Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hip-Hop and Crack: An Artistic Examination or Irresponsible Glorification? by Amir Shaw

Yesterday the homie Amir Shaw shared a piece he did for Rolling Out over the Twitternets. He was speaking on the relationship between Hip Hop and crack cocaine. I thought it was a pretty good read so I'm sharing it with you....

Crack cocaine and hip-hop changed black America. Both have been dominant forces in black communities across the nation since the 1980s. The style, bravado and expression of hip-hop music has often been influenced by the hardships and underground economy created by crack cocaine.

Public Enemy’s “Night of the Living Baseheads,” N.W.A.’s “Dopeman” and KRS-One’s “Love’s Gonna Get’cha,” were keen examinations of the effects of crack on poor blacks in America. These songs provided listeners with an insider’s view of what it meant to sell, use, and be torn apart from family members due to crack cocaine. The fact that each song lacked a hero or villain gave it credibility and a sense of truthfulness.

Soon, the dope dealer became a protagonist who could gain respect and sympathy from listeners. The Notorious B.I.G, Jay-Z and Scarface offered gritty stories of the highs and inescapable lows of being a part of the drug business. But by the late 1990s, other rap acts followed suit by taking on the persona of dope dealers. Records about crack dealing sold well and the record labels made sure that drug-related music stayed in rotation.

While rap was once used to examine the effects of crack on the inner city, it suddenly became an endorsement of it. The Clipse’ “Keys Open Doors,” Rick Ross’ “Blow,” Gucci Mane’s “Trap House,” and OJ Da Juiceman’s “Make the Trap Say Aay,” all fail to highlight the perils of drug dealing. Instead, the rappers promote the achievement of the American dream through the sale of cocaine.

These rappers also fail to point out the harsh prison sentences that are given to those who are convicted of selling crack cocaine. In a speech recently given at the U.S. Capitol, Attorney General Eric Holder revealed that drug offenders receive a minimum mandatory sentence of five years in prison for dealing five grams of crack and 10 years in prison for dealing 50 grams of crack. Moreover, nearly 82 percent of those jailed for crack offenses are black.

Drug use will never be eradicated. But rappers have the power to voice their views of what crack has done to their communities, so it’s important for these artists to tell the truth about what crack really costs the community. –amir shaw

I remember interviewing Killer Mike at the height of the "coke rap" phase powered by the likes of Clipse and Young Jeezy. Mike had one of the more interesting takes on it...he said "since when has dope not been the shit to rap about?" By that he meant many people, including him, were introduced to Hip Hop the same time they were introduced to drugs, i.e. hearing your first rap song while riding in the car with your dope-dealing uncle. Amir's take on this subject reminded me of that conversation. It also reminded me of how I felt the first time I saw Paid In Full. The scene that stuck out to me the most was the ending, when Ace (Wood Harris) came back to the same block he used to hustle on and saw some young cats shootng a rap music video, emulating what they used to do in real life. Except now, with all the real drug dealers getting locked up and sent away, the new cats have space to slide in and simply rap about it and earn the same "money, power, respect" and attention from women without having to take the same type of risk.

I'm curious as to what you guys think...


I Promise...

Friday, June 26, 2009

Genius: James Brown x Michael Jackson

The legends together, on the same stage at the 2003 BET Awards. Moments like these only happen once and never again. Click after the jump for some footage of MJ, JB and Prince sharing the stage back in the day. Prince & Michael Jackson & James Brown live

Thursday, June 25, 2009

B.o.B. vs Bobby Ray mixtape release party Re-Cap and Photos

Bobby Ray left B.o.B in Decatur and performed at Striver's Row (Jason Geter's new store/clothing line) off of North Highland yesterday at his B.o.B vs Bobby Ray mixtape release party. Quite a few people came out to show support...

Grand Hustle producers Nard & B

Pill & Playboy Tre (yes, a collab was discussed)

Sean Falyon, Sebastian (Motion Family), Pill and Diwang Valdez (Motion Family)

Cory Mo, GLC, TJ Chapman and Big Kuntry King

Overall the night was pretty much what you've come to expect of Atlanta in the summer, hot and muggy. The free Remy, Corona and Heineken did help though. The place got packed quick and fortunately we weren't left waiting for too long as Bobby Ray got up there and started his set quickly.

Everyone including B.o.B and his folks (B.Rich & TJ) know I haven't been the biggest fan of "Bobby Ray." While I'm still partial to B.o.B I can say that I don't mind Bobby Ray as much anymore. My problem with B.o.B singing was that it was sounding like he was doing a Andre 3000 impersonation and that I really enjoyed B.o.B the rapper and felt kinda cheated as a fan that dude was switching up before we even got to know him well. But nowadays it really sounds like he is developing that side and starting to sound like "him." Plus, it sounds good live. Can't front on that. The tunes also attracted random people off the street and into the store as well.

But yeah, it was all about Bobby Ray last night, no B.o.B in sight. I'm assuming that B.o.B is going to be making an appearance at Vice this Saturday for the other mixtape release party.

B.o.B will be shooting a video in Atlanta this weekend. I don't have exact locations yet, but the Motion Family will be shooting it, and you already know how those guys get down. Should be dope.

Pill Interview on Creative Loafing

The homie and radio partner in crime (more on that later) Dom Brady sat down with Pill recently for Creative Loafing. They speak on everything from the inspiration behind his music to socio-economic state of Atlanta past and present.

Related: Pill-"Trap Goin' Ham" video | Pill-"Trap Goin' Ham" video shoot photos

Vance Vexed x A.Leon Craft x Skinny and Scales (of Nappy Roots)-"Veggies & Fruit"

"Poppin Bud Light like its champagne..."-Scales

This one kinda snuck past me but I stumbled across it over at SMKA's spot. Its a track from Westside Atlanta emcee Vance Vexed featuring the homie A.Leon Craft (formerly Big Mark of Da Backwudz/Labratz) and Skinny & Scales (Skinny Deville and Fishscales of Nappy Roots). I mean, the song is some straight up weedhead music but I love it. I used to be on the "veggies & fruit" diet in college. I haven't hit a blunt in years but this song jams like a mahfuggah. Kinda makes me wanna start back smoking, but naaaaah. Ya'll keep an ear out for A.Leon and Skinny & Scales. These dudes are always up to something...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Pill-"Trap Goin' Ham" music video

Well folks. Here it is, the music video for Pill's "Trap Goin Ham" directed by the Motion Family. The pictures had the internet going ham a couple weeks ago. Like I told ya'll before, this video was completely unscripted and has no actors. Whatever got caught on camera, just happened. From the pipe to the girl dancing in the street. If you were to go in these neighborhoods, I guarantee that you'll see these same people right now. Discussion and dialoge has already gone down behind the photos and trailer alone, lets see what kind of stir this video makes. To go along with the video Pill and the homie Derek wish to share this statement:

We hope that this video shocks your conscience. If it does, we have succeeded in our goal. The fact that this video is nearly terrifying in its graphic nature means that it is doing exactly what it is supposed to do – terrify. These conditions that our people live in are terrifying, and we seek to expose what so many have forgotten.

We are essentially reporting live from neighborhoods and communities long forgotten, and, in Atlanta, recently torn down. It seems as though our city and our people place no importance on our community any longer. These are the places you never visit. These are the places that hip-hop claims to care about. These are the people that most of gangsta rap music fraudulently portrays. This video is one hundred percent real and unstaged.

You can try to chock this up as exploitation – it will not work. Nobody was put up to any scene in this video. As a matter of fact, everybody in the video volunteered themselves, for the sake of our mission.

The song has an upbeat and happy tone. When you’re in these situations, you do not feel as though what you are doing is wrong. When you are making money in the underground economy, it does not feel wrong. Our goal is to reflect the psychology of someone who turned to drug dealing as a means of survival, and got caught up with the addiction of making money in the underworld.

Pill still lives in this situation, and we will continue to kick, scream, and make music until we can provide a better way. Until then, we will continue to expose our truths.

Our mission is to bring REALITY back to street music. I hope this a first step towards accomplishing our goal.


The Educated Villains

DOWNLOAD: Pill-The Prescription: 4180

Sneaker Friends '09: Greg Street Gives Away Two Pairs of Air Yeezys

Last Thursday Greg Street hosted the fourth edition of his Sneaker Friends event at 595 North. Overall the night was pretty good. DJ Jaycee had the party rocking from beginning to end. Some familiar faces from the sneaker community showed up as well as Andre 3000, Jason Geter, Mistah FAB, Dow Jones and Khujo Goodie to name a few. The night also had performances from Hollyweerd, Stanza, Mama's Mustache and Prynce. Some unfortunate circumstances have gone down since then that have prevented me from sharing the pictures I took at the event with you guys. But luckily I still caught some video of the event.

Even if you aren't a sneaker head like that, you know that the Nike Air Yeezys are a hot commodity right now. Greg was generous enough to make somebody's night (maybe year even) by giving away a couple pair after damn near everyone left and went home (or to the strip club). All he asked was that every dude who wore a size 9.5 to come up on stage and then...I'll let the video do the talking.

You have to see this dude's reaction when he finds out what he's won. It kinda reminded me of the Heineken commercial where the women are going crazy over the shoe closet while the men are going crazy over the beer closet...except here, the role is reversed.

UPDATE: I found the photos, view them here.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Senor Kaos Featured on The Smoking Section

One of my favorite blogs hooked up with the homie Senor Kaos and got him to speak on a couple things including being in Atlanta and not making "Atlanta" music.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Devin the Dude at Apache Cafe Re-Cap and Photos

HOT AS HELL! Those are pretty much the only words that can describe what it was like sitting inside the Apache Cafe last Friday. I go to the sauna at my gym from time to time and I'm telling you, it had absolutely nothing on the temperature at this show...Man, sitting here trying to talk about it is making me sweat all over again, so I'll stop. But yeah, my folks Shameless Plug are two for two so far with bringing dope acts to Atlanta (they brought down Drake last month for the now infamous Atlanta show that sold out in 5 hours). Devin hasn't been to Atlanta since 2006 and he was long overdue for a performance. Everything about this night (except the heat) was cool as hell.

My man producer/rapperNesby Phips did his thing as the opener and made more than a few new fans this night. If you haven't given his last project The Phipstape a listen, I suggest that you do.

Unlike some openers that will remain nameless for right now, Phips didn't go on stage acting like the crowd owed him anything. He simply went on stage did his music and won the fans over one by one. So much that no one minded when he brought both his brother and another cat on stage to do a few songs. If you want an idea of hos his stuff sounds...think a cat coming straight from the N.O. with a infatuation for both rare samples and MPC's.

Phips & Co. were actually on stage for a good little minute, but like I said, the music was good enough and he was cool enough that he was able to do it with no resistance.

But yeah, if you're on the blogosphere alot you've probably heard some of Phip's work and didn't realize it. He produced Curren$y's "On Top of the Money" as well as some material on Young Money artist Mack Maine's last mixtape.

The Jaspects followed and if you visit this blog often, you already know these guys are great. But shied, I've taken so many pictures of these dudes at shows that I figured I give my camera a little rest during their set. I did catch a little Flip cam footage of them doing their popular rendition of Gnarles Barkley's "Crazy."

After Jaspect wrapped up, the lights went low for a few minutes, and then...the dude came out.

Of course he came out smoking literally and figuratively. Like Jacinta Howard pointed out, Devin has amazing breath control to be such a heavy smoker and be able to rap non-stop the way he does. But, weed actually opens up the lungs right? One of ya'll weed experts help me out with that one.

Anyways, Devin has a deep catalog, well at least to me and people who been on his music for a decade-plus. But, he managed to do all the right songs eventhough you knew he prolly didn't do your other favorite song.

Devin performing "Lacville '79"

The night was fun as hell. Devin even hung out after the show and signed autographs and actually chilled with the people outside.

I hate that my camera went out just as he and KB were going into "Show 'Em" because that shit there was entertaining as hell. Anyways, I took some pics the rest of the night. I ain't trying to brag, but I'm kinda proud of these. Let me know what ya'll think.

Thanks for visiting.

Peep the rest of the photos in the galleries. Feel free to borrow, just shout me out brah.

Pill: Trap Goin' Ham video teaser

Yeah. This teaser pretty much brought my mind right back to that crazy ass day...Like I warned you before. This video is about to be Juvenile "Ha" to the Nth degree.

Prod. by Motion Family

Previously: Pill: "Trap Goin' Ham" video shoot photos

Friday, June 19, 2009

A Night with Big Boi & Friends LIVE at the Tabernacle 5-15-09

"That's a fie ass camera"-Blackowned C-Bone

Zach Wolfe and his super camera are at it again. Here he's brings us footage from that now infamous Sneaker Pimps show that Big Boi and the Lucious Leftfoots made an appearance at.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Killer Mike - "My City" x "Pay Up"

Killer Mike - "My City" [Damn near NO/DJ]
Prod. by Don Cannon

Salute to the big homie Greg Street for dropping his Greg Hustle mixtape off with me right quick. Its been out for a week but I'm assuming if you weren't at Club Primal last Tuesday (sup Nick) you didn't get this. If you did, well, good for you...

"My City" comes from the Grind Time/Grand Hustle side of things. Where this will land exactly, not sure, but its on the mixtape for right now. I must tell, quite honestly...this song is STR8 FIE!!!

Killer Mike - "Pay Up" [Damn near NO/DJ]
Prod. by Lil C aka C-Gutta

"Pay Up" is a song Mike originally recorded in Los Angeles when he and everybody else worthy of the "honor" was writing songs for Dr. Dre's Detox album. Since we all know that shit ain't ever coming out, a lot of folks are just saying fugg it and keeping the songs for theirdamnselves. This is one of those songs.

I'll upload the rest of the Greg Hustle mixtape for ya'll later tonight. I don't have access to a scanner right now and didn't want to just give ya'll a bunch of nameless songs...unless you want it that bad?

Until then, if you're a sneaker head, fall though Greg's Sneaker Friends event tonight at 595 North, doors open at 10pm. Might be giving away my extra ticket on Twitter later. Holla.

An open letter to black radio from Tony MF Rock

Swiped this article from Creative Loafing (what's up Rodney C.) click the jump to read full story. He's pretty on point...
Tony MF Rock (Anthony Durham) and contemporary MC Shy D pioneered Atlanta hip-hop in the ’80s via releases on Luther Campbell’s Luke Skyyywalker Records. Durham went on to play bass for the Atlanta rap-rock group El Pus and collaborate with Anthony David.

In this “open letter,” Tony Rock discusses the response of black-owned radio stations to the pay to play Performance Rights Act.

Lately black radio has been on a jihad, so to speak against bill HR 848. They’re distorting it as a bill to “get rid of black radio”, and sadly, most of their audience will not take to time to research it and find out what it actually is. Black radio, knowing that they have done the black community a disservice for the most part, has decided to fall back on the “brotherhood” crutch. Unfortunately, and predictably, black radio has made HR 848 an “us (black) vs. them (white)” issue, even going as far as to tell their listeners to call Senators and Congressmen and threaten their seats. I promise you, those that make those calls, will make damned fools out of themselves, but I digress. In a nutshell, HR 848 is simply a bill that will allow artists that perform on the records that are being played, to receive a royalty payment.

So, since people like Warren Ballentine, Michael Baisden, and others in black radio have decided to go with this “bill to get rid of black radio” nonsense, let’s play along, shall we? Black radio is “reaching out” to the same community that they have done a disservice to over the past 2 decades for help. They want us to save them. Why should we? Black radio, in its essence, was a medium to truly serve the community. Nowadays, not so much. You want us to save something that constantly bombards our children with music that denigrates women and living lawfully? Black radio was a place where talented local artists could be heard. The only local artists that get played in Atlanta are the ones who are making crap. It’s like the artists are trying to outdumb each other. Atlanta was the VERY last market to play India.Arie, and she’s from here, but unfortunately for her, her music was positive. There’s no room for that on black radio here in Atlanta!! Black radio in Atlanta doesn’t support local artists, unless they’re making music that makes the community look bad, or if they’ve gone elsewhere to achieve notoriety first.

Black radio used to be a place where you can learn something about your culture. Black people complain that they gave us the shortest month to celebrate Black History Month, and sadly, that’s a whole lot more than we get from black radio! Black radio will make you jump through hoops if you wanted to promote an event that helps the community, but they’ll gladly run promos 6 times a day for the “Miss Biggest Booty” contest at the local club next weekend. A few years ago, Hot 107.9 in Atlanta was doing a call in show teaching teens the correct way to have anal sex. Is that what you call “giving back to the community”? Really?! That’s what you want us to save?! You want us to save something that constantly markets malt liquor, predatory payday loans, unhealthy food, rent to own scams, and Pars Cars to us? You really think that crap is worth saving? When I was an artist back in the 80’s, my label turned to black radio for airplay, and they gave us alot of support…………$2500.00, a hooker, and 2 bags of cocaine later, and this happened on more than one occasion! Black radio also wants black artists to speak on their behalf. The same black artists that they were shaking down for payola, which still goes on today, but only now they force them to perform for free at the stations’ “Birthday Bash” concerts.

Do you honestly think, deep down inside that you deserve saving? There are some people willing to help you, and there are others that are willing to just let you wither away. To the ones that want to help, you need to ask black radio: What are you willing to do for the community, instead of to the community? — Tony MF Rock

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Señor Kaos Interviews M1 of dead prez

M-1 of dead prez previewed some tracks from their upcoming project Pulse of the People in Little Five Points yesterday. The homie Senor Kaos caught up with him.

Do You (Really) Listen To Devin?

Just posting up a quick reminder about the rescheduled Devin the Dude show this Friday at the Apache Cafe. My homeboy Jabari of Shameless Plug who is promoting the show just sent out an email talking about how in promoting the show he's been introduced to a wide range of people from different races and walks of life who all are fans of Devin. Which shouldn't be a surprise...

People like to get high. But, I wonder how many of them actually "listen" to Devin though. Over the last few years I've been led to believe that most folks who like Devin...like weed. Not that that's a bad thing. Most music sounds great when you're under the influence of something. But in most of my conversations with people regarding Devin's music, weed is usually the focal point.

ME: "What you think of that new Devin album?"
THEM: "Good music to smoke to."
ME: "What's your favorite song on there?"
THEM: "The smoking song."
ME: "What's your favorite Devin album?"
THEM: "The one where he smoking on the cover."
ME: "Do you listen to Devin when you're not smoking?"
THEM: "What? Why? Its smoking music?"

I mean, I've been hep to Devin since he was on Scarface's "Hand of the Dead Body" (1994):

and later on as a member of the Odd Squad. Again, I can't sit here and act like weed and sex aren't frequent themes in Devin's music. I just know that The Dude is more than that and I get a little disappointed when I hear "fans" only know him from that. Its as if they don't appreciate the tragic comedy in his music, or his story telling abilities:

Devin the Dude - "Boo Boo'N"

But shit, they are fans supporting the mans music, so I probably shouldn't complain.

But hell, even he gets a little disappointed by it himself. I interviewed him for Ozone magazine last year when his Landing Gear album came out. I asked him how he felt about the stigma that's been placed on him as an artist, and he admitted that it bothered him. Mainly because it seemed like every time an artist or producer would call him for a feature, it would only be for the "smoking song," the "pussy song," or the "smoking while getting pussy" song. Which is virtually true outside of the time's he's worked with The Roots and De La Soul. And hell, he only did the hook on those songs.

We also spoke about his To Tha X-Treme album and how he was pretty much at his "highest" and lowest making the album. He said he was experimenting with extacy and drinking a lot at the time and was going through a lot of personal problems. Hell, he said he couldn't even listen to the album without crying, which is why he hasn't listened to it since he recorded it. If you go back and listen, its probably his most personal/reflective album to date. He also said it was one of his lowest selling albums and he figured that people didn't want to hear that kinda of shit from him, so...back to the smoking and fucking.

But back to the original thought. Devin also told me that he has to remind people frequently that he is indeed an MC capable on rapping on a bevy of things or that even when he does rap about weed & pussy that he can do it from an unique and not so (pun intended) blunt angle.

Devin the Dude feat. The Odd Squad - "Fa Sho" (one of Devin's "pussy" songs)

Devin the Dude feat. Cory Mo - "Go Fight Some Other Crime" (one of Devin's "weed" songs)

But yeah, I'm probably tripping right now. Like my man TC from, ironically, The Smoking Section once told me in a discussion we once had: you can't be surprised over this because Rap-A-Lot and surely Devin himself markets his image as a weed and sex crazed clown. Maybe I'm reading into something too much or listening to hard. Because I actually hear things other than blunts burning when I listen to The Dude.

Devin the Dude - "Write or Wrong" (my all time favorite Devin song)

But yeah, if you trying to see Devin, make sure you come out to the Apache this Friday. He doesn't come here often.

BONUS: I'm gonna share a link to a review I did on Waiting To Inhale for XXL a couple years ago. The commenters tore me up for giving the album a "L" rating. In my own defense, the copy I reviewed was not the completed version that you lucky people got to hear afterwards. "What A Job" featuring Snoop Dogg and Andre 3000 wasn't even on there. At that point it was just Devin's verse and hook. If that song was on there, it woulda pushed it over the top. But it's still not one of my favorite Devin albums though.

XXL MAGAZINE-Devin The Dude: Waitin’ To Inhale

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

COLORS: Interview with City of Ink's Miya Bailey

This past Saturday I went to the 13th Annual Atlanta Arts Tattoo Festival at the Crown Plaza hotel in Marietta. I don't have any tattoos (or piercings.) Really the closest thing I have to a tattoo are scars and bruises from my childhood. There's been times when I've thought about getting tatted up, but I haven't really thought of anything that I'd want to be on my skin for the rest of my life, except my hair. That said, you're probably wondering what business I had going there...

It was mainly because of a tweet I saw Miya Bailey, co-founder of City of Ink, send this past Friday. Though I don't have any tats, I've been a supporter of City of Ink since they opened their doors in 2007. If you've never heard of City of Ink, they are more than just a tattoo shop. They are a creative movement that consists of artists, writers, photographers, DJs & MC's (2 members of Hollyweerd Tuki and Chris are COI tattoo artists). They also happen to have some of the dopest art shows in the city.

But yeah, I chose to go down to the convention and show at least some sort of support for these brothers. I interviewed some COI members a couple years ago for a magazine project my art mentor Kevin "Mr. Soul" Harp was working on at the time. Though the story never came out, I still gained a wealth of information about the tattoo world whilst writing it. One of the things that stood out was the role that race played in the tattoo world. When I say race, I don't even mean as in racism really. I'm talking about how Black folks that really enjoy tattoos don't always get what to have what they want because of the color of their skin, literally.

Tuki Carter working...

Its said that in tattooing, the only colors that Black people "can get" are red, black and green. I didn't see that until I thought about all of my friends that have tatts and realized that all of them ONLY have those colors. COI specializes in creating more colors and methods that work on Black skin.

Talking to these cats also showed me that you can actually be fly if you are immersed in tattoo culture. Because lets face it, when you think of "tattoo shop" you usually think of death metal, muddy boots, dirty bathrooms and shit like that. These cats at COI are actually cool and fly as you and your friends are. You walk into the shop, they're playing Devin the Dude. You hang around long enough, you're going to meet some cool, fashionable people and some beautiful females.

COI definitely made their presence felt at the convention and represented the city well. Its unfortunate that they put them ALL THE WAY in the back on some straight Rosa Parks shit though. I'm talking, I had to walk into the hotel, go all the way down the hall to the last door on the left, and then walk to the furthermost corner of the room. It felt like I was Martin on that DMV episode when he had to start "from scratch." (3:45 mark)

I'm told that they were getting hated on from their exceptional performance at last year's convention where they were featured in the main room and kicked ass. But, people knew where to get the good stuff and found them anyway.

But yeah, be sure to peep the video interview I did with Miya Bailey as well as the gallery below. Oh yeah, extra stuff is in the Qik corner as well.

UPDATE: Here is the YouTube version of the video just in case Vimeo isn't working for you...

"June 16th,1971..."

Am I the only one that finds it eerie that the day before 'Pac's birthday that a Gucci Mane and Young Jeezy "beef" has resurfaced? I'm not even trying to speak anything into the air but that situation is all bad. They really need to leave each other the hell alone. I hope we won't be having to "Pour Out A Little Liquor" behind these two, again.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Soulja Boy & OJ Da Juiceman cover Ozone Magazine

The two youngest members of the Atlanta Chain Gang bookend this months Ozone. I'm convinced these cats would rather say "look at this" than "look at me."

RELATED: Still Standing or Standing Still?

Killer Mike feat. Big Kuntry King-"Imma Fool Wit It" (prod. by Nard & B)

DOWNLOAD: Killer Mike feat. Big Kuntry King-"Imma Fool Wit It"

Killer Mike gets on his "Mike Bigga" shit with this one. Its the first single from his Underground Atlanta compilation (Grind Time/SMC) that features everybody from Gucci Mane and OJ to B.o.B. and GripPlyaz. Appropriate summertime in the A music that's sure to get the clubs popping. Probably not what you'd "expect" from Mike but don't get it twisted, he's still rapping his ass off on this one. First time since maybe "My Chrome" we've heard a single like this from Mike and I ain't mad at it. Let's see how the streets respond to this one. Underground Atlanta in stores this summer.

Produced by Nard & B

(UPDATE: I just stumbled across some YouTube footage of Mike and Kuntry in the studio working on the song)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Thursday, June 11, 2009

This Friday! Tomorrow! (6/12): The Snack Pack at Apache Cafe

This sounds interesting:

The Snack Pack Comedy Troupe is bringing the FUNNY back to Apache Cafe. The Snack Pack is a new comedy troupe, is bringing a unique type of entertainment to the scene. Comprised of Atlanta's funniest rising actors and comedians, the troupe made its debut this year at the Apache Cafe. The Snack Pack delivered an original, gut-busting performance that kept everyone gasping for air. Don't miss The Snack Pack's return to Apache June 12 for Fall Out Friday. It is guaranteed to have you crackin' up!

Peep some video of what goes down after the jump...

Join us June 12th for "Fall Out Friday".
Special Guest:
Small Eyez & The Radiant Kids
Advance Tickets available @ http://www.apachecafe.info
$10 in Advance $15 @ The Door.
Doors Open: 8PM
Shows Starts @ 9PM

Sup Eyez...

My Weekend Mission: Eat A 30-inch Pizza

Ever since I saw the guys over at Standard speak of this place Big Pie In The Sky Pizzeria, my mind has been set on going there. They are becoming world-renown for their 30-inch pizzas, especially the Carnivore Pizza that is stacked with 11-pounds Pepperoni, Ground Beef, Italian Sausage, Ham, Bacon, dough and cheese. So yeah, its like you're working out when you eat it. Now I don't know if I'm going to take on their Carnivore Challenge where if 2 people eat the whole pizza in under an hour, you win $250. I think I might just get a pepperoni, beef and green pepper combo. Anyways, I'm think, better yet I know I'm going this weekend. Might even make an event of it and roll out their (its all the way in Kennesaw) with some friends. Any of ya'll trying to fugg with it?

Yung LA feat. Ricco Barrino-"Futuristic Lovin"

I wrote Yung LA's bio and press release when he inked his Interscope deal and later wrote a NEXT on him for VIBE. When I was interviewing him in the studio, this was the first song he played for me. I ain't gonna lie, I laughed when I first heard it. Hell, he laughed too, he know how silly this shit is, but fugg it, he was having fun. Dude was really selling me on this song in particular even back then though. Breaking down everything from what it means to "Elroy" a chick to explaining what "swavor" is. I'm curious as to what other songs they plan on releasing from his album before it drops. Because the stuff I heard was cool, he told a couple stories and had what he called his "lyrical" songs on there. Far different from the mixtape stuff he's put out. Not saying it was groundbreaking, it was just not as silly.

But yeah, while interviewing him he was telling me how he is the pulse of the future of Atlanta, saying he represents what the kids are on right now. At the time, I thought everything he was doing was all and only him. From that point on though, I'm seeing more and more youngsters walking around looking and rapping like buddy to a degree. I'll let ya'll decide if that's a good or bad thing. I will say this, this video was shot a while ago. LA has since cut off the mohawk and toned down his wardrobe. Hopefully the kids will follow him on that one too.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

INBOXication: Kristmas

See. This what I'm talking about. I like to do INBOXication off of sheer randomness and it doesn't get anymore random than this. Today this cat named Kristmas hit me out of nowhere on Twitter. I'm not always quick to listen to stuff on the spot like that, but when I clicked his page and saw his bio read: IF THEY CAN BRAG BOUT BEIN HUSTLAZ BALLAZ GANSTAZ & CRACK DEALAZ THEN CANT I BRAG BOUT BEIN A WORKIN RAP NIGGA?...I was sold.

The song he sent me "Til This Rap Shh Pop" had me rolling! Not to say that dudes music is a joke, not by any means, but I love records where the artist can take some things in life lightly and make fun of themselves without sound all depressed. One of the qualities I love about Devin the Dude. The hook on this song is classic working man ish. Buddy is rapping about working at the phone store, it gets no realer than that! For real, a video needs to be shot for this video. Check it out for yourself:

"Till This Rap Shh Pop"

After I hit dude back I asked if he could send me an MP3 and he went on ahead and sent me that song as well as a few others. For the most part, I find dudes music very entertaining.


After hearing those two tracks I was scratching my head as to who he mildly reminded me of and I thought of Shawn Jay from Field Mob or some 2006-ish B.o.B. They have similar voices and dialects that allow them to inject alot of personality into their lyrics.

"Screens Fall"--("it ain't fair, but I'm riding ferris wheels"...hey I thought that was clever)

But yeah, if either of these songs piqued your interest at all, you can find more at Kristmas' myspace page.

OJ Da Juiceman and Gucci Mane "Make The Tray Say Aye" Live

Damn. You know you Southern when even I can't hardly understand what you're saying. For those of you completely lost as to the words that are coming out of OJ's mouth, I'll attempt to translate:

"Ayyyyyyyy. What it do? Texaco Shawty, Sun Valley Shawty, Bouldercrest Shawty ???? 'bout to do this shit! 5-Rings but not a NBA player playing with NBA money and ain't played a sport cuz. ???? same color as my car cuz. Juiceman ??? back grinding what you know about that cuz? Aw man, Holiday, Gucci Mane, Juiceman make the trap Ayyyyyyyyeeee."

Behind The Scenes: B.o.B. "Put Me On" video shoot

Whispered in ya'lls ear about this a couple of weeks ago. Here's a peep.

THIS SATURDAY (6/13): Cinema in the Park at Washington Park

Just got this in an email:

You, your family, and friends are especially invited to a fabulous evening under the stars in historic Washington Park! To celebrate 90 years of Washington Park's existence, the Friends of Washington Park are hosting Cinema in the Park on Saturday, June 13, 2009.

Come out to enjoy our feature film, Love and Basketball!

We will also celebrate the life of Mr. Joseph "Jody" Brooks, first Co-Chair of the Friends of Washington Park's Programming Committee and a wonderful friend and neighbor. Come EARLY to enjoy sweet treat concessions, giveaways, and get a GREAT SEAT!

Festivities start at 8:00pm, and the movie will start promptly at dusk.

GO GREEN to the park! MARTA is smarta'! Washington Park is conveniently located 3 blocks from the Ashby Street MARTA station at 101 Ollie Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30314.

Please share this information widely and visit the Cinema in the Park page on facebook and our website - www.washingtonparkatlanta.org! Any questions? Email us at fowp@washingtonparkatlanta.org

We look forward to seeing you on June 13 in Washington Park!

I love Washington Park, this looks like a winner.

Who Gives A F*ck?: Adam Lambert Is Gay

I don't watch American Idol regularly. I know a little bit about the show and some of its contestants over the years and I've enjoyed tuning in right in the middle of Simon Cowell rants, but I can't say its ever been prioritized viewing for me. Which could be a fault. I remember getting passed over on an internship at a paper in North Carolina because I didn't know who Kelly Clarkston was when the interviewer asked me "who won American Idol last week?" I think the only time I've paid any real attention to that show were on the finales when Ruben Studdard beat Gay Aiken and when Fantasia won. Other than that? Nah I can't tell you too much about it. I know that this season they added a judge, right? But I can't tell you shit else about what happened on the show this season. But guess what I do know? I know this dude on the cover of Rolling Stone is gay...

Do I know because I asked? No. Do I know because I've listened to one of his songs and heard him singing love notes to dudes? No. I just know because a big announcement and hub-bub is being made about him being on the cover of Rolling Stone where he apparently "comes out of the closet."

Again, I ask WHO GIVES A FUCK!?!

Does his gayness make his music sound better? I don't know, I've never listened to him. Does his gayness make me want to go listen to his music? Nah. Is his gayness going to make a few people out there want to go listen to his music? You know what, probably so. Which is the shit I'm talking about...

Why do (so many) gay folk feel the need to walk around with a t-shirt telling everybody. If you gay you gay dawg, so the fuck what man? That's the thing that be getting on my nerves, seems like these cats be being gay just to get attention. And for the record everybody that does shit to get attention gets on my nerves, not just the gay folks.

I guess you can look at it both ways. Why are people so bored and nosy that they care so much about someone's sexual orientation that they always have to ask "are you gay? are you gay? are you gay?" Who gives a damn? On the other side of that, why do folks feel the need to go around saying "I'm gay! I'm gay! I'm gay!" Like I said, if you gay you gay so the fuck what?

Right now I'm thinking, the only folks that NEED to be concerned about someones sexual orientation are women married to these slimeball "down-low" dudes. Until those cats stop lying to their wives and potentially putting their lives at risk, I don't wanna hear shit else about somebody "coming out the closet." Coming out of closet means that you're hiding something and you finally reveal it. Simply being gay and finally deciding to tell somebody (which always happens to be a magazine) is not "coming out the closet"...nigga you just coming outside with yo' shirt off...again, seeking attention.

I'm sorry, I just find stuff like this annoying. Who is making big deals out of gay people? Do gay people fly? Do gay people walk on water? If not, what's the big deal? Who cares? I used to think it was the far-right preachers who was making a big deal of gay people. But shied, really its the media and most gay folks themselves. Hell, I almost feel like a part of the problem for using this platform to rant on this subject. I guess the best way to not give a damn is to actually not give a damn, instead of writing about the damns you don't give.

As I've said before. I don't have anything against gay folks...I just don't like seeing "gay-ass shit." Adding to that, I don't have have a problem with gay folks...I have a problem with annoying folks. And stuff like this my friend, is annoying.

Oh yeah...what's up with American Idol mahfuggas that don't even win getting all the attention...for being gay? I heard this Adam Lambert dude didn't even win. I guess being a gay loser trumps being a straight winner nowadays. This seems like Gay Aiken all over again.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Food Inc. movie trailer

See movies like this are the exact reason why I don't waste my money on horror flicks. Real life is scary enough, Y-N-D FUGG would I pay to see some heads get cut off when I hear about it on the news or experience scary shit like bills and gas prices on the daily? But yeah, this looks like its going to be like Sicko but about the food industry. Two key quotes you'll hear in this trailer:

Quote #1) A mother says: "sometimes you'll look at a vegetable and say, well, I can get two hamburgers for that same price."

Man...I feel her on that one. I eat a lot healthier now than I have in the past, but I still can't afford to be a vegetarian yet, I don't think. That lifestyle is expensive as hell. I was foolish enough to try it in college and failed miserably. You will die trying to do that shit if you can't afford it. And it don't taste good. Only person I've ever known to make that lifestyle look cool was my big brother Bill who was a damn chef when it came to veggies. He made veggie burgers taste like steak.

Quote #2) A farmer says: "people have got to start demanding good, wholesome food of us, and we'll deliver, I promise ya."

Giat dayum. Dude pretty much letting you know from jump that he cutting corners during the harvest. Damn buddy. I don't know if I would've went on camera and said all that.

But yeah, as usual, the movie is only being shown in New York, Los Angeles and San Fransisco...as if people in Detroit, Atlanta and Houston don't want/need to see this too. Could be a budget thing, but...I digress. Let's hope it ends up on the web somewhere though.

Shouts out to Nicole for the heads up on this.

Tuesday Jam Moves to Vinyl

Just in case you haven't heard yet. The Tuesday Night Jam that used to go down at Sugarhill is moving to Vinyl. Starting tonight. Not even gonna start comparing, just gracious this is still going down. Vinyl was the first place I ever saw Joi live, very special night that was.

Previously: Sugar Hill's Last Jam | R.I.P. Sugarhill

Kansas City to DJ Jazzy Jeff: "Do Not Play Hip Hop"

Interesting story coming out of Kansas City. Apparently legendary DJ Jazzy Jeff was booked to DJ at a venue...but they didn't want him to play any Hip Hop. So they booted him Uncle Phil style...

Here are the details according to URB.com:

On Saturday, June 6th, DJ Z-Trip performed at the Power & Light District in Kansas City, followed by DJ Jazzy Jeff, then MSTRKRFT. That evening, Jeff’s set was unexpectedly cut short by the venue. While speculation continues as to the reasoning behind this action, Z-Trip was present at the time of the debated incident.
While soundchecking, Z-Trip was asked by certain venue employees to “not play any rap music.” As one of the founders of the mash-up movement, hip-hop is heavily prevalent in Z’s repertoire. He proceeded with his set as planned, playing ODB and Pharoahe Monch.
Z-Trip watched Jazzy Jeff go on immediately following, joined by his MC, Skillz, playing a set full of Top 40 Hip-hop which included Jay-Z, Rihanna, Neyo, and TI. Mid set, Z-Trip, while standing on stage, witnessed Jeff's tour manager relay the complaints the venue had about the music he was playing. “I was really surprised the venue were upset by Jeff's set. This is Jazzy Jeff we're talking about, the guy who won the first Rap Grammy,” offers Z-Trip.
The entire venue watched Jeff leave the stage early. Once back stage, he was informed that lewd conduct by Skillz was the reason for his set being cut short. Soon after, a different reason was offered: Jeff was pushing the mix too far for their $50k audio system to handle.
"They had a team of sound engineers in front of the stage who controlled the master volume of the whole venue,” says Z-Trip. “No matter how loud a DJ plays, the person in front of the stage controls the show. So how can you blame it on sound levels – especially since this was the third explanation given.”


Update: DJ Z-Trip--who performed before Jazzy Jeff in KC--was told not to play hip-hop. His manager tell us: "ZTRIP was told not to play rap at soundcheck. he did anyway. his set was b4 Jeff. no issues."

Of course, this could be read as proof that the issue was sound levels if Z-Trip played at a lower volume. Or it could mean that the venue targeted the African-American DJ, or the fact that JEff had an MC onstage with him. More fuel for the firs for sure.


The venue, The Kansas City Power & Light District, tells a completely different story, that the show was shut off due to sound levels and Jeff's management refusing to turn it down. Add a history of anti-hip-hop accusations against the venue, plus the fact that the whole thing was meant to be a branding event for Bacardi, and you have the perfect recipe for a shitstorm.

As anyone who has ever worked at a club can tell you, things get pretty confusing stuff like this goes down in a loud venue where folks have been drinking. A game of telephone can easily commence between the management of a venue, the management of the artist and the final message that gets to the DJ. So it's probably safe to assume the truth falls somewhere in the middle.


Needless to say, Jeff was pissed. So he took it to the Tweets!

Either way, its silly as hell to book DJ's and tell them ish like "no Hip Hop" or "not to loud." If that's what you want, bring your own damn radio and just put it on the Top 40 station. Why book DJ's only to tell them what they can't do. Reminds me of when I used to DJ in college and the police and other school officials used to be like "don't play 'Hit A Muthafucka'" but yet everyone on the dancefloor wants it. Whatever man!

Where's Wil when you need him, maybe he coulda worked some of his newfound hocus pocus on the promoters to get them to stop tripping.

Pill Interview At The Fader

Pill went up to NYC last April, made the rounds and made a few impressions along the way. Here's a video interview he did with the folks up at The Fader where he speaks on everything from being the first male in his family to graduate high school to recording his first rap verse at Stankonia studios.

Related: Pill-"Trap Goin' Ham video shoot|Pill-"Music"

Rolling Out's Top 15 Most Underrated MC's of All Time

Rolling Out has compiled a list of who they think are the Top 15 Underrated 15 MC's of all time. As most lists are, this one is up for debate. But at least they explain the reasoning behind their choices and suggest what material to peep from these artist instead of just throwing letters and numbers on the screen.

CLICK HERE to see the presentation.

This Wednesday: The Official Royal Flush Black & White Affair at Sambuca

Tomorrow the homies Rick and Jeron of Royal Flush are going to be hosting the third edition of their bi-weekly Mid Week Fixx at Sambuca and this week's theme is Black & White. If you haven't been to Sambuca yet, you're slipping. If you haven't been to the Mid Week Fixx yet, you're tripping. This definitely some player ish. Beautiful women and good drinks.

As always they will have live art and music on hand and this week they are featuring India Shawn and Scar who I'm expecting to represent as usual. If you can't see the fine print their asking everyone to wear Black & White and to leave the sneakers and athletic gear at home. They're also raising money for Sickle Cell which I think they do with the proceeds every week if I'm not mistaken.

I THINK they are charging at the door. Just warning all ya'll non-cash carrying folks out there. I'm not all the way sure, but hit them on twitter and see what's good.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Strictly 4 My N.E.G.U.S.

Just spotted this video over at TSS. Aw damn, I'm in tears right now. This kid is trying to spell "negus" which at one time was an Ethiopian word meaning "king."

I don't know what's funnier the part when they ask him to repeat it over and over again or when he just shakes his head and just blurts it out. As funny as the whole video is, what kills me is the looks on the faces of the three "negus" sitting behind the kid's parents. They don't know to be offended or happy he finally spelled the damn word.

Well, since the word actually does mean king, I guess we can learn to flip it like we do everything else. Especially since that whole Never Ignorant Gettin Goals Accomplished thing never quite caught on.

B.o.B vs Bobby Ray Mixtape Preview

The homie B.Rich just stopped by and put me on to this. The song is called "Stamina" which borrows from Kanye's "Pinocchio Story" freestyle. I heard the whole song and its set to appear on the B.o.B. vs Bobby Ray mixtape that's due out as soon as next week, if not the end of this week. He also let me hear the first JR Rotem-produced single from The Adventures of Bobby Ray and gave me a sneak peak from the video as well. Of course all that shit is locked on his computer so...sorry I can't share any of it with ya'll here. Guess we gonna have to wait until Octember (gawt dayum!)

Dungeon Family Day

By now I've spoken with many of you about the experience I had last Monday. I'm still kinda at a loss for words for what I was around. I'm also at a loss of words because I don't want to let too many cats out of the bag out of respect from some of my professional peers...

But, in a nutshell, I pretty much got to kick it with the DF.

Big Boi, Witchdoctor, Andre3000 and Spree Wilson

Like I said, I can't really get into how and why all of these cats was together on this particular day. But, if your on the internet 24/7, happened to visit my site Monday afternoon or just nosey as hell you already know the deal. Either way, after they was finished doing what they we're doing that morning they all caravaned over to Stankonia and just chilled out. I happen to work across the street and the homie Spree Wilson gave me the heads up on all of them being over there.

I ain't gonna lie, I was kinda cautious about just going over there with my camera. This was the first time that alot of these cats had even been around each other at the same time in years. Quite a few of them was at the Stankonia Christmas party back in '07 but other than that, this was the first time that the DF had just kicked it like that. So I wanted to respect their space. I even asked my potna to just tell them I'm here with you. But he was like "shied, them niggas prolly know you better than they know me! Nigga you Maurice Garland." If you say so shawty...

Granted, I've interviewed each and everyone of these cats in my career and even broke bread with a few of them. But I don't really be expecting folks to just remember who I am all the time. So I have a habit of re-introducing myself to people the next time I see them. So, I felt kinda cool when I walked up and everybody warmed up to me on some "damn nigga, we was wondering if you was coming around" "oh man, glad you're here"-type ish.

But yeah, I asked the fellas if I could just snap a few flicks or what not just to document and share with the world. They was all cool with it, so I opted to just be a fly on the wall. I didn't want to tell dudes to pose or "you two stand together" or "you go over there." Like I said, at the end of the day, these dudes was chilling and getting back acquainted with each other. They didn't have to let me post up with them like that, hell, I was the only media/blogger dude on the premises.

Ray Murray

Mr. DJ

DJ Toomp was in the house too?

You can peep the rest of the photos in the gallery below. Now as far as some of your questions...

No, I don't think a lick of music got recorded on this day. What I do know is that they had a closed-door meeting where issues were resolved and plans for the future were discussed.

I spoke with Big Boi a couple days ago and said that over the next two years we will be getting a barrage of Dungeon Family music. His solo album (expect some big news on that soon), Dre3000 solo album, a Goodie Mob album and another Outkast album are all included in that. Backbone is working right now and Witchdoctor is still dropping projects so please go out and support those.

At the end of the day, there is music recorded and ready to go from everybody for the most part, they're all just trying to find homes (labels) for it to be put out on.

And yeah, I got a little bit of video, but I was asked to sit on that for a while, sorry. I hope you enjoy what I have been able to share with you though.

Thanks for visiting.