Several amateur rappers were in for a special treat Wednesday night when rapper Kanye West made a surprise appearance at an open mic in Jersey City.

The international rap star, without wife, celebrity Kim Kardashian, dropped into The Dopeness, a Mexican restaurant in Downtown Jersey City, for its monthly Wolf Juice hip-hop open mic showcase. West made his entrance just before the event began, getting everyone in the packed house talking.

West came to see amateur rapper Jahmila Sandifer, 17, better known as Jay Hype, make her showcase debut. Sandifer is a close friend’s daughter and regards him as an uncle.

Restaurant owner Jon Scanlon said West’s visit happened so fast and left everyone there for the curated open mic in shock.

“It was a 15-minute thing,” said Scanlon. “I walked him to the back; he used the restroom. He came and gave her a big hug and a kiss, watched her perform, and he was out.”

Earl “Ego” Davis, who runs the event with DJ Mega Mission and Lana Sez, said Sandifer was nervous at first but ended up delivering a strong performance.

“When he came, she stepped up to the plate and was phenomenal,” said Davis. “It’s just awesome that the universe was aligned right. And for this girl to choose to perform for us? It’s a testament to the power of our culture. There is something special happening here.”

Sandifer said she was coincidentally performing the song “K.O.W.” (after Kanye Omari West’s initials), and was nervous since West had never seen her perform live before. After the show, West texted her father referring to her affectionately, saying, “Baby LeBron killed it.”

“Kanye is a very, very big idol in my life, and I try to incorporate the stuff he does into my work,” said Sandifer, who raps about self-esteem and relationships and puts emphasis on her energy and style. “He gives me pointers, and I take it very seriously…his opinion is always in the back of my mind.”
Scanlon said West, who was escorted by two bouncers, may have come solely to see Sandifer, but his visit electrified the show.
“It really set the tone, and everyone had a Kool-Aid smile on their face,” said Scanlon, a longtime West fan. “Nobody expected it, that a world-renowned rapper shows up out of nowhere. It totally hyped up the crowd for the night, and it probably enhanced everyone’s performance. He gave everybody life.”
Davis, who called West “one of the biggest artists since Michael Jackson” and said his debut album, “The College Dropout,” even “changed his life,” adding that West wasn’t the obnoxious guy some make him out to be.

“He talked to people and gave us smiles and head nods. And he kind of knows who he is, I guess, so he kept an ‘It’s OK, calm down, it’s really me’ face on,” said Davis with a chuckle. “He showed so much respect to the culture and looked really comfortable.”

The Wolf Juice open mic is held on the last Wednesday of every month at 9 p.m. at The Dopeness, 332 Second St., Jersey City. The next event is Nov. 26. Admission is $7. BYOB.

my vote for best rapper in the game…Joell Ortiz – Q&A (Music Video) www.bishopdeville.com

Joell Ortiz – Q&A (Official Video)www.bishopdeville.com

As a rapper, Joell Ortiz makes music that’s relatively unadorned by frills and unswayed by prevailing trends, turning the focus instead on his Slaughterhouse-tested lyricism, which is usually quite thrilling. His new video for “Q & A,” a track from his recent album House Slippers, applies that same bare-bones approach to the video shoot, showing Ortiz alone, rapping in a room with no backdrop.

Over a beat led by some high piano notes, Ortiz spits with ferocity that’s as dark as the lighting in the video. “Q & A” is definitely one of the hardest tracks on House Slippers, and it’s only made harder by this video.

Bay Area rapper E-40 sitting behind home plate at World Series — in K.C.


Rapper E-40, second from right, with Strange Music's Travis O'Guin, far right, and others. (@SFGiants)

Rapper E-40, second from right, with Strange Music’s Travis O’Guin, far right, and others. (@SFGiants)

It wouldn’t exactly be a surprise to see rapper E-40 show up in the stands to cheer on the San Francisco Giants in the World Series. In San Francisco, at least. He’s a devoted Giants fan who hails from Vallejo, about 30 miles away.

It is a bit of a surprise, though, to see E-40 sitting behind home plate at World Series Game 6 in Kansas City. But look at your TV. He’s right there. He’s dressed in black with a black-and-orange Giants cap twisted sideways.

[Photos: Best of Giants-Royals in World Series Game 6]

E-40’s Bay Area love can never be questioned, he’s a pillar of the rap scene there who’s taken its signature sound national with hits such as “Tell Me When to Go” and “Sprinkle Me.”

You’ll recall that Kansas City rapper Tech N9ne was sitting behind home plate during Game 1 of the series and said his ticket cost $6,000. He was accompanied by Travis O’Guin. The two of them are business partners in K.C.-based Strange Music, Tech N9ne’s record label.

Well, O’Guin and two pals were sitting next to E-40 during Game 6, wearing “Take the Crown” T-shirts with the Strange Music logo on them. No doubt, they were giving 40 the business as the Royals jumped out to a big early lead.

Where was Tech N9ne? Well, he’s on tour in Oregon, otherwise his friend E-40 might not have a seat. Marlins Man, the other behind-home-plate World Series fixture, was a few seats over, if you’re wondering.

We can only hope this somehow marks the beginning of Marlins Man’s rap career. 

Chief keef dropped from interscope AND NOW drops new music

Since Chief Keef signed with Interscope in Summer 2012, he’s given them his debut album, Finally Rich, and… not much else. Since dropping that project in Decemeber 2012, Keef has not only failed to put out a follow-up, but his already-lengthy rap sheet has gotten longer — and now Interscope has reportedly dropped him from their roster. AllHipHop says they have info from an unnamed source inside Interscope, and write, “Interscope began to ‘subtly disassociate’ itself from the 19-year-old rapper after he had a series of legal cases sprout up in 2013 and 2014.” Adding that Keef’s been “quietly dropped,” the source says “Keef and his people tried to keep the label accountable (once Keef moved to Los Angeles) but Interscope didn’t seem interested in dropping a new album. Keef’s team tried to have formal meetings but nothing moved.” Stay tuned for official confirmation, and expect Keef’s new output (which has already been pretty weird) to keep getting weirder.chief keef by bishop deville

Meet the Only Rapper on Earth Who’s Collaborated With Nas and the Dalai Lama

There’s only one rapper on the entire face of the Earth who has collaborated with both Nas and the Dalai Lama, and his name is Dwagie. A living legend, Dwagie is widely credited with releasing the first all-Chinese rap album, 2002’s Lotus From the Tongue. His latest, Refuse to Listen, further bridges the gap between Taiwan’s and America’s hip-hop scenes, boasting both an appearance by Nas, on the title track, and production from DJ Premier. The Taiwanese MC is playing a rare American show Friday at Highline Ballroom along with his country’s two other biggest music stars, A-Lin and Ascent, and an additional show Saturday at Coco 66. We spoke to Dwagie about having pioneered a hip-hop scene in Taiwan, as well as if it was harder to get the Dalai Lama or Nas on a track.

Do you recall your first exposure to hip-hop?
I think when I was a student, about 16 years old, I listened to my first mixtape. The mixtape had lots of types of music on it, but when I heard hip-hop, I knew it was the music I liked.

Was it an American hip-hop artist?
All from America.

In 2002 you put out Taiwan’s first hip-hop album, Lotus From the Tongue. What made you decide to pursue doing a full album?
I think hip-hop is different from other music. I can spread out my message with my lyrics. If you can read my lyrics, they’re not only about love or heartbroken, my songs are [about] social justice, human rights. I want my listeners to make this world a better place.

In your new song with Nas, “Refuse to Listen,” one of your lyrics translates to “If you want to make money, don’t provoke.” Since 2002, have you faced much resistance to making the music you want to make?
Yes, I think so. The tension between Taiwan and China is complicated, and when you have beef with China, you jeopardize the market in China. I remember in 2008, [with] Chinese rappers I got into a battle like the East-West coast in America. My boss from the record company at the time told me to back off. I was supposed to drop my second album around 2008, but because of the battle it was canceled for two years.

With you being one of the pioneers of rapping in Taiwan, did any live crowds have a hard time accepting a rap performance?
I don’t think so. Hip-hop is for everyone, not just for students or adults. It’s for everyone. We would perform everywhere, clubs, schools, government. Lots of people would come. At Chinese New Year’s Eve, we performed at a party the government held for 100,000 people. Lots of people come to see us.

Have you performed much outside of Taiwan?
Not really much. I’ve performed in Hong Kong, Japan, and New York, too, but 10 years ago at Columbia University.

How different are Taiwanese hip-hop audiences compared to the other places you’ve been?
In Taiwan, people understand what you are rapping, so at the venue they immediately get it. In Japan, they don’t know what you mean, so you have to use a lot of body language to hype up.

How did you link up with Nas?
I grew up listening to Nas’s music. At first I thought collaborating would be impossible, but after collaborating with the Dalai Lama, everything becomes possible for me. I used all my connections. I have a friend who works at Universal in New York. I told him I want[ed] to try to collaborate with Nas. Of course, it’s a really tough challenge, because we spent so much time on email, like a year. But that’s how it happened.

Did it take longer for the collaboration with Nas to happen than the Dalai Lama?
[Laughs] The Dalai Lama collaboration took two years. At first it was supposed to be one year. We bought a ticket, got everything ready to go, and then got a phone call that said, “Sorry, he’s got to meet with Obama.” [Laughs] So, “OK, what’s the next time we can see each other?” — and it was a year later. But I’m a devout Buddhist, so it was beyond my wildest dream to meet him in India.

Best Vaporizers: Rapper E-40 is The Ambassador on Vaped’s special edition v3 [Review]



Sprinkle some 40-water on your vape steez

Time to sprinkle some 40-water on the vaping craze.

Iconic Bay Area rapper E-40 is lending his likeness to a special edition of Vaped’s new micro V3 dubbed The Ambassador. Earl Stevens is the legendary Vallejo rapper who helped found The Click and founded Sick Wid It Records. With 20 studio albums, a wine brand, fast food outlets, a book deal, and appearances on hits like Lil Jon’s “Snap Yo Fingers”, The Ambassador embodies Bay Area hustle.

E-40’s special edition of the new, micro v3 kit comes dripping with red and gold and accents, from the kit’s carrying case to the myriad accessories. This is a battery-powered vape pen compatible with oils, waxes and bubble hash. The heating element is grade-two titanium coiled around a wickless, ceramic rod in the skillet. The Ambassador comes with the regular skillet as well as Vaped’s pioneering globe attachment and a new glass Vaped chamber.

The Ambassador
Price: $99.99
Compatible with: waxes, oils
Special feature: E-40 styling
Target demographic: Bay Area boosters

Baller: Red and gold accents with E-40’s face on the base? Fresh.

Powerful: the V3 has a powerful, quick-charging battery that lasts for about 100, 10-second hits. The titanium and ceramic skillet vapes waxes hella quick.

Affordable: $99.99 is a great price for a top-shelf, quality vape pen. Ample accessories include glass globe, vaped chamber, vaped stand, dab tool, mini USB charger, wall charger, carrying case.

Wick-free: The wickless skillet is easier to clean and lasts longer. Replacement skillets are easier to color-match to The Ambassador.

Conspicuous: Not for people going for the low-profile effect.

Extracts-only: The Yay Area be drippin’ in wax, but for those folks back East stuck on flowers, you gonna run dry.

Skillet lifespan: one-year warranty on battery and charge, but a skillet will wear out after a month of heavy use. Replacements are $14.99.