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

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Poor Righteous Teachers - Shayilah

dedicated to little Savannah B

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Wrong blog

I sent yesterday's post to the blog for my youth lacrosse team.

sorry if it looked crazy

Swifty will be on hiatus as I revel in the birth of my Savannah Beatrice

Friday, May 25, 2007

pretty cool confirmation on deck...hold tight


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Jungle Brothers - I'll House You

Jungle Brothers, DELASOUL - doin our own dang

Jungle Brothers- Straight out the Jungle

A response to Ian. We did think about the JB's this year. maybe next year. The unsung heroes of the movement. I love them. Brilliant music.

Gangstarr DWYCK

as I am doing this I realized I mayhave done this already.

Nice and Smooth were so dope. Next year

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Soapbox time

" frack you George"

" nothing but weights and sports shakes...as far as you know..."

A little political and sports commentary today.

The alleged cave-in by the Democrats on Iraq yesterday

I think it was a brilliant move by the Dems. As Chris Mathews said, this move gives the Republicans complete ownership of the war. The Dems gave them a chance to begin to back peddle out of this before the ’08 election. Bush pissed on it. Now it’s his.
The polls are very clear. No one likes this war. The chances of that sentiment changing by September are slim to none. Especially when the same idiots who caused the problem are still at the wheel.
The Dems did not have the votes to defeat a veto, but they certainly will by September. Bush’s own people have told him as much. Why keep the fight going past the symbolic Memorial Day? “Bush was holding the money hostage and I decided to be the bigger man and give the troops the money. He has until September and if we are still in the same situation clearly we cannot have the same conversation again.”
The only way they will lose is if the surge works. And there is no evidence that the Bush strategy will work. That’s a good bet.

Barry Bonds and the home run chase

Bud Selig had better be there when Barry breaks the home run record. And I hope all the Bonds haters are pouring over the records of Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, and all the rest. How do we know the Babe or any other old school slugger wasn’t taking a little Tony Yayo, speed or whatever substance was not banned during their run? The reality is that Bonds, McGwire, and Sammy all danced as close to the line as the rules allowed. If you think Mike Schmidt, George Brett, or Mickey Mantle didn’t bend the rules you are being woefully naïve. You cannot persecute people retroactively, and you cannot persecute Barry only retroactively.

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Extra Large Professor


Friday, May 18, 2007

im lovin it

9th Wonder joins the lineup

Little Brother - Speed

how many people have seen this?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

main source - looking at the front door

how could I forget this last week!?



an upside to being sick

woke up with a 102 degree feever.

sucks but here a few things about being sick that doesn't suck

  • catching up on Entourage

  • Johnny Drama is the best TV character since George Jefferson

  • having a wife who is 8 months pregnant but will pick up your slack so you can sleep

  • sleeping itself. a rarity with a 2 year old around

  • waking up and seeing the ill new BHF poster in your inbox

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Monday, May 14, 2007

Thanks Kweli

this guy appreciates Kweli

Let's keep it real, the mega human brand that is Kanye 'to the' owes a tremendous debt to one Talib Kweli Greene.

Before Kanye was too sexy for his shirt he earned his backpacker respect by producing 'Get By' and a bunch of joints on 'Quality.' I remember when we recorded 'Mood Swing' - the joint Kweli did with Asheru. Kweli was playing joints off of 'Quality' and talking about the beats he got from 'this dude Kanye that works with Jay-Z.' My response was 'you mean that dude Kane?' (a problem with Mr. West's plaques).

Kanye may have hit gold with H to the Izzo (overated) and the Scarface joint but he got his Hip Hop Nazi/Bougie Hip Hop fans from Kweli.

The inspiration for this post? Listening to the 'Get By' remix on the C train. Which made me think of the line (and I paraphrase) 'Hov ain't get a beat from me in a minute / He heard 'Just To Get By' and I was re-hired.' Even the Louis Viton Don would agree. Plus I remember an interview where Kanye spoke on how he modeled his live show after Kwel and how going on tour with Kweli was the biggest boost to his career.

Anyhoo, I say this to say how fucked up it is that Kanye's status has so wholehearyedly eclipsed Kweli's. On paper Kweli is a better MC although not nearly as entertaining. The bottom line is that there is no good reason why there is a such disparity between the two.

Kanye should take out a full page ad in the Times thanking our man Twig Ali aka Kweli. (what up Hodge).

(Another 'who cares' moment. At the Apollo in 2002 or something with J-Live. We had to share a dressing room with Kanye. We looked on the door and was like 'who the hell is this'. Went in. Drank all the beer and ate all the food. 20 min later Kanye and crew walk in with the same look. 'who the hell is J-Live?' They bounced and an hour later I'm like who is this clown rhyming in a white dinner jacket. Who knew?'

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Friday, May 11, 2007

main source - fakin the funk

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Beastie Boys - Sure Shot (Large Professor Remix)

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Pete Rock and Large Professor

the brilliance of this song can't be overstated

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Large Professor - Ijuswannachill

hell yeah. The Extra P, Gangstarr, EPMD. Just pure hip-hop

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Do you need to do every deal that comes across the table?

Just got an AHH alert that Nelly just did a deal to distribute Pimp Juice in Africa (Africa in a Belly sense of the word - specifically Nigeria and South Africa it appears).

Now I already think the name of the brand is silly. I am not a proponent of the lionazation of pimp culture. I still am fascinated that the most feminine male in popular culture is the masculine standard bearer.

I have to ask is a Pimp Juice retailer what post colonial, bureaucratically corrupt Nigeria needs? A bunch of kids jacked up on caffiene and sugar acting like Huggy Bear.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Fest in the news

-NY Post yesterday

-VIBE , Beyonce cover

- Brooklyn Paper

hope to see y'all there


Monday, May 07, 2007

Hip-Hop is worse than I thought

..well for me at least.
My problems go beyond the personal this time. This is about business.

It has been more difficult than it should be to find a headliner for the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival this year. Last year we hit a home run/got lucky with BDK and Lupe. We were able to get 'A' level talent that fit our mission of positivity, family and creativity.

I think we got lucky again with Ghost this year although the kids may have to do 'earmuffs'.
We did fantastic with sponsorship this year as the BHF brand has gotten stronger and stronger. We had $ to spend!

The headliners we thought would fit our mission were outrageously expensive. And outside of that list it was slim pickings.

Common is doing two shows in NY a month before us.

Kweli - ditto

Mos wanted a down payment on a brownstone

De La was not interested in playing NY

Kanye - a king's ransom

ATCQ - four years tuition at UVA

Luckily Cons and Skillz were down.
Old school wise, sadly there aren't that many dudes with a good show, a big draw, affordable rates, and in line with the mission.

Now if we wanted to do Summer Jam Jr. our options were seemingly endless and more affordable.

I guess this is no shock to anyone but it does suck when you establish your mission, raise the money then have to work to spend it. Is it really that hard to find the Lupes, Little Brothers, Kanes, Ghost's, Brand Nubians and Mayas?

There should be a better balance.

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Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Library where the lies are buried

Word to lil Steph - let’s not romanticize the past. There were plenty of garbage groups who we thought were bring the Hip-Hop Apocalypse with them. And now we love Hammer, who would have thunk it?

Conscious Rappers are not very conscious. Ever listen to ‘De La Orgee”?

LL Cool J was Lil Wayne and look at James Todd now

There is no better editor than sands of the hourglass. Old school channels like The Rhyme 65 on XM Radio are dope because time has weeded out the wack Jay Z songs, the wack Tupac songs, the wack Too $hort, the wack Tribe and on and on. If all you heard were ‘Friend Or Foe’ and ‘Dead Presidents’ you would think Jay-Z is an absolute genius. Maybe a better example is KRS. Today I heard ‘The Bridge Is Over’ ‘My Philosophy’ and ‘I’m Still #1.’ The Hip-Hop Gospel album, the last Jive records and the Koch stuff was noticeably absent so of course he looks like the champ that he is.

Turn on The City and you have to suffer through every saccharine pop tune to get to something good like ‘Entourage’ or that Lloyd song I said I liked or the occasional Kanye joint

Then people like me write the history books and I’ll have you believe in 1992 Hip-Hop was the proverbial land of milk and honey that you whippersnappers are f****ing up. Good old revisionist history – gotta love it.

The history books will also say I had a handle like Hot Sauce, hops like Amare, was diesel like Dwight Howard, and a left hand like Kobe. All true, by the way.

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

hip-hop Curbain

Pretty Ricky circa 1980-something

I spent some time with an industry vet the other day who gave me an interesting take on the current state of Hip-Hop.
He said that Hip-Hop is currently in its hair band stage. T&A with no real value on innovation or content. Party. Enjoy yourself and move on.

Now this wasn’t some big mouth blogger with no chops or some Hip-Hop Nazi with a chip on his/her shoulder. This was a real dude who is responsible for classics from the golden age, the most bubble gum pop you can imagine, and in some small way the Pussycat Dolls. I am not going to blow him up but if you know me and follow those hints it ain’t that hard to figure out.

Anyway, I thought he made a good point. No matter how you cut it we can all agree that no one is out here is trying to be the next Rakim. Crime Mob are no cultural innovators. It’s probably not anywhere on their agenda. Getting paid is first, second and last. Now in each era in hip-hop you can find the blood thirsty capitalist, for sure. And even your favorite underground artist on some level is dying to floss. But what we are seeing is relatively unprecedented. What we are seeing is Hip-Hop’s version of Whitesnake, Poison, Motley Crue, and Cinderella.

From wikipedia - you make the call:
Generally, glam metal has hedonistic lyrics, often focuses on sex, alcohol, and drugs. Many glam metal performers became infamous for their debauched lifestyles, long, teased hair (hence the alternative hair metal tag) and use of make-up, gaudy clothing (chiefly consisting of tight denim jeans, spandex, leather and headbands), and accessories
The visual aspects of some glam metal bands became thought of as appealing to music television, particularly
MTV when it was launched. During the mid-to-late 1980s, glam metal tracks were in heavy rotation on the channel.

Lose the tight denim jeans and spandex and there you have it.

What also strikes me is these hyper masculine figures in both genres with these feminine characteristics that defy their macho image. Spandex and hair spray then, giant women’s earrings and purple furs now.

But old farts (like me) take solace. Our Kurt Cobain is coming. The Hip-Hop equivalent of Grunge is bubbling somewhere in the South Bronx, or Raleigh or Tulsa. If I have learned anything as that as Q-Tip said “Daddy, don’t you know things go in cycles. Bobby Brown is amping like Michael.”

More from wiki, wiki, wiki:
In the early 1990s glam metal's popularity rapidly declined after over a decade of success…Bands who were termed "grunge" such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Alice in Chains (who, ironically, started as a glam metal band) started supplanting glam metal's popularity in 1992. As grunge grew to greater success, many glam metal bands discovered that their labels were no longer supportive. Many major labels felt they had been caught off-guard by the somewhat surprise success of Nirvana's Nevermind, and had begun turning over their personnel in favor of younger staffers more versed in "alternative" music.

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