Last Donut of The Year.

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

DJ Shadow "Midnight In A Perfect World"

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

DJ Craze LIVE at the DMC 2006 in London, UK

gotta love his skratch technique. TEKDBZ STAND UP!

MTV Base "About To Blow" Documentary about Dubstep

just because.

Classic James Brown medley from Soul Train

RIP to the Godfather.

Eminem & Proof freestyling for some old MTV show

RIP Proof, where's Shady at?

J Dilla "Nothing Like This"

RIP to the master beatmaker. BTW, sneak attack!

Remember. Reminisce. Realize. Recreate.

2007 - we're ready.

Peace and love.
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Outa 2k6, Inta 2k7

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

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

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

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

Be safe tonight, and catch me tomorrow.

Peace and love,
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the shuffle. [12/30/06]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Any other blogs out there bringing you this much fire, week in and week out? Didn't think so... Oh and I want to send a big shout out to EVERYONE out there who is voting and keeping me in that #1 Spot over that the "Blog For A Year" competition... keep it up!
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The Last Playlist of 2006

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

I'll holla. Enjoy the licks.
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The Sickness

That's what I looked like late Tuesday night.

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

So heres how this all came about...

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

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

Not a pretty sight.

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

Now I just need a job...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Not broke enough...

Is the line of poverty seriously askew these days?

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

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

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

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

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

Sippin' I tell you...
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The Year We Lost James...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Merry Christmas, bitches!

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

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

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the shuffle. [12/23/06]

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

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

Shuffle she lovely...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

09/This Russian website, AllofMp3.com, thought they got around some Russian copyright law with their MP3 bootlegging site, but it appears as though labels have had enough, and are suining the Ruskies. I can't blame them, I mean it looks as like the site just gave away crazy albums for like $0.02 a song. I had heard conflicting reports in the past, from this being within the law, because each company was to be held responsible for paying royalties, but really, who is going to call Sony and be like "yo I made X amt of dollars for that Bow Wow". That's not happening, and we all know it. Hopefully, those kremlin bitches get what they deserve.

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

I'm out of here. Donuts write-up coming before 2006 is done. Long live Dilla, and my Uncle Allen. Holla.
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Friday, December 22nd, 2006 playlist

Word. "You guys ready for Xmas?" I'm hearing that a lot on TV this past week... I don't feel like I'm ready, but hell, I'm not ready for Friday, let alone Xmas. This year is almost over... I think next week might be a special playlist, with a host of tracks that I loved being available to you guys for being loyal readers. We'll see. Might be a top10 from me -- I am not a fan of "Top 10 albums of the year" lists, I mean hell, I can't pick them at all. 2006 has been pretty shitty, album wise. Aside from J Dilla's Donuts, everything else has paled in comparison. In any case, here's my 10 heaters for this week...

01/Young Buck ft. The Game & Ludacris "Stomp (Nappy's Dubstep Mix)" [my DJ is still on that gwap. This one is ill.. I wish I had more than the 'rough' version of this track, or I'd share it. Luda sounds fucking SLICK over the dubstep...]
02/Busta Rhymes "I'm Just Getting Warm" [scorcher produced by Dr. Dre, sampling LL's "Mama Said Knock You Out" in the intro. Another club banger. Wonder if this is getting play yet, this is the perfect heat-for-the-winter track.]
03/Jean Grae ft. Phil The Agony "Heat Freestyle" [from the new Talib Kweli mixtape... shit's official. Review might be coming on this soon... been so busy/lacking sleep. We'll see. EDIT: Merry Xmas.]
04/Skillz "The Rap Up 2006" [you know what it is. Skillz recapping '06 over "Lost One". It's funny, no doubt, but not his best. Oh, and props to Rizoh of rap.about.com and The Rap Up fame, among other things... he posted up each and every "Rap Up" Skillz has done. Respect.]
05/Joulz Il "D-Town Hit" [unsigned hype. Peep his MySpace page, and get familiar. More on him coming ASAP.]
06/The Sect "Axon" [neuro-style gwap on Obscene. Surprised, reminds me of some Ed+Op flavors, classic. Not really my everyday DnB cup of tea, but I'm feeling this one.]
07/Jazz Thieves "Keep Pushin'" [good to hear Curtis Mayfield jacked for a DnB tune. Those horns are beautiful.]
08/Heist "Sprout (Breakage Remix)" [heavy dub vibes on this one... Amit-esque, but still original enough. Not what I was expecting from this RMX at all, and I love it! Grab the EP if you see it...]
09/Mutt & Perpetuum "November" [rollin' DnB at it's finest. Peep the dubplate digest for more info on this one and some more FREE DnB.]
10/Insight "Double Dealing" [forthcoming Progress Limited heat. more of that Dub-tastic flavor. So sick.]

In terms of mixtapes and such, there's a few about that need to be bigged up... there's a "Santa's Mixtape", which is done by the folks over at Wildstyle. This has 50 mins of Xmas Rap, which is nice for those who don't want to keep rockin' to "Christmas In Hollis", even though that classic is represented as well. Yours truly also has a new Dub Session out, "National Lampoon's Dub Vacation", which is a nice dubstep mixtape for the holidays. If you like it, let me know what you think...

Finally, for the Final Thought, I figured I'd play it late and just throw up the now infamous "Dick in A Box" vid from the last SNL featuring Justin Timberlake. It's a pretty hilarious send up of those mid 90s videos, preferably the old Color Me Badd flicks... after that, you get the special "Lazy Sunday" skit, which is just hilarious and old and whatever. Keep it locked:

"Dick In A Box" (Uncensored)

"Lazy Sunday"

Be safe.
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"National Lampoon's Dub Vacation" (Dec. 2006 Mixtape)

Dub Sessions, volume 7. I had to do it...

So I found the soundtrack to the classic Christmas Vacation flick, and with my boy DJ Nappy getting into the Dubstep Mashup thing, I figured, why not combine the 2?

This mix is the product of that brilliant thought... loads of Dubstep, both original articles and funky Rap/Dubstep combinations courtesy of my favorite DJ, interspersed with clips from this classic Christmas comedy.

Peep the tracklisting:

02/Eek-A-Mouse "Christmas A Come"
03/"Clark's Remark"
04/Young Joc "Going Down (Nappy's Dubstep Mix)"
05/Protocol X "Future World"
06/"Aunt Bethany's Arrival"
07/Lil' Wayne "Go DJ (Nappy's Dubstep Mix)"
08/JuJu "Red Up"
09/Coki "Shattered"
10/"Clark Explodes"
11/Lil' Jon ft. Three 6 Mafia "Act A Fool (Nappy's Dubstep Mix)"
12/"Eddie's Gift"
13/SDM "Got It"
14/"Hell's Threshold"
15/Benga "Evolution"
16/Loefah "Mud VIP"
17/Digital Mystikz "Earth A Run Red"

time: 54:14
size: 76mb

Pretty nice, right? Shouts to the guys making dubstep that a guy like me can feel. Big up to Eek-A-Mouse for his nice slab of classic dub. Shouts to Nappy for getting dubstep to the point where he can effortlessly throw a vocal over a dubstep track and make it work (his new batch of blends is not to be fucked with). The original for a few of the mashups are right in this mix, just felt like doing it that way. I also want to say that JuJu is my favorite DnB producer currently getting his feet wet Dubstep-wise. And big up to SDM for making dope tunes and giving away free 320s.

sendspace : megaupload
(if anyone likes this mixtape enough to mirror it, let me know!)

As per usual, this is not mixed persay, but blended to where the party doesn't stop. Feel the funk.

We Wish You A Dubby Christmas!

PS: If I get some time, I might be able to finish off another mixtape I'm working on: Malcolm X-Mas, Vol. 2. Pray for me!
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[rock the dub Interview]: Fanu

As you loyal readers should know, I do some work for many organizations in the DnB spectrum: DOA amd Horizons Music, as well as some bio work for guys like Perpetuum and Saburuko, plus some other things I will not speak on right now. I say that to say this: I'm doing a lot of writing, and sometimes these pieces sit on my HD collecting cyberdust. This interview is one of those pieces. It's a proactive interview I conducted with master of DnB & Downtempo stylings, Finland's own Fanu. At the time, his label, Lightless, was just a rumor, and I figured it'd be dope to snag him before his venture took off. He's been a producer that has received love for his keen ear for beats, his usage of atmosphere in his tracks, and just the fact that he can flip from the "drumfunk" to the "broken beat" seamlessly. In any case, the powers that be at DOA thought an interview with Fanu would be a great idea as well, so the stage was set. For reasons unbeknownst to anyone, this interview fell by the wayside, and it was not until last month when I remembered this one had been around. Alas, DOA had conducted a new, superb piece on Fanu (shouts to Mary Morris), and mine was left, unpublished. I now bring you this gem, in all of its uneditied glory. Fanu speaks on what moves him inside and outside of "the scene", how he works, and just what makes him tick. Keep in mind, this is from about May of '06, for DOA. I apologize to Fanu for having this interview sitting idle for so long, but it was beyond my control. Here's an early Xmas gift to DnB fans big and small...

khal: There are many heads on and off DOA who are infatuated with your style of production. Can you give us an idea of what inspires you to create? Do you look at making music as a full-time job or as a hobby?

Fanu: Anything can inspire me, basically. Usually it starts with creating/finding/sampling some good sound: getting an interesting sample from a synth, a movie, a record, or whatever. Being after good sounds is almost a lifestyle thing, really. You try out synths, buy/rent movies/records, mic things…go through everything and record everything…keep your ears open. I have developed a big sample library for myself, and the best thing is to randomly try out different sounds and see what goes with what: by doing that, I’m never repeating what I’ve done before. When I find something interesting, I just start building things around that. It’s like building a house on a stone base and then getting creative from there, letting it evolve. For example, I’ve just finished writing an ambient tune that becomes a house-y tune; it started with me just playing with sounds…first it was very cinematic, then I realized I can make it transform into a house tune. I’m very interested in progression music at the moment. I don’t think music will ever be my job, and that’s how I want to keep it. I mean, of course I get paid a little for signing music to labels, for record sales, and DJing at the moment, but that’s just very little, and I’m more than happy with that. I love music and I put a lot of time into it, but I want a job that doesn’t have to do with music: I don’t want music to be the job that pays my bills because I want to keep my artistic integrity and my freedom of creativity because they are the last things I want to compromise. I will graduate from the university of Helsinki and become an English teacher in a year.

khal: What makes you “Fanu”? In asking that I mean, what drives you to create the deeply funky, atmospheric tracks that you make and not some dance floor ready nastiness?

Fanu: Well, everything I do comes from what’s inside of me and what I hence want/need to create; that, of course, has to do with my roots. I never let go of the mid-nineties aesthetics because that was such a huge influence to me. I mean, I’m not trying pathetically to repeat any “good old days”, but my love for atmospheres and breaks comes from the old GLR and Metalheadz times and I acknowledge that. It is also true that my music isn’t about the latest mainstream dancefloor trends, and I say that with a great pride.

khal: Why do you think there is such a big conflict/distinction between what many have called “choppage” or “drumfunk” and the rest of the DnB you hear spun? Do you think there might be a time when there is no distinction between those styles?

Fanu: Well, the reason why there is such a distinction is possibly that at some point, breakbeats and syncopation lost their meaning in DnB to a great extent, so I suppose that nowadays some people feel that there’s the need to emphasize the fact that somebody’s using breaks instead of a more straightforward and rigid drum pattern – the latter being the predominant choice. Personally, I’ve never been into categorizing things too much – if it’s good DnB (or any music), it’s good. However, as long as there are people doing things that differ remarkably, there’s gonna be different names for all those things as well: it’s inevitable. Now that they’ve come up with all those names, I don’t think there will be a time when everything’s just “DnB” for everybody, but I guess there was a time when DnB really was just DnB.

khal: Where do you see DnB [as a scene/music] going in the future?

Fanu: DnB as music: I don’t know where it’s going, and that’s the best part! You can pour anything into DnB and that’s what makes it so great: every once in a while, there’s someone with really original ideas – like Amit at the moment, for example – who just blows everyone away. Naturally, there’s always going to be this less creative dimension of DnB, but there’s always this interesting, creative movement as well that’s being kept alive by producers who – for the love of it – are really bustin’ their balls to keep things alive and fresh. DnB as a scene: I’ve never been into any scene-related matters, to be honest. There’s good DnB coming from everywhere and people are brocking to it around the world. It’s a worldwide phenomenon.

khal: As a producer, are you ever fed up to the point of quitting over some of the problems you face as an artist within the scene?

Fanu: Never. I have the absolute freedom to do whatever I want; I mean, I don’t have to try to follow any trends or try to make music that would sell or get signed by labels. I’ve never put myself so deep or seriously into the game that I would have to follow its rules for any reason. To be honest, if the day came that no label wanted to sign my music, I’d still be proud because I’d still be doing my own thing. The only problems I have had have been with labels, but that shit’s got to do with people who don’t know how to handle their business (I think DnB as a genre holds the world record of the most number of extremely inefficient label managers) – not with any scene-related issues.

khal: Which one of your tracks do you consider your best work, and why? Which would you say is your least favorite, and why?

Fanu: Everybody would say "Siren Song", but I’m trying to forget about it, or maybe make people move on a bit at least. Not because I wouldn’t like it – I still love it! – but because there is so much other music and so many other tracks that I’ve made and there is life and music after "Siren Song", haha…I wish more people checked out all the audio on my website at FanuSamurai.com because that displays me a bit more as an artist, not just a dnb producer. Two of my possibly most technical DnB tracks, "Toshiro" and "Ninja Chicks", are coming out in the summer (hopefully in June) on Darkestral, and they’re something I still listen to and think I did an awesome job. There’s my old Photek influences right there and I’m proud of that. Especially "Toshiro" is a tribute to the nineties Rupert. As for the least favorite tracks: I don’t have any. My quality control is ultra-tight, so every track I finish is something that I’m happy with.

khal: Are there any DnB producers or tracks that people might be surprised to hear that you enjoy?

Fanu: I’ve never put myself in any mould production-wise, DJing-wise, or music-digging-wise, so there won’t be any surprises – if a tune is good, it is good, and I will like it!

khal: I know you have some album work on the horizon, as well as a new label you are working on. Can you tell us a little bit about how this came to be, and what you plan on doing with it in the future?

Fanu: There’s this downtempo album called Focused Mind coming out on Pauze Recordings – it’s from my FanuSamurai moniker, and it’s coming out in the summer (in July, according to the latest news from the label). We’ve been waiting to get that out for so long, but there’s been a massive load of samples to clear, which has delayed things, but the label’s done a great job, for which I’m grateful, and soon we’re ready to put it out. If you ask me, it’s pretty much the best thing I’ve done, and every second on that album is something I’m extremely happy with. As for the label: I’m starting a record label called Lightless Recordings. It’ll be mainly for music of my own at first: DnB and non-DnB (downtempo and anything fat in general), but there will be mutual remix works coming, for example. The label will be representing the DnB I’m trying to push: the mid-nineties aesthetics shaping the DnB of today. Expect a lot of good breaks and deep atmospheres.

khal: Is there any track out there that you wished you had produced?

Fanu: Maybe a million!

If we’re talking about DnB, here’s a few:

PhotekSeven Samurai
Kirsty Hawkshaw – Sci-clone (Droppin’ Science Remix)
Kemal – System Bleed
Hokusai – Black Rose
Source Direct – Secret Liaisons
Seba – Shapeshifter
Amit – Second Cut

Then, non-DnB wise, I’d say any track that FSOL, Underworld and DJ Shadow ever made.

khal: Many heads out there are in love with your string of mixes! I know that you have said that you are pretty new to the art of DJing, but do you have any plans on tightening up and taking your talents on tour?

Fanu: DJing isn’t all that new to me, actually: I’ve been playing for a few years, but it’s got more frequent recently. In the past year or so, I’ve played in Hungary, Poland, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Finland, and England, for example. I was in Cracow and Rybnik a few weeks ago and this week I’ll be playing in Utrecht. I’ve never done any tours but I’m glad to go anywhere.

khal: What would you say is your current top 10?


Naphta – My Bitter Sweetness
Seba – External Reality
Sileni – Cold Sweat
Dstruct – Merkaba
Seba & Paradox – It’s All Love
Stu Haxton – Miss Sunrise (Fracture & Neptune Remix)
FSOL – Papua New Guinea (Vector Burn Remix)
myself – Garmonbozia

Telefon Tel Aviv: At the Edge of the World You Will Still Float
Le Tigre: Deceptacon
Le Tigre: Hot Topic
FSOL: Papua New Guinea
Cyndi Lauper: Time After Time
FanuSamurai: Green Grass, Small Clouds
FanuSamurai: I.Z.A
Everything but the Girl: Future of the Future (Stay Gold)
Underworld: King of Snake

*Noodles with fried tuna, garlic, champignons, cucumber, chili and sweet ’n’ sour sauce. Serve with toast with some fresh tomato.
*Poland, Polish beer and Zubrowka vodka
*Cruising on my skateboard and feeling free
*Sauna and beer
*Realizing I’m progressing with music and evolving as an artist
*Being moderately drunk and realizing that everything rocks
*Green Chinese jasmine tea
*Getting to travel for DJ gigs and meeting all the cool people in the process

khal: Are there any producers that you would like to collaborate with?

Fanu: I’ve never been too wild about the idea of doing collabos, but I’d be honored to work with Amon Tobin, DJ Shadow, Underworld, or Tracey Thorne.

khal: What are some activities you like to get into when you are not working?

Fanu: Well, for example, I just recently started skateboarding again. I’ve been injured most of the time – haha!!! – but whenever I can, I’m on the board now. Also, the summer’s here soon, so hanging out with friends, with my lady, enjoying the sun and beer, that’s the shit!

khal: Do you have any final comments/shout outs/words of advice?

Fanu: Do it for the love.


Shouts to Fanu for this interview. Take a listen to his Focused Mind album, and be on the look out for his upcoming Lightless releases. To keep up with him, check out the following websites:

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Wu-Tang Christmas

First off, shouts to Spine Magazine for originally posting up this link. As you can see, the person who posted this obviously awesome clip of the RZA on the talk show after Letterman has no Christmas (Kwanzaa? what exactly does the Five Percent Nation celebrate?) spirit, as they chose to not allow this clip to be embedded! Well, a quick call on the dub phone to Rafi Kam, the one behind XXL's favorite Hip-Hop blog, Oh Word, and by 12:36AM, he had the proper YouTube goodness linked and ready for mass consumption. Massive respect to Rafi each and every.

In an even greater show of Christmas/Kwanzaa/5% Spirit, Oh Word, along with that master artist agent b, have hooked up the Wu-Peanuts diorama for you guys to print out and give to your beloved ODB fans. If you aren't up on Wu-Peanuts, you are missing out on something powerful. Get familiar.

So, bong bong, get'cha Christmas/Kwanzaa/5% Holiday on!

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Nas "Hip Hop Is Dead" [review]

On Hip Hop Is Dead, Nas does a remarkable thing: he becomes the embodiment of the underground, "backpack" Rap lovers that have flooded the Internet in the last decade. He spends more time asking people to recite Big Daddy Kane lines and pondering what happened to Funky 4 +1. While things like this might sound good to guys who have grown up through Hip-Hop's early stages, it's hard to base an entire genre of music on the old school, just like it was wrong for Jeezy to try and base Nas' relevance today on street cred. You have to blend both the street with the science, History is nothing without new niggas to learn it. In short, there's no reason to diss on young niggas who had no one to teach them the classics of Hip-Hop: instead, Nas should play more of the teacher he can be, and enlighten the youth. He did "UBR" on the last one, but nothing on this one? The ball has been dropped...

He also dropped the ball beatwise. I mean, I cannot say it enough: why the fuck is will.i.am producing THREE cuts on this, including the God-awful title track? What sense does it make to recycle the sample you used on your last joint, and totally Diddy-fy the lick? "Thief's Theme" was some true "street-hop": eerie, brooding and intoxicating. This new creation is what's wrong with Hip-Hop now, from the predictable fills right on down to will's unnecessary "is deeeeead" drop-ins. If we want to truly examine why Hip-Hop died, part of it had to do with the "Jiggy Era", where the risky business of "Suicidal Thoughts" and "edutainment" was thrown aside for cats who took hits and made hits with them. Why contribute to that, then question someone else's hustle? The G.O.D. doesn't stop there, though. To further muddy the title of this disc, Nas brings in guys like Scott Storch, Kanye West and Snoop to produce and guest on the album. What for? Why not replace those names with guys like Primo, Extra P and, I don't know, Slick Rick or some shit? You would just think, with a title that to the point, he'd take some steps to reinvigorate the music, not help usher it into it's corporate grave.

On the flipside, however, there are some points that cannot be disputed. "Black Republican" saves this release, with L.E.S. crafting a stormer out of some Godfather samples to let Jay-Z and Nas do what the fans have wanted for years: hear two of the game's finest of all time kick that raw for 3 minutes and 45 seconds. There's no real need to debate who did who in, who shitted on whom... I mean they both came dope, and this is as good a look as ever. L.E.S. also does wonders with some classic Headhunters-era Herbie Hancock for "You Can't Kill Me", providing some slick boom-bap for Nas' surprisingly fresh flows. One of those tracks where the old Nasty comes out in full view. Dr. Dre comes correct, giving Nas one of his signature grown-man boom bap beats on "Hustlers" (formerly known as "QB True G"), allowing Nas to coast all over that first verse. The Game holds his own, but he is really just on this one to give his mentors handjobs over a raw track. "Who Killed It" is a weird one... Salaam Remi and will.i.am jack the "I Ain't No Joke" drums and throw some weird movie score samples and loops over the track. I cannot tell if this is Nas putting on a weird voice on the verses, or if it's some other nigga entirely... but if you listen to the story, you'll be in for a smooth groove. Kanye drops a nice, cymbal-heavy beat on "Let There Be Light", but the chorus would have sounded better somewhere else, and by the way Nas is rhyming, he probably feels the same way.

It's hard to really get into this album. On one hand, I want it to be the best thing since Illmatic, and you can hear Nas getting his pen-game on with some of these tracks. He has never really stopped being a dope rapper, but along the way he started picking weak beats, and leaving the gems on the cutting room floor. Hip Hop Died when MCs took their true craft and diluted it to make money. Hip Hop Died when Corporate America peeped in and realized that, wow, we can really make money off of these niggers! And, sadly, Hip Hop Died when these MCs thought that any old malarky they put on a compact disc would equate to sales as long as they got the right mixture of current hitmakers, guest MCs/vocalists, and the right title. I'm half-surprised that Lil' Wayne didn't make it onto any of these cuts. I'm also surprised Pitchfork gave this album such a good review. It's hard for me to get excited over the selection of beats, and when I do try to overcome the snoozers, I get treated to tracks like "Blunt Ashes", which has Nas asking if old Black writers got lit before telling stories... he then goes on, trying to rap as slow as Chris Webber's coma-inducing beat goes, playing the "Let's see how many old Black people's names we can put into a track" game.

Maybe Hip Hop isn't dead. Maybe Hip Hop is just tired, giving birth to all of these babies out here. She was born in the late 70s, and has been molested, mass marketed, whored, and is the mother of many children. She still shows glimpses of her old self from time to time, but she knows who butters her bread, and over the last 10-12 years, she has been more focused on flirting with the young MTV boys, getting her drink on, fantasizing about bling, all the while trying to masquerade as if she was better than everyone else. She still has potential, but until she gets out of this piff-haze, she will still be another whore, another hustle, and a fucking disappointment. I miss you, Hip Hop, and while Nas might act like he does, too, he has a funny way of showing it.

rock the dub gives Hip Hop Is Dead a 6 out of 10. Not only does this release focus too much on lax beats and "old man in the club" posturing, but it is unfocused and unreliable. A true MC's MC, Nas needs to pick up the ball and get let his swagger run for an entire LP.

Nas' Hip Hop Is Dead hit stores on December 19th, 2006. Check out his website for more information.

Perpetuum: "This would be a fantastic album... ...if it were an album by Nas."
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as if Detroit was not enough...

From the Knicks/Nuggets game this past Saturday (Dec. 16th, 2006):

You see, shit like this makes Corporate White America think that basketball players are just ignorant hoods. I had Sportcenter on last night, and Stephen A. Smith was talking about how the Isaiah Thomas/Larry Brown beef had something to do with this: word is that Nuggets' coach George Karl is a good friend of Brown's, and even though Denver was murking NY all night, he kept 4 starters, including Carmelo Anthony, in the game at the end. So, Zeke apparently mouthed to 'Melo "don't go under that basket"... some think he was saying either "you gonna get raped" or "you know you guys are wrong for this" (listen to his side of the story). In any case, 'Melo looks like the idiot -- go to like 0:48 into that video, and see how he clocked that dude. Got his lick in, then he was Michael Bolton. You gotta love that -- until he gets his ass suspended. Seven cats got suspended, including Melo, who got a hefty 15 game jobber. You'd think, after the Detroit/Indiana fiasco of a few years back, that niggas wouldn't be trying to show their true nigga tendencies.

To quote Rick James, "they shoulda never gave you niggas money!"
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the shuffle. [12/16/06]

Yes, yes. Another week, and I'm still going strong. Getting odd news all around, but you know how it goes. Drop some pieces, pick them up, put some Red Stripe in my cup. Ay, today is the first time I've had some Red Stripe in 6 years, no bologna. I drank Red Stripe the same night I saw the remake of Psycho, like the night before we moved out of our dorm in May of 2000. I'm not the biggest lager drinker, but I dig Jamaica's finest for it's smoother taste. It's not as rough on my throat as Guinness, which is a blessing.

Anyways, I'm trying to get my hustle on, an aside from my growing Associated Content, um, content, I found this other site that says, essentially, if I garner enough votes, I can get paid for a full year, either $80K or half of whatever is donated by July 1st, 2008, whichever comes first. So, take a few moments out of your life and vote for your boy khal. I'd greatly appreciate it.

Wow, this nigga Willie Gibbs is wearing a MF Doom-esque mask to this fight on HBO BAD - looks like I should get to my news for the week...

01/In the story that got all of the gossip sites and teenage horndogs salivating, Nicole Richie was arrested for DUI. Everyone tripped initially over her booking pic, as well as the fact that she was something like 5'1" and 80 some pounds at the time of arrest, but didn't really get into the facts. Young Nic was reported to have been driving the wrong way down the freeway in Burbank when two motorists called 5-0. When the cops showed up, Nicalicious was on her jack, alone. She straight up told the fuzz that she not only was on Vicodin, but she was puffing that chron. I mean, that's gangsta. Most of the tricks on COPS will deny and deny with a loaded crack pipe sticking out of their coochie. Nic let the world know, yo, I had a lil bit of reefer to chief, and I'm on these Vicodins for my cramps (if she takes V's for her menstrual pain, I wonder what the cheeba is for -- and if she IS smoking mary jane, wtf is she listed at 85lbs for!?!?). Now, why she was going the wrong way down that freeway has not been expressed, but I guess those pills and that ganja got good to her, and she felt she was Wonder Woman or some shit. In any case, I really do hope she gets her shit on straight and gets back into her old, Simple Life Season 2 figure.

02/This week in music has been a weird one, with news on a few long awaited albums finally getting some shine. Axl Rose let it be known that Chinese Democracy, the album that fans have been waiting for since like 1991, is set to come out in March of 2007. He even went on to explain that it was delayed because of some bullshit with one of his managers, as if he hasn't lost every fucking member of Guns'N'Roses since 1991, leaving himself and Buckethead to wallow on some tour bus, laughing at early 90's metalheads who are still stuck in the cold November Rain. On the flipside of things, it appears as though the family that the Ol' Dirty Bastard left behind and Damon Dash are beefing over Dirt's last album, A Son Unique, which Dame was supposed to put out. There's a bunch of drama over money that is supposed to be owed to Dirty's estate. Dame is pretty much on some "fuck you and the money you think you're gonna get" shit, which I can't blame him: Dirty's family must be niggerish - look at how he lived, and died. I just wish a final copy of the LP would get leaked so we could enjoy what ODB was going through during his last days. Speaking of Dame, he went on the record this week and said he is not sure why Jay-Z is dissing him on "Lost One", if that is him being dissed at all. He says that they "did too much together" to have beef, but come on Dame, weren't you the one speaking on Jim Jones' "Kingdom Done" dis track aimed directly at Jay? You might not have talked shit about Jay, but isn't there a thing called guilty by association?

03/Speaking of Roc-A-Fella, it looked like all the Roc is getting for Christmas this year were lawsuits. In the funniest and most poignant lawsuit of the year, daredevil Evel Knievel is suing Kanye West over the "Touch The Sky" video, which is ironically the same video Kanye was sore over when he didn't win at the MTV Europe awards earlier this year. Evel was pissed at Kanye's usage of "vulgar, sexual and racially questionable content", which was apparently not Evel's bag. Evel is seeking royalties as well, which I doubt he will win. I think that, even though the video might demoralize Evel, I don't see him being due any loot in terms of whatever sales it might have generated for Kanye. Think of how many people would be due money for a situation like that. In the end, though, anytime I can laugh at Kanye, I take it from jump. Now, former wrestler Diamond Dallas Page is continuing his suit against Jay-Z and now Roc-A-Wear over the "diamond cutter" hand sign. DDP is stating that he has that thing trademarked, and Jigga is biting his sign. He definitely has a case, but I am just surprised that Page was smart enough to trademark it on his own, without WCW or WWE biting into it. I mean, niggas can't even leave WWE these days without giving up their name. And to think, he went from being a manager of Badd Company to the 3-time WCW champ. God, I fucking miss those old wrestling days. When I do the knowledge on those fueds and such, I get so weepy. I was such a WWF/NWA nerd.

04/Hip-Hop news, aside from the above stuff, was kind of tame and disappointing this week, but you know, we have to cover it so the public knows what's really ha-ni-nin'. On some Pac & BIG shit, the movie that Sylvester Stallone was working on is not going to happen anytime soon. Stallone was supposed to portray Russell Poole, the LAPD cat who tried to expose the departments handling of the facts on the BIG case. For a plethora of reasons, this movie will not see the light - I guess Rocky Balboa and the new Rambo movie are taking their toll on old-ass Stallone... My least favorite artist of 2006, Lupe Fiasco, is set to work on his sophmore album, tentatively titled The Cool, and he wants to work with Pink Floyd. I shit you not... Eminem's new Shady disc, The Re-Up, debuted at #2, even though this very website told you the disc is no good... Speaking of Eminem, his boy Proof (RIP) has an album coming out. This set was supposedly completed over the span of 24 hours, based on a bet. Last time I heard an album done in the same time period, MF Grimm was my idol... In an effort to try and clean up his comments to Monie Love last week, Young Jeezy reached out to Nas to organize a tour between the two of them. Gotta love when beefing niggas is under the same umbrella... Keith Murray spoke in an interview on Redman's forum about his new album. Sounds like a weed-soaked Def Squad orgy, which I do not mind at all, as long as they aren't too burned out... finally, the good guys over at Oh Word posted up some images to go along with the Clipse's rhymes for "Mr. Me Too". Pure comedy.

05/How about Halle Berry has an album coming out? I shit you not, that is the rumor going around quietly... it's set to drop Feb. 2007, and there is even a tentative tracklisting, with a who's who of collaborators on it. I mean, OK, you are a star... who the hell knows if this broad can sing?

06/Due to video game nerds being dumbasses, Nintendo has had to recall about 3 million+ of those Wii remote straps. They are working on the diameter of the straps, but the thing is all of the reports I've read detailed Wii-users NOT USING THE STRAPS. Why recall some shit no one uses?

07/The folks over at ABC are not only cleaning house, but they are getting ready for some new members and some old but steady money. Taye Diggs and William Shatner's new shows struck out and got cancelled. No real surprise on either front. I know not one person who watched Day Break, and Shat's show got too much bad press. Now, with Day Break gone, the whole "watch Taye do a dumb action show so you can peep new bits of LOST" ploy is gone, but TheTailSection has posted up the latest commercial/sneak peek of the 2nd half of this season. Jack's in the jungle cage? Who tf is Cindy? Where's Kate and/or Sawyer? Spooky... ABC also has plans to give Oprah two reality TV shows, as if she needs more loot. The themes on both shows circulate around change, pushing oneself to the limit to see if they will sink or swim, which hopefully deters wanna be actors and fake singers.

08/After all of the fuss - after Marc Cuban proved them wrong, and damn near halfway into the season, the higher ups at the NBA want to use the old ball. I still don't get why they figured a change of the ball was needed, but so be it.

09/On some random Pop news, it looks like in an effort to combat the over-sexy image the Super Bowl halftime show has received over the years, Prince is the most obvious choice. The same man who wrote such touching family ballads as "Head" and "Erotic City". Score one for morals and dignity. K-Fed is rumored to be writing a book based on the untold scandal surrounding Britney Spears. It should be hitting the crayon racks in the next couple of years... Mariah Carey is suing porno star Mary Carey so that Mary does not use her porno-name for her forthcoming CD. I think a) Mariah needs to stop watching porno so much that she remembers the fucking dude's name, and b) she needs to set straight.

10/And now, here's some sleepy random news: this boy in PA shot himself with an AK over his report card. Fucked up that your parent's pressure would lead to such tragedy. We reach out to that community during these ridiculous times. Totally unscientific data would lead you to believe that this "trend" called blogging will die down in 2007 - stop crying, no need to worry.

11/The finals of the Survivor Race War are on tomorrow. I have money on Yul, the Asian mastermind. He's been the smartest player throughout, and has what it takes. I like Ozzy, too, and I think those 2 will be in the final 2. I apologize to my race, but there is no way in HELL that chick Sundra will make it past the final 4. Nor Becky, the conniving Asian chick. They buddied up with the Godfather Yul and rode his coattails the entire game... who woulda thought that I would get sucked into reality TV shows like that!? By the way: American Idol, Jan. 16th!

I'll always be around.

I am going to leabe it at that...just want to let you guys be aware of the newness coming soon to rock the dub. There will be 2 mixes dropping in the next 2 weeks: one is a 2006 DNB Retrospective mix done by DJ Nappy, with tunes selected by yours truly, as well as an all-Dub Xmas mixtape done by myself. Review of the new Nas album is coming by Tuesday as well.

As for right now, it's time for bed.

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