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

Fattie Tuesday

No Comments »

Nice play on words, no?

Just popping in to say what's really really to you guys out there. I first want to apologize if my last shuffle was kind of 'blah'... kind of hard to get jazzed about some of the nonsense stories out there.

In any case, I saw that today is Fat Tuesday, or Shrove Tuesday, depending on what part of the world you live in. The reason I remembered, though, was because they said it was "Pancake Tuesday". I remember this time last year being down in South Jersey, with my Marines-bound cousin Mike, making sure everything for his father's funeral was straight. It was a rough Feb., with my Uncle Allen passing, and J. Dilla passing, just a surreal time really. Shit, I grew up on Dilla beats and my Uncle's eats. He introduced my to Canadian bacon and the joys of pepper on fried potatoes. He taught me how to be smooth and cool, and how to not take everything so seriously, even if he was a principal at schools for developmentally disabled teens. His desk would have a drawer full of brass knucks, knives, all kinds of things, and he toko it all with a grain of salt. It was hard seeing him in that casket, emotionless, when his face was all salt and pepper beard, puffy cheeks, Winston in hand/on lip, cracking a joke or a sarcastic face.

His life was spent helping others, and it was his own body that couldn't help him. He drank and smoked for years, and his ticker gave out. It was all so mind-blowing until I saw him in that coffin, with hundreds of people in that auditorium. Crying, rejoicing, reconnecting, all over Smitty.

Why am I bringing this up? I dunno, it's Pancake Day. Get fat and reminisce on your loved ones.

the shuffle. [2/17/07]


I was going to spend my lil section before the shuffle talking about my lacks... lack of new music, lack of job, lack of patience, but who wants to hear about that right now? I'm sure you don't.

I do want to publicly applaud Niecy Nash, who is a cast member in Reno 911!, as well as that black chick who always wears flowers in her hair. Well, the Reno cast (shouts to The Show), have a new film dropping next week entitled Reno 911!: Miami, and I guess their premiere just happened this past week, for Natasha of YBF fame posted up some pics of Niecy straight up assed out. Gotta love it. The thing is, when someone got played out or exposed, I used to say they got "assed out like Prince pants", but I might have to change it to "assed out like Niecy Nash".

Why, you may ask, did I lead off with that? Who knows. Why does most of the nonsense that happens in this world happens? Which takes me into this week's round-up of odd news. Consider yourselves warned...

01/In this week's Black History "What The Fuck Are You Doing, Ma?" department, Foxy Brown recently got arrested in Florida for an incident in a beauty shop where homegirl was told it was closing time. Now, I can see if you are Oprah Winfrey, and someone tells you "look, we have to shut down the store", and you are in some ultra exclusive spot, taking time out of your hectic schedule to pluck down serious cash on shit. Nah, Foxy, who may or may not still be signed to Def Jam, was in the fucking beauty shop sampling the inventory. When she was told that the shop was closing, she threw fucking hair glue at the workers. While they called 911, she spit on the people, then proceeded to leave the spot. 5-0 shows up, and she has to be restrained using a "takedown manuever", over some beauty supplies? And word came out today that she might have more problems on her hands, for the NY probation officers said she wasn't even supposed to be in Florida. It's just sad. You'd think deaf people wouldn't be allowed to express their inner rage on unsuspecting beauty shop employees...

02/Speaking of artists who have had a hard last couple of years, Michael Jackson's name has popped up surprisingly in the last week. First off, he has tapped Simon Fuller, one of the heads behind Pop Idol, American Idol, and the Spice Girls, to help mastermind his pop comeback. If this means that MJ will be walking through Idol moonwalking and laughing with Paula Abdul, count me out. I don't see the attraction for Fuller, who should have enough on his plate to deal with. Is Mike that bankable as an artist these days? In a similar, funnier story, some nigga named DJ Tempamental has a track called "No Friend Of Mine (Gangsta)" up on his MySpace page, featuring both Mike and the Fugees' Pras. I don't get it at all, honestly. Mike calling himself "the new gangsta", but he beat his case. You aren't gangsta for not going to jail, dog. Grow up -- oh wait, you're Peter fucking Pan! Good luck with your career, Michael, but I think you are so disconnected with today's scene, you might be up for a big disappointment. Or maybe I will have to eat my words...

03/Austrian officials finally let the world know about the disgusting misfortune 3 daughters met at the hands of their mother. From the report, this mother, who is a lawyer, got a divorce from her husband, and won custody of the girls, at the time aged 7, 11 and 13. She took them out of school, and left them locked in a room... for 7 years. This situation is awful: they had no exposure to natural light to the point that they can't be in natural light right now. They spent the first few weeks out of their captivity huddling in the darkest spot of the place they were staying. The oldest girl was rendered helpless, only being able to stand on one leg and constantly crying. What's so shocking about this situation is that with the mother's law background, she might be able to manipulate her situation using the law to her advantage. You can't change the law, but you've seen it get reamed time and again. We can only hope that monsters like that get shut down for good. Fucking crying shame... speaking of mistreated kids, check out this CNN article about child soldiers.

04/The Mixtape Wars have a new chapter in the saga, this time Universal Music Group vs. DJ Swindle. Swindle has created mixtapes marrying Mobb Deep and Bob Marley, Nas & Al Green and the one that is currently the focus of debate/legal action, the "80 Cent" project, which took 50 acapellas and classic 80's tracks and mashed them all up. I wasn't a big fan, but it is what it is. UMG has made dude cease his promoting of this mixtape, and have even had his MySpace page deleted/changed. Swindle spoke to HHNLive and gave a good point about the industry putting acapellas on 12" singles and such, but then getting mad when people use them. My thought on this situation? The industry is shooting itself in the foot. Their promotion game is not on point, that's why so many artists are going to mixtape DJs and getting on that grind. They make loot AND get to hype their projects. The industry is willing to sign and rape an MC, but will stop the one circuit that is providing a lot of the heat and word of mouth on these niggas getting signed! We are in an age where niggas get signed based on their following (i.e. this dude sold 50K mixtapes in his hood), yet once they get on, you expect these cats to not get on the mixtape grind? Sounds kind of shady... and before they go into "piracy costing us billions", don't forget that LEGAL DOWNLOADING is on the rise.

05/With the NBA's All Star weekend activities going down this weekend, I thought it was kind of crazy that Tim Hardway decided to come out his mouth about gay NBA players. He actually said "I Hate Gay People", which in turn the interviewer was like "dogs, you're being homophobic", to which Tim then came out his face like "yeah I'm homophobic", bascially saying "so what, I said it". Is Tim high or drunk or something? I mean, I can see you disliking some group of people, that's your own ignorance and hate. The thing is, I looked up to dude. I was a fan of "Run TMC", and even followed him when he went to the Heat. I just don't get how you can be in that spot, as someone that kids and just ballers look up to, and you can be that fucking ridiculous in the media. He must have gotten some serious flack from someone, for he spent the rest of this week apologizing for his remarks, but come on. Just like a white person can't live down calling someone a black ass nigger, ignorant ass basketball players cannot live down saying they hate gay people. Tim probably takes it up the ass anyways.

06/The Japanese have a serious piece of history to fix on their plate right now. Women who were sexually brutalized by the Japanese soldiers during WWII took their horrible memories to Congress this week, part of a committee's plea to make the Japanese government offer up a formal apology to these surviviors. The thing that surprised me about this situation is that they aren't even trying to get paid off of it. Is that a cultural thing? Niggas in the US stay talking reparations for slavery, like they could name the families that enslaved their forefathers. These women lived through this shit, 60 years ago, and just want the Japanese to be like "we're sorry, it happened and it shouldn't have". That's heart. They have such fury over the way they were treated, but only want a sincere apology. Maybe, during Black History Month, us Black folk might want to reevaluate how we are going about reclaiming our dignity for the shit that has happened to us...

07/The media seemed to jump on the news that LOST has plummeted in the ratings since their switch from Wednesdays @ 9PM to 10PM, as to not battle with Idol. My initial reaction is, yo, it's been TWO FUCKING WEEKS, who is to say that more fans are just not really up on the change as of yet? This article up on Yahoo! seems to be piercing, speaking to this cat Marc Berman, who cannot be biased because they admit that he is an upset fan who thinks they mishandled the show. If you are a reporter, having an opinion is one thing, but why would I want to speak to someone who on the one hand represents a news website, but then is a disgruntled fan? He says that ABC has put the nail in the coffin, mainly b/c they take too long exposing pieces of the puzzle, as well as taking too long between parts in this season. While those points might be true, they have also been poured over time and again, from the reasoning why filming a show like LOST in Hawaii takes longer than a normal show and how that relates to the rigid TV schedules set up by the majors. And how are you a fan of LOST and you spend your time being upset about the way they divulge info? That has been a piece of their makeup from day dot, so you are basically pissed at yourself for sticking with it for so long. Cats like THAT put the nail in the coffin prematurely. Long live LOST, I don't see it going anywhere.

08/I have to say that this week was a pretty hectic one for white females in Hollywood. To top things off, Nicole Richie got charged with DUI stemming from the situation in Dec. 2006 when she was high off weed and pharms and sitting in her idling whip. She might end up getting a year in jail along with a $1K fine, but I highly doubt she will see one day in jail. Just a hunch... Kim Mathers, fka Mrs. Marshall Mathers, reportedly went on some Detroit radio show and let this gem slip out of her mouth: "I vomit in my mouth whenever I'm around him or I hear his name." WTF you still talking about him then? I guess your meal ticket in the fame game is hard to let go... Speaking of riding the coattails of success, this Anna Nicole Smith fiasco is ridiculous. The latest news this week is that her will left everything to her deceased son. Why the media is so surprised is anyone's guess - the will is old anyways. The problem is that she made a specific note in there that her son be the only one to get her estate, not allowing any kids born after him to get a piece of it. The fucked up part? Howard K. Stern, her possible-baby daddy and lawyer, is the executor, so I am guessing he will be profiting off the large chunk he will cut for himself. I saw on GMA today that he is going to court on Tuesday about this to try and get it set straight. If he doesnt' cake off, I will be SO surprised... and there's no way I could go on this week without giving my $0.02 on this Britney Spears rehab/baldness situation. From what I've read/seen on TV, the word is that her family thought she was bugging out, and decided to have her go into rehab, but Brit was there for less than a day, said "fuck this shit, this ain't me", and dipped. Here's where it gets odd: she gets back, goes to a tatoo spot, gets a few new markings and shaves her head after the salon worker was like "I won't cut it"? You have to feel for homegirl. Fuck those who say this is some promotional stunt. Homegirl might have fallen off the wagon or gone loco, but the description about the transaction shows me someone who is crying out for help, someone who is going through something serious and is trying to figure out a way to change things. I hope she can find her way, for I think she can get back on top if she wants it. I just want to know: was K-Fed really that good of a man that the divorce/separation started this off, or is it deeper than this?

09/Speaking of the Entertainment Industry, let's shoot some quick links at you muckety mucks: on the interview side, Rizoh broke bread with Fabolous for About: Rap, Prodigy (with The Alchemist on the helpout) chat it up with All Hip-Hop, and Papoose sat down with Prefix to do the same... Beyonce graced the cover (and inside) of the latest Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, which just screams "we've been losing money on our previous issues" loud and clear. Why there are no ass shots is kind of silly to me... Speaking of Beyonce, Idolator speculates on the real reasons why Kelly Rowland's album keeps getting pushed back... Do you think there is enough material to make a Milli Vanilli movie? Someone does; I personally thought their Behind The Music was more than enough... I hope this one isn't true: word is J.Lo and Marc Antony are dipping into the Scientology nonsense, having been spotted at crazy meetings since December of 06. I felt fucked up when I found out Beck was a Scientologist, and then I found out that one of my childhood crushes, Leah Remini, was a Scientologist as well, I almost fell out (word is Leah and J.Lo are buddies now, too)... Chris Cornell split from Audioslave, which makes them reuniting to form Rage Against The Machine all the more special... Why does Juelz Santana and Paul Wall getting beats from former blink182 drummer Travis Barker sound so un-appetizing?... and finally, Al Gore is setting up Live Earth, trying to get over 100 performers to rock out all over the globe for 24 hours in the name of global warming (which is ironic, considering the amount of electricity that will be used up on that one day alone).

10/Now for the buckshot from the rest of the news for this week: here's a few how-to's from my wife - how to French Kiss (I asked her if she was trying to say something, but she assured me I had nothing to worry about), how to create an iPod tarot deck (spooky!) and, from's Red Tape, how to make those telemarketers pay IN CASH... a county in New York is trying to ban the "N-word" for good. Good luck with that one, I don't see it going down at all... MySpace is trying to appease the majors by setting up a video filtering system to help block copyright material, like these kids won't find ways around these great white hopes... Nashville was one veto away from becoming an English-only city... GMail is finally available to the public, and no longer needs an invite... the US Mint has put out new $1 coins, but will that mean that retailers will still look at you like you tried to pay in amusement park tokens?... research is showing that there are more autistic people out there than once thought of, but its mainly due to more people finally speaking out... this 19 y/o male got arrested for agitating a police K-9 -- say whaaa?... as for right now, anyone trying to trademark "Obama bin Laden" is going to get shut down... and say a prayer for Stumpy, the 4 legged duck.

11/And in my last bit of news, I want to highlight two deaths, one that seems to have caused the other: at the age of 93, Robert Adler has passed away. He is the man who invented the remote control, a device that controls the TV viewings of many a family. We learned the longevity of batteries, the different ways lasers and beams work, and all other sorts of neat things through this invention. Essentially, Mr. Adler single handedly invented the couch potato as well... which brings me to the 2nd death: Vinnie Ricardo was found dead this week, having spent a year in front of the TV, deceased. Could his family sue? I mean, he was blind, but enthralled enough in the TV that he died right there. Anyways, the other question is, how was his electricity still on? A live family in my city could get their shit cut after 2 (or 3) unpaid bills... but this dude can sit DEAD in front of his boob tube, and the juice would still be going? Inconceivable...

I leave you guys with Grandmaster Flash from Wild Style, a movie I still haven't watched today. I was going to, but didn't get around to it. In any case:

Until next time...

Big L, Rest In Peace

No Comments »

God Rest The Dead.

Friday, Feb. 16th 2007 playlist

No Comments »

I had a weird dream last night while wishing my 5 month old would stay asleep... for some reason, MF Doom wanted the world to believe that he really was two different entities, and set up two different labels: Metal Face Records and something else, I want to say it was like Hotbox Sneaker Recordings, but the name truly escapes me. In any case, he's set up these press releases, saying things like "oh Metal Face shits all over Hotbox's output", setting up "Vs." mixtapes and what not. I don't even know why, I haven't been jazzed about new MF Doom since before the DangerDoom project.

I need more sleep. Or more hot music... here's some hot trinkets for you:

01/Birdman & Lil' Wayne "Stuntin' Like My Daddy (DJ Nappy Vs. Luke Envoy Thugstep Mix)" [you thugstep haters, you know what you can do (or, you can just join the campaign). and you know how we feel... I love Weezy over these dubstep tracks, the drops in and out of the beat help accent his braggadocio. Makes me actually appreciate his flow. More Weezy this week, later...]
02/J.R. Writer "Get 'Em" [from this Dipset rhymer's new mixtape, this one has that knock. All about that beat, as per usual with the Dipset clan.]
03/Parliament "Flash Light" [who knew that a group who's name became one of the worst cigarettes ever to be smoked could produce such funk. There's James Brown, the backbone of the Funk, then George Clinton and his P-Funk associates. Tracks with lyrics but no theme, just a fucking bomb-ass groove. When it gets to that "SHINING ON THE WALL" shit, that's when I lose my shit and have to pull up and reload.]
04/Cam'ron "Currrtiss" [TWO Dipset joints for one week? I had to include this one. Especially because of that video (peep the United Nations shouting "CURRRTISS!" and you though BALLIN was annoying)... I mean, Cam is not the man on the mic, but in this battle? I think he got it on 50. Even if 50 had the iller beat. Oh and peep Cam's speech towards the end, when he speaks on those G-Unit tank tops. He is on point with that comment.]
05/Fat Joe ft. R. Kelly, Lil' Wayne, Birdman, T.I. & Rick Ross "Make It Rain (Remix)" [why is R Kelly on this speaking about being with models? We don't think JC Penney girls are really on that level, Kells. Wayne murders it, as per usual (even though he shares his 16 with Birdman... who made THAT decision), and T.I. keeps his swagger official.]
06/Erykah Badu ft. Common "Love Of My Life (An Ode To Hip-Hop)" [extra cuts left off of my "rock the love" mixtape. Dope, smooth, Grammy award winning banger from Ms. Badu.]
07/Kanye West, Nas, KRS-One & Rakim "Classic (Better Than I Ever Been Remix)" [DJ Premier on the beat. If you guys caught that "One Night Only" event, the one biggin' up the Air Force 1, you saw clips of these 4 performing this on stage LIVE. This is the remix, but there is an original produced by Rick Rubin (couldn't find an mp3, sorry!), and from what Rizoh says, both tracks will be available for purchase on Feb. 20th via iTunes, with proceeds going to a Nike charity. Holla.]
08/Redman "Put It Down" [WHOA, sorry for the un-full version of this, but I had to put this new Redman out there, produced by Timbaland. Friday, club knockin beats. Seriously. What a combo. Word is this might be the lead single to Red Gone Wild? We'll let you know when we get either a full version or more info... the funny thing is, this week OhWord has been bringing some heat in terms of slept on gems (more on that later), and Red's classic "Pick It Up" made one of the lists. Nice contrast, in the titles that is. And one of my favorites. Oh, and for the fuck of it, here's another Redman clip uploaded via eskay @ NahRight: "Get Off My Dick". HOLLA!]
09/Lil' Wayne "Reggae Shit" [Wayne doing his thing over Baby Cham's "Ghetto Story". And you just thought he was done with "Mo Fire", eh? I like his fake patois lol. Does he have Jamaican in him? Shouts to Idolator for leaking this, as well as the "A-Trak RMX of Fireman".]


For those looking for FREE mixtapes, Mick Boogie and the now DUO Little Brother dropped "And Justus For All", which concerns me. Is 9th still part of the Justus Leage? Anyways, enjoy the freeness.


The boy ESB's Detuned Radio brought in none other than Canada's Gremlinz, and they did a pretty dope set on the 9th of Feb. Can't believe I missed it. No tracklisting on this one, but the dload is free (sendspace link).


Shouts to the OhWord crew, Noz, Robbie, and whomever else put together the "50 Incredible Rap Songs You Need To Hear... Right Now" series for (I actually don't think Rafi had anything to do with it, so he was as surprised as we were when this list just came out). The dloads even helped shut OhWord down for a bit yesterday morning. In any case, these are a boatload of slept-on Rap gems from all different eras, compiled by the above mentioned heads, with their short quips about them to boot. Here are the links: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 EDIT: here is parts 1-5 in one file, as well as 20 bonus tracks from the good folks over there. Gotta applaud my peers when they bring excellence.


To put an end to this, my final thought is a special video from the man like Wordsmith. He's the head behind the Nu Revolution Camp, a group of MCs, producers and the like who are currently making some sick music and on the verge of cracking into your mainstream systems, if they haven't already. Dude is even working with Chubb Rock, which is just dope in and of itself. You might also remember that I interviewed his boys Kontakt & SoL last month, and both spots came out right.

IN ANY CASE, this is a self-produced video they did, chronicling their "Mixshow" tour from 2006. You see them doing promo photo shoots, in the lab working on beats AND rhymes, just straight wylin' out and their slick looking live shows. I like the scene where they are on the stage rappin' about drivin', and really mimicing the act of driving, and its like every piece he rhymes about, a prop comes on stage and they act it out. I haven't seen something like that since Special Ed's "I Got It Made" video. Check it out. And peep for the rock the dub shout at the end. You know how we do.

Wordsmith's 2006 Mixshow Wrap-Up

Add to My Profile More Videos

Until next time, take it light, but take it...

American Idol 6, "Hollywood Week" [recap]

No Comments »

FINALLY, we've got our contestants. Were you surprised at who made it and who got left behind? I sure as hell am a bit pissed... what can you do, though?

I was surprised Sundance Head made it, with his lackluster performances over the entire Hollywood Week. I am also surprised that Antonella chick made it, even if she's a Jersey girl.

My early predictions? Well, I really like that girl Haley - she's very cute, she can dance, and her voice is nice. Not the best, but I think she has the total package. My early pick for the guys is Sanjaya, just because I think his voice is phenomenal. He murked his sister. The backup singers (Melinda and Brandon) also stand out to me, just for the fact that you can tell they are not only great singers, but they love it.

Now for who I wish would just fall out of the competition early: Blake Lewis. I get it, he can beatbox and act like Justin Timberlake-lite. My thing is, dog, you are getting through based on personality, dancing and your beatbox. I have no doubt that he will do great in the votes (as long as he doesn't totally bomb on his songs), but I couldn't help but getting annoyed when he started beatboxing during the group comp. Just cheesy and really not necessary IMHO. I'm also not too into that Gina girl either - just not seeing how long she can keep it up. Especially since she got cut during last year's Hollywood Week. There's a reason you didn't make it, ma. For the same reason, Nicholas Pedro should go - you quit, dog!

The wild card? Chris Sligh. He might be this year's Taylor Hicks: not that much to look at, but with his wit and his damn good vocals, he might stay under the radar longer than many might realize. Don't sleep on Lakisha, either. That girl can BLOW!

Those are my picks! Next week, the guys perform first. We'll see who makes it...

LOST, Season 3: "Flashes Before Your Eyes" [recap]

No Comments »

What a crazy episode. I think this is the first one that frustrated me, because while I understood everything that happened, I do not get why it happened, nor do I understand how Desmond's plight plays into the whole of the island...

Like, at the end of Season 2, when Desmond turned the failsafe key and then we saw that Penelope was tracking him down, I thought "wow, this is going to turn into one of those ultimate love story things", because while Desmond might seem like a minute character to many, his actions have set things in motion. Think about it: not only has he saved the world every 108 minutes for years, but his not hitting the button that one time caused the crash of the Oceanic 815 - we believe. I truly think that his love for Penny will undoubtedly cause Penny and her team to eventually find the island. What happens then, who knows, but isn't that big enough?

Now, about this time travel thing: I am lost (no pun intended). I mean, OK, you have to look at everything that Desmond is going through as a circle (a vicious one at that). So, he turns the failsafe, and ends up in the past, with the paint all over him in his shitty loft. So, deja vu sets in and he realizes he has done all of this before. The thing is, how come no one else knows it? What about HIM is so important that he could relive his life again? Personally, I think that "butterfly effect" thing might be coming into play, or a variation of it. I think Desmond had a chance to make a change, to do things right, for whatever unknown reason, but the weight of his responsiblities to, well, THE WORLD, overpowered his love for Penny. The problem is, when he tries to change things, it disrupts the equilibrium of the world somehow. Follow me on this one: throughout the entire episode, he did what he knew he would do, from the interview to the picture on River Thames, etc. EXCEPT for the very end, when that Jimmy cat comes in to smack the bartender with the cricket bat; Desmond instructs the barkeep to duke (brother), and he ends up getting smacked... back to the island. Was this Desmond's 2nd chance to make things right in his life?

Look, in life, we're all given options, and who knows what could happen if we were to go back and try to recapture something we lost. A love, money, whatever. Was Desmond SUPPOSED to keep the ball of fate (destiny?) rolling, or was his "deja vu" really a 2nd chance to make things right with Penny, with whatever he had going on?

Or was he just knocked out from the anamoly? Who knows. I just can't disregard my thoughts on this, because he knows the future.

And he knows that Charlie is destined to die. That's the creepy part - we spent 50+ minutes dealing with Desmond's deja vu, and we end up seeing him as someone completely different: a man trying to change the future, but ultimately realizing that some things will not be undone, no matter how hard you try. And now Charlie is going to die. Some say it will happen when they try to find Jack... who knows.

Oh, and before I forget to mention it, I think this episode was a treat for nerdy "mystery" bastards like myself, who like seeing things like Widmore Industries mentioned in episodes. The amount of trivia and references to the whole LOST canon was a dope touch: from "I have a delivery for 815" (ref. to the numbers, 4, 8, 15...), to the banners during the football match (Apollo Candy Bars, Oceanic Airlines, Mr. Cluck's Chicken Shack, etc.) to the many references to the color red (Desmond's shirt, the guy's shoes, the paint on the floor in the loft, etc.), which may or may not have a thing to do with anything other than keeping me hooked. It was fodder for us to be like "OOO, DID YOU SEE THAT!?!?"... I think.

Did you guys see that promo for next week's episode? Part of it was already seen, in this LOST Moment from Dec. 13th, 2006... check it out. Do you recognize who the lady that Jack is speaking to is?

In any case, I am definitely amped to get the answers to those 3 things that we have questions on... especially after an episode that had me losing sleep.

related links:

rock the love (V-Day Feb. 2007)

No Comments »

I told you guys yesterday that I had a treat for you...

I wanted to take some of my favorite songs about love and put them into a mix... but figured, what the hey, let's just throw them out in a .rar, unmixed.

So, here you go!

rock the dub presents: rock the love (V-Day Feb 2007) (sendspace link) (more links to come)

Here's the tracklisting:

01-Justin Timberlake ft. T.I. - My Love
02-Portishead - It Could Be Sweet
03-Christina Aguilera - On Our Way
04-Bobby Caldwell - What You Won't Do For Love
05-Teddy Pendergrass - Love TKO
06-Michael Jackson - The Lady In My Life
07-D'Angelo - The Root
08-High Contrast - Global Love
09-Whodini - One Love
10-J Dilla ft. Pharoah Monche - Love
11-The Perceptionists - Love Letters
12-Nas - Getting Married
13-The Notorious B.I.G. - Me And My Bitch
14-Method Man ft. Mary J. Blige - I'll Be There For You-You're All I Need (Razor Sharp Mix)

You like how it goes from R&B and Pop to DNB to Hip-Hop, right? And how we cover all facets, from thinking about ditching love to cautionary tales to straight up Bitchery, right?

I know you do. Share and share alike.

Spend your afternoon/evening rocking the love with your loved ones... and finding out what this Valentine's Day is all about.

Valentine's Day Eve 2007

No Comments »

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

1 Comment »

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

No Comments »

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]

No Comments »

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

No Comments »

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!: