Archive for 04/01/2006 - 05/01/2006

the shuffle. [4/29/06]

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Another Saturday night, another edition of rock the dub's the shuffle. I want to start this out by saying, there is an assload of new D&B out there, from a 12" on Eastside that has the Tear (2k6 RMX) as well as the Crazy (2k6 RMX). Intense. And if you haven't heard that Breakage LP, you are insane. Too many candidates for album of the year, and I think that is right up there, along with Cyantific's album, but I've already let the world know how I feel about Ghetto Blaster.

In any case, let's get onto some of the high and low points of this week in entertainment, and some other stuff...

1> Let me get this off my chest: I am an admitted LOST fan. Wifey and I got hooked on this from jump, and have continued to be HUGE fans of the show. I listen to the podcasts, we own Season 1 on DVD, and can't wait for this coming week's new episode. I bring that up to let you guys know that, starting this Wednesday, there will be an "online experience" starting up in connection to LOST. Damon and Carlton (2 of the show's producers) spoke on this a few months back, and it looks like its become a reality. It seems to be a sort of interactive game, where the more you gather clues, the more information you get on some backstory, possibly involving the DHARMA Initiative, as well as the Hanso Foundation. Whatever it is, believe you me I will fill you guys in on the details, and solicit any help I need. Speaking of which, the one site I find the most useful for information, as well as clues, is the 4815162342 website forums. Check it out. On a side note to this, it seems as though Michelle Rodriguez, who plays Ana Lucia on LOST, decided to go to jail for 5 days rather than take the community service they were going to give her. The reasons she gave were kind of vague/odd... I hope she's OK, and not doing this out of some weird call for help.

2> VH1 and the great people over there at ego trip are starting a contest/reality show to find the next great white Hip-Hop MC. This will be my favorite TV show of its nature, aside from Diddy's Making The Band.

3> Maury Povich and other producers of his hit TV show, "Maury", have been sued by an employee for all types of sexual harassment. I will not go into the details of what she should have done, why she was there so long, etc... I just wonder, are we to really be surprised? Maury is Jerry Springer-lite, so you know some ill shit has BOUND to have gone down back there.

4> Marc Ecko filed a First Amendment lawsuit against Mayor Bloomberg and New York City. Big up for that. I'm all about graf and bombing culture, even if I was never good at it. Some see this as a publicity stunt, but I think bombing is art. I also think this is a touchy subject, because while I'm down for freedom of expression, I am not down for destruction of other's property. I do think that it's fucked up for them to bust you for carrying fat caps though, that's ridiculous. Might as well bust people on drug charges for carrying lighters around, you feel me?

5> Britney Spears has another bun in the oven, apparently. I personally don't see her career getting any better after this. I think the backlash she's received ever since she got pregnant with her son will only increase. And K-Fed needs to give it up. Seriously. I really just don't see this ending well at all.

6> Nintendo has named their latest gaming system, previously dubbed "Revolution", with an odd name: Wii. It's supposed to stand for "we". I hope this trick works... it just seems kind of Apple-esque to me. Everything seems simplified and, well, "blah" compared to their other systems and campaigns. Only time will tell.

7> The "bad idea" hub has struck again: Rosie O'Donnell has been tapped to host The View. Don't they already have an annoying female comedian on that show? Why the need for Rosie?

8> Why do I think that this Duke rape case is going to end in acquittal? This nugget of information. How many times will a jury buy her crying rape? Not to say she hasn't been raped, but credibility is a bitch, and if she has been found to have done the same thing 13 years ago, and falsely accuse people of this crime, this will weigh heavily...

9> It took this unknown rapper getting capped in the ass to do it, but Hot 97 is going to be getting evicted. They were kind of gully. I mean at least 3 shootings have occurred in the last few years, right outside that spot. I mean if you want to up your ante, going on the radio and being a jackass should do it 9 times out of 10. Shooting a nig in the ass? That's pure comedy.

I think I'm going to end this right here. End it with a track fitting of how I'm feeling: Breakage's "Losing Track". I lost track of what I was doing... maybe the Mickey's made me do it. I'm off to watch the rest of Kill Bill, vol. 2, then this HBO Boxing After Dark. Holla.

Mobb Deep "Blood Money" [review]

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Let me get this out the way first: I was surprised at how much I am feeling this new Mobb album, Blood Money. I was surprised when first hearing that Hav & P signed with 50 Cent's G-Unit Records, because they were getting dissed by him on that "Piggy Bank" track. Mobb has always been shitted on, so I think they took it on the chin... but they are really RIDING for 50! I mean they are assuming beefs, getting G-Unit tats on their skin, etc., so it has to be serious. Queens connect.

Don't get it twisted, though: this is a win-win for both sides. The Infamous get a pass to blow their following worldwide, having niggas in Bahrain rockin' to "Put 'Em In Their Place", and they might hit that stardom they were just hoping for. 50 gets some more cred in the street, which, no matter what anyone tries to tell me, that nigga needs. 50 turned into the most hated when he started dominating the game, which is to be expected for anyone in that position. In any case, G-Unit gets a pretty solid crew, and Mobb gets the loot to really make a quality record. The ? Remainz: is Blood Money that quality?

Yes and no. I mean, I never thought I'd hear Havoc reference himself as "Hollywood Hav"... that's not real ghetto, you feel me? And there are times when not only does 50 contribute mad choruses for this album (direct and indirect), but both V.I.P. and Havoc mimic his style (peep how P rocks his verse on "Backstage Pass" -- remedial much?). It's funny though, b/c 50 used to crack on Jadakiss about his choruses, saying that Jada doesn't even have a hit with his own voice on the chorus. Is 50 doing your hooks the way to get to multi-plat status? You betcha. Anyways, there isn't too much G-Unit guest rhymes, aside from a bunch of 50 shots. Yayo and Buck show up for some pretty snooze worthy tracks ("Click Click" and the "Just A Lil' Bit"-sounding "Give It To Me", respectively). Lloyd jumps on the heater "Stole Something", which works a pretty rugged beat: all bass and tight, crisp drums running underneath some ominous organs. Tracks like this and the aforementioned "Put 'Em..." are drive-by music. No metaphor; this is some shit you can put on and live a violent life by. "Creep", which features an odd sounding 50 verse, has a hot sample running over top a heavy kick and clap beat, documenting situations where niggas gotta creep. "Capital P, Capital H" is another favorite: straight futuristic G-funk sounding shit. P and Hav establish their credentials over this smooth track, to perfection. The only Alchemist beat on here is the old school drenched "The Infamous", which has a 50 chorus on it as well. The ALC-Mobb combo has always been perfect, I just wish Alc got more joints on this one. Oh well.

Arguably, the best and most talked about track on this album is "Pearly Gates", which has some darts thrown at, well, God and his son. 50's chorus sets it up, but it's deceiving. 50 is basically speaking on how slick he is; he's so slick that even if he makes it to hell, if you get him to heaven's gate, he will be able to talk his way in, b/c hell, he talked his way out the hood. Hav's verses are throwaway, but P comes with some anti-religious heat. I felt his verse when I heard this on promo months ago, but on this copy, P's verse is reversed when he speaks about God, the Lord, whatever you want to call it. I mean if you check the XXL post on this track, you can peep the full lyrics, but I just have to wonder why they did that. Dr. Dre has smacked women, Eminem has murked his wife and killed his mom, but P can't express his feelings about God and his predicament on Earth? Poor move. That Exile beat is murder though, straight murder.

I do enjoy listening to this record, and at times it's got some serious heat. I do wish however that 50's hand was out of the cookie jar more. The end of the CD also seems like a wash, including the "Outta Control Remix"'s inclusion - the only reason I can see that being necessary is for the TRL head who has to be like, "Oh, THIS IS MOBB DEEP!" And why throw a random Mary J. Blige appearance on it? If you have been a fan of Mobb's from jump, you'll find something to rock to. If you are a G-Unit soldier, you will definitely memorize this one ASAP. Don't pick this up expecting The Infamous, though. And, on a personal level, I don't think I need to hear Havoc rhyme anymore. He speaks to some anonymous old school heads, making comments about not caring "if you pioneered rap"; who's he shooting at?

In any case, this album does what it was manufactured to do: it gives people some rugged ghetto swaggar, hot beats for the spring/summer crowd, and a huge dose of thug muzik. I will not be surprised if Mobb pull some serious loot in for their work here, and I will not be mad at them if they do. They have been doing this shit for a while, and it is much deserved. Would I have rather they gotten to that level by staying true to themselves? Of course. I guess getting new Porsches from 50 will make you do some strange shit, though.

rock the dub rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Mobb Deep's Blood Money is out in stores on May 2nd, 2006. Check out their website for more information.

5th and final.

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we haven't been eye to eye or peered face to face
but you have already stolen a place
chased your status into my heart's palace
brave new world has opened up
our family is 4, but now's the time to add a 5th cup
we lift up our glasses, the newest bad ass in the clan
i can see it now, you throwing on a cape like superman
ready to handle whatever vandals channel their energy towards infamy
broken bones, bruised egos and loud shouts will be your duty, see
we look at you like a new beginning
mommy feels your pain, but knows that a 3rd time around is what you're giving
me, i look to impart my intellect into you
show this world what i can do when i have the gift of teaching to imbue
picture us head nodding, riding shotgun, pop and sun
that dreams far off but right now you are #1
well i have 4 number 1s: mommy, kalila, martika and jayden
after that anyone can get slayed when i turn up the decibels and pull out the poison pen
our lion's den is full of fighters and laughter
through you my memory will cherish until the hereafter
this journey seems so hard though
i'm only a lil fucking pawn in this world, dealing with impending sorrow
in life i have to borrow happiness just to get by
but then he came along, and troubles didn't leave, but they took a seat, they hide
they lied when they said you can make it with a smile on face
it's determination that helps a nigga like me stay in the race
replace my place in time with my divine artistry
and sooner or later these smart-dumb cats will start to understand me
never grant me 3 wishes, just give me gifts
knowledge, wisdom and understanding to help guide throgh rifts
and if it looks hard, then believe me the shit's dark
in about 2 seconds i'm ready to pull out bats like joe clark
...

Friday, April 28th 2006 playlist

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This past week has been cool, music wise. I had to make a 3 CD set of tracks for this woman who is leaving my job. She's West Indian, so she eats black cake and likes uptempo music. Things from E-40's "Tell Me When To Go" to Shakira's "Hips Don't Lie". Very interesting mix; one of the CDs was strictly Dance Hall: Sean Paul, Elephant Man, Rupee. Hot material. Also, there's a sick Benny Page Studio Mix up on Drum & Bass Arena. Check it out if you like the ragga-tinged D&B like I do. So dealing with this, as well as some other bits, I have a pretty varied mixture going on here.

1> Goldie "Kemistry" [f.f.r.r.]: First off,
RIP to Kemistry. The 7th Anniversary of her death was this passed Tuesday, and she is sorely missed. With Storm, they were the main female Drum & Bass DJs, and they ripped shit. If you've never heard one of their sets, you are missing out. They hung with the best of the best of the scene. Anyways, this track is from Goldie's Timeless LP, and it randomly came on my Zen this morning. It's such an intense tune, and it bridges the gap between classic Reinforced sound and the emerging Metalheadz flavor. Very beautiful track, from the wails to the ever present bass. The Doc Scott Remix is also essential.
2> Commix "Libra" [subtitles]
3> Gremlinz & Stranjah "Clapback" [crisis recordings]
4> Proof (prod. by Jay Dee) "Da Science" [??]
5> Gregory Isaacs ft. Lady Saw "Night Nurse" [??]

6> Spirit "Siren (Hive Remix)" [inneractive]
7> Mystical Influence "Dub Plate Pressure" [vinyl syndicate]
8> Massive Attack v. Mad Professor "I Spy (Spying Glass)" [virgin?]
9> 2Pac "Ambitions Az A Ridah" [death row]
10> Ghostface Killah ft. Raekwon "The Hilton" [epic]
11> Clipse ft. Sandman & Liva "Daytona 500" [mixtape]
12> Rick Ross "Hustlin'" [??] (whip it, whip it)

You guys really need to peep that Massive Attack Greatest Hits collection, called Collected. I have also been on that Blood Money album by Mobb Deep, which should be out next week. I hope this summer is better for Hip-Hop than the spring has been. *sigh* Until next week!

The Sopranos, Season 6: "Luxury Lounge" [recap]

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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.

the shuffle. [4/22/06]

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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.

Friday, April 21st 2006 playlist

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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.

Baby Registries for Jayden Khristopher

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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!
Walmart.com

I will also be posting up ultrasound pictures when I remember to scan the thing in. I'm so excited!

The Sopranos, Season 6: "Live Free Or Die" [recap]

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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.

Future Bound Q&A up on DOA

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Future Bound Q&A

I conducted this interview with Drum & Bass producer/DJ Future Bound. He talks about his DJing and producing, his label Viper Recordings, and other bits.

Shouts to jeryl & xo over @ DOA for letting me write for them.

the shuffle. [4/15/2006]

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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.

Friday, April 14th 2006 playlist

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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.

"mailbox is full"

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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.

Jazz Appreciation Month: April 2006

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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.

Bring Hip-Hop back to Boxing...?

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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

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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.


Hip-Hop/Rap
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.

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

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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.

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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?

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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.

Suge might lose Death Row?

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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.

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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?!