Archive for 05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006

The History of the Amen

No Comments »

This post is dedicated to the Amen Break, my favorite piece of breakbeat history. From NWA to Remarc, this sample has been twisted, stretched, or just used straight up, it just has an intense, ill sound inside of it. This video runs a lil over 18 minutes, and is very informative. It really showcases what a lot of jungle and DnB producers are doing with the break... I love that shit.

Gotta love
The Winstons! For more information on this piece and Nate Harrison, check out this link.

The Sopranos, Season 6: "Kaisha" [recap]

1 Comment »

I know a lot of you Sopranos fans and critics were disappointed with last night’s “finale” (I can’t call it a finale, seeing as though reports say that the final 8 episodes starting January 2007 are still considered to be a part of the 6th Season), but I am not really upset at all. I feel as though some major issues got brought up in this episode, some interesting shit that will come to light in those final 8 episodes --- hopefully. Let’s take a minute to break down those issues:

+ Phil, who is now in the hospital over some heart problems, was plotting on taking out a member of the Soprano family. From Dom getting murked (nice shot of his head being kicked down that ditch), and Phil almost getting blown up, there was some trouble brewing… lil’ Carmine tried to smooth shit out, but he brought up Phil’s cousin, which was the DUMBEST thing he could do. Phil stalked out, and started scheming. There was no final determination, but they kept mentioning that it would need to be someone close to Tony, and I think that someone is going to be Christopher…

+ Christopher is back on the junk, and realizing he might have jumped into his marriage a bit too quickly. He admitted to his new girl, Julianna (yes, THAT Julianna), that he was not ready for a family. How did he meet her, you ask? Well, she’s a smackhead too, and they met at an AA meeting. Crazy, right? Tony found out and was visibly upset, but played it off in Chrissy’s face. With Dr. Melfi, he kept making sarcastic comments, “this is my reward”. Funny thing, this episode is called “Kaisha” b/c that’s the black girl Chrissy is telling everyone he is seeing, while being with Julianna…

+ Carm got her spec house. After poking around and mentioning to T that she would be trying to hire a private investigator to check out the Adrianna situation, T leaned on Silvio to lean on the board to get her shit approved. She is now, once again, the happy homemaker, loving life and counting her blessings.

+ Tony, on the other hand, heard from the FBI agent (neph who is now working in terrorism) that New York wants him dead. He seemed a bit frazzled, but kept his cool nonetheless.

+ AJ got the poonani from the HR girl over at the construction site. She has a kid, and I SWEAR she is the same mami who Paulie was dealing with back in Season 2. I have to revisit that. AJ even brought home girl over to the house for Christmas, which was kind of crazy. My mother’s boyfriend brought out an interesting point: it’s kind of funny how Carm wigged out b/c this girl is of Latin descent, but was fine with Meadow dealing with Noah.

+ We got to catch a glimpse of Uncle Junior at the old people’s spot. Bobby Bacala came over to give him back the $$$ he received from June as a gift. June was upset, but needs to realize that Bobby even communicating with him is bad for business, due to him plugging T in the stomach. It’s fucked, but Bobby is right…

As you can see, the drama is laid on thick. Not too much action, not too much gruesome, gritty murkage, just a lot of fucking relationship talk. Sticky relationship talk. And that’s one of the big things in the Sopranos… it’s not a show about the mob @ all. Yes, the mob is a big part of it, but the show is about the family relationships, just like any HBO show. It’s about how the people interact in that situation. As much as OZ was about prison life, it was about the people DEALING with that life. I think that’s what people get hung up on --- the ominous expectations that they build up in their heads (peep this MSN article which might explain that better).

All I can say is, I know where I’ll be in 6 months. I’m placing bets on who you guys think will get murked. I think smart money is on Chrissy, but with The Sopranos, smart money never got anyone anything.

[rock the dub Interview]: Kyle Rowland

No Comments »

[Ed. note: this is an interview that was slated to be published for The Flow, but for whatever reason, that site is M.I.A.; it is the first of many I plan on posting, just to get them off of my HD and onto the web for many to consume.]

The world of Jazz is a varied world. On one side, you have purists like Wynton Marsalis and others, who are very firm in their beliefs, training, and keeping their sound as close to the forefathers who birthed them. On the flipside, you have performers like Wynton’s brother Branford, Boney James, etc., who like to spread their wings and adapt their style of Jazz to other genres of music (Hip-Hop, R&B and the like), all the while still keeping their own identity. In a class by himself, Kyle Rowland is charting a different path: he is melting Electronic Music and Jazz into one big pot. His trumpet has a tone reminiscent of Miles, but his beats will keep your feet tapping and your hips shaking to his cool grooves. Already releasing his first experiment in this Techno-Jazz fusion, Ideas, he is currently working on getting his own imprint, as well as completing his next opus, Stand Back, Train Approaching. We catch him in the middle of these two projects, discussing where he comes from, his views on the current state of popular music, as well as his belief in God, technology, and Miles, of course. Watch out for that train…

khal: Thanks for granting us this interview. First off, for those out there who are unaware of you and what you do, could you please let us know?

Kyle Rowland: You’re welcome, and I appreciate your interest in my work. I am a musician in Southern New Jersey. I have a deep passion for music; over the last few years I have been experimenting with blending technology and improvised music. I write, arrange, and record my material in my home. To date, I have not had any one else involved in creating the music, but that will change with upcoming projects.

khal: Where did you get the idea to fuse House music and improv Jazz?

KR: Well, it happened kind of naturally – I got a majority of my music education in public schools, and part of that was listening to and playing jazz – which I really grew to love. I was also naturally drawn to electronic music. Recently I began thinking: there are not many jazz musicians out there who explore too deeply into the electronic genres. Most jazz musicians probably think that they will alienate their fan-base. When Miles Davis began to explore mixing Jazz and Hip-Hop (check out his album Doo-Bop), many people thought that he was doing just this. Likewise, there are not a whole lot of artists in the electronic genres that use more than small hints of Jazz; a nice horn loop here, some cool organ riffs there. So I figured that this is an area where I can maybe make some headway and get people from the different genres to think a little differently about their music.

khal: I know you are a self proclaimed “computer geek”; what is your setup at home? Do you strictly use PC or are you incorporating live instrumentation into your pieces as well?

KR: The concept of live instrumentation gets a little fuzzy for me, because I mostly record my material by myself. So one minute something is live, the next minute it is part of the big picture that I’m trying to bring to life. I do try to blend whatever kinds of musical elements that I can get my hands on. On my project Ideas, which is available on my
web site, I include trumpet, piano, and harmonica. I use a couple of synthesizers to provide the more unusual sounds as well as drum programming and pattern looping. My next project, which is tentatively being named Stand Back, Train Approaching, has a track that features some nice guitar work provided by a friend of mine, Grant Reitzel.

khal: Who are some of your influences?

KR: Miles Davis (of course) – I love the sound of his trumpet, the nuances in every performance. I love his attitude – that he always sought to play what he was hearing. If there is only one album that you ever buy, it should be Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue. John Coltrane, Blank & Jones, Alanis Morissette – I absolutely love her melodies and her voice, The M-People, Snap, Wynton Marsalis, and lots of others.

khal: In speaking to you on various occasions, I know you have had some trials and tribulations in trying to get your music heard by labels. Do you think there is still a market for Jazz in today’s world?

KR: The short answer is yes – real, authentic, quality music will always have a market. The long answer is – I think that Jazz has a couple of serious problems to deal with: 1) Today’s Pop music has trained the average listener to be very low on patience, and very high on expectations for the level of excitement that a piece of music generates. I mean, mainstream songs are always 3.5 minutes long, there’s almost no dynamic variation, and the emotional content seems to be controlled by fairly precise formulas designed to optimize excitement and minimize any possible boredom. Not that there’s anything wrong with this – but it makes music more like a cup of coffee that you use for a specific effect, rather than the deep emotional experience that it can be. 2) Many Jazz musicians are comfortable in their little niche; when people get comfortable, they can become irrelevant. I try to deal with these in my music, which is another reason I try to meld high energy music and improvised music, to try to get the best of both worlds, if that’s possible – we’ll see.

khal: I know you have been following/playing Jazz for a while now; are all of your projects like the Ideas series?

KR: My latest one, which I referred to earlier, is similar, but much different – it is not quite as mellow and it is produced better – my production chops have improved since the last project. Some of the arrangements in the newer project are also a bit more interesting – again, because I’ve learned so much through the entire process.

khal: Your website mentions that you play for the New Life Assembly in New Jersey. How much of a role does God play in your life, as well as your music? Also, do you play out anywhere else?

KR: Well, really it’s all about God. He’s made such a difference in my life in so many ways – he protects me from myself, he provides me with everything I need, and more. I see my music as a gift that came straight from his hands, and I really want to see how far I can run with it in the time that I have here. I am actually in the process of working on a live act – my recorded music started out as an experiment, so I’m working on evolving my creative process to a live environment; which is challenging. There is some great technology that has emerged recently that is really promising for my kind of situation.

khal: Where do you envision your music going (creatively and commercially) in the future? Do you WANT major success/a record contract, or are you just trying to get heard?

KR: Success is a good thing, generally. Though I think most of all I would like the opportunity to play for as many people as possible. Creatively, I just try to play what the stuff that I feel inside of me – I think that’s what’s really important – so many people try to play and sound like others – because they think that is what makes someone successful. Really, I think success comes from playing the song that’s inside you, even if it’s a little different.

khal: Are there any intentions on updating your website with some of your newer work?

KR: The new project (tentatively titled Stand Back, Train Approaching) should be ready by the end of the year.

khal: Do you have any insight you could give our readers who might be looking to get involved with making music via PC? What programs/equipment would you suggest they purchase?

KR: Absolutely – there is SO much incredible technology out there today, and more importantly, the prices are becoming more and more reasonable. Probably one of the best places to start is to get your hands on is Propellerhead’s Reason. Reason runs about $400 and contains everything you need to produce music minus the ability to actually record external audio. It has a drum machine, a pattern sequencer, two different types of synthesizers – you can arrange full songs just with this piece of software. If you want to complement that with some audio recording software, one of the greatest deals out there is Steinberg’s Cubase SE – which has everything you need to do audio recording, and integrates nicely with Reason through a protocol called ReWire. You can record your Reason tracks straight into Cubase, and then sing, speak, or play over whatever you have put together. There are two primary pieces of hardware that you’ll probably want to get a hold of. A MIDI controller keyboard – this allows you to control/play PC Based synthesizers such as Reason. These range in price between $150 and $500. An audio interface – this is to plug in mics or other external audio sources to your computer. You can pay $60 and up for these, depending on the specifics of the device. Any other questions about this stuff, I’d be glad to answer via email.

khal: Do you have any last bits of advice?

KR: Again – one of the hardest things in life is discovering who you really are. Each one of us is created differently but similar, and we operate most efficiently when we’re being the people that we were created to be. And really doing this is impossible without the help of the One who did the creating in the first place. So – get connected with God – and then follow that ancient proverb – Just Do It! (If there are any questions about getting connected with God – please feel free to email)

khal: Thanks for your time, Kyle, and good luck!

KR: Thank *you*! :)

If you want to check out more info on Kyle Rowland and his Jazz, slide on over to his website, Kyle Rowland Music. He is also working on his MySpace page. You can download his tracks at either of those sites, as well as here. Watch those spaces, because his next release, Stand Back, Train Approaching, will be coming out in the near future. We again would like to thank Kyle for letting us pick his brain.

Sunday YouTube Madness: Turntablist Edition Round 2

No Comments »

Another fix of cuts and scratches. I went into this wanting to specifically highlight juggling (the art of turning 1 song into a completely new song using 2 records), but found some other treats at 1AM. Check out my spoils...

#1: DJ Shortee clip from some tutorial. Give you a basic idea of the beginning of a juggle...

#2: After that tutorial, check out A-Trak live in China, showing you what you can do with some advanced juggle techniques...

#3: Grandmaster Roc Raida working out the classic Run DMC "Sucka MC's" instrumental...

#4: Roc Raida again, doing some live shit at the legendary Fat Beats. I believe this routine was used on his track from the Return Of The DJ compilation... check out his freak.

#5: Roc's boy Mista Sinista working out the decks at Fat Beats. It's hot, give it some room to breathe.

#6: Check out Roc and Sinista's boy Total Eclipse work the shit out of Tribe's "Scenario". One sick routine, I love when he uses his belly on the fader.

#7: P-Trix works out some classic De La Soul on this routine. I'm loving this one right now.

#8: D-Styles and toadstyle just doing some abstract, live turntable instrumentation. Not sure about all that's going on in here, but it's hot nonetheless. The cheap video transitions have got to go though!

#9: Forgive the awful video on this, I just found it. DJ Craze in full battle mode. I love the intro --- but checkout this video around 5 min 08 seconds... he rocks the full on dnb in this. He even throws in some shit off of Q-Bert's album, which I thought was unique.

#10: To put an end-cap on this, here's the mighty Q-Bert doing his thing at Tableturns. The set is about 7 mins, and he does some ill shit. From rocking a hip-hop to dnb tempo, showcasing this scratch called "prism", and even works out scratches without a mixer! Must be seen.

If you guys know of any Turntablist shit that I am missing, scream at me. Until next time...

the shuffle. [6/3/06]

No Comments »

What's good, family? I watched Poetic Justice with the Mrs. not too long ago... forgot how much I loved that flick. Surprises me how talented 2Pac was. Janet's great too, but her style is more melodramatic. John Singleton needs to bring it back to the essence...

Busy week over here. Pregnancy is taking it's toll on my wife, and being 6 months now, it's hard for her to get proper care. It's OK with some things, but cracked ribs are no joke. Lil' man is going to hear about this come September LOL.

Entertainment news this week has been kind of touch and go. Brad and Angelina had a baby girl, but really, is that any concern of your's? I bet Jennifer Aniston is kind of pissed, with her new movie coming out this past Friday and all... lil Brangelina baby sucked up all the publicity!

For Dubstep heads, you might want to check out this Burial album. I just grabbed it, and the sounds are kind of intense... not too overbearing at all, and really pushing the edges. It's not even Dubstep, really, but I hear it's lumped into that category. Hell, the shit is all Dub to me in the end, so what difference does it make...

Never mind the bullshit, onto the shuffle!!!!

1> Rumor has it that Raekwon is signed or signing to Aftermath. XXL had it up as a headline, but abruptly took it down an hour later. Lots of fans are championing this signing, but I think it might be a little risky. Rae's last couple of albums didn't do so hot, and having Dr. Dre foot the bill doesn't sound like success to me. Some of these '95 niggas might need to go back and just revisit that era instead of claiming prevelance these days. I'm just saying, if shit like Yung Joc is #1 everywhere, how can he expect to be relevant to the legions of ignorant teens supporting that garbage?

2> Some guys is suing Justin, N'SYNC, Nelly and the Neptunes over that "Girlfriend" song. Why? Because he can't get a deal, I'm guessing. He should take note, though, Luda and Kanye just got off on their lawsuit. I really don't get it. It's like "wow, those guys MUST have heard my shit, why would they jack my music?" How many times are these lawsuits valid? We'll see what the deal is in the near future...

3> For all of you Destiny's Child/Beyonce fans, rejoice. Not only does Jay's girl have Dreamgirls coming out later this year, but her new solo album, B'Day, is set to come out the day after her birthday in September. Good for B. I guess. I mean, the first single is slated to be with Jay, entitled "Deja Vu"... how fucking corny is that? Must artists like Beyonce and Eminem always come out the box with the same type of single? We aren't that fucking dumb...

4> Speaking of Em, the guy who shot Proof is said to have acted lawfully, according to prosecutors in Detroit. Did we have any doubt? I mean, did Proof let off during a fucking pool game? That's kind of hostile... God rest the dead. Proof, RIP, but that's just not hot. Unnecessary violence must cease.

5> So Comedy Central couldn't wait, huh? They already have plans in the works to release a new DVD of unreleased Chappelle's Show material (aka Season 3). I wanted to see this on TV, but I guess this is the route they are taking -- the "let's make mad loot" route. The price is looking to be damn near $30 for 70 mins of material... something ain't right. Dave, come back and stop this madness. We need your show on fucking cable TV, not some bootleg sounding DVD. Fix up!

6> Your boy The Game is really trying to do it big, huh? He has that fuckin' movie with Tyrese coming out, where he rocks the weird eye, and now he is trying to take this Black Wall Street shit to Aftermath himself? Aside from Charli Baltimore and nigga who writes Kevin Federline's raps (what a job), who else does he have signed? And with all this hoopla about what he did on his 1st album, in terms of the majority of his hit singles having 50 on the track and/or on the chorus, should he truly be focusing on some no-names? Organize, nigga...

7> John Muhammad, aka the D.C. Sniper, got hit up with 6 more convictions. This story is wild. I mean, Lee Malvo stood up and really spoke his mind. He let us know that after all of these shootings, which was supposed to go from a few random people to mad police, was to culminate with John trying to get his kids? What a fucking role model! Now John is already facing death, plus 6 more life terms? Just kill this dumbass right now. Or go rent the USA movie about this fiasco.

8> So what do you do when someone is pissing you off and you are in need of someone's spot in the play? You spike their drink with bleach, that's what! WTF is going on here, people? WTF...

9> I'm not sure if anyone remembers, but before his mother died, Bernard Hopkins said he was going to be retiring soon. Two years later, and mad millions richer, he is making good on that promise. And, for some odd reason, he chose Bun B to escort him down ringside. I think this is cool, don't get me wrong, but isn't The Executioner from Philly? Why not get Beanie Sigel to spit some sizzurp flows down the aisle? Just a thought...

10> If I had the loot, I'd cop a Razr phone. Why someone needs a blinged out Razr is anyone's guess, but it's out there.

11> Some more Wu-Tang related news: RZA is scoring some animated Kung Fu show with Sam Jackson as the lead voice. I would be behind it if the word Afro wasn't in the title... also, peep Method Man dishing shit on his last album, Tical 0, and talking about his forthcoming opus. The bootlegs I've heard are decent, but nothing too exciting. Who knew he worked with Diddy on that last garbage album? Strange times...

12> Did you guys hear about the Asian kid born with 3 arms? How crazy is that?!?! It looks like a psychodelic poster or some shit... too nutty to be real, but it is! Good luck to him.

13> I told you I would link you with more info on this B.I.G. lawsuit oddness over in LA. Apparently, the lawyers reppin' BIG's estate say "we ain't lie". Not much else info there, but they need to find some closure for Ms. Wallace. Please.

14> Peep Def Jam's fall release schedule. No Redman, no Joe Budden (whattup with no NJ love?!?!)... but fuckin' Rick Ross!? That nigga is gonna brick, hard. Jeezy will do good... The Roots will do normal record sale #s, but will make mad loot on the road... Nas? I don't know... Lady Sovereign? ROFL that chick isn't going to do too well over here. Sorry, the US ain't ready for grime (whattup Dizzee Rascal!?!?)...

15> How the fuck are grandparents gonna order a hit on their grandkids? These fuckers need to be castrated and hung for that shit... that's the worst right there.

16> Surprising Ignorant Rapper News: Da fucking YoungBloodZ have been arrested for drugs and guns!

Another end to a crazy week. I'm going to smoke a lil Black and call it a night. Mavericks vs. Heat starting June 8th... can't wait! Night to ya...

Busta Rhymes "The Big Bang" [review]


So Busta, the world has not ended as you so proudly proclaimed on your previous efforts. Also, the world of Hip-Hop records has changed a lot... it's really a young man's game, and while your style is very bouncy and fun, you have shown how much older you are. This is not a diss at all... your fans have grown up with you, from the young man with the LONS to the big, muscle bound mastadon you grew into, so it's only right that you echo your fanbase's "Hip-Hop is Dead" ethos on your first album for the good Doctor, The Big Bang. There's a lot of good in this album, but also some that is not so good... needs more bang and less big, if you ask the kid.

Now I'm a pretty avid fan of Busta; I have The Coming on cassette somewhere in my basement, I own various albums, as well as your Greatest Hits collection. I love how you switch your flows, and mimic certain elements of the beats... thank God, you kept that intact on this disc... it just seems like you tried to do too much. Was it necessary to have Stevie Wonder AND Rick James bless choruses? It just doesn't sound necessary to me... sounds like you are casting lines to the same fans who dug your work on Luther's last album. Both tracks highlight your past, from your parents migration and intergration into the American culture ("Been Through The Storm") to living in the slums ("In The Ghetto") and trying to make a better life for yourself. I applaud you on that, because most of your past albums have been thick with party anthems and smack-you-in-your-face bangers. That's not bad, but it's good to see you pour your heart out over the beats.

Speaking of beats, that's the main saving grace on this album. The Big Bang showcases many interesting ideas... from Timbaland's "nuttin'-but-percussion-and-crickets" sounding "Get Down" to Dr. Dre's piano ad organ laced "Goldmine", which features Raekwon calling himself a "Gangster Republican" (???). Dre even incorporates shoveling dirt into "Legend of The Fall Offs", which also executes an interesting idea -- the POV of a Grim Reaper for Old School MCs. No names were named, oddly, but it was executed well, even though it evokes that scene with the Bride from Kill Bill, vol. 2 and other "buried alive" movies. There are these hits, but there are some misses as well, sadly...

Hearing the Nas collabo "Don't Gey Carried Away", it sounds like you guys picked a B-beat from Dre, and worked out a shitty chorus overtop. That's another big downfall. The choruses on many tracks either seem too boisterous ("Get You Some" featuring Q-Tip and Marsha Floetry going back and forth for what seems like forever, as well as the odd-bar filling "They're Out To Get Me", which is produced by D-12's Kon Artis) or just down-right silly ("Cocaina", which just sounds lax). And why does Missy Elliot have to ruin any track she is on? The tit-for-tat shit on "How We Do It Over Here" is just, well, pointless. Could have left that one off the LP all together.

Another question: why was "Touch It" out back when I was wearing a coat? Was there a previous album drop date that got pushed back, b/c that track just seems old as hell? And why no inclusion of the Remix? People would like to get their hands on it sans illegal Internet downloads... In any case, I know many fans are salivating for DJ Scratch's Diamond D biting "New York Shit". Many NY niggas are "bringing it back to NYC", but this track does the best job at it. J. Dilla blesses Bussa Bus from the grave with "You Can't Hold The Torch", revisiting classic ATCQ vibes, and again touching on the Hip-Hop Is Dead ideals. Touched on too much, but with as much ignorant shit that there is out there, it is not without warrant. I am also feeling "I'll Do It All", with it's looped melody and floating flutes riding on top of that beat that's a slow nodder one minute, and then kicks the kicks kind of quick in it. And hearing Bus lay his mack game down is always hot to hear.

In the end, the only thing I am completely pissed off at is "I Love My Bitch", which is the new single out on MTV right now. I mean, featuring Kelis doing a retarded chorus is one thing... having fucking produce a track on your album, that' s GOTTA be a new low. Fuck the bullshit, this is not acceptable.

Bus, where's all of the underground heat you had out there? I miss some of that. I need a Big Bang - WMD Edition or something. Tracks like "I'll Hurt You" with Eminem, or your OTHER Nas collaboration, "Rough Around The Edges", or even "Psycho" ft. Papoose and Cassidy, we need more of that. Speaking of Papoose, if you are working on his career, why isn't he on this album?!? Why do you have Q-Tip on 2 tracks, but no tracks featuring any Flipmode family? Just sounds odd... do your thing though, dog. Maybe the next go round?

khal gives this album a 7.5 out of 10 stars --- hot beats, nice flows, but lacking on original ideas and horrible choruses. In the end, it's good to hear new Busta out there, but the maturity leaves some big question marks on the whole Aftermath signing.

Friday, June 2nd 2006 playlist

No Comments »

You gotta love hot summer-like weekends. This week has been muggy as hell, but a good one music wise... I think? I'm not sure, I've actually been digging through my collection in between rocking new DnB. You know how that goes. Busta Rhymes The Big Bang review coming SOON (I am delaying my Amit review until I get a copy of the CD version, for the full experience). Peep game...

Drum & Bass:

1> DJ Ink & Gabriel "Mood Music" [reneagade hardware]
2> Alex Perez Ft. Specific "Drive By" [progress]
3> Alpha Omega "Entities" [transmute]
4> Rufige Kru "Fear Heaven" [metalheadz]
5> Davide Carbone & Amaning "Liquidiser" [bs1]
6> Hive & Gridlok ft. D-Bridge, Silent Witness & Break "Standing Room Only" [violence]
7> Clipz "New Generation" [full cycle]
8> Mutt & Rhizone "Sin City" [creative source]
9> Desimal "After Life" [fokuz limited]
10> Pentagon "Ladybird (D.Kay Remix)" [precision breakbeat research]


1> Busta Rhymes ft. Q-Tip & Chauncey Black "You Can't Hold The Torch" [prod. by J Dilla, it revisits the Minnie Ripperton sample ATCQ used for "Lyrics To Go"... hot track!]
2> D'Angelo "Greatdayndamornin' / Booty" [off of his Grammy winning album Voodoo, I plan on sampling this track in the future. I could have said the entire album, but this one is on repeat this week.]
3> Busta Rhymes "So Hardcore" [one of my favorite Busta/J Dilla collabos... very minimal beat, Bus coming hard with the rhymes. Classic.]
4> Portishead "Biscuit" [from the first truly great album I ever purchased, Dummy, this track oozes a slow funk. The scratched "never fall in love" just makes the track golden.]
5> Headhunter "7th Curse" [new off the new dubstep/downtempo label Ascension, headed by Tech Itch and the Bristol crew H.E.N.C.H. ... if anyone has more info on them, let me know. I'm feeling this!]
6> Digital Mystikz "Walking With Jah" [is there any doubt? anytime I hear new DMZ, I'm hooked. intense dubstep vibes --- not too heavy on bass, but this is classic dub.]

That's about it for right now.

ATTENTION HIP-HOP FREELOADERS: DangerDoom and Stone's Throw have let loose a new, FREE, DOWNLOADABLE EP on the masses: "Occult Hymn". Check out the EP, Artwork, and a video here.

Also, check out downloads of the Breezeblock Old School Jungle Mixes here (shouts to DOA's Sable). There has been a big stink about Photek's non-old school jungle set, here and here. Join the fun(?).

Until next week... namaste.

Thursday YouTube Madness: Lil' Cease

No Comments »

For this edition of YouTube Madness, we bring you some Lil' Cease speeches. I like hearing him talk... after checking out that Chronicles of Junior M.A.F.I.A. DVD, he just has that swagger, and you know he is being really real, not like seeing Jim Jones or Cam talk nonsense. Peep game...

#1: Check out Lil' Cease speaking on the Lil' Kim situation... I believe he is telling the truth too:

#2: Cease just letting you know where he's from...

#3: Classic Cease talking about Dipset getting smacked up at the Rucker. 12 mins of comedy...


No Comments »

I've just come up with a new concept: NiggaMath. I had a co-worker walk through saying she was leaving 6 minutes late, so that will compute to coming in 15 minutes late the next day. I found this funny, but strangely, it's true. My 15 minutes of lunch time being eaten up by moving boxes turned into an additional 25 minutes of lunch time added. I mean, fair is only fair.

You fault Niggas, Niggas will fault you double, you smell me?

This doesn't just work for Work though, you can use this anywhere The Man tries to hold you down.

Let's say your tax check comes in a few weeks late, for whatever clerical error. Doesn't that warrant you to pay your taxes a month late the following year?

When the state's sales tax skins off an additional 60 cents on the dollar for your purchase, it's only fair that when the idiot at the cash register refuses to read your coupon correctly, you go ahead and pay $1.74 for your $9 lunch (this really happened to me at a local Uno's; classic situation).

The record labels charge you absurd amounts for glorified maxi singles, so why not go ahead and just jack the tracks when you can?

The only time NiggaMath doesn't work is in violent situations. There is a problem when a stolen chain turns into 18 niggas dead. That's improper use of NiggaMath. Matter of fact, you should be held back in NiggaMath class and take your trigger-happy ass back to Nigga-garten, so you can learn that it's an eye for an eye, not a life for a chain.

NiggaMath©. The wave of the future.

(Got any other examples of NiggaMath? Scream at the kid.)

Lloyd Banks: On His New York Shit?

No Comments »

There have been a few recent interviews with Lloyd Banks on the cusp of the release of his new album, Rotten Apple, and he just sounds dumber and dumber. First off, am I supposed to believe that this "Death Wish" track he has aimed at D-Block and Fat Joe is NOT coming on that album? If 50 "molded" him and made him, why would he deviate from that? He says he would garner worldwide attention if he put that shit on his album --- and? I mean, you talk about 50 being on people's minds and his relevance in the game, but one big part of his campaign for The Massacre was the whole Ja/Joe/Jada angle -- the disses and shit. G-Unit was BUILT on conflict, why act like you gonna shy away from that now?

#2: nigga, you know that some bitch ganked your CD and you had to reorganize your gameplan. You might have had 60 cuts, but there wasn't even 20 on that joint, and all of the ones that got leaked were, what? Garbage. Also, if you think no one wants it with Lloyd, you're mistaken. I highly doubt you'd murk as many people on the mic as you think you would. I mean, Jada alone is a tough nut to crack, and this nigga went up against Beans! You're a cronie, homie... know your role.

#3: Why is it when Game came out, niggas was all riding for him, but now that he is out of the G-Unit, it's like "we was never homies"?? If you guys roll together, where was he? I just don't get it... first it's you guys saying that he had been around for a few years, and I mean y'all obviously worked on music together... how the fuck is it now like you were never down?

#4: Why is it that on XXL, you say that you are brining it back to NY (I am going to put up with that phrase for 1 more week, then I don't want to hear it ever again), but when you list your collabos, it's all 8Ball and Scarface? Why even do that?

#5: Where's Buck album at? He's the only nigga of true relevance on a national level, due to the South's surgence in the mainstream.

#6: With the numbers Mobb Deep are doing (boo hoo, I lost that one), having them on your album doesn't really mean shit does it? (Although I loved your verse on "Stole Somethin'")...

Basically, Lloyd, do this for me: don't speak. Just make your porn videos, and make that fire on the mixtapes. When you start to try and rationalize and explain the utter bullshit you and your crew come with, it does not work well... whatever happened to real gangsters moving in silence...?

Tetradin "Vaccine" Studio Mix...

No Comments »

For LOST fans into DnB, check out what these guys have done... funny stuff. Shouts to them -- check out the mix if you like Hard, Heavy DnB too... some of the new wunderkids on the scene!


Tetradin website Tetradin on Myspace

Wanna learn how to spin DnB?

No Comments »

Hospital Records' London Elektricity (aka Tony Coleman) and Cyantific show you how!

They also have a bi-weekly podcast set up. Previous podcasts have been hosted by Tony, but other artists soon come. Check it out!

RIP Clarence Beeks

No Comments »

Hailing from Jersey City, NJ, actor Paul Gleason recently passed away from the disease known as mesothelioma. He was best known as Clarence Beeks from the movie Trading Places, as well as the principal from The Breakfast Club. RIP dog, keep it greasey.


Sunday YouTube Madness: Turntablist Edition

No Comments »

Yes, I'm kind of new to this whole YouTube thing, but I cannot help it. I've been on the hunt for Hip-Hop/Turntablism/DJ shit. Let's see some of my spoils:

#1 - DJ Cash Money (shouts to Philly) doing a quick Dr. Dre routine. All I gotta say is "HOLD UP!":

#2: DJ Craze doing what he does best. I'm glad I got to see him live before he turned into this big DnB phenom. His Hip-Hop sets are still my favorite.

#3: Lord Finesse and Roc Raida at a live show. Finesse actually pulls a decent lil routine, but Raida shits all over the comp. Was there any doubt?

#4: One of my fav DJs of all time: Rob Swift. He cuts up some classic Public Enemy. Watch how he entrances the dudes in the room. Kind of short but whatever.

#5: Another one of my fav DJs, Shortkut, hitting the beat juggle like no other. Shouts to the classic ISP fam, as well as the Beat Junkies.

#6: The true tests, shown on many a Skratch Pikl mixtape, is the freestyle sessions. That's where the best work with the best, and to me is the true essence of this turntablism shit. Check out DJ Babu, A-Trak, Rob Swift and Roc Raida TOGETHER. 5 minutes of funk:

#7: Check out DJ Klever of the Allies wreck shop. Nice rock influence mixed in as well. He might not look like he can rip shit, but check ya boy out:

#8: Ninja Tune's Kid Koala doing what he does best, with some ill interview pieces in the middle. If you don't know, better get to know:

#9: DJ A-Trak was formally known as the Canadian wonder who was one of the youngest phenoms in the game. He is now Kanye West's DJ, as well as putting together his own CD. Check him out live:

#10: I'm going to end this edition right now, but check out Mixmaster Mike, formally of the world famous ISP crew, now DJ for the Beastie Boys, rock the crowd with a hot live intro to their show. Peep game:

the shuffle. [5/27/06]

No Comments »

Memorial Day Weekend, bitches. What's really good? Wanna send a shout-out to my boy Russell over there reppin' NJ over in Cali right now. I hope you taking it easy out there on Crenshaw, nigga.

Wanna shout out to these cats online who type real tough. That shit amuses me... "lemme know where you at so I can bitchslap you". Pure jokes.

Anyone grilling this weekend? I'm putting chicken on that bad boy twice -- legs tomorrow, and breasts on Monday. Might have the in-laws in, which will be nice because their pet dog would come and tear up the yard. Quality.

My baby boy is moving strong.
Check out these new ultrasound pictures. He's a litte over a pound right now, and 13 inches long. THAT'S what it's all about. The funny thing about this is, this is the closest we get to fully realizing how close to animals we as humans really are. We have our opposable thumbs and our forward-thinking brains, but we are on some primal shit when it comes to procreation. I tell wifey all the time, this is the most beautifullest thing anyone can experience or be invovled with. I love her, and I love our girls, and I love Jayden.

OK that's the end of the mushy stuff, you guys want some new news, right? Holla.

1> RIP Desimal. DnB has lost a true individual sound. Peep
this post of mine detailing his music and a gang of tribute mixes. And spin his tunes when you can, DJs.

2> Beanie Sigel
got shot out on his block in Philly. I seen the shit on TV, it's pure comedy. He's in the back of his whip like "I got shot. I'm OK", and then proceeds to pull down his sleeve like "You wanna see?" Beans is a trooper; he apparently laid it out on the mic right afterwards. He says he got shot while being robbed by like 5 dudes. Damn shame, B Mac. Maybe he needs to move out the hood?

3> AOL is on the verge of starting up
it's own Myspace. Why? Who knows. If someone is already on Myspace, why jump over to this nonsense. Honestly, the only reason to fuck with AOL these days is b/c of AIM, which I use faithfully.

4> My favorite dead LOST actress, Michelle Rodriguez, got
sentenced more jail time. Homegirl needs to quit the booze & cruise on the real. Hold your head, though, Michelle.

5> Speaking of LOST, word is that Ubisoft has got plans to create a videogame based on the hit TV show. There's also word that Todd McFarlane is planning on creating
LOST action figures. Say word.

6> This Jewish guy on
Slate is Blogging the Bible. If you know the Bible like I do, you will find it interesting. I went to a christian school from K through 6th grade, so I had to know the Bible pretty thoroughly, but as an adult I look at it through a different set of eyes, so this is just a big shift in what I thought I knew and what I am now realizing. Check it out.

7> 50 Cent
won a songwriting award. Why? WTF good is an ASCAP award for a guy who can write hooks? He should get the "earned mad money raping Hip-Hop" award.

8> Apparently, the LA Courts are saying that Biggie's lawyers
decieved the court, and are holding onto that settlement. Kind of fucked up, over some dumb shit. I mean, this case is fucking important, not just to Biggie's family, but to the fucking corruption of the LAPD and their RAMPART division. I'll keep you up to date when I hear more about this.

9> Cam
debuted at #2 with Killa Season. Surprising... I guess the Dipset fans came out in droves to support ya boy. Nappy, we'll see if I win that bet or not. If I do, I'll settle for a 6er of Heineken.

10> Sony is proving to get dumber with their success. They want to make it so their PS3 consumers
cannot sell their used games to video game shops for credit to purchase NEW GAMES!??!?! Apparently this hurts their bottom line. Do people NOT buy their game systems? They pretty much own the competition. What's going on? I won't be buying one until the price goes down... in like 4 years.

11> It's funny when old schoolers sue rappers and producers for sampling seconds of audio. How you gonna sue someone for saying 2 words in a chorus? Ask Kanye & Luda. They
getting sued for some nigga's claim of them using the words "like that" in "Stand Up". Huh? Can I sue someone for some money? That nigga said "Yo"... I say "Yo" all the time, yo! Where the paper at?!?!

12> Italians are on some shit. First they put sauce on the Asians spaghetti, now
this. That's right, an atheist is suing the Vatican, trying to get proof that Jesus exists. It's funny, and kind of been a long time coming, but what's next? I doubt he will win, but stranger shit has happened.

13> Sean Combs, aka Puff Daddy, aka P. Diddy, aka Diddy, aka That Music Mogul Who Dicks Over His Artists, is planning on
a new MTV show. This time, it looks like he is going to rival Fox and ABC's popular "dance" shows. Speaking of with, Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance?" premiered the other day, and that shit was comedy. The Jew Boy smacked his face on the floor AND KEPT ON DANCING! How quality was that? Anyways, speaking of Diddy's MTV shows, peep how Dylan is trying to make amends with his former boss.

14> Ya boy DMX is off the meatrack. Oh I'm sorry,
The Dog. Yup, he's trying to change his name in time for his new album to come out. Why? Crack has gotten to him something fierce. I hope his new album is good, or he will be out of the loop forreal. Can't wait for that BET reality show, X!

15> What's good with the Miami Heat's 2006 NBA Playoff home games? Did they send a memo to the fans that there will only be white tees worn at these playoff games? I didn't watch too many Heat games this year, so I don't know if this is a NEW phenomenon, but it looks great on TV! [shouts to Nappy for the inspiration!] PS: I still say the Pistons will win it all this year...

16> No news here, but I've been digging this YouTube site and want to make it a staple of what I do in these shuffles... here is my find of the week on You Tube:

Friday, May 26th 2006 playlist

No Comments »

Greetings my people, welcome to this Memorial Day weekend 2006. Most of us are off on Monday, so there needs to be smoe music to accompany that time of drunken BBQ fun right? I thought so.

Before you go "huh?!" at my DnB playlist, I will let you know that I've been on a "let's not listen to new DnB" kick right now. Not because I dislike it, but I like to travel back a mite every now and again. It's actually because of a new Danny Byrd tune that sounds like a Q-Project tune. Made me start traveling. I do have some newness in there though. And RIP to Desimal, he's in there too, for good measure. Also, if you're looking for a calm, wine and spliff style mix, check out mister ESB's Patio Sessions vol. 3, spanning cuts from 1993 to 1997. Choice selection, as per usual. Let's get to it.

Drum & Bass:

1> Q-Project "Greatest Thing" [c.i.a.] [grimey, beautifullu big bass, choice d-floor appeal]

2> Dillinja "'96 Thing" [valve] [finally, this one drops! odd sounds on the bass, but its an instant rewind!]

3> Desimal "Earthling" [armada?] [RIP, standard. it's all about the heightened intensity on that 2nd drop...]

4> Alex Perez ft. Specific "Drive By" [progress] [finally out in shops. big up Neil each and every. very moody tune, loving this flavor. it straddles a few styles of DnB.]

5> Verse "The Glimmer" [crunch] [its good to know he can make some real solid tracks dolo.]

6> Photek "Infinity" [science] [circa 2000, mr. TEKDBZ comes with a solid roller. really the bridge between what he did back then with the drums and the sounds he's producing now.]

7> Desimal "Fallen Man" [barcode] [part of the Desimal Project EP -- this is part 2, and it's runnin'. just came out, pick it up!]

8> Bad Company "Brainscan" [bad company] [perfect mid-day rinser. lightas inside!]

9> Total Science "Never Had A Dream" [c.i.a.] [this CD is dope, varying styles, but this tune is all liquid DnB with a hot horn sample to boot.]

10> Krust "Belief System" [full cycle] [Krust is back to his classic form -- sort of. very light, with tasty drum edits to boot. sounds like old Krust in a new filter. peep it.]

Another non-Hip-Hop week, surprisingly. Can't tell you what that's all about. Been too busy to worry about that stuff? Who knows...

Enjoy the weekend.

RIP Desimal


I hope this is not premature or false, but I have had this on my mind ever since I found the shocking news.

Few artists styles could truly be considered "unique", but Desimal was that artist. In terms of DnB, his sound was unparalleled, I mean the talent just oozed out of the tracks. I first heard of him through Cyanide, when he was trying to get Armada off the ground. He played "Earthling" for me, and the fucking SOUND was just new. It was a breath of fresh air to a sometimes stale genre, so new that we toyed with the term "biofunk" to describe it. Desimal has had a lot of solid work released, but Earthling seems to be the watermark for me. "Arcana" is another gem, as is his latest 12" out on Barcode, the Desimal Project EP Pt. 2.

It's tough when our scene loses a producer, especially one who has not reached his full potential as of yet. My condolences to his family, and please, pay homage to this great producer sometime over this holiday weekend, as it is only fitting that he passed so close to Memorial Day.

Desimal, your sound will live on. I didn't know you, but I feel like we've met.

For a catalog of his releases, check out rolldabeats. You can find "Earthling" in this mix, which highlights a gang of Canadian DnB. Also found some old DOA thread shouting praise.

EDIT: I was just on DOA, and found a gang of old Desimal tracks that he asked be posted online for free. They are all in 320kbps mp3 sound, so optimum quality. RIP to one of the true unsung heroes of this shit.

"Sun Signal (v.2)"
"Sun Signal (v.1)"
"The Guardian"

Big up to Us Crew for hosting.

EDIT: DOA moderator double J posted up a sample pack of Desimal sounds that he uses, for all the producing Dogs and crew. Also, check out a picture of Desimal. He is on the left, holding the CD.

EDIT: Shouts out to I.N.I., who not only does ill design for webpages, but he has some shit hot mixes, whether it be DnB or downtempo. He has compiled a Desimal Tribute Mix which can be downloaded here (or here) (and here). Check out the tracklisting, taken from the RIP Desimal DOA thread:

desimal - afterlife
desimal - arcana
desimal - voidwalkers
desimal - circle of nine 2005 (tease)
desimal - voidwalkers
desimal - hyperboria
desimal - promist
desimal - mantra
desimal - sundecay
desimal - continuum
desimal - earthling
desimal - zero searcher (sundecay pt2)
desimal - promist 2005
desimal - sunsignal pt2

Nuff respect to DNBNation for hosting. Shouts to kapsil and elevenfifty5 for the mirror.

EDIT: ANOTHER tribute mix, this time from the one like rusher of The Repercussion Crew. He has had dialogues with Desimal, in terms of collabing on tunes and what not. This mix looks superb, and can be found here. Peep the tracklisting:

01. Desimal - Fallen Man
02. Desimal - Earthling
03. Desimal - Zero Searcher
04. Desimal - Voidwalkers
05. Desimal - Sun Destroyer
06. Desimal - Hyperboria
07. Desimal - Mantra
08. Desimal - Circle of Nine
09. Desimal - Continuum
10. Desimal - The Guardian
11. Desimal - The Promist
12. Desimal - After Life

As per usual, shouts to Rusher for making this happen. If you guys have any other mixes/interviews/pics/links/etc about or made by Desimal, scream at me, and I'll post them up here. I want to load this particular post with tons of Desimal. One.

EDIT: Desimal was not just a producer, he also drew. Check out this webpage full of his fantasy/scifi drawings.

EDIT: I just saw a note up on DJ that has a note from Desimal's brother up there. Apparently, Desimal had a series of mental health issues that he battled for some time. It just puts things into perspective, the essence of some of his tracks and such. This shit hits everyone. If you need more information on mental health, check out this link.

EDIT: Just found a link to Desimal's obituary. I had no idea he had a lil son! I hope his mother let's him know how many people were truly affected by his music. Rest in peace.

EDIT: Here's another link to MP3s of Desimal's DnB work, as well as some more examples of his experimental side, under the name Epidose. Just a small snippet of the whole man. Raise your lighters high.

EDIT: I just saw on the RIP Desimal thread on DOA that his friends and family have set up a new website dedicated to Graham's life. Check it out.

EDIT: Here's a mix of Desimal's that is making the rounds. I have no tracklisting, but it's entitled the "Ambientdub Mix", so that should give you an idea of the sounds coming from it. Solid shit, too. No nonsense. Big ups to sacha @ DOA for re-sticking that RIP Desimal thread.

Shouts to practial for the kick-ass banner(s) he made for me. Check it out:

I really appreciate that, kid. If you guys want, you can dload it and link it in forums/blogs/sites across the globe. Spread the word so we can make sure Desimal's voice is heard.

EDIT: sr!x has his views posted up on his blog. For those who don't know, he's affiliated with DNBNation, who hosted that INI mix, as well as an interview with Desimal. Good to hear more personal accounts with people who interacted with Desimal.

EDIT: There is a new memorial MySpace page up, spreading love and respect for Desimal throughout the MySpace community. Check it out HERE. I have no idea who is behind this, but respect to them.

LOST, Season 2: "Live Together, Die Alone" [hash]

1 Comment »

This recap is not happening. Not to say I can't do it, but it's hard enough writing a recap for an hour show -- try a TWO HOUR SHOW!

I had something in it's infant stages, but either it is not coming together or I am just not going to get it done. If you are looking for some finale recaps, check out these links.

We learned a shitload about Mr. Desmond, from going from the dishonorably discharged Scotland Yard man to the guy who was dating Charles Widmore's daughter Penny to getting a boat from Libby (isn't she dead? how much more are we going to learn about her) to getting stranded on this island. We are introduced (finally) to KELVIN, the guy who taught Desmond everything he knows about the hatch.

Kelvin looks very similar to Joe Inman, who was the guy who made Sayid torture his boys back in the Gulf War and let him go. Not sure if they are one in the same, but who knows. He taught Desmond the tricks of the trade, and even worked it so the hatch doors would come down so he could continue drawing the map that Locke saw on the blast door --- in bleach. He also taught Desmond about the failsafe key that ultimately saved(?) the island from destruction --- but at what cost? I mean there was that noise, and the coloring of the sky, but did Desmond die? What about Eko or Locke? They were right in the computer room --- my other big question is, now that a) the computer is broken (thanks, Locke), and b) the "electromagnetic anomaly" is not there, is the Swan necessary? This is a BIG part of the mythology, and at the end we see some Brazilian (Portuguese?) guys in "The Listening Station" who got a message on a screen, and rang Penny Widmore about the situation down there.

On to Walt and Michael. So unHenry seems to be the leader. He is a man of his word, and let Michael ride off in the boat with Walt. He told him to follow bearing 325, and he'd be out of there. I know I don't believe that. And is it just me, or did anyone else notice Walt acting a bit, well, odd? I mean neph was hiding out under a piece of the inside of the boat for chrissakes! He also didn't ask about Vincent, which I had pointed out to me and thought was kind of odd. He seemed happy to see Michael, but I don't believe that it will last long. Plus, I don't think they will get off the island --- either they are going to get lost and not make it out, or Michael's guilt will eat away at him.

Our hero, Jack, is in captivity with Kate and Sawyer, on to "go home" with the Others, or as Kelvin calls them, the "Hostiles". I don't know if this makes them "good", whatever that means, but the Others seem to have an interest in them. Did they NOT have an interest in Hurley? Miss Klugh, now known as Dee, told him that he was free to go back to the camp, but he had to tell them not to come out there. WTF is that all about? Is he "bad"? And why did the Others seem to be pissed off when the anomaly blew up. And when the deal went down, they kind of just went back to regular bidness.

There's a load of stuff going on here. Charlie ended up getting his kiss from Claire by acting like he didn't know wtf was going on there. Odd, but he is putting the mack thing down. When asked about Locke and Eko, he was like "they aren't back yet?", which makes you wonder --- did those 2 survive, and if so, did Desmond survive?

Other questions to ponder:

  • What happened to Sayid, Jin and Sun? Did they really light that black smoke signal fire or were they compromised?
  • What were those Portuguese guys doing out in the frigid temps?
  • Who was really being watched/tested: The Pearl guys or the Swan guys?
  • Is Kelvin really dead? He smacked his head on the back of that rock, but Desmond took off mad quick and didn't seem like he was ready to check properly for vital signs?
  • Where'd all that Dharma alcohol come from?
  • Did the Swan really bring down Oceanic 815? That's what it seems but a nig never knows...
  • Why does one of the Portugese guys look like Jack?

There are tons of things going on with this show, but that's why I love it. I'll post up the link to the post-finale podcast when it is available. I guess most of my LOST obsession will be fed by the ARG.

Speaking of the ARG, did you guys check out the Hanso Foundation's Hugh McIntyre give an interview on the Jimmy Kimmel Show on Wednesday? Strange stuff... this ARG is getting to be BIG! The latest Hanso commercial had a link to Hanso Careers, which is like a sort of Monster-esque job search. No big clues as of yet, but the canon is just too deep.

I hope you guys dug my hashing of the finale. I dug it, and it made things a bit easier than writing this big dialogue on the show. Keep it locked for more in the very near future.