Paging Donald Blake...

I'm always on the hunt for new, refreshing and exciting music, and I love the fact that I haven't had to leave the comfort of my state to do it... DJ Nappy has the thugstep thing on lock, and has also helped usher in the Wired Weird era... he has now introduced me to one of the nicest producers I've heard in a while, NJ's own J. Past, through a mixtape he has compiled entitled Introducing Dr. Donald Blake (which can be downloaded for free HERE). He's a younger cat, not even legal drinking age yet, but his production is on point. This collection, from what I understand, is his first forray into giving the public free mixtape loveliness, and boy is it an interesting bag.

First off, you guys might be wondering, "what in the hell is a Donald Blake, and why is Thor on the cover of his mixtape?" Well, wonder no more: the extension is more than that, though. In the vein of artists like Kool Keith, MF Doom, Madlib and others who are known to shapeshift to fit other personalities, J has crafted Donnie Blake to represent another side of his evolving musical personas, and the story told in this mix helps build the mystique. With nicely chosen samples from old school Thor tales on wax, the mixtape is ushered along nicely. And that selection...

When you peep the tracklist, you might be inclined to peg J with crews like Caps & Jones or Sound Advice, units that are known for mashing up all genres in all shapes and sizes into one interesting mix. You actually wouldn't be far from the truth, in that respect, but the feeling behind Donald Blake is a bit more Hip-Hop than some of their efforts. He still manages to throw Jay-Z over "Rock Me Amadeus", but this collection sees the world through gazelles, not aviators. Plus, the tracks truly play off of the interludes: there's one section where Don Blake visits his lady in the hospital, and the interlude is talking about him trying to figure out what was going on in his absence, and then it delves into tracks dealing with struggle and such. My personal favorite, however, is where J. Past gets to flex his beautiful production chops on "Deadly Combination Remix", where he flips 3 of his illest beats under the 2Pac/Big L/Biggie collabo of "Deadly Combination". Wonderful stuff.

In speaking to J about this compilation, he just wants to be heard. His motivation? Well, he is just vibing off the music that he enjoys. This is his first forray into creating projects of this nature, and he just hopes to get enough heads out there feeling his work to create a new one. It's good to have cats who are purely just looking for people to listen, react, then build, as opposed to trying to "get on", making tracks or mixes to get gigs or radio shows or whatever the fuck. I mean, if that happens, so be it, but don't let that be what makes you create. It has to be deeper than that, and its really surprising to have someone understand that early on, and continue to better themselves...

At the end of the day, we are given an interesting blend of tracks, interwoven in a solid narrative, all of which paints a portrait of an up and coming producer that definitely needs to be heard. If you sleep on this, you're missing out. Remember who told you first...

if you are looking for more DJ J. Past info, check the following links:
J Past.com
J Past's MySpace Page
Donnie Blake's MySpace Page
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dubplate digest: the story so far...

Well, back in September of 2006, I started up the dubplate digest, my blog dedicated soley to "upfront DNB news". My ideas behind DPD was to try and fill a void that is obviously in the DNB realm: a spot where true, constantly updated DNB news can be found. Has it been a success? Compared to the numbers, not really: with averages of under 30 hits a day, its not really having the success I imagined then. Do I think it should be doing better? Mos def... I also know that Rome was not built in a day.

In any case, I want to highlight some of the gems and jewels, the big things that have been going down over at the DPD:

  • The FIRST spot to give you exclusive news on Perpetuum's forthcoming album...
  • My "For Your Listening Pleasure" series, which highlights the best and brightest mixes from some of the nicest DJs in the scene...
  • My "Free DNB MP3" series, letting you know some of the FREE, 320KBPS MP3 gems that the illest producers have given away...

That's just some of the gems we are giving to the masses over at the DPD. I want to start bringing you exclusive articles with some of the hottest producers, DJs and label heads in the scene... I am just trying to figure out the best way to package it. More info on that when it develops.

So, check me out. For you RSS heads, our feed is LIVE. Even if my counter only shows another 10 hits per day, hopefully more heads will start to see the shine we are giving to the DNB community. And if you have any news bits/mixes/free DNB MP3 links or whatever, let me know!

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Chrome Children 2

Stones Throw currently has uploaded the Chrome Children 2 album to their website for FREE... for a month, if memory serves me correctly. Grab the .zip now and eat it up.

Tracks include artists like Madlib, Oh No, MED, Roc C, J.Rocc and others. Get it while it's free.

Don't ask for a review, I haven't even unzipped the beast, but if you are a fan of Stones Throw, I highly doubt you being disappointed... just kind of surprised there's no Dilla on here.
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[rock the dub Interview]: SoL

You've seen the interview with SoL Tha Analyst's parter in rhyme, Kontakt, so it's only right that we now bring you SoL's solo Q&A. The man's got a lot on his mind, and is not afraid to speak it. Let's get it...

khal: You go by the name SoL, but you have tagged onto that “Tha Analyst”, and your name is an anagram for “Slave of Logic”. Explain that to the people – how does that moniker fit you?

SoL: Yes, SoL is an anagram for “Slave of Logic” but SoL also describes how I live with the SoL of an old school 70s cat coupled with SoL being an adjective of my objective to spit respectfully with the fire of the torch lit by the Great Hip-Hop Emcees that we honor or should honor today! One thing about me is that most of the things I say have a double meaning if possible….just to make you think. “Tha Analyst” refers to how I approach life…THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD. The high school that I went to, Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, had a staff that prepared you for life and the real world while giving you a science or an engineering college level education. Critical thinking was taught as survival all the way down to the janitor. You had to be analytical in everything you did, every decision. The wisdoms learned here along with the guidance of my brother, fam, coaches, and all the ups & downs of mistakes of life formed experience to personal declaration! I indulge in connecting with people for higher wisdom. I officially became SoL tha Analyst while vibing in the studio wit Wordsmith and Kontact during the making of Forgery Complete.

khal: I see that you’ve been a student of Hip-Hop for damn near 20 years or so! What is it about Hip-Hop that draws you in, and in turn, makes you want to create your own music?

SoL: I love this question and it always makes me think about the movie Brown Sugar. This movie understands this question and so do I. I am drawn in by feeling Hip-Hop gives me when I hear it. The creativity, the fire lyrics, the artistry of people who are not afraid to tell their side of life’s story their way …MAN it just does something to ya. I am big on intelligent and clever rhyme combinations. The love of the craft and the art of being an Emcee was sparked after Wordsmith invited Kontact and I to rehearse and perform wit him down in Houston at the Toc Bar. I have always loved Music especially Hip-Hop. I have lived a wild lifetime in my short life span and this gives me a lot to speak about. Plus …there is nothing like finishing up a track that you put that hard Hip-Hop work into and receiving opinions about what you created either positive or negative.

khal: I’ve only just heard of you in the last year or so, but you’ve known Wordsmith for a while right? How did you guys meet, and how did your initial friendship turn into him taking you under his wing with this Hip-Hop?

SoL: Jyeah, I have known Word almost ten years now. I met Word at Salisbury University’s football camp my sophomore year in college. He was a new transfer from Morgan State. God formed a union that day with Word and I that was always meant to be and I think I can speak for the both of us when I say that. We have remained friends through everything since we have met and have always been there for each other if need be. My man Word called me up and told me bout a show he was gonna do down in Houston, Texas at the Toc Bar in November 06’. I was shocked that he asked me if I wouldn’t mind helping him out, backing him up on stage along with another person. He said it's gonna be a lot of hard work but it will be worth it. Learning Word’s music, rehearsing and performing the show burned a fire in me that pushed me to emcee. Well, Word shoved a little too. I had been messing around with Word every now and again on the mic but none of that prepared me for the world of the artist’s ear …no longer the listener’s ear. The Toc Bar Show spawned Wordsmith’s Statements and Stipulations tour where Kontact and I backed Word up and gained the hunger to begin what was soon to be Forgery Complete. Word allowed me to get my feet wet on the tour by letting me write a verse remixing "Hydraulic Theory" from Wordsmith’s Statements and Stipulations. This was my first attempt to be an emcee. I was willing to humble myself and learn all that Word wanted to teach. He pulled an emcee out of me that I never thought I could be. See ... I am not afraid to admit my adolescence at being an emcee. I will hope that I have a progression as the years go on to better represent Hip-Hop. I see this as a blessing because of how my career in professional football was fading. You will see what I mean when Word drops Redemption ???? ... sorry can't give the whole thing.

khal: Your mixtape album, Forgery Complete, showcases your union with MC Kontakt. What is it about the two of you that makes you fit as a unit?

SoL: I believe it’s the differences in our style, voice, pitch that makes us potent when we mesh. It’s also the chemistry we have when we create music together. You will most def see the chemistry in '07. I think our styles compliment one another. Not to mention the grind that we went through together to become emcees worthy enough to make Forgery Complete. As far as MCing goes we started at the same time and I believe that added to the chemistry.

khal: I notice on your solo track “Night After Night” that you get kind of raunchy without being too X-rated. Do you consider yourself a Casanova? What was the basis behind that track?

SoL: This track made SoL come to life. This was my first attempt at a solo track and I wanted to make it relative to both men and women as well as write the track as a single. A Casanova …nah …one step from being a porn star…MAYBE..hahaha. Nah but truthfully, I was giving an example of what to expect night after night with Tha Analyst and seeing how many nasty freaks feel the same when they have that #1-3 status on your partners all-time list….think bout it. The first verse is straight forward but the second verse has 12 positions of the Karma Sutra. I did a little research for them, too, because I wanted to explain different positions, but in a clever fashion. Word has taught me not to be afraid to make the listeners find out what you are saying if he or she doesn’t get it. Mad props to my brother Deedaman for rocking the end.

khal: It seems that every year there are a whole slew of new MCs, new crews and a lot of cluttered spaces in Hip-Hop. You are aligned with the Nu Revolution camp. What is it about your bredren that sets you apart from the rest of the Hip-Hop community? Do you think, if given the opportunity, you guys could shine like Dipset or the Roc did years ago?

SoL: I believe it’s the maturity of the camp. Money is not the motive for what we are doing, the love of music and Hip-Hop is. Hip-Hop history and homage is our foundation and professionalism is how we present our selves. Everybody works hard in the camp, knows their role and respects one another. We are not afraid to let our music speak for itself and not copy, fake it, or sell out by having people write and/or rape our stuff. I believe with the right opportunity Wordsmith could turn what he built for him and us into something very special. I see our group more like a Wu-Tang Clan. Hardworking grinding assembly of talented diverse dudes for the common cause of fun music and Hip-Hop..Hip-Hop!!

khal: What five MCs are you feeling right now, on skills alone, and why?

SoL: Ludacris- he is so ridiculous no matter what beat ..what track .. he keeps the fire and rips it. Very clever on the mic. T.I.- his lyrical ability and delivery is smooth and sick. His flow is fluid with any beat plus his character and personality on the mic sets off his style. Lil Wayne- his growth as an emcee is both respected and recognized. Funny, witty metaphors and similes, plus I like the word combos he puts together. He def spits dat heat! Nas- One of the great emcee storytellers of Hip-Hop, Nas' creative intellect is vicious. Fresh knowledge spittin', always respect for his delivery and tone at the mic. Jay-Z- One of the most lyrical cats to rock the mic. I have respect for his business savy. The verses are always heated with flow flippin' confidence and the mic voice that the streets feed on… but I miss the Reasonable Doubt Jay. His flo on that CD …..DAMN….. I'm feelin' it!

khal: What else do you get into, aside from writing and getting better at your MC skills?

SoL: Jyeah ..easy: I have 3 yr old twins, Jordan n Jada, they keep me busy, but if no music and no kids …eating, exercising, sports, relaxing, having fun, trippin' n chillin'. I am a laid back dude.

khal: Seeing as though you are at home dropping more seductive tracks like “Night After Night” as well as more underground flavored tracks like “Microphone Bully 3”, which do you prefer?

SoL: I don’t really have a preference. I allow the beat to tell me its story and then find the best way to relate SoL to it. I am not sure yet but I think I like telling stories the most.

khal: If someone were to ask you “which song or verse defines you right now”, which would it be and why?

SoL: Probably my verse for Wordsmith’s "Legion of the Lyricists". My verse explains how Kontact and I became emcees and where we are trying to go.

khal: What do you have planned for the future, whether it’s tours/mixtapes/albums/etc?

SoL: I will be grinding with the camp, performing at every show we get a chance to. As far as albums goes the camp will be dropping something each month (full list in Kontakt's interview).

khal: Do you have any shouts or final words to give the people in closing?

SoL: My first shout is to God n then ……to you, khal, for the interview. Mad luv to JoJa, Wordsmith and the Nu Revo Camp, my family, my friends, Duece and Four Quarters, BMORE, R. motions from Officialheat.com, Mr CRF from Critical Beatdown Magazine. Unison Collective, Work, D Coy, my RRC fam, MicrophoneBully.com, and anyone else who aided in the belief of the music! Thank you so much. Mad luv..Peace
for more info on SoL Tha Analyst and the Nu Revolution Camp, check out the following links:
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[rock the dub Interview]: Kontakt

A year or so ago, I interviewed a cat by the name of Wordsmith. In that interview, he spoke on setting up his own label, Nu Revolution, which has since grown into a pretty stable crew of artists. Over the time between that interview and this blog starting up, Words has always hit me with info on what's been going on, and about 2 months ago he sent me links to this mixtape, Forgery Complete, a mixtape album by one of his Nu Revolution groups, Kontakt & SoL. Their blending of introspective, real life tales, club bangers and underground mic mangling sessions are something that many crews might wish to accomplish, but don't necessarily complete fully. Both of these budding MCs represent Maryland, and while their linking up produces fire, they are both interesting individuals in their own right. So, in the honor of giving everyone their own light to shine, we are going to be bringing you a group interview in two parts: one for Kontakt, the other for SoL. Here is the first installment, with the one like Kontakt...

khal: First off, in one sentence, what does Kontact bring to the Hip-Hop game that other MCs aren't currently dropping?

Kontakt: First I would just like to say thank you for the interview. I think I bring to the game a fresh, original sound. The unique thing about me, I believe, is that I am not afraid to do or try different things with my music. I started out singing so I always try to incorporate that into the music that I do. I like to find the melody in a track and use that to give the track a little more feeling.

khal: How did you get to where you are today? Where are you from, how did you get into music initially, and what keeps you motivated?

Kontakt: I started out as a young cat in a church choir. I think that is where I got my love for music. Also my Pops can sing very well. Seriously, I think that he could have been one of the Temptations or a member of Earth, Wind, and Fire. That's who he raised my listening to. As far as Hip-Hop goes I was introduced to the real essence of Hip-Hop one day outside of school with Word when we were young at a freestyle battle. Now I am still with him as a soldier of the Nu Revolution Camp.

khal: I know Wordsmith has been doing his thing for a bit now, getting his buzz in various avenues. How long have you been rolling with Words?

Kontakt: Word has been rapping for as long as I can remember and we became friends in middle school. That one day after school we were in a big crowd of people and Word asked me to beat box. Word and this Jamaican cat went back and forth freestyling over my beat. It was crazy. It is to this day wild to see how far we have come. From that one day back in school to starting this Nu Revolution movement.

khal: I saw on your MySpace page that you started out as an R&B singer, and got into MCing. How long have you been rhyming? Was it a hard transition? Were you able to apply your skills in singing to your rhyming?

Kontakt: Yeah, I started out singing and really still love too. I have been seriously MCing for over a year now. I am really still a rookie. The transition has been good. I have many excellent partners to work with. I have learned so much from Word that it is crazy. Getting to see Wordsmith the Great master his craft first hand, has been the biggest help and influence on me as an MC.

khal: Your recent mixtape, Forgery Complete, is billed with SoL. Are you two trying to come out as a duo? If so, what makes you two fit so well?

Kontakt: That is definitely what we are doing. SoL tha Analyst is my partner in crime. We have become really close and our chemistry has grown so much. Check out one of our shows and you will see what I am talking about. I believe what makes us fit is that we both have very a open mind when it comes to music. We try to think outside of the box and try to come up with sounds and concepts that are really different than what is out today. Which is basically one the goals of the Nu Revolution camp.

khal: You have a few tracks, like "U", which seem to draw heavily from your own life. In these days, it's hard to find MCs who will truly spit about their own life, or be real about themselves. What draws you to such introspective material?

Kontakt: I just try to be real. I feel that if I am real, true to what I say, and pull from my life to make my music than people will listen and be able to relate. That track "U" is pulled straight from my life. It goes through how I met my fiancée, shout out to Nancy. How I had my heart broke before and wasn't going to get seriously involved again. But, I met her and she captured my heart. I make songs like that because I know a lot of people can relate to those types of situations.

khal: Who are some of your influences? Have you tried to emulate any of the emcees who have been important in your maturation?

Kontakt: My main influence would be Wordsmith. I have had the privilege of watching him grow as an artist. So, I have taken that opportunity to study his work and come up with the best way to express my self musically. Word and other artists like Ludacris are MCs that continue to grow and it is evident that they work and study their craft. That is what I strive to do.

khal: In the last year, your crew Nu Revolution has been building pretty strongly. What do you think sets you guys apart from other crews that are prominent in the game today? Do you think Nu Revolu will be on par with super groups like Wu-Tang or the Juice Crew?

Kontakt: I definitely hope that we can make Nu Revolution as big as those names. I think we certainly have the people to do it. Nu Revolution means ---Breaking through the mold of the repetitive nature of today's Hip-Hop to bring an entirely new and exclusive sound. That's exactly what sets us apart from all of the other crews out right now.

khal: I know you guys went on tour with Words during his Statements & Stipulations tour. How do you try to make your music truly make noise during a live show? What do you bring to the stage that would make someone want to come back?

Kontakt: Man, these days dudes don't perform. We are definitely trying to bring back the performance part of a show. Not just spiting your lyrics. When you come to one of our shows we are going to make sure we entertain you. When you leave our show we want you to remember things that we did, from chorography to props. We will do what ever it takes for you to enjoy, remember, and walk away saying "that was a show."

khal: I know one thing that both you and SoL spoke of about your mix album was the fact that it contained both bangers AND more backpack-flavored bits. Do you dig one style more than the other, and if so, why?

Kontakt: Naw, I don't think we dig one style more than another, we enjoy it all. We love to do deep songs that make you think about a certain situation for example: "Call of Duty". Then the underground bangers like "We Got This". Then feel good joints like "Music". So we just try and stay well-rounded in our music. We are always trying to make something for everybody.

khal: What's going to be going on with you in 2007 and the next couple of years? Are you working on any solo projects? Any tours? What's really good?

Kontakt: We are definitely going to be doing some shows bringing Forgery Complete to the stage. So keep checking the website for upcoming dates. I have a solo EP, Sol Tha Analyst Presents Kontact "The Enigma of Love: Scriptures for an Intense Attraction" dropping (April 3rd, 2007). Also check for Kontakt & SoL Featuring Black Knight "The Variety Show" Mix Album dropping (June 19th, 2007)

Other dates for the camp:
-92Q Jamz "Konan" Presents Wordsmith "The Next Level Series" Volume 1 Mixed by DJ Vega (2007)
-The Nu Revolution Camp Presents Wordsmith "The 2006 Mixshow Wrap-Up" (January 16th, 2007)
-Wordsmith Presents RhymeZwell "Cave Sessions" EP (February 13th, 2007)
-Wordsmith Presents Professa "The Last Chariot" Instrumental CD (February 27th, 2007)
-All-Biz "The Underground Explosion" Mix Album (March 13th, 2007)
-Kontact Presents Sol tha Analyst "Paragon of Virtue" EP ( May 15th, 2007)
-Wordsmith "The Soundscape Project" Mix Album (June 5th, 2007)
-Rhymezwell "Unititled" Mix Album (July 3rd, 2007)
-Chubb Rock & Wordsmith "The Generation Gap" (2007)
-Wordsmith Presents Black Knight "The Allure" Mix Album (August 14th, 2007)
-Wordsmith & Rhymezwell "Wordswell & Rhymesmith" EP (September 11th, 2007)
-Wordsmith "The Next Level Series" Volume 2 (December 25th, 2007)

khal: Do you have any shout outs or final thoughts that you'd like to hit the people with before we end this?

Kontakt: Special thanks to the man up a stair for give me the talent and ability to do what I do. To the whole Nu Revolution Camp, "lets keep it moving." Shout out to Wordsmith for being the great leader that he is. To my partner in crime SoL for keep me on my toes. To my family and my fiancée love you all. Kontact "Lets Go!"
for more information on Kontakt and the Nu Revolution Camp, check out the following links:
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THUGSTEP Extensions

Just wanted to let you DJ Nappy/THUGSTEP lovers out there that big Napp has put out another .rar, featuring 20 tracks, the majority of which have extended intros/outros for DJ play. Check out this post on his MySpace Blog:

if you got the original pack you might wanna snag this one as well a couple extra tracks were thrown in. these all have extended intros/outros for dj play.

click EDIT: sendspace link


allstar cashville prince - tear it up f. yo gotti (nappy vs el rakkas extended dubstep mix)
b dub - do whatcha do f. bun b (nappy vs. boxcutter extended dubstep mix)
big cas - check my feet (nappy vs. hijak extended dubstep mix)
big kuntry king - throwback f. ti (nappy vs. reform extended dubstep mix)
boo - miss me with that rap shit f. young jeezy (nappy vs trg extended dubstep mix)
cherish - do it to it f. sean paul (nappy vs slaughter mob extended dubstep mix)
khalifah - light a fire f. bun b (nappy vs ekaj extended dubstep mix)
lil jon - act a fool (nappy vs coki mix) f. three 6 mafia
lil scrappy - be real (nappy vs. quarta330 extended dubstep mix)
lil wayne - go dj (nappy vs benga dubstep mix)
omarion - ice box (nappy vs. tes la rok dubstep mix)
richboy - throw some d's (nappy vs benga extended dubstep mix)
slim thug - like a boss (nappy vs. vexd extended dubstep mix)
smitty - lil haiti (nappy vs. burial dubstep extended mix)
trillville - neva eva remix f. twista (nappy vs. pinch extended dubstep mix)
unk - 2 step (nappy vs. genetic krew extended dubstep mix)
young dro - shoulder lean (nappy vs. deadly habit extended dubstep mix)
young jeezy - take it to the floor f. bonecrusher (nappy vs tes la rok extended dubstep mix)
young joc - going down (nappy vs juju extended mix)

and if it doesnt say 'extended' the acapella and dubstep track end at the
same time.


I'm going to be re-uploading the .rar to sendspace, and will be linking it here. Might up it to a few spots as well, just to ease up the use of the direct linkage. And peep that "Ice Box" thugstep mashup... fucking SERIOUS!
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Americal Idol 6, week 2 [recap/thoughts]

I'm going to make this post a bit more pointed, because while I am enjoying watching this season so far, I am noticing something that does not make me happy...

Over the 4 shows that make up Season 6, I am getting more and more miffed. It seems as though too much time is being spent on making the losers feel like winners, or giving them their 15 minutes of fame. While I am all for seeing Ian Benardo act like a jerk-off for a 2nd time (my family watches So You Think You Can Dance, too), wait, I'm sorry, "exuberate fantasticism", and watching that Ashanti Johnson get all melodramatic on the judges (she took that "Broadway" comment a bit too far, no?), I am missing one thing: good singing. Mind you, we do get to see some OK singers from time to time. I honestly don't think we've seen many who will make it past Hollywood week, which bothers me...

I remember years ago seeing people like Ruben Studdard (who I actually pegged to win the competition off his initial audition) and Carrie Underwood and saying "wow, these cats can BLOW!", and feeling good when they actually make it further and further. I don't get that feeling at all. I understand that they want to cater to that audience who loves seeing people fail, which really, is everyone, otherwise reality TV would be making NO ENDS!

Please Idol, for me, just start showing more of the people you flash at the end with the yellow papers, instead of making us wait for these horrendous auditions to be over with...
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AI Tidbits (Jan. 23rd, 2007)

Just a few things to ponder while waiting for the premiere of American Idol week 2 tonight:

-Thomas Daniels, one of the best singers from last week's premiere, alredy has his criminal record being exposed to the US. It looks like in 2004, dude had a DUI from Oregon. The funny thing is, not only did he pay the $680 fine, but he also completed his meetings and counselor stuff - and this was supposed to be wiped from his record. He chalked this up to being "young and dumb", as he told TMZ.com, but he apparently didn't learn for he had another conviction in Dec. 2005. He got arrested again, and didn't appear for his courtdate for some odd reason. They asked him if he told Fox about his record, and he gave a no comment, which might lead one to believe that he won't be seen that much longer, which is a crying shame, b/c after reportedly three tries, he killed his audition. Good luck to T. Daniels.

-There have been a lot of idiotic reports saying that this season seems to be harsher than most. The Idol crew came out and said "get your ears cleaned!" Randy and others let it be known that these contestants are told to be aware of the possibility of tough criticism. I think the fact that comments like calling that bush baby a bush baby come from frustration of the situation. In any case, lighten up - you guys wouldn't be watching if you weren't waiting for that heat. Grow up or change the channel.

8PM tonight!
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DJ Nappy presents: Thugstep (refixes package 1)

If you've been a frequent reader of rock the dub, you'd know that I've been linking to the hip-hop/dubstep mashups that my boy DJ Nappy has been creating over the last couple of months. And I must say, these have been causing a bit of a stir around the dubstep crews, with producers in the scene getting turned on to the interesting mash of sub-loving dubstep grooves and, for lack of a better phrase, crunked out rhymes. I know guys on the dubstepforum are upset over the lack of "intelligent lyrics"... this isn't about putting the most intricate lyrics over the deep bass. This is about feeling, which is the heart of dubstep. Fans of dubstep know that it's not like DNB, where many heads are praising production qualities and "what you used" to make your sounds; dubstep is all about the way the bass flows, and getting the crowd into the pocket with heavy grooves. And, from what I understand, the crunk-tastic MCs flow much better over the beats.

In any case, Nappy has created the "thugstep refixes package 1"*, a .rar full of FREE, full versions of his rap/dubstep mashups, in 320kbps glory. Top selectors, dubstep DJs looking for some interesting, different sounds to throw into their sets, I say grab these PRONTO and peep the steelo. Here is the list of tracks included in the rar (I marked my favs with asterisks):

allstar cashville prince f. yo gotti - tear it up (nappy vs el rakkas dubstep mix)
b dub - do whatcha do f. bun b (nappy vs. boxcutter dubstep mix)
*big kuntry king - throwback f. t.i. (nappy vs. reform dubstep mix)
*cherish - do it to it f. sean paul (nappy vs slaughter mob dubstep mix)
*lil jon - act a fool (nappy vs. coki remix) f. three 6 mafia
lil scrappy - be real (nappy vs. quarta330 dubstep mix)
*richboy - throw some d's (nappy vs benga dubstep mix)
slim thug - like a boss (nappy vs. vexd dubstep mix)
twista - neva eva remix f. twista (nappy vs. pinch dubstep mix)
unk - 2 step (nappy vs. genetic krew dubstep mix)
young jeezy - take it to the floor f. bonecrusher (nappy vs tes la rok dubstep mix)
*young dro - shoulder lean (nappy vs deadly habit dubstep mix)

That doesn't mean I dislike the others, but those carrying the * are some of my favs Nappy has done... there's plenty more, though. You know you want to peep it. As Nappy said, feedback is unimportant. And, as per usual, these are all brought to you by the number khal.

Seriously. If it wasn't for me telling Nappy to get onto this dub thing, I don't think the "Act A Fool" Mashup would have been created. It's all my fault. I love the monster I helped create.

More to come in the not too distant future. All I will say is, if you dig these, keep your ears/eyes peeled to Nappy's MySpace page, as well as to this blog.

*EDIT: here's a sendspace link for you guys. That download got some SERIOUS numbers, so it was properly rinsed and this will be up until another proper link is available. If any of you guys are down for hosting this, let me know.
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fate or destiny...

Right now, I'm listening to a CD I forgot about... it's a decade old this year, by producer No ID, famous for his work on Common's older LPs. The track: "Fate Or Destiny" (maybe I'll up it later this week)...

It just has me thinking on something my wife was asking me earlier tonight: she wanted to know my feelings on fatherhood. I mean, for those who don't know, I've been a father for the last 4+ years, what with my two teenage daughters (17 next month and 16 in July...), but with lil' man, I'm actually seeing this lil' human being grow up - discover new flavors (he's back and forth with the candy cane), learning how to laugh and giggle, and all the other little things that shape his ever-evolving personality. The thing is, it's hitting me, but I might not be showing it - mainly because it's so natural.

Whether it be fate or destiny, I'm here, taking things on like a champ if I do say so myself. The shoes feel worn, and comfy. I'm walking in these footsteps that seem foreign but I'm treading like a dog in the ocean. And surviving... I may be terrible at finding a new job, I might not get the stuff going on my blog the way I like, hell, I might not be the best person I can be at times, but I know what the time is with my son. And no matter how big he smiles at moms when she comes in after a long day at work, he knows what time it is with pops...

fate or destiny, I have no clue, but I like what this is doing to me.
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DnBTV love

I just want to shout out Grayfox and the good folks over at DrumnBassTV.com for adding me to their frontpage. I know they are fans of my interviews with DnB luminaries, and Gray decided to show me some love. That's what it is.

If you aren't up on DnBTV.com btw, you are missing out. Aside from DNBA's videos, DnBTV.com is your one-stop shop for DnB-related videos, whether it be DJ Sets from the likes of DJ Marky, Infiltrata, Hive and others, video interviews, or DnB music videos. They also have links to many live sets from many sick DJs, as well as DnBTV Radio and a host of other bits. It's truly a site for those who want to get more in-depth with their favorite DnB artists.

So, we here at rock the dub want to give massive respect to DnBTV for their highlighting of us, and all of their hard work. Keep it comin'!
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American Idol 6, week 1B [recap]

Well, they kept the "wrong door" hilarity, and there was a LOAD of scariness on there. Seattle really was one of the worst cities they have visited in all six seasons: what was that last total, 13 people getting the yellow ticket? What a damn shame... although I do think that some of the choices to go to Hollywood needed to go home, like the fake Justin Timberlake dude with the corny beatboxing. He is going to annoy the piss out of me. The Indian brother and sister combo were surprisingly nice, although the brother outshone his sister - for now. Her voice is ill, too, she just needs to get over her nerves.

That skank "The Hottness": wow. She would have been cute, if she actually looked like Mariah instead of trying to fake the funk like she could sing like Mariah. And she broke into that corny "what do you know about music" nonsense... check Simon's track record, check Randy's track record. They wouldn't be judges if they were just some fly by nighters!

The majority of these singers were a load of trashcans. That chick "Darwin" was just horrendous, and her mother should be shot for telling her she could sing. I felt bad for the lady who's husband said she shouldn't go out and audition - I can understand fufilling a dream, but $20 says she caught hella laughter when she got home. Zitzmann - all I have to say is dude has the craziest eyes I've ever seen. He does get 20 points for knowing all the words of "Unchained Melody", but that's about it.

Gotta say I loved that "Don't Cha" montage - I wonder how they actually got that filmed, like if they told all of those guys to sing that or what. And Simon wins week 1B's funniest comment, when he called dude a "bush baby". I would have said an elf, but you know how that goes.

Hopefully next week's shows will have more pure singers, and a lot less of the humdingers.
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Lucy Diamonds: Video Casting Call!

Lucy Diamonds has just put word out via her MySpace page that there is a video of her's that is in the pre-production stages. Shooting will be in Los Angeles, CA, in Feb. or March, and she is looking for people exclusively from MySpace to come out and appear in it! Now, you might be asking, "well, why would I want to be in some bootleg video?" Well, let it be known that the director behind this project is none other than Lee Davis, a protege of the one like Spike Lee, who directed stars like Michelle Rodriguez, Danny Glover, Pam Grier and others in 3 AM. Spike's production company is handling this as well, so it is not going to be a game. Check out the treatment behind this:

This video will be filmed in Los Angeles, CA in February/March. The video is for
the upcoming first "official" singles titled, "Soul Searching" & "Blood Diamonds (Invulnerable Heart)." Davis & Diamonds' camp have been working on deciding on the unique concept and are merging both videos into one extended story line.
The video is set in a dark, not too distant future; the animated video is inspired by films like Blade Runner and AKIRA. Davis adds, "We are not too far away from the world depicted in this video...ideals like democracy, and freedom are constantly being challenged, and re-defined. People are lost, searching for answers. One person's actions, one person's voice can mean so much.

Sounds ill, no? So, if you are interested, hit up Lucy at her MySpace page, or e-mail Jonathan Hay to be put on.
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Free DJ Drama & Don Cannon

(click here for link to video about the recent shutdown and arrest of DJs Drama & Don Cannon)

You gotta love how the RIAA feels the need to raid the Aphilliates' HQ, but then turns around and makes money off of cats who used to run the same type of operation. I mean, mixtapes are a hustle, but they also help introduce TONS of talent to the masses. And then they wonder why niggas still continue to steal music? What a fucked up business sense... Free Drama & Cannon!

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American Idol 6, week 1A [recap]

Gotta say, there was a load of rubbish coming from those singers mouths. I'm not the BIGGEST American Idol fan in the land, but I caught the bug and I love watching people get humiliated on TV.

I was back and forth between my son and that show last night, but I was pleasantly surprised that my favorite singer so far was the crack baby who sang Jennifer Holiday. I first saw and and thought "God, no!", because her grill was jacked (which I blame on bad, crack-addled parenting), but she has that Mary J. Blige/Keyshia Cole vibe about her voice, full of emotion and pain.

I also loved hearing that Army chick sing too. Forgive me for not having their names, but I haven't sat through my DVR recording yet. Too much going on.

The one thing I CANNOT stand are the guys who play themselves on TV, then act like Simon, Randy and Paula are insane. Like that 19 y/o cat from Gary, Indiana, the one who actually LEFT THE ROOM and came back in. I won't go into detail on how I feel about him as a person, but when you come out talking about comparing your voice to Mariah Carey, and you're a dude, you need to come correct. And he didn't. I can see if you are pissed about Paula, b/c she hasn't put out an album in years, but she was never known to be the BEST singer, she started as a dancer, and road her wave. Simon picks talent, he's proven that, so 9 times out of 10, if he says you are shoddy, deal with it. And you gonna diss on Randy, but Randy has worked with Mariah, as well as countless other artists, so its not like he can't smell talent. Be forreal.

In any case, I do plan on blogging more about American Idol, at least up to the true competition, on some "Monday Morning Quarterback" style of flowing - doing lil recap/hashings of the previous nights comp. Once they get into the different weeks and such, I lose interest, but who knows, I've never blogged about a show quite like this. Right now, it will be kind of loose and free, but it will get more serious as the pool dwindles down. We'll see.
and PS: do you think they purposely locked the left door, just so those loser would push on it in error while trying to stomp out and make mean for the cameras? I almost spit up my juice everytime I heard Simon say "wrong door".

related links:
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Oh Word & Dallas Penn present: Bodega

Gotta love that hilarious social commentary. Check out the video, provided by Metacafe:

Bodega - video powered by Metacafe

Rafi of Oh Word let it be known that we the people can keep this vid on the Metacafe home page, but you have to vote! So peep this page, vote for "Bodega", and help support fellow bloggers and Hip-Hoppers alike.

related links:
Oh Word
Dallas Penn
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LOST: the end coming soon?

After loads of Official Podcasts dropping inside jokes about Season 7 being the "Zombie Season", the producers have now let it be known that, among other things, they have been speaking to ABC in regards setting an end date to this crazy ride that is LOST. I, for one, am estatic.

In true super-fan thinking, this is a blessing in disguise. It puts to rest all of the assumptions that they a) don't know what they are doing (a gross misunderstanding from people who are too dense to fully engross themselves into the little things) and b) the show is going nowhere fast. I am of the following that believe that this can only help the show, as now the producers can truly focus. It seems like they've been living season to season, knowing how this thing will end up but not really sure of how they want to curve and bend the road LOST travels on. With a definitive set of seasons, it will make that journey a bit more fleshed out, which can only make things better, from the planning of production to the depth and wealth of character vs. mythology that they have already woven into the series already.

If you peep that link as well, you will also find the producers speaking on a number of interesting topics, from doing a straight run of 22 episodes or so (which will no doubt mean that the show will probably not start until the new year, as opposed to starting in September like it has done already), and SPOILER ALERT! a SLEW of spoilers towards the end of the article, from more info on the "arctic" scenario we saw back at the very end of the finale of Season 2, to some major shakeup that will involve the fact that, on the island, it's only November 2004, so only a few months have passed... and some other things I will not write down here. Can't spill all of the beans, but be forewarned: if you don't want to see any more spoilers, don't read the end of the article.

Keep it locked to this blog for more info as I obtain it. And keep it locked to ABC for LOST, dropping on Feb 7th. Holla.
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MLK Day, 2k7

This year, I have not a lot to say about King's legacy that hasn't already been said - I do find it funny that MTV2 finds it fitting to dedicate their programming block(s) to reruns of "Sucker Free" editions of Cribs featuring Three 6 Mafia showcasing a fridge full of cans of Bud Light, and some obviously drunk nigga talking about getting a jimmy hat on and being Elvis Presely (don't ask)... it's also funny how today is the day that all of this OJ Simpson book nonsense is flooding the TV news channels... I do want to shout out Rizoh over at T.R.U.; his MLK post includes audio clips of the "I Have A Dream" speech up, a few that look like they've been remixed. Shouts for that one, bro.

In any case, here is a collection of YouTube videos I feel are fitting for this date. The majority of these are Hip-Hop videos that are statements that are still needed today. If I find something else that fits, I'll post it, so just feel me flow...

01/August 28th, 1963: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech, in its entirety:

02/The Stop The Violence Movement's video for "Self Destruction". One of the illest Hip-Hop posse cuts of all time - peep how many legends are in this one:

03/Not to be outdone, around the same time, the West Coast All-Stars let the world know that "We're All In The Same Gang":

04/Another lost classic, "Erase Racism", features the Juice Crew getting it poppin' over some classic Hip-Hop beats:

05/Always a poignant video, Public Enemy and Spike Lee linked up for Do The Right Thing, and "Fight The Power" was born. Possibly one of the best statements of fury and rage for that Black Hip-Hop movement in the late 90s, here is the uncut/uncensored version:

06/Saul Williams performing "List of Demands (Reparations)" LIVE in the studio:

07/Chris Rock's hilarious "Blacks Vs. Niggas" sketch from Bring The Pain. This shit is still true, mad years down the line:

08/What if Richard Pryor was president?:

09/Here's an ABC Nightline interview with Paul Mooney. He's one of my favorite comedians, just for his honesty... and he's a legend. Check it:

That's all I've got right now. We need much more, but I don't know what else to do, other than to try and spread the knowledge and wisdom around and hope some of you pick up on it. Remember, reflect, and react.
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I thought I had it all wrong

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shouts to NahRight for this one. I'm diggin' this deHop shit: fresh MCs, fresh producers, making fresh Hip-Hop LIVE. Damn shame nothing like this goes down on the reg in the US. Someone needs to hook this up.
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NewTV [1/08/07]

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

That's where I come in.

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

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

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

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

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

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

That's all the TV news I have for now. You got any bits you'd like to hit me with? Let me know.
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Manny Faces presents The Soul of a Man

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

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

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

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

related links:
Manny Faces' offical website
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shuffle delay

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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