Master P, “Ghetto Bill Gates” — Master P (born Percy Miller in 1969 in New Orleans) surfaced in the mid-90s as a recording artist and producer with his own independent label, No Limit. He gave his audience vulgar and violent lyrics, along with a dull bass and a tough beat, which became known as gangsta rap. In 1991, he debuted with “Get Away Clean,” which was followed by “99 Ways to Die” in 1995. By the time “Ghetto Dope” was released in summer 1997, Master P had turned No Limit into a mini-empire, without any exposure from MTV or mainstream radio. His success in the recording industry inspired him to make the film “I’m Bout It,” an autobiographical comedy-drama titled after his brother Tru’s breakthrough hit. His next film, “I Got the Hook Up,” was released in theaters during summer 1998, concurrent with the release of his album “MP da Last Don.”
Dropkick Murphys, “Warriors Code” — The Dropkick Murphys formed in 1996 in Boston. The band started out playing music for fun in a basement, blending the musical genres of punk rock, Irish folk and hardcore rock. Eventually, they turned their unique fusion of music into a collection of harsh vocals and loud, sometimes out of tune, compilations. Their fans are loyal, rowdy and sell themselves as die-hard punk rock worshipers. The Dropkick Murphys have released more than 10 singles, two EP CDs and four full-length albums, and have toured around the world. They will be touring with the Vans Warped Tour this summer, which will circle the United States until August 15. The Warped Tour also includes performances by All American Rejects, Billy Idol, Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance, the Offspring, Something Corporate, Thrice, MXPX and 129 other acts.
Various, “Greatest Hits” — Long before Britney Spears, the Spice Girls and the Backstreet Boys, there were real performers making music, such as Aerosmith and KISS. Recently, there has been a surge of young people getting into the rock ‘n’ roll scene, which was probably popular before most of them were born. “Vintage” concert T-shirts have been selling for outrageous amounts of money in high-end stores just about everywhere. Kids can now spend all of their “expendable” consumer dollars on the actual music, as some classic bands are coming out with new greatest hits CDs.
The Rolling Stones will release “As It Happened,” the Beatles have a compilation of “Classic Interviews,” and one of the premier punk-rock groups of the 80s, the Violent Femmes, will release a “BBC Live” album. Also, make sure to watch out for “Hung in the Sun,” a new album from William Hung, American Idol’s favorite rejected contestant.