Wanna see why? Check the spoils.
"If You Blood Throw It Up"
Beetlejuice getting hot with the women...
"1 More Hit" trailer...
Documentary speaking on Coldcut's latest album, Sound Mirrors.
I'm done for now... tired, 'bout to head to bed. Be easy, my people.
Archive for 05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006
I woke up from a weird dream... I don't know the specifics of the main chunk, but right before I got out of bed, I dreamt that Jay-Z stepped down as president of Def Jam... he said he knows he was trying to do right, but his failure with Bleek's last album was a low point, and he was disappointed.
Is that an omen or a wish?
For shits and giggles, check out the HP commercial Jay-Z did:
I like that whole "retire" comment... man. Must be nice.
Now peep this video... Phish bringing out Jay-Z back 2 years ago... imagine that. Back in HS, I knew Phish fans who hated Jigga! And I was never a big fan of Phish so this kind of odd...
Jay flowing on Rap City. He goes from "PSA" into some straight freestyle over the "Stand Up" beat.
HAH! Classic Jay-Z video... "I Can't Get With That". Check the fast flow. He doesn't really do that anymore though. Classic.
I'll end this with some classic '96 shit. B.I.G. coming out during a Jay-Z set. Peep the Video Music Box intro. HOLLA!
Got a heaping helping of shuffle material for you this week. Been kind of hectic at work for me... but you gotta work to get paid so you can consume and keep the economy stable!
I felt my son kicking earlier -- what a wonderful thing. He is working wifey to death, rubbing/scraping on her belly button... but it feels like I can interact with him more. Third trimester is upon us...
Also, I like how everyone had Dallas sweeping the Heat by now, but D.Wade and crew came back and road on them HARD! Going to be an interesting rest of the series... I still say Heat in 6. Quote a nigga on that...
Let's get it.
1> Eazy E's son, Lil' Eazy E (what an imaginative name) got popped on gun charges, then unpopped. Lucky prick... now if he could only get his recording career in motion...
2> The LA courts flip-flop more than John Kerry! Last week they said "you niggas lied", but now they are reversing their claims in regards to the B.I.G. case. Also looks like the retrial will go down this October. Good luck, Ms. Wallace.
3> Here's on thing I never understood about "bling culture" in Hip-Hop. Diamonds are supposed to be a girl's best friend. Why is it that we have grown ass men rocking canary yellows and fucking ridiculous amounts of jewelry? It just looks, well, faggotish to me. There is no official word on this, but apparently Fabolous and Jim Jones got into some heat about who started the whole yellow/white diamond collabos in Hip-Hop. HUH?!?! What kind of sense does that even make? Fab was recently interviewed for All Hip-Hop, and made some dumb remarks that went nowhere. *SIGH* Maybe rappers will stop being gay one of these days.
4> News from the khal doesn't give a fuck department: Steelers' QB Ben Roethlisberger got into a motorcycle accident this week. Now the reason I don't give a fuck is simple: he got hit in the face while not wearing a helmet, and he said he doesn't wear helmets. When this was on the news, it was all "breaking news" and "special report"... THIS DUMB ASSHOLE DOESN'T WEAR HELMETS! He fucked his own couch on that one. I don't need to know he went through 7 hours of surgery, he just needs to make sure he is ready by the fall. Dumb bastard.
5> In other sports-related news, soon to be NBA bench warmer J.J. Redick got a DUI this week. You dumb prick; the Draft is coming at the end of the month. Why jeopardize the bench you will warm?
6> Here's something that let's you know that people don't really read what it says on the tin: how you gonna wig out at KFC for using fatty oil? I mean, place sells fucking fried chicken and potato wedges... how fucking HEALTHY did you think they would be??? This is the same place that has been promoting a fat person meal bowl as of late, I mean come on. Let's cut the dumb shit. You want non-fatty foods, go pull up a chair in Whole Foods with ya dumb ass.
7> Gotta love Creative... they can't outsell Apple's iPod, but they will take they ass to court! There's something fishy going on with the patents between the 2, and now the Feds are getting involved. I will never buy an iPod for myself, but I use both the iTunes and Creative mp3 management screens... not sure what the infirngement would be, but you gotta remember, I'm an idiot.
8> In this week's dumbest criminal race, this homeless nigga won! This niggas is out here stabbing people on the subway and shit. Homeless ass nigga. And stabbing Canadians and shit... what did they do? I can see why he stabbed the Texan, I mean hell, he might have thought it was Dubya. Canadians though? Dog, you gonna get locked under the jail.
9> For reasons I still do not understand, Missy Elliott is going to star in her own biopic. I had no idea her life was a thing of movies, but apparently there is some demand? What's her drama... too many twinkies?
10> The RIAA has let the world know that, yes, file-sharing is contained. Yeah, contained to the millions of computers out there p2ping the new Yung Joc album. I mean really, you guys having high digital download sales just means that more people are tired of weak mp3s on Kazaa. The piracy will never end though...
11> Some news on the Hip-Hop album front: Young Jeezy is working hard on his Thug Motivation 102 album. Gotta love a guy who doesn't call himself a rapper talking about rapping a lot. ANYWAYS, Fat Joe is also in the studio working on his next album, and claims it will be the hot shit. Now if only niggas would go buy it... niggas ARE buying Busta's The Big Bang. It's poised to top Billboard charts, apparently moving 250K units. Solid. He attributes it to Dre letting him do what he wants; I attribute it to him not having Spliff Star guest rhyme. Speaking of Busta, his lil man Papoose is set to be inking a major label deal. Why didn't Bus and Kay Slay get him down with Aftermath? This kid needs to have an open lane, not be an also ran. I fear for his career...
12> So the funds going to the victims of Hurricane Katrina were getting misdirected. Scam and scam alike, no? I can't really get mad at the people doing the sheist work; I CANNOT understand how they would let some of these claims go through. Paying for a sex change is kind of low though...
13> That fugly chick Flavor Flav picked to be his chick, Hoopz, got arrested on some weird circumstances. In my eyes, she's trying to become famous any way possible, whether it's sleeping with whomever is hot at the moment or doing Reggaeton videos, she really wants to be famous. Ugly slut.
14> This Cristal thing has gone out of control! First it was the infamous article, which may or may not have been blown up by All Hip-Hop a lil too hard... now, not only is Jay-Z NOT selling the drink at his 40/40 clubs, but the owners have come back, saying their words were taken out of context. I commend Jay on doing what he feels, but once I'm done typing this sentence, I'm done caring... maybe.
15> Bill Gates said he is phasing himself out of daily operations over at Microsoft. Nobody cared. Now we can all get some of that good money he's making. Not like he truly needs any more loot, PEEP MY MAN'S COMPOUND!
16> As if this idiot didn't have enough money, Jacob The Jeweler, who has crafted fine pieces for mad celebs and Hip-Hoppers, got indicted on drug and money laundering charges. Huh? Was this really necessary? I mean 400+ kilos of coke, dog? And you have ties to the BMF now? Can we say "bad news"?
17> Colorado, now hear this: 15 year olds can marry. Sickening...
18> Last but not least, some J Dilla news. Big show in Detroit on the 30th of June to support the J Dilla Foundation. Common and Dilla's man Kareem Riggins will be hosting, and a lot of performances, including Wajeed and Frank & Dank. Support!
I told you guys, khal had some serious shuffle heat for ya. I'm gonna go crack a Heineken and relax. Enjoy what's left of your weekend, and give your father a shout on Father's Day.
I leave you lot with ya boy Kimbo...
My people, my people. What is good my people? Father's Day weekend, and I'm going to be doing some kind of relaxing at some point this weekend. Maybe tonight. Music wise, it has been a week full of mixes... mixes that shouted me out, mixes for rainy days, even mixes by DnB dons. The release front hasn't been TERRIBLE, just a bit slow (aside from the Hidden Knowledge LP of DJ Krust's that I bashed), mainly due to my DVD drives going out on me, so I can't burn backups to get more space for more promos. *sigh* In any case, here's what it looks like, from old to the new...
Drum & Bass:
01/Dillinja "Friday" [valve]
02/Amit "Live In India" [commercial suicide]
03/DJ Krust "Initiation" [full cycle]
04/Outfit "New York" [metro]
05/Seba ft. Robert Manos "Exodus" [horizons music]
06/DJ Krust "Last Day" [full cycle]
07/Source Direct & Instra Mental "Yo Bitch!" [demonic]
08/Tommy Boy "Love & Happiness" [v]
09/Bailey "Africa" [metalheadz]
10/Dylan & Facs "Ceptor" [biotic]
01/Busta Rhymes "Everything Remains Raw" [classic. The Coming is one of his best albums.]
02/Redman "Whateva Man" [buddah monk with the buddha funk. He puts you into that zone.]
03/Papoose "Hustle Hard" [word is his label deal should be coming quick. $1.5million, huh?]
04/DJ Khaled ft. Slim Thug, Trina & Chamillionaire "Candy Paint" [taken from Khaled's new album... not really a thought provoking track, but picture a hot, sweaty club in the ATL... drunk... getting crunk. that's this track.]
05/Burial "Wonder" [feeling this whole album...still!]
06/T.I. "Why You Wanna" [I never listen to his lyrics, I just like the way he flows over those beats...]
Word. That's how I'm getting down right now. Probably some more in there, but I'm not thinking clearly right now. I'll get with you guys soon though. Holla.
Since The Big Bang is in stores today (peep my review), I figured I'd give some praise to my boy Busta. I've been a fan of his since the LONS days, and have followed him throughout his career. He was one of the guys who would steal your shine with his bombastic guest appearances, and he helped shape the way Rap videos looked in the 90s. Check out these clips, via YouTube, of some choice Bussa Bus moments.
#1: Peep Busta at his old high school, doing it with the kids. Battlin' this lil nigga who holds his own...
#2: Some SOHH shit...
#3: His first eye-poppin' video, the clip for "Woo-Ha Got You All In Check!" (peep the "Everything Remains Raw" clip intro... one of my fav tracks he did. Don't be around me when that comes on -- shouts to Easy Mo Bee!)...
#4: ...And the Remix ft. Ol' Dirty Bastard (RIP)...
#5: A Tribe Called Quest ft. LONS "Scenario" video... one of the first times Busta really showed his shit. Hot video all around.
#6: Craig Mack's "Flava In Ya Ear" Remix ft. Busta, Rampage, LL Cool J and Biggie Smalls (RIP)... CLASSIC!
#7: Versatile Bus on the mic... "Gimme Some More"
#8: Busta doing Woo Ha live in 2004. His live shows are hot. Never seen 'em but he bring it live.
#9: Who's the greatest poet: William Shakespeare or Busta Rhymes?
#10: LONS classic "Case of the PTA"
GO COP THAT ALBUM! The more I listen to it, the more I like it. "Goldmine" is still the jawn, though. Big up, Bus. Shouts to Bol for saying some nice words. One.
I wrote this poem back in March, half joking, half just writing, about this video* that was linked on the DOA forum. I just wanted to let you guys know that I'm still writing... got a new piece I'm working on. Check it out...
falling down on dick
stabbing necks means
irregular breathing clouding my
30 minute dirt naps
felony fight was
my dim bulb is now cracked
broken on the floor perhaps
kind of like my nose
my chin my
who felled the tatted up brew swiller
in through nose
not his first fight i suppose i
should have thought before..
ah fuck it my
internet fight franchise has just been birthed
eat the earth head plunged into the ground by those
*[NOTE: if you don't like watching fights online, especially ones that end with guys having a hard time breathing and getting brutalized, don't watch that video! You've been warned!!!!!]
Real def, y'all. Gotta love A-Trak producing tracks with only his decks... and making them as hot as some regular producers' concoctions. Loving it.
Another week down the tubes, and all I can think about is my lil man beating my wife up internally and my fucking DVD drives dying on me... can't get over that shit. I just copped the burner 6 months ago(!!!!), but that's another story entirely.
You gotta love wifey getting me the Getting Up game for PS2... I'll be rinsing that tonight, best to believe. Also loving this fucking "Goldmine" track from Busta's new one... Doc Dre did it again!
Other than that, not much else is going on... the Heat lost game 1, looking like lil bitches. I guess that title isn't really important... we'll find out tomorrow.
In any case, on to the shuffle.
1> As if we didn't have an overabundance of diseases out there, medical doctors have diagnosed fucking ROAD RAGE! Apparently "Intermittent explosive disorder" is what causes people to act like assholes on the road... the fact that they are assholes has nothing to do with it these days. Now we are gonna get new medications causing people to sleep behind the wheel and cause more accidents. Only in America!
2> The winners of the 2006 Weed Carrier Awards were released this week as well. Pure comedy... wait, you don't know what a "weed carrier" is? Educate yourself...
3> Ludacris is asking his fans to stop hating on Oprah. Apparently, they got into it when he was on her show with the rest of the cast of Crash, which is one movie that I don't feel. They did their thing acting wise, but the fucking plot was so predictable... so predictable. I mean, I can see why Oprah doesn't have too many rappers on her show -- HER AUDIENCE ISN'T INTO HIP-HOP! Stop hating and get your money somewhere else.
4> If that's not bad enough, Luda's former DTP member, Chingy, is being sued by some random nigga. Does he even get money anymore? WTF they gonna get, a dusty DTP chain?
5> Hot 97's Summer Jam went off without a hitch or a new diss. Sounds like fun. Check the play-by-play.
6> On June 25th, Jay-Z is planning a concert to commemerate the release of his first album, Reasonable Doubt. Apparently he announced it on June 8th, and tickets went on sale on June 9th. I doubt you can find one now. The funniest Jay news this week, though, involves Cristal. Apparently, the people over there made the dumbest move in marketing history -- they talked shit about people who made them rich. Niggas been copping Cristal off of rap music for a good 10+ years! Why act like you don't eat off that money? Well, the master of item-dropping he is, Jay offically said "Cristal is over". Good for him. BAN CRISTAL!
7> Looks like my niggas Ak and Lif are putting out a DVD about their Black Dialogue tour. Check the trailer...
8> For all my 80's babies, rejoice! Pee Wee's Playhouse is coming to [adult swim]. Loving that.
9> Talk show host Montel Williams was in my hometown (Trenton, NJ) this week, lobbying for medical marijuana. He has MS, so he smokes to start the day. Don't believe me? Peep ya boy...
10> At the press conference to promote tonight's fight, Tarver pulled out a rocking chair for 41 yr old Bernard Hopkins. I won't be buying the fight, but I will be watching B Hop getting whupped on HBO when its on next week. I'm broke like that.
11> AAAAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIGHT, Jamie Foxx did his thing as Ray Charles in the movie, but why the fuck do they have him playing Bob Marley in the new flick about Bob's life? Not sure if I'm feeling that... I doubt his patois is up. The whole thing sounds like a rerun of In Living Color.
12> Shakes The Clown got popped for child porn on his PC. (Ed. note: sorry, his site was up this week, I guess his ISP shut him down!) Gotta love NJ! Word is, a family member of his called the 5-0 on some "they stole my identity shit", and in their search, they found mad child porn on his computer... fuck that. What a dumbass.
13> More NJ nonsense: one of the mayorial candidates, who swears he got cheated in this recent mayoral election, doesn't even have the funds to cover the paychecks to his employees. LOL! And the latest recount is worth over a G to the state, which he has to pay. What an imbecile...
14> Check out how not to steal a T-Mobile Sidekick II... too funny/sad/depressing... but you gotta love how the Internet peeps band together.
15> Looks like J. Dilla (RIP) has a new album coming out this August. Apparently, he had tracks laid out for a few albums... we'll see what makes the light of day. This new one looks like it's different from Donuts, mainly due to the MCs lacing it.
16> Who knew that Tyrese was working an a full rap album? His latest 2xCD release will be 1 disc of R&B and another of Hip-Hop...maybe. The Hip-Hop disc has apparently been leaked on the Internets. I haven't heard it, but I'm not expecting some hot shit. Good luck to him though. I wanna see that fucking movie though... might just be for Meagan Good, who knows. She's a good actress, even if she was in a 50 Cent video. Speaking of 50 Cent, will he be dissing her now that The Game is also in that movie? Decisions, decisions...
17> Now for some B.I.G. news: it looks like the LAPD vs. Voletta Wallace retrial has been set for October 2006. Good luck, Ms. Wallace -- I hope your lawyers are on point this go round. Also, Lil' Kim might be getting out on good behavior next month. Hold your head, and make up for those lost album sales, ma.
That's about it for right now. I'm gonna try and get my DVD drives working and get into this graf game. Hope you guys are doing well. Ryan sr!x, I see you dude! I see you too Neil Brandnew. Get at me.
I just got the latest issue of XXL, and they have a feature on the Black Eyed Peas' will.i.am, who produces and does the main Hip-Hop shit for them (check out a partial piece of the article here). Later on in the article, this nigga starts talking about the different endorsements that the BEPs get, from Apple to the NBA and all points in between, saying that he doesn't get why people say they sold out when ATCQ, Pete Rock & CL Smooth and a slew of other MCs used to do the classic Sprite commercials, which is a good point... and he also has a point about being called a sell out. Thing is, this is the same nigga who was back-packing back when their first hit came out ("Joints and Jams", I like that track), back before they got as popular as they are now. Now, it's tracks with Justin Timberlake, and some "lady lumps" nonsense. He doesn't get this though...
Nigga, let me spell it out for you: you didn't sell out by getting endorsement deals, you sold out when Fergie got added to the group. You sold out when you got all the other bullshit put into your tracks, the NSYNC shit, the Humps shit, the fucking "Let's Get Retarded" being turned into "Let's Get It Started" for the video. Come on, dog. I don't care if you rock the bohemian style, but you come out at niggas like you are hot in the hood! The hood isn't feeling what BEP does, you know why? It's b/c you guys are MTV poster-kids! And not Direct Effect, dog... fucking TRL! Do you guys even do BET? I don't watch 106 and Park so I wouldn't know...
And now you are corrupting Busta's album with that "I Love My Bitch" shit?! I can't wait to hear your album... fake ass, bummy looking Pharrell ass nigga.
Speaking of Busta Bus, check out this funny ass video I found you YouTube... apparently, a whip ran into Scott Storch's property, and some back and forth talk goes on... funny!
Out, out damn rain! I am tired of these random showers we are receiving here on the East Coast. I was trying to grab some Mickey's and possibly smoke a Black tonight. Who knows. In any case, new music kills me... I get so into a track one week, then the next week that track is not even in rotation. What's good with that? Might be some surprises on this week's list, but fuck it. Let's do it...
Drum & Bass/Jungle:
1> DJ Craze & Infiltrata ft. Genr8 "You Don't Know Me" [cartel]
2> UFO ft. Lea "Something Out There (Twisted Anger Remix)" [u.f.o.]
3> ES9 "Free Your Mind (D-Bridge Remix)" [06s]
4> Die & Clipz "Climate Change" [full cycle]
5> Evol Intent Vs. Mayhem Vs. THINKTANK "Broken Sword" [human]
6> Blu Mar Ten "Future Primitive" [phuzion]
7> Taxman "Too Bad" [frontline]
8> Dillinja "Basscone" [vtb]
9> Mobb Deep "Shook Ones (DJ Zinc Remix)" [whitelabel]
10> Mampi Swift "Mainframe" [charge]
11> DJ Hype's "World Dance" mix CD...
1> Christina Aguilera "Ain't No Other Man" [forthcoming on her 2xCD, Back To Basics, this is the first single, a jam produced by DJ Premier of all people. feeling it!]
2> Busta Rhymes ft. Raekwon "Goldmine" [taken from Busta's forthcoming heater, The Big Bang, Bus, the Chef and Dr. Dre link up to break coke knowledge over a tight snare and some organ flare.]
3> Sean Price "Boom Bye Yeah" [I hate sleepin' on shit. This album came out in 2005, and I heard so much good word about it... and didn't listen to this until like Sunday. This has a rugged sample in it, just 1995 grimey sound to the beat, and ex-Ruck doing his thing. Rips it to pieces!]
4> Digital Mystikz "Earth A Run Red" [dubstep needs more tunes like this. These guys are true masters.]
5> Busta Rhymes "Ping" [Three's Company sampling jam that didn't make it onto the album, Bus just being Bus. solid.]
6> Westside Connection "Bow Down" [this guy I work with had me listening to this 1996 snoozer of an album. This was the lead single, as well as the only good thing on the album. Big beat, I wouldn't mind hearing a DnB remix of this one... funny side note: the radio version always said "bow down to some killers that's greater than you", which seems kind of offensive, but the dirty version says "bow down to some niggas..." ... is that some hidden shit or what?]
7> DJ Soul Slinger ft. DJ WAlly "Masterplan" [taken from his 1997 album Don't Believe, I forgot how much Soul had accomplished. Being the head of Liquid Sky was one thing; creating such a cohesive album is something else entirely. He did his thing, and did it well. This is one of the lone non-DnB tracks; straight up hip-hop, with a scratched sample running throughout it. I hadn't heard this in years, and the congas in it are so phenomenal.]
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.
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.
[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.
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 how2dj.com 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...
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...
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 will.i.am 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.
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.