Another week, another step closer to the end… and a healthy look back at some of the qualities that defined great Sopranos television. This episode, “Luxury Lounge”, dealt mainly with Christopher’s Hollywood excursion, as well as with major trouble in Artie Bucco’s life. Both exhibited past traits that trouble their productivity, from drug use to overall frail nerves…
Poor Artie. Poor, poor, poor Artie. How many times is he going to have to get pulled through the meat grinder before he realizes his recipe for disaster is going off without a hitch? We found out this week that American Express suspended their service @ his eatery, due to frequent fraudulent charges. This, on top of the mounting disappointment in the Vesuvio experience (which was not helped by a new restaurant opening to rave reviews), turned Artie into a raging lunatic. He busted a cap into a rabbit he found snooping in his veggie garden (eating priceless treats from the motherland), as well as beating the ever-loving shit out of Benny Fazio, after confronting Benny on his porch about his mistress/Artie’s hostess, Martina, and their AmEx con at Vesuvio. I’d like to note that I predicted this last week, that it was Artie, and not Tone, that Benny was beating up in last week’s preview. Benny wasn’t shook, either. He was upset, and told Tony that he wanted to kill him, kept referencing stabbing Artie’s balls or something to that effect. Tony calmed things down, and even let Benny keep all of his earnings, in exchange for a party to be thrown @ Vesuvio’s, as well as an apology. Benny kept up his end of the deal, but when Artie tried to stick it to Benny on the sly in front of his family (that whole “Martina” drink comment he made), Benny stuck that poor fucker’s hand in a boiling pot, making his skin come off “like a glove”. Tony tried to calm Artie down, and tried to give him some pointers in his operation, but Artie is a stubborn mule. He ended up cooking the rabbit in a pretty delicious-looking sauce. Hopefully, cooler heads will prevail, and Artie will see that psychiatrist Tony was mentioning (was he trying to get him to see Melfi? That’s what I took from the comments).
Chrissy on the other hand, he reverted back to his classic, asshole ways. He went to Hollywood with Little Carmine, trying to woo Ben Kingsley (who had a cameo as himself) to their “Godfather meets Saw” script. Ben was polite, even taking them to the Luxury Lounge, where all of the stars are plied with “swag”, aka gifts that big companies give to stars. Chris seemed VERY intrigued, and was quite miffed when he not only was denied even a glance from the swag givers, but was turned down by Ben for swag AND the movie role. Does that mean he should have busted Lauren Bacall in the face for her basket? No, but it made me laugh like crazy. Was Tony right in sticking it to him for the shitty gifts he got (a dog purse? Tickets to Australia?)? Of course! His boy Benny got himself in hot water @ Vesuvio’s on Christopher’s vacation, and although Chrissy tried to throw it back at Tony “letting him go”, it’s not Tony’s boy. Maybe there was too much dope, drink and hookers in Hollywood for Chris to keep his head on straight…
Other points of interest/humor:
Hearing Ben Kingsley use the words 'chaps' and 'bollocks' in an episode of The Sopranos was hilariously out of place... loved it. And what's up with the random Wilmer Valderrama photo op??
The scene at Vesuvio’s where Artie is speaking to his staff about the AmEx situation, and that banter back and forth about the coats and stolen condiments. The reactions from his workers were priceless.
I also like how, in firing Martina, Artie was harping on getting her in trouble, and made that "we lead the world in computerized data collection" comment... pure jokes! What boss DOES THAT?!?
Rusty got got, but it was kind of on the low. We opened and closed with the scenes in Italian, with his killers giving what seemed to be small talk, about our weak dollar and such. Rusty is out of the way, and even though Tony denied being in on the hit when Phil reached out to him in thanks, we know.
Speaking of Phil, that outburst @ the table early on was kind of left field. OK, we know, Vito’s wife is your cousin. We got it. Why keep making abrasive remarks in those calm situation? We know that you were denied your revenge for the death of your family last season, and I don’t doubt that Tony already has his feelers out there, searching for Vito… now, will Phil get his revenge this time? We shall see…
Since we’re on the subject of Vito, let’s dive into the scenes from next week’s show:
Whoa! Looks intense… and looks to be dominated by AJ and Vito stories. We see AJ in what looks like a strip club, or something, getting all kinds of tore up. This is interspersed with scenes between AJ and Tony, heated arguments about not getting money, and AJ saying “you guys are loaded”… Doesn’t AJ work at Blockbuster??? We shall soon see… and WTF is he getting himself into? What happened to bullets in mummy heads?!
The preview made it seem like the end is near for Vito. Looks like he gets found out there in New England. It’s going to be crazy to see what they do to him. Will they kill him right there, or bring his fat ass back? I don’t like him as a man, not even due to the gay stuff, just his personality, it’s always creeped me out.
I don’t recall signs of Carm, Meadow or some of the other heads… we shall see. I need to rewatch the whole episode, my cable box cut out for a few minutes early on, so I missed some stuff.
If anything changes, this post will change, standard.
Archive for 03/01/2006 - 04/01/2006
Another week, another step closer to the end… and a healthy look back at some of the qualities that defined great Sopranos television. This episode, “Luxury Lounge”, dealt mainly with Christopher’s Hollywood excursion, as well as with major trouble in Artie Bucco’s life. Both exhibited past traits that trouble their productivity, from drug use to overall frail nerves…
So, as I adjust the volume on J. Dilla's Donuts album, I'm trying to reflect on a hectic week in my life, all the while trying to make some decent commentary on this fucked up world we live in. It's hard enough trying to wake up everyday to go to school/work, but then we have to deal with nonsense in politics, entertainment, and other facets of life. Sorry for the unfunny rant, but I'm just in a NJ State Of Mind right now, and my capital city is going through some ill gang shit, a retarded headline grabbing election, and other nonsensical things.
It has been a pretty odd week entertainment wise. With Tom Cruise joking (?) about eating his child's placenta, the NBA Playoffs starting TODAY, and Will Smith crashing a bar mitzvah, it's safe to say that any can and will happen. Let's check out some of the things I've been noting... they are a lil Hip-Hop specific, but what can I do. That's my heart... let's get it going!
1> Not really a big tidbit, but something interesting, this being the start of the NBA Playoffs. Dime Magazine and the Jumpman23 crew have put together an ill retrospective of the Jordan sneaker. From shoe to shoe, it includes a picture and description/write up on each shoe. Ill if you grew up with them. You guys should check Dime, they are one of the hottest sites/mags out there for the modern B-Ball fan.
2> Michael Jackson is working on a new album, to be released on some label based in Bahrain. Why he thinks we still want to hear him sing his songs is beyond me. Mike should have hung the glove up after that Black & White album. Whatever it was called. I just don't see what he has to offer the industry. Rumor has it that he is also working on some material with 50 Cent, and Kanye is commenting on wanting to work with him. WHY?!?!? MJ hasn't been MJ since the first accusation. Hang it up, and live off your greatest hits packages. I hate when big stars don't let the light fade out quick, like basketball's MJ. Was there a need to come back with the 45? Nope.
3> Homeboy of Jay-Z, and featured on Kanye West's "Touch The Sky", Lupe Fiasco has made some noise about his album, Food & Liquor, being leaked on the Internet. OK, are we NOT in 2006? This would have been big news back in 2001, but just about every album (commercial, anyway) is leaked about a week or 2, sometimes a month or 2, before its release date. Just ask T.I., who's King was leaked a while before it's due date. No harm, no foul... he still did good numbers. I mean, the problem I really have with his rant is him saying that he won't put it out. Dog, it CAN'T be that simple. He's signed to a major (Atlantic)... do they just say "OK, we spent this money, let's not try to get ANY back now"!?!?! That's not rational at all. I mean, he should just finish it, put it out, and make what he can. I'm not even sure if people liek Lupe for being Lupe, b/c most people who know about him know his affiliations (again, Jay-Z, Kanye, et al)... Some people are crying "publicity stunt", due to his "Kick Push" video premiering recently on TRL, but I don't know. I mean, he says he has spent the last 5 years on this album, which would upset anyone, but he has to stop being naive (if that's truly the case), and just keep doing it. Here are some other views on this issue.
4> The "beef" between Bow Wow and Lil' Romeo is heating up. I mean, really, it's just a war of words between two rappers that are only cared about by female fans younger than 19. Master P, Romeo's pop, recently took Bow Wow to task on some lines that are alleged to be about Romeo and P. Now, that's the 1st strike. If Romeo wants to look legit, why would he even LET his pops come out and make comments about his enemy? Sounds a lil bitch made to me. Now, Bow Wow, who is the KING of making retarded comments, recently came back at Romeo and P with some nonsense. Bow Wow is basically getting a big head off of the sales of his last album, which must be nice, but when you are a shitty MC to begin with, how much room do you have to talk? Plus, I think if it came down to it, if Bow Wow and Romeo threw hands, Bow Wow would catch it, early. Romeo is a Nawlins boy! I told my co-workers earlier this week, them Katrina niggas ain't playing. ANYWAYS, we'll wait with baited breath to see if this battle of epic proportions actually makes it to wax, which should be a treat... LOL!
5> NBC took "Celebrity Cooking Showdown" off the air. The world rejoiced, even though we had to withstand this bullshit for 3 days out of the week. What a travesty to regular television.
That's all for the shuffle for right now. If you have anything you think could/should make the shuffle, scream at me.
Hey everyone, welcome to another peek into what I've been rocking to.
I haven't been into too much in terms of solo tracks, more on the mix type deal. DJ Friction has done an Essential Mix for the BBC's Radio One. If you check this link, you can find a few links that are hosting the show in it's entirety. Two hours of upfront Drum & Bass, from classics like BC's "The Pulse" to new shit like High Contrast's RMX of Kanye's "Gold Digger". This might be the mix of the week. If you aren't up on Dogs On Acid, you should get up on it, as there is are a number of threads dedicated to this Essential Mix. I suggest, if you are into Drum & Bass, you need to register to DOA and experience one of the world's LARGEST ELECTRONIC MUSIC FORUMS on the Internet.
Now, onto the lists/comments on new ish for this week:
Drum & Bass wise:
1> Gremlinz & Stranjah "Clapback": Another label for Neil Brandnew, head of Horizons Music and it's sister label, Progress. This is 001 on the Crisis Recordings label, and it's a nasty one. Amens abound, heavy bass... it's just fucking hectic. Screwface music.
2> Benny Page "Turn Down The Lights": I had been hearing MANY DJs spinning this on plate months ago. I like how Benny worked the vocal into the beat. The shit is just fun music. Check my review of this 12" on DOA.
Hip-Hop and Rap:
1> Mobb Deep ft. 50 Cent "Pearly Gates": Finally got to hear an advance of this album. Expect a review to come very soon. I'm kind of pissed -- if this is the retail copy, I'm hating them bleeping out that Prodigy verse. Check out this post on the XXL Mag blogs for the full lyrics of Prodigy's. Exile hooked that beat up though! Loving the airy feel to it.
2> Lupe Fiasco "Kick, Push": I am loving that throwback beat he has on there. Not feeling the lyrics so much, I've heard better verses on his mixtapes, but dude has flow. He has a nice storytelling ability... I just wasn't feeling the story. lol
Not much else going on. Like I said, wait for the Blood Money review coming very soon.
For those who know me, they should know that my wife Anna and I are expecting a son, Jayden Khristopher, on Sept 10th, 2006. I don't know how odd this is, but I'm posting up our baby registries online. I want no one to feel obligated into purchasing wears and accessories for my child, but it's odd having a registry that no one sees. So check it out, and if you have any questions, hit me up.
Target.com -- click that link, select 'Father', search for firstname KHRISTOPHER lastname DAVENPORT and hit the Search button; our registry will pop up there. Hit one of our names and there you go!
babydepot search -- click that link, search for firstname KHRISTOPHER lastname DAVENPORT state NJ and hit the Search button; our registry will pop up there. Hit one of our names and there you go!
I will also be posting up ultrasound pictures when I remember to scan the thing in. I'm so excited!
First thing first: FILA should be loving the endorsement that was given last night. I wish I had screenshots, but I thought it was odd that both Rosalie Aprile AND Vito Spatafore had on the Fila tracksuits on this episode. Haha, on to the meat and potatoes:
Does Vito really think a life up in New Hampshire is going to work? I mean, with his cousin-in-law being Phil Leotardo (who has beef with the Sopranos and is not too keen on people in his family getting screwed) on his tail, as well as the Soprano family themselves looking for him, it's only a matter of time. The whole scene with Tony and the construction worker going back and forth on the phones were hilarious, too. And did you peep how Tony rocks the Razr, and Vito had the Kyocera Slider? Crazy.
What's good with Chrissy? First off, the whole comment about the springer spaniels had me dying, but maybe there is some truth to that? I don't know, I'm not big on Arabs or what have you and their domestication of animals. Now, what the fuck is he doing trying to go on vacation? And to California... will he be trying to shop some movies out there? Very odd... and the previews made it look like he was about to get murked? You know what though, he gets the illest lines... from last week's Allegra/cold medicine mixup to that "greasing the union" shit... pure jokes.
On to Meadow and Finn... poor Finn. He looked like he was about to have an "oops I crapped my pants" moment talking to the mob guys about Vito's head game. He gave up the goods though! Got a sammich out the deal too! Now, why he was giving Meadow grief is beyond me. That "Johnny Macaroni" comment was ace, though. Meadow's mind must be all over, from playing the legal game during the day, then returning to the Soprano household. I personally don't see them together by season's end... and she just looks better and better!
No real AJ sightings, aside from his jokes at the table. I want to know when he's going to plug Jun is his mummy head.
Carmela, Carmela... what do we do with Carmela? I like how her dad all of the sudden is a cold, old bastard. What's good with that? I don't know what Tony's deal is with not getting the permit people to bend for them, but I think it just has to do with control... who knows, but he has other shit on his mind, I guess. And Carm definitely wasn't digging how Angie is making all of that loot nowadays. Even if she's being fucking shady. Tony busted out her windows a while ago when she was biting off more than she can do... who's to say retaliation isn't in order for her again?
Not TOO much Tony shit this episode, aside from him paying Perry back for the asswhupping he took last week, and a dope scene with Melfi talking about homosexuals. The lesbian comment was funny.
Finally, what about Silvio's shirt and tie combo? He was rocking it out the same way De Niro rocked his outfits in "Casino". Classic. Ugly, but classic.
Now, onto the preview for next week:
HOLY SHIT!! Looks like, first off, we get to see Artie get into some fucked up predicament with the Soprano fam again. We have Benny Fazio (aka neph from Doogie Howser) wilding out on someone (some people think it's Tony, but I swear its probably Artie -- the person getting smacked up looked smaller than Tony)... Artie getting into some screaming matches, and Chrissy rocking a white robe in Cali. Interesting shit -- will Chrissy get whacked? Who is Benny wilding out on? Why was Tony wilding out on Benny? What's Charmaine Bucco doing with all that junk, all that junk inside her trunk? T minus 6 days...
I'm off to go re-watch this episode on my DVR. I'm out like Eugene Pontercorvo...
NOTE: MSNBC does a "recap" as well, usually on the Monday after the show premieres. It's called "Soprano's Body Count", and it's cool. They do ones for LOST, Desparate Housewives, Survivor, Apprentice, etc... check it out.
Also check out the official HBO website dedicated to The Sopranos. Loads of downloadables, podcasts, cast & crew pages, and other goodies. Essential for every fan out there.
Short and sweet bursts of random information for you on a late Saturday. Think of this as a week's worth of topics thrown into an iPod shuffle. Some sad, some happy, some just plain ignorant. Let's get it on!
1) Mayweather wins his match with Judah... sort of. I didn't see it initially, but just saw the recap on HBO. I mean... the fight wasn't great. Judah wasn't throwing much, wasn't connecting with even less, so you know he had to take the low road and sneak Mayweather in the nuts, then in the back of the head. Should Roger Mayweather have walked up into the ring, challenging Judah at the end of round 10? Hell fucking nah... but I do think referee Steele did the right thing, letting the fight continue. Judah showed just how much of a sucka he truly is. Fuck that bitch.
2) Eminem's best friend and D-12 compadre, Proof, was shot and killed in a Detroit nightclub. I was no big fan of his releases, but hearing him freestyle was dope. He had a great sense of humor, and was a hot rhymer. I was taken back to clips from the Beef II DVD, showing D-12's beef with Royce Da 5'9. They were all pulling out pieces, and you just know that Proof probably got super ignorant when he was sipping on that monkey oil. RIP to Proof, peace and love out to his family, and it looks like Detroit Hip-Hop has been hit hard again. (Peep this track that Jay Dee aka J Dilla and Proof did back in 1996)
3) Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds is suing Anita Baker for $250,000 he claims she owes him off an oral agreement. Doesn't he know that she ain't making money anymore? In all seriousness, though, you can't play the game without accepting the consequences... just goes to show you how Babyface kept making money after all of these years -- shrewd business tactics.
4) Eve has signed a joint venture deal between Swizz Beatz and Dr. Dre's Aftermath labels. Now, she's the one who left Ruff Ryders to go to Aftermath, then decided to be a UPN coon. Now she is trying to make sure her album comes out on time? Who the fuck does she think she is? Her music isn't THAT in demand, now. I think it's too many chickens in Dre's coop... from rumored albums with Ice Cube and Rakim being soiled due to Dre's workload, and now Busta preppin' to turn the streets upside down, it's hard to catch quality time with big Doc. Can't hate on that, though. Just Eve... good luck. Joining with Swizz doesn't automatically mean diamond album sales.
5) The blogs over at XXL get swinging. From heads like Bol to kris ex providing quality reads all the time, its no wonder people like Bun B and such have hit the comments up over such topics as Pimp C's PCP habit/mall run-ins to how the South is ruining and saving Hip-Hop. God, please keep their blogs rollin'. I love having something to read during breaks at work.
6) Season 6 of The Sopranos is heating up. I'm actually thinking of starting a series of posts based on that week's goings-on. We saw Vito get caught at a gay bar, Johnny Sack's daughter get married, Johnny Sack and Uncle Jun get so upset they cry, and Tony unleashed some fury on his new (ex?) driver, Perry, to show he still had it. Chilling. I might have to start a new post. Big up Steve Buscemi for directing another solid episode.
7) Lil' Cease gets arrested, held on Rikers Island. You would think neph would just give it up, be on the low. He getting caught on OLD charges, too. WTF is he thinking?!
8) Pharrell and DJ Drama drop the new BBCICECREAM.COM mixtape on the masses. The vocal half of the Neptunes rinses over "Damn!", "Liquid Swords" and other hits. And he does the damn thing. Fucking right, grab that shit.
9) Dom drops a sick studio mix for Drum & Bass Arena. Banana Arena can eat it, but Dom does a serious mix of his hits, past present and unreleased. Check it. And if you're looking for an mp3, scream atcha boy.
10) big up Nah Right... quality site. Period.
that's the shuffle for now. Holla.
Another week, another slew of drama. Instead of doing a list, I figured this week I'd talk a lil bit about my playlist additions. Let's see how this goes:
1) Digital Mystikz "Haunted" [dmz]
This track, for me, is the epitome of Dubstep. Ascending and descending sub-low bass, loads of blips and bleeps, as well as a pretty tight drum track. It's hard to go wrong with the DMZ crew when they get in that zone. The flipside to this, "Anti War Dub", is a fucking gem. True anthem business.
2) Random Movement "Infinite" [horizons music?]
Hearing DJ Zinc drop this on the latest Zincast (cat. 006) made me fall back in love with this tune. Some deep, deep funk going on here, with a lil bit of the dub aspect thrown in. Tracks like these make me want to dance when I feel like crying. When is this coming out?!?!
3) T.I. "What You Know" [grand hustle]
It's hard to deny that track. The beat is pretty chest-thumping, and T.I.'s time tested flow is bananas, but the combo makes it work...
4) Lauryn Hill "The Sweetest Thing" [columbia]
Classic. Beautiful guitar work. Beautiful vocal. Makes me feel 13 again.
5) Skitty & Heist "Ghost" [architecture]
Beautiful dnb producers Skitty & Heist collabo and come with a dub-influenced gem. Nice sample work, heavy bass tones, and a glimpse into the future of Drum & Bass.
if I could talk to you, I'd let you know that, yeah, shit is real; it's hard to lose ya ace to something you did
you both had big dreams end on tire screams
if I had the means to turn back time
I'd take you both out the whip, leave you in a ditch crying
still alive, b/c Hip-Hop No Need Dead
we lost Dilla, now Ccino, hows the youth to be fed?
missing a guy I never knew, but heard his voice a plethora of times
by himself, with the SuspeXxX, ripping up beats with rugged rhymes
it's hard to find the words to really explain his true talent
it's just a damn shame that this had to happen
no time for producing, checking tracks, no more rapping
fucking killing me that this had to happen to my people
I guess we're not immune, real shit happens to our church steeple
don't let your roof collapse, keep the sturdy structure flowing
don't let this shut you down, I hope your spirit keeps growing
and if you need to holler, just let a nigga go
I'll be on the flipside waiting for you, big bro...
big Nappy, hold your head my nigga.
RIP Tony Ccino.
For those who are unaware, April 2006 is Jazz Appreciation Month. So, dust off your copy of Miles' Kind of Blue, throw it on repeat and zone out. Take a listen to "Blue in Green" and try to figure out why it's my favorite track on that album (and no, it's not for anything Miles does on the song).
Go grab some vintage Monk, and listen in awe of his masterful keystrokes and unexpected changes. You might think you know a standard Jazz track, but Monk will re(de)construct it right in front of you.
Check out some more modern Jazz guys, like Boney James, who can marry smooth Jazz and upfront R&B with no problem @ all. Working with everyone from Jaheim to Dwele, he knows how to play nice with others, all the while keeping his identity, and even adding something new to an old genre.
Take a gander over at J.Swinscoe's Cinematic Orchestra, and try to fully understand J's free jazz ideas in a forward-thinking, sample happy world. All of their output is essential, but their debut album Motion is still my favorite piece of their catalogue. Tunes like "BlueBirds" showcase a true back-to-the-future aesthetic that I really think is needed sometimes.
Or even take a gander at my boy, Kyle Rowland. He's cooking up some deep experiements of a true fusion of Jazz and Techno that you don't normally hear on your radio. Grab the free tracks, then hold tight for his upcoming album. More on that in the near future...
Basically, appreciate some Jazz. Whether it's Dizzy and Bird or Joe Sample and Branford Marsalis. Grab up some Jazz, set it down, and (if you're liquor-legal), grab a nice glass of wine and get comfy. There's so much to learn with one of our truly American forms of music.
OK so tomorrow night, Zab Judah and Floyd Mayweather square off in Las Vegas LIVE on PPV. The thing that seems odd about this is the overwhelmingly fake Hip-Hop sidebar that is following this fight. This article by the AP talks about how the promoters (Don King & Bob Arum) are trying to work the Hip-Hop angle on this fight very hard. Not only are they trying to basically drum up new, young Black males to watch the fight, they are making some fucking OUTLANDISH comments... Don King christening himself the "godfather of Hip-Hop"?
The thing that's bugging me about this is that the only guys I know who watch fights are Black or Brown. Hip-Hop never left boxing! Aside from the commentators and the rich cats in the stands, I'm not familiar with too many White fight fans. Not that they are nonexistent, but they they don't seem to be as bountiful as Brown skinned fans. The key to understanding their stance in promotion is the young aspect. That's why they have wack interviews posted up on prominent websites. That's why every article on this fight mentions Jay-Z being at ringside, and which fighter is saying they are going to knock the other out in front of Jay. Does Jay need that fucking light? He can buy and sell those niggas 4 times a round. Let's be serious. Also, who gives a fuck if either of these guys has a record label in the works? What the fuck do they honestly know aside from investing that "hard-earned" money.
The problem with professional boxing these days is the fact that, in all fairness, arguably 60% of the major fights are fucking dull. I don't buy pay-per-view fights, because the last time I did, Roy Jones looked like a drunken puppet out there fighting John Ruiz. There are no Tysons. No Holyfields. No classic superstars, no supreme athletes. We have 3 separate boxing leagues with a handful of great fighters, no truly dominant heavyweights... and the fact that the ESPN Friday Night Fights are better than most PPV cards! Not to mention that no matter how many times Mayweather whups on someone, he never fights anyone who is truly his equal... this fight is his closest to being equally matched in a long time.
Who knows, though... this "Hip-Hop audience" jazz might work. MTV force feeds garbage down teenage throats and makes them think its the freshest, dopest new shit. Why not force feed some garbage boxers the same way? I'll tell you one thing , though: I won't be buying it.
For the record: I think the smart money is on Mayweather. He is a premier fighter who needs one big break... I just don't applaud the way they are going about it. Especially when he says he isn't about the money, but about the victory, and then in the next breath he is making comments like "That's why we work so hard. The entertainment and sports business are the same it's all about selling tickets; it's all about selling that arena out and having that adrenaline rush." Say whaaa?
Give me Ali fighting multiple times a year, not some "Pretty Boy" who can't even take a serious contender to task. To whomever watches this, I hope you get your money's worth. I really do. If not, Mayweather can say "peace" to that HBO shit FORREAL. He basically needs this fight to solidify the hype and mythos surrounding him for the last number of years. Zab shouldn't worry though, he can be in the next Mobb Deep video, even though they are betting against him.
It's been an odd week for me, musically... wasn't really rocking the D&B, although I have loads of reviews I need to prep for DOA. *sigh*... Been listening to some Hip-Hop though.. check out what's been in rotation.
1>Ghostface Killah "Shakey Dog" [def jam]
2>Papoose & Mobb Deep "License To Kill RMX II" [mixtape]
3>Katt Williams & The Game "Young Gunz Diss" [bootleg]
4>Busta Rhymes ft. Cassidy & Papoose "Psycho" [???]
5>Jin "Fuck Jay-Z" [???]
6>Mos Def "Life Is Real" [geffen?]
7>Nas "Made You Look" [columbia]
8>Little Brother, DJ Drama & Mos Def "Let It Go" [mixtape]
9>Edgar Allen Floe "The Torch" [???]
10>Ghostface & MF DOOM "Angels" [nature sounds]
Drum & Bass/Jungle
1>Skitty & Heist "Ghost" [architecture]
2>DJ Motive "Domino" [dispatch]
3>Ill Logic & Raf "Inside Out" [metalheadz platinum]
4>Syncopix "Dos Or Die" [syncopix]
5>Akuma "Loss of Self" [mindrush]
6>Sileni "Cold Sweat" [planet mu]
7>Xplorer "Technology" [obsessions]
8>Invaderz "Ircram" [commercial suicide]
9>Equinox "Acid Rain (Breakage Final Chapter VIP)" [planet mu]
10>Alpha Omega "Straight Circles" [dubplate]
Word. That's sort of how it went, minus all of the Congo Natty madness I listen to on the regular.
Genesis Elijah, one of the illest MCs doing things in the UK, is making his Deh Pon Road album available for FREE. You'll have to register as a user on that forum, but you won't be sorry. For many stateside heads, it's a good way to check out how the UK does it on the Hip-Hop side of things.
To all those uninitiated to Genesis Elijah's steeze, this album is a perfect capsule of what he's about. He's lyrical, but he reps for the streets. He will rip you to pieces in a battle, but then he'll bring it political and spiritual on you in the same breath. You'll be doing yourself a favor by grabbing this album.
Check this post on the Genesis Elijah / Broken Souls forums. Tell 'em khal sent you!
Suge has commented on the situation over there at Death Row. Kind of. His comments are cryptic; check them out: "People like the Harris' have been coming out of the woodwork and it's been like a dark cloud hanging over me. I've decided that I'm serving Death Row its last meal. I'm setting a new table."
What the hell does that mean? To me, it sounds like he might be willing to let go of "Tha Row", and set up another stable where he can beat up on his rappers... I keed, I keed! Seriously though, why doesn't he just leave the game alone? He has done what he needs to do... why make Petey Pablo suffer any longer?
What was Eminem thinking in the first place? Word on the wire is that Eminem and Kim Mathers got a divorce almost a whole 3 months after their January 2006 marriage. Some might be saying "SHOCKER", but I really wanted this to work. The thing is this: I love my wife... if she was seriously on some popular albums talking about killing me, stuffing me in a trunk and driving off a bridge, and all of the vile shit Eminem has said (for reasons I won't get into), why the HELL would I stick with her? I mean 'til death do us part is one thing, but if that's how she unapologetically feels towards me, there's no GOOD reason to be with that person.
Dysfunctional is one thing... plum stupidity is something else. To each his own, though. I wish the both of them the best... again, I really wanted this to work, but in all honesty, no matter the history they have together, you have to realize that some people just should not be married. I hope they do right by Hailie, but this marriage stuff should just be left alone.
How insane is this story!?!
Lydia Harris, the ex-wife of Harry-O, the incarcerated scarface who helped fund Death Row in its infancy (as spelled out in the documentary Welcome To Death Row) is trying to obtain the $107 million that she won back in March of 2005. Lydia and Harry-O have their own legal beef, but whatever. The big part of this situation is the fact that Death Row might be put into receivership, which leades to a possible auction of Death Row and the entire back catalogue! Do you realize how big this is? Check it out: Death Row's back cat. includes 2Pac, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Tha Dogg Pound, and some other nobodies... how fucking VALUABLE is this treasure trove of music!? It is valuable enough to keep Suge in the limelight, releasing things like Snoop Doggy Dogg's Greatest Hits packages and the like. Suge is out there making money off of these classics, which he has legal right to do. He raped those guys contracts from jump... and now he might lose EVERYTHING.
Imagine, if you will, if Dre buys that back catalogue... not only would he be sitting on a goldmine, but he'd be taking back his masters. How big is that?!?!?!
I don't think you guys hear me... Suge does, though.
I have some plans for this blog. I write for The Flow Magazine and Dogs On Acid, but I'm planning on getting more content on here. Whether it's interviews, essays, reviews, whatever, I want this to be my own extension to the outside world. Not that I don't leave home, but I don't really get my feet wet. I'm going to be 25 years young in October, and I feel like my talent is being wasted at some times. Whether it's me writing more material than the sites can update them or just having other ideas that don't fit their scheme, I have a bug that needs to be exercised.
I'm putting out some feelers, maybe with people you've heard of, maybe not... but we'll see how this experiment works.
A few points of interest:
1. Hollywood is making movies available for download. Big things, but you can't burn them to DVD!
For those out there who aren't into Dubstep, just know that it's linked to UK Garage and Grime. Those forms of music are pretty big over in the UK (acts like Artful Dodger come to mind), but that was never my vibe. I've always been into Dub, and the shit I'm hearing cats like Slaughter Mob and Skream do is mind boggling. It's fucking minimal as hell, but with the sub bass and a nice vibe. Reminds me of some of the things I like about the Iration Steppas and Dub producers of that ilk. Really influenced by Reggae soundclash aesthetics and shit.
Don't trip though... there are other guys, like Vex'd and Pinch, who are coming into their own, with ill 12" releases on µ-Ziq's Planet Mu record label. Check for those.
If you want to learn more about Dubstep, check out the Dubstep Forum, as well as this site for a load of zipped mixes (the heavily talked about Digital Mystikz Essential Mix is up there as well for download).
Keep it sub-low.
It's a new dawn
It's a new day
It's a new life for me...
One life that belongs to me
this life is mine, and I helped plant the seed
One day I'll teach little man how to read
bring pure positive vibes into his life, help him lead
watch him grow to be the man I wish I had been
Ready to tackle anything, throwing caution to the wind
as long as he watches over his mother and kin
Let's them know he's there for them whenever they need him
They'll greet him with open arms
unopened charms for him to relish into old age
Old mazes get torn down for our new phase
New attitude, new outlook on life, this shit's amazing
Wishing I could be more for him, more of a solid man
More money to take out of my pocket and place in his hand
More trips to far off lands, let him run his fingers through the sand
None of this drama and hatred, Gs killing one another for petty stacks of grands
petty turf that no one owns
not anyone we know anyway
they read no papers anyday
But my little man will be the next Ernest Hemingway
or the next Nat Turner
no matter what burner he chooses to murder with
pen, brain or fist
I'll be behind him 100%, because he's my gift to this shit
Only if he wants to be though, I can't guide him and say "Yo
do as I say or you go
out the window where the wild things grow"
He'll have to let them know,
show and prove
Ravish them like Rick Rude
and force them to get into the groove...
This past week, my hometown, Trenton, NJ, has been turned into a warzone by members of the Bloods street gang. Now mind you, when you hear about street gangs, you hear about Bloods Vs. Crips. No, we have separate factions of the Bloods warring - the Sex Money Murder Bloods and the Gangster Killer Bloods. In 2 days, 6 people (gangstas AND bystanders) were shot. Rumor is more have been shot today. I've grown up around this all my life, but it wasn't always this bad. And it doesn't always happen around my moms house.
A guy I work with had an interesting theory on this: back in the 80s, when Crack flooded the streets like 50 Cent mixtapes, this turned the ghetto on its ear. We started seeing the birth of crack babies, or kids born to crack addicted mothers. Now, when you have a crack addicted mother, its more likely that she will leave you with grandma or someone else who will take care of you. Without proper supervision, that crack baby will more than likely turn towards the streets for love and acceptance. Now, when these crack babies have kids, they don't have the proper parenting skills to handle the babies the bring into the world... which leads us to 2006, where these babies of crack babies are turning towards the streets, serving D and having absolutely no respect for street codes or innocent people. Interesting right?
Now look at our media outlets - TV, newspapers, etc. Whenever we see crime, we see the ghetto. We are told that the ghetto is NOT where you want to be (hell, I moved out of there... but I've got kids who need good educations). Without the right parental guidance or proper teaching in the ghetto schools, our children are left to tote shotties and blast off at people who they feel disrespected them.
My main question is, what the fuck are they banging on each other for? I mean, forget for a 2nd that it's mainly Young Black Males who are murking each other on the regular... me killing a member of my gang is just confusing. When do you see Jason Kidd smacking Vince Carter in the face or kicking him in the ass? If you are on a team, you stay a team. You almost NEVER hear about Bloods Vs. Crips these days, and the Latin Kings are just running around doing dirt.
I have no real answers for any of this, just a lot of questions and theories. And the most fucked up part is, most of these kids aren't bad. I mean, peer pressure can be a bitch, especially when some heartless older head is putting a gun in your hand and telling you that you will be a big man if you go rob a corner store, only to end with the young man getting killed by the shop owner. What the fuck is going on in our world?
And don't get me started on this Ignorant Rap shit, the Juelz and Clipse tracks that only speak about cooking cutting and selling weight. At least Jay-Z said he did it and tried to steer kids to do other things. His shit wasn't glorifying, but his life. These niggas these days are just showcasing ignorance for ignorance's sake. That's another post though.
So, Creative's Nomad Jukebox Zen Xtra 30GB mp3 player is my iPod killer. Well, not really... no color screen, no video capabilities, but I prefer this to any mp3 player I've seen or owned, and I've seen a fair amount of them. I take this thing whenever I'm by myself in the world, as it holds my beats for me. Well, not my beats, but the beats that I love.
IN ANY CASE, I figure, why not make this a Friday thing, posting up the tracks I've rinsed throughout this week. I'll keep it by genre for now, but in the future maybe we'll just mish mash it up.
Drum & Bass
01> Marcus Intalex "Out Of Touch" [revolve:r]
02> Dylan & Facs "Ceptor" [biotic]
03> Shy FX & T Power "Sheets" [digital soundboy]
04> DJ Vapour "The Journey" [unreleased]
05> Concord Dawn "Say Your Words" [uprising]
06> Agent Alvin "Maggot Pack VIP" [commercial suicide]
07> Sileni "Cold Sweat" [planet mu]
08> Tactile "Collie" [timeless]
09> A-Sides "Tear The Roof Off" [eastside]
10> Redeyes "About To Change" [bingo]
11> DJ Bailey with MC GQ "Heavyload" mix CD [black label records]
01> Ghostface Killah "Beauty Jackson" [def jam]
02> Clipse ft. Pharrell "Me Too" [jive?]
03> Remy Martin "Bronx Blocks (flipped by Green Lantern) [mixtape]
04> Mobb Deep Ft. 50 Cent "Pearly Gates" [g-unit]
05> T.I. "Get It" [grand hustle]
06> Nappy "Get Your Ass Up" [???]
07> DJ Green Lantern "Alive On Arrival" mixtape [mixtapekings.com]
01> Enduser "Dubplate #12" [ad noiseam]
02> Vex'd "Killing Floor" [planet mu]
03> Portishead "It Could Be Sweet" [london/ffrr?]
Word. That's just a taste.
Alive On Arrival might be the mixtape of 2006, and it's only fucking April. If you guys aren't up on Green Lantern, here's a cliff notes edition on his career: rising to prominence on the mixtape circuit and on Hot 97, Green is a producer as well as a DJ. He has blessed the D-Block crew, and most recently hit Billboard status with Ludacris' "Number One Spot". He was accepted into Eminem's Shady Records fold, but due to a miscommunication, was featured on a DVD where Jadakiss was airing out his beef with 50 Cent. Once this hit the streets, so did Green Lantern. Flash to November 2005, and the Evil Genius has found a new home with Russell Simmons' RSMG (Russell Simmons Music Group). Since then, things have looked up for Green, and this mixtape is his resurrection.
This mixtape showcases his dynamic mixture of sounds. His impressive productions (I currently have "Get Ya Pay" by T.I. & Bun B on constant rotation), always have a distinct theme, whether it's the samples in "Shotgun Season" to the overly depressed mood of "All I Know", you never know that he laced the beat, they all sound different and fresh. In a recent interview, he speaks on his versatility on styles of production and sounds. He also has the ill exclusives, with Pharrell rocking over Raekwon's "Ice Cream" (peep the Eddie Murphy samples on that), Juelz (A?) over EVERYTHING, even Mike Jones coming correct (well, as correct as he can come) over Juvie's "In My Life". You get a good balance of what Green Lantern is working with production wise, as well as the regular mixtape exclusives. Here's how raw Green does it: you get him "flipping" the beat under Remy Martin's "Bronx Blocks": he takes the bassline to the classic Eric B & Rakim track "Juice (Know The Ledge)" with the Busta Rhymes club banger "Touch It", well one of the beats underneath it. Thing is, he then FLIPS THAT BEAT BLEND, to like a few simple bass hits and drum taps... it makes Remy's boasts that much iller.
It's just hard to find such talented DJs putting out quality mixtapes. Hip-Hop's own dubplate culture, the "exclusive", is basically either an advance track from a forthcoming release or a track made specifically for that tape. Problem is, most mixtape themes only exist on the cover of the package. Once you get into the tape, its not mixed, its not original, its just the same boring spitters over weak tracks. Green Lantern fixes that, and showcases his many talents with other talented artists. Hell, the last 2 tracks even feature winners of various contests he has put out, which just goes to show you that its not just about getting a rep for himself... he's pulling others up onto that platform. Hopefully, his long awaited Invasion album will not be delayed much further.
To sum it all up, you are playing yourself if you think that Green Lantern doesn't have that fire. He is in a New York State of Mind (shout out to Billy Joel), but has enough pull to feature Immortal Technique, dead prez and others rocking "Impeach The President", Juelz, T.I., Dem Franchise Boyz, Ghostface Killah, the underground wonderkid Papoose and many other heavy spitters on one tape. INVASION!
Be on the lookout for his collabo with Ghostface Killah, the "Internet Invasion" mixtape, which can be heard here. Exclusives and album cuts for your pleasure. Don't say I never gave you nothing.
And before anyone even says, no I'm not on salary, no I don't know Green Lantern personally... I just like shining light on hot shit. To quote Clinton Sparks, "GET FAMILIAR!"