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

Friday, November 30, 2007

Wu Tang Clan - Protect Ya Neck

tried to post some Rae videos
let's see if this works


Raekwon - Glaciers of Ice

so dope of a song that this represents the last cassingle I ever bought.

We all love Ghost but I just wanted to make sure we didn't forget about the Chef Shallah aka Corey Woods.


Never really loved this song. I am not gonna lie

Raekwon Incarcerated Scarfaces

Wanna battle for cash and see who Sun Tzu?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Love NPR and WNYC

"things look good to me"

As far as I'm concerned they are the only real news outlet.
Not a 'wink', 'wink' joke like Jon Stewart
Not unashamedly biased like Fox
Not watered down like CNN
Not cookie cutter stories sit out by AP

They have real stories about issues you wouldn't think of. For example today they had the CEO of eBay on talking about the counter-cyclical of their business. When was the last time you dropped that word over dinner.

Made total sense once she spoke on it. When times are hard people will unload junk on eBay for much needed extra cash. And consequently when times are rough people will be more prone to purchase used goods from eBay.
eBay is a recession proof business. Brilliant.

This goes to my point of the moment. When you're not making paper look to yourself first. Recession or slow down kicked your ass? Build a recession proof business model. Like selling crack (just kidding).

The music business is fine. The problem is with the Big 4, traditional retail and half ass artists and content producers.

The music business is very good to Apple, Ticketmaster, Live Nation and select human brands like Jay, Puff, Stoute, Wayne, and Kanye.

Before you throw stones look in the mirror. Examine your business model. More specifically look at your delivery method, your product line, marketing and branding strategy.

As they say hate the player not the game. That's actually not what they say but you say it now.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Things are good

Being the insane Dilla fan that I am shame on me for not shouting the Dilla/Busta/Mick Boogie mixtape.
All Dilla fans should find Mick Boogie and give him a kiss/hug/pound whatever is appropriate.
And he has the joint for free on his site. That's what I'm talking about

Things are good when people like Busta, Mick Boogie, and Ma Dukes can come together for this. (Quick question - track 3 I never realized Bust was hustling)

Another inspiring observation ----
I also spoke on my feelings about Common. He is really doing it.
He is with Alicia? That would be a...good look.
Love her new video
Saw 'Smokin Aces' last night. Both of them did their thing. Common can do something with this acting hustle.


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Monday, November 26, 2007

From The Long Tail blog

I love this guy....

Last week and most of the week before I was in Spain, Portugal and Italy giving speeches and visiting companies. Whenever I could I talked to people about "free". Here's what I've learned: people are confused by, and often suspicious of, that word and the trend towards the price of zero, I got the same questions again and again:

So nobody's going to make any money?
Does any of this go beyond simply paying for things with advertising?
You don't mean actually free, do you?
This is just online, right?
Is this some sort of trick?
The answers, in short form, are these:

What Free Is--And Is Not.

1) You can make loads of money by giving things away. The key is who you're making money from. Google's products are almost all free to the consumer, but Google makes billions from the advertisers who pay to reach those consumers.This is just the application of the century-old media model--"free-to-air" TV and radio, and newspapers subsidized by advertising to a fraction of their real cost--to any industry that can be turned into a digital product or service.

Think of these markets not as a two-way relationship between buyers and sellers, but a three-way relationship where the third party can be drawn in by something free that creates the product to be sold (in the case of advertising, this "product" is the fabled "eyeballs" that advertisers buy).

2) Okay, so you get that--advertising can make things free. But that's just part of the much bigger opportunity in redefining markets so that you can give away one thing to sell another. Take flying. As Kevin Kelly notes, not long ago airlines scoffed at the notion that you could give away airlines seats. Then RyanAir, EasyJet and, at latest count, nearly 30 other European low-cost carriers lowered the cost of a seat to as little as five pounds (7 Euros). Yes, five pounds.

How? By redefining what business they're in. They're not selling seats, they're selling transportation. They sell hotel and rental car reservations to passengers. They sell tourists to the smaller cities the carriers serve (the payment is in the form of the huge discounts they get on landing fees). They sell cargo shipment to the companies that put packages in the hold (which is why the low-cost carriers tend to charge extra for baggage). They even make money off the food and drink they sell on board.

3) Is there really such a thing as a free lunch? Actually, there sometimes is. Craigslist really is free. Wikipedia really is free. Nobody is "monetizing your attention". It's all thanks to a combination of the falling technology costs of Moore's Law with the Gift Economy. There really are no strings attached.


and now starring Jeff Bezos as Steve Jobs

Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos wants it both ways: He wants to change the way we read without making us feel that we have to change the way we read. The manifestation of this lofty goal is the Kindle - the company's first electronic book reader. After testing the device, I found much to like but plenty of room for improvement. At $399, I also think it's overpriced.
The Kindle is hardly a new idea. There have been plenty of attempts in this category, including one called the Rocket eBook reader and, most recently, the Sony reader. But none of those has done much to wean people away from paper books.
But Amazon has something none of the other players can match - the world's largest online bookstore and a powerful position with the publishing community. Its library of 90,000 e-books includes almost all the bestsellers.

I am very interested in this new iPod for the publishing game.

I am not sure it will catch on but the fact that it is produced by Amazon makes it fundamentally different from any other attempt. Previous producers were tech companies like Sony. This is Amazon’s business. They have access to the publishers, the authors and most importantly the readers. To many Amazon is the publishing business. Probably them and Barnes and Noble. I would argue that the majority of people buy their books from those two outlets, their local bookstore and their local library.

This also had me asking a few questions

- How is that the music business can’t keep a retailer like Tower open while the publishing business which is not nearly as big or culturally significant can support a mega retailer like Barnes and Noble?

-Is there still a place for retail in the music business?

-Having access to 90,000 books is great but how the hell do I navigate all those choices. It’s bad enough with all the music choices we have. Books take so much more time

-The music business needs to go through the same overhaul that the publishing business did when other media (radio, TV, Film) kicked their ass. Raise the profile of your industry. Add a real cache to your industry to increase its value. Do something to separate the music industry and its product from the internet, DVD’s, and TiVo
(more on this later)

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Randomness for anyone actually working today

- The Freeway album is dope. Always loved Free. He wants to win so damn bad you gotta love him. Still has one of the most unique flows in the game. Support the brother.
Check out: This Can't Be Real, Billionaires, Light Get Low (I think I like Rick Ross), Spit That Sh&t

- I love how Jay tricks off E500 notes in that Roc Boys video. I always said that if you are gonna talk about money do it right. I am supposed to be a conscious cat but don't trip I like to have my fun. Cars, clothes, and jewelry is played out. It's about summer houses, 5 star restaurants and 'swellin like a Magellan fund' like my brother said. That's what I want. Let's talk about how to make real money. Trick off euros and school these kids about the global economy. Love it. If these kids learn that lesson and read more they will get off those corners. Fact.

- Getting my Alton Brown today and tomorrow. Enjoy your family this week

- Still haven't seen 'American Gangster'

- Saw 'Bee Movie' with Miles last week. Ever since Kramer wigged out I have boycotted anything Seinfeld but I compromised for the sake of father-son bonding. Jerry Seinfeld is just a Woody Allen knock off. The movie was just an animated Seinfeld episode. There was a George, an Elaine, and even the actual Puddy was in it. Boo. And the story was essentially 'Antz', Woddy Allen's animated, neurotic, Jewish New York tale.
And keeping in mind the Kramer wig out, there were several lines that were curious. Watch the movie and pay attention to the talk about dating spiders and 'I hope she's Bee-ish' lines.
This was just Dreamworks attempt to cash in on the celebrity, comedian, animated hustle. Uninspired.
But it did keep Miles' attention for 90 minutes. After the questionable previews almost made my dude cry.

Enjoy yourself

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Dog The Bounty Hunter-Clear Blue Skies- Juggaknots Video

this is great
shout to Different Kitchen and the Juggs

Isiah, you're losing me

I have defended the Knicks for years. I have fended off attacks from turncoats like Traniworld and my own brother (smile). But even I am beginning to believe this is getting out of hand.
Kicking dudes out of practice is as bad of a look for the coach as it is for the players.

The reality is Isiah appears to be fundamentally unable to do his job which is to win. Right now I can't see the Knicks in the playoffs for three years. And to do that the ship needs to be turned around right now. Instead he is throwing dudes out and beefing with Starbury.

I like Isiah. I think he has great basketball knowledge. I think he can do it but he has to start NOW. Get a front office guy to help you out or move to the front office and bring in someone else (less than likely).

And Dolan better get cracking because Rod Thorn is bringing a well run franchise to the NY market. And if they make a run and make it back to the Finals with Brooklyn on their chest, it will be the beginning of the end of the Knick dominance in New York. Don't Hovito throw hos celebrity behind it. The Nets will be 'cool' in a snap.

I love the Knicks but it is gonna be hard to fight of the allure of switching sides.
-Me, Boogie and The Bea walking down to Nets games
-Producing shows at the Arena
-Opening a sports bar on Atlantic (that's a wish there)
-And enjoying a winning team, finally

I'll keep it real with you though. I will always be a Knick fan but damn y'all gotta stop pushing me!

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Monday, November 19, 2007

A lot of loss and a lot of love

Peep the video of Kanye trying to solder on.
I don't know how he could bring himself to try

Also sending our love to Steve Hindy of the Brooklyn Brewery. He lost his son, Sam, this weekend in an unfortunate bikeing accident on the Manhattan Bridge. I never met Sam but heard about him all the time. Without Steve the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival would have never been born. He has been a great mentor and is who I want to be when I grow up.

Losing a child or a parent is probably the worst ordeal in the world.

But loving your children and your parents is the best thing in the world.

Hug your babies and call your mom

Be good


Kanye West tries to stick out for Ma Duke in Paris

this is rough
I don't how he could even work

Friday, November 16, 2007

The GOAT list grows

As you should know one of my favorite MC’s Tony Starks is about to drop his 7th dolo album, The Big Doe Rehab. For the next month the Bodega will be featuring all types of fly content revolving around Dennis Coles, Clyde Smith, Theodore Deini, The Ironman, Starkey Love, Pretty Toney and everyone else.

In my mind Ghost will go down as one of the greatest MC’s. He will likely never be in the discussion with the likes Tupac, Big, Rakim, Nas, or Jay Z and I do not have the time to start that debate. But when you talk of longevity (more albums than Big and Rakim), sales (no records broken but Starks has plaques), and creativity Starks separates himself from the pack.

There is another MC that also fits into this category that I have not written about much this year. That is none other than Lonnie Lynn aka Common. Common has seven solo albums. The last 3 out of 4 have gone Gold. He is winning awards (BET). Broadening his human brand (‘Smokin Aces’, ‘American Gangster’, Lincoln deal, HIV awareness campaign). And at the end of the day still dropping joints and remaining relevant.

Remaining relevant is something that some of the greats simply cannot say. KRS ONE, who gets my vote as the GOAT, hasn’t been relevant in years. He hasn’t had significant sales in almost 10 years. Thankfully he has been honored by his peers recently.
Where is Kool G Rap these days?
Rakim can’t seem to release another album after two failed comeback projects.
As great as Big was we have to be honest he only released two albums. There is no telling where he would by #7. If he could have made it that far.
EPMD couldn’t maintain their dominance for this long.
Neither could NWA or The Geto Boys.
Kanye has earned more in much shorter amount of time but we still have to see if Kanye can remain in the game for 14 years.

Using these criteria Common is in elite company.
A small fraternity that includes Jay, LL, (maybe Scarface?), and Outkast.

Personally, Common is in my Top 10 (maybe Top 5).
I think more than any MC he speaks to me. We are around the same age and because of that fact we have gone through many of the same life lesson ‘together.’

During ‘Resurrection’ we were both living with your Moms after college while struggling to find a career. He as a rapper, me as a businessman.
We both drank a little too much and swear off the hooch
I tried being a vegetarian but it didn’t take all that well. Maybe because he was doing the ooch coochy dance with Badu and I had a straight girl from Corona
When he spoke about losing his godmother on Electric Circus, I had just lost my mom.
We are both young parents
I remember a line that went something like: “my city ain’t all good or all bad. You could live in the ‘burbs and still get had.” That was how I felt growing up in the Bronx. The shit was all around you but thanks to my parents I knew better and was not left to wallow in the negativity. At times you could have a somewhat suburban happy existence in the midst of the crack epidemic.

That dichotomy Common often speaks of is as real as it gets.
He is a conscious rapper (if you still want to use that hollow label) that is not holier than though. No criminal but far from a Saint. Respectful of women but still trying to get his. This is the duality that exists in all of us.
There is something about these Chicago MC’s like Common, Lupe, Rhymefest, and Kanye who can pluck that chord better than most. I think it is a real strength because their flaws next to their talent make them real people.

Anyway, as we continue to move forward with this Hip-Hop shit let’s give some recognition to those who can survive this dysfunctional industry and still speak from their soul.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Freeway - Flipside (Featuring Peedi Crakk)

in a mood today

SKILLZ f/ FREEWAY - Don't Act Like You Don't Know

where did this come from?
I like

Freeway-What We Do

Free is one of the best things to come from Roc A Fella

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

And oh yeah

This record is 10 times better than I originally thought
Fall back

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More thoughts on Kanye's mom

First of all, Miss Jones is perhaps the most ignorant Black person in media. Listening to her is like eating a candied Big Mac fried in beer batter. You just know it's bad for you. Somewhat interesting and tasty but poison nonetheless.
This morning talk about Dr. West must have spiraled into talk about plastic surgery. Next thing I know she said 'When I get my work done I feel more comfortable with white hands on my black body.' What!? What the f*ck is she talking about? Shut up you half a hit having big mouth. You are poisoning our children.


The worst part about the tragedy of Kanye's mom is it seems it was so unavoidable. The Daily news reports she was counseled against the surgery. Counseled against recuperating at home.
And eventually you have to ask why does a 58 year old mom need a tummy tuck and breast reduction for? Seems like she asked the same question. I wish she had arrived at a different answer.

In my ignorance i think plastic surgery is for porn stars, starlets, and vain women. That is not always the case I know.
I don't know what it's like to have $20 mill in the bank and manage a $100 mill brand. The absolute need to look the part is more than most of us can imagine. Maybe she looked at a clip of the Grammy's and was like 'I got to do something. I am not pleased with how I look.' And living in LA you are surrounded by people who think nothing of a lift here, a lipo there. Next thing you know you are on a table with a mask over your face like 'what the f*ck am I doing.' So tough.

Fame and money is not always what it is cracked up to be. Bills are paid, but do not be confused there are exponentially larger problems waiting for you.

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Sunday, November 11, 2007


Unfortunately I have been through this. No one loves you like Moms
This really sucks on more levels that I can ever hope to communicate.

It will get better, brother. Don't let this break you.

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Friday, November 09, 2007

You smoke crack, don't ya!?

Heard today that the CEO of Sprint took it on the chin for poor earnings and for turning down the iPhone deal. Makes you wonder. How the hell do you turn down that deal?
My man may not have been crazy and here are a few reasons

- Apple is nice and they know it. I can see the terms being ridiculously weighted to their side. So much so that it could mean a revenue loss for the carrier

- Steve Jobs is a scary motherf*cker. He used Pixar’s success to become the leader shareholder in Disney. I can see people not wanting that barbarian at the door. “Thank you but I’ll take the zero”

- maybe he was just out of touch and still rocks a Sony Walkman

- He was cautious. If in the rare possibility it did fail he would have been the biggest dummy in the game. Not every Apple product is a killer. There was LISA.

-He couldn’t work the touch screen because his hands were too greasy from the Popeye’s served at the meeting

-He smokes crack

-His girl worked at AT&T and he wanted to hook her up…so she could hook him up later

Have a good weekend

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Hi Tek and Talib Kweli The Blast

another good one from the old days


the shooting of this video was such a big deal. ahhh, the good old days when the internet bubble was just spewing money

VH1 Hip Hop Honors Total Access

these guys need their own TV show

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Notes from the B26

-this quote from Common's 'Nag Champa' sums it up for me:

I'm sittin wit descendants of Abraham
Who say the jam is "Money, Cash, Hoes"
I went from bashful to asshole to international
Lover-self, word to the mother on my last record cover it's felt
Now deal wit it

You not gon' respect self, at least respect the heritage
Affecting lives is where the wealth and the merit is
I realize what I portray day to day, I gotta carry this
And beats, rhymes and life is where the marriage is

-listening to Black Star on the way in. Mos is the star no doubt but I still maintain Kweli dominated that album. Black Star is more accurately defined as Reflection Eternal feat Mos Def. Kweli and Tek were peaking on this one.

-see the story about the Homeland Security Haloween party where a cat came dressed in dreads, a jail suit, and blackface? I believe the quote was 'some felt the costume was offensive.' Some. For sure. The number of people who feel that costume was funny will make your skin crawl.

-F@ck Don Imus. Even the coach is cool. I ain't.

-Evil lurks everywhere, my youth. Be wary

-Love Ray Lewis' comments about that ass whooping last night. He'll be a great analyst or better yet a coach

-who is gonna be next year's Hip-Hop rookie of the year?

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Monday, November 05, 2007

We on a run like Logan

So here is another chapter in my attempt to understand the cosmic anomaly known as Lil Wayne aka Weezy F Baby (I like that name much better).
Your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper’s daddy came out and said Weezy was gonna be bigger than not only Hot Hov, but also Frank White, and Tupac. Even you 30 something supporters (you know who you are) must agree they need to pump the brakes now. I am convinced they don’t even believe this sh*t. It’s whatever is in those Styrofoam cups, but it makes us loser bloggers write about him even when we think he is trash. Effective marketing, I must admit.

Here are my latest thoughts on your boy:

-The claim of greatest rapper alive will never stick with me. However, after listening to ‘Duffle Bag Boy’ and ‘Brooklyn 2.0’ I think Weezy does a better job as the 2007 Ja Rule. Off key rapper singing catchy hooks. That ‘Brooklyn 2.0’ joint off of ‘American Gangster’ is hot. Besides the Beasties sample, Weezy on the hook was a great choice. And his verse is tolerable. As a side note, I love how Hov can look past all beef to make a hot song. This, the ‘Get Money’ remix. Is a Dip Set collabo soon come?

-Speaking of that ‘Duffle Bag Boy’ song. Let me get this straight Weezy has been rhyming since he was what? 14? At one point did he become familiar with this crack hustle that is so erroneously lauded? You realize that with Baby as his daddy Wayne is the equivalent of a Hip-Hop trust fund baby. Just like Romeo. He has spent most of his young life far from poverty and certainly far from the corner or duffle bags. It’s fiction folks. Just want to make sure you all remember that.

If any of these dudes are still hustling they are 1) stupid and locked up (Spigg Nice, Steady B) , 2) will be the victim of a Federal probe (Irv Gotti), or 3) desperately trying to beat the charge by claiming they are not that stupid (T.I.)

-he’s still wack, lol

-this is not related but I saw Sway interviewing Cassidy who is going after my fellow old fart, the S Dot. He made a statement that ‘Hov was like 40!’ My question is does that mean you have to stop rhyming at a certain age. Is Hip-Hop like Logan’s Run? (Google it. Wiki it. IMDB it). I am now closer to 40 than not. You, Cassidy and Weez, are closer to 30. Just as it is unwise to think 16 year olds will bang Slick Rick or the JB’s, it equally foolish to think I want to hear about duffle bags and Patron all day. Just as I need to stop forcing you young’uns to tighten up on the classics stop expecting me to recognize these teenagers at the GOAT.

You do you and live out your suburban fantasies of romantic drug dealing and AK 47’s.
I will sit on my ass after the kids are sleep and listen to ’30 is the new 20’, ‘The Moment I feared’, and Common vs. Lily Allen.

And I will see you at the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival.

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