Freestyle 101

Freestyle 101: 40 Glocc & Gail Gotti (G-Unit) »

The far-reaching hip hop empire of 50 Cent recently flexed its muscle on the west coast, where Fiddy signed a slew of rappers to his G-Unit Records, including heat-makers 40 Glocc and Gail Gotti. Discovered by Mobb Deep and signed through their Infamous label, 40 Glocc and Gail Gotti represent the new blood of west coast rap and, along with fellow G-Unit West rapper Spider Loc, are reppin’ G-Unit to the fullest via a heap of mixtapes and guest appearances, prepping the world for their upcoming albums.

Born in Galveston, Texas, 40 Glocc moved to L.A. and became a member of The Zoo Crew before going solo with his debut (The Jackal) with the help of manager Storm, who also happened to work with Mobb Deep. Through that connect, 40 signed with 50 Cent through Mobb Deep and is now working on his major label debut with the likes of Dr Dre, Alchemist and Havoc. Peep his latest mixtape, That New Ni**a, to see why everyone’s talkin’.

Meanwhile, San Bernardino Valley native Gail Gotti grew up surrounded by hip hop luminaries. With a sister that worked at Ruthless Records, Gail met legends like Easy-E and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, and even hung with Tupac during his Death Row days. So it’s no wonder she turned to the mic and started rappin’. She too found her way to Storm, who hooked her up with Infamous/G-Unit. Her latest mixtape is called Indecent Proposal and features a who’s who of hip hop luminaries, including her husband Kurrupt (a.k.a. Young Gotti).

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Freestyle 101: Lifesavas


Posted August 14, 2007 - By Frank Meyer

Freestyle 101: Lifesavas »


Portland’s Lifesavas are one of the most unique hip hop outfits on the scene today. Take one listen to their new opus, Gutterfly, and you’ll discover a group hell-bent on pushing the envelope of what rap can be. I mean, what other group would enlist Fishbone, Frank Zappa sidekick Ike Willis, and funk-master George Clinton for guest appearances on a hip hop album, for crying out loud?

So when we got word that Vursatyl and Jumbo of Lifesavas were down to spit on Freestyle 101, it took all of 3 seconds to say “HELL YEAH” and make it happen. While on the Urban Legends Tour, the guys stopped by The Engine Room in Hollywood to pick a beat and get down. And being videogamers and G4 fans, they knew right where to take the rhyme and dropped in references to everything from Ghost Rider, Ghost Recon and Vietnam: Black Ops to Star Wars, iPods and John Woo's Face Off. Sweet, eh?

A new Freestyle 101 goes up every Tuesday at 3:00 p.m. EST (that’s noon to you west coast heads). Next up is 40 Glocc and Gail Gotti of G-Unit West, then Guru of Gang Starr, Spider Loc, Gift of Gab, and many more. Check out our behind-the-scenes photo gallery, visit us on MySpace and check out our beatmasters, Messiaz.

Freestyle 101: Papoose


Posted August 7, 2007 - By Frank Meyer

Freestyle 101: Papoose »

Every few years an MC comes into the rap game and is called “The Next Big Thing.” Big L, Eminem, 50 Cent…and now Papoose

Born in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, Papoose has been lighting up New York and the mixtape circuit with his fiery flow, complex lyrics, criminology tales, and intense charisma since heads first got wind of him via the his street track, "Alphabetical Slaughter," where he raps using all the letters of the alphabet.

In a now-legendary move, Papoose got his first big break from DJ Kay Slay by repeatedly bumrushing him at Hot 97 in New York after his Drama Hour radio show. As Slay exited the building, Pap shoved his demo in his face and asked him to take a chance on a new artist. Slay ignored him, but the determined MC persisted and eventually Slay snatched the demo and promised to listen (likely just to get the dude off his back). He did and called him up, offering a management deal. Soon Busta Rhymes got wind of the new kid on the block and signed him to his label, Flipmode/Aftermath through a joint venture with Kay Slay’s Street Sweepers Entertainment. Then Jive Records stepped up and offered Papoose $1.5 million to release his upcoming debut album, The Nacirema Dream. (That’s “America” spelled backwards, by the way.) And the rest is about to be history.

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Freestyle 101: Ras Kass


Posted July 31, 2007 - By Frank Meyer

Freestyle 101: Ras Kass »

Los Angeles based rapper Ras Kass is known as one of the best lyricists on the West Coast. From his solo albums to his work with Dr. Dre, from his supergroup Golden State Warriors with Xzibit and Saafir to the Four Horsemen project with Killah Priest, Canibus, and Kurrupt, Ras Kass has proven himself one of the illest rapper’s to grace the mic. He’s also one helluva freestyle artist, and has proven it on countless mixtapes, radio shows and DVDs.

Needless to say, Freestyle 101 was honored when the Golden Chyld himself graced the studio with his partner Cali Casino to spit impromptu rhymes and talk hip hop shop. Promoting his new Chinese Arithmetic album and Eat or Die mixtape series, Ras Kass was happy to show us how it’s done out in the Wild West via a blazin’ double barreled freestyle where he name-checked 50 Cent, dissed rival The Game, and even professed his love of G4tv’s Cheaters!

So enjoy this episode of Freestyle 101 and make sure to come back every Tuesday at noon PST for more. Upcoming guests include Papoose, G-Unit, Guru of Gang Starr, Lifesavas, Myka 9, Insane Poetry and many more. Visit our behind-the-scenes photo gallery and visit us on MySpace.

Freestyle 101: Tash »

Exclusive Video

Tha Alkaholiks are a group every hip hop head is familiar with. From their many treks on the WARPED Tour to their many worldwide tours, from their critically acclaimed album to collaborations with everyone from  Xzibit, Kurrupt, Busta Rhymes, ODB and Danger Mouse, Tha Liks practically ran west coast hip hop in the ‘90s and beyond. They were also one of the first groups to really bring rock audiences and rap crowds together via their high energy live shows, penchant for drunken antics and anthems, and love of rowdy, headbangin’ beats with fist-pumpin’ choruses.

So imagine our excitement when Tash of Tha Liks stopped by Freestyle 101 to spit game and introduce us to his latest protégées, North Carolina rapper Osin and Ohio crooner Fameus. All three of these cats stepped into the booth and breathed straight fire! Tash even managed to reveal that he is the godson of soul legend Al Green (who knew?), has his own label is the works (Takeover Records), and even rapped about the status of his alleged beef with Xzibit. So get ready to get yer head blown off via this freestyle murder spree and make sure watch out for Tash’s upcoming solo album, Control Freak.

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Freestyle 101: Termanology »

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Termanology is the talk of the East Coast rap scene these days. Armed with top DJs like Tony Touch and Statik Selektah, he’s been flooding the circuit with mixtapes and making high profile guest appearances. Laced with beats by top producers like DJ Premier, Alchemist and M.O.P.’s Lil’ Fame, Term’s debut CD is coming soon and is sure to be a banger. And along with fellow Freestyle 101 guest Joell Ortiz, Term is reppin’ Latinos in rap and carrying on the tradition of hip hop heavyweights like B-Real, Big Pun and Fat Joe.

So it was with great honor that Freestyle 101 welcomed this ace MC, known for getting’ ill on the mic. Termanology clearly knows his hip hop history and addressed everything from the legacy of New York hip hop, to the stiff competition among today’s MCs, to the rumors of him getting signed by everyone from Eminem to Jay-Z. Young Term also had an interesting take on videogame violence, drawing parallels between what you see in the games and what you see in the streets. This is real sh*t, people. Listen up.

Freestyle 101 webisodes go live every Tuesday at noon PST. Visit us on MySpace, check out the behind-the-scenes photos, watch the archives, and visit Messiaz beatsmith Josh Achziger, who laced us with this sick beat.

Freestyle 101: P.E.A.C.E. »

Exclusive Video

When we asked mic masters like Pigeon John, Busdriver, and Phoenix Orion who is the dopest freestyle artist they have ever seen, they all said one man: P.E.A.C.E.

As a founder of legendary West Coast hip hop collective Freestyle Fellowship, P.E.A.C.E. has been in the game since the early-‘90s when his group help put the L.A. underground on the map. Along with cats like Aceyalone, Abstract Rude, Myka 9, Jurassic 5,  Kurrupt of The Dog Pound and even a pre-Fergie Black Eyed Peas, Freestyle Fellowship ruled the scene via a club called The Good Life, where MCs went to air it out on the stage, hone their craft and develop their style. 

P.E.A.C.E. was always a breakout star, taking a jazz trumpeter’s approach to rapping. Rather than simply connecting words, he was adding melody, accents, complex rhyme schemes, while be-bopping, scatting and singing all the while. Anyone who saw him then or sees him now fixated on one word: breathtaking. The man is a master at his craft, one of the best in the world ever, no doubt.

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Phoenix Orion is a different kind of rapper. Born in the Marcy Projects of Brooklyn, New York, Phoenix was raised on the east coast, yet found fame in the underground circuit of the west coast, where his indie albums and 12” singles caught the ears of fans of likeminded rappers Kool Keith and Freestyle Fellowship.

His underground hit “Secret Wars” helped further his brand of space-age sci-fi street rap, as did his full-lengths (Welcome to Paradox, Zimulated Experiencez among others) and collabo album with Canibus, Def Con Zero

But it was his appearance on Linkin Park’s Reanimation album that really blew the doors open for this MC, and Phoenix Orion is now one of the most talked about artists on the scene. His new mixtape (Sin City Committee) and album (7 Deadly Sins) should help cement that standing.

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Pigeon John hails from sunny Southern California...Inglewood, to be exact. Like many West Coast MCs, he got inspired to freestyle in the early '90s at the legendary Good Life Café open-mic nights, spitting rhymes on the same stage with then-fledgling artists like Freestyle Fellowship, Kurupt, The Pharcyde, Busdriver, and Jurassic 5.

After three critically acclaimed albums, and songs featured in Xbox games Project Gotham and NBA Inside Drive 2002, PJ landed in Spin's “Next Big Things” issue, URB's “Next 100” and scored a "Mic Check" in The Source. After stealing the show daily on the Cali Comm tour, rapper Lyrics Born signed PJ to his ultra-hip Quannum label in 2005. His Quannum Projects debut Pigeon John… And The Summertime Pool Party was released in 2006 and he’s been touring ever since.

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You’ve heard Wu Tang Clan affiliate Prodigal Sunn on albums by RZA, ODB, Ghostface Killah, GZA, Gravediggaz, and, of course, Wu Tang. You know his group, Sunz of Man. Hell, we just had his Sunz partner in rhyme Killah Priest in here a few weeks ago.

Well, now let P-Sunn show you what he can do on the mic and introduce you to his newest discovery, Armel the Great, who ain’t no slouch in the booth either. In fact, these two gave Freestyle 101 our first tag-team session, bouncing off each like a pair of pro wrestlers. It’s pretty amazing to watch these two go at it…

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New York’s Joell Ortiz is a name you’re gonna be hearing a lot from in years to come. With his debut album, The Brick Bodega Chronicles, out in stores now through Koch, and a joint on just about every high profile mixtape on the block, Ortiz seems poised for great success in ’07, right?

Man, you don’t even know the half of it! The dude just signed with Aftermath to make his sophomore effort with superstar producers Dr. Dre, Scott Storch and Jazzy Pha at the helm! He’s even got a song on there with soul legend Smokey Robinson! Damn!

So we were delighted that this microphone master decided to stop by Freestyle 101 and spit some fire for us. In fact, after warming up for a few bars, Ortiz told us he was gonna rap ‘till the beat stopped, and damn if he didn’t rap for nearly 5 straight minutes before taking a breath. Check the references to Playstation, Atari, Colecovision and Dawson’s Creek. Hilarious. The guy is the king of the punchlines and about as badasss of a freestyler as we’ve had yet.

And we have a lot more heat where this comes from. Now that we are weekly (Tuesdays at noon), we’ve got a whole slew of bangers in the chamber for ya, including Wu Tang’s Prodigal Sunn (Sunz of Man), Tash of The Liks, Pigeon John, Phoenix Orion, P.E.A.C.E., Myka 9, Termanology, Lifesavas and many more. And make sure to check us out on MySpace and view our behind-the-scenes photo gallery.



Exclusive Video

Ladies and gents, you've made Freestyle 101 such a runaway smash hit that we're ramping it up to once a week, beginning with this week's edition starring the great Lord G of Militia. So tune in every Tuesday at noon to catch a new edition.

Lord G is a Detroit native who made his way out west and was discovered by Dr. Dre, who brought him into the Death Row camp back in the day to make beats and ghost write. He got a major buzz from his contribution to the Above The Rim soundtrack with "My Money Right," and was soon asked to the join the group Militia, who scored a hit with the bangin' track "Burn." Since then he released one album (Hot Ta Def on the Mic Chord) and has been eating up the mixtape circuit with his ferocious rhymes and venomous lyrics. He also happens to be a big-time gamer and was happy to drop some gaming references into his rap for your pleasure.

So watch Lord G spit a mean one, and tune into Freestyle 101 every Tuesday at noon for more blazin' sessions, including Joell Ortiz, Pigeon John, Phoenix Orion, P.E.A.C.E. and Myka 9 of Freestyle Fellowship, Lifesavas, Insane Poetry, Vast Aire, Prodigal Sunn of Wu Tang's Sunz of Man, and many more.

For the latest edition of Freestyle 101, we are blessed with the presence of a GOD: the great Sean Price!!!

Wow. Who knew that lil’ ol’ us could score a session with the man known as one half of legendary New York street-hop duo Heltah Skeltah (he would be Ruck, fyi)? I guess our stock in the hip hop game is rising, eh?

Anyways, high on his reemergence on the scene and reinvention of himself in the rap game, Sean was nice enough to stop by while on tour with Jedi Mind Tricks in support of his awesome new album Jesus Price Supastar to bust a mean freestyle, school us in the art of the rhyme, and sing. Yes, sing! If ever there were such a thing as “MUST SEE WEB TV,” this is it! Enjoy!

Freestyle 101 gets posted here on G4tv.com every Tuesday at noon PST. Next up is the great Lord G of Militia, so stay tuned.

Welcome back to another edition of G4tv’s Freestyle 101, where today’s top MCs hit the booth and bust a freestyle rap about the things you care about: videogames, gadgets, the internets, MySpace, pop culture, the streets, and whatever else they feel like.

This time we were honored to score a session with none other than Wu Tang Clan affiliate Killah Priest. You know him from his groups Sunz of Man, Maccabees, Black Market Militia, Gravediggaz and even his work with Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, and now you get to hear this mic master blast an impromptu rhyme and chat about the art of the freestyle.

You can watch Freestyle 101 every Tuesday here at noon PST. Stay tuned for the next banger, starring Sean Price (a.k.a. Ruck of Heltah Skeltah)!!!

Freestyle 101: Busdriver


Posted April 17, 2007 - By Frank Meyer

Exclusive Video

Welcome back to another episode of G4tv’s Freestyle 101, where today’s top MCs step into our studio and kick a freestyle right off the top of their head. This time we were paid a visit by Los Angeles underground hero Busdriver, he of Project Blowed and Freestyle Fellowship cliques, who blasted us with an unreal freestyle in one take and some wise words on where the art-form fits into hip hop today.

Busdriver’s new album is titled Roadkillovercoat (Epitaph) and is a monster and, likewise, he is a beast on the mic. This kid only listened to the beat for about 4-bars before wanting to jump in the booth and kick a rhyme straight outta his dome. And, boy, did he! The only instructions we gave him were to work in a few videogame or web references for y’all. So, did he succeed? Watch, and you be the judge…

...and come back every Tuesday at noon PST for a new episode....we got some MAJOR MCs headed your way...

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