observations, reviews and ramblings about Hip-Hop culture, sports, politics and the industry and life in general.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

the father was a putz at first. I think i saw 'The Blizzard' at The Save The Rhino show on Tuesday Posted by Hello

Hustle and Flow - is that Alicia Silverstone? Posted by Hello

I am not sure about this 'Hustle and Flow' flick yet, but not only is my girl Dawn big on it so is Jazzbo. I am not a big 3-6 Mafia fan and I can see this being super corny. The hipster vibe is so high it makes me nervous. But you know at the SRC we don't hate. If we don't have anything nice or constructive to say we don't say anything at all. Just like my mama, the beat-rice, taught me.

My man Joey has no such safeguard on his blog, lol! I suspect that he just fell off the Questlove Christmas card list.

From The Jazzbo:

The next episode of my show, My Block, airs this weekend.

featuring Juicy J and DJ Paul of 3-6 Mafia in the hood, BBQ with Eightball & MJG, Jazze Pha and the Bar-Kays, the homey Al Kapone, the cast of "Hustle & Flow" (Terrence Howard, DJ Qualls, director Craig Brewer), Lil Wyte, Frayser Boy and the man with my favorite car on the planet, Yo Gotti.

That's right, we got down and dirty on the muddy banks of the Mississippi.
Hosted by Sway.
Please lock your TIVO and spread the word.
AIRTIMES:MTV2 Premieres Sun 7/3 @ 830pm

Sun 7/3: 1030pm
Mon 7/4: 9pm
Tues 7/5: 8pm
Wed 7/6: 11pm
Thurs 7/7: 830pm
Fri 7/8: 3am
Sun 7/10: 930pm

MTV Premieres Wed 7/6 @ 630pm
Thurs 7/7: 130am
Fri 7/8: 730pm
Sun 7/10: 12am
Thurs 7/14: 230am

Joseph Patel aka Jazzbo MTV News

So who saw Made last night with C Rayz Walz. At first I was appalled, then by the end I was rooting for the little kid. I was concerned that C Rayz was playing himself. A little Bamboozled action from good ol MTV.

But I think at the end it was a good look for C Rayz. From a marketing standpoint there are mad people this morning who think that C Rayz is the next big thing. That is always a good thing.

C Rayz stopped it from being a mockery and made that kid take it serious. The little 9 year old girl was great. And when they went to the Black high school and he got all shook.

And it's good branding for Def Jux who I know were trying to let people know that their roster is broader than EL P and Aesop. Having a DJX artist kick it with Starks, Game, and Snoop definitely broadens their audience.

I am salty that homeboy got a Theodore Unit jacket, though. I want one. He probably doesn't even know who Trife Da God is!

The best part was when C Rayz told the father that he was living his life like he was Golden in lieu of a gold record. And when they were at Passover.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

my defense is impregnable! Posted by Hello

Be Nice to each other

This is the great Mark C broadcasting. Haven't been on here for a while. Wes is babysitting today so he asked me to pull my weight for a change.

Check out this jam on Thursday with cousin James Blagden and homegirl Alma G.

In fact here are some words from the nutcracker:

this thursday i'm excited to announce the homegirl
annie lewis (afromighty!) will be gracing us with her
presence on the wheels, as well as the one and only
alma "gutter" romero. if you can come through, it
would be great to see you. and i'm gonna be outta new
york for a month (!) come july, so damn... imma be
missin you.

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Around The Horn

Did anyone hear the cat on ESPN's Around The Horn shout Mike Jones cell #?

I doubt anyone on the show caught the joke.

The Rhino has been saved!

So I just returned from ‘The Save The Rhino’ gig at Central Park. Had to finish some work issues so I got there a little late. Missed Doom who I must admit is the main cat I wanted to see. As I was walking up I heard De La rocking ‘Saturdays’ and ‘Oodles of O’s.’ By the time I got my ticket (good looking Neil on the VIP and the plus one I didn’t know about) Dres was on stage with Pos and was launching into ‘The Choice Is Yours.’

I was able to catch the super villain when he came out to rock ‘Rock Co. Kane Flow’ with the Plugs. I hadn’t seen Mr. Dumille in a while and I see he has certainly been living the good life and/or eating that MM Food. I know he was hot as hell in that mask, Ewing throwback and Knicks warm-up jacket. Sheeeeeesh.
I had on, as Eb likes to say my pink Killa Cam polo, and my ass was sweating like a pig.

As my man DJ Jab said, I wish someone would hold a seminar and tell these rappers how to properly hold a mic. I could barely hear Doom when he was rocking.

I hope someone who reads the SCR caught Doom’s show and can put me on.

Did I mention it was hot as the underside of a pair of yak balls? But oy! The humidity. Sufficed to say the dread had a bad hair day.

I did catch pretty much all of The Roots show. I must say they have really taken the hip-hop band gameplan and really run with it. (the author would like to note that a recent convo with Prince Paul reminded the author that Stetsasonic was the 1st ‘Hip-Hop’ band. And the author is not sure why that factoid is mentioned so infrequently.)

The Roots felt like more of a jam band to me tonight. They did a couple of their hits, but most of the show was the band flexing their musicianship. Vernon Reid was out there tonight and he was doing his thing. (peep his amazing interview on WNYC with Toure). They did some ‘Aqua Lung’, some Led Zep, some Luke, 50, Nore, Amerie. You know how they do when they do the hip-hop covers.

But they really didn’t do enough Roots jams for my taste. I can appreciate the other stuff, but when I come to a Roots show I kind of want to hear some Roots jams. Some ‘Adrenaline’, ‘Proceed’, ‘100% Dundee’, etc.

My hypothesis is that they are probably tired of playing their own jams (and tired of criticisms like this). I think they perform something like 200 or more gigs a year. That is A LOT. I can imagine ‘Lazy Afternoon’ or ‘Web’ could start to sound like hell incarnate after the 1st 100 shows. The jamming up there probably keeps them fresh creatively. Maybe that is the reason why they have stayed together for so long while so many other groups have disbanded.

(who remembers the keyboard player on ‘Do You Want More?!?’ – Mr Lean Back aka Scott Storch. That’s pre Kamal ‘On The Keys’ aka Fake Dougie Crack.)

This is not the first time they did this to me. A while back they played Roseland, not sure what tour, and there was a little too much jamming for the kid. But let me tell you those kids in Central Park certainly loved it. So maybe this is just my issue. Hey sue me, I still like a DJ. I respect the band for sure, but if I had my pick I would take the Big Bank Maseo or Primo any day.

There is a great promo running on XM’s The Rhyme 65 I think by Marley Marl talking about how sampling is Hip-Hop. Rhyming over someone else’s beats is part of the music’s history. And ever since the Biz caught the case over sampling there has been a stigma associated with sampling that I simply reject. The Roots definitely took the culture to a new chamber, but somewhere along the way that new chamber became ‘better’ than the old. Now I do not think the Roots themselves did this consciously. I think it is a combo of fans, booking agents, press, and unfortunately a mass of cultural interlopers.

A few years back I had a convo with my man Djinji Brown who is not only a great producer, but a master engineer. He explained this concept from a technical point of view. Similar to Marley, his point was that the digital nature of Hip-Hop is key to the sound. The sampler, and in particular the SP-1200, as an instrument is critical to the sound. The drum machine which was initially designed to replace the drum actually cannot be replaced by the drum. They are 2 distinct sounds. They can complement each other of course, but the drum machine is the father in a backwards sort of way.

So all of this to say that I love the band, but there ain’t nothing wrong with the DJ and as they say 2 turntables and a microphone. They being the Unspoken Heard. Not Beck.

Excuse the rambling. Its 2:30am and I am waiting for Miles Boogie to wake up for his feeding.

Is this kid the Knicks drafted in the 1st round worth it?

Monday, June 27, 2005

'I am fresher than you' Illustrator extraordinaire James Blagden reminds us. As he displays the Zulu pendant he received while doing a live painting at the Root Down with Bambaata.  Posted by Hello

'It's The Shoes'

From Bobbito 'The Barber' Garcia

I’m the host/creative producer for a new ESPN2 series titled “It’s the Shoes,” created by David Jacoby and Kevin Wildes and produced by Hock Films of “Streetball” fame.

We have 8 original shows throughout the summer that will broadcast weekly on Tuesday nights at 1:30am. Guests include Spike Lee, Carmelo Anthony, Allen Iverson, and some very well known sneaker heads making cameos here and there.Enjoy!Bobbito Garcia

If you dig the show, please write to ESPN and let them know at http://sports.espn.go.com/sitetools/s/contact/espntv.html

I peeped the rerun on Saturday afternoon. Support it.

'Save The Rhino' after-party. Tickets for the Central Park Jam are going fast. This may your best chance to meet Neil Nice...and Primo Posted by Hello

Saturday, June 25, 2005

The problem with blogging or rather bloggers

I am new to the blogging phenomenon. And the SCR is nowhere near the
upper echelon of the hip-hop blogosphere. And I don't have the
commitment or the qualoty of say Ian @ Different Kitchen, my man Joey @
Straight Bangin or Jay Smooth at Hip Hop Music. But when I do have is
some knowledge and credibility.

With this age of blogging comes the amateur journalist. Their realism is
what we celebrate.

Coincedentally, I personally think that bloggong along with the concept
of netflix, digital music services and internet porn (yeah I said it)
exemplify the brilliance and freedom of the information age.

What else comes is the uninformed, opiniated, pseudo-expert. With the
open ended access of the net it is impossible to institute intellectual
and professional barriers. While you get brilliant, insightful amateur
journalists you also get the 'haters.'

Cats who just want to throw stones and tear down people's
accomplishments. (Very much like Stephen A, Smith. Sorry just had to
slip that in there.) These are not critics because they lack the
ability, knowledge, and desire to offer constructive criticism.

This is a pandemic in Hip-Hop. Because the music and culture is so close
to the people we feel a strong sense of ownership. This sense of
ownership quickly leads to arrogance. That arrogance is manifested on
message boards and blogs where amateurs attack professionals.

While I feel the people and the fans are the most important part of
their culture I do think there needs to be ahigher level of respect for
those who make their living moving the culture forward.

I love basketball, play it, and follow it but I am simply not qualified
to debate Larry Brown. Dialogue, yes. Debate, no.

A lot these kids read allhiphop, watch BET and then want to straight up
challenge label heads and artists. It's like watching Court TV all day
and then debating Robert Morgenthau. Just silly.

Enough rambling. Enjoy the weekend.
Go Rhinos

Thursday, June 23, 2005

'if that J-Smoov don't get that camera outta my face...I'm gonna take my earings out and whip his ass' said Leela as she desceneded the stage on Saturday Posted by Hello

  • First off, someone please tell me how that NBA collective bargaining agreement is not age discrimination. I am far from a labor relations expert but stopping these cats from making a living with their talent seems more than unfair. It seems criminal. Is their an age limit to be a ref, commissioner, coach, trainer, or President of Operations? No. Then why an age limit for players?

I agree with Jermaine O’Neal and cannot ignore the racial undertones. This rule will severely affect young black males’ ability to earn a living. And 19? One year of college? What exactly is that going to accomplish?

I know they are trying to avoid the HS busts, but they are also legislating against Kobe, T-Mac, Kevin Garnett, and LeBron. And where is it proven that 4 years of college is the magic elixir for a strong pro career? For every HS bust I can find a 3 or 4 year college bust. Trajan Langdon the Alaskan Assassin, Never Nervous Pervis Ellison, Ralph Sampson. Even great college players like Cory Alexander, Junior Burrough, and Randolph Childress had less than great careers.

The reality is that your ability, not your age determines your success. Some people need four years; some need 4 days to get ready for the NBA. Why don’t we let the experts trained in assessing talent make these decisions? Let Larry Brown, Jeff ‘100%’ Van Gundy, Mo Cheeks and Lawrence Frank decide. Not David Stern.

Maurice Clarett got jerked the same way.

Where is the outrage when the MLS drafts Freddie Adou, or when the MLB snags the rights to the best High School talent? I wonder what the socio, racial, economical makeup is of those leagues.

And for my man Joey, here is my list as promised:

Things I saw at the Leela James show at SOB’s

  • Dudes who wear women jeans
  • Dudes who weigh less than 130 pounds
  • The biggest hairpiece I have ever seen (on Leela. It was dope though)
  • Blazer, jean, white sneaker combos (about 79)
  • One dude in a sequined Van Halen T-shirt
  • One cool as writer named Tara Henley
  • Big Ced aka Sam as in MC Lyte

    Best things I saw at the BHF

    The people
  • Dark clouds passing over
  • The dude running the Xbox truck
  • Rhymefest meeting Kim
  • The 719 cops stationed in the neighborhood
  • The DT’s walking around the event in their oh so covert bulletproof vests
  • Grand Puba (didn’t think he was gonna make it)
  • Phonte’s ‘fresh out the box’ kicks backstage
  • Greg’s Mom rocking to Brand Nubian
  • Greg’s pops, Sal
  • Miles Boogie
  • My man G from the Brewery serving that banana beer (actually called Wiesse)
  • Kyle and KB
  • The Ecko rhino mini robots
  • Obsession from the Aboriginals

    Fakin jax will not be allowed

    Pistons will send the soft ass Spurs home sans ring

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Life is good, no need to complain. Thanks for hanging out with us Posted by Hello

Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival, good looking out

I have been away for a while and everyone who came out to support us on Saturday knows why. The Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival was without a doubt the BEST event we have produced.

Thanks to all our peoples who came out to support. Cats who have been riding with us for 10+ years.

A special thanks to the team that made it happen. Starting with Alma who quarterbacked the whole thing. Ebonie and Cathy and the whole day of staff. Ian for helping get that dough. Kim who did such a good job getting the word out that the cops were looking for her. And of course my partner in crime Greg Trani-world.

Big apologies to my main man DJ Language who had to have his set cut when we ran behind on the schedule. Please forgive us; we didn’t realize how long it would take to get Leela set up.

But she did kill it, didn’t she?

Thanks to Amir, Medina Green and Geology for holding it down.

Geology’s set was dope. I didn’t know he could do it like that

Good looking to Kyle and KB, true Hip-Hop solders.

I was busy kicking it with 5-0 to see most of Little Brother’s set. But I know they did their thing. I didn’t know that cat Joe Scudda was white.

And of course Brand Nubian. Wasn’t sure that Puba was gonna make it, but I’m glad he did. I kind of reverted to my Hip-Hop nerd self when ‘All For One’ came on. If you can’t rock to the beats it’s time to get out of the game.

I do want to clear up one thing I saw on some cat’s blog today. The intent for BHF was not 'in brooklyn' 'for brooklyn' 'by brooklyn.'
(FYI both Medina Green, Geology and Amir are from Brooklyn)
Living in Brooklyn I know how dope it is and the amount of talent here. The point of BHF was to bring the illest talent and patrons from all over to celebrate the boro. Not to display Brooklyn talent only. That is done every day - Kweli, Mos, Jay-Z, BIG, dead prez, Common (via the Chi), etc.

As I wrote in the program:

We thank you for joining us in celebrating Hip-Hop culture as well as the borough of Brooklyn. Senseless violence, urban neglect, unchecked materialism and lack of community involvement are all common misperceptions of both Brooklyn and Hip-Hop. The point of BHF is to smash those stereotypes and let the world know that Brooklyn and Hip-Hop represent diversity, creativity, peace, and family.

When I was growing up in the Bronx (yup I am a transplant) Hip-Hop was one of my greatest teachers. It taught me to take pride in myself and my community. It taught me to value intelligence and pursue my dreams. Artists like our headliner, Brand Nubian, help quell the scourge of crack in my neighborhood.

And even though I was born not too far from where Hip-Hop was born I still recognize Brooklyn as one of the jewels of the city. It is where I live, work, and build a family. Combining these two elements is our attempt to give back to those who have given us so much.

To that end we have gathered a stellar group of artists, sponsors and professionals to tell that story. The wonderful people who have made this possible come from all parts of this great city and state: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Long Island, and New Rochelle. And as far away as Colorado, Ohio, Chicago, Los Angeles and North Carolina.

Joey, I got some lists for you tomorrow.

And in other news I love R. Kelly’s ‘Trapped in the Closet’
Ain’t nobody like him

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

yo X wasn't that your girl? Posted by Hello

But she pulled on the plastic and I just couldn't stop her

Went to WBAI’s ‘Underground Railroad’ last Saturday night with Alma to promote the good Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival. Not only is it a pleasure to hang out with Monk, J, and 3D but Lord Jamar from Brand Nu came down as well.

While we were talking to Lord J it occurred to me how truly important Brand Nubian was to not only Hip-Hop, but to the urban blight of the 90’s. Put simply Brand Nubian helped stop the plague of crack cocaine. Sadat’s verse on ‘Slow Down’ was the first time that Hip-Hop had a hit record ridiculing crack heads. It sounds simple, but as a cultural statement it was extremely powerful.

Teachers, Nancy Reagan, and parents had preached against the evils of drugs but Brand Nubian made it cool to be straight. They weren’t finger waving adults; they were your older, cooler peers. And they weren’t saints. They were just as imperfect as we were.

Now some may think this last point is a bit of an exaggeration but what Brand Nubian, KRS, Public Enemy did to pull (parts of) my community out of the post Reagan darkness is akin to ending the black plague in the mid 1300’s. Left unchecked it is scary to think what the crack epidemic would have done to urban communities. Look at what it is still doing. From an academic standpoint one can point to several verses songs and albums and trace the end of epidemic (but unfortunately not the disease).

Listening to Jamar speak to Phonte during the interview then rehashing the interview with Alma on the way back to Brooklyn the legacy of Brand Nubian hit me like a Mack truck.

I can’t wait for Saturday. See you all then.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Brooklyn, fresh as it can be Posted by Hello

Almost too hot to blog

I have been MIA most of the week as the oppressive heat slowed my big ass down. It actually isn't that bad. With the Festival approaching (JUNE 18TH!!!!) things have been busy up in the office.

Make sure to check the BHF site for the latest.

Tickets are gone! poof! vamoose! for the moment...but still log onto to the site and when more become available we will be sure to hook it up. Plus we have fresh prizes for those who do register.

I am posting a picture of the BHF Festival official poster by James Blagden. There will be signed copies for sale at the Festival.

As we went to get the permits from the local precinct the cops got 'nervous' with the mention of Hip-Hop. It is an embarrassing shame that our culture has become synonymous with crime. Things are way out of balance. And I tell you stunts like Game pulled at Summer Jam does not help. What the hell is wrong people?

2 millionaires acting like Junior High knickleheads. And it gives all of Hip-Hop a bad name because the uninformed lump us all together. Well, that is what the Festival is for. To let people know there is another side of the game. It ain't all jewelry and hoes. I know it sounds cliche, but when I heard what the cop said it got me all fired up this morning.

Game, 50, Dip Set, Mike Jones, Slim Thug, and Snoop all have their place. I like their stuff, but the other side must be repped. Call it backpack, neo Native Tongue, or whatever but I am proud of that music, its teachings and its legacy.

I am proud to have artists like Brand Nu, Little Brother and Rhymefest at the first annual BHF. We are gonna show them how the other side lives.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Game 7

As I write this The Heat are trying to handle the Pistons. Let's hope I don't have to edit this post later.

Anyhoo, I have some random thoughts and maybe I can get to the 'rappers who sing' list. (This list thing is starting to feel like I am biting ego trip, but what are you gonna do?)

BTW, ego trip was without the doubt the best mag of the last 10 years. Not as trendy as the Fader and more editorially reliable than the Source, more authentic than Vibe. If I had the dough i would bring it back. Peace to the Chairman Mao and the rest of the crew.

Random thoughts:

  • How come Kanye didn't give Kweli some heat like Common got?
  • Seems like Kweli never got the props for delivering Kanye to the headwrap/backpack audience
  • The Damon Dash/Jay Z divorce is appearing even more bizarre. It seems like all that Dame has is Beanie Siegel and Ol Dirty. A convict and a corpse - although in Hip-Hop that can be an asset in a macabre sort of way. The State Property click that Beans ran has remained loyal to Jay. Odd, to say the least.
  • Now that Jay is not an artist I keep hearing Memphis Bleek saying how happy he is. And even implying that Jay's lack of administrative help is the reason for his lackluster (for Roc-A-Fella) sales performance. I wonder what is gonna be the excuse when/if this one bricks. And how long will the loyalty last to Jay when/if he is unale to share his magic touch.

Gotta watch the last 1:26 of this game. stupid list tommorow

Thursday, June 02, 2005

The underated Kool Keith

Sitting here watching the Heat game before I head out to the good Good Foot at the Knitting Factory and what doI see but a Kool Keith Dodge commercial. I had to do one of those double takes. I am glad that Keith is still getting some work. Haven't heard from him in a while.

Ever since Zev Love X tool a page out of the Kool Keith manual Keith has been kind of quiet.

which brings me to me my latest installment of ramblings:

Let Us Not Forget

Let us not forget that Kool Keith was the first to pimp the alias game and get deals for his different personalities. There was Robby Analog, Black Elvis, and Dr. Octagon. He was also one of the first in the modern era to move from minor attention on a large label to complete adoration from the indie world and then generate interest from the majors on the second go around. Current example: Zevlove X aka MF Doom aka King Geedorah aka Viktor Vaughn.

Keith also pioneered the concept record and the collobaration with a single producer of the indie renaissance era. Before Madvilliany, and the 9th Wonder team up's, and Jaylib (my favorite) Keith was doing records with Dan the Automator and Kut Master Kurt

Tomorrow a new list: Rappers who sing. It's more than Ja Rule.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

It's Elemental, stupid

An excerpt from the editorial I just wrote for Elemental. Shout to Phat Matt and Michael for allowing me to contribute...

Recently I was having a conversation about the inefficiency of the music business with a VP from one of the few major labels whose brand I still respect. He said to me, “A record label is really a venture capitalist that is only interested in one revenue stream.” After another gin and tonic and margarita respectively we went deeper down the rabbit hole. We concurred that most artists and managers (which we both are/were) dealt with the label for a no interest loan and went about their business. That business being touring, selling merch, endorsing products, developing video games, starring in feature films, start their own labels, buy property and the list goes on.

While an enterprising artist can create all these revenue streams the label’s sole revenue stream is exploiting those master recordings. Record sales and licensing, that is about it. Ask for a piece of the publishing and you got a jihad on your hands. This would be somewhat acceptable if the master recording were not the engine that fuels all the hustles.

Without ‘Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ there would be no G Unit empire. But I wonder if Jimmy Iovine gets a piece of the ‘Bulletproof’ game or the Ecko Deal, or the movie deal, or the tour. Should he? Now I am not a proponent of indentured servitude so if 50 takes his royalty money and invests in Vitamin Water or Mike Tyson’s crib that is completely his business. However, a strong case can be made that revenues directly generated from Interscope/Aftermath/Shade’s investment should be redistributed to all parties with an interest. If Jimmy Iovine was a venture capitalist or 50’s Mr. Drummond and not his label head wouldn’t Jimmy ask for a comprehensive return on the investment?