Friday, July 31, 2009
Rewind life to 1997 –
Puff said there was No Way Out but Big left for heaven –
Missy Elliot was rockin garbage bags in videos with Hype –
Wu Tang was forever, and New York was bumpin Uptown Saturday Night -
Master P had the world sayin UGHH and Jay dropped Volume 1 –
Em took second at the Olympics, two years later the album’d come –
The Hootie phenomenon was dead and No Doubt was hot –
Gwen wasn’t dressin like Eve and Fergie wasn’t hip-hop –
Loud Records had shit on smash and SNL was funny –
Napster was still two years away from stealing all the industry’s money –
Princess Diana died, the Marlins won, Bill Clint re-up for round two –
But I ain’t Mad Skillz, this ain’t the rap-up, I want the Nod Factor, so where were you? –
I was up in Media Play buyin Mase singles like “Feel So Good” –
Listenin to old Pac shit that was new to me, froze me where I stood –
That experience brought me here now, to this stage, in these clothes, with these spits –
And through all the long nights, wrong chicks, Yeungling kegs in between that we’ve kicked –
I finally realize I can’t step out my lane to flip what I don’t know –
I hate hip-hop fashion, chains, wack lyrics and Obama was not my choice, but yo –
Before you boo me all unrulily for something I said up here truthfully –
Listen close to the punchline one time cuz the shit to me is beautiful, see –
The reason and season of 97 was one when ignorance was bliss –
When bloggers were DJ’s and most A&R’s actually knew their shit –
Hip-hop was fresh then, and dope was a word I learned the day before last –
Honed my craft writin raps and passing them around for feedback between class –
See, our views might differ and on another day we’d argue till we’re blue in the face –
But here in this moment, under these lights, on this stage, in this place –
We’re about hip-hop and unity in a time when really, we need it –
So… everybody out there in the audience – hold up two fingers as one and believe it –
And say hip-hop…
Thursday, July 30, 2009
New York, NY (July 30, 2008) – We base a lot of what we do in our life on faith – relationships, the value of a dollar, technology. For some, it's faith in a higher power. But for most of us, the best example of how we live our lives is the faith we have in ourselves. It's odd to think about it that way, but self-esteem allows us to make choices, to help us understand that the quality of life we might obtain really depends upon our decisions to mix with certain external forces, like money, like God and so forth. You can argue where it comes from until you're blue in the face, but in the end, your own free will enables choice.
That fact makes us a community surrounded, guided, perhaps even confined, by the limits of our faith in the external. It exposes both the selfishness in people and also why we're so emotionally bound by a need for community at the same time.
Two important examples of how we divide up our faith are politics and personal satisfaction. How, you ask? It's called intrinsic value. Economics classifies intrinsic value as the following:
"The actual value of a company or an asset based on an underlying perception of its true value including all aspects of the business, in terms of both tangible and intangible factors."
For our purposes, in politics, there are certain issues that affect us on an emotional level, issues like equality, abortion and war. How much the issue gets under your skin and translates into action might not capture what non-economists think of as intrinsic value the same as say, a baseball card from your grandpa or an old ring, but the emotion is born from the same kind of economic force – "an underlying perception of it's true value."
Personal satisfaction, or music in this case, identifies more with the concept of intrinsic value that we ARE familiar with: a free will, faith-based belief that something is worth something, despite what the market (anyone else) says. While it's just as much an emotion as our views on equality, abortion and war, we characterize music as a tangible intangible, something we can recall and attach a memory or specific moment to. This sort of intrinsic value doesn't have a price tag associated with it, partly because we have faith that our music won't be exploited. Yet in today's day and age, that's exactly what has happened. More and more, hip hop has lost its identity in a sea of thongs, paper rain and rims.
And it's not fucking right.
Our culture of hip hop now is not the same one that was beginning to develop an identity in the late 60's and early 70's. It's not the same one that found a home in the fun-loving 80's or the blackness of PE, soul of Pete Rock and gangster of Tupac in the 90's or Eminem's angst that went deeper than his skin color on into the aughts ('00s). Truth be told, it shouldn't be the same. It's supposed to change, to evolve. But the surge of great music from those artists and artists like them came to life because there was passion. A value associated with the music that went beyond bitches, cash and glory. It's that element of authenticity that our greatest artists have and the rest aspire to achieve. Passion is a dying trait among today's artists, and to go further, maybe even in those listening. But it also begs the question: if you're not born with passion, does that mean you have to fake it?
According to today's market, yes, you do. And we've allowed that to be OK.
You can arrive at a million reasons why the mentality of our artists and community is fucked up, but that does nothing to provide a solution. And that's what we need: a solution. No more talk, but action. In the name of entertainment, Hollywood, TV, comedians, porn stars and baseball has all faked it. Yet we still consume it. Most of us understand that dinosaurs are extinct, Las Vegas CSI isn't THAT busy, life isn't THAT funny, she doesn't like it THAT much and Barry Bonds is a bloated cheat. But with music, it's different. Music is supposed to be an outlet to connect, something that comes from inside the rawness of ourselves. It gives us a platform to funnel a wide range of emotions into one concrete form and spit it back out a thousand different ways. Music was there in the beginning and has developed over time, taking on the power to elevate, to heal and even to change.
I'm not naïve enough to believe that all music has to be like that. But our music, hip hop music, is supposed to be a medium where we reflect the times, not create a one-dimensional, delusional version. Our music is supposed to be a blotter where the ones who fake it aren't remembered. And yet in our music, we more-and-more have a cinematic blend of fantasy with only hints of reality. It's numbed our senses and given rise to stagnant, complacent and formulaic expression. The worst part is, we're fed today's music and content by the pop machine and made to believe it is ALL FACT!
And THAT is where I have a problem with today's hip hop. Not with the wack dance songs or lame beats or shitty lyrics. When you spin something as fact that is not, you lose the distinction of impression derived from authenticity. It's one thing to call a kettle black… but it's another to act like it's the only shade out there.
Fortunately, there are still movements supporting true-school hip hop. One such voice, a dude by the name of Lavoisier, recently went to a middle school to talk with the very ears consuming today's music: kids. Whether you think he's dope or not is beside the point (personally, I'd probably bump his music). This video was originally posted at Real Talk NY, and in it, Lavoisier poses a series of questions to the students around a central theme: is it OK for rappers to be fake? The majority of the kids said NO! But yet they still consume it! So now… if our kid's generation… has been taught that it's OK to be fake and that rap is just entertainment… our culture has some VERY dangerous questions about authenticity and future implications that need answers immediately. Kids put FAITH in their elders, their role models, their politicians and their parents to do right by them, but by continuing to push a phony agenda across the airwaves, we are contributing to the delinquency of our own children.
And that is not fucking right, either.
I'm left to wonder at the end of all this: If hip hop is the most powerful, influential tool we have to reach out and connect with our kids today… what exactly are we doing?
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
In Part 2, he gets into the origin of his moniker and gives us the rhyme for his track "JoystickMadness," the song he was spittin while playing with said model's titties in Part 1. Yeah so... the kid's got lyrics. Tune in, turn on, lets rap.
Be on the look for his upcoming project "The Coolest BBoi Stance," coming later this summer.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Thomas Jones, running back for the NY Jets, was nice enough to sit down and talk about his Thrift Shop Experience. As tough a guy as he is, and as much flak as he catches in the media for hold-outs and outspoken commentary, after this conversation, you might change your mind about where all that comes from. The interview inspired me to revisit a song I'd written awhile ago and add some new life to it. It's called "Sneaker Music," and you can hear a snippet at the end of the video. Download the entire song here. Thanks for watching!
* Thrift Shop Experience: the one pivotal moment that impacted your life the most, born from gains, losses, change, inspiration, a conversation or something you heard second-hand.
Friday, April 24, 2009
I was over at Monclair in Jersey for Day 2 of their music festival, and caught up with Jumpoff after he went in for over an hour. It was good to see people still know lyrics, as the mostly white crowd, dressed in tight jeans and uglier shirts, rapped right along with Joe to tracks from Padded Room, his Mood Muzik series and duke's most notable hit, "Pump It Up" (that shit STILL slams). Here, he talks about Eminem's new album, the freedom he's experienced during his digital resurgence, and the future of JoeBuddenTV.
Friday, April 10, 2009
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
LOS ANGELES - Fox News columnist Roger Friedman is out after posting a review of a leaked full-length work print of " X-Men Origins: Wolverine ." Fox News said Monday that the company's representatives and Friedman "mutually agreed to part ways immediately."
Friedman had been an entertainment writer who has contributed to FoxNews.com for 10 years. He wrote in his Fox 411 column Thursday that downloading the 20th Century Fox superhero prequel was "so much easier than going out in the rain" and that the movie "exceeds expectations at every turn."
The early review of the film, which 20th Century Fox described as a "stolen, incomplete and early version," was later removed from the Web site Friday. Fox News and 20th Century Fox are both units of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.
Read the rest here. I'd heard from a friend that as soon as the leak hit the web, the FBI got involved, and this was several days ago. Shouldn't they be doing other things, though, like cracking down on drugs and finding Bin Laden? I digress. I suppose it's this reporter's own fault. And while I'm not sure if his severe lapse in judgment to download a movie produced by his employer ILLEGALLY merits being discredited as a journalist, he does deserve to lose his job. It's strange tho, the double standard between the movie and music industries collectively. In music, it's great to have positive reviews before the product launches, and that it's considered an honor to be even granted permission to hear anything.
My guess is it comes down to money. The film business isn't bleeding cash as quickly as the music suits and they are still operating on a very old-school, good-ol boy system. It's almost elitist. Blogs, however, have been stealing and reviewing/posting music early for years online and it's allowed the bottom to drop out of those big, impressive Universal, Sony, Warner and EMI offices without looking back. Hollywood is concerned, but maybe their guarded-ness has prevented the Internet from taking control of their pockets. So far.
I'd be interested to talk with someone on the subject and how they've managed to stave off the cultural evolution of wanting everything now. Perhaps a scene-by-scene download doesn't make for good entertainment as much as a song would. Psychology be damned.
As I post Eminem's newest song for free below. The irony. Well, this entry comes from the god Michael Arrington over at TechCrunch, I've been meaning to put it up for a week now. But he talks about the argument for free music in rather intelligent terms. Peep the excerpt below or the entire article. I can't take credit for the photo either, he pulled that one, too. Damn it:
...Music used to be so simple. You listened to it on the radio for free, but you didn’t get to say what would be played, and there were lots of commercials. If you went to a concert, you paid. And if you bought a record, tape or CD, you paid. People copied CDs to cassette tapes and passed them on to friends. That was just about as far as P2P music piracy got. Stealing music was when you shoplifted a CD or cassette from the record store, and it was pretty clearly understood that it was “wrong.”
Maybe that’s why so many people who are older than say 30 think that downloading music is ethically wrong. They remember that music is something that you pay for. They still download the music, of course. But they know they’re doing something they shouldn’t be doing.
But if you’ve discovered and come to love music in the last decade, I don’t see how you can be expected to know when listening to recorded music is ok, and when it’s wrong.
Let's face it, the age of the rock star is dead, and none of these newbies are likely going to enjoy the same financial success as those that came before them, unless they reach that Kanye/Eminem/Jay-Z stratosphere. And who out there will? Sure we all believe we will, but some want it for the dollar bills attached, not for the fact your music hits more ears. So until something happens like that, you can find me here, blogging, trying to dig up a 9-5 and booking studio time around trips to see my girlfriend and washing dishes. Hallur.
I've been defending this shit all morning. If you're a fan and can get past the Encore-voice, listen a few times; his flow is actually incredibly on point, and the lyrics in reference to the chorus make sense. "We Made You" is his typical celebrity "you suck" affair. His first singles are always like this. But the production is purposeful - there's a bridge, Dre gave it some swing, it's big and bombastic. The whole thing aims to create a place for him to play. And when he's at play, he's joking around. Everyone of course wants to hear Eminem RAP, and I'm sure he will on the album. In fact, on BOTH albums he's releasing this year. Have faith.
Download: Eminem - We Made You
Monday, April 6, 2009
Visit jamnow.com/MIMS to listen to his entire interview and set. Never seen an artist so comfortable going back and forth, dudes a pro. So tune in, talk back and act like you know.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
I was over at Jamnow’s Chop Shop not too long ago, and talked with Bad Boy’s Ness, one of the original members of Diddy’s Making The Band cast. He talked about his new album, “Nessessary,” and why he still stays heavy on the mixtapes. Listen to his entire set and interview at Jamnow.com here. On another note, myself and a few other dope artists will be opening for Ness April 20th at Don Hills in NYC. Stop through and show support!
Here are some excerpts from his Jamnow interview, with my video interview below. And be sure to download the new track, “Slingshot Ness.” Props to Chelly and Kevin!
Topics of Interest
“This album is going to have a new sound. I’m pushin the bar, talking about politics, Katrina, the government, current events people are going through, the murder rate in Philly is still crazy, the U.S. recession, and of course, you know, things about myself. What it was like comin up in Philly, the reality show, the whole MTV experience, man, there was a lot of spinoff shows. I’m just tryin to make substantial shit, like, all this fast food music, this microwave music that’s hot right now, I don’t do it. I make soul music.”
Religion & Hip-Hop
“I was raised in a religious family, man, goin to church, prep school, I was pushed along thru school to do the right thing, all that. But how I got into hiphop, I mean, I loved reading and writing and I used to read front-to-back and analyze things, like the psychology, that’s how I penned my rhymes, a beginning, middle and climax. I always enjoyed English and reading and writing and, I mean, if you’re illiterate and you’re proud of that, that ain’t grown and sexy, man, there’s help you can get to get over that. So, you know, I applied that love for words with the breakdancing and the culture, and it all eventually led to the flows and rhymes.”
Writing & The Album
“My mood swings and whatever I’m feelin, if I’m in the studio, man, that’s what’s gonna come out, that’s what it’s gonna sound like. When you’re on a label, like, people got a misconception that Puff doesn’t push or take care of his artists. The Internet is a big outlet so you ain’t gotta fish in stores, and that’s worked it’s way into the industry. For me, it’s the right timing and the right record, I don’t wanna put out a record in the recession, cuz people gotta pay light bills over buying a Ness song. I’ma wait til the economy goin good and then make a push for people to cop Nessessary.”
Download: E.Ness - Slingshot Ness
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
UFC Notes: W. Silva On Liddell/Shogun, Condit’s Debut, White Talks “Mask” and Training Camp With A. Silva
Sherdog got the extra scoop on an interview with The Axe Murderer the other day. Here, Wanderlei talks about the upcoming fight between his buddy Shogun and the big homie with the looping (let’s hope it’s a CRISP) cannonball right hand, Chuck Liddell. Peep the whole story at ESPN swiping the content from Sherdog:
Sherdog.com: Your friend Mauricio "Shogun" Rua will face Chuck Liddell next month. What do you expect from this fight?
Silva: It will be a very important fight for Shogun. It will be a watershed for him. Probably for both, because Liddell has the rope around his neck. I have seen some statements by the boss [Dana White] saying that he could fire him. I do not know if he would, but he did say. The [word] around here on Liddell is that he got married, doesn’t hang out at night anymore and goes from home to the gym and from the gym to home. It seems that he is training like a madman. I hope that Shogun is preparing well.
I talked a lot with [Shogun], love him. That’s what I told him: Liddell is not Coleman. He is an aggressive guy, has heavy hands and does not give up. If he hits you on the chin, probably a KO. Shogun has a very aggressive style and has to be in very good shape, with much cardio, because he doesn’t stop. He goes with punches, kicks, knees and takedowns. With him there’s no asking to stop. So he has to give good attention to the cardio because his style requires much cardio. He is a very talented guy, but age comes for everyone, including him. Then with time he will realize that nowadays we … must have a higher preparation. The guys are always getting better here. Shogun is a guy who can win the belt soon. He is in the front of the line. I believe in him. I think he’ll have a great performance against Liddell. I would not be surprised if he knocks him out or submits him. If he gets a takedown, I think it ends in the second round by submission.
Carlos Condit, jumping, kneeing, looking disgruntled. Now, I haven’t heard the whole story, but apparently dude jumped ship on his camp when he got bumped up to the UFC. Via email. Classless? Yes. Is he still a good fighter? We’ll be able to tell if Kampmann gets in his ass tomorrow night!
Download/Listen to the audio (props Luke Thomas at MMANation, via BloodyElbow) here.
Dana White Talks TapouT Founder Charles “Mask” Lewis
Anderson Silva Talks Leites, Talks Fedor & GSP
Middleweight champion Anderson Silva will defend his crown for the fifth time when he collides with countryman Thales Leites in the featured bout at UFC 97 “Redemption” on April 18 at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
Silva (23-4) realizes Leites presents many dangers, and he has enlisted the assistance of Brazilian jiu-jitsu superstars Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and Andre Galvao, among others, as he prepares for his latest test inside the Octagon.
Based out of the Nova Uniao camp, the 27-year-old Leites (14-1) has never been finished in 15 career fights and has enjoyed a relatively stealth rise up the middleweight ladder.
“Thales is a new kid who’s just starting out, but he’s already proven that he deserves this opportunity,” Silva told Sherdog.com in an exclusive video interview. “He’s a dangerous opponent, just like all the others I’ve faced. He has this opportunity to fight for the title because he impressed the promoters enough to get this chance. The only thing I can say for sure is that, no matter who wins, the belt will stay in Brazil.”
Friday, March 20, 2009
Tyler Hissy of MVN.com penned an interesting column yesterday about the probability of Yankee living legend Derek Jeter reaching the 3,000 hit plateau in pinstripes. And while I'm inclined to agree his defensive abilities have fallen off in the last few years, he's got certain intangibles that make up for those shortcomings and one of them is his offensive production.
I'm wondering what a switch to second base would be like, if Cano would make that adjustment, or even if it's worth doing. As long as his legs are still healthy, Jeter in left field would be amusing, though I'm not sure his legacy deserves that. But does he deserve to be a utility player in a Yanks uniform or pursue three stacks in another uniform? I'm not sure he'd want to go out like that.
Read the entire article here. Some snippets:
..."Jeter, as cool as he looks with his jump throws from the hole, simply lets too many balls to his left and right side that should be converted into outs go in for base hits, thus inflating the ERAs of every New York pitcher. Objectively, he has been hurting the Yankees, whose terrible defensive efficiency ratings as of late are not just a coincidence, while playing such an important up-the-middle position so poorly. The casual fan has a mental model of Jeter making exceptional defensive plays burned into their brain, from his in-the-stands grab against the Boston Red Sox to the infamous ball flip to catcher Jorge Posada to save a huge playoff game against the Oakland A's.
Mental models, however, are driven by biased, subjective thought processes, one or a few isolated images. Objective data, on the other hand, simply does not lie, nor does it give bonus points to certain players for perceived likeability or star appeal. Essentially, there is absolutely no conspiracy against Jeter because he used to date Jessica Biel and those "basement-dwelling stat heads" who frequently deride his defense only can do so in their dreams.
Statistical analysts do not call him Past-A-Diving Jeter for their own amusement.
Also, while advanced defensive statistics have some flaws, a number of scouts agree with the conclusions drawn in the statistical community. Many scouts have also documented how Jeter has difficulty getting to balls a few steps to his left or right; it would be difficult for a trained talent evaluator, or anyone looking for it on the YES! Network, not to notice.
Defensive deficiencies aside, the soon-to-35-year-old middle infielder has been a productive hitter since winning the Rookie of the Year and helping the Yankees to the World Series all the way back in 1996. He has put up a career line of .316/.387/.458 with a 120 OPS+ in 8,025 at-bats over 14 seasons. Not too many shortstops can boast that kind of an offensive resume, and, though he is a perhaps a bit overrated, there is no denying what he has accomplished with a bat in his hands--especially for a shortstop, even one who is so limited defensively. Despite his shortcomings with the glove, he has also been quite valuable overall; he has produced the following value wins totals (accounting for defense, offense and positional factors) since 2004, respectively: 5.0, 4.5, 6.4, 3.7, 3.7. While he has been on the wrong side of the dollars earned/dollars made chart, for the most part, he has been an excellent player who should not be faulted for accepted such an enormous amount of money from the Steinbrenner fortune."
Thursday, March 19, 2009
This is the title track for my album that was originally “put out” in May 2008. I say "put out" because it never had the proper release I'd planned for it, and as such, I wanted to do it right. In the last year, I’ve met some dope cats that I've become fans of, and a few of them are spotlighted here...
"The Thrift Shop Experience 2.0" will feature the god Emilio Rojas (one of several special guests), along with new production from The Apple Juice Kid, Djay Cas and more. Juice and the others will touch up a few tracks with the remix treatment while I'm swapping out some joints altogether. And while it may not play out like the movie version I intended the first one to be, I'm also trimming many of the skits so the music is the main focus.
Lastly, as soon as this new version is ready to drop, the original will be available for free download. People can still scoop the remaining physical copies through PayPal for $10 or holler at a show/on the train for $5 if they dig what they hear now. At the moment, the original is still up at iTunes, as well, along with a bunch of other unsavory download spots and torrents.
Maintain. Hip-hop isn’t dead until we say it is. I appreciate all of your support.
Download: The Thrift Shop Experience (produced by Terminill)
Monday, March 16, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Below is the audio where you can peep all the DJ’s doin their thing before the start of the show. It’s broken down in three sets:
Hip-hop and The Knitting Factory had a good relationship the last few years. With former head of talent Peter Agoston heading up the charge, The Knit became a hub for local talent getting busy in The Old Office, graduating to the Tap Bar and finally, making some headway on the Main Stage as an opener for acts like Kanye West, Busta Rhymes and on it’s last hip-hop show ever, Rakim.
A few emcees became fixtures at Knitting these last few years, ushering in a resurgence of underground, New York hip-hop. Sav Killz, Homeboy Sandman, Hasan Salaam and others hustled their shows and built their buzz, sharing stage time with the likes of indie stalwarts Royce Da 5’9, AZ and The Cunninlynguists, among scores of others. Myself, I got to share the stage with the latter group, as well as Pack FM, Jeru The Damaja and Das EFX. They were incredible experiences and ones that have been burned into the back of my own eyes for future replay.
Which brings us to this first installment of our audio/video/picture/words series from that final hip-hop show at The Knitting Factory. The below stream consists of Black Thought’s entire set, with some occasional backspins by his Roots co-founder, ?uestlove. Props to Jamnow.com for the incredibly clean audio. If you were unaware, their technology allows you to both stream live shows and collaborate with other musicians in real-time across the web. They host a number of shows each month at their location in New Jersey and you can check them out anytime here.
For a more comprehensive and intimate (pause) on the event, get over to Adam Bernard’s spot here, and for the rest of these pictures on Flickr, get your right-click on here. Illadelph.
Friday, March 6, 2009
Below is the first enstallment of The Thrift Shop Experience episodes, a series I'm putting together as sort-of personal inspiration towards the re-release of my album (more on that coming). My first guest is 88-Keys, he's produced for my favorite emcee of all-time (Mos Def) and his latest album, "Death of Adam," was executive produced by Kanye West. He's a great dude with a severe Polo obsession, and his beats are ridiculous. Here, he got open on his Thrift Shop Experience* for the camera. I included some raps cuz I thought they'd make sense. Hit me up on Facebook here. Enjoy.
* The Thrift Shop Experience is essentially a metaphor for life through a thrift store. When you visit a vintage or second-hand spot, Salvation Army, Goodwill, etc., there's items there that have been around. They have history. When you drop your $2 on an old book or ill t-shirt, you're buying into that story, that history. That experience. So whenever you talk with someone, see something, are captivated somewhere... that's all part of you. And when it's shared, it's your donation back to the world. That's at least the long explanation.
DOWNLOAD: The Thrift Shop Experience (Album Version)
Here's a final hand-written draft of the "Heart of The City (Pt. 3)" rhyme: