Archive for 07/01/2006 - 08/01/2006

Christina Aguilera "Back to Basics" [review]


Who woulda thunk it: Christina Aguilera has put out an LP that is more Hip-Hop than DJ Shadow's latest release. She is also this generation's Madonna (sorry, Britney). This, all on the strength of a 22-track opus, Back to Basics, which has Christina revisiting the music she was brought up on: classic Soul, Jazz, R&B, all mixed in a Hip-Hop mindset (CD1), and a plethora of older sounds (Swing, ragtime Jazz) on the 2nd disc. You can essentially break down the CDs like this: disc 1 is helmed mainly by DJ Premier, who makes the album that Nas wishes he could make with Primo; Linda Perry (writer for Xtina, Pink, and many other artists) has the reigns held tight on CD2. She digs down deep, going from many tracks dedicated to her new husband, while others highlight her love for artists we have all grown to love and emulate (Aretha, Etta, Marvin, etc). And in doing all of this, Christina has done what Justin Timberlake did with Justified: she has set herself apart from the rest, and shown that she is more than just a Mouseketeer who can rock a summer-long tour.

The first single, the Primo-laced "Ain't No Other Man", is her first ode to her hubby. Over a faster paced bevy of dusty breaks and bright horns, Xtina proceeds to let her man know that ain't no one else doing it for her, and he should let everyone know she's on lock. This track, and the accompanying video, are the first hint of true Madonna-chameleon style: Christina threw away the chaps, turned up the soul, and just belts out. And she sounds like she's truly enjoying herself. I keep referring to Madonna because she is the best example of a pop artist reinventing themselves on each album. And this even feels more genuine that Timberlake purchasing crazy ghetto passes. There's an article in Rolling Stone where she talks about her grandmother's help in shaping her voice, playing her a load of older records, and Christina being able to channel their songs perfectly, and that's something you can hear in her songs, then and now. It's just that she is wearing those influences right on her forehead, as opposed to hiding them underneath cheeseball production. No other producer could have done it like Premier, either. "Back In The Day" has me reminiscing of the Gangstarr track from the Mo' Better Blues soundtrack in its feel and appreciation for the old school. For those who think Xtina doesn't still get grimey, she let's you know that she still has those tendencies on tracks like "Still Dirrty" and "Here To Stay". They are hot tracks, both freaking hot horn loops, but seem kind of out of place compared to some of the subject matter: "Oh Mother" is a somber love letter to her own mother, detailing a tough situation in their life. The gospel-flowing "Makes Me Wanna Pray" takes it right back to the church, full of wicked organ flourishes and what sounds like the whole state of Alabama on backing vocals, all professing her love for the man that has basically saved her from wallowing in despair. And this wouldn't be a Christina album without a lil' drama: "F.U.S.S.", whether she wants to admit it or not, is directed to Scott Storch, whom she had a falling out with during the making of this album, something about plane expenses or some nonsense. He fucked up though, this CD is gonna do numbers. The standout track on this disc, for me, is "Thank You (Dedication To Fans)", which does exactly what it says on the tin: with an awesomely cut intro of "Genie In The Bottle" over a vintage Primo boom-bip, Christina shouts praise to her dedicated fans, even letting their recorded voices shout praise back to her. It can sound like the oddest pat-on-the-back, but the lyrics are too sincere to feel like a Kanye-esque swollen head moment.

The second disc is where Christina and Linda Perry delve into even murkier territory, producing some true diamonds in the rough. The twisted intro of "Enter the Circus" is a bit too eerie for me, but it is a perfect lead in to the episodes that come forth. "Candyman" is a straight up swing track, funked up with a bit of the Hip-Hop, complete with her boppin' vocals. It's a sly number, for this Candyman does not deal in chocolate or murder... he does make her "cherry pop", if you catch her drift. My favorite track, "Save Me From Myself", finds Christina going very blues-y over just some beautifully plucked guitar strums and strings. Her voice is so soft, and the words just hit you right in the ticker. The next track, "Mercy On Me", sounds more Fiona Apple than blues, but she holds her own on this lazy number. The filter on "I Got Trouble" really transports her sound to the early 1920s, when the turntables had large cones to project the sound and the singers had more soul in their pinky toe than most of these new jack fakers have in their entire budget. The only qualm I have with disc 2 is that while the first disc sets itself up as a running theme throughout the 13 tracks, this disc seems to be a bunch of outtakes, or rather singularly themed tracks. This takes nothing away from their power or quality, but it is a bit disheartening when you get off the high of that beautiful 1st disc to a sort of mish-mash of sounds and styles on the 2nd.

While there are some missteps (too many "Fighter"-sounding cuts on the 2nd disc, and a few tracks on the first that mimic Mariah a bit too much), Christina has taken her career into her own hands, which grants her much respect and is a plus if she is truly trying to have her name uttered with the same passion as people say "Aretha" or "Billie". Can she continue this quality? Will her fans take well to her change in sound? How will she pull this off on tour? No matter how the chips fall, something tells me she will land on her two tiny feet, polished and ready to take us on another wild ride.

rock the dub gives this album an 8 out of 10: a surprising turn for a gifted artist, Christina is stepping out onto uncharted territories, and gains crazy respect with each twist and turn.

Back to Basics is out NOW. Check it out on Amazon. If you want to get more info on Christina, check out her official website.

Logistics "Now More Than Ever" - LP of the Week!

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Just letting you guys know, another one of my reviews is up on DOA as Album of the Week. Check this link.

Don't know who Logistics is? Check out his page on Hospital Records.

Check Logistics out on MySpace.

Also peep his discography on rolldabeats.

And now for a dope mix:

Logistics B2B Nu:Tone - Hospital Radio (May 25th, 2006)

the shuffle. [8/12/06]

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Beautiful Saturday early evening. About to crack another Heineken, previewing some new DnB releases, and at T-minus 20mins to 7PM, this house is about as quiet as it will be for a bit... new baby on the way. Wifey's at the baby shower right now... i hope they are doing good.

Odd week, this one. Loads of news, but I feel like it's the same news from me... waiting and wishing for my son to get here already! And not sleeping for some odd reason... who knows.

In terms of the blog, I have a few things going on... awaiting the answers back from a few interviews I sent off... gonna review C. Aggy's new album... the usual. I have a piece I need to do for Oh Word, as well as a spank load of reviews for various DnB heads... and no time to concentrate. So is the life, though.

*takes swig*, Let's get to it, shall we?

01/Did you know that listening to obscene/suggestive lyrics as a teen will make you more prone to having sex at an early age? A report released on Monday
suggests this. Now, this would have nothing to do with sexually suggestive movies or videos, no? Nothing to do with that shit. I mean, hell, I've listened to Rap for most of my life, and while I knew exactly what Snoop meant on his first album, I wasn't out calling bitches ho's and making them suck my dick for rocks. It's parenting (or lack of), not music, that will truly decide how your child will turn out.

02/For you Avon Barksdale fans out there, HBO announced that Season 4 of The Wire
will begin on September 10th. If you are like me, though, and own HBO On Demand, you can catch the first episode on September 4th via On Demand. Gotta love it. Apparently, this season will focus on the education system? Looks like some kids get caught between the drug life and and studies... I know I'll be watching! Oh, and speaking of HBO originals, it looks like The Sopranos will be touched by a Baldwin... Daniel Baldwin is set to star in the movie-within-the-show, Cleaver (working title?), which Chrissy calls "Saw meets Godfather 2", whatever that means. Should I be happy about this?

03/MTV's "newlywed" shows are a doomed ship: first, Nick left horse-toothed Jessica (
or vice versa), then Dave Navarro let Carmen Electra go. Now it seems that Travis Barker, the one of blink-182 and Boost Mobile commercial fame, is leaving his wife, who was a former Miss USA, apparently. And not bad looking, either. She did seem to be an airhead too, so maybe he just got tired of her asking silly questions. Who knows, but all I know is this: if you aren't married like 10 years before getting a reality show on MTV, fucking RUN from that contract!

04/Those Danity Kane chicks better feel lucky that they weren't in Diddy's first "Making The Band" group... that fucker Choppa, who is now being called "Young City" for God knows WHAT reason, just
got picked up on some armed robbery shit. Well, the warrant was out for him, but I guess that Bad Boy South money wasn't long enough... not that the nigga could sing, or was mature, but damn, homie, make something of yourself!

05/OK, so Snoop
holding 2 women on leashes on live TV during the MTV VMAs? Good. A cartoon lampooning the incident.. offensive?

06/Now that we're on the subject of Rap culture and, well, ignant ass niggas, let's delve into a chunk of Rap star goings-ons... Lil' Flip has
finalized a deal to sign with Asylum, which seems perfectly happy signing deals with shitty MCs. Peep that article to see this nigga talking about his dopy of his album being "watermarked"... nigga, you just heard that term yesterday, let's be serious. Let me hear you spittin your "freestyles" about watermarking your shit. Also wanting to be on the move is Lil' Kim, who is said to be fed up with Atlantic, probably over her last album doing piss-poor numbers. Go figure. Holla at Asylum, ma! The douches over at SOHH let loose that Scarface, the kingpin of Rap-A-Lot, is said to be leaving the label over shady dealings, to the point where nigga is like "I ain't doing no mo' solo LPs!"... christ. Holla at Asylum, face-mooooob! Now after Outkast stayed silent throughout the whole debacle about the split CDs for their last official release, they finally come out and deny breakup rumors. My suggestion: give it up. Andre, you know you are hating on Rap right now, go act, nigga. Go do Four Brothers 2: Grandpa Got Murked or something. Let Big Boi be a Purple Ribbon mogul. And if all else fails, holla at Asylum! MC Supernatural was entered into the Guiness Book of World Records for freestyling for over nine hours! I wonder how many times he talked about being the illest rapper? Nah, he's the illest... We also learned this week that Jay-Z is trying to find out how to get water to Africa. Bol thinks that Jay should just stop worrying about this water stuff and work on his LP... I agree with that to a point. In other Roc-A-Fella news, rumors are flying about Kanye West getting engaged? I'm not sure if I believe this one or not... his ego seems too big to allow him to care for someone else on that level. We shall see, I guess... and on a final note, in dead rapper news, the trial that I like to call "Biggie Smalls vs. LAPD" has hit another snag... new motions made by Volletta's team have been denied. Apparently, there is a conflict on trying to include a few of the officers in the suit, claiming that they were at the scene of the crime that night. Lord, help Ms. Wallace find out who murked her son.

07/That nigga Maurice Clarett is something else. Four years ago, he was big pimpin' it on the field at Ohio State. Now, nigga
gets caught with 4 loaded gats and alcohol. Now, they speculate that he might have went to cap off on some chick who was gonna testify against him, but Illseed thinks there's a link between him and a Rap mogul who he owes bread to, allegedly. (Word is neph has the same lawyer, David Kenner, who repped for Death Row back in their heyday)... we shall see. Someone get this jig some help before he hurts someone!

08/Skype, one of the leading companies bringing you Voice over IP phone service, is planning on
getting into the mobile phone business. How crazy will that be? I mean, that should translate to cheaper phone calls for users of that phone... one can dream, can't he?

09/For those of you afraid of losing all of your San Andreas gats and money, Sony is making an adapter that will allow PSOne & PS2 memory cards to be read by the PS3. Geeks of the world, rejoice. And save up for that jammy, whenever it drops... in other Sony news, they have a new product forthcoming called "mylo", which is set to let you use products like Skype and cruise sites like YouTube. 5GB of space on that jammy too... is it worth it, though? For teens on the go, of course! Parents, get your wallets out!

10/The good folks over at Oh Word have dropped the illest 25 tracks from the last 6 months... some surprises, but the list really isn't deniable.

11/After all of that Jew talk Mel Gibson did in a drunken stupor, he is now on the chopping block: Disney is deciding whether it should be keeping Apocolypto on it's schedule. The timing might be funny, b/c I know Disney is axing mad jobs over there. Mel isn't the only one hitting rehab, though: Robin Williams fell off the wagon *again!* and has checked into rehab. Good for him, go Mrs. Doubtfire!

12/I read in the latest Dime Magazine that Stephon Marbury has a new clothing line coming out called Starbury. Ho, hum, right? Thing is: the clothes are gonna be on the cheap. Talking like nothing is going to be over $14..98, sneakers included! He wants to do it for mothers on a budget, which you can't hate on, and the quality is supposed to be fresh. I believe September is the month this line wil be out... where? Who knows... my boy thinks it will be Payless, but who KNOWS what he has up his sleeve.

13/Lou Diamond Phillips got arrested on some spousal abuse shit. I mean, yeah, your career is down the toilet... is that a good reason to hit on your lady? Beat up your agent, or fuck up your director! Don't beat wifey... that ain't good for business.

14/Word came this week that the powers at be for DVDs said they are going to go a lil' lax on the procedures invovled in burning DVDs. Apple is said to be one of the companies interested in this... I can only see this as a plus! I mean, they lost crazy loot making discs unable to be recorded. I support free reign of the products I buy, so anytime I can't do something, I will rebel. End of the day, though, they are looking to get into the download-and-burn sites that are making software like this available more every week.

OK I hope you guys can wrap your heads around some of that madness. Keep it locked for more info. And, as always, if you have any topics you think might interest me, hit me up.


Friday, August 11th 2006 playlist

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Crazy music, this week. Most of this week's playlist is what I like to call "up front", because I've been dealing with people I know and up and coming guys, I just like hearing that new sound. I also have about 8 mixes to link in this bitch too, so let's get it cracking...

Drum & Bass/Jungle:

01/Blu Mar Ten "Deep Inside" [shogun audio]
02/Commix "Talk To Frank" [metalheadz]
03/Soundclash "Bang Bang" [xs]
04/GianniMaz "Hope Floats (working title?)" [dubplate]
05/Typecell "Illumination" [dubplate]
06/Senses & Survival "Lisys" [horizons music]
07/Pr0gress "A Million Miles" [dubplate for now]
08/Bishop "2eighty7" [dubplate]
09/Redeyes "Behind Closed Doors" [spearhead]
10/TK "Substance" [nu directions]


01/Sean Price ft. Buckshot "Cardiac" [taken from his forthcoming album, Jesus Price: Superstar. captivating beat, ill flows.]
02/Christina Aguilera "Thank You (Dedication To Fans)" [taken from her forthcoming double CD, Back To Basics. Primo cutting up "Genie In The Bottle" is my shit. Also, peep the "Back In The Day RMX" featuring that new nigga, Termanology (big up Spine Mag).]
03/The Game "It's Okay (One Blood)" [I won't go into how neph took a MAJOR L, I just hope the sophmore is the truth.]
04/Pharoahe Monch "Push" [weird track. I dig it, but it's weird hearing Monch do more singing and stuff than rapping. Let's hope the new LP features more mic technique.]
05/Cham ft. Alicia Keys "Ghetto Story (Remix)" [she did her thing. loving this one!]
06/Kelis ft. Nas "Blindfold Me" [ROFL. Mr. and Mrs. Jones get it in over an odd beat. No comment.]
07/Monica ft. Dem Franchise Boyz "Everytime Tha Beat Drop" [knocks in the whip. end of.]

OK, now let's get to these mixes:

*Spinline's Transmogrification mix 2006 August -- very dark, dubby styles on this one. loads of exclusives, as well as favorites like Amit's "Immigrants" and Digital's "Get Away". if you like the Dub DnB styles, peep this NOW!

*The Fix come with another dubby-style mix, finding time to even throw in some Ink, Keaton and Alpha Omega! don't sleep on this one!

*that dude Methodus drops a more liquid/soulful style mix on this collection from the "Who Am I" series from my "Just Memories" fav is on there, as well as a beautiful Chino lick.

*NC's kapsil comes wth a new mix for August '06, and mixes a nice combo of older and newer, funky and deep, just plain interesting tunes. not too many DJs will drop tunes by Paradox, Konflict, Duo Infernale and Jonny L in the same mix. beautiful shit.

*ESB & RollandBurn celebrate Detuned Radio's 3 year anniversary... 3 hours! Respect to the bitterbrew.

*Caps & Jones drop a new mix for the summer, complimenting their spring mix. Check out the mixture of flavors... this is more than a mashup.

*boj lucki drops DUB FI DUB Pt. 3, and yes, it's chock full 'o dubs! mostly on some dubby flavours (YT, Tactile, etc), and he even drops some Demolition Man and a few bootlegs (Lupe Fiasco, Busta Rhymes)... peep!

*DJ Excision dropping an intense dubstep mix... "7th Curse" by Headhunter... watch out!

Hate it or love it, but this post if THICK! Go do your homework, kids! BE EZ!

rtd forthcoming...

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What's up world? Just marinating right now, really...

Been a crazy last couple of weeks... sometimes it feels like I'm gettin' it at all angles, people slingin' shit and I'm trying to dodge it while getting other shit done... it can be hard work, but I'm still here.

Just wanted to let you guys know... watch out for a new interview, hopefully I'll get the answers back soon. We'll see...

Also got some things brewing with the Horizons Music Group. Loads of newness forthcoming from them...

Finally (in the forseeable future), I'll be doing a review of the Back To Basics album of Christina Aguilera's, forthcoming next week. I think I'm gonna stick to a Monday schedule with new release reviews... how's that sound?

Keep it locked...


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You gotta love when rappers contradict themselves... here's a few glaring examples:

Method Man (in Part II of his interview) speaking on the "Say I" single, and how he would speak about it on the radio...

"They’re saying I went to the radio stations discrediting the single. How could I discredit one of my own fuckin’ songs that I spit on?"

And now, from the same interview, is him talking about when the "All I Need" single came out...

"I did everything in my power to discredit that fuckin’ song and the shit still went platinum as a single."

So he doesn't discredit the track when it sucks and gets no spins, but is willing to discredit it if its doing well? Something's gotta give, Meth.

Now, on to Kanye West, and his views towards homosexuals. He went on MTV talking about how the word 'gay' is now perceived to be the 'opposite of Hip-Hop', but then on DJ Khaled's "Grammy Family", he's all "Used to hit the radio them faggots ain't let me on"...

Just gotta love those double standards. It's fucked up until you can use it, right? This might be a developing idea... keep it locked.

[rock the dub Interview]: Wise Intelligent

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You know I have to rep for my hood; Trenton, NJ is where I was born and raised, and when I was a shorty, there was one video that Ralph McDaniels and other outlets would blast: "Rock Dis Funky Joint". There were scenes shot in projects not too far from my childhood home, as well as ill shots taken on the Trenton Makes bridge. The group was the Poor Righteous Teachers, and the standout MC of that crew was a man by the name of Wise Intelligent. He had a mixture of the rapid fire flows of that time, as well as lacing his darts with intelligence and social commentary. Many fans only knew "Rock Dis Funky Joint", and didn't realize that PRT pretty much helped pioneer (uncredited in many circles) the true conscious Hip-Hop movement of that time. They dropped 3 slept on albums, and at this point, Wise is out doing his own thing with his Intelligent Muzik movement. With a new mixtape and album set to come out, khal got a chance to question Wise on where he came from, where he's at, and where he's going.

khal: First and foremost, thanks for the opportunity to let us re-familiarize ourselves with one of the unsung heroes of Hip-Hop. For the uninitiated, can you please let us know who Wise Intelligent is, who you are affiliated with, etc?

Wise Intelligent: I’m one third of Trenton, NJ’s and Hip-Hop'sPoor Righteous Teachers; Holy Intellect, Pure Poverty, Black Business, The New World Order and all uh dem ting. Lyrically, I’m your favorite rapper's favorite rapper! Not only did MC’s get knowledge of self from PRT album’s, but they also found a lot of their flows in these same albums. So in a nutshell, I am the progenitor of a lot of what’s HOT today!

khal: Do you think that growing up in Trenton, NJ, has shaped your style differently than if you had grown up somewhere bigger like NYC or Philly?

Wise Intelligent: Maybe, and maybe not! The people, the surroundings, and experiences is what adds on to a man, the way he perceives his environment and develop ideas concerning the world around him. Through my travels abroad I have come to the understanding that every “black community” with exception to a few catch phrases are identical in their poverty, oppression, suffering, decay, etc. I’m not one to follow what the masses are doing either, so I would definitely have brought something new and original to Hip-Hop regardless to where I was from. After all I’m “The Talented Timothy Taylor!”

khal: Let’s take it back to 1990, when PRT dropped Holy Intellect. What was going through your mind back then? Were you just happy to be signed, or did you know exactly what you were doing back then? Do you have any regrets in regards to choices you made back then?

Wise Intelligent: The manifestations brought forth on that particular album represent a young black male in America coming into knowledge, the first steps toward righteousness. You ask “what was I thinking?" That’s just it, I wasn’t thinking at all. Not in an ignorant since of the statement, but rather the fact that, I am at most times a vessel being used to convey certain truths. My responsibility in this role is not to think, but to choose and except. The thoughts already exist in the Universal Sub-Conscious Mind of God. We just choose, and the thoughts we choose to accept will become our reality. In other words, such thoughts will find their author. Thus, HOLY INTELLECT. As far as regrets, there’s only one; if I had Another Chance at Life, I’d listen to me a bit more!

khal: There are some who believe that a lot of the 5% ideas, as well as your heavy social commentary, were slept on back in the day. When people think of consciousness in Hip-Hop, they seem to skip over you and PRT. Why is that, do you think? Does that upset you at all?

Wise Intelligent: 90% of the people of this world don’t and won’t know shit if it is not marketed to them! This is the west we are living in. Don’t you remember, the leaders of Europe (the Emperor and the Church) would teach the masses only what would influence public opinion in whatever way favorable to their agenda? America is an extension of Europe, and the people only believe what they have seen and/or heard on BET, MTV, VH1, Clear Channel, VIBE, XXL, SOURCE, ABC, NBC, etc. So while PRT was not being marketed, groups who were being marketed could take “pieces and bits of all my hip hop hits” (to quote Rakim) and claim it for themselves. I’m not ever upset about it, my goal is not to be the “king of rap.”

khal: There is a lot of patois and Jamaican flows throughout your work, from 1990 to now. Is that part of your lineage? Do you feel any kinship to cats like the Marleys, or prophets like Capleton?

Wise Intelligent: Well no, I’m not Jamaican, my mothers root goes back to Barbados. And of course I feel kinship with all of Jamaica and the Caribbean. We are ONE people in a deeper since than slave-ships. But, that’s another interview.

khal: Can you break down the “Back to School” project you talked about on All Hip-Hop previously? I know The Talented Timothy Taylor project was the 1st of the reportedly 5-CD box set? Please explain your motivation behind this project, and what you hope to accomplish.

Wise Intelligent: The “Back 2 School” box set is actually 7 albums; one disc for each period in a school day. The First Period which is “WISE INTELLIGENT IZ….The Talented Timothy Taylor” will be followed by WISE INTELLIGENT IZ…The Unconquerable Jezus Jonez (7/7/07), and WISE INTELLIGENT IZ….El Negro Guerro, and so on…The concept behind the box set is that we are living in a severely dumbed-down, anti-intellectual environment, so I have decided to go against the grain and take hip hop Back 2 School! She’s truant, she’s “in the trap”, she “in the mall” she’s “in the club” she’s “going down” because she’s everywhere except where there is knowledge. That’s why the cover has the scantily clad sister (Hip-Hop) on a bike and we’re headed “Back to School.”
Hopefully when school let’s out I would have left a sound catalogue of knowledge, wisdom, ghetto-political social-commentary, style and substance.

khal: What’s going on with Intelligent Muzik? Is this just a label, or is it deeper than that? Do you have any other projects on the horizon under that umbrella?

Wise Intelligent: Intelligent Muzik iz by all means a movement that focuses greatly on the unknown element of Hip-Hop which is activism. Intelligent Muzik's mission is to become the first community owned and operated label in the form of a not-for-profit that trains urban youth in careers in and surrounding the muzik industry. Starting with how to own and profit from your talent.

khal: I know it’s gotta be hard to pick just one, but do you have a favorite track from your catalogue? Is there any project you wish you could redo, and if so, why?

Wise Intelligent: I haven’t made my favorite song yet. I guess that’s what’s keeping me sharp. I would like to do Black Business over, simply because I could have expounded on many more relevant matters pertaining to the title than I did. Facts like blacks account for less than 1% of all the business receipts in the country, how in 1860 90% of all blacks worked for whites and today the numbers are the same. So that’s the one I’d do over.

khal: I have heard guys like Saul Williams say that Hip-Hop has gone Republican; Cam’Ron has even called himself Bush when speaking about his rap battles. Why do you think that the mainstream is not pushing more conscious Hip-Hop? Who do you think is truly pushing that sound?

Wise Intelligent: I believe that we are getting “conscious Hip-Hop”, just conscious of what is the question. Today’s rap music is “money-conscious” and or “street-conscious.” Some have argued that the lack of positive images and lifestyles in mainstream “black” music is because positive rap don’t sale! I am not one who subscribes to this belief. PE sold, Fugees sold, Kanye sold "Jesus Walks"? Again it’s what’s marketed and made to look attractive to the masses. When you follow the links between The Bush administration, the Prison Industrial Complex, Clear Channel, Viacom and the Major recording companies you’ll begin to understand the “bigger picture.” But that’s another interview. Check out “The Globe Holders” track on BLESSED BE THE POOR?.

khal: Who or what is a bigger problem for the ghetto youth of today: the music that promotes ignorance or the government that keeps their feet on the back of the ghetto?

Wise Intelligent: Which is the “bigger” problem is not the question we should ask, rather “what is the biggest problem?” The music we listen to is a problem but is it THE problem, NO! The government has always dealt with blacks as sort of a second class pseudo-European populace, so we should expect their neglect. The problem for black youth in America whether rich or poor, free or slave is when their own so-called leadership i.e., their teachers, preachers, politicians, businessmen, authors, directors, athletes, and entertainers, are afraid to be BLACK! When we make decisions based on whether or not our words and/or actions will or will not offend white-folk! When we are afraid to teach our youth the truth about themselves, their culture and heritage and our gift of civilization, science, math, languages, medicine, etc. contributions that pre-date white man we create the problem. The problem is that our youth are being taught to envy their oppressors. This is why so many rappers assume positions of power in this muzik industry and take on the ways actions and characteristics of the oppressor. We have a desire now to be like this oppressor when the movement should be to replace him!

khal: I hear you’re still living in Trenton, NJ. I grew up in North Trenton; in fact my mom still lives in North Trenton. Do you think there’d ever be a time when you would move out of Trenton? Why or why not?

Wise Intelligent: Yes I will move out of Trenton soon enough. I need a farm land around me, at least the distance of 100 yards between myself and my closest neighbor. I love the people of Trenton, I just think that we all deserve better!

khal: Lead by Busta Rhymes’ “New York Shit”, there seems to be a brewing resurgence for the Tri-State area to try and re-claim the crown of this Hip-Hop thing. Do you think that this is possible right now, with so many fans loving the tracks coming from the South?

Wise Intelligent: Anything is possible but my attitude is and has always been, why can’t more than one style of rap music be marketed, promoted, positioned, played, consumed and exist simultaneously? Why must there be soooo much “tribalism.” We still haven’t learned from our past. We were divided on the continent of Africa into tribes (Yuroba, Mandinka, Songhai, Igbo, Hausa/Fulani, etc). The “Slave-trade” was supposed to bind up the divisions amongst us. On those boats we became one to deal with the common threat and experience. Today we don’t know what tribe we came from and rightfully so. We are suppose to be ONE people with many flavors!

khal: When you’re not making music and building your Intelligent Muzik foundation, what else do you get into? How does Wise Intelligent wind down?

Wise Intelligent: I’m a VERY family oriented man. My bride and my sons are my peace of mind, nothings more relaxing than time spent with them.

khal: Do you have any shout outs or words of wisdom to drop on the masses?

Wise Intelligent: Yes, The problem with the ghetto, the suburbs, the hood the government, the churches and everyone in the whole wide world is this; We all need to listen to MORE WISE INTELLIGENT, more INTELLIGENT MUZIK, MORE POOR RIGHTEOUS TEACHERS! So the INTELLIGENT thing to do would be to log onto
Intelligent Muzik and my MySpace page and cop that “Blessed Be the Poor?” The Un-MixTape.

Big up to Wise and his people for setting this interview up. If you still haven't gotten enough Wise Intelligent, peep this interview that noz put up on Cocaine Blunts. Peep those links, check out his work, and try to do your homework on true Hip-Hop knowledge, as well as true life knowledge. Be easy.

[rock the dub Interview]: Tha S Ence


I am presenting you with another interview that has been on hold, waiting for The Flow to rise from the ashes like the Phoenix... even though I highly doubt it going down. In any case, check out a budding producer from Philly, Tha S Ence. Now mind you, this was conducted in March of 2006, so some of the topics might seem to be a bit dated (speaking on the passing of J. Dilla, the Cam'ron barbs slung at Jay-Z, etc.), but I figure, this guy is a beautiful producer and still needs to get his shine on. Check out this piece and see for yourself...

With the current state of Hip-Hop, manufactured characters and watered down beats run rampant on TV and radio, diluting what true heads knew as “the essence”. Today, hailing from Philadelphia, we have Tha S Ence, a young producer who is studied in classic Hip-Hop knowledge, and ready to teach listeners through sound. Reworking samples into new compositions, all the while keeping that same raw energy, is just one of his strengths. A no nonsense attitude is another one of his gifts. Combine these, sprinkle in a love for both Buckshot and Jay Dee, and you have a recipe for Hip-Hop beauty. Check out this conversation about beats, rhymes and life.

khal: There are plenty of producers out there making beats. What is it about Tha S Ence that sets him apart from the rest of the crowd?

Tha S Ence: Mainly the sound, there’s so many producers out there making the same kind of stuff, especially all that radio crap, same keyboard sounds; it's so played out. Another thing is cats must have forgotten the art of sampling, because half of them aren’t doing it or it’s so sloppy, you can’t listen to it. Some cats just make whatever, constantly copying stuff they hear on the radio. I’m definitely not a carbon copy of another producer.

khal: I see you are reppin’ Philly. With such a rich musical history, including Hip-Hop legends like Jazzy Jeff and The Roots, has that had any influence on how you approach your craft?

Tha S Ence: In a way, yes but not just people from Philly, more like everyone that has ever made any dope music; be it jazz, “neo-soul", rock, anything really, but I really like the consistent stuff that has been coming out of Detroit. I try to broaden my music taste to listen to all types of Hip-Hop here and overseas stuff too but not just Hip-Hop. Most sample records I get are off the wall, something I would never listen to if I wasn’t making beats. I would have to say my biggest influence is J Dilla, (Rest in Power) hands down.

khal: True, now I noticed that you have a post on your MySpace page referencing the recent passing of Jay Dee. I am also a huge fan of his, and was wondering, if you had to describe what made J Dilla the illest in 5 of his tracks, which ones would they be and why?

Tha S Ence: Man, that’s a crazy question because Dilla made consistent material and A LOT of it, that’s a part of being ill to me. I got a bunch of beats tapes of all types of Dilla stuff that never came out or is just coming out now, I loved everything he did with Slum Village, ATCQ, Jaylib, Busta Rhymes….the list goes on and on but there’s no way I can list just 5.

khal: By the looks of your ill MPC ring, you obviously use that mighty tool for making beats. What else do you use?

Tha S Ence: I’m a minimalist; all I use is my MPC and a portable turntable. I record to my computer. I just try to use all the sounds I can get from that record. People forget, beats aren’t there to confuse you, or even the emcee on it. Only downfall to minimal setups is once your machine starts messing up, your whole operation goes down.

khal: Your sound is very epic, for example, you have some serious strings in “onslaught”. Do you try to evoke certain emotions while producing, or is it just about creating dope music?

Tha S Ence: Definitely, once you feel the original record, I sometimes try to bring out that same emotion in the beat, or flip it the other way, create dope music but changing a sad record to hype joint.

khal: How did you get involved with the MTP Beat Battle?

Tha S Ence: I saw a bunch of flyers and the website for the past ones. So I hit up the creator, for the event and he put me on luckily. I'm a new guy so I thought that would be the best way for people to hear my music. Check it out on

khal: Let’s say you are given unlimited resources to create your The Chronic, where you are the main producer and you have many MCs blessing your beats. Which MCs would you choose, and why?

Tha S Ence: My first pick would be Elzhi; that dude is a rhyming machine his lyrical patterns are crazy, just straight ill. Then Busta Rhymes; if you know Busta, you know he can rhyme on anything you throw at him. I would want A Tribe called Quest on a joint no doubt, that’s my favorite group of all time. Tip and Phife’s flows link together, makes the song even doper. I would really like to work with Buckshot, too: he's got crazy energy and I love how he enunciates his words… you know he’s dead serious when he says anything. Oh and how can I forget Little Brother; Phonte and Big Pooh got skills and are characters on every track they’ve been on. That would be the most eclectic album you would ever hear but I would stay with a theme throughout the whole album. Man I can’t forget [MF] DOOM, I just like the way he plays with words and comes at tracks totally different than any other rapper I’ve heard. On the real this is probably the hardest question I would ever have to answer because there’s a lot of dope emcees to narrow it down.

khal: You also speak on the recent barbs that Cam’Ron has thrown at Jay-Z. The phenomenon of rappers reusing other rappers rhymes does get kind of out of hand. Where do you think a rapper should draw the line?

Tha S Ence: I think when rappers use other peoples like to create their own style is where they need to stop. I understand if you give credit or props during the verse like – “As so and so says…” or something to that nature but your whole steelo was created from someone elses work…nah man that’s lame. Cam’Ron just showed people how even their favorite rapper jacks lines but no one notices because people don’t know the roots of this hip-hop music. Jay was getting his style from the old school cats and no one noticed.

khal: Have you had any MCs hit you up for your beats yet? How can someone get in touch with you to discuss a working relationship?

Tha S Ence: I’ve have a couple here and there but nothing has struck my interest so much, I'm working on a real website to get maximum exposure. Not too many emcees realize I put time and work into making these beats; I want to get paid for work I do, not just give beats away for free. You got to draw a line somewhere with cats and set them straight. If you would like to get in touch with me, you can email me @ or instant message me on [AIM screen name] Tha S Ence. I rather have you send me a link or something to figure out who I am dealing with.

khal: Where do you see your art going in the next couple of years? Also, what are you looking for with your craft, the glamour or the respect?

Tha S Ence: Next couple years I just hope to get even better at what I do, if I can make it a fulltime job, dope. And I want to start getting a mixtape together, and get on some distributed albums; I just want to make dope music If people love it, that’s cool, if not that’s cool too. I just want to live off of making beats, I'm not about the glam and I’m no where near close to getting Pharrell and Just Blaze money but I'm not doing this just for the money. I love Hip-Hop and I love making music.

You can get more information, including audio samples and more of his views on his MySpace page. If you are interested in getting beats from him, send any e-mail inquiries to We wish him much success and quality production for years to come. One.

the shuffle. [8/5/06]

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What a Saturday. I spent most of the early afternoon rocking to the Wu-Tang Forever album, which is slept on to this day. Can't hate on that shit, it was an event in my circle when that dropped. Classic, pull it out.

I went to my hometown (Trenton, NJ) to grab a bus pass and some other odds and ends. Saw an almost-fight between two mothers in Rite-Aid. Went to a hood clothing store, where they had ill L-R-G shirts, and also saw some "Everyday I'm Hustlin'" tees with Fred Flinstone & Barney Rubble rocking rings and iced out chains, but still wearing that fucking weird rag type wear on their person.

I also peeped that movie Saw earlier tonight, which I am still on the fence with. The ending was ill, with the dude lying in the pool of blood, but I'm tired of these movies that have everyone being connected on some convoluted bullshit. It only works in LOST because that whole island is nuts; movies like Crash, where the dude who felt up your wife is now the dude saving your wife's life? That shit is so over. And why the fuck did Danny Glover have to be in this? It must have been cred... he had no real point to prove in this flick. Wasted role, coulda gave that shit to me.

Oh and VH1 Soul has had an hour block of A Tribe Called Quest videos on all weekend. Fucking loved seeing "Hot Sex On A Platter" and the video of "Oh My God" tonight. Forgot how much that shit affected me as a young'in. As I told wifey, one of my best friends in elementary school was a kid who knew all the words to "Bonita Applebum" when it came out; how could I NOT be down with this kid?

Anyways, let's get it.

01/The LAPD has set up a task force to check out the specifics behind Biggie's murder. Doesn't sound like they want to help though; reading comments like "evidence discovered by the task force could help the city in its argument against the family's claims" makes me feel like this group is out to hurt, not help, BIG's family. Word to Voletta Wallace, I hope they find the shit they been hiding...

02/As if anyone really gave a fuck, Star, the radio jock who talked some raw about Envy's wife and seed, said he might not return to Hip-Hop radio. Apparently, this 42 year old jig wants to go to an alternative or rock station. Good luck, I doubt you'll do well. I know what it is though: he wants to be the black Howard Stern. It won't work with Hip-Hop, because niggas will come at you for what you say, whether they really rock like that or just have to do that to maintain their rep. Think on that...

03/Win a Grammy, get signed to Warner Brothers. Doesn't seem like a good look these days, Rap-wise, but Three 6 Mafia did it. The worst thing about this is, that crackhead ass Lil' Wyte fucker is going to be on a major. What kind of world is this? I guess everyone needs a white MC once they get corporate money. We'll see how far HMP goes...

04/Boy George is cleanin' up the hood. Well, his community service is to work with the sanitation department to clean up the NYC streets starting August 17th. Go throw some powder on his coke-head ass. He'll be somewhere in NY dirty C for 5 days. I wonder if anyone will be tracking dude?

05/This week has been shitty for ya girl Lindsay Lohan. My first thing is, this chick is 19 years old and her mom's is still out there speaking for her late-night ass? Word is that she has been missing work due to her party-hearty nights. The fucking CEO of the movie's production company was basically like "stop frontin'. You wanna party all night then claim some 'exhaustion' shit the next day. Grow up." I can understand why her moms bugged out, but Lindsay is an adult. She looks so silly and childish not handling this herself... then I heard she was on time the next couple of days. ROFL! Also, apparently the UK is not feeling Lindsay's new single. Who knew she had a new single out? I'm guessing she went there on some "my first CD didn't do shit in the US, lemme pop off in Europe" shit, but it blew up in her face, mainly b/c she wasn't doing any promo for it. How are you so unprofessional, yet she still gets mad loot for doing those movies? Must be the chest...

06/Neph from Brokeback Mountain (that title still makes me chuckle) is set to play the Joker in the next Batman movie, which is still being done by Christopher Nolan (holla!). People are tripping, and I actually saw someone ask why Jack Nicholson isn't being Joker? I won't even go into how fucking ridiculous that statement is, but yeah, we'll see how hot this next one is. Shit ain't set to come out until Summer 2008, though, so don't get too excited.

07/Lil' Kim is off house arrest, since the 3rd of August, apparently. BET has already signed on for another season of that "Countdown to Lockdown" reality dip they made. Name change, anyone? Oh well, it'll be good to see her assistants and cousins wyle out on each other for another season! BET does put out some insane reality shows. Anyone seen this week's Keyshia Cole shit? Her family was apparently arguing... over groceries. Thing is, these drunk chicks didn't even buy anything! Quality TV, no doubt.

08/50 Cent called it in the latest issue of XXL: The Game is officially signed to Geffen. He's still Interscope, but no longer on G-Unit or Aftermath. Curtis really stuck it to him. It's a bitch move to me: why wouldn't Dre stand up and keep Game just on Aftermath? I think the reason that didn't happen is because Game wanted to get his Black Wall Street shit moving, and Dre might not have wanted to handle another subsidiary label. 50 also barked that Dre has no work on Game's sophmore LP, but we'll see. I know one thing: Game is going to have to re-write a shitload of his tracks. The leaked "It's Okay (One Blood)", which I love, has Game calling himself the heir to the Aftermath throne... not anymore, butterfly boy. In other news from the good Doctor, he has a lawsuit out over some "Beats By Dre" headphones. Shit sounds kind of sketchy, but the company making the 'phones are being sheist. I guess Dre and big Iovine are ready to beat these nigs out of a mil... must be nice.

09/Newsflash: Michael Jackson don't pay nobody. This week, his lawyers quit his current case over unpaid bills. Ironic thing is, Mike is on trial for not paying niggas. Did they think this leopard changed his spots? And they let his debt rise to $48 mil? How come they didn't knock on his door at the $1 mil mark?

10/T.I. is doing a movie with Denzel and Russell Crowe. Was ATL that good? When do I get to make Hollywood money for skating?

11/Vanity Fair has lost his mind: Kanye West was included in their Top 10 Best Dressed List. Really? This dude? Are they asleep? I just don't get it. T.I. plays that role better than Kanye does. Hell, so do I...

12/Word to eskay, I told him: Luda is looking like Stephen A. Smith with that haircut.

13/Hip-Hop album info: Mos Def is getting his new album, True Magic, ready for a September release. Maybe he will keep it more Rap than Rock? Please? Can we get a proper version of "Beef"? MF Doom also let it be known that his highly anticipated collabo LP with Ghostface Killah, Swift + Changeable, won't drop until Feb. 2007. WTF?! Why so long? Oh well...

14/AOL is spending money to make money, and it might be dope for the millions of AOL and AIM users out there: e-mail, as well as some other features, will be free come September. The one thing I like is the addition of 5GB of space being given for free to anyone with an AOL or AIM account. Gotta love it! Get your AIM accounts now! We'll see what *if any* restrictions there will be, but places like Megaupload or YouSendIt might be out of here!

15/Live Free or Die Hard, aka Die Hard 4, is on the slab. No one wants to see Rambo 4, but this might be interesting. I like Bruce Willis, even though all of his best parts seem to be a recreation of John McClain, but so be it. Let him do his thing.

16/Janet Jackson has a new video with Nelly out, called "Call On Me". The track is not that bad -- not something I feel should be the lead single, but it's not bad. That video though? What kind of nonsense is this? Janet has a nice booty shot, but the outfits and computer graphics are fucking dumb. This track, to me, sounds like something that would have been better suited in a nice park, with some puppy love shit at a cookout. Not this futuristic, Japanese bullshit. My wife also pointed out Nelly's back-ne, which looks like, in her words, this nigga got some buckshot in his back. Bad move. But niggas is loving this! It's gotta be the ass shot.

17/Cockroach-ass Jermaine Dupri is going to play "DJ" at this year's AmsterJam, an all day event where diverse music groups perform together. He made true comments about "mash-up" culture being just blends, but come on. When I read that this nigga said the mixture of LL Cool J and Tego Calderon (essentially Hip-Hop and reggaton) is going to "be hard", I fell out. Try Tom Petty and Tego. Let's be serious, nig. When Snoop is on Daddy Yankee's latest single, you gotta know that MCs can do it over reggaeton beats. Be serious, nigga.

18/Rumor mill is going nuts over Jennifer Lopez dropping out of the Dallas movie. Me, I'm glad. Sort of. Fuck a Dallas, J.Lo. This is khal talking to you for a sec. Do another movie. Start a production company. Make one of those romantic comedies my wife loves you doing. Don't go that BS route. And show your butt more. You have it, let it be known. Don't be one of those bullimic Hollywood skeezers. Show your shit, ma. That's all.

19/You ever hit up Wikipedia? You know, the free, online encyclopedia that anyone can edit? Well, the owners want quality, not quantity. Who really believes EVERYTHING on Wikipedia anyways? Bol spoke on a funny piece that Stephen Colbert had about editing Wikipedia entires... peep game. So really, don't wiki drunk. Or don't wiki without knowledge. Word.

20/The Sony PS3 is already in production, says Sony anyways. Can they just make this monster cheaper? I got a baby on the way who is going to want one in the near future -- do I need to sell my kidney for this bitch?

OK so really, that's all I got for this week. The rest of the news was either in the Middle East or about people dying from the heatwave. We're all here, living and loving. Oh and big up to Rafi and the Oh Word crew for a great "Crack Week". Get all the crack-related posts here. Gotta love it.

Be good, and we'll meet, same time, same station... one.

Friday, August 4th 2006 playlist

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I didn't touch my home computer at all last night, so I apologize for this post coming on a Saturday as opposed to my usual Friday, but whatever. 2 for 1 day today! This week, it was too hot, so I didn't spend too much time focusing on new music for delf... but I do have a top10, mixed with some DnB, Rap and R&B. Shouts to LeToya grabbing that #1 spot. Destiny's what?

01/Redeyes "Pusherman" [bingo beats] (been waiting for this monster to drop for the longest!)
02/LeToya "So Special" (that beat is nice. the repetitive piano thing, lovin' it!)
03/The Game "It's Okay (One Blood)" (getting dropped from the 'Math must suck. more on that tonight...)
04/DMX ft. Styles P & Jadakiss "It's Personal" (RR is in the buildin'! hard beat, hard rhymes... peep that X LP.)
05/Marcus Intalex "Red 7" [soul:r] (best tune off his new EP. acid sounds alive!)
06/Dub One "Gwarn Amen" [renegade] (taken from the 'New Horizons' LP... review coming soon!)
07/Cory Gunz ft. Lil' Wayne "I Gotcha" (been digging this, finally got the full version... Just Blaze is sick for that one. big beat, loving those sleepy horns.)
08/Noisia & Black Sun Empire "Winter War" [black sun empire] (nasty tech business from 2 of the scene's finest right now.)
09/Logistics "Everything Is Illuminated" [hospital] (my favorite Logistics track of 2006, aside from "Krusty Bass Rinser". beautiful, simply lush.)
10/Clipse ft. Re-Up Gang & Roscoe P. Coldchain "Ain't Cha" (taken from the Step Up OST, we get to hear the brothers and their brothers do what they do best: Crack Rap coastin' over Neptunes production. Holla.)
11/DJ Shadow ft. David Banner "Seein' Thangs" (best track on The Outsider.)

No disputes about that list at all. Wanna hear these? Holla at the kid. Oh and shouts to Detuned Radio; they celebrated their 3 year anniversary last night on Jungletrain Radio last night. esb and Union normally drop their brand of DnB Fridays, 5PM to 8PM EST. Peep them out, join the chat, and get it crackin'.

DMX = Wesley Willis?

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Hello world. In watching DMX's reality show on BET (who'dathunkit?!), I realized something: this nigga is as beligerent as Wesley Willis (RIP) when he's speaking. Not when he's rhyming, but if you listen to the beginning talking on his single "Lord Give Me A Sign", he just has that weird, ridiculous chatter that sounds like Wesley's "singing".

Peep this gem from the premiere episode, where X rejoices over the fucking donuts.

Peep the look on neph's face when he bites that donut!

Now check Wesley's "Alanis Morissette" video:

Coincidence? I think not!

human being

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So we're getting close... I mean shit, it's like week 35 almost. The goal line is 40 weeks, but at this point if lil' man was to want out right now, he'd be straight.

Having a kid feels like it's going to be the best thing out there for me. I mean, not to say that I wouldn't have made something of myself or done anything without having a seed, but this feels so good, it's hard to think bad on the situation -- aside from the pain/frustration/pregnancy my wife is currently going through (she's my rock... such a strong woman, even if she doesn't realize it).

I think the big thing about me knowing that I am actually helping bring life to this insane world is the fact that it gives me more to live for. About 5, 6 years ago, I was truly destined to just live life as some hobbit, staring into a Heineken bottle, smoking Newports, and just making nothing of my life. Since then, however, I found out what truly matters: love, family, and just being. Not being mad, or being frustrated, or being a dick, but just being. Common told us to just BE, but things these days make it hard. Niggas in Trenton, and all over the state, are declaring war on each other and everyone else, and my mortality comes into play. If I die tonight, I have no doubt that while it may cause much tragedy, my unborn would be well taken care of and grow up right. It just wouldn't be right. He'd have that just missing piece out there, which may or may not turn the tide in his life, but who knows how far my lil' monster can go with my weird teachings? I'd rather be here and be prominent in his life than be out of here and him have an empty void to deal with.

I know we are all predestined to perish: we're humans who start to die once we are born (think on that one), but it's weird to truly sit back and be like "Damn, what is going to happen when I'm dead and gone?", you feel me? I just know that I've tried to do as right as I could, and I didn't always succeed, but I just hope I can do right for my boy. I am a flawed human being, but I'm just that... a human, being.

Get [rock the dub] delivered to you!

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I know some of you guys like reading my blog but don't like having to always check the site for updates. In this day and age, blogging is available via RSS, XML, and other fancy acronyms and stuff. Thing is, most people mainly use their e-mail as the end all/be all for all of their needs. Realizing this, I figured I'd add the option to have you readers subscribe to my feed. Basically, you'll get an e-mail letting you know there are new posts up there. If there is no new post, there is no e-mail. This doesn't cost a thing, and it only takes a minute to fill out the little form and subscribe. Just follow the instructions --- click the link, add your email and the verification code, then click the link in the email you will receive, which confirms your subscription. You can un-subscribe anytime, I won't cry. I'm just trying to offer other ways to get my posts.

That's it. There is also a link on the main page, under my "Diversions" section... add your e-mail, reply to the confirmation e-mail, and you're good.

If you have any questions, hit me up.