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.”

Survival of The Chillest: Ice Drum Set vs. Ice Mouse Trap

Spotted this on Questlove's Twitter today, pretty sick. I'm not sure how they did it, but I'd guess they froze the rims in place, or at least a place-holder and then added the real ones with the skins. Either way, to get any decent tension, they'd have to have some pretty strong ice. Reminds me of these dudes I saw on Discovery (ahem Wreckreation Nation what up!) on late-night and they had this completely ice castle version of the old Mousetrap game. Pretty dope. Both clips are below:

M-Rock + Russell Peters (Juno Awards Composition)

My homie M-Rock from Canada composed the opening sequence of the Juno's this year (Canada's Grammy Awards) and he's got the intro and then the breakdown in the clip. Pretty dope, congrats man!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Jeter And His 3,000 Hit

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

MP3 Download: The Thrift Shop Experience

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

Interview With Scram Jones

The homie Jon Master chopped it up with Scram with the Favorites, now we get the actual interview. He talks working with Mariah, underground vs. mainstream, not cosigning new artists, why he'd work with Nas, Michael Jackson and Billy Joel and how his diversity has proven to be his biggest strength. Yup.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Loud.com Favorites With Scram Jones

Man, some people have no idea how sick dude is! Scram went in with three of his favorite verses, and you can tell dude gets busy with the wordplay and punchlines. What you might not know is he’s produced for Mariah Carey and is a certified hip-hop triple threat: emceeing, producing AND DJing. Show some respect and be sure to cop the compilation when it drops. All signs (and those hard to ignore whispers) around the lab indicate it’s gonna be dope!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Exclusive: Knitting Factory Resurrection – J-Zone & The DJ’s Go In

Got a dope interview here that the homie Jon Master from Same Plate Mgmt did with J-Zone the night of the show. This is Pt 2 in the Knitting Factory Resurrection series (Black Thought killed Pt. 1), with more goodies to come in the next couple weeks (Beatnuts & Rakim). Here, J-Zone talks about SNL, his new album "Live From The Liquor Store," his diversity in creating music and what it's like to help close down The Knit.

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:

Exclusive: Knitting Factory Resurrection - Black Thought

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

The Thrift Shop Experience Ep. 1: 88-Keys

What's good ya'll? This blog was more like a testing spot for posts in the past, but I'm going to work to make it a regular thing. Random older writings from college will likely find their way here, as well as some newer ish here and there, along with any and all music-related videos, songs and pictures, with a healthy dash of Yankees and UFC notes, movie awesomeness and other assorted crap I feel like sharing. Walk with me.

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: