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By In Hawaii, rap

Local Flow

The camera rolls on three people at Punchbowl Coffee shop in Waikīkī. Two large speakers flank a tattooed DJ fiddling with switches on a soundboard to the left of the coffee bar. To the right, Eric de Mendonca—from the popular Japanese reality show Terrace House—pours coffee and bobs his head with casual confidence, like he owns the place, because he does.

Between them is Tassho Pearce. At first glance nothing really sticks out about him. He’s youngish—somewhere between a university super-senior and a new dad—lightly tanned and rocking a neatly trimmed moustache, Hawai‘i’s signature facial hair. He looks like countless dudes you pass on the streets of Honolulu, but when the beat starts, Pearce becomes something else, diving into song and wielding the mike with effortless confidence. “Shall I start like Moses? I’ll part the seas, put Next Coast on the charts for you all to see.”

A smile blooms across his face as he rhymes. The song sounds as fresh as it did when it was first released fifteen years ago. “They all thought we livin’ in shacks/Rippin’ the track so much doctor’s stitchin’ it back/Throw your H’s up in the air, keep’em sky-high/Reppin’ the H-A-W-A-I-I.” That song, “Honolulu,” appeared on Pearce’s 2003 album Rhyme and Punishment, when he rapped under the name Emirc. Since then he’s toured the globe and worked with artists like Kanye West and Kid Cudi. But “Honolulu” is still the pinnacle, a joyous love letter to Hawai‘i that became a genuine classic and the first song from a local MC (“master of ceremonies”) to get regular rotation on hip-hop radio stations, both at home and beyond.

Read more at Hana Hou!

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By In Hawaii, rap

Breakin’ Da Mold

It was 1980, just seven years after hip-hop was born in a Bronx apartment party and less than a year after it rhymed its way into national consciousness with The Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight.” Before the internet allowed anyone and everyone to call themselves rappers, before MTV became the arbiter of music and culture for an entire generation, hip-hop travelled 5,000 miles from its New York City birthplace to the shores of Hawaiʻi…

 

 

Read more at Summit

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By In Mixed Martial Arts, rap

Imagining the UFC Champs as Rap Albums pt. 2

“In part two of this special feature, we bring you the five remaining Ultimate Fighting Championship titleholders, from lightweight to heavyweight. This, of course, excludes Jon Jones. He was the interim light heavyweight champ but has quietly been taken out of the official UFC rankings. For those curious souls, his album analogue was 2-Pac’s “All Eyez on Me.” I’ll let you use your imagination as to why.

Let us turn our focus to the five champions who have not been stripped…”

 

Read more at Sherdog

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By In Mixed Martial Arts, rap

Imagining the UFC Champions as Rap Albums pt. 1

“If MMA was music, it would have to be rap. Not only is individualism at the forefront of the sport and the genre, but both encompass a unique aesthetic that blends gritty toughness with technical artistry; the word “art” is one-third of MMA, and if we are being honest, rap at its best is everything poetry wishes to be. It is only right then to anoint the greatest MMA fighters in each division by comparing them to the rap albums that best encapsulate their fighting styles, personalities and careers.

Before the Ultimate Fighting Championship title picture reshuffles any more, here is part one, which covers featherweight down to women’s strawweight…”

 

Read more at Sherdog

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