stopped by The Engine Room in Hollywood to grace us with his talents. But this time we had an agenda. We asked him to come up with a Rock The Vote themed rap about the state of the nation and why it’s more important than ever to register to vote and make your voice heard. And Aceyalone knows about getting’ your voice heard after a slew of incredible solo albums (start with All Balls Don’t Bounce and Book of Human Language and then scoop up every one from there). Listen up, kids, the man knows his hip hop and his politics!

Aceyalone’s latest album is called Lightning Strikes and it’s quite dope, so we suggest you pick it up. To check out other Freestyle 101s visit www.g4tv.com/freestyle101, 'cause if you dig Aceyalone you'll wanna check out Project Blowd MCs Myka 9, P.E.A.C.E., Thirsty Fish and Neila. Meanwhile, Freestyle 101 continues New Artist Month at our regular time next week (9 a.m. PST, Tuesdays) with Damani of Snoop Dogg’s Dub Union. Then we got Heltah Skeltah, Planet Asia and DJ Muggs, Teflon, Kool Keith, and a special Halloween double feature that will rock your world. Make sure to dig our behind the scenes photos, visit us on MySpace and rant in our Forums.

For more info on how to register to vote go to www.g4tv.com/rockthevote.


Freestyle 101 New Artist Month: Ikka-Bod »

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Freestyle 101's New Artist Month carries on with Detroit native Ikka-Bod, known to the world as a member of Hevi Medal, M.O.P.’s kick ass hard rock band.

After years of grinding in the Motor City alongside greats like D12 and Slum Village, Ikka-Bod found his way to New York, where he hooked up with the First Family and M.O.P. clique. When Billy Danze and Lil’ Fame decided to start a heavy metal band they naturally turned to Ikka-Bod to be one of the frontmen. Peep the mixtape joint “7:30” to see what all the noise is about. Meanwhile, he issued a series of indie albums and mixtapes, including Hold On 40, Life Captured In 3 Minutes and Got What You Want, which received much critical praise and street buzz.

So Freestyle 101 was stoked to get Ikka-Bod in the booth at Play Studios in New York through our buddy Laze E. Laze to spit over a dope Messiaz beat. And, man, he threw in so many videogames references our head was spinning. Good stuff!

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Behind The Scenes: G4tv's Nerdcore Commercials »

You’ve seen the dope Freestyle 101-inspired G4tv Nerdcore promos with rappers Del the Funky Homosapien, MC Frontalot, YTCracker and MC Lars. Now watch the hilarious behind the scenes footage from the shoots!

Marvel as host YT Cracker takes you from the streets of downtown Los Angeles to glamorous Hollywood!

Dig MC Lars as he struts his stuff in front of a greenscreen!

See MC Frontalot as he has makeup and towels applied to his sweaty noggin!

Watch the always energetic Del look nervous and giggly as he is told to actually stand still for a second!

Check out hot girls as they profess their love for Nerdcore!

Yes, all this and more…all this and more.

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Nerdcore TV Commercial: Del The Funky Homosapien »

Over the last few months G4 has been rolling out a series of Nerdcore Hip Hop TV promos. 

What the hell is Nerdcore Hip Hop, you might ask? Well, it’s rap music by MCs into videogames, technology, computers, gadgets and other nerdy stuff. You’ve seen the TV spots by MC Frontalot, YTCracker and MC Lars, but now it’s time to check out the king of the scene, the man who helped invent the genre, the one and only Del the Funky Homosapien!

You know this Oakland MC from his work in Gorillaz, his many awesome solo albums (Deltron 3030, anyone?), from his dope edition of G4tv’s multi-platform hip hop series Freestyle 101, and from appearances with everyone from Handsome Boy Modeling School to The Coup to Ice Cube. But you’ve never seen him quite like this: dancing around computer monitors, in front of TV screens and popping in and out of videogames! It’s beyond dope…

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Freestyle 101 New Artist Month: Fashawn »

Next up on Freestyle 101’s New Artist Month is Fresno, Calif.-native Fashawn. Brought to our attention by Fresno rap scene kingpin Planet Asia and manager Walt Liquor, 19-year-old Fashawn is a monster on the mic.

Citing Rakim, Nas, Snoop Dogg, 2Pac, and Hieroglyphics as influences, Fashawn blends a penchant for streetwise turf talk with a backpacker mentality and fuses it together with a feel for catchy hooks. This kid has it all: Lyrics, style, attitude, charisma, cadence, and he can freestyle like a mofo. All of which is evident on his latest mixtapes, The Phenom 2 and One Shot One Kill, and during his Freestyle 101, shot at The Engine Room in Hollywood over a dope Messiaz beat. But all of this is merely a warm up for Fashawn’s upcoming debut album, Boy Meets World, which he is working on with Evidence of Dilated Peoples, Mick Boogie, Asia himself and others.

Freestyle 101 goes up at 9 a.m. PST (that’s noon over on the east) every Tuesday. Next week we continue New Artist Month with Ikka-Bod of M.O.P.’s Hevi Medal and Damani of Dub Union. Then we got Heltah Skeltah, Teflon, Kool Keith, and a special Halloween double feature that will rock your world. Make sure to dig our behind the scenes photos, visit us on MySpace and rant in our Forums. And if you dig Fashawn, then check out fellow Fresno native Planet Asia, other New Artists Months rap acts Custom Made and Kash Addictz, and other up and coming artists like Neila, Pack FM, Sav Killz, Bully, and more.

Freestyle 101 New Artist Month: Kash Addictz »


Next up on New Artist Month here on Freestyle 101 is Kash Addictz, a dynamic rap duo straight outta Orange, New Jersey.

Kash Addictz were brought to our attention by two heavy weights in the rap game, M.O.P. manager Laze E. Laze and Houston’s greatest rapper, Scarface. When Freestyle 101 flew to New York earlier this year to shoot a marathon 24 episodes in four days we hooked up with the Mash Out Posse crew and Laze introduced us to a new group he was mentoring. And when Laze E. Laze tells you someone is hot, you know they are worth checking out. He was right. Arsonal Tha Rebel and Mikey Moolah can rhyme like nobody’s business. You can hear it on their indie album, Cake Up or Kash Out, and you can hear it on their single with Scarface, “We Connected.” And when your co-signed by two of hip hop greatest artists, you know you must be doing something right.

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