Friday, June 30th 2006 playlist

It's been an ill week. And I have to deal with fucked up DVD drives... or a PC that's hating on the drives. No picnic. I did accumulate some ill mixes though: DJ J Period's Cornerstone Mixtape #84. DJ Eleven's Summer Madness mix (more info on DJ Eleven's mixes here). Affray's "Inception Mix" for the Summer of '06. Check out the Chocolate Swim EP for free as well. Probably some more but I can't think of them. Been on some ill ish this week, thanks to Spine Magazine and Dubalty.

01/Dubalty ft. MC Fever "Big Time Dappa" [zombie]
02/Agent Alvin "On The Run" [g2]
03/Ludacris "War With God" [promo]
04/Visioneers "The World Is Yours" [bbe?]
05/J Dilla ft. Common & D'Angelo "So Far To Go" [stones throw]
06/Alpha Omega "Mind Aura" [thermal]
07/Pack FM "Clik, Clak & Spray" [getting up ost]
08/Visionary "Jungle Rock" [digital soundboy]
09/Gremlinz "The Thorn" [renegade hardware]
10/Liquid Liquid "Cavern" [getting up ost]

That's how we do. Have a safe weekend...
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[rock the dub Interview]: DJ Motive

With a genre as worldwide as DnB, it's always a great thing when a dynamic new producer starts to show signs of creativity, as well as injecting a different feel and aesthetic to a scene that can breed stagnant releases. With a handful of releases to his credit, DJ Motive is one of those artists that truly tries to strike out on his own, and has been getting tracks out on dsci4, Dispatch, Soundtrax, and has his future shining bright ahead of him. khal got a chance to prod Motive with questions, and Motive, with his dry humor and honest attitude, stands firm and drops some nuggets of knowledge...

khal: Your track record in DnB is kind of short, but very impressive. How did you get into DnB production?

DJ Motive: Short but impressive - sounds like I'm a wrestler. I got into production thru the usual channels really, I've been DJing since about '97, but there comes a point for many DJs where you can't find the exact sound you're after. So you have to try and do it yourself.

khal: Australia wasn’t initially known as a spot where ill DnB was coming from, but as of late, guys like yourself, Pendulum, Shock-One, BaD RoBoT, Greg Packer and others have really started to make noise. Do you guys get together at all?

DJ Motive: I know Pendulum and Greg Packer - but all the artists you've mentioned are from Perth - the world's most remote city - so it's a fair way from my city (Melbourne). About 5 hours via plane, or about 4 days by train.We usually try 'n get together for a drink if they are in town, which is a few times a year, but we've never tried to make a tune together.

khal: Would you say there is a certain “sound” that Australia brings to the DnB scene as a whole?

DJ Motive: From an international point of view, it's pretty heavily slanted towards the Perth sound, the hyper rave sound of Pendulum, Shock-One, BaD RoBoT. On the east coast there's more of the dubwise thing, which I guess people will put me, Ritual, and Vice Versa in to that category - but we don't sell any records so no-one has heard of us.

khal: Who are some of your major influences production wise, and why?

DJ Motive: Ummm.... good question, I've answered this one a few times and I'm pretty sure my answer changes all the time. But I'd say that my influences are Jonny L, Seiji, Switch / Solid Groove, Timbaland, old school jungle especially the '96-'99 era of Moving Shadow and Metalheadz, some reggae & dub - in particular I'm really into some of Sly & Robbie's stuff, some of King Tubby's mixes, some dubstep like Toasty. Optical, Photek, Dom, Jonny L, and Boymerang stuff from '96-'99. To me, all the above have kind of got similarities in their use of bass, beat & sample that I really like - I like good production, I like fuzzy bass, spacious beats and kick-heavy production, a touch of melody (but not too much).

khal: For the production heads out there, can you break down what kind of studio setup you have?

DJ Motive: Yeh I've got a really cool set-up these days that I love working on. It's actually really cheap, entry-level sort of stuff. At the heart is an iMac G5 running Ableton Live 5.2 and Logic Express. I don't really use Logic that much tho, it's all about Ableton Live which I've been using for about a year or so. I don't really run very many plug-ins, TCNative bundle does most of it, ummm what else, Ohmboyz Delay is essential. An M-Audio Firewire card is connected to the G5, running to a Soundcraft Compact 4 mixer, and out from that are the Tapco S8 monitors. On the outboard I've got the Electrix Filter Factory analog filter, the Electrix Mo-Fx rack, which is a flange, tremolo, delay unit with overdrive, and a Focusrite Focus EQ (courtesy DJ Trace). You need some outboard, otherwise you'll have no flashing LEDs to look at, no knobs to twiddle, and that's no fun.

khal: How do you work? Are you just vibing off of instinct in the studio or do you go with a certain sound or plan you want to flesh out?

DJ Motive: hmmmm.... how do I work. Lemme see, well, one thing I do is I pre-produce all my beats. I might just do a whole day of doing beats. I master each beat so that it's sounding as loud and clear as possible.Then when I've got an idea for a tune, I just go in and choose which beat is best. I don't cut or Recycle my beats, I do them in audio not midi. I usually get an idea from hearing tunes, usually old school ones, so sometimes I'll do a DJ mix for a while and eventually, something will come to me. Like maybe I'll hear a bassline from someone's tune, and I'll try and write an answer or counterpoint to it, so if I had it in the mix it would complete the phrase, does that make sense??

khal: Definitely. From hearing tracks like that dsci4 12" from 2006 to your releases on Soundtrax, as well as the smashing "Domino" on Dispatch, you exhibit a few different styles of DnB, from the more mellow side to full on dancefloor destruction. For a genre where there are tons of styles and loads of producers who stick to one style, why do you choose to flex different sounds and types of DnB?

DJ Motive: Yeah I actually don't understand how people can write their own niche style in such a niche genre like DnB. To tell the truth, it's probably because I haven't actually found exactly what I want to do or sound like. "Domino" is probably my favourite so far, I felt like I came up with something there that was mine. But generally, say if I do an amen tune or a liquid tune, I won't go back the next week and write another one just like it, even though it seems that's what the industry wants you to do. I listen to a lot of different music, I write different types of music, I DJ different types of music.

khal: From checking your MySpace page, there’s audio up for a Remix for a Big Bud tune that you did. You also Remixed a DJ Trace track for dsci4. How does this work; do the labels come to you, or do you create these remixes and then submit them to the labels? What are you looking to do when you Remix a track --- update it or recreate it?

DJ Motive: I really like doing remixes, one of my favourite things to do. Labels haven't come to me yet, I'm trying to make a name for myself as a remixer, so in the case of "Final Chapter" I asked Trace if I could do a remix. I've also done a remix of "Babylon Boy" on Shout Records - and I approached them and asked to do a remix. With the Big Bud "Children Of Jah" track, it was more that Big Bud wanted me to do one. I took a risk with that one, and turned it from a mellow, strolling reggae flavoured tune into a heavy amen & old school reese tune. An old school Dom & Roland influence on that tune. I was a bit nervous about Bud's reaction but he loves it. When I remix a track I just look at what the original track is, if it's a deeper track, I'll try and do a dancefloor thing. If it's already a dancefloor thing, I'll try and do a deeper thing. There's just no point to a remix if it sounds like the original.

khal: I also saw that you were recently in the US playing a few dates. What do you think is different about spinning for crowds in different countries? Would you play the same set for a crowd in Australia that you’d play in the US? Why or why not?

DJ Motive: Well I wouldn't change what I'd take, but I do notice that certain things go down better in some places than others, so if the crowd was to react one way then I'd keep going down that route. I think it's to do with what the local DJs have been pushing for the years prior. So it pretty much seems to change from city to city. I know that in Australia each city is different. Perth wants the most up front anthems, Adelaide love epic tech tracks, Sydney gets into the liquid and dubwise.

khal: What’s forthcoming from you? I know you have a few things done that are awaiting release… does that wait make you want to start your own imprint up?

DJ Motive: No, definitely not starting my own imprint up. You've got to be really keen on lots of hard work and very little reward if you want to start your own label. Yeh I've got some tunes that have been with labels for 2 years with no release, it's frustrating but it's just the way it is. As for forthcoming, I've got my remix of Big Bud's "Children Of Jah" coming out on Soundtrax, a 12" on Blindside called "Give Your Heart" with "After Hours" on the flip, and a remix of "Babylon Boy" on Shout Records.

khal: There was a thread on DOA that delved into the idea of there not being enough fans in DnB; basically, that everyone wants to be “down”, andt here are no pure fans out there, seemingly. Do you feel this is the case?

DJ Motive: Ok, good question. Ummmm... yeah sometimes you go to a party and everyone is a DJ, everyone is a producer, everyone is a promoter - no one is actually paying to get in and just enjoy it. But I've met some fans, and to be honest they're a bit scary, who are so into it - but they really care about the music. They're good to meet cos they remind me that people care and are listening. Nice people to visit but you wouldn't want to live there.

khal: Is this part of the reason why the scene as we know it today seems to be slumping sales wise, and arguably production wise?

DJ Motive: There really aren't many sales of DnB, but it's kind of caught in a difficult position. The art of making "listening" DnB has long since died. And the dancefloor stuff these days, who's really going to buy it and listen to it - it's not really available in a convenient format for people to buy. DnB producers are in a difficult position. Basically the only money in DnB is from DJing. After getting a decent reputation on vinyl, a DJ can earn in a weekend what you would earn from releasing 12" -that is if the label paid you - and it usually takes a year to get paid after release. Given that it usually takes about 8-12 months for a record to come out, you won't see any money for almost 2 years. So producers are writing disposable dancefloor music which gets them a reputation and gets them gigs, but alienates people who were there since the start and love the sound, the people that used to buy the music. I think that's one of the reasons why we've seen the music go the way it has. And why artistic producers have migrated to other genres.

khal: I also know you’ve put a few mixes up online, showcasing your turntable skills. Do you have anything on that front coming soon?

DJ Motive: Well I have my radio show on - I've missed my show since I've been in UK & US, but all my previous shows are archived. And there's lots of my own unreleased tracks in those sets. As for a proper online mix, it's been a while since I did the Saviour Mixtape last year, I'm in the middle of sorting a mix at the moment.

khal: Can you hit us off with a current top 10 of yours?

DJ Motive: Cambridge 4 - When Pilots Eject - Hospital
Tactile - Aldabra (Commix remix) - Dispatch
Jonny L - This Is Hardcore - Mr.L Recordings
Solid Groove & Sinden - Overbooked - Atlantic Jaxx
Motive - Stop Playing Games - unsigned
Concord Dawn - Man For All Seasons - Uprising
Bungle - Human Poison - Critical
Shapeshifter - Bring Change - TrueTone
Motive - Screw Top - unsigned
Roni Size & Die - It's A Jazz Thing remix - V

khal: If you have a day off of DJing or producing or just any type of DnB related work, what would you be doing?

DJ Motive: I'm a graphic designer by day, most days that's what I'll be doing. I try to travel when I can. I like watching football, or playing it via FIFA06. Now that I think about it I really don't know what I do in my spare time. Big up The Least Jiggy One...

Shouts to Motive for letting me pick his brain. If you want to check out more of his music, hit up his MySpace page. Peep this link for a list of his releases. There are also mp3 links to his Sound Trax releases here. "Babylon Boy" Remix, eh? Sounds sick! Big up ya chest, Motive!
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Jay-Z "44 Four's"

As you guys may have known, Jay-Z performed his 10 year Anniversary show for Reasonable Doubt (AKA his baby) up in NYC at Radio City Music Hall this past Sunday. Reports say: Jay killed it (both nights, arguably). There are links to lots of photos, cracks on (big) Sauce Money, and even talk of how he switched up from doing "22 Two's" to this new joint, "44 Four's". Spine Magazine hooked up the mp3 of this, and here's the video, courtesy of the good folks at YouTube:

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Marc Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure [review]

If you know me, you know I get infatuated with a video game for a bit and then just turn it off, for whatever reason. Most games I can just put down and leave for a while. This game, Marc Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure, is just not that game. If you are into Graf, you will be into this game. If you are into loads of action and free roaming environments, you will be into this game. If you are into Hip-Hop's 4 (5?) elements, you will be into this game. It's not for the casual gamer, but it can be. It definitely got me moving, and I'll let you know why...

In this game, you play the character Trane (voiced by Talib Kweli), a graf writer who has gotten a bit too deep into the scene. He lives in a city called New Radius (which seems to be modeled after NYC), a place where not only is graf a CRIME, but you will get stomped the kcuf out for even being SEEN with fat caps. You get drawn into the lovely intro, showing Trane today, ducking the CCK (the crew that patrols New Radius), speaking about the good ol' days. This game works just like a movie, with Trane narrating certain pieces. You get dropped at the beginning of his ascension, as a "toy", or a writer with no real recognition. You encounter the Vandals of New Radius, a crew headed up by some cat named Gabe (voiced by legendary MC Serch), who does not take to "toys" painting over his pieces. Once they embarass Trane, he goes loco and makes it his mission to get back at THEM! Along the way he forms a crew (SFC - Still Free Crew), and makes a serious name for himself, meeting tons of legends -- T-Kid, Cope2, Smith, the dude who did the "OBEY" pieces, Futura, SEEN... the list goes on and on. You pick up different abilities and techniques that help you further your progress. You go on a journey, hitting "heaven spots" (aka spots that are really hard to find, usually way up on buildings and train tracks)... it's a dreamer's true dream. I've been into graf ever since I was little, and always wanted to do what they did, but alas, my lettering sucked, even though I have a hot lil tag name. This game makes it possible for me to live out my dream...

The action in this game is fast and can be furious. You can tag with spray paint, markers, and later on, stencils and big wheat paste pieces. The game is good with letting you know where you can throw up pieces and murals, how big you can do them (the bigger, the more REP you attain), and other things. The controls are easy to pick up -- all you need is one level of practicing how to put up a tag and you will be a pro. The fighting engine is good to, with you being able to pick up different combos and "insult" moves to use on the various cats who will try and cramp your style. And the graphics? INSANE! Did you hear me? INSANE! There are spots where you get caught on camera and the whole screen morphs to what it would look like on a security cam monitor... nice, nice. The majority of the environments are free to move, and you can climb gates, ladders, walk on edges, dangle off of things, jump off walls... and all to attain certain missions objectives. The gameplay can be frustrating sometimes, but you will pick up on what you need to do relatively quickly. Once you hit a check point, you can go back to it if you make a mistake and die on a level. If you have common sense, you can get a grasp for what you need to do, which makes diving into the game very easy.

One of the strongest points in this game is the attention to detail. The click/clack of the spray can, the sounds of the slums and alley ways, right on to the music used in each scene. At times when you are running away from the law, you get a nice rock-influenced track on there... other times, you are in murky underground lairs, and the right, moody tune just accents the feel so perfectly. With heavy hitters on the voice work (which includes Charlie Murphy, Diddy, Brittany Murphy, The RZA, and others), as well as the different musical talents on the soundtrack (from Nina Simone to Pack FM to Talib Kweli and Rakim to Jane's Addiction to Mobb Deep, as well as tons of beats and original tracks from RJD2), you are treated to great aural pleasures to ride longside the beautiful visual experience. This game was obviously created to be a sort of mini-movie, and each piece makes the whole package and concept gel.

All in all, if my words don't inspire you to go out and check this game, this will: Amazon has it for $20 for the PS2. You can pay more, and you will get a package that includes tons of goodies, but it's not too necessary -- all I would really want is the Soundtrack, and well, I have no problem getting that (wink). Lovers of action and graf; Hip-Hop and good stories; art and passion... you all will find something to latch onto in this game. You don't believe me? Ask Gamespot.

rock the dub gives this game a 9.5 for attention to detail, overall gameplay, and the entrancing story.

Want more info on this game? Check out the official website. And for more graf-specific sites, check out Bomb The World, Art Crimes, Style Wars and Graffiti Warz.
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Sunday YouTube Madness: Black Comedy

I say "Black" because I am a big fan of Black comics. I've watched everything from Robin Williams to Rosie O'Donnell (remember the old VH1 show she hosted?)... I'm a big fan of George Carlin and Dane Cook and a lot of other White comedians... but Black comedy is my shit. Pryor, Eddie, Chappelle, Rock... list goes on. So, let's check some hilarious stand-up from some of my favorite Black comics...

#1: Dave Chappelle on Def Comedy Jam (peep Martin's lil chuckle)...

#2: One of Bernie Mac's FUNNIEST sets ever. "I Ain't Scared Of You Muthafuckas", courtesy of Def Comedy Jam...

#3: Chris Rock's "Niggas Vs. Black People".. being Black, this shit is the TRUTH!

#4: Not much D.L. Hughley on YouTube (my boy D Habs thinks that his TV show killed his rep -- convincing argument); he is funny no matter what. Peep game...

#5: Richard Pryor vs. Chevy Chase on SNL... classic.

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the shuffle. [6/24/06]

This is probably the earliest I've posted one of my shuffle posts... I supposed to be going to see some races tomorrow, so I have to get up early. I figured why not get this done now. Word up.

I'm trying to get into my zone -- there's a serious boatload of shuffle shizzle for you guys to get down with. I'm going to first say you guys need to make these Renegade Hardware 'Anthology' CDs a part of your life. I'm currently rocking to the 2nd of the series... Usual Suspects' "Hole Punch". Grimey.

Also, I want to shout out the Miami Heat, who did exactly what I predicted, and beat the Mavs in 6 to win the championship. In Dallas. Fuck that "referees suck" talk, this is NBA Finals ball. I should have bet took that Popeye's chicken bet...

1> Since we're one the subject of NBA ball, the New York Knicks finally made the easiest decision in the whole NBA and fired coach Larry Brown after a long drawn out session of him leading practice sessions without knowing his true role. How fucked up is that. And now, Isaiah Thomas is going to be coaching, which is something he said he wouldn't do. Do they truly think these moves are going to make the Knicks a good team? I guess they have to think that way, no?

2> On the new album front, we received word Pharrell is set to drop his solo album In My Mind on July 25th. It's supposed to be 1 disc with half R&B and half Rap... not that he's stellar at either style, but it's sure to move units... we hope? Styles P of the LOX fame is also set to FINALLY drop his follow up to 2002's A Gangster and A Gentleman, which is entitled Time Is Money. I have heard a few bootlegs of this, and he seems to have really done his thing. Tracks by Swizz Beatz and Lil Jon show him rocking different funks over different skunks. My personal favorite is "Switch My Style", where he rocks over that Tweet "Turn Da Lights Off"... hot. Album due in stores sometime this August on D-Block/Interscope (Say word!). Jermaine Dupri was talking about a rumored Janet Jackson/Mariah Carey duet for Janet's new album. Her album is set to come out this September, and he hopes to do for his shorty what he did for Mariah... we'll see. Remember I told you guys about Tyrese's forthcoming double disc got leaked on the Internets recently? He went on Allhiphop saying it was not a publicity stunt. Oh and that his movie is out. LOL dog, don't deny it. Oh, and Outkast is also going to be dropping that movie/soundtrack shit that's been sitting on the back burner for a while. I am kind of interested, but I haven't dug an Outkast track since the Aquemini album.

3> In Notorious B.I.G. news, the LAPD trial has been rescheduled for early next year. I hope Ms. Wallace's team has their game face on, b/c this will only get more difficult. Also, there is word of a Biggie action figure set to drop soon. I might have to grab one of those...

4> E. Pierce Marshall, the son of that rich old dude that Anna Nicole Smith married, died recently. Makes you wonder if his "fight to the death" stance on this whole money issue was really a good idea...

5> This one guys 10 year erection is worth $400K, at least that's what Rhode Island courts say. If you read the description of the device implanted into his dick, you'd think that this idiot doesn't DESERVE that loot for being so damn stupid.

6> I just saw the most disgusting thing on Good Morning America: Nic Lite. Just doesn't sound attractive.

7> A bit of Jay-Z news... tomorrow is the big Reasonable Doubt concert that ?uestlove still has doubts about; seems as though with beef and MCs being dead, this show will be hard enough to pull off, but apparently Jay hasn't performed a lot of these tracks live, so who KNOWS how they will come off. Jigga man is also putting a special rehersal performance tonight, I guess to get the bugs worked out. Good luck. And on one final Jigga note, the good folks over at Slate tried to figure out, now that Cr*stal is taboo, what champagne should Hip-Hop heads get down with?

8> I am tired of his voice and I don't agree with his tactics, but you have to give 50 Cent credit. He's making moves other niggas is dreaming about. Word came this week that he is in talks with Apple to put out a line of computers designed to be affordable and aimed at inner city kids. Hate It Or Love It, but you can't knock dude's hustle.

9> How many times did the Neptunes bite? This is the 2nd story... apparently, some guy says that Chad and Pharrell jacked his track from 1993 for the hit "Frontin'". Now why you gotta go and do that, P, huh?

10> Philly cops are still skeptical about what exactly happened to Beanie Sigel. Word on the street is that there was no gunfire at that time on that day on Philly... but then how did Sigel get shot? They do think that this was some kind of "warning" to Sigel, either from a drug dealer or some crew. Who the fuck knows, I just hope a good album comes out of his ordeal.

11> For some reason, the dumbasses over at MySpace think raising the privacy age level from 14 to 18 is really going to curb pervs. Sadly mistaken. Pervs still make fake accounts, you idiots. I know, I know, it really isn't their fault, but how many people have to get raped or murked before they decide to take bigger steps?

12> The saga of the Stolen Sidekick is finally complete. Homegirl got her phone back, the lil Corona Queens girl got arrested, and that dude Evan had his website promoted (loads of weird softcore flicks on there... with him randomly standing there?)... all must be well in the N Y C.

13> If you are in a bitter divorce proceeding with a famous sports star, THIS IS HOW YOU GET THEM BACK! You gotta admit, Strahan and his "firend" do look kind of fruit loop-ish in this pic.

14> Aside from the 1 More Hit documentary, the only other doc I'm waiting for is the Rick James one. I had no idea he was a pimp back in the day, but I am not surprised.

15> Being an addict must sell. How people can get on the backs of Hip-Hop personalities and shit for their lyrics, but allow fucking dope addicts like Pete Doherty to be able to put out drug addled "memoirs" is beyond me.

16> A few deaths this week... Charles Smith, one of the founders of Kool & The Gang, passed away at the age of 57. Even more shocking, TV mega-producer Aaron Spelling passed away at 83. I guess that means this weekend will be full of 90210 reruns and "Celebration" on repeat...

17> Finally, a story out of my own hometown, Trenton, NJ (We make and the world takes). This week, a 64 year old crack dealer got busted by the po-po... from his oxygen tank-equipped wheelchair. True story. My thing is, I doubt this guy has anything else to do in life, due to his situation... if they ain't giving him a job, he's just gonna fall back into that life.

17 Shots for you this week... now I'm off to do a bit of relaxing... for now anyways. Peace, and namaste.
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Friday, June 23rd 2006 playlist

What's good, lames? Not a very DnB week for me this week... didn't help that I got this hook up from an up and coming MC, Che Grand. I'll be speaking more about him in the very near future, but for now check out his bio page... and you can dload his Final Countdown mixtape from here. Check him out. ANYWAYS, I've been on some Hip-Hop shit this week... I grabbed some new DnB, but not a lot, so I'm combining the lists into one big thing... for now anyways. Peep game.


01/Heist "The Way You Move" [zombie] [my new summer DnB anthem!]
02/Eve Ft. T.I. "Cash Flow" [PLEASE tell me this is coming out soon... very ill beat/]
03/Alpha Omega "Article 79" [thermal] [if you aren't up on his Word of Mouth album, better get to know!]
04/Che Grand ft. Tanya Morgan "Trainspottin'" [loud minority] [that whole Official Bootleg Import EP is the truth. Not a bad track on the whole lot.]
05/Alaska "Ancestral" [arctic music] [new Paradox on another new label. epic tune.]
06/Nas "Where Y'All At" [island/def jam?] [can we get more of this?]
07/Akineyle & Sadat X "Loud Hangover" [first appeared on a Funkmaster Flex CD... I love that beat. Sadat gets murked by Ak, but its all fun and shame.]
08/Doo Wop & Kid Capri "Mixtape Shit" [yes, it's over Busta's "NY Shit" track. Yes Doo Wop has flow.]
09/Mos Def "Beef" [this track will never get old.]
10/Mystical Influence "Dub Plate Pressure" [vinyl syndicate] [gotta love Canadian jungle. WTF happened to those guys?!]
11/J-Live and RA The Rugged Man "Give It Up" [all about Think Differently Music. RA kills it.]

Word. Bang these over the weekend, youngin's.

PS: There's an ill mix that Cloak and Dagger did... all non-DnB, and all wicked. Check it out here; free download, free funk.
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Amit "Never Ending" [review]

[Note: This review is based on the CD version of this album. The vinyl version is cool, but I don't buy vinyl, I buy CDs, and all of those vinyl tracks are on the CD.]

Here's one package I have been waiting for. Ever since I heard Amit's "Erazer" on L-Plates, I've wanted to delve deeper into his sound. There are some fanboys who assume that the tracks he produces are not DnB because there's no heavy emphasis on the drums. That's a decent argument, but the tempo and pace of each tune fits perfectly with any DnB set you can throw together. And Amit tends to eek more feeling and emotion out of tracks that don't have much going on. While other soundboys cry over the lack of minimalism in modern DnB, they totally neglect the vast spaces that Amit leaves inside each and every new tune that gets released. It's almost as if he has a limit of tracks on each production, and then leaves it up to the listener to fill in the space, which all but enhances the experience for heads like myself.

This being Amit's first full length album, there were some initial thoughts going into this: can you truly listen to "half-time DnB" for almost 80 minutes? Will the "Eastern" sounds that he was coming with, tune after tune, be prevelant throughout this disc? Is he just a one trick pony? Well, in order, the answers are Yes, No, and Hell Fucking No. The fact that he can throw some slick political undertones to tunes like "Live In India", with it's random pull-back sounds and "fascist" sample towards the end, to the aggro-march of "Swastika", which sounds like Alec Empire-esque fury on slow motion, is pretty ill. The samples overtop "Swastika" are spoken in almost a chant, sounding almost like a call to arms against whichever government is fucking up that day. "Too Many Freedoms" skanks along with a call-and-response feel of the bass and the echoed chime sounds. The bass and kicks drive the track into a spacefunk zone that not too many producers are willing to cross into these days. Outrage steps in on the CD opener, "Unholy", to assist Amit in an epic roller. My favorite dub sounds run red throughout this track -- distorted vocal samples, THICK bass, random snare hits, and that feeling of despair... it's a perfect way to start this journey of a disc.

For cats like me who don't buy vinyl for whatever reason, we are treated to some of Amit's previous releases on here. His most recent, the heavily rinsed "MK Ultra", the aforementioned Eastern-vibes of "Village Folk", and "Erazer", which sounds a tad dated compared to how far Amit's sound has progressed in the last 4 years, but it is a good reminder of how solid and singular he truly was in his beginning stages. This CD has 3 tracks that are previously unreleased: "Live In India", "True War" and "Night Shift". Each track provides a different side to Amit's talents, and they all stand out for different reasons.

In the end of the day, if you want your sound dubby and to the left, this CD is where it's at. It shows us that a) Klute is the fucking man at spotting talent and b) Amit is no fluke. I can only hope that this not even the start of the race; funny thing is, if Amit were to perish tomorrow (God forbid), I could grow old listening to this CD. You pick up new things upon each listening, and there is just enough variation that you will truly not get bored.

rock the dub score: 9 out of 10 for consistency and leftfield production.

For more information on Amit, check out his page on the Commercial Suicide site. If you want to purchase this album, check out this link, this link, this link, and try this link right here. One.

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OK so Nas is saying Hip-Hop Is Dead. Not a new boast at all, so we can leave that alone. Yet, the God MC does what for the album he is helming, due out this September? Nothing. You mean to tell me, in resurrecting Hip-Hop, you enlist the people who helped kill it? I mean, I can understand you want "bangers", but Timbaland and Scott Storch? And fucking!!?!?! I don't get why Nas needs to try and go pop again. Remember "Hate Me Now"? Diddy spitting out Cr*stal?? Yeah that helped you go NOWHERE. And this is on the heels of the leaking of "Where Y'All At", which is catching mixed reviews. I give it an 8 for lyrics alone; the beat is kind of sparse (Salaam Remi on the beat?), lacking almost. I still knock it though.

I saw all of that to say this: where is my NAPU (Nas And Premier United) album? You guys talked about it in that issue of Scratch Magazine... sheeeit, you graced the cover together! Don't fucking play with me. I mean hell, at least Primo is making some hot shit with Christina...

Nas, don't fuck this up man. You got a lot riding on this... if you fuck this up, it's going to be a WHILE before some fans let you come back inside. Truth be told, many of your hardcore fans don't want you in their kitchen now. These are "One Love" niggas. Don't shut the door on us. Please don't.
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weird dream...

I woke up from a weird dream... I don't know the specifics of the main chunk, but right before I got out of bed, I dreamt that Jay-Z stepped down as president of Def Jam... he said he knows he was trying to do right, but his failure with Bleek's last album was a low point, and he was disappointed.

Is that
an omen or a wish?

For shits and giggles, check out the HP commercial Jay-Z did:

I like that whole "retire" comment... man. Must be nice.

Now peep this video... Phish bringing out Jay-Z back 2 years ago... imagine that. Back in HS, I knew Phish fans who hated Jigga! And I was never a big fan of Phish so this kind of odd...

Jay flowing on Rap City. He goes from "PSA" into some straight freestyle over the "Stand Up" beat.

HAH! Classic Jay-Z video... "I Can't Get With That". Check the fast flow. He doesn't really do that anymore though. Classic.

I'll end this with some classic '96 shit. B.I.G. coming out during a Jay-Z set. Peep the Video Music Box intro. HOLLA!

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the shuffle. [6/17/06]

Got a heaping helping of shuffle material for you this week. Been kind of hectic at work for me... but you gotta work to get paid so you can consume and keep the economy stable!

I felt my son kicking earlier -- what a wonderful thing. He is working wifey to death, rubbing/scraping on her belly button... but it feels like I can interact with him more. Third trimester is upon us...

Also, I like how everyone had Dallas sweeping the Heat by now, but D.Wade and crew came back and road on them HARD! Going to be an interesting rest of the series... I still say Heat in 6. Quote a nigga on that...

Let's get it.

1> Eazy E's son, Lil' Eazy E (what an imaginative name)
got popped on gun charges, then unpopped. Lucky prick... now if he could only get his recording career in motion...

2> The LA courts flip-flop more than John Kerry! Last week they said "you niggas lied", but now they are
reversing their claims in regards to the B.I.G. case. Also looks like the retrial will go down this October. Good luck, Ms. Wallace.

3> Here's on thing I never understood about "bling culture" in Hip-Hop. Diamonds are supposed to be a
girl's best friend. Why is it that we have grown ass men rocking canary yellows and fucking ridiculous amounts of jewelry? It just looks, well, faggotish to me. There is no official word on this, but apparently Fabolous and Jim Jones got into some heat about who started the whole yellow/white diamond collabos in Hip-Hop. HUH?!?! What kind of sense does that even make? Fab was recently interviewed for All Hip-Hop, and made some dumb remarks that went nowhere. *SIGH* Maybe rappers will stop being gay one of these days.

4> News from the khal doesn't give a fuck department: Steelers' QB Ben Roethlisberger got into a
motorcycle accident this week. Now the reason I don't give a fuck is simple: he got hit in the face while not wearing a helmet, and he said he doesn't wear helmets. When this was on the news, it was all "breaking news" and "special report"... THIS DUMB ASSHOLE DOESN'T WEAR HELMETS! He fucked his own couch on that one. I don't need to know he went through 7 hours of surgery, he just needs to make sure he is ready by the fall. Dumb bastard.

5> In other sports-related news, soon to be NBA bench warmer J.J. Redick got a
DUI this week. You dumb prick; the Draft is coming at the end of the month. Why jeopardize the bench you will warm?

6> Here's something that let's you know that people don't really read what it says on the tin: how you gonna wig out at
KFC for using fatty oil? I mean, place sells fucking fried chicken and potato wedges... how fucking HEALTHY did you think they would be??? This is the same place that has been promoting a fat person meal bowl as of late, I mean come on. Let's cut the dumb shit. You want non-fatty foods, go pull up a chair in Whole Foods with ya dumb ass.

7> Gotta love Creative... they can't outsell Apple's iPod, but they will take they ass to court! There's something fishy going on with the patents between the 2, and now
the Feds are getting involved. I will never buy an iPod for myself, but I use both the iTunes and Creative mp3 management screens... not sure what the infirngement would be, but you gotta remember, I'm an idiot.

8> In this week's dumbest criminal race, this homeless nigga won! This niggas is out here
stabbing people on the subway and shit. Homeless ass nigga. And stabbing Canadians and shit... what did they do? I can see why he stabbed the Texan, I mean hell, he might have thought it was Dubya. Canadians though? Dog, you gonna get locked under the jail.

9> For reasons I still do not understand, Missy Elliott is going to
star in her own biopic. I had no idea her life was a thing of movies, but apparently there is some demand? What's her drama... too many twinkies?

10> The RIAA has let the world know that, yes,
file-sharing is contained. Yeah, contained to the millions of computers out there p2ping the new Yung Joc album. I mean really, you guys having high digital download sales just means that more people are tired of weak mp3s on Kazaa. The piracy will never end though...

11> Some news on the Hip-Hop album front: Young Jeezy is working hard on his Thug Motivation 102 album. Gotta love a guy who doesn't call himself a rapper talking about rapping a lot. ANYWAYS, Fat Joe is also in the studio
working on his next album, and claims it will be the hot shit. Now if only niggas would go buy it... niggas ARE buying Busta's The Big Bang. It's poised to top Billboard charts, apparently moving 250K units. Solid. He attributes it to Dre letting him do what he wants; I attribute it to him not having Spliff Star guest rhyme. Speaking of Busta, his lil man Papoose is set to be inking a major label deal. Why didn't Bus and Kay Slay get him down with Aftermath? This kid needs to have an open lane, not be an also ran. I fear for his career...

12> So the funds going to the victims of Hurricane Katrina were getting misdirected.
Scam and scam alike, no? I can't really get mad at the people doing the sheist work; I CANNOT understand how they would let some of these claims go through. Paying for a sex change is kind of low though...

13> That fugly chick Flavor Flav picked to be his chick, Hoopz, got
arrested on some weird circumstances. In my eyes, she's trying to become famous any way possible, whether it's sleeping with whomever is hot at the moment or doing Reggaeton videos, she really wants to be famous. Ugly slut.

14> This Cristal thing has gone out of control! First it was the infamous article, which may or may not have been
blown up by All Hip-Hop a lil too hard... now, not only is Jay-Z NOT selling the drink at his 40/40 clubs, but the owners have come back, saying their words were taken out of context. I commend Jay on doing what he feels, but once I'm done typing this sentence, I'm done caring... maybe.

15> Bill Gates said he is
phasing himself out of daily operations over at Microsoft. Nobody cared. Now we can all get some of that good money he's making. Not like he truly needs any more loot, PEEP MY MAN'S COMPOUND!

16> As if this idiot didn't have enough money, Jacob The Jeweler, who has crafted
fine pieces for mad celebs and Hip-Hoppers, got indicted on drug and money laundering charges. Huh? Was this really necessary? I mean 400+ kilos of coke, dog? And you have ties to the BMF now? Can we say "bad news"?

17> Colorado, now hear this:
15 year olds can marry. Sickening...

18> Last but not least, some J Dilla news.
Big show in Detroit on the 30th of June to support the J Dilla Foundation. Common and Dilla's man Kareem Riggins will be hosting, and a lot of performances, including Wajeed and Frank & Dank. Support!

I told you guys, khal had some serious shuffle heat for ya. I'm gonna go crack a Heineken and relax. Enjoy what's left of your weekend, and give your father a shout on
Father's Day.

I leave you lot with ya boy

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Friday, June 16th 2006 playlist

My people, my people. What is good my people? Father's Day weekend, and I'm going to be doing some kind of relaxing at some point this weekend. Maybe tonight. Music wise, it has been a week full of mixes... mixes that shouted me out, mixes for rainy days, even mixes by DnB dons. The release front hasn't been TERRIBLE, just a bit slow (aside from the Hidden Knowledge LP of DJ Krust's that I bashed), mainly due to my DVD drives going out on me, so I can't burn backups to get more space for more promos. *sigh* In any case, here's what it looks like, from old to the new...

Drum & Bass:

01/Dillinja "Friday" [valve]
02/Amit "Live In India" [commercial suicide]
03/DJ Krust "Initiation" [full cycle]
04/Outfit "New York" [metro]
05/Seba ft. Robert Manos "Exodus" [horizons music]
06/DJ Krust "Last Day" [full cycle]
07/Source Direct & Instra Mental "Yo Bitch!" [demonic]
08/Tommy Boy "Love & Happiness" [v]
09/Bailey "Africa" [metalheadz]
10/Dylan & Facs "Ceptor" [biotic]

Various Genres:

01/Busta Rhymes "Everything Remains Raw" [classic. The Coming is one of his best albums.]
02/Redman "Whateva Man" [buddah monk with the buddha funk. He puts you into that zone.]

03/Papoose "Hustle Hard" [word is his label deal should be coming quick. $1.5million, huh?]
04/DJ Khaled ft. Slim Thug, Trina & Chamillionaire "Candy Paint" [taken from Khaled's new album... not really a thought provoking track, but picture a hot, sweaty club in the ATL... drunk... getting crunk. that's this track.]
05/Burial "Wonder" [feeling this whole album...still!]
06/T.I. "Why You Wanna" [I never listen to his lyrics, I just like the way he flows over those beats...]

Word. That's how I'm getting down right now. Probably some more in there, but I'm not thinking clearly right now. I'll get with you guys soon though. Holla.
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Busta Rhymes appreciation

Since The Big Bang is in stores today (peep my review), I figured I'd give some praise to my boy Busta. I've been a fan of his since the LONS days, and have followed him throughout his career. He was one of the guys who would steal your shine with his bombastic guest appearances, and he helped shape the way Rap videos looked in the 90s. Check out these clips, via YouTube, of some choice Bussa Bus moments.

#1: Peep Busta at his old high school, doing it with the kids. Battlin' this lil nigga who holds his own...

#2: Some SOHH shit...

#3: His first eye-poppin' video, the clip for "Woo-Ha Got You All In Check!" (peep the "Everything Remains Raw" clip intro... one of my fav tracks he did. Don't be around me when that comes on -- shouts to Easy Mo Bee!)...

#4: ...And the Remix ft. Ol' Dirty Bastard (RIP)...

#5: A Tribe Called Quest ft. LONS "Scenario" video... one of the first times Busta really showed his shit. Hot video all around.

#6: Craig Mack's "Flava In Ya Ear" Remix ft. Busta, Rampage, LL Cool J and Biggie Smalls (RIP)... CLASSIC!

#7: Versatile Bus on the mic... "Gimme Some More"

#8: Busta doing Woo Ha live in 2004. His live shows are hot. Never seen 'em but he bring it live.

#9: Who's the greatest poet: William Shakespeare or Busta Rhymes?

#10: LONS classic "Case of the PTA"

GO COP THAT ALBUM! The more I listen to it, the more I like it. "Goldmine" is still the jawn, though. Big up, Bus. Shouts to Bol for saying some nice words. One.
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knee drops

I wrote this poem back in March, half joking, half just writing, about this video* that was linked on the DOA forum. I just wanted to let you guys know that I'm still writing... got a new piece I'm working on. Check it out...

knee drops
1, 2
falling down on dick
stabbing necks means
broken specs
irregular breathing clouding my
bloody vision
30 minute dirt naps
perhaps my
felony fight was
figuratively unbright
i mean
my dim bulb is now cracked
broken on the floor perhaps
kind of like my nose
my chin my
knee drops
1, 2
who felled the tatted up brew swiller
in through nose
mexican lied
not his first fight i suppose i
should have thought before..
ah fuck it my
internet fight franchise has just been birthed
eat the earth head plunged into the ground by those
knee drops
1, 2...

*[NOTE: if you don't like watching fights online, especially ones that end with guys having a hard time breathing and getting brutalized, don't watch that video! You've been warned!!!!!]
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the shuffle. [6/10/06]

Real def, y'all. Gotta love A-Trak producing tracks with only his decks... and making them as hot as some regular producers' concoctions. Loving it.

Another week down the tubes, and all I can think about is my lil man beating my wife up internally and my fucking DVD drives dying on me... can't get over that shit. I just copped the burner 6 months ago(!!!!), but that's another story entirely.

You gotta love wifey getting me the Getting Up game for PS2... I'll be rinsing that tonight, best to believe. Also loving this fucking "Goldmine" track from Busta's new one... Doc Dre did it again!

Other than that, not much else is going on... the Heat lost game 1, looking like lil bitches. I guess that title isn't really important... we'll find out tomorrow.

In any case, on to the shuffle.

1> As if we didn't have an overabundance of diseases out there, medical doctors have diagnosed fucking ROAD RAGE! Apparently "Intermittent explosive disorder" is what causes people to act like assholes on the road... the fact that they are assholes has nothing to do with it these days. Now we are gonna get new medications causing people to sleep behind the wheel and cause more accidents. Only in America!

2> The winners of the 2006 Weed Carrier Awards were released this week as well. Pure comedy... wait, you don't know what a "weed carrier" is? Educate yourself...

3> Ludacris is asking his fans to stop hating on Oprah. Apparently, they got into it when he was on her show with the rest of the cast of Crash, which is one movie that I don't feel. They did their thing acting wise, but the fucking plot was so predictable... so predictable. I mean, I can see why Oprah doesn't have too many rappers on her show -- HER AUDIENCE ISN'T INTO HIP-HOP! Stop hating and get your money somewhere else.

4> If that's not bad enough, Luda's former DTP member, Chingy, is being sued by some random nigga. Does he even get money anymore? WTF they gonna get, a dusty DTP chain?

5> Hot 97's Summer Jam went off without a hitch or a new diss. Sounds like fun. Check the play-by-play.

6> On June 25th, Jay-Z is planning a concert to commemerate the release of his first album, Reasonable Doubt. Apparently he announced it on June 8th, and tickets went on sale on June 9th. I doubt you can find one now. The funniest Jay news this week, though, involves Cristal. Apparently, the people over there made the dumbest move in marketing history -- they talked shit about people who made them rich. Niggas been copping Cristal off of rap music for a good 10+ years! Why act like you don't eat off that money? Well, the master of item-dropping he is, Jay offically said "Cristal is over". Good for him. BAN CRISTAL!

7> Looks like my niggas Ak and Lif are putting out a DVD about their Black Dialogue tour. Check the trailer...

8> For all my 80's babies, rejoice! Pee Wee's Playhouse is coming to [adult swim]. Loving that.

9> Talk show host Montel Williams was in my hometown (Trenton, NJ) this week, lobbying for medical marijuana. He has MS, so he smokes to start the day. Don't believe me? Peep ya boy...

10> At the press conference to promote tonight's fight, Tarver pulled out a rocking chair for 41 yr old Bernard Hopkins. I won't be buying the fight, but I will be watching B Hop getting whupped on HBO when its on next week. I'm broke like that.

11> AAAAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIGHT, Jamie Foxx did his thing as Ray Charles in the movie, but why the fuck do they have him playing Bob Marley in the new flick about Bob's life? Not sure if I'm feeling that... I doubt his patois is up. The whole thing sounds like a rerun of In Living Color.

12> Shakes The Clown got popped for child porn on his PC. (Ed. note: sorry, his site was up this week, I guess his ISP shut him down!) Gotta love NJ! Word is, a family member of his called the 5-0 on some "they stole my identity shit", and in their search, they found mad child porn on his computer... fuck that. What a dumbass.

13> More NJ nonsense: one of the mayorial candidates, who swears he got cheated in this recent mayoral election, doesn't even have the funds to cover the paychecks to his employees. LOL! And the latest recount is worth over a G to the state, which he has to pay. What an imbecile...

14> Check out how not to steal a T-Mobile Sidekick II... too funny/sad/depressing... but you gotta love how the Internet peeps band together.

15> Looks like J. Dilla (RIP) has a new album coming out this August. Apparently, he had tracks laid out for a few albums... we'll see what makes the light of day. This new one looks like it's different from Donuts, mainly due to the MCs lacing it.

16> Who knew that Tyrese was working an a full rap album? His latest 2xCD release will be 1 disc of R&B and another of Hip-Hop...maybe. The Hip-Hop disc has apparently been leaked on the Internets. I haven't heard it, but I'm not expecting some hot shit. Good luck to him though. I wanna see that fucking movie though... might just be for Meagan Good, who knows. She's a good actress, even if she was in a 50 Cent video. Speaking of 50 Cent, will he be dissing her now that The Game is also in that movie? Decisions, decisions...

17> Now for some B.I.G. news: it looks like the LAPD vs. Voletta Wallace retrial has been set for October 2006. Good luck, Ms. Wallace -- I hope your lawyers are on point this go round. Also, Lil' Kim might be getting out on good behavior next month. Hold your head, and make up for those lost album sales, ma.

That's about it for right now. I'm gonna try and get my DVD drives working and get into this graf game. Hope you guys are doing well. Ryan sr!x, I see you dude! I see you too Neil Brandnew. Get at me.

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