Archive for 12/01/2006 - 01/01/2007

I thought I had it all wrong

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I figured my job hunting skills were somehow lacking. I've been on the hunt for the better part of 2+ months, and still have yet to have a solid lead.

To reinvigorate myself, my wife and I decided to have my 4 month old start going back to his grandmother's during the AM, so I can concentrate and get my grind on. I have an interview tomorrow that I am kind of iffy on, and I went to a job fair today. At Rider University, no less.

Now, the first thing that threw me off was not the facility or the people running this thing, but the people attending. I took the NJ Transit 606 line, which had me riding for 40 minutes on a nice and toasty bus. When I hit the button for Rider, I saw like 6 or so heads stand up with me. I'm like, OK the two older heads (man and woman) are probably going to this fair as well, but I'm guessing the dude in the fatigues with the dreads and the guy with the basketball jersey were going to class or something. Yeah, no, they were attending this function as well! Now, I don't own a three-piece suit, but I had my nice white shirt, khaki pants and a smooth tie to boot. Even got props from this Army nigga who was surprised that the other coons came so underdressed.

In any case, anytime your local pop radio station is running a "win a prize pack" booth at a job fair, something might be off. I took the first seminar, which started before the official gotime of this fair. It was on "Job Searching via the Internet". What did I learn? That not only is a dope resource, but you can put your resume on it, and have search agents email you new jobs! I mean, no disrespect to those who aren't versed in Internet job searching, but I've been doing this for the better part of 5 years now. I got that down pat.

So after this bit finishes, I went into the main room and looked around. The one thing about this fair that I thought was odd is that they seemed to be giving away more free shit (more on that later) than giving away jobs. Most of them would take your resume, but not discuss new job leads. I got a lot of "check the website" remarks, which seemed to be the phrase of the day. I know that job applications and such have gone online, but what's the point of you setting up a table at a job fair to tell me about this?

At the end of my time (about 2 hours into this thing), I cut out. I got some good leads, will be getting some calls back, and figured I might as well go catch the bus at a reasonable hour. I happen upon this 19 y/o kid with rolled up Marlboro Menthol Lights (he packed and rolled up the ends before placing them in this ratty Winston container, a job that takes too much effort), going through a bag of schwag from this event: this punk grabbed everything from Walgreen's-logo playing cards, a pen/flashlight set from AAA Financial (which he got for filling out a credit card app), a faux-leather money pouch, 2 circular mint tins (with mints) and a host of other nonsensical items. He got no leads, no cards from prospective employers, I don't think he even spoke to a single person about a job. I mean, let him play his own game, but it's a slap in the face to guys like me, who are trying to feed his family and find a quality job, and you have kids like him, milking the system, flashing his fucking Family First card to these toothless assholes who cracked up at every ridiculous piece of bullshit this kid pulled out of his Weidel Realtors bag.

To say the least, I am tired of ignorant people clouding up the job circuit. I saw an article yesterday about employers hiring more people in Dec. 2006. I wonder where they are...

The Main Event.

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Shouts to NahRight for this one. I'm diggin' this deHop shit: fresh MCs, fresh producers, making fresh Hip-Hop LIVE. Damn shame nothing like this goes down on the reg in the US. Someone needs to hook this up.

NewTV [1/08/07]

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One of the things I love about the first month of any new year is new TV. You start to get info and hit with a bunch of new programs. Some are kind of dope, some are kind of shit.

That's where I come in.

I'm going to hit you with a list, some trailers, and other random bits of info from some of my pics of the hottest shows dropping now.

01/Afro Samurai: you gotta love black anime. The Boondocks opened doors stylistically with the production techniques, giving their show a bit more of a beautiful edge with the choice of doing a more anime-style of show than the normal, blockhead bullshit you see on TV. Afro Samurai is legit, has music done by The RZA (soundtrack in stores Jan. 16th, I believe), and has characters voiced by Samuel L. Jackson and Ron Pearlman. The story is interesting, but also gives way for loads of innovation and dope characters. Check out the trailer HERE. Thursdays, Spike TV, 11PM.

02/The (white) Rapper Show. VH1 and egotrip link up again, following their last, impressive TV outings, to bring a reality competition that has MC Serch and many other Hip-Hop notables on the hunt for the next great white hope (hype?). The bits that have hit the 'Net have been true to egotrip's flair for mixing humor and race relations, as well as VH1's "Celebreality" nastiness. It premieres tonight at 10:30PM on VH1, so set your reminders (or DVRs) and get familiar.

03/American Idol. This show premieres on Fox on the 16th of Jan. I really only added this because those first few weeks, with the auditions, are some of the best bits of TV out there. Once that final group is selected, I will be picking someone to win, and we will have a running poll on this blog about it. You gotta love people getting their dreams crushed on national TV - it's as American as keylime pie.

04/LOST. Best show on TV right now? Well, with no new episodes of The Wire or The Sopranos on right now, yes. It will be back on Feb 7th, airing at 10PM (so as to not get rinsed by American Idol), but will keep it's intensity. TV Guide reported that we should expect some flashbacks with Desmond, Hurley and Claire, as well as some insight into the oddball-"Other", Juliet. Hopefully we will find out her motivation behind offing Ben, and if her and Jack will link up, now that Jack saw Kate & Sawyer bumping uglies. BTW, who do you think is going to die first, Kate or Sawyer? You know how it goes - once you bump, you get bumped. Word to Ana Lucia. Get ready for that 16 new episode run, too. Quit your bellyaching and GET LOST. Oh, big up to American Express... these "LOST moments" were initially made available only to card-holding members, but I guess since Day Break got cancelled, they are letting these sneak peeks be available for all to see! Check it out HERE, and expect more LOST recaps from me in the '07.

05/The Sopranos. The last bit of season 6 is set to commense on April 8th, 9PM on HBO. TV Guide (gotta love 'em) dropped some nuggets of info on the tailend of this spectacular series: we will be hit with more junkie Christopher shit, including his affair with Julianna. Big Tony will not only be making some major breakthrough with Dr. Melfi, but his relationship with Carmela is going to go through the ringer one more time. Other than that, I have no new info. I have been watching old episodes on DVD and HBO On Demand, and I suggest you do too. I'm waiting for season 5 to come On Demand, so I can see Adrianna get got. Damn shame. Great show, though. I'm right at the end of season 4, ready to see Carm and Tony go at it, her performance in "White Caps" was stellar.

That's all the TV news I have for now. You got any bits you'd like to hit me with? Let me know.

Manny Faces presents The Soul of a Man

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If you are into Soul & R&B, you need this mixtape in your life. Especially because this jawn is FREE!

This cat goes by the name of Manny Faces, and I had been hearing his name around the 'Net for his remixes. If you peep his MySpace page, check that Cassie rmx he did - fire. This mixtape is pretty simple. To put it in it's simplest form, this is the mixtape you need for those Teddy Pendergrass/Luther Vandross slow jams. Manny lets the tracks breathe - no nonsensical shouting or website URLs thrown over the tracks, just two of R&B's finest letting you know what you need to do with your shortie in the bedroom. Peep the tracklisting:
01. TP - One In A Million You.mp3
02. LV - Going In Circles.mp3
03. TP - I Can't Live Without Your Love.mp3
04. LV - A House Is Not A Home.mp3
05. TP - Turn Off The Lights.mp3
06. LV - If Only For One Night.mp3
07. TP - Come Go With Me.mp3
08. LV - Here And Now.mp3
09. TP feat. Stephanie Mills - Feel The Fire.mp3
10. LV feat. Cheryl Lynn - If This World Were Mine.mp3
11. TP - Interview Clip (
12. TP - Let Me Love You.mp3
13. LV - Interview Clip (CNN).mp3
14. LV - Superstar/Until You Come Back To Me.mp3
15. TP - Close The Door (Live).mp3
16. LV - Never Too Much (Live).mp3

You're getting live bits, interviews, and a load of classic R&B (Luther's "Here And Now" is a big one, and my daughter loves her some "Close The Door" and "Turn Off The Lights"). And as an added bonus, you get some extra mp3s, which include the aforementioned Cassie "Me & You" rmx Manny did, a "New York Shit" rmx (mashed up with some Frank Sinatra), the Lupe Fiasco "Daydreamin'" rmx that I believe I initially heard his name from, and a super dope Mary J Blige "Be Without You" blend, some classic sounds in that one. Some real lover-man shit.

In closing, just grab this one. Manny is doing it big, and mixtapes/remixes like this show it. Keep pushin', boss!

related links:
Manny Faces' offical website

the shuffle. [1/06/06]

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No typical shuffle this week. I spent a good hour+ just now typing out about last week, and then good ol IE7 putzed out on me for no good. Reason that is.

All I can say is there's a bunch of putzes out there, especially Lupe Fiasco. If he truly thinks making his album 3 weeks before it gets released will stop the bootleggers, he needs to go fully into clothing design and leave the game.

Oh, and who else is excited about JJ Abrams' on HBO!?

Also take a few other points of interest: "Black Ty" punches out his preggo girlfriend; digital downloads spike 65% in 2006; Chief Justice Roberts is bitching and moaning about six figure judge salaries being too low; the sons of the late Lou Rawls & Marvin Gaye are battling over a dog; and finally, you pervs posting up sex romps of Brazilian bombshells are costing YouTube money.

There is one point I do want to make though: there has been a big uproar about these parents who surgically stunted their daughter's growth due to her disability. I ask any of you know-it-alls out there who are upset over this: do you have a child that is disabled? I mean, this girl was on track to being infant-like at 5 feet 6 inches tall. I have an autistic daughter who will be 17 y/o next month -- and is at least 5'6", if not taller. I thank the Lord I don't have to carry her around like a little child. That would put so much strain on my life, and while I am the #1 Dad out this bitch, I need to have my own life. Having kids does not mean your life ends -- it means you life gets better. And to be honest, who else is going to take care of their daughter? If their kid will not know the difference anyways, so be it. Let the family be, and get off of their case. I totally understand and back their decision.

Sorry, faithful shuffle readers... I just can't be arsed to go back and retype what I already wrote. Venom isn't as potent the 2nd time around. I will make this coming Saturday's shuffle xtra special though.


shuffle delay

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not a good way to start out 2k7, but being that I am the #1 Dad, I haven't finished it as of yet. It will be up by this time Monday night... holla.

Friday, Jan. 5th 2007 playlist

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The first playlist of 2007... you gotta love it. New music seems to come flying out of the woodworks come the beginning of every year. Is it that labels like dropping goody goodness to start the year off fresh? Who knows, but it seems as though some of my anthems drop at the beginning of each year... in any case, get familiar with these artists:

01/Fracture & Neptune "Wrong Think" [great way for Bassbin to start out 2007. Some Ed+Op stylings on this one, best shit I've heard in a while!]
02/Ewun "Screw Up" [gotta love Biggie samples mashed up. This EP is stellar, big up to the Lifted Music crew.]
03/Fanu "Garmonbozia" [this track twists on you... goes from subtle and light to fucking HEAVY! Lightless is going to do some big things if it keeps it up!]
04/Amit & Klute "Kunt Kicker" [great title from a great track from 2 great producers... dubby masterpiece.]
05/Man Vs. Grizzly "Broccoli" [bigup the TrackDonalds crew... more info on that label here.]
06/Talib Kweli & Madlib "Over The Counter" [more info on this FREE album here.]
07/Hell Razah, Talib Kweli & Viktor Vaughn "Project Jazz" [slick classic sounding beats with some nice rhymes... Doom really shines at the end.]
08/Sean Price ft. Rock "P Body" [Sean P is the brokest rapper you know, but he's also the best out there right now.]
09/The RZA ft. Q-Tip & Free Murder "Jus A Lil Dude (Who's That?)" [I watched a bit of the Afro Samurai show last night... dope shit, seriously. This track grows on you...]
10/Lord Finesse ft. Grand Puba "Real Talk" [nice to see two vets still be able to get down on a track. One of the nicest collabos I've heard in a bit.]

You like that, right?
Want a video? Peep this week's pick:

Photek "Ni-Ten-Ichi-Ryu"

Classic DNB. Gotta know where you been...

Until next time.

[rock the dub Interview]: Knick


This is rock the dub's first interview of 2007, and round 2 of my Evol Intent interviews (check out my piece with The Enemy... Gigantor, I'm coming for you next!). In this installment, we continue on, delving a bit deeper into the triumverate of the EI crew. Knick has been on the grind for some time, and has risen through the ranks with Evol Intent to become one of the premier production outfits in the current DnB scene. From dark, techstep nastiness to the now prominent 'glitch'-y madness that many fans have come to love and fear, Knick has helped shape heavy, dark DnB in this day and age. Standing on the cusp of both the first EP and first album for their Evol Intent label, Knick is managing to fufill his DnB destiny, all the while creating exciting music with a few side projects, inside and outside of the DnB world. The funny thing is, he does it all on a cool, calm and collected tip. I seriously think, if I lived down in the A, Knick and I'd be chatting it up every day or so over shots of clear alcohol and bouts of whatever game was new on the 360. In any case, peep our conversation, covering what was, what is, what is going to be, and some other fine points in between...

khal: EZ Knick. These days, Evol Intent is seen as one of the groups to watch, making any release you are featured on “buy on sight”. There must have been days when you guys weren’t getting as much shine, however. Do you ever sit back and think on how quickly you guys have gotten cred, and is there anything you’d like to change about that progression?

Knick: There are most definitely times when I sit back and think about how far we’ve come. Right before my set the other night at a New Year's Eve gig in Los Angeles, I was looking out in to the audience and all I could see was an ocean of bodies. For as far as I could even see, it was all hands in the air and people screaming. It's hard to describe how good that felt. Thinking back to when we were playing 5-6 am slots for 2 people or driving over a thousand miles to play a gig for no money, it really hits home sometimes. We feel like we stuck it out, paid our dues and now, as a result, we have something truly special to share with the world.

khal: For a moment, take us back to where this all started. How did you go from some dude who digs music to fucking around with your own beats to now co-heading a label and getting your tracks signed to some of the premier labels in our scene?

Knick: Well, I was always more than just “some dude that just digs music.” ;) I picked up a guitar when I was about ten years old and taught myself how to play. Also, before Drum and Bass, I played in numerous bands that were mostly on the punk side of the musical spectrum. I played drums in high school as well and I’ve been playing them on and off ever since, after a brief hiatus when I started DJ’ing. As far as Drum and Bass production and DJ’ing in general, I started both because I moved to a new city where I didn’t know anybody. I found myself starving for some sort of creative outlet and as cliché as it sounds, I went to a rave and heard some Drum and Bass. It matched the intensity level of the punk and hardcore stuff I was into before that, so it felt natural. I didn’t have to push it and things just sort of clicked together really easily for me.

khal: To satisfy the beast, I want to get through some of this Evol Intent info that has been surfacing. I know over at Lifted Music, you dropped info on a new EP from the one like Ewun. Can you shed any more light on this one – how soon we might be able to hear tracks from this, what we should expect from it, and why you guys chose to give the first EP on EI to Ewun?

Knick: Well, honestly Jake has become one of my best friends over the last few years and he’s a great friend to Evol Intent in general. If drum and bass were to end tomorrow, we would all still be great friends, and that alone gives me a lot of faith in him as a person and how I know his personality is as an artist. Jake puts so much of himself into his tunes and honestly, it keeps us inspired. We love working with him in any capacity so when it came time for him to do an EP, we offered to release it and give him complete artistic control over every aspect of the release. I can definitely tell you that he will show his diversity with this release, and you can expect some seriously forward thinking ideas. Not just with the music, but with the artwork and possibly video and visual aspects to coincide with the release. And on a slightly related note… shit, I don’t even feel comfortable bringing this up right now, but I feel like it should be addressed. Over the last few years, a lot of people have pigeon holed Jake as being an Evol Intent clone or something, and this could not be any further from the truth. Jake's style is in a league of its own. I think people just tend to draw comparisons because we were the first ones to really start working with him, and we took him in and treated him as our equal, instead of trying to mold an artist like so many labels do these days. What we saw in Jake was a true artist who had the potential to do some great things musically, and we wanted to be a part of that, just as much as he wanted to be a part of what we were doing. My point of saying all of this is not to big him up, but to shed some light on where he is as an artist and what he means to our label. Stop with the comparisons!

khal: As stated in that post, the Evol Intent long player is also on the list of “things to do in 2007”. How is that collection shaping up? We spoke of some special non-DnB collabos that you have on there, are you able to speak to the masses about this or what? Give us more info!

Knick: YES! Our first LP is almost complete. We’re just tying up the loose ends and making sure everything is in its right place. You can expect an eight-song vinyl pack with a CD to go along with it. The vinyl will mainly be Drum and Bass, with 2 remixes, 2 collaborations and four original tracks. We’re aiming to make every song stand out in its own way, so hopefully we’ve been successful with it so far. There are some straight forward rollers, some glitched out amen madness, dirty tech step beats and some vocal tunes as well. For the CD version, we’re aiming to flex our boundaries a little bit by delving in to some new genres. So far we’re mostly interested in integrating some live instruments into the mix as well as doing some IDM, breakbeat and downtempo songs. If you can’t tell, we’re starting to move towards seeking cross-over potential. Which should be a good thing.

khal: You guys have also been featured on one of the most anticipated EPs of 2006, the #1 release on Lifted Music. I’ve spoke to quite a few people who have given “Glock Party” nothing but praise. Do you feel as though this track is any more special than your others? Do you have anything dropping for Lifted in the future that you can speak on?

Knick: I love :Glock Party". It’s stripped down, danceable and fun, but still retains that dark and gritty vibe that keeps me drawn to Drum and Bass. Honestly, I’m really proud of that tune and I couldn’t be happier that it was part of the first Lifted release. I really believe in Lifted. We’re all great friends and we all share the same vision. We will most definitely be doing more music for Lifted, but there’s nothing concrete yet. Everyone in the crew understands that we have to finish our LP and tour to support it before we can start any other projects, but now that all of that is shaping up, it shouldn’t be too long before we’re back at it.

khal: Many may not know, but Mayhem and yourself have a side project going on, as described on your MySpace page as a “Breakbeat / Crunk / Experimental” outfit that goes by the name Hostage. You have some things going on with that collabo, no? Please let the people know what is going on with that project and where you plan on taking it in the future.

Knick: I started dabbling in breaks a few years ago. I did a few tunes here and there and I had a few solo releases drop, but nothing too serious. Then I started going under the name Hostage and had a release come out that apparently got some attention. I’ll be honest, I don’t really listen to breaks at all and I felt like it would be a shame to let any potential for a decent project to go to waste. So rather than beat myself up over it I figured that I would ask someone else to join Hostage and turn it into a collaborative effort. The first person I could even think of was Anthony. We’re great friends and I really enjoy working with him (see “Broken Sword” and “Assimilation”). He’s such a talented producer and I know he likes to vibe off other people in the studio, so when we got together to do some breaks, we clicked really well. The tunes came easily and now we’ve got a nice little arsenal of songs building up. We have plans to launch our own label to push our own music in the near future and we’ve also developed a live show. We’ve only played 1 gig so far, but it went great. Ableton live, a mixing desk, a CDJ and some extra gear for fun. If anything, the project is a great opportunity for us to try something different.

khal: You also have a project with Ewun dubbed “Minus Music”, right? What’s the motivation behind that, and do you have any serious plans for that outfit?

Knick: We have some very serious plans for this actually. I’m really excited about Minus Music. First of all, It is really nice to work one on one with Jake because as I stated before, we just click well musically. At first we wanted to just make downtempo beats with a weird twisted edge, but it has already evolved into something so much bigger than that. Right now, we’ve got about 8 songs in their final stages and I am in love with all of them. We have some songs that are slow and moody, but then some that are a bit more upbeat. I’ve been putting my guitar to use a lot with this stuff, and we have been creating a lot of our own samples by recording strange noises in our studios. Also, lately I have been picking up some random and exotic instruments which has been a lot of fun. My studio space right now is littered with guitars, dulcimers, pianos, thumb pianos, finger-board synthesizers, strange hammer driven stringed devices and I could keep going. These are the tools that we’re using right now and we’re really creating some exciting music I think. And you can all expect to hear my singing voice finally. I know you’ve all been waiting patiently. :P

khal: We spoke a few months back about the DnB scene as it is right now, with a load of producers coming out the woodworks who are just fans of the music; cats who draw their inspiration from other DnB artists, as opposed to old schoolers, who created jungle based on their love of other musical genres. Do you think DnB will ever shift out of this whole of regurgitation, and if it does not, do you see DnB declining because of it?

Knick: I have to be careful about how I respond to the last part of your question. Drum and Bass is thriving in many areas of the world, but it is most definitely falling off in other areas. Now, as long as the music exists, there will always be new blood getting into the scene and there will always be a crop of new producers popping up. We obviously embrace that. We sign new artists to Evol Intent Recordings all the time. I sometimes worry that there are too many producers out there just copying someone else’s style though, you’re right. It’s a shame, but everyone has to start somewhere I suppose. But, it also all depends on your definition of old school. For someone who is just now getting into Drum and Bass, they might look at 1997 era tech step as old school, but it’s not. It was just a great time period for Drum and Bass. And even then, that’s just one guy’s opinion. Did I skate around that topic sufficiently?

khal: Now, even though some might see DnB on a sharp decline, we both know there are some hot releases always coming out, or about to come out. Since 2006 just ended not too long ago, what were some of your favorite releases of 2006? Who do you see becoming bigger names in 2007?

Knick: My favorite tunes this year were by people like Spor, Ewun, Unknown Error, Noisia, Mayhem and people making sounds similar to these guys. Mayhem has already made a mark on the scene with his solo work and his collaborations with Noisia, but I think he’s really going to break out in 2007. He deserves it too. He works harder at this Drum and Bass thing than anyone I know. I’d also watch out for Infiltrata, Demo, Gein, Audio and this new guy Spektrum, he’s making some really sick beats.

khal: Now, seeing as though I have the right member of EI in an interview, I have to ask you about LOST, the show that has probably encompassed your psyche like it has mine since it first premiered. Many fans have their own ideas about what the hell is going on that island, and I’m interested in knowing what exactly do you think is going on there?

Knick: It’s hard for me to decide on a theory honestly. While the show has been on hiatus, I kind of let go of the obsession, but I’m sure it will return in February when the show comes back on the air. If anything, I think the show mainly is touching on the contrast of light and dark, you know, good and evil….. and a bit of fate thrown in for good measure. The show really is captivating though. The writing staff are so great at throwing curveballs at you or throwing a wrench in your theories. It keeps me hooked, that’s for sure.

khal: Aside from music and LOST, how do you unwind?

Knick: Music is the only thing I have found that truly relaxes me and calms me down these days. I tend to listen to an obscene amount of Radiohead, and lately the Thom Yorke solo record (AMAZING.) I also play my X Box 360 a good bit when I have nothing else to do. Friends are always a good remedy for me. I take pride in knowing I have such a great group of friends that have been there for me non stop the last few years. I tend to hang out with my buddies a lot.

khal: I know it’s hard to think about what’s going to go on after these next releases and projects finally come to fruition, but what do you have planned for the rest of 2007? Should we not even consider hearing product from you, or do you have any concrete ideas of where you will be by the end of ’07?

Knick: Well, if you mean me personally, then I can say that you can expect to hear me making a lot of noise about this Minus Music project with Ewun. But on top of that, Aj (The Enemy) and I started up a band. We’re still looking for a singer, but the music is great. It’s hard to describe, but I’d say it’s a bit of a cross between Cursive, Fugazi and maybe even a little Radiohead (sorry Aj!). Anyhow, the plan is to get a singer and record our first EP, so you can expect to see something come of that soon, hopefully. We’ve been going by the name “Jes Jou” pronounced “yes you.” As far as Evol Intent is concerned, we’re just taking it one project at a time. We’re going to continue to push the label as hard as possible as well as hopefully starting work on a full cross over album to follow up the one we’re working on now.

khal: I’d like to say thanks for the opportunity, and if you have any shout outs, or any plugs, please drop them now!

Knick: I want to thank you for doing the interview. It’s always a pleasure shooting the shit with you, khal. Also, If anything I’d just like to say thanks to all of my friends and family… my Evol Intent homies, Ewun, Mayhem, Dieselboy, Spor, Chris Renegade and the rest of the Lifted camp, 404audio, DOA and all the myspacers.. holla at me.


related links:

Wednesday's Video Picks

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My boy Nappy hipped me to both of these... and I went from being completely disgusted to completely disturbed. Check me out...

"Chicken Noodle Soup" done by the Kidz Bop bastards

And I thought the original video was terrible... this is just repulsive. Mass marketing ignorance, and the look on that white fucker's face... *sigh*

Pharoahe Monch's "When The Gun Draws"

Monch is always good at tracks like this. Very disturbing video, but it works well.

Now back to your regularly scheduled internet wanderings...

OhWord needs your beats

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check this out.

strictly hip-hop inquiries. holla at Rafi. he's a good dude, and i know for a fact that this dis is going to be laid down by a hot spitter.

send him your finest, and tell him khal sent you!

Jay Eff Kay recaps 2006

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I got passed this 2006 Year In Review mp3 by this MC I've never heard of by the name of Jay Eff Kay. It's not my normal Hip-Hop thing, but it's kind of hot. It actually reminds me of my weekly editions of the shuffle, which is nice. By checking dude's MySpace page out, it looks like this New Yorker went from Wall Street to crafting some anthems with a poison tongue, which is always nice. Sort of how Eminem came out, honestly, but speaking about the world, and actually saying something. And the fact that he calls Lupe Fiasco "Urkel" is enough for me. I give him major props for that one. I also like how he isn't trying to be something he isn't... you can tell dude is just a white guy speaking his mind, however raunchy or political or real his feelings are, and you have to respect that at the end of the day.

You can check out homeboy's works over at the aforementioned MySpace page... and peep his blog as well. Looks like we might be hearing more about neph in the new year?

Kwelib get Liberated

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There's a pretty hot CD available for FREE download right now, featuring the vocal talents of Talib Kweli over the production of blunted scientist Madlib. You gotta love free music. And you gotta love these two linking up. Even though Kweli assures us that Eardrum will not sound like this at all (is that bad or good?), I will take this any day of the week. You've already heard "Funny Money" if you have an ear to the blog scene, and this is more of that. Dusty samples, Kweli blowing... just listen, really. Nice way to start out 2k7. "Time is Right" is getting nuff burn right now, while "Over The Counter" has some new school boom bap to it. Don't sleep on this. It also features Strong Arm Steady (yay!) and Consequence (yawn), but at 9 tracks, it feels more like an EP than an album, but hey, free is free.

Rappcatts dload page... Kweli's MySpace... 'Lib's MySpace... Burn it to CDR, spread this p2p, blog about it, and let them corporate fucks know that Hip-Hop is hear. We need more of this!

Last Donut of The Year.

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Just some videos to play 'round midnight tonight...

DJ Shadow "Midnight In A Perfect World"

sidenote: DJ Shadow "Midnight In A Perfect World (Gab Mix)": peep Gift of Gab's poetics on that one. Enjoy.

DJ Craze LIVE at the DMC 2006 in London, UK

gotta love his skratch technique. TEKDBZ STAND UP!

MTV Base "About To Blow" Documentary about Dubstep

just because.

Classic James Brown medley from Soul Train

RIP to the Godfather.

Eminem & Proof freestyling for some old MTV show

RIP Proof, where's Shady at?

J Dilla "Nothing Like This"

RIP to the master beatmaker. BTW, sneak attack!

Remember. Reminisce. Realize. Recreate.

2007 - we're ready.

Peace and love.

Outa 2k6, Inta 2k7

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So I'm up at like 6AM this morning or so, mainly because lil' man has this habit of not being able to get back to sleep without being in his parent's bed. I decided to take the couch, and have wifey cuddle with the lil guy. I went downstairs, and although I was tired as hell, I turned on the TV and flipped to HBO, where Wayne's World was just starting. During the "Bohemian Rhapsody" bit, I noticed that dude in the back is fucking Tobias Beecher, the new-age Job in OZ, one of the 3 greatest HBO dramas of all time. How in 5 years he went from random head-banger in a few SNL spin-off flicks to a man who got ass-raped and had a swastika tatt'd on his asscheek in the first episode of a prison drama is beyond me, but it made me realize something... in 5 years, you can do anything.

Almost five years ago, I was just getting into the "living-together" situation with my now-wife. We were pretty much destined to live the rest of our lives together, and we both know that it is for the best. The thing is, if you had told me a year before then that I'd be living with an older woman and becoming a father to her 2 daughters, I'd call you a crazy man. Strange how life changes, no? Now, I am almost 2 years married, we added a third (and final?) seed to our plant, and I am on the course to being a decent human being. No more wildness, no more smoking (the occasional cigar or cigarillo is never out of the question), and just all around homebody. Do I regret anything? No, for if I changed one thing, I wouldn't be the me I am right now, and I kind of dig myself. Do I think I could be doing better? Surely...

Why do I bring all of this up, you might ask? Well, I have to get these things down somewhere. I know many of you out there are, like me, stuck in ruts, whether it's creatively, job-wise, or just life in general. You have things you are thinking of doing, or want to do, but either don't have the balls or the means to get it done. Well, shit, I also figured that, when this magazine The Flow I was writing for went under, I would have nowhere to get my writing out. I finally decided to do what I should have done years ago, and started this blog. Now, look at me... I have a running resume of my works, and have conducted interviews with some pretty ill figures in the music scene. Can I do better? Surely... I should be buying some webspace and making this bigger, but right now, I like where I'm at. I have enough freedom where I have no regrets, but not enough stress where I want to end this at all. All deadlines are self-imposed, and not corporate, so I can keep my cool and not bug out if something is late. I'd love to do this professionally, but I'm not sure of the right outlet for a writer like me - I am not conventional in any sense of the word, and it's hard to get good pay for blogging just anywhere. We'll see.

In any case, I just want to say, you guys have the power to be anything. Don't look at life in some fixed scope of time -- it might take 5 years for your pivotal role to be realized, so headbang your way along until it comes, and once you sense it - seize it. Get naked, get drunk, put on makeup, do whatever it takes to make them know you mean business. You will earn your respect, and with respect comes new opportunities.

Be safe tonight, and catch me tomorrow.

Peace and love,

the shuffle. [12/30/06]

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So this is what the last shuffle of 2006 is going to be... a weird week of death, broken legs and assorted pieces of random drama and nonsense. Can't say I blame it - this year, while being a highlight for some, has been pretty crappy all around. I mean, I now have a new addition to my family, as well as a few blogs that I am proud of, the world as a whole is a bunch of bullshit. For no good reason, either. It seems as the further down the rabbit hole we go, the cruder, ruder and more vile our world seems to become.

This is going to be a different shuffle: I'm both sick and not drinking. Surprised? Let's see how sharp the venom is...

01/First, this week was about death. James Brown died on Christmas, Gerald Ford a day later, and Saddam Hussein finally got murked today. Now, while I saw loads of shit on TV today about Saddam's execution, which is totally expected, and Ford's sad procession got less than an hour and a half on local Philly stations. All I saw on James Brown this week was a hodge-podge video for "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag" on some random BET countdown, and a 3 year old VH1 special showing him making a "comeback", like he ever truly left the game. Now, my thing is, OK the fucking GODFATHER OF SOUL passed away on CHRISTMAS DAY! You'd think that'd be the biggest story of the year! Nope - Ford dies Tuesday, and the whole fucking day is dedicated to his short tenure as prez. White people can never let niggas have the spotlight too long. To make matters worse, they wouldn't even let his fake wife/real backup dancer into the home. Like this is what we need to see about our beloved Godfather. On a good note, James' biopic is now set to be directed by Spike Lee. Keep in mind, this is a project that was already underway for some time before his untimely death, but hopefully Spike will breathe some life into it. I swear I had no idea there was a flick about James forthcoming. I wonder who they are going to have play JB - if they say Jamie Foxx, I will be both pissed and alright with it. I mean, who else could actually play James? I don't see any true actors being able to handle the dancing, singing and pure mimicry of the voice like a comedian. In any case, I hope there is a big tribute concert or some newly released LIVE DVDs or something of JB.

02/This point is just on Hussein, but I have something I need to get off of my chest: OK so 9/11 went down, and our country was gung-ho on flushing Osama bin Laden out of whatever hole his ass has been hanging out in. We go to Afghanistan, and cant' find this fucker in the hills and caves. OK, so we backtrack and say "yo, Saddam has some yellow cake, and he's down with Osama" (even though we fucking funded Osama back in the day), and decide to bumrush Iraq, on the hunt for WMDs. We find... nothing. We stay there, taking over the country, all the while losing casualties on our side and murdering all kinds of people, not just insurgents. We find Saddam in a fucking foxhole, capture him, and put him on trial, which resulted in the execution of Saddam today. Now I say you, we started this over the events of Sept. 11th - do you honestly feel as though the families of the victims of 9/11 feel safer now that Saddam is deceased? And, when are our troops coming home?

03/It's funny when my site touches on other blogs... last week I mentioned a story about Perez Hilton, and this week he touches down on el shuffle again, but this time in a diff. way. There is this website,, that was said to have been shutting down due to Britney Spears "losing her identity and credibility within fans and industry people." Now, I first read this and was like "OK, Britney going commando really is killing her fanbase", but I then saw this post over at Perez Hilton, showing how the guy who owns that WorldOfBritney URL fucking sold the jawn a WHILE ago, and his lease is up. Not to mention that he has his chip on his shoulder over some random fan thing that Britney skipped on. The account is all on dude's site, scroll down and check it out. In any case, I just find it amusing that he goes through one site like "oh Britney, you are so slutty, I cannot back you" to now "yo I didn't have the funds, and now I cannot rewrite my wrongs". Grow a pair - I mean, a fucking Britney Spears fansite?

04/This week has been a pretty dope one for year-end free music files. Aside from the normal legging, we've got guys like Chamillionaire, you know, neph who the po-po tries to catch ridin' soiled, dropped Mixtape Messiah 2 for FREE on his own website. How chill is that... well, if you read the notes on that page, it looks like he had some beef going on getting this out, so I guess he is just saying 'fuck that' and dropping it for doink. Watch for that DVD. Rizoh also linked to a new mixtape from the guys that brought the world the Bobb Deep mashups - this one is chock full of Nas vs. Al Green blends. My personal favorite is the "Made You Look (RMX)" b/w "Love & Happiness". Just sounds so damn funky. If you do some hunting like ya boy khal did, you can find a literal goldmine of files, all for the taking... sneak attack! Speaking of Rizoh, over at About Rap, there's the 2007 Hip-Hop/Rap Albums roundup, showing 27 LPs that are set to make much noise over 2k7. I personally cannot wait for Sean Price's Jesus Price, Superstar, just off the strength of "P Body".

05/Mike Tyson, you have officially left my good graces. I could deal with your ridiculousness when I found out you were on antidepressants. When it was known that you were a fucking lonely boy trapped in a goliath body, being taken advantage of, I could understand your pain. Now, you get arrested for DUI... and possession of coke?! And then you have the nerve to add this fucking gem of a photo to the archives - were you trying to test out some new sniff in this one? Is this the real reason for your antics over the years, the white powder? Or were you genuinely nuts? I mean, you say you are an addict, but I ask how long. I want to know just so I can reevaluate why I lost $5 on your last bout with Lewis. I figured your crazy self deserved to be backed up. Not if you are on the snuff, though. Shape up, pa.

06/Scattered pieces of news... it looks like, starting Jan. 2007, downloaded tracks will be able to be counted towards the top 40 charts. By the tone of the article, I assume this is a UK-only thing, but who knows. They said during the Xmas trial run, Wham and Mariah Carey hit the top 40, mainly due to their Christmas hits. Interesting stuff; watch the Beatles hit the top of the charts once all of their catalogue is finally available for purchase digitally... Speaking of digital downloads, iTunes got slowed to a snail's pace, and at times shutting it down altogether, over the Xmas holiday, mainly due to the increased downloads from gift cards and what not. You'd think they'd have these things sorted, but hey, that's still money in the bank for Apple... Nas hit #1 this week with his new album, Hip Hop Is Dead. I wonder what Young Jeezy has to say about Nas' claims now... Jill Scott has two CDs dropping in 2007: one is a CD full of collabos entitled, fittingly, Collaborations, while the 2nd is her next album, entitled The Real Thing, which has a sampler disc accompanying the collabos thing... I want to send a get well soon to Styles P, who was involved in a lil road rage incident that left him with a fucked up leg. Damn shame dude who originally cut him off didn't get in any hot water charge-wise, but so be it. I have an aunt like that, who got so heated on time, she snotted into a tissue and threw the dutty cloth into the open window of someone who pissed her off... Michael Jordan and Juanita are divorcing... again. Looks like his cheating and not being home have taken their toll. No word on the settlement specifics, but I bet she got caked off, as well as got some good real estate...

Well, that's all for 2k6. I might be taking a few days off, blog wise, just to rest and spend some time with the family. If I don't post before the 1st of 2k7, I want to wish you all a happy, healthy New Year's Eve (here's the lyrics to that song white people like to sing when the ball drops)... 2007 will be much bigger, much brighter, and a whole lot tougher. Trust. And on that note...

Classic "Tower of Doom", 1988 Great American Bash shit.

I also found some new KIMBO SLICE FIGHTS, but the dick who put them on YouTube disabled embedding. Bitch. Peep game anyways, even though you know EXACTLY what Kimbo is gonna do to both "Afro Puff" and "Big Mac".

Any other blogs out there bringing you this much fire, week in and week out? Didn't think so... Oh and I want to send a big shout out to EVERYONE out there who is voting and keeping me in that #1 Spot over that the "Blog For A Year" competition... keep it up!

The Last Playlist of 2006

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At the end of the day, you gotta know where you've been to know where you are going. I will not be going through what I loved about 2006; that's what my reviews are for. Check the side panel for links to the various bits and bobs I dug or dig dug this year. These sweets are sendspace goodies that will be available for as long as they allow them to be. I should just let the music do the talking, but...

01/James Brown "Papa Don't Take No Mess (Part 1)"... first off, RIP to James Brown. It's hard that a guy can have such a direct influence on so many genres of music, and still maintain his own singular voice. Many imitators, none duplicators, and many niggas owe their bank accounts to this man's work. He's one of the only Black men in America who did it without asking for help or assistance or giving a fuck about what anyone else thought - he converted millions. And he did it without really being the best singer. He had his own voice, but his tracks weren't about him singing. It was a full package, a single groove. The sum was definitely greater than the whole of it's parts. And we will miss him for it...

02/Mobb Deep "Survival Of The Fittest"... One of my fav Mobb tracks of all time. They signed to G-Unit this year, and although I loved their album, it failed to crack any serious numbers. Shame, shame. Probably too much Fiddy dick-riding, but Prodigy seems to be back on his grizzly, so maybe they will take it back to how they were coming up. "Until my death, my goal's to stay alive..."

03/Cassidy ft. Lil' Wayne & Fabolous "6 Minutes of Death"... this is the best shit off Cass' last album, no bullshit. I slept on the CD -- it was just a bit too much crack-rap from someone who is a hell of a lot more than a crack-rapper. My nigga Boo put me onto this one, and it stuck. Symphonies run rampant on the beat, which is mid-level kicks and loads of live-sounding snares. Weezy drops one of the most slept on verses of 2005, Fab spits his smooth one-liners and Cass just one-ups both of them for about 2 and a half minutes. Get well soon, Cassidy.

04/T.I. ft. Bun B & Rakim "Get Ya Pay"... you fucks slept on this track, this mixtape, and this blog for too long. The very first post on rock the dub was about DJ Green Lantern's Alive On Arrival mixtape, which is hands down the mixtape of 2006. If you don't believe me, then fuck you. This track is off that tape, so sorry if you are looking for a full clip - I don't have one. Anyways, Green laces this bass heavy beat with some odd Rakim vocal snippet as the chorus, and Tip goes off about being "a rebel", but music just being a way for him to escape...and UGK's finest just pimp slaps this track with another banger. Go grab that tape, quick. Stop sleeping.

05/Lil' Scrappy ft. Young Buck "Money In The Bank (Remix)"... I'll admit it -- if it wasn't for the bleeps in that minimal beat, I wouldn't give 2 shits about this track or this LP. The LP ain't half bad -- it ain't half good, but that's how it do. Scrappy doing it for BME and G-Unit, and Buck Fiddy-riding about a whip he is allowed to drive by his boss. Gay, but whatever, shorty whatcha drank!?

06/Obie Trice "Black Boy"... i heard this on the promo version of Obie's 2nd lp... I never wanted to peep the 2nd LP, for I didn't like the first. I think Obie stepped his game up a tad, he started emulating Jay and others. This track is just straight thick. That beat, I don't know who did it, but its a heavy head nodder with some dope horn work in it. Obie tries to go into some politicals, and it works, but its that beat. Maybe the 3rd time will be the charm?

07/Masta Killa ft. Ghostface Killah & Raekwon "It's What It Is"... this is one of those tracks that, when I am working, I can throw on repeat and get a shitload of things done. That repetitive loop might bore some, but this is the essence of the Wu. Beauty in monotony, and some poisonous darts from 3 of the Clan's finest. Who knows what the track is about, don't you wish more Wu-Tang joints sounded this dirty?

08/Beanie Sigel "Why Wouldn't I"... Beans was my favorite enigma of 2006. He put this out, a dope mixtape with Drama and 'em, and pretty much just gave dope ass interviews. Hopefully more of his mixtapes will surface, so we can find out what is really going on with him. He's without the best MC out there right now putting his life on the mic. Not too many sound sincere - B Sig IS sincere. And raw. And real. And in your face. And all over the map. Keep pushin', nigga.

09/Snoop Dogg ft. Dr. Dre & D'Angelo "Imagine"... best track on Snoop's new one? Yes. Don't you just love knowing that Snoop and Dre grew up, and can get introspective about live. And D'Angelo showing up on this AND a J Dilla album!? Gotta love it. Dre didn't get much props for his beats, but he did his thing this year. I won't say grab Snoop's LP, but def. check this one out.

10/Big Kuntry & T.I. "Throwback (DJ Nappy Dubstep Mix)"... this is called THE FUTURE. Dubstep and Rap united. We like to call it THUGSTEP. My boy Nappy is going ghost for a bit in a bit, so I'll be providing you guys with more of his heatrocks in due time, for due time. You'll be aware when its time to make you fucks aware. Until then, do a search on this blog for DJ NAPPY, and go dload what you can. You can't tell me that trap niggas and dubsteppers are some long lost twins. Nappy just had to play Maury...


You know how we do, though. It's not just about free shit I am providing you...

arQer and Realtime, two of Texas' finest DnB producers, dropped a 101MB .zip of 320kbps tunes... for FREE! Eight licks of funky shit, from the bouncy funk of arQer's "Atlantis Touch" to Realtime's neuro-dub exploration on "Homegrown", you are not ready. Realtime also brings in some old school vibes with "Rough Age", and on "Grasshopper Lies Heavy", arQer goes classic as well, but with a modern twist to it. Back to the future status. Why these tracks aren't signed already is anyone's guess, but that's not the point. We got them now, for cheap, too. So grab while they are able to get got, and keep an eye peeled for them.

kapsil recently dropped his sixth edition of his "unsigned" series, and while you might not recognize all of the names, you will be stunned by the tracks and the mixing. Pure funk, baby.


In terms of a final thought, I don't really have one. Keep music good, and make quality albums, or niggas will continue to steal your shit. I hate bootlegging, but why would I spend $10 on a Jay-Z album where I can honestly only say I like the first 3 cuts? No sir, not this nigga. I have been trying to champion some Nas & Primo shit, and this video is the reason why:

Is it really this hard to realize? That's all I need in 2007... someone make it happen.

I'll holla. Enjoy the licks.

The Sickness

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That's what I looked like late Tuesday night.

I don't normally get sick like that anymore. I have a semi-steady diet of 40s and wine, but nothing to crazy (if you used to chill we me pre-2002, you'll know what I mean). I think I caught the bug that my wife caught from work, which means possibly more of the up-chuck, and some liquid dookie (my stool looked like soy sauce that night).

So heres how this all came about...

Tuesday night, I'm chillin'. Just finished feeding lil' man, wifey was upstairs knocked out, as were the kids. My stomach was feeling weird - I didn't know if I was hungry or had to drop a deuce, so I figured "why not make some PB&J?!"... I'm eating PB&J and watching a fucking Boondocks marathon that I didn't even know was on (!!!), and decided, let me just DVR some of my fav episodes (Granddad's Fight, Wingmen, etc.), and go to bed. This is about 12:15AM. 1:20AM, I get that acid taste in my mouth... I figured, I can choke this one back. Mind you, I seriously have not thrown up in a good 5 years or so... so I'm not prepared for any of this. I realized my whole world was about to hit the REWIND!!!!!!, so I was Michael Bolton to the bathroom door. I didn't make it all the way... spewed a bit on the rug before I hit the toilet, spewed a bit more on the bathroom floor, then I just upchucked all into the porcelin God.

It reminded me of all of these episodes of Jackass or Wildboyz, where you see these white dudes puking over everything. It was harsh, though. Dinner came up --- pineapple chunks and lil bits of ham. And the actual spew, it felt surreal - like I could see how much was coming out. And it fucking hurt. Got back into my nose, burned something awful. Some of the shit got stuck, and me trying to clear it out ended up making me gag more.

Not a pretty sight.

I spent most of yesterday on the couch, which I came to found out I had a 101 degree fever. Luckily, lil' man was at my mom's for the day (more on that bullshit in another post), and I beat the fever in a night's time. He's here, I'm doing better, and life is semi-decent.

Now I just need a job...

And for those of you who survived this post, here's a lil sneak attack for you. Happy New Year.

PayPerPost acquires

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I didn't realize that, in trying to make money blogging, that corporate measures and "real-life" situations would take over this haven. I guess the seclusion of my computer area had my mind kind of foggy...

In checking out new opportunites on PayPerPost, I came across a headline that was kind of odd..., a site which I've been trying to capitalize with for a month or so now, has just been bought by PayPerPost. I'm all for taking over and building up your brand via acquisitions, but I do not see this one as a wise decision, for if you check out the forums over at Performancing, there are a load of unsatisfied customers over there, including this one.

The way works is pretty simple: set up your account, throw some hypertext into your blog, and if a site digs you and wants to advertise on your site, then you work out a deal. The thing is, unless you are one of the more popular blogs, you won't see any activity. I get a pretty decent amount of traffic, roughly 300+ visitors daily. Not so bad, but not the tens of thousands I am guessing most of these companies want. So, I get the shaft. You can check my right side, the same "Performancing" ads have been running for a month. And the thing that truly bothers me is the fact that the guys who run the site are no help. They basically tell you "hey, advertise your site more" and what not. That'd be well and good if advertising was all that matters. They all want Google PageRanks. Don't know what Google PageRanking is? Look it up. Essentially, if my site is not as popular as you'd wish it to be, you would rather not advertise on it. No matter how many users I could potentially bring to your product with a glowing review, oh no. I mean, I am a pretty good writer. I say that not to toot my own horn, but I get offers to do this, publicity and whatnot, and I rarely get edited down or told not to say something or do something... but it's rare that I get monetarily compensated. Why? PageRanks. *sigh* So PPP, what do you plan on doing to fix this?

The one thing I will say is nice about Performancing is their blog job board, where companies post up job opportunities for bloggers. I never seem to be able to capitalize on those situations, either, but I feel I could if someone gave me a chance *wink wink*.

At the end of the day, if PPP can turn around, they can do a lot of things. Hopefully they will be able to turn that sinking ship around and bring it to new waters.

As always, this post is brought to you by the good folks at PayPerPost.

Not broke enough...

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Is the line of poverty seriously askew these days?

I ask because of my ventures today... I went out to the local "One Stop Career Center" to see if I was eligible to take some test that will then see if I am elligible to get some free schooling from the government of NJ. It's all a fucking scam, but you have to play the game to get ahead, no?

So I go to this office, paperwork in hand, which included my ID, SS card, unemployment stubs and pay stubs showing my year to date earnings. Once I get to sit down with this bitch, she delves into my life, asking about my fam and shit. I tell her I am married with 3 kids. She then pulls out this chart showing what is assumed to be the poverty line, which is $43K a year for a family of 5. With my take home pay added to my wife's, we make slightly above that. I am then told that I have to wait 15 weeks before I can be automatically elligible to take this test to see if I can take some free courses.

Mind you, by that 15 week period (roughly the 2nd week in April, 2007), my unemployment will have run out and I will probably be employed at that time. I mean, they know that you only get a finite period of time for unemployment pay, and the schooling is based on your still being on unemployment. So basically, I'd need to be a fucking deadbeat with no way to attain a decent job and support my family. Fuck you very much, I hustle. I get my grind on how I get it on, with this writing, through eBay, whatever the fuck. You honestly think I'd still be on assistance through April of 2007? Get real.

My thing is: OK, we might make what is considered to be over the poverty level, but really, with student loans, other forms of debt, rent, and the occasional 2 month old getting RSV and pneumonia or the 15 yr old needing special care for rare allergies to the sun, how do they expect me to stay afloat? I hate to fucking harp on my life, but shit, I just had a kid, I'm living in one of the most ridiculous rent markets in the state of NJ, and I am struggling. I got fired over some bullshit about me not being productive, all the while I'm doing the work of 2 and 3 people. Life is a hairy bitch, and I'm tired of being told I do not qualify.

I need to find my own way. Make my own way in this world. I will continue to play by the man's rules, but it's going to work in my favor this time. And in the end, I'll be laughing, holding some mint julep and sippin'.

Sippin' I tell you...

The Year We Lost James...

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It was not even a month ago that I spoke of my affection towards "Funky Drummer", the track I have playin' again, right now. I had no idea that the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, would be leaving this earth come Christmas Day. I mean, he was 73, but if you ever saw him perform, he always looked like he was 18. And for many of the people making money in music these days, you owe a great deal of respect and due to the one like JB. I mean, Funk was not a state of mind until James fleshed out the sound he heard in his head, using artists he knew he could push.

Earlier this year, Rolling Stone published this ill piece on James, following him around in the modern day, showing his demented studio work to his work on the stage. For anyone who has had even a fleeting interest in the man, I highly recommend you check it out and see all sides of this genius.

For many beatfreaks out there who, like myself, take pride in knowing where that producer nicked that break to create a new sonic bed, you know that James has been a constant in the Hip-Hop scene, from his grunts and wails to his drummers' drumming. I wish I could provide a true mix like Edan did, showcasing the guys who paid homage by looping and reworking James' grooves, but I just think, by week's end, I'll provide some of my favorites to you guys, with words about each lick. Not today, I want to let the God rest. Soon though...

One more question, which I just posed to Rafi of Oh Word: How do we lose both James Brown and James Yancey, and yet Puff Daddy is still able to bring kids into this world? God, you are one cruel sommabitch.

PS: I added James "Funky President" to my "America The Ugly" mixtape from Sept. Downloads still available...

EDIT: while hitting up the DOA board, I saw that BlueWater has a tribute mix of classic James 45s up for dload. Check the original thread for the tracklisting (peep the 45 pics), and show some love.

EDIT: Shouts out to eskay at NahRight for posting up this tribute mix by the one like Salaam Remi.

Merry Christmas, bitches!

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As J Dilla's "Time: The Donut Time Of The Heart" rocks in the foreground, and Ralphie does the spazzout at his mom for taking too long to get Randy's snowsuit on, I bid you guys a Merry Christmas. Eat, drink, be merry, and drink some more. Reminisce on great Christmas past, and just be with your loved ones. And if you don't love them, resolve to find new ones.

In any case, keep it fresh. Take it light, but take it. And always stay gold.


the shuffle. [12/23/06]

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You ever feel like this during the holidays? Just one some "let this be over" type shit? Sometimes, it feels like that. It's hard to truly get a good foot on the whole presents thing. We tell ourselves "oh, we'll cop some stuff earlier in the year", and then you realize, hey dog, your black ass is broke all year round. Feels like the walls are closing in sometimes, but I still have a load of stuff to get through before Monday. Bear with me...

I do want to give myself a shout out for what I thought was a pretty dope week of rock the dub bloggy flavors. Check my track record for the week: not only did you guys get a pretty thoro playlist on Friday, but you also received a heat-rock of a Dub Mix on Thursday. I unearthed an old Fanu interview that has gotten some pretty decent replies on forums all over. Shouts to Fanu. Monday brought you my review of Nas' new album, which is not pretty. In between all of this fun, ya boy covered the Nuggets/Knicks fight from earlier this week, AS WELL AS some very Hip-Hop Christmas bits. I even had time to start a new gig with Cinema Blend's Music reviews dept. - unpaid, but supposedly a good amount of exposure. Peep my review of Styles P's Time Is Money. I mean, on the strength, what other blogs are giving it to you this raw? Apparently not many: my adventure in "social sponsorship" has gone well, as the competition I entered last week now has me at the #2 spot! I appreciate all of your votes, hopefully I can rinse this one and keep it crisp for a year, paid for this blogging thing. I appreciate all of your votes... let's keep it movin'!

Shuffle she lovely...

01/So, my unscientific poll had the Asian delegation in last place of the Survivor Race War, and who'd would have thought that the Korean cat, Yul, won the cool $1 mil? Everyone I talked to wanted Ozzy to win, and I'm kind of surprised he got dissed on that one. Yul played the game well, but Ozzy played it honest. Guess honesty isn't the best policy. That's not what bothered me in the last episode though. In the final tribal council, the two females, Sundra and Becky, were tied for votes off the island, so they had to compete. They were told to make a fire that would reach high enough to burn a rope. Seemingly, after 38 days living on an island, you'd think they'd know how to make fire. It's not like they never did it before... there's proof of them doing it! How about after 1.5 hours and a fucking book of matches, Sundra couldn't get a fire started. STARTED. I told wifey right then and there, she set the Black race 5 years back with that one. Niggas gotta eat, niggas need fire to eat. She wasn't looking thin, so I know she got her grub on. No fire, ma? That's not even right.

02/Rosie O'Donnell is a trip. I don't get how her 15 minutes has extended, but Arsenio Hall is stuck in purgatory, but I digress... this week, she beefed with Donald Trump over his handling of his drug/drink addled Miss USA. I didn't give a shit at first, but once you break down the history and the jabs that each has taken against each other, it's clear that Rosie is trying to boost her end of the year ratings. I didn't know being named a "moderator" of The View was so damn important, but apparently Rosie sees this as her only way to stay relevant. I do think Trump could have went harder: him calling her a "slob", saying she looked like a "truck driver" is cute, but not as scathing as Chappelle's "she looks like she wears underwear with dickholes". That's the one.

03/I don't get the NBA sometimes... the Sixers had a deal with Denver on the table over the summer to trade AI for anyone other than Carmelo. They turned it down. They spend like a week or so trying to figure out who The Answer will be going to... and he ends up going to Denver!? Billy King needs to go. How fucking indecisive is he?! The Nuggets lost to the Kings in AI's first game for Denver, but hey, he still did his thing. It will take some time, but don't be surprised to see Denver doing their thing in the playoffs... I think he is just the right cog they need to make an impact.

04/I want to officially throw my support to Perez Hilton. I don't peep the site as often as I should, but I have to respect any blogger on their grind. He handles the celebrity gossip, and his use of photos has been the source of controversy. This week, he got sued by the fucking paparazzi for usage of their photos. I mean, really, what's the violation? You guys stalk celebs for a shot that will make you rich off of Nicole Richie running down the beach or whatever, but you sue a blogger for using the same photo and making not even a fraction of what you would make? Get real - you guys are scum, you are not legit, and you should be ashamed of yourselves. Let Perez do his thing, and until a bitch sends me a letter or an e-mail or a cease & desist, I use what I want, when I want, to get my point across. Bet that.

05/This has been the week of doubles, entertainment wise. You don't believe me? Watch my genius in action: did you know that Mike Evans, the guy who played Lionel on The Jeffersons also created Good Times? Well, in any case, he passed away this week at the age of 57, due to throat cancer. On the flipside, Joe Barbera, one half of the Hanna-Barbera enterprise that brightened up the lives of many a youngster, this one included, with their cartoons, passed away as well, at the ripe old age of 95. I'm kind of shocked that more people aren't speaking on this - check their track record, and if you were a kid when I was a kid, you know how much they affected you. That's #1. #2 comes in the form of some DUIs from semi-celebs. This Black pitcher out in Florida got arrested for illegally parking his Bentley and pissing in the street. On the flip, Gus Van Sant, the acclaimed director who created a boatload of flicks and then directed the snooze-fest of Elephant, got popped for slurred speech and crazy driving. Sick, sad world. Stop getting into your cars after binge drinking, bitches. Stay at home and get crunk.

06/Let's get into some Hip-Hop news. This week has been kind of quiet... but not uneventful. Big Nas put out his album, and is set to do roughly 300K this week. Why, I don't know... "Black Republican" and a few other jams are NOT worth the loot. iTunes at best. Fader conducted a pretty ill interview with him on his state of mind right now, his work ethic, and other points of interest for his fans. On the final bit of Nas news, looks like his babymoms Carmen is suffering from poetic justice... looks like her autobio got written by some other chick, who is now trying to get rich to that... speaking of poetic justice, this court case recently got decided on some rap lyrics. CNN laid out this story where some rhymes this guy wrote ended up getting him in trouble over this murder rap, even though his work was some fantasy, braggadacio shit. I will never understand: guys like Arnold Schwarzenegger can become the govenor of a state in the USA, all the while portraying a fucking murderous cyborg in his movies. DeNiro will be seen as a great man, all the while stomping the shit out of random guys in his movies. If a rapper is on trial for something, his once entertaining lyrics turn into distorted views of life, all real and no fantasy. These days, 90% of the MCs getting paid are spitting fantasies to beats, but let them go on trial - all of the sudden, they are Honest Abe out that bitch. Fucking double standards... Wu-Tang is re-signing with Steve Rifkind, the guy behind Loud Records, to his new imprint, SRC. Now, why sign with him when his old shit folded? I guess they like funny money... On a good note, it's good to see guys like Baby and BG squash shit and get on the right path. BG called into a radio show Baby was on, discussing the recent passing of a loved one, and they are at least speaking. This doesn't mean that BG isn't trying to get his money from Baby, but its a good start... If there is one deaf MF on the mic, it's Tyrese, aka "Black Ty". He just put out a new CD, Alter Ego, where he sings on one disc, then rap on the other. His MCing is ridiculous at best, but he already has 14 tracks done for a new album. Why? I guess R&B money is lacking?... Rizoh of About Rap has gotten a load of bloggers together to put out a "Best of 2006" Hip-Hop albums list. I don't agree with it, but I give them props. I can't think of an album outside of Donuts that I considered "the best" of 2006. I might have to dedicate one year-end post to the genius that is this album...

07/Linksys, a company that has sold me products I don't need and I have turned around and made loot off of on eBay, is planning on making their own "iPhone"... word is this phone can make cheap calls over the internets. Apple is supposed to have their new year unveiling next month, so we will see if they will get their own piece up and running. Do you think Linksys is going to cut into Apple's sales? I doubt it... but it's a shady thing to do, especially if it carries the "i" name.

08/This cop out in Texas is about to make the craziest wave possible in the so-called "Drug War": he as a "Don't Get Arrested for Dummies" video coming out, where he tells cats how to not get caught by the fuzz. In reading further, you realize that, unspoken in the article, dude is a pot head. I don't know too many non-weed heads who say shit like "coke, meth and shit is bad. Weed is not". I used to say the same shit, with good reason, but I have also never been a cop. Praise dude for his actions, but his job is toastl.

09/This Russian website,, thought they got around some Russian copyright law with their MP3 bootlegging site, but it appears as though labels have had enough, and are suining the Ruskies. I can't blame them, I mean it looks as like the site just gave away crazy albums for like $0.02 a song. I had heard conflicting reports in the past, from this being within the law, because each company was to be held responsible for paying royalties, but really, who is going to call Sony and be like "yo I made X amt of dollars for that Bow Wow". That's not happening, and we all know it. Hopefully, those kremlin bitches get what they deserve.

You guys notice how I combine mad stories into one piece, as opposed to bringing you 50 fucking points? Love me.

I'm out of here. Donuts write-up coming before 2006 is done. Long live Dilla, and my Uncle Allen. Holla.