Saturday, April 08, 2006

Jazz Appreciation Month: April 2006

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.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Bring Hip-Hop back to Boxing...?

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.

Friday, April 7th 2006 playlist

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.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Grab Genesis Elijah's "Deh Pon Road" LP for FREE!

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 speaks... sort of.

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?

Why did he even get re-married?

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.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Suge might lose Death Row?

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've seen the future.

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!

2. Shaq wilds out on the refs of the NBA. Let's be forreal, dog. You are getting old, and can't keep up like you used to... don't take it out on the refs!

3. Former Busta Rhymes rhyme co-hort (think Leaders of the New School) Dinco D has a new diss record out about Busta. Do I really need to comment?!