Hip-Hop Media Training (NEW)

X Factor Rapper Astro Dedicates ‘I’ll Be Missing You’ Cover To Hip-Hop

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Astro performs Diddy classic.

I know Common is giving The X Factor teen rapper Astro props for his cover of Diddy's "I'll Be Missing You" that pays homage to hip-hop in the same metaphoric way Common's 1994 classic "i used to love h.e.r" did.

This 15-year-old Brownsville, Brooklyn native born Brian Bradley flipped the song and concept so well Wednesday night that I'm online looking for his X Factor call-in number to vote.

On first listen, when I heard judge L.A. Reid's mentee referring to wanting to talk to a 40-year-old woman, I thought he was trying to mack a cougar. But I quickly realized that he was talking about his favorite music genre.

The way he explained his dissatisfaction with the current state of hip-hop is profound for a teenager. "She messed with the wrong dudes, now she messed up, started doing drugs and showing kids that stuff," he rapped. "She rocking jewelry, getting ballistic with whips, pistols, and materialistic things."

Astro's performance even prompted Diddy to Tweet, "Astro just killed Missing You on X Factor! Go Boy!!! #RipHeavyD."

Why haven't I been watching X Factor? I need to spend some time on Astro's profile page watching all of his performances. My co-worker, Reality Rocks blogger Lyndsey Parker, has been trying to tell me.

Aside from the song's brilliant concept, this kid has incredible flow. He's literally taken this staple Notorious B.I.G. tribute and injected his rapid-fire style and given the song a new rhythm even though the music is still the same.

The fact that Astro is this young, raps this well, and has a message makes his elder, chart-topping rappers look bad. I'm dubbing him the new leader of the new school. I don't think Busta Rhymes would mind.

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