As you guys may have known, Jay-Z performed his 10 year Anniversary show for Reasonable Doubt (AKA his baby) up in NYC at Radio City Music Hall this past Sunday. Reports say: Jay killed it (both nights, arguably). There are links to lots of photos, cracks on (big) Sauce Money, and even talk of how he switched up from doing "22 Two's" to this new joint, "44 Four's". Spine Magazine hooked up the mp3 of this, and here's the video, courtesy of the good folks at YouTube:
Archive for 05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006
As you guys may have known, Jay-Z performed his 10 year Anniversary show for Reasonable Doubt (AKA his baby) up in NYC at Radio City Music Hall this past Sunday. Reports say: Jay killed it (both nights, arguably). There are links to lots of photos, cracks on (big) Sauce Money, and even talk of how he switched up from doing "22 Two's" to this new joint, "44 Four's". Spine Magazine hooked up the mp3 of this, and here's the video, courtesy of the good folks at YouTube:
If you know me, you know I get infatuated with a video game for a bit and then just turn it off, for whatever reason. Most games I can just put down and leave for a while. This game, Marc Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure, is just not that game. If you are into Graf, you will be into this game. If you are into loads of action and free roaming environments, you will be into this game. If you are into Hip-Hop's 4 (5?) elements, you will be into this game. It's not for the casual gamer, but it can be. It definitely got me moving, and I'll let you know why...
In this game, you play the character Trane (voiced by Talib Kweli), a graf writer who has gotten a bit too deep into the scene. He lives in a city called New Radius (which seems to be modeled after NYC), a place where not only is graf a CRIME, but you will get stomped the kcuf out for even being SEEN with fat caps. You get drawn into the lovely intro, showing Trane today, ducking the CCK (the crew that patrols New Radius), speaking about the good ol' days. This game works just like a movie, with Trane narrating certain pieces. You get dropped at the beginning of his ascension, as a "toy", or a writer with no real recognition. You encounter the Vandals of New Radius, a crew headed up by some cat named Gabe (voiced by legendary MC Serch), who does not take to "toys" painting over his pieces. Once they embarass Trane, he goes loco and makes it his mission to get back at THEM! Along the way he forms a crew (SFC - Still Free Crew), and makes a serious name for himself, meeting tons of legends -- T-Kid, Cope2, Smith, the dude who did the "OBEY" pieces, Futura, SEEN... the list goes on and on. You pick up different abilities and techniques that help you further your progress. You go on a journey, hitting "heaven spots" (aka spots that are really hard to find, usually way up on buildings and train tracks)... it's a dreamer's true dream. I've been into graf ever since I was little, and always wanted to do what they did, but alas, my lettering sucked, even though I have a hot lil tag name. This game makes it possible for me to live out my dream...
The action in this game is fast and can be furious. You can tag with spray paint, markers, and later on, stencils and big wheat paste pieces. The game is good with letting you know where you can throw up pieces and murals, how big you can do them (the bigger, the more REP you attain), and other things. The controls are easy to pick up -- all you need is one level of practicing how to put up a tag and you will be a pro. The fighting engine is good to, with you being able to pick up different combos and "insult" moves to use on the various cats who will try and cramp your style. And the graphics? INSANE! Did you hear me? INSANE! There are spots where you get caught on camera and the whole screen morphs to what it would look like on a security cam monitor... nice, nice. The majority of the environments are free to move, and you can climb gates, ladders, walk on edges, dangle off of things, jump off walls... and all to attain certain missions objectives. The gameplay can be frustrating sometimes, but you will pick up on what you need to do relatively quickly. Once you hit a check point, you can go back to it if you make a mistake and die on a level. If you have common sense, you can get a grasp for what you need to do, which makes diving into the game very easy.
One of the strongest points in this game is the attention to detail. The click/clack of the spray can, the sounds of the slums and alley ways, right on to the music used in each scene. At times when you are running away from the law, you get a nice rock-influenced track on there... other times, you are in murky underground lairs, and the right, moody tune just accents the feel so perfectly. With heavy hitters on the voice work (which includes Charlie Murphy, Diddy, Brittany Murphy, The RZA, and others), as well as the different musical talents on the soundtrack (from Nina Simone to Pack FM to Talib Kweli and Rakim to Jane's Addiction to Mobb Deep, as well as tons of beats and original tracks from RJD2), you are treated to great aural pleasures to ride longside the beautiful visual experience. This game was obviously created to be a sort of mini-movie, and each piece makes the whole package and concept gel.
All in all, if my words don't inspire you to go out and check this game, this will: Amazon has it for $20 for the PS2. You can pay more, and you will get a package that includes tons of goodies, but it's not too necessary -- all I would really want is the Soundtrack, and well, I have no problem getting that (wink). Lovers of action and graf; Hip-Hop and good stories; art and passion... you all will find something to latch onto in this game. You don't believe me? Ask Gamespot.
rock the dub gives this game a 9.5 for attention to detail, overall gameplay, and the entrancing story.
Want more info on this game? Check out the official website. And for more graf-specific sites, check out Bomb The World, Art Crimes, Style Wars and Graffiti Warz.
I say "Black" because I am a big fan of Black comics. I've watched everything from Robin Williams to Rosie O'Donnell (remember the old VH1 show she hosted?)... I'm a big fan of George Carlin and Dane Cook and a lot of other White comedians... but Black comedy is my shit. Pryor, Eddie, Chappelle, Rock... list goes on. So, let's check some hilarious stand-up from some of my favorite Black comics...
#1: Dave Chappelle on Def Comedy Jam (peep Martin's lil chuckle)...
#2: One of Bernie Mac's FUNNIEST sets ever. "I Ain't Scared Of You Muthafuckas", courtesy of Def Comedy Jam...
#3: Chris Rock's "Niggas Vs. Black People".. being Black, this shit is the TRUTH!
#4: Not much D.L. Hughley on YouTube (my boy D Habs thinks that his TV show killed his rep -- convincing argument); he is funny no matter what. Peep game...
#5: Richard Pryor vs. Chevy Chase on SNL... classic.
This is probably the earliest I've posted one of my shuffle posts... I supposed to be going to see some races tomorrow, so I have to get up early. I figured why not get this done now. Word up.
I'm trying to get into my zone -- there's a serious boatload of shuffle shizzle for you guys to get down with. I'm going to first say you guys need to make these Renegade Hardware 'Anthology' CDs a part of your life. I'm currently rocking to the 2nd of the series... Usual Suspects' "Hole Punch". Grimey.
Also, I want to shout out the Miami Heat, who did exactly what I predicted, and beat the Mavs in 6 to win the championship. In Dallas. Fuck that "referees suck" talk, this is NBA Finals ball. I should have bet took that Popeye's chicken bet...
1> Since we're one the subject of NBA ball, the New York Knicks finally made the easiest decision in the whole NBA and fired coach Larry Brown after a long drawn out session of him leading practice sessions without knowing his true role. How fucked up is that. And now, Isaiah Thomas is going to be coaching, which is something he said he wouldn't do. Do they truly think these moves are going to make the Knicks a good team? I guess they have to think that way, no?
2> On the new album front, we received word Pharrell is set to drop his solo album In My Mind on July 25th. It's supposed to be 1 disc with half R&B and half Rap... not that he's stellar at either style, but it's sure to move units... we hope? Styles P of the LOX fame is also set to FINALLY drop his follow up to 2002's A Gangster and A Gentleman, which is entitled Time Is Money. I have heard a few bootlegs of this, and he seems to have really done his thing. Tracks by Swizz Beatz and Lil Jon show him rocking different funks over different skunks. My personal favorite is "Switch My Style", where he rocks over that Tweet "Turn Da Lights Off"... hot. Album due in stores sometime this August on D-Block/Interscope (Say word!). Jermaine Dupri was talking about a rumored Janet Jackson/Mariah Carey duet for Janet's new album. Her album is set to come out this September, and he hopes to do for his shorty what he did for Mariah... we'll see. Remember I told you guys about Tyrese's forthcoming double disc got leaked on the Internets recently? He went on Allhiphop saying it was not a publicity stunt. Oh and that his movie is out. LOL dog, don't deny it. Oh, and Outkast is also going to be dropping that movie/soundtrack shit that's been sitting on the back burner for a while. I am kind of interested, but I haven't dug an Outkast track since the Aquemini album.
3> In Notorious B.I.G. news, the LAPD trial has been rescheduled for early next year. I hope Ms. Wallace's team has their game face on, b/c this will only get more difficult. Also, there is word of a Biggie action figure set to drop soon. I might have to grab one of those...
4> E. Pierce Marshall, the son of that rich old dude that Anna Nicole Smith married, died recently. Makes you wonder if his "fight to the death" stance on this whole money issue was really a good idea...
5> This one guys 10 year erection is worth $400K, at least that's what Rhode Island courts say. If you read the description of the device implanted into his dick, you'd think that this idiot doesn't DESERVE that loot for being so damn stupid.
6> I just saw the most disgusting thing on Good Morning America: Nic Lite. Just doesn't sound attractive.
7> A bit of Jay-Z news... tomorrow is the big Reasonable Doubt concert that ?uestlove still has doubts about; seems as though with beef and MCs being dead, this show will be hard enough to pull off, but apparently Jay hasn't performed a lot of these tracks live, so who KNOWS how they will come off. Jigga man is also putting a special rehersal performance tonight, I guess to get the bugs worked out. Good luck. And on one final Jigga note, the good folks over at Slate tried to figure out, now that Cr*stal is taboo, what champagne should Hip-Hop heads get down with?
8> I am tired of his voice and I don't agree with his tactics, but you have to give 50 Cent credit. He's making moves other niggas is dreaming about. Word came this week that he is in talks with Apple to put out a line of computers designed to be affordable and aimed at inner city kids. Hate It Or Love It, but you can't knock dude's hustle.
9> How many times did the Neptunes bite? This is the 2nd story... apparently, some guy says that Chad and Pharrell jacked his track from 1993 for the hit "Frontin'". Now why you gotta go and do that, P, huh?
10> Philly cops are still skeptical about what exactly happened to Beanie Sigel. Word on the street is that there was no gunfire at that time on that day on Philly... but then how did Sigel get shot? They do think that this was some kind of "warning" to Sigel, either from a drug dealer or some crew. Who the fuck knows, I just hope a good album comes out of his ordeal.
11> For some reason, the dumbasses over at MySpace think raising the privacy age level from 14 to 18 is really going to curb pervs. Sadly mistaken. Pervs still make fake accounts, you idiots. I know, I know, it really isn't their fault, but how many people have to get raped or murked before they decide to take bigger steps?
12> The saga of the Stolen Sidekick is finally complete. Homegirl got her phone back, the lil Corona Queens girl got arrested, and that dude Evan had his website promoted (loads of weird softcore flicks on there... with him randomly standing there?)... all must be well in the N Y C.
13> If you are in a bitter divorce proceeding with a famous sports star, THIS IS HOW YOU GET THEM BACK! You gotta admit, Strahan and his "firend" do look kind of fruit loop-ish in this pic.
14> Aside from the 1 More Hit documentary, the only other doc I'm waiting for is the Rick James one. I had no idea he was a pimp back in the day, but I am not surprised.
15> Being an addict must sell. How people can get on the backs of Hip-Hop personalities and shit for their lyrics, but allow fucking dope addicts like Pete Doherty to be able to put out drug addled "memoirs" is beyond me.
16> A few deaths this week... Charles Smith, one of the founders of Kool & The Gang, passed away at the age of 57. Even more shocking, TV mega-producer Aaron Spelling passed away at 83. I guess that means this weekend will be full of 90210 reruns and "Celebration" on repeat...
17> Finally, a story out of my own hometown, Trenton, NJ (We make and the world takes). This week, a 64 year old crack dealer got busted by the po-po... from his oxygen tank-equipped wheelchair. True story. My thing is, I doubt this guy has anything else to do in life, due to his situation... if they ain't giving him a job, he's just gonna fall back into that life.
17 Shots for you this week... now I'm off to do a bit of relaxing... for now anyways. Peace, and namaste.
What's good, lames? Not a very DnB week for me this week... didn't help that I got this hook up from an up and coming MC, Che Grand. I'll be speaking more about him in the very near future, but for now check out his bio page... and you can dload his Final Countdown mixtape from here. Check him out. ANYWAYS, I've been on some Hip-Hop shit this week... I grabbed some new DnB, but not a lot, so I'm combining the lists into one big thing... for now anyways. Peep game.
01/Heist "The Way You Move" [zombie] [my new summer DnB anthem!]
02/Eve Ft. T.I. "Cash Flow" [PLEASE tell me this is coming out soon... very ill beat/]
03/Alpha Omega "Article 79" [thermal] [if you aren't up on his Word of Mouth album, better get to know!]
04/Che Grand ft. Tanya Morgan "Trainspottin'" [loud minority] [that whole Official Bootleg Import EP is the truth. Not a bad track on the whole lot.]
05/Alaska "Ancestral" [arctic music] [new Paradox on another new label. epic tune.]
06/Nas "Where Y'All At" [island/def jam?] [can we get more of this?]
07/Akineyle & Sadat X "Loud Hangover" [first appeared on a Funkmaster Flex CD... I love that beat. Sadat gets murked by Ak, but its all fun and shame.]
08/Doo Wop & Kid Capri "Mixtape Shit" [yes, it's over Busta's "NY Shit" track. Yes Doo Wop has flow.]
09/Mos Def "Beef" [this track will never get old.]
10/Mystical Influence "Dub Plate Pressure" [vinyl syndicate] [gotta love Canadian jungle. WTF happened to those guys?!]
11/J-Live and RA The Rugged Man "Give It Up" [all about Think Differently Music. RA kills it.]
Word. Bang these over the weekend, youngin's.
PS: There's an ill mix that Cloak and Dagger did... all non-DnB, and all wicked. Check it out here; free download, free funk.
[Note: This review is based on the CD version of this album. The vinyl version is cool, but I don't buy vinyl, I buy CDs, and all of those vinyl tracks are on the CD.]
Here's one package I have been waiting for. Ever since I heard Amit's "Erazer" on L-Plates, I've wanted to delve deeper into his sound. There are some fanboys who assume that the tracks he produces are not DnB because there's no heavy emphasis on the drums. That's a decent argument, but the tempo and pace of each tune fits perfectly with any DnB set you can throw together. And Amit tends to eek more feeling and emotion out of tracks that don't have much going on. While other soundboys cry over the lack of minimalism in modern DnB, they totally neglect the vast spaces that Amit leaves inside each and every new tune that gets released. It's almost as if he has a limit of tracks on each production, and then leaves it up to the listener to fill in the space, which all but enhances the experience for heads like myself.
This being Amit's first full length album, there were some initial thoughts going into this: can you truly listen to "half-time DnB" for almost 80 minutes? Will the "Eastern" sounds that he was coming with, tune after tune, be prevelant throughout this disc? Is he just a one trick pony? Well, in order, the answers are Yes, No, and Hell Fucking No. The fact that he can throw some slick political undertones to tunes like "Live In India", with it's random pull-back sounds and "fascist" sample towards the end, to the aggro-march of "Swastika", which sounds like Alec Empire-esque fury on slow motion, is pretty ill. The samples overtop "Swastika" are spoken in almost a chant, sounding almost like a call to arms against whichever government is fucking up that day. "Too Many Freedoms" skanks along with a call-and-response feel of the bass and the echoed chime sounds. The bass and kicks drive the track into a spacefunk zone that not too many producers are willing to cross into these days. Outrage steps in on the CD opener, "Unholy", to assist Amit in an epic roller. My favorite dub sounds run red throughout this track -- distorted vocal samples, THICK bass, random snare hits, and that feeling of despair... it's a perfect way to start this journey of a disc.
For cats like me who don't buy vinyl for whatever reason, we are treated to some of Amit's previous releases on here. His most recent, the heavily rinsed "MK Ultra", the aforementioned Eastern-vibes of "Village Folk", and "Erazer", which sounds a tad dated compared to how far Amit's sound has progressed in the last 4 years, but it is a good reminder of how solid and singular he truly was in his beginning stages. This CD has 3 tracks that are previously unreleased: "Live In India", "True War" and "Night Shift". Each track provides a different side to Amit's talents, and they all stand out for different reasons.
In the end of the day, if you want your sound dubby and to the left, this CD is where it's at. It shows us that a) Klute is the fucking man at spotting talent and b) Amit is no fluke. I can only hope that this not even the start of the race; funny thing is, if Amit were to perish tomorrow (God forbid), I could grow old listening to this CD. You pick up new things upon each listening, and there is just enough variation that you will truly not get bored.
rock the dub score: 9 out of 10 for consistency and leftfield production.
OK so Nas is saying Hip-Hop Is Dead. Not a new boast at all, so we can leave that alone. Yet, the God MC does what for the album he is helming, due out this September? Nothing. You mean to tell me, in resurrecting Hip-Hop, you enlist the people who helped kill it? I mean, I can understand you want "bangers", but Timbaland and Scott Storch? And fucking will.i.am?!!?!?! I don't get why Nas needs to try and go pop again. Remember "Hate Me Now"? Diddy spitting out Cr*stal?? Yeah that helped you go NOWHERE. And this is on the heels of the leaking of "Where Y'All At", which is catching mixed reviews. I give it an 8 for lyrics alone; the beat is kind of sparse (Salaam Remi on the beat?), lacking almost. I still knock it though.
I saw all of that to say this: where is my NAPU (Nas And Premier United) album? You guys talked about it in that issue of Scratch Magazine... sheeeit, you graced the cover together! Don't fucking play with me. I mean hell, at least Primo is making some hot shit with Christina...
Nas, don't fuck this up man. You got a lot riding on this... if you fuck this up, it's going to be a WHILE before some fans let you come back inside. Truth be told, many of your hardcore fans don't want you in their kitchen now. These are "One Love" niggas. Don't shut the door on us. Please don't.
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.