Archive for 01/01/2007 - 02/01/2007

Valentine's Day Eve 2007

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I've been doing a lot of thinking about what I wanted to do for V-Day this year, seeing as this is the first V-Day I'll be blogging ever. I figured, gifts are always a good gesture, and the best gift I can give is the gift of music... there's going to be a SPECIAL rock the dub treat tomorrow, but there are some songs I felt needed to be highlighted, and they ended up focusing on Lauryn Hill, one of the oft-forgotten heroes of R&B and Hip-Hop. I mean, we all know her meteoric rise and surprising fall/disappearance from the limelight, and I don't want to dwell on that, for I'll just get upset for the lack of her voice in the mainstream music scene, but I still love her music. Her words, her soul, she just poured everything into her music, and nothing was as telling as her songs about love. You know she had some deepness going on when it comes to love, in all facets. So, today, I wanted to share with you guys a few of my favorite Lauryn Hill tracks and videos (if I can find them!) that accompany, with some words to go with them...

01/Lauryn Hill "Ex-Factor" [taken from her debut solo CD, she breaks down a relationship all of us have had: one where you hate this person so much, but you love this person so much that you end up hurting yourself just to keep them around. I think The Sopranos called it "Amour Fou", one of those undying loves, all encompassing, and all consuming. Not a healthy thing @ all, but when Lauryn sings it, it's timeless. My wife's favorite track off Miseducation... btw.]

02/Lauryn Hill ft. D'Angelo "Nothing Even Matters" [this is one of MY favorite Lauryn Hill tracks of all time. Very seductive, soulful number featuring the boy D'Angelo, just riffing on all the craziest shit that could go down, but in the end, even if that shit is poppin' off, it doesn't even mean a thing, because you have that one person. Possibly one of the simplest, yet most beautiful displays of that theme I have heard in my life. Just a great song, from two artists who were in my King and Queen spot 8, 9 years ago... and where are they now?]

03/Lauryn Hill "Just Like Water" [this is one of the tracks off of the Unplugged 2.0 set she did, the one everyone dissed her for, because she sat there pouring her heart out with her guitar and her thoughts. I mean, I personally feel a connection when I hear these songs, because they show the creative process in action, which I love seeing, whether it's Jay-Z working on his album or Busta Rhymes being inspired by a random Timbaland beat. The song seems to deal with finding love after being hurt for so long, and the river of emotions that cascade down when you really realize what's going on. That guitar is on point, I wish she did this in the studio with a nice, subtle drum underneath. We can dream, can't we?]

04/Refugee Camp All-Stars ft. Lauryn Hill "Sweetest Thing" [this is my personal fav. Lauryn track of all time. I remember buying Miseducation... and hoping this cut was on it, as a bonus or whatever, but my copy did not contain it. (it wasn't until years later that I realized I had to either cop the Love Jones OST or one of the singles to get it...) It was all over the radio that summer, I remember I was dealing with this female who seemed to be into me but only when no one else was around. She was big on making things feel one way when we were alone, but forgetting me when she got a phone call or when she was out. I got over it, but that shit hurt after a while. In any case, this track helped soothe my soul, from that soft guitar, complete with the noise of the fingers stroking the strings to that laid back beat. When the beat switches up, its MURDA! True Refugee Camp stylee on this one. That video was kind of ill too...]

Finally, I leave you guys with a track Talib Kweli wrote for Lauryn, simply titled "Ms. Hill", which is a letter that he wrote specifically for her, but many of us feel the same way. No more words to describe it, really...

related links:
Lauryn Hill's official website
Lauryn Hill page on Wikipedia

Ah, here are a few extra video pieces of Lauryn performing:

"Motives & Thoughts", performed LIVE on Def Poetry

"Killing Me Softly" video, with The Fugees


just because

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controversy @ 320 kbps bitrate:

Birdman & Lil' Wayne "Stuntin' Like My Daddy (Nappy Vs. Luke Envoy Thugstep Mix)"

stylin' on cats


shouts to Perpetuum for finding this, and QN5 Music for creating it.

HBO comin' correct

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So this morning I did what I do every Monday morning: check out my HBO On Demand to see what shows have been added/taken away. I always hit the "HBO Series" option first, because I've been waiting for Season 5 of The Sopranos to pop back on (which it did), but I awoke to a surprise: the first episode of Season 6 of Def Poetry is available! I totally forgot that the new season was premiering this month, let alone this Friday (Feb. 16th), so I was pleasantly surprised. They had a few dope shorts on there, too: one entitled "Def on Def" had Mos Def talking about the phenomenon that is Def Poetry, and showed a few highlights of cats who are going to be featured this season, including George Clinton, Carole King, Jill Scott and DMX, among others. The one face I was glad to see was that of the beautiful Suheir Hammad, who has been my favorite poet on Def Poetry, aside from that nigga Black Ice. Her voice, her words, her emotion... I remember the piece she did about her Palestinian brothers, the pain resulting from 9/11 and the Iraqi War situation, and just racial and political stress in America, NY and in our hearts. Once I heard that piece, I was a big fan. Big up to Brooklyn. So, I will be checking out this episode and dropping gem on it later this week...

Now, the boy eskay posted about this a week or so ago, and he reminded me that I Needed to check out this documentary that HBO picked up entitled Bastards of the Party, which goes deep into some info I saw on the "Tookie" episode of BET's American Gangster, which glossed over the idea that the Bloods and Crips evolved from the racial strife and struggle going on in the LA community, tracing back to the 1940s and 1950s. From the Slausons and Gladiators, crew of Black men who set sights on the "Spook Hunters" who were trying to kick the shit out of them, to the Black Panter Party, the US Organization, and the "Black Power" movements of the late 60s and the 1970s. If gang history and just Black History in general intrigues you, definitely check out this doc. The man who made it is a Blood named Bone, and while he wears his set on his sleeve, he's a man who wants to make a change from within the organization. He is a deep cat, has a nice speech at the end about the dehumanization of people via words ("Nigga", "Jap", "Gook", etc), and how that makes it easier for cats to kill each other, whether it's two brothers in gang wars or soldiers fighting international wars.

I saw HBO has scored two for the month of February... with more to come, hopefully. If you haven't gotten a subscription to them yet, do it now! You guys claiming Showtime and these other cable channels, step aside.

the shuffle. [2/10/07]

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I must say, I'm in a pretty good mood right now. I went with my girls today and saw Night At The Museum, which was pretty dope, especially for the heads who were into flicks like Jumanji. It's funny though, this is the first time I've been to the movies since Constantine came out. In any case, I saw some pretty dope trailers: the new Fantastic 4 flick looks awesome, but I think it will suffer from "shitty-plot" syndrome. It has Silver Surfer in it, but I can't tell if they are going to make him some villain or a rogue kind of good-guy. I actually already told my wife that we are going to go see the 3rd Spider-Man flick, which just looks, sounds and is going to be a superb flick. This one features that nigga Venom, which is one of my fav comic characters of all time, but the entire story just looks sick.

Oh, and I had NO IDEA that The Simpsons was getting it's own movie!? The trailer I saw has Homer literally between a rock and a hard place, and had me cracking up out loud. The kids in the theater were not getting it, but that movie is going to do MAJOR numbers. Will probably safe Hollywood.

And I just want to take the time out to say a big RIP to Big Pun and J Dilla. I know others died, but I have to rep my fallen Hip-Hop Heroes first...

I've also got some beats riding right now, waiting for Mosley to get his fight on, so let's get settled and get this shuffle rockin'...

01/Seeing as this is Black History Month and all, I want to first cover some of the highpoints and lowpoints in Black America from the week that was. First, a few positive points: Senator Barack Obama has taken another step in his presidential race, officially declaring his presidential candidacy. You know what's weird, though? I almost don't want him to run. As much as I'd love to a) see another Democrat in the White House and b) see a BLACK MAN with the title of President, I don't want him to fuck up. I mean, in all of the years of differing presidents and such, they all fuck up. Aside from Clinton, who I just loved because he seemed like such a cool cat, things really aren't that different. Maybe it's just because my official adult life has been in the shadow of the Bush era. Clinton spent the majority of his time in office while I was in high school. I've been affected the most by the fucked up Republican tenure in massa's crib, but who knows. I also wonder, who is Obama going to run with? I haven't heard a bit about who his VeeP might be. Will he be having another Black person as his VP? I'd like to see an Obama/Oprah ticket... maybe I'm REALLY dreaming lol. Speaking of the presidential race, one of Black Radio and TVs more prominent faces, Tavis Smiley, has been tapped to host two presidential forums later this year. Last time it was Charlie Gibson doing his 1-2 on live TV, now Mr. Smiley will try and hold his weight in the pit. Shouts to him. Now, for the negative, and watch out, it's HEAVY: this heartless asshole named William Page wins the worst father award this week, which is amazing considering the pricks who are using stun guns on their kids these days. This Page nigga apparently got upset because his almost-2 year old woke up last Saturday and was playing instead of sleeping. What does he choose to do? He says he hit her so hard she lost conciousness. Ridiculous, right? Oh, it gets worse: I'm guessing this nigga figured she was dead, so he wrapped her up in some blankets and left her out by some railroad tracks. It was 2 degrees that night in Pittsburgh, and not surprisingly, the toddler froze to death. That was just the WORST thing he did, though; the previous Friday, he fucking held the mouth of another child in the house, and molested her, and then left, with the toddler in tow. I mean, what kind of ANIMAL fucks up the lives of children like that? The sad part? This bastard will probably never have to receive the sentence/punishment he SHOULD... watch him get some time, and have advocacy groups out the ass pleading his case. I'm not the STAUNCHEST supporter of the death penalty, given how many times the judicial system gets it wrong, but in situations where you know this nigga left this helpless child out to die, I stand by the Bible's "eye for an eye" rule... In a final piece of good Black History Month news, a judge has finally stood up and told OJ to stop spending his money. Why this wasn't done over a decade ago is anybody's guess...

02/There's a fire going on in Texas that is going to be the catalyst to how a lot of states and doctors react to the HPV vaccine that is being given to young girls. Essentialy, HPV is the virus that is found to cause cervical cancer, and recently, there has been medicines and vaccinations that are available to treat this form of cancer. The thing is, in Texas, their govenor pushed an "executive order", giving mandatory vaccinations for HPV. Now, the parents are beefing with this because, well, HPV is only contracted through sexual contact, and they believe that giving this vaccine will promote promiscuity. HUH? OK, granted, some twisted kids might think "wow, I can get my freak on and not get HPV", but that to me screams one of two things: 1) they aren't teaching "safe sex" or abstinence to their kids in the first place, which is fucked up on their parts, and 2) they are assuming their kids are that fucking naive and stupid to think that this vaccine will give them a free pass. My other thing is, if this becomes mandatory, will it be added to the shots that babies get when they are just months old? I mean, sure, right now it will be given to girls already old enough to be getting regular periods and possibly becoming sexually active, but that still begs to question: would you RATHER your child contract HPV because you were too busy trying to defend your rights to decide what you want to do for your kid? It's not like they are saying "yo, you can get this shot and not contract HPV, but you will grow a 3rd tit out of your back". I just don't get how some parents can be so rigid on these issues...

03/So, the Colts won the Super Bowl, and Tony Dungy becomes the first Black football coach to win that trophy. What is America thinking about, though? Gay Snickers Commercials. And if Prince's guitar was supposed to be a symbol of his dick. Say whaaaa? Now, I will admit, when I saw this commercial for Snickers, I was taken aback. I mean, I literally was like EW EW EW when I saw the guys touch lips, I won't front. I just wasn't ready for it. A split second later, I was like "this is gonna cause hell", for I was suprised that the Snickers people greenlit a commercial promoting these ideas, that these guys had to "do something manly" after their "kiss". Well, gay advocacy groups spoke up, and the ad has since been pulled from airwaves. The way Snickers comes off, they knew it'd cause controversy, but I bet they didn't imagine the power those groups had. Dumbasses... Now, I saw Prince perform and he did his thing, invoking both Tina Turner AND Jimi Hendrix (gotta love that Black Music History), and didn't find anything wrong with his performance, surprisingly (I joked to myself that its kind of funny that, after Nipplegate, they chose Prince to be the safe performer. Oh if this was only, say, 1994...). He mixes up classics, other people's music, and shows his prowess as a guitarist, and what are critics pondering? If he was trying to simulate his dick while in the shadows. With all of the controversy and such that the halftime show saw with the Janet/Justin shit, you'd think the media would try to steer clear of it. No, they want to make it up, as if Prince was really doing that. If he was, hey, it's a symbol, he didn't whip it out. Thing is, he hasn't said yes or no, so why try and create some truth that isn't there?

04/I love reading stories where people acting like assholes make certain products or actions get banned. First it was driving while talking the the cellphone, which can be annoying to other drivers, but it's not like this is the ONLY distraction people have whilst driving. Now, in NY, Sen. Kruger (wonder if he lives on Elm Street?) wants to ban public iPod usage, $100 for walking the streets of NY while listening to your favorite pirated mp3s, just because some imbeciles got hit by vehicles due to not paying attention. If people start getting hit while talking on the phone, or looking at all of the fucking ads running rampant on buildings in Times Square, will they then start banning that stuff, too? It has nothing to do with electronics fucking with, how did they say it, "public citizenry", it's dumbasses who don't know how to pay attention while walking across a busy street. I stay with the headphones on when I'm out, and I've never been hit once. Maybe it's because I rock the discman or the Zen Xtra, and not an iPod...

05/You guys have already been bombarded with the news since Thursday afternoon, but Anna Nicole Smith passed away suddenly in Florida. I don't want to dwell on this too much, for the regular news outfits have already bled this story dry, and it's not over, not with the paternity issue(s) and the movie that may or may not come out, or the fact that she gave her daughter a trumped up name like Dannielynn. I just have to get my shit out. I mean, back in the day, before she was all Guess Jean Model and whatnot, I used to crush on her a bit. I think it was the whole Marilyn Monroe/thick broad thing. I do remember her on Howard Stern's show early in her career, and during the interview she seemed hopped up, not drunk but on pharms or something. Just out of it. Once she started getting into the marrying the old dude and the aftermath of that, I kind of lost my intrigue into her life. Nothing personal, I think Salma Hayek came out around that time. I just feel bad, because she went through a lot - I won't debate whether she brought any of this on herself, but you have to feel something for a woman who dealt with birth and death like 2 days apart. Fuck all of the other nonsense, and just focus on that for a second. Post partum feelings, a new kid, and your only son ODs. That's tough for ANYONE, but put in the fact that she is already somewhat unstable, and that's a recipe for disaster. I truly think she was on some medication, and just went overboard. TMZ is reporting that people are talking about her being drunken and on the serious stumble/bumble as early as Tuesday of last week, and she was just on a bender with the drink. Damn shame, for her daugher's sake that is... Now, while some of you poured over all of the Anna Nicole stuff, the people over at Editor & Publisher want you to remember that she is not the only female who died before her time this week...

06/Now that THAT is out of the way, I have some Black Entertainment links to dole out: in the world of Hip-Hop interviews, Tru Life spoke some tough talk to XXL about Dipset and how he grew up. I've seen BEEF, so I believe him, but release an album already!... El-P talks to Remix Mag, giving insight on his recording process (or lack there of), his studio setup for you gearheads, and some thoughts on his forthcoming LP, I'll Sleep When You're Dead (pre-order HERE). NJ's own Redman spoke to CrackSpace about his upcoming LP and his overall work aesthetic towards Def Jam and Rap in general. I can't wait for him to drop new heat... I just read earlier today that ?uestlove of The Roots is working on the next Roots album (due out in either Oct. 2007 or Feb. 2008... huh?), but he is also at the helm for the next album by Al Green. I do think it's dope that ?uest wants to make a vintage Al Green record, as opposed to trying to grab the ears of today's generation, who really aren't going to fuck with Al anyways. Hopefully it works out... We all know that cockroaches never die, so this must be why Jermaine Dupri has been named the head of the newly-minted 'Island Urban Music' division. You gotta love how LA Reid sights JD's track record as being the main reason he signed duke, but duke flopped with Janet's LP... Gillie Da Kid, AKA dude who says he wrote Lil' Wayne's rhymes, got arrested for operating two known crackhouses. Talk about "When Keepin' It Real Goes Wrong"... the Vivid Adult entertainment company is going to be putting out a sex tape made by Ray J and Kim Kardashian (AKA Paris Hilton's friend) on the 28th. There's a website where you can apparently see clips of the video before it drops, and from what I've read, Ray is supposed to be in a scene where he R. Kelly's homegirl. Who woulda thunk that the daughter of one of the men who got OJ off would be seen years later getting a golden shower? She is fly though, even if she's gotten a bunch of work done... B.I.G.'s mom is expanding the Brooklyn Mint clothing line to focus on a new line, the Notorious B.I.G. line, which will feature apparel for men of all ages... Even after smacking the shit out of a New York Knick in the middle of MSG, Carmelo Anthony has been allowed to be a reserve for the 2007 NBA All-Star game. This came down from David Stern, so he must have gotten a shitstorm of hate mail from heads who were upset 'Melo didn't make the West's team originally... speaking of the NBA, the first NBA Player to officially come out of the closet, some nigga named John Amaechi, is of course dropping a book about his trials/tribs in the NBA. My thing is, why do the gay atheletes, for the most part, wait until they are retired to announce their sexuality? I don't doubt that it is a great for gay and lesbian people who look up to these men and women as heroes, but wouldn't it be an even greater triumph to admit it while still in the sport, playing professionally? Magic played the Olympics not too long after owning up to his HIV+ status, and I think that helped open up a lot of dialogue amongst Americans. I can understand if they have conflicts and/or issues that might make this difficult, but I just think it'd go a longer way in the end...

07/Here is a heaping helping of links and stories for you to fawn over whilst avoiding work: Samsung is working on their own iPhone killer... speaking of Apple, Apple Computers and the Beatles' Apple company have finally come to an agreement in their long legal troubles. I bet you Beatles fans can't wait for iTunes to be flooded with all the classics... the Aqua Teen Hunger Force bomb scare farce casualties are lining up: Turner Broadcasting is ponying up $2million to Boston, and the Head of Cartoon Network quit over this debacle... "Super Tonio" is causing quite a stir in Mexico - you would too if your birth weight was 14 lbs... Here is the RIGHT way to prank a telemarketer (shouts to my wifey for the link)... For you Planter's peanut eaters, may these stories of Pennsylvanians make you wary: this week there was a tooth AND vertebrae in their cans of peanuts... Are these pictures of the remains of the real Romeo and Juliet?... This dude working as Disney's "Beast" got arrested and charged with owning crazy amounts of kid porn. He also plays Goofy. Soon he will be playing "Shirley" or whatever Big Bubba wants to call him... And finally, Richard Branson is offering $25million to the person who can figure out how to put an end to global warming. Get your thinking caps on, that shit could be MONEY IN THE BANK!

Alright, so there you have it. A grip of links to keep you occupied until this time next week. I will leave you with my new favorite Black Man on the Web, next to Kimbo Slice, of course: Reverend X, the "Spirit of Truth" dude. What's really good with him? He's like one of those crackheads talking to themselves on the streets... it's not that he's preaching while listening to All Eyez On Me, or that jacked up hair-do. It's the fact that he is fucking SERIOUSLY PREACHING:

Sounding like someone's drunk uncle and shit. "'Cuz I'm God, bitch!" Be easy!

The Spirit of Truth


One of many reasons why alcohol and religion don't mix. What the fuck is this all about? Read up on neph on Wikipedia... insane. No real words need to be said, just read up and peep those videos -- and the soundboard (LOL!). This is the same dude at the end of Sean Price's "Like You".

Now, I wonder why I'M not on public access TV...

shouts to my boy SBK for the original link.

Friday, Feb. 9th 2007 playlist

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Got another nice selection of cuts for you... some old, some new, some borrowed, but all dope. Let's just skip the prelims and get into it.

01/Redeyes & Mutt "Virtue" [new, soulful DNB from the Prestige Music Group. Two of the new school of DNB production's shining stars link up for some cross-Atlantic funk.]
02/Visionary "War In The World" [I only included this to big up Visionary's new label, Rock & Groove, and to crack up at him sampling some Sly & Robbie from a few years ago. I see you, Marcus!]
03/Pentagon "Summer Of '73" [from the new, Future Sound of Tokyo EP out on Hospital. Loving the organ work on this one.]
04/Icicle "So Close" [new one from the Hospital offshoot, Med School. Icicle really bringing the subfunk on this one, I'm impressed.]
05/Viral Essence "Nasty Intentions (SpeedballaOne Remix)" [I see this cat posting on DOA all the time, and I know he's a fan of rock the dub, but I had no idea he brought the DNB so nasty! Big up for the free download, and congrats on winning the Nasty Intentions Remix Comp!]
06/Marky & Bungle "13th Floor" [you know what to expect before hearing this, and you get it. Sultry vocals, BIG bass, and some deep grooves. Vibin' tune.]
07/Rufige Kru "Vanilla" [why this track sounds like J Majik's "Your Sound" is confusing to me, but I love the feeling all the same. That sound in the intro always sounds like a sunshower to me.]

01/Joulz Il "When I Get On" [you read the interview, now peep this gem off the Sign Joulz Il Vol. 1 mixtape. True school shit man, shouts to 5 Starr Fam.]
02/Young Gunz ft. Ma$e "If You Don't Give A Fuck" [I hope the Young Gunnaz don't have a new LP coming. This beat is ridic though!]
03/Sean Price "Like You" [More Jesus Price mania. Loving that Reggae-bop in it.]
04/Freeway "Transporter" [gotta love that new Freeway. Not sure when/where this one is dropping, so grab it now. Also, check out this What We Do: The Movie mixtape, hosted by Freeway (shouts to Benja Styles and The Fader for this one). I wish I could rhyme in that annoying ass voice every now and again. Peep him speaking about transporting that weight.]
05/Ghostface Killah "Wise (Remix)" [from that Mathematics compilation of Unreleased Wu Tang joints, Ghost goes in over one of his dead homies. I love that sample.]
06/Cormega ft. Styles P "Use Mad Clips" [anything with Styles on it is listed, that's my word. Speaking of which, shout out to Rizoh for linking the new Styles/Akon track.]
07/Chubb Rock "Treat 'Em Right" [gotta educate the kids, no? Classic Chubb Rock single, probably one of my favs from the fast-rap days. He used to groove and everything.]
08/Prodigy ft. BG "Y.B.E." [I can't help it, I'm waiting for HNIC2. You know you love that "One Love" rework too, right? Gotta big up the Young Black Entrepeneurs. Peep that video.]
09/Cassidy ft. Beanie Sigel & Fabolous "You Already Know" [you can't hate on their skills. I love the old school feel of this one, from the classic boom bap to the fucking back and forth Cass and Beans do. HOLLA!]
10/Keith Murray "I Got Ya" [Mr. Murray raping Lupe's "I Gotcha", which I just love. Hot beat, hot spit. End of. (he also did the same thing to "One Blood" and "Triumph")]


Did you guys check out this 50 Cent dis VIDEO that he's done against Cam'ron? I just don't get it -- the track is garbage, there's a fucking gun with pink diamonds and "50" on the grip, and these guys are in a fucking GARAGE, standing on quads? At least the Ruff Ryders would take their vehicles on the road... the talk at the end is priceless, but 50 comes off looking dumb. What good does this serve? (shouts to Rafi at OhWord for hitting me with this link)

I also heard that Cam'rom has a dis track out at 50? Someone link this to me if it's available...


If you guys are looking for some sick DNB sets, check out the DPD "For Your Listening Pleasure" post from this morning. New, solid mixes from INI, DJ Roots and Switch.


For a final thought, I watched Redman on MTV Cribs early this morning, and got a jones for his music, especially since the cover for his forthcoming LP has been leaked. For this final thought, I bring you REDMAN:

"I'll Be Dat"

"Time 4 Sum Akshun"

"Rapper's Delight (with Erick Sermon & Keith Murray)"


and finally, one of my personal favorite Redman tracks, shouts to the heads who used to ride the bus with me back when I was in middle school and got me into Redman via the Dare Iz A Darkside LP...

"Can't Wait"

Until next time...

LOST, Season 3: "Not in Portland" [recap]


OK so LOST is back. And you guys thought it was going to be something minute and silly, but we get another great episode, with a slew of new clues and awesome suspense.

Now, before we go over the goodies in this episode, I just want to say that the LOST Survivor Guide that was shown before this episode was choice for old fans and newcomers alike. The fact that Damon and Carlton were speaking openly about the events so far was an added touch, and was probably 75% of the reason I even watched it. I wonder if this will be made available in the future: it was a good way to bring people back, as well as lure in new fans (don't think I didn't notice all of that "if you're into X type of show, you can peep LOST" stuff).

Now, onto the show... and no, we aren't going to be dissecting each piece of the episode, but I want to delve into some of the shit that might have gone unnoticed or what have you:

First off, this was Juliet's episode. From the beginning, I knew it was kind of eerie when we see your boy Ethan walk past her in her sister's building. The initial thing that got me thinking was, why was she injecting her sister's not-pregnant stomach, but when we are on the island, you see Claire, who is obviously pregnant, get her stomach injected? What's the correlation there? OK secondly, the company who was trying to hire her was named Mittelos. I know a lot of people out there have been pondering what that means. I don't think it's as simple as it being an anagram for "LOST TIME", although that's clever. If you guys were up on the LOST Experience ARG from last summer, you know we were introduced to a character named Thomas Mittlewerk. Now, his character was at one time the President of the Hanso Foundation, which financed the DHARMA Initiative we have so fondly obsessed over. My question is this: is it really that hard to assume that this Mittelos Bioscience company, which already employed Ethan and seems to have enough pull to get a man hit by a bus in broad day light, be another one of Mittlewerk's companies, which would further help us understand not only WHY this island has so much experimentation on it, but how an experiment of this capacity could be undertaken on such a remote island for so long? Hell, they've kept Juliet on the island for 3+ years... and now with Ben saying if she got Jack to fix him up, he'd let her go, we now know that there is a way for them to get on and off the island...

Speaking of Ben, you guys do realize that he might have had sex with Rousseau... the question is, when? They kept saying that he was Alex's father, and Alex has long been rumored to be Rousseau's daughter. What's this all about? Lostpedia has Alex being fathered by Rousseau and some cat Robert from Rousseau's team, but then where's the Ben/Alex relationship coming from?

Now I cannot talk about Alex without talking about Room 23 and her boy Karl in there looking like, ironically, Alex in A Clockwork Orange. The whole scene was eerie (check it out here, about 1:48 into it), with the extremely loud DNB-esque music and those random, fast paced images and text - WTF!?!? In my house, I said it was brainwashing, while wifey thinks its more of a mental breaking down. She asked me if there is any difference, and I think there is, but either way, this is insane. I mean, was he put in there because he was being "bad"? Were they trying to break him down and weaken him to then turn on Alex, or someone else? Or is this just how they get their prisoners to succomb to their every request? Very strange, but since he hitched a ride with Sawyer and Kate on a boat back to the main island (which earned Pickett a couple of slugs to the chest, courtesy of Juliet!), we will hopefully find out more about this mysterious scene...

In terms of our core, I was glad that Kate and Jack connected over the telling of that story. I love their chemistry more than Sawyer and Kate's, but what can you do. I also knew from the rip that Kate was going to go back to get Jack, which we saw in the previews for next week. She's a hard head, but she isn't running, which is always a plus. Looks like things will only get thicker come next week... 15 more eps to go!

OK so you can expect my recaps to come more like this, with more talk dealing with the mysteries and whatnot of the island. Trying to retell the story in my own voice gets tiresome, especially if I end up losing the work for some reason. Leave a comment and let me know if you prefer this style over the other style...

If you want some reading about this episode, peep the following links:
*Lostpedia's cultural references about "Not in Portland": the biblical references between Rachel (Juliet's sister) and the Bible's Rachel, esp. in an episode where that Room 23 talked about God and Jacob, is eerie...
*Mittlelos Bioscience website, which has sprung up and caused a stir recently... peep the Juliet Burke and Ethan Rom bios on there...

Until next time...

[rock the dub Interview]: Joulz Il


This is one interview that has been months in the making. It's here now, and you guys should definitely get familiar with Dallas, Texas' own Joulz Il (formerly known as Joulz Il Duce). Back when I was writing for The Flow, I did an interview an outfit by the name of 5 Starr Entertainment. They rep Texas hard, but are hitting the game on all angles: production, R&B, Hip-Hop, and their crew is talented. At the time of this interview, Entity and Charles hit me with info on their new affiliate, Joulz Il Duce. He has a big personality: a man who is both jovial and dead ass serious at the same time. You can hear his talent in his voice, and feel what he is saying in his rhymes. He spits from the heart, but uses his head. And he is coming for that Number One Spot. He is currently working with 5 Starr to get signed by SOMEONE, so consider this a warning/greeting/promise: either sign Joulz Il or live to regret it.

khal: When I first heard of 5 Starr Entertainment afew years back, you were JOULZ IL DUCE, their latest signing, just starting to get your shine on. Now, I believe the situation has flipped a lil’ bit –from 5 Starr being the label to them sort of managing you it seems? Can you explain your status currently?

Joulz Il: The situation has flipped slightly, but not that much. After a lot of deep rooted re-vamping, the best situation was deemed that instead of going at the game from a label standpoint, it would be better to go at it from the standpoint of each individual entity going about getting the attention of the public. Five Starr is STILL the faculty and that will always be, but right now, the focus is getting out there. Everyone wants to be the next great "indie" breakout, but to do that, takes serious bread and what better way to get that bread than to get yourself linked up with a major and then make major moves. I'm still the same dude, just dropped the "DUCE" off of the name. It was kindo f hard for people to say and its kind of an evolution of sorts. From the last time that we talked until now, A LOT of drama has happened and it signifies a growth. I've been Joulz Il Duce since maybe, 15, so it was time for a renewal. Besides, with a name like Joulz Il (Jewel's ill=Jewel is ill.), you've got to be pretty sick with the flow. LOL!

khal: Seeing as though you are trying to get signed, what would be your ideal label situation and why? Do you think you could function to your fullest capacity on a label like Def Jam?

Joulz Il: The ideal label situation probably DOESN'T exist, IRONICALLY. I would love to maintain the better portion of my creative control, but still be under the advisory of a seasoned veteran as far as new artists are concerned. The main reason is you can never stop learning and even though I've been doing music for a while, there is an edge that someone who has already established themselves in the music business HAS over me and I would like to be in their tutelage. Of course, a good sized signing bonus up front wouldn't hurt the kid, at all. LOL! Honestly, I feel that as an artist, Is hould get something more out of the deal also. Financial stability up front is a major issue. It just seems like some labels have gotten away from really doing that. Def Jam? Honestly, if they could PAY ATTENTION to my project and put the proper push behind it to garner the right attention, then yes, I do feel like they would be adequate. Would I like to go to Def Jam? Well, yes, I'd become a part of a company that is iconic in Hip-Hop if I aligned myself with them and you can't be mad at that. However, this is business. I have to go to what's beneficial for ME and those affected by me.

khal: Speaking of Def Jam, your mixtape, Sign Joulz Il Vol. 1, jacks a few of his cuts (“Song Cry”,“Lost One”). What are your thoughts on him and MCs of his ilk: the guys who see themselves as more of an entity” or a “business” than a straight up spitter?

Joulz Il: As far as my thoughts on that whole ilk of emcees: good for them. It has become commonplace now for everyone to have a clothing line, to have a beverage, to have a particular thing outside of being an emcee and that's great. Marketability is what it is. I honestly hope that my marketability gets to that point one day, but only time will tell. Right now, I'm just focusing on establishing myself as an artist that needs to be paid attention to and put as a brand name in that circle of emcees. As far as the songs from the mixtape, I just did what sounded good. Songs were presented to me and the ones that made the mixtape were the ones that were honestly a good mesh. It just so happened that "Song Cry" and "Lost Ones" made it. However, "Show Me What You Got" did NOT. LOL!

khal: I saw a clip of you busting a three minute freestyle– a true freestyle, by the way, straight off the doink. You made some comments about cats more concerned about making up dances than trying to really say something on their tracks. If you could change, say, 5 things about the current state of Hip-Hop, what would you change and why?

Joulz Il: Five things that I would change: One.The lack of diversity in commercial radio.*Is it just me or does EVERY SONG on the radio prettymuch sound the same now? Two. The lack of creativity.*We all go to the club, but I'm sure thats not the only thing that happens in life and I'd like to hear more about what someone goes through. Three. The stagnation of the scene.*It almost feels like 2001 hit and we just stopped growing. There are a slew of great artists who never see the light of day because they refuse to conform to the formula. I'd like to see more of those artists. Four. LET TUPAC DIE!!!!!!!!!! *I don't want to hear ONE MORE TUPAC album. How in the world can someone who died just about 10 good years ago STILL be putting out records? Let him rest in peace or cremation or in Cuba or wherever he is. STOP! Five. I would let the trappers trap and the rappers rap.*Kind of self explanatory, but why not? Much like your review of the Young Jeezy album, I feel the same way. How many dope dealers are going to try to wash the drug money with a rap career? The Feds are catching on now, maybe it's time to open up a laundromat or a McDonald's or something, but please stop RHYMING!!!! If I see one more "Young Soso and Lil ThisandThat" who swears to The Almighty that he is the greatest rapper of all time and then opens his mouth and sounds like a bad version of a "grammatically challenged" 4 year old, I am going to start personally "murking" all of them. And with that said, moving on the next question.

khal: Most people might want to know what inspires you to write, but I think you’re way past that: what is it that keeps your HUNGER so strong?

Joulz Il: My HUNGER remains strong due to the fact that I LOVE MUSIC! I love new material! I love to record! I love to rhyme! I love to write! I'm a writer by trade and I've always been into literature of all kinds. Being someone who naturally grew up loving attention, Hip-Hop was just another way of expression. I like to challenge myself to see what I can come up with. Sometimes, it's the subtle shock value of things and other times, it's just to try to approach things in a manner that may not have been done already. That HUNGER remains, period. I could do this and never be famous and honestly, I don't think I would care because I would still do it for the LOVE. I can say that because I haven't made it and I still do it NOW! LOL!

khal: To back track a bit, what was your evolution: how long have you been writing, and how did that transition into you grabbing the mic? Have you ever dabbled in any other facets of music making (production, singing, etc.)?

Joulz Il: I have been writing since the age of 8. I know that seems surprising, but my mother always placed in me a need to study and learn new things. Writing was always an expression of my innermost thoughts. At first, it was simply short stories and poetry, but as I began to share my poetry with others, they started noticing the cadence of my delivery. One of these people was my older brother, Chris, who finally coaxed me into doing a rap with him and my cousin and it stuck. I fell in love right then with Hip-Hop and I never broke up with it. I've always dabbled in just about any other facet of music that I could get my hands on. I'm a producer, a songwriter, and I'll sing, but mainly on hooks or to show an artist how to approach the song that I've written for them. I sound funny, as I dont have the stereotypical R&B voice, however, I'm seriously thinking about doing Rock and Roll every now and then, but that's another interview. LOL!

khal: You’re in an awkward spot, you realize this right? I mean, you are reppin’ Texas, but aside from a few Texas MCs like Bun B, Trae and a few others, the majority of the state is not seen to be really lyrical with their darts, but you flip that script and wear your lyricism on your sleeve. Have you ever felt like you need to either dumb down your rhymes or switch things up just to get more shine?

Joulz Il: Lyrical? Me? You know I've been hearing that from quite a few people who have downloaded the mixtape and honestly, I still don't see it. I've always had a vast vocabulary. My mother is a devout Christian and at that point was an English fanatic, so no slang or curse words were allowed in her household. I learned pretty quickly to express myself in a very dynamic way at an early age, so if it's on my sleeve, it's only because it's really WHO I AM. At times, I have honestly felt like I was distancing myself from the core audience of commercial listeners in music because of my choice of words or my style of expression, but with artists like Nas, Andre 3000, Eminem, Busta Rhymes (not Big Bang, but old school L.O.N.S./Flip Mode Squad/"Dungeon Dragon!" BUSTA Rhymes), LL Cool J, KRS-One, Rakim, Scarface, Pun, Biggie, you get the idea....I've learned that it really doesn't matter. You NEED lyrical content. It's what seperates NOISE from REAL MUSIC. I don't think I'm in an awkward spot at all, if anything, I'm in the perfect spot. If people catch wind of said lyricism, then that should at least put me on the list with the people who you named from Texas and hopefully one day, equate me with them.

khal: In listening to your first Sign Joulz mixtape, I notice you rock over a few beats, ranging from Busta to Justin Timberlake’s “My Love”. If you could only choose one acclaimed producer to lace you with a heat rock for your album, who would it be?

Joulz Il: TIMBALAND!!!! NEXT QUESTION!!!! LOL!!! I'm a beatminer! I absolutely love great music! I love quirky drum patterns, orchaestral instrumentation, weird samples of everyday noise, crickets, babies, alligators snarling, motorcycles revving, little kids singing in the background....and pretty much anything that can be added to a beat. Honestly, Tim's got it. I have always had a fixation with Tim's beats since One In A Million/The Bachelor and he has gotten sufficiently more and more out of hand since then. Seriously, this is a biased question: What about DJ Premier, Jermaine Dupri, Alchemist, Dr. Dre, 9th Wonder, Just Blaze, Hi-Tek, Kanye West (every once in a while), ?uestlove? This is crap, you can't tell me to pick just one. There's so many, Play-N-Skillz, Cool & Dre, Chad &, I can't call it. I know if Ihad the budget, I would probably lose my mind.

khal: Speaking of your album, I know you have to be in the lab working on some hot hot heat right now. Can you leak any finalized details on a solo album from yourself? Anything we should be looking out for interms of concepts, guests, etc.?

Joulz Il: NO LEAKS!!! LOL! What I can tell you is that there is another volume of the Sign Joulz Il series on its way for the second quarter. I'm definitely trying to drop a mixtape every quarter, so pay attention to that. Nothing has really been finalized as far as the"Joulz Il" solo joint. Honestly, I'm playing it by ear, when the time comes for it to happen, it will definitely happen. Right now, Im focusing on getting The Alliance album underway. Doing some of the production, making sure that we get the right singles and just focusing completely on making that a success. Conceptually, the next "Joulz Il" solo album is going to be a well-rounded representation of where I am musically and hopefully, it will be on a major.

khal: What’s the story behind Love, Sensitivity, Anger,Arrogance & Everything In Between? What do you consider that – a debut album, a collection oftracks, a mixtape or what? Why should people go check that CD out?

Joulz Il: You know honestly, I WOULD call it a DEBUT ALBUM. The funny thing is we all just kind of set to record it to see if it could be done and it got done and there you have it. The name itself is something that I came up with right after I finished recording my REAL first album A Boy Named Julian: The Works of Joulz Il Duce Volume 1 (more info on Joulz' SoundClick page). I wanted to take myself in a completely different direction and I had been listening to an extreme amount of Songs About Jane by Maroon 5 and decided I wanted to do something like that. The "Love" album was that foray into an area that a lot of rappers don't explore for a complete CD. It's something that is definitely different in terms of raw human emotion and if nothing else, it's something people should at least listen to 10 times with an open mind. It'll catch you by that 2nd time and then you'll be hooked.

khal: Now I know you are knocking out solo material hard, but you also are in a crew with DENT and Big John called “The Alliance”. What are you guys about? Is there a certain concept behind that group or are you just having fun and vibing with them? What’s the future hold for The Alliance?

Joulz Il: The Alliance is pretty much the 2007 Geto Boys. LOL! Just kidding. We've always done songs together and there has ALWAYS been a push for us to actually be a group. The new year rolled around and we all finally made a definitive stance to be a group and shut up about it. What are we about? Hard to define it. Honestly, anything that's moving forward, anything that is great for the music that we are doing and above all and anything else......SOUTH DALLAS!!!! I normally don't keep a local mentality about things, but the area where we all hail from is an area that could really use some national attention. It's where we all grew up and it holds a special place with each of us for different reasons. This is the part of the city that made us, these are the streets that raised us, and these are the blocks that produced the need for The Alliance. There hasn't been a lyrical effort from a lot of the emcees from Dallas, period. This group is a totally different spectrum. I'm so excited to be in a group with people who take a sincere effort at crafting REAL songs and not just a "we're a group and none of us mesh, but we're still a group mentality". Each person in The Alliance brings something completely different to the table. The future doesn't look bleak, I can tell you that. We are working right now to get The Alliance album out by April. However, right now, there isn't a name that I can't give you. We're still fielding different ideas, but I guarantee you, rock the dub will be the first to know.

khal: OK so we’ve gotten to know you, we know about your old album and the latest mixtape. What does the rest of 2007 hold for Joulz Il? When can we expect a new mixtape, new tracks, album, and tour?

Joulz Il: 2007 for me is pretty much an upgraded version ofeverything thats already been going on. Sign Joulz Il: Volume 2 should be available by the end of March/beginning of April. Totally free and downloadable at: New tracks are being recorded as we speak and there will definitely be more INTERNET EXCLUSIVE music like "The Urge" and "Attention" available at my MySpace page and 5 Starr Entertainment's Music section. The album itself is still a toss up, when the demand for it presents itself, you WILL see it. As far as touring, there are shows that are going on right now locally, but if there is a promoter NATIONALLY thats reading this, get at me: For all show dates, you can check out the 5 Starr Entertainment website for more info. I'm trying to garner as much attention as possible in 2007. I refuse to play a background position when music is one of the EASIEST things for me to do. I'm just looking for more press, more shows, more fans, honestly, MORE, period.

khal: When all of this is over, what would you wish to have accomplished with your gifts?

Joulz Il: I want to be able to look back on my career and say that I helped someone. I look at being an emcee as a catapult to other endeavors. I want to be able to putthe microphone down and help out my neighborhood andother impoverished neighborhoods. Forget building a new recreation center, South Dallas needs a hospital, needs new housing, needs more economy. I want to be able to be a part of the economic resurgence of the place where I'm from as well as be beneficial on a national front. I know it sounds weird for someone who wears baggy jeans and Timbs to care about the economy of an area, but I want to give back. I want to be able to say that I am financially stable and that I made my living off of my orating skills. I want to tell my children that I made my living off of expressing what was on my mind to large amounts of people. I'd like to go visit schools and be a positive influence on a lot of young black brothers who honestly don't believe that there is anything else for them except for RAP, DRUGS, or SPORTS. I'd like to deter them from that thought. I'm a rapper because I CHOSE to be one, not because I lacked the intelligence to do something else and a lot of young brothers need to hear that now. I want to KNOW that I made a difference when it's all said and done, the DJ stops spinning, the crowd stops screaming, the lights go off and the microphones are packed away.

khal: Do you have any shout outs or last words that you’d like to hit the people with?

Joulz Il: I never know what to say when people ask me that question. You can never remember everybody's name that you need to and you end up forgetting people and then they call you and curse you out and say that you're unappreciative. So, no, I dont have any individual shout outs. To all the people who have ever listened to ANY of my music, THANK YOU. To anyone who has ever come to ANY of my shows, THANK YOU. To anyone that I have ever worked with up until this point, THANK YOU. To all the press who ever took the time to even remotely pay attention to me, THANK YOU. It's always cool to be interviewed and be able to speak your mind, so khal, shout out to you for even giving me the chance to grace rock the dub. Good looking out. I look forward to doing more in the coming years.

rock the dub would like to thank Joulz Il, Entity and the entire 5 Starr family for keeping it right in the scene. On Saturday (Feb. 10th,2 007), Joulz Il will be performing LIVE at the Jinx Bar & Grill in Dallas, TX, at their "Second Saturdays" night. members get in free as long as they've been members since Jan 17th of 2007. Check out this flier for more info. If you are in the area, go support Joulz & 5 Starr!

related links:
Joulz Il Duce MySpace Page
'Sign Joulz Il' MySpace Page
'When I Get On...' (Joulz' blog)
Jan. 2007 Interview with Joulz Il at Pegasus News
5 Starr Entertainment website
5 Starr Entertainment on MySpace
Joulz Il on SoundClick
Joulz Il on CDBaby

Finally, here is the video I spoke about earlier, with Joulz freestylin' in the closet @ J. Rhodes. FIRE!:

LOST, Season 3 returns TONIGHT!

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You've been waiting, like me, for the latest LOST episodes, right? Well, tonight, 10PM EST, the 16 episode run starts. Tonight's episode is entitled "Not in Portland" and brings us right back into the thick of Jack's situation. If you remember, we last left him with Ben, on the operating table, in a dire predicament. What will Jack do to Ben? Apparentyl Kate & Sawyer make a new buddy, who just happens to be an "Other"... but is that buddy relationship legit? Finally, the one like Juliet is going to be making some kind of decision that fucks up her standing with her people. This is all from the TV INFO lol, so who knows what kinds of twists and turns this episode will take.

Recap coming tomorrow. No *new* podcast up on, for some odd reason. Still, get your fix at two of my favorite LOST forums: and Dharma Secrets. Nice bunch of peeps on both boards. MSNBC also has a lil 'catch-up' article getting you potheads up to speed.




Fuck you guys. Peep the dubstepforum post about THUGSTEP, and trying to figure out what to do about Nappy. As if he's trying to a) cake off his refixes or b) "destroy the scene".

Sometimes, DNB and dubstep aficionados can be some ridiculous pricks. I still shout it, you bitches ain't ready for the THUGSTEP. For the ones who get it, peace, you are proper. You other non-believers, go do something else with your life. This open-minded music thing just isn't for you.

And to quote Lil Jon "get drunk in this muthafucka, throw ya dranks up!"

Job Woes, episode #98948594


So, I had to turn down a job today. It's not that the pay wasn't right, or that the company didn't want me, but I'm just in a situation where I need to a) look out for my best interests and b) look out for my family. I am not in the business of getting put on through a temp. agency for a 2month gig that MAY turn long-term. I'd rather stick unemployment out until I find something that's perm and comfortable.

The main reason, though, is my lack of whippage (and, well, lack of Ls). I'd literally be gone from my house for 12hours - leaving at 7AM on the nose to catch 2 buses, to do it all again and be back home after 7PM that night. I have grinded it out on that route before, but I also didn't have a lil seed that can't fend for himself. The temp. agency got pissed when I let them know I couldn't take the position, but really, would you rather me dip 2 weeks into the position for the exact same reason? The fucked up part is, if I took an earlier set of hours, I'd be bouncing out the house earlier, which doesn't help anyone.

So, I'm still on my grizzly. My dream is to get a Work From Home gig, but none of these "legit" spots are really legit. Or geared for someone like me. I find many "MommyJobs" sites, shit set up for stay at home moms, but what about pops? Where the FUCK do the stay at home fathers work? Are they all well off enough that they don't need that paper? I know, blogging isn't really an answer, there's no money in blogs like mine, but shit, I can write! And eBay hustling is cool, but I don't have hot inventory - I'm more like doing an eGarage Sale.

Back to the drawing board... fucking frustrating, really. In the end, I don't think I'm cut out for the corporate sector. I mean, I'm always looked at as that nigga, the one who can present himself well but is marked for one reason for another. I used to think that it was just me looking at life that way, but those stares aren't a joke. It's hard trying to do right out here. And I'm not even a street dude like that! I just try to live a clean life and support my family. I feel as though I have marketable skills, I just don't know how to present them and turn those gifts into chips.

If anyone can help me, please shoot me a comment or e-mail. 1.

Real Talk: An Open Letter to Sullee


Dogs, I'm going to keep this short, because I know you are busy picking up your face after looking like a fool on national TV.

How in the FUCK are you going to try and spit that "I ain't snitchin'" nonsense on last night's episode of The (white) Rapper Show? You definitely DO NOT GET IT. I mean, I can see if the reason you guys didn't win was because John Brown was spending too much time selling ganja to some teens out the back of Tha White House. You guys lost because they stepped all over your ego, and forced you to be involved in a bullshit video for an even bigger piece of shit track. Face facts. You guys get this snitchin' shit a lil twisted, no? The whole "Stop Snitchin'" campaign is ignorant to begin with, but in the streets, that's the code. Real niggas doing real fucking things, not some bullshit, televised competition shit. Serch was 100% on the NOSE when he said that you guys are on fucking CAMERA! My God did you forget that shit? You are followed 24/7, cameras all in ya grill piece, that's how we knew you and fake titty Misfit weren't getting freaky, you fake tooth fool.

Sullee, don't try to ally yourself on some street shit when niggas in the street could give a shit about you and your skills. Dude told you in the barbershop, you need more fire. Your writing, that shit is on point. I especially felt your shit about alcohol and your battles with it. Definitely talented, I can't front. The fact of the matter is, you front on yourself when you didn't come prepared. You front on yourself when you put your ego before your talent. And you fronted on yourself when you kicked those shoes off, you lil ho.

Fuck that cupcake nonsense. "I'm not snitchin'". Nah, pussy, you bitchin'. Go grab a maxi and clean up the mess. Good riddance.


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Shouts to Stones Throw for this one. Here are the links:
Shouts to J. Rocc (MySpace). RIP J Dilla (Stones Throw page).

Did you know Feburary is DILLA MONTH? (taken from Stones Throw e-mail):

+ Last night in London: Dilla tribute at Cargo
+ Feb 5: Dilla Tribute with Waajeed at LIV in Washington DC
+ Feb 10: Dilla Tribute with Beat Junkies & House Shoes in Los Angeles
+ Feb 10: Donuts Are Forever - Dilla Tribute with Pharoah Monch in Brooklyn
+ Feb 12: Dilla Tribute at Turntable Club in Baltimore
+ Feb 13: Dilla Tribute at Northern Lights in Detroit
+ Feb 14: Dilla Tribute at Sonotech in Chicago
+ and more to be announced...

+ March: "Turn It Up" T-Shirt packaged with Ruff Draft on cassette.
+ March 9: Listening party in San Diego
+ March 20: Ruff Draft 2/CD, 2/LP release date
+ March 20: "Dirty Crushin" - bonus 45 with Ruff Draft at select locations
+ March 31: Detroit listening party with House Shoes at Magic Stick

Do you still need a DILLA CHANGED MY LIFE t-shirt? While you're at it, grab some of these.

Long live a true don...

the shuffle. [2/3/07]

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[ed. note: this is news from the week of Jan. 28th, 2007 to Feb 3rd, 2007. We at rock the dub apologize for this being late - nigga had niggas over, and got a bit lazy!]

What it do, crew? I just want to first shout out Mike from Keepin' It Right Radio for hooking me up with this Pharrell blends mixtape from DJ Jus Ske. My Mind Playin' Tricks On Me mashes up loads of beats over the acapellas of Pharrell's In My Mind monstrosity. I mean the first track alone drops "Broken Language", "Deep Cover" and other gems from yesteryear under Skateboard P's "Show You How To Hustle", which is just astonishing. Makes his ridiculous pipe dream raps sound somewhat interesting... also, if you get a chance, peep out Jus Ske's Google-esque website: how dude got his shit working that nicely and that much of a replica of Google's webpage astonishes me - just do some digging, and see how he jacks CNN, Google Images, eBay, and other popular websites. Keep your ears peeled on this Jus Ske cat - looks like he might be doing big things this year!

And if you guys are looking for the special 2 hour(!!) Disco D tribute from DJ Ayers and Nick Catchdubs, grab that set HERE (shouts to The Fader, Ayers & Catchdubs for hooking this up).

Anyways, let's just keep it light and get this thing going, shall we?

01/Jay-Z, you keep hustlin', baby. I like how he went from hawking everything from whips to clothes to jewels in his raps, but is now getting his own hue, his own deal with Budweiser Select, and other ventures. The latest company to link up with Hov is Coca-Cola, who is trying to get their Cherry Coke line back into the stores, and figure Jigga might be the one to put the right spin the franchise. Niggas who are allergic to cherries are even going to be flocking to drink this stuff. Now I know what you real Hip-Hop heads are saying: "SELLOUT!" Yo, you have to reinvent your thinking, people. These days, rap music sales make NO MONEY! I applaud these guys trying to get their paper right quick, whether they hustle their own wares or link up with big conglomerates. This is the future, and the next phase of pimpin' the industry, and who better to charter that yacht than the man who showed you street cats how to really floss like the big dogs? In other Jay news, reported that the Nets accepted $400 Million from some UK company for the rights to rename the Brooklyn Nets' center the Barclays Center, but word quickly came out that the Barclays also caked off on the backs of slaves back in the 18th century, as well as shady dealings back in the 1980s with South Africa. Now, bygones should be bygones, but come on - how many players on the Nets are Black? It's not a good look, especially given the Cristal-fiasco from late last year. Will the Nets give that loot back? I highly doubt it, at least not yet. It's Black History Month, so we might see more "Black History" commercials on the YES Network, but $400 Mil is a gang of loot. In the final bit of Hova-related news, it looks like Jiggaman and Beyonce will be releasing their next singles, "Hollywod" and "Upgrade U" (respectively), simultaneously, even filming videos for the singles at the same time. That's going to be a hot concept -- it would just help if both tracks were hot, and not some of their most boring output in years. Maybe we will get a "Kingdom Come" video from Jay some day, complete with him in Superman garb? A nig can dream, can't he?

02/Now, I'm probably late as fuck on this, but did you guys hear about this Paris Exposed website? From what I understand, the people behind the site bought the contents of a storage unit Paris Hilton didn't keep up the payments with. Simple enough, but this idiot, who can't stay out of the limelight, have everything from videos (which include her not only bathing and having sex, but snorting crazy amounts of coke off some random dude's chest) to secret diaries, IDs, and a host of other affects that she absent-mindedly left to be sold off. Now, this site has apparently only been up for a few weeks, and Paris is suing the owners of the site for using her image to get paid: they are charging like $40 for membership to the website, which lets you view EVERYTHING! My thing is, OK Paris, you are suing, I understand that, but it's YOUR FAULT that they got a handle on all of this shit in the first place. And with her making these ridiculous comments while being coked out, you really did that to yourself, right? If you knew this shit was in a unit that you were paying on, and you are so upset that the world now knows even MORE than we'd like to know about your scandalous ass, why even create the shit to begin with?

03/The funniest thing to happen in any Black History Month happened on the first day, courtesy of 2008 Presidential hopeful Senator Joe Biden. He made some retardo comments about my man Barack Obama being "clean", as well as being a "mainstream African-American", as well as pulling a Chris Rock, saying Obama was "articulate" ("he speaks so well! He's so well spoken!"). He tried cleaning up, saying he meant that Barack was "crisp" and "sharp as a tack", but really, we already know that Obama is a fucking senator. This nigga been on TV so much the last couple of years, pressed and impressing anyone who hears him speak. We don't need you, Mr. Jolly White Candidate, to let us know that the nigga knows how to speak and wash. He didn't just come out of a coma, he's on the fast track to become a US President. Reading that linked article, I see that Biden also made some comment like "'you cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent", which may or may not be true, but still, coming from someone in his position, it makes me realize how inexperienced and truly unverse these white politicians are with the changing racial makeup of the United States. Hopefully he raises no ends and has to back out super early.

04/This is a sad story, and a real fucked up way for people in authority to act: there was a woman who told police she was raped, and ended up being arrested on an old warrant. Crazy right? It gets deeper: the po-po then refused to give her the morning-after pill because of their religious convictions. Now, what part of this even makes sense? First off, isn't the situation supposed to go like this: woman comes to cops saying she is raped, and is checked into a hospital so a rape kit, counseling and other shit get done? I didn't think you'd report a crime, they'd run YOUR background, then arrest you. Living in Trenton, I've heard stories of gangbangers pull pieces in stores, get shot, and go to the hospital to heal their wounds, THEN GET SENT TO JAIL! They might be under custody in the hospital, but they are still in the hospital! It just boggles my mind that the men and women that many consider to be the only line of defense in a cruel and harsh world are not doing their job when they need to be. And they wonder why niggas think 911 is a joke...

05/I wanna take some time out to laugh at the advertising sectors over at [adult swim] and Cartoon Network for hanging those fake bombs up in Boston: LMFAO! I mean, you can't think of anything better than hanging these bootleg Lite-Brites under bridges in high-traffic areas? All I can say is, Cartoon Network is owned by Turner Broadcasting, so you KNOW there will be some firings over the money they will have to kick out to make Boston happy. Bad, dumb move. Should have thrown up random light-brite JPEGs on official websites of many different places.

06/Andy Reid, the head coach of Philly's Eagles, is one master craftsman. He not only kept their name in the spotlight by jacking Donovan McNabb's talk time (which I whole-heartedly agree with: if you can't play, you shouldn't be given a mic), but he sent both of his sons out there to commit crimes during Super Bowl week, just to keep the team's name in lights! What troopers. His son Britt not only pulled out a weapon while in an altercation with another motorist, but he had smack on him! The AP reported that he had "police recovered a shotgun, ammunition, a container holding eight clear baggies with white residue, a container with white powder, four small white pills, and a pharmacy bottle holding a green leafy substance"; was them losing in the playoffs that hard on Britt? On the flipside, Garrett seriously injured a driver he got into a collision with, but was not charged. How the FUCK does that happen? If I went outside right now, pimp slapped some old guy to the point where he had to go to the hospital, how would I not get locked up or at least catch a charge? Being white and a coach's son in America has its privileges!

07/When I was a shorty, stories like this were the fodder for issues of Penthouse Letters, but it seems like in 2007, this shit is the stuff of everyday occurances. This mom out of California got busted for a party she put on for some teens after 2 of the kids got into a car wreck (the article says something like 12 heads were packed into a 4Runner, which is strange in and of itself). Word is homegirl got the kids drunk, and even gave up the poonani to two of the partygoers. First, it's fine ass substitute teachers giving kids what they all secretly want, now "Stacy's Mom" get kids boozed up and tore down. And her hubby is (was?) a police officer! She actually kicked the kids out because he was on his way home from work. Impressive.

08/Now, I tell people about how I've grown up, and they know that while I lived in Trenton, NJ, my life wasn't thuggish ruggish. I grew up around some of that drama, but it didn't seep into my life. Now, living outside of the capitol city, the gangs and drama ended up moving onto my street. I was awoken this past Thursday to what I later found out were a crew of sherriff's officers and SWAT/TASK force dudes ramming into a house across the street of mine, which in turn ended up being a small part of a big Bloods ring that got busted that morning. They called it "Operation Dawg Pound", because these guys called each other 'dawg' and had dog paws tatoo'd on their person. OK, well Randy Jackson calls EVERYONE 'dawg', so we should expand this case outside the NJ area, no? In all seriousness, though, things like that can lead to problems. I don't doubt the intelligence of my fine Trenton police force, but hell, I call my boy Russell "dogs". I say that shit in the wrong vacinity, and I am liable to get hog-tied. Hopefully this stops the flow of drugs, even for a little bit... but then again, Diane Sawyer said Camden has something like 33 arrests a day for drugs. A day? She said it...

09/A funny story related to this one involves this old guy who got into a gun battle with 5-0 and lost his life. This 80 year old man was apparently invovled in a drug bust, and when the cops approached him and asked him to drop his piece, he said "no". Ornery old fool that he was, he gets shot twice in an effort to "subdue" him, which I can justify: I've seen some of those old buggers, when encited, start thrashing and become really hard to handle. Two shots is surprisingly low. In any case, they are beefing with the city for questions on if they responded appropriately. OK, maybe they didn't inform him OFF THE RIP that they were undercover narcos. My thing is, what the fuck difference does it make if they had to hide behind trees to avoid his gunfire!?

10/You know, nuns might be cellibate, but they understand the pains some people might have when they can't have sex. In the UK, the nuns paid for a 22 year old guy with muscular dystrophy to get some action from a prostitute, mainly because, in his condition, he couldn't get the kind of intimate relationship he had wanted. The fucked up part to that touching story? He ends up getting the sex from a well-meaning nightwalker, and ends up having an unfufilling time. No shit, dogs, you have muscular dystrophy. You know what they say, though: be careful what you pray for...

11/To deviate from the pains of the world, let's give you lot a round-up of the world of Hip-Hop: Little Brother is now a duo, with the recent departure of 9th Wonder from the group. I can understand them having a conflict, but it comes with a price: while 9th's beats are stale (he's done so much work over the last 4, 5 years that has been "same-y"), most people got into them BECAUSE OF his beats. I mean, Phonte might be able to rap and sing, but the only reason I didn't sleep on Pooh's Sleepers was because of 9th's production. At the end of the day, I have one question: will outside producers coming in really make people still grab copies of Photiggalo and Pooh's raps? Time will tell. Also, there hasn't been much word in terms of what goes on with the Justus League... is 9th still a part of this?... pimpin' Katt Williams spoke to All Hip-Hop about his forthcoming LP on Dipset Records, which I have been waiting for ever since I heard him diss Young Gunz with The Game. He's surprisingly skilled on the mic, which will hopefully drive sales of his album. Plus, he has crazy appeal outside the regular nigga outlets, so that's always a plus... Timbaland is speaking about his upcoming LP, Shock Value, saying that it's "sequenced like a movie", as if this has not been done before in Hip-Hop... Finally, niggas like Fabolous need not speak candidly about shootings outside of their rhymes. Fab spoke this week about his feelings after that shooting a few months back, he pulled this gem out of his ass: "Even when I got my truck back [after the shooting], I looked at [one of the shots] in the windshield — it was high enough to be a head shot. I looked at that as being more dangerous than the leg thing." You think? I mean, inside my head, I have the fucking computer that controls my being. My leg? There are a few veins that might be irreplaceable if damaged. Think about that for a sec, Fab. In any case, Fabolous has a new LP coming this year that he hopes will reestablish his reign as that go to nigga for pop-rap. Good luck on that one, you non-spelling bastard.

12/Here's a potpourri of news bits that interested me, but not enough to warrant a full write up on them: RIP Barbaro... did you know that Verizon got presented the iPhone deal two years ago, but turned it down? Speaking of the iPhone, Apple and Cisco are going to duke it out over the "iPhone" name after Valentine's Day. Big up the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, pt. 2... novelist Sidney Sheldon passed away at 89. I had no idea he created both I Dream of Jeannie AND The Patty Duke Show!... Finally, did you know that Mike Tyson has gone into rehab? My thing about this is, he hooked up with the same posh spot that Lindsay Lohan is currently in. Who is fronting the bill for this lay-up? Fucking coke does your brain in, Mike; good luck.

Alright, that's all I have for the week that was. Hope you all enjoyed, and I'll just leave you with this, the Iron Mike that was:

And for a few of you "Mike Tyson's Punch Out!" fans, here is some humor: see someone beat "Punch Out!" in 17min 51secs, then watch a LIVE version of "Punch Out!"... LOL!

Until next time...