Watching the Lakers in the NBA playoffs these days, it is hard to imagine that Kobe Bryant has been in the league for 13 years already. It was 1996 when the seventeen year old was drafted, about the same time that Ali Vegas was chilling with Lamar Odom in Jamaica, Queens. Yes, the same Lamar Odom doing for Kobe what Pippen used to do for Jordan. Now let’s take it full circle and ask Ali Vegas how he defines his style of music. “I don’t know, it’s kinda weird because it’s unorthodox. It embodies all aspects of music. It’s not backpack, it’s not trendy, it’s like all of that in one. I made my style to be like my favorite basketball player, Scottie Pippen. He could shoot the three, put the ball on the floor, go to the rack… basically do it all, so that’s how my style of rap is. I really can do it all. It’s nothing in music that I can’t do.”
Its So Hard
Ali Vegas is not a household name but based on his reception on blogs and hip hop sites, you probably wouldn’t know that. Bloggers and hip hop fans show him love because Vegas could have took the easy way out. He was in middle school when Trackmasters noticed his flow, probably not even five feet tall and hanging out in the same studio with the likes of Nas during the times of Illmatic. Ali Vegas could have been the Bow Wow before Bow Wow but thankfully for us, Vegas chose the honorable route. And like Kobe, Ali Vegas has been putting on shows for over a decade and at age 26, he may very well be just entering his prime.
His latest effort is the Generation Gap 2: The Prequel; it finally hit stores after a wait longer than the lines at Jamaica’s 169th St. DMV. In his own words, Vegas commented “I wanted to work with students of today and tomorrow and the teachers of today and yesterday. So production wise - I worked with DJ Premier, LES, Cool & Dre, Scott Storch and other students of the game such as J Nice, Midi Mafia and more. They are teachers of today. So I just really wanted to blend it, I really wanted to blend the production between the students and the teachers and just let the people know how it came about. How we got to today, you had to go through yesterday to get to today and I had my hands on everything during creating the album.”
Ali Vegas may never sell the way Bow Wow and Romeo did, but you can bet Bow Wow and Romeo will never receive the same respect that Vegas gets. This young veteran has found his place in the game of hip hop and while he may never shine as Jordan or Kobe, he only needs to turn to his good friend Lamar for a chance to be the Pippen of today.