Sunday, June 28, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
This will be a split event...Sole Food NYC, LLC. (www.solefoodnyc.com) is inviting sneakerheads and regular people alike (there's a difference) to come out and throw at least one pair of kicks toward the sneaker drive (to be donated to children in Africa). They are looking to reach their quota of 1,000 pairs.
While this is going on, legendary NYC Graff unit, TATS Cru, will be having an after party of sorts, in conjunction with the Graffiti Hall (Wall) of Fame.
There will live art exhibitions and maybe even a surprise performance or two from some NYC Hip Hop pioneers...
I will be providing the GOOD MUSIC all night long. Expect to hear an array of classics piled high. I will bake you a "classics layer cake".
There's a cash bar, but for $30 you can turn it into an OPEN BAR all night.
21+. No dress code.
The cover is $15 at the door...$10 w/ a sneaker donation...since this is an actual event (or two) and for a good cause...you shouldn't think too hard on the cover since it will definitely be a stupendous time. Plus you always have the Open Bar option.
I still may bring Mike Tyson. TBA.
38 Howard Street, 5th Floor
(bet. Broadway & Lafayette)
June 27th, 8pm-3am
$15 w/ Cash Bar, $10 w/ a pair of kicks, $30 for Open Bar
MUSIC BY GENG-GRIZZLY
You will be surrounded by good humans, art, and cause.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
As far as the cult classic circuit goes...I'll take this over Scarface, tenfold. In addition to that, I'd also elect King of New York as the victor in a match against the aforementioned Tony Montana coke crime spectacle...maybe I'm just biased since both of my picks are set in New York City (but to me, Walken vs. Pacino? I'm going with the "master of the villainous monologue").
(p.s. for P.C. purposes: excuse the racial slurs and reinforced Italian stereotypes in the Walken link...great scene nonetheless)
(don't mind the video)
Monday, June 22, 2009
Seriously. Everyone's favorite for good reason.
Perhaps NOT the best way to get into a band of this style, but I just thought this was a ridiculously good live recording/performance. Shouts to KillThatCat for the insanely ill footy.
I got into Hardcore around 17-18, a bit late in comparison to my friends or most general cases...I wasn't one of those 15-year olds who ran away from his home in the suburbs to become Lower East Side squat fodder, nor was I the 11-year old sneaking out of my room in my (parent's) apartment to hit up CB's or ABC matinees. I was always deep into Hip Hop (since 1st Grade, thanks to Video Music Box and a select few radio shows on the FM dial at the time)...but had friends who were just as deeply entrenched in Hardcore, as well as other types of band-driven, "extreme music". Some had older siblings who were active participants in the New York scene, some were in bands, whatever. I always loved heavy, aggressive stuff...a salient example: Public Enemy was my favorite group until Wu Tang came out (not that they eclipsed the mighty PE, it was just that the torch was ready to be passed by that time, IMO)...both are perfect models for the type of uncompromising aural assault that perked my ears. Aside from amazing lyricism of these respective groups, PE had their bumrush of attitude translated into the music and stage and wall-of-sound sonic downpour provided by the Bomb Squad...while Wu was a powerhouse rendition of the "Hip Hop crew"...harboring a nasty grit so thick in the noise and language, you felt as if it was scraped off of the bottom of the bucket by the rusty edge of a boxcutter...half thanks to Rza's collection of drugged-up, pissed off whilst sick with dementia sample collages half-pasted over crusty drum loops and other analog dressings.
Anyways...thanks to my pops who listened to plenty of Zeppelin and Deep Purple (if not Floyd), of whom the slower, consequently heavier, stuff always caught my attention...I went and seeked out the gods of what would become "sludge", Black Sabbath, and reminded pops of their Earth rattling existence. I was then into noisy stuff that ranged from post-punk/post-hardcore (see: Steve Albini bands 1-3 and Drive Like Jehu) to sludge-math-post-rock-whatever (see: bands mostly on Skingraft Records...and Neurosis). I guess I was thirsty for some diversity in tempo (plus I really enjoyed the faster parts in DLJ songs). So it began.
Bad Brains, Black Flag, Leeway...then SPAZZ (I think Burn was in there as well). That's how it went, I don't know how or why, really...I think one night I was talking my boy Ty about fastest bands and he had mentioned Spazz. Spazz before D.R.I., Spazz before L'Arm, Spazz before Siege, Spazz before Infest, Spazz before No Comment, Spazz even before Neanderthal or Crossed Out. They were my intro to that degree of speed and brutality (other than what, Slayer?).
There you have it. I, again, don't know why I just explained my life story on here...I guess that's the ugly truth behind starting and maintaining a blog. Regardless, Spazz were a trio out of Cali who were active from I think 1992 up until around 2000. They played a crushingly frantic-as-fuck style known as "Power Violence" (or "Powerviolence")...and were known for their Wu Tang'esque love of Hip Hop and Kung Fu flicks (well, that was the prototype for every 90's Hip Hop kid). They released a ton of music in that time and managed to put a smile on many a face, perhaps it was also due to the fact that they managed to do splits with a long, VARIED list of bands (i.e. from powerviolence buddies such as Lack of Interest and Charles Bronson...to Albany grinders Monster-X...to thrash metal masters Hirax...to New York City's thug mosher unit, 25 Ta Life).
Anyways...I love this stuff. They seemed to have kept it 100% and strayed beyond the conventional lines of hardcore or "being punk" by not taking themselves so seriously (from the song titles/lyrics to general attitude)...and blurring the lines of tradition through the implementation of seemingly random instruments (harmonica and ukulele, anyone?) and snippets of Hip Hop movies and song/slang references in their music. They even had Kool Keith do a drop on their La Revancha LP. The best part is, their love for the two subcultures, Hardcore and Hip Hop, is represented in a genuinely flavorful blend that doesn't then fade into a tasteless, face-screwing "rap core", "thug core", "yo-yo-yo-check-this-shit-out kids in athletic jerseys hard posturing over neanderthallic breakdowns" schema.
They kinda reminded us of...us. We were kids who didn't feel the pathetic need to subscribe solely to one circle of people in order to achieve something ineffectually vain like a renewed sense of subcultural validity. That type of insecurity was not permitted in our cipher. There was no frontin' in our formula.
Word to Dan Boleri's "Wu Tang Forever" shirt.
One of the illest clips I've found on Youtube. Definitely THE illest in the "minute long" category. Another MC who's been a favorite of mine since forever, and still maintains a level of nice'ness to remain relevant after about 18 years on record.
If someone has this mix of "Rated-R" on vinyl or mp3 or CD or whatever...please let me know of your address and when you will be out of the house.
Certified 80's classic meets a 90's Loud Records collab.
Fine, 11 years...honestly, I could go on a "20 Years Nice" post in regard to G Rap. Coincidentally, the 2000 video is a collab with an ex-Loud Records artist.
Add on. An(other) incredible song from 2000 (that I JUST discovered, video-wise), produced by the next best man to Rza.
Okay...here...20 Years Nice:
Off the new Wu Tang album...someone here is happy.
Needless to say, we were thoroughly entertained by this old issue of Smack DVD. The aforementioned random looking girl of "whiter" persuasion came packaged with a pretty ridiculous name and apparently was an aspiring rapper at the time (who isn't?). See the "Comments" of the posted clip for more laughs and the unveiling of her name (as I refuse to bring such a level of absurdity to this holy ground).
...but again, this has got to be one of the hardest joints Saigon has ever put out. Die hard fans will probably be mad at me for saying that, since people gravitate towards the more conscious/lyrical stuff he's done (some of which I can get into as well)...but this joint simply bumps tough and carries an off-the-charts, hanging-and-swinging-from-the-pipes-in-the-basement energy reminiscent of a Boom Bap-era KRS-1.
Plus that dusty, hypnotic, evil Spaghetti Western piano beat is a product of track vet, EZ Elpee. Saaaaaaynnnnnn?!???!?!?!!
Friday, June 19, 2009
In short: imagine if these two had made a whole album together...
The year was 1995, the station was Columbia U's very own WKCR 89.9 FM, the show was none other than that of Stretch Armstrong & Bobbito The Barber. Hands down, slip ups and all, this is one of my all time favorite freestyle sessions from my time of listening to the show. You have Kool G Rap when 4, 5, 6 just dropped and a younger, pre-tragic incident Grimm. If you're on the planet half the year, you already know of G Rap's ability in microphone damage. Never bet against him killing it. It is just a given. In my decades of listening to him, I've never heard him spit some weak shit. Sorry, but it's true.
All of that good stuff aside, I now have to go off and bring up how Grimm simply gets stupid props for not only accomplishing the incredible feat of preventing himself from being deemed completely "cipher in-effective" by G Rap's presence, but on top of that, he went fucking AWOL in this session (AND he was "tired"). As this played in the background of a conversation, my girl, who's admittedly not the most diehard Hip Hop head (though she DOES have some school-worthy gems to drop on the average part-time listener/fan), even did a double-take at the computer upon hearing his 3rd verse of the night ("and if we ever meet again, I'll have a long sharp knife to stab you into after-life"). I quote her, "Who's this again? He's got quite a way with words." (you had to hear how she delivered that)
Enjoy it again.
"Emotions" featuring fellow 4, 5, 6 cameo crimey, B-1. Seriously, one of my favorite indie Hip Hop releases in history. Shit is disgustingly sinister.
"International Rules" is also included in this clip...great song, but more for the nostalgic element of when I'd throw in a 90-120 minute TDK tape to record Stretch & Bob shows in one foul swoop, afterwards praising the invention of auto-reverse. It's a strange track, really. Lyrically, it revolves around being "in the club", plus Fat Man Scoop on the hook doesn't help camouflage that fact, yet it does not come off as suspect, i.e. it lacks the transparency and soullessness of the many "crossover" efforts of the time (by those who wanted to appear more commercially marketable so as to score a major label pick-up...a move of which many favorite 90's MC's have been considered guilty). What makes it stranger is that it's actually a remix to the A-Side, "Get Down", just with a completely different title.
I feel like Above The Law got slept on, big time. It is a little disheartening to realize that I can probably count the number of local heads who really know about them on three fingers (me included)...yet they were 1. dope, 2. dropped at least one album (of your choosing, from the first 3), that once heard, no sane person would deny of its earned spot under the section heading of "classic", 3. closely related to N.W.A. (more like the lost members of the Ruthless posse, well, not so much "lost" being that they started out on Ruthless Records), 4. Cold 187um aka "Big Hutch" was the son of the legendary Willie Hutch (R.I.P.).
Their first LP, Livin' Like Hustlers, will be on repeat throughout the summer...I assure you. My favorite. I see it as a flawless snapshot of prime N.W.A.-influenced, James Brown (and co.) obessesed Hip Hop before the Western sonic canvas was seemingly drenched with funk (be that the "P" or the "G" type).
"Murder Rap" ('90)
(damn Sony for disabling the embed function on these videos...who wants to click to open a new window these days? Well I'm telling you to do it, it will be worth every piece of bandwidth and RAM expended)
Monday, June 15, 2009
As the clip title suggests, one of the many 1st impression-worthy scenes (if you only have a few minutes to preview this classic for someone who has yet to be truly blessed by its cinematic grace).
When preparing this DVD for viewing, I'm greeted by a most pleasurable conflict in having to choose between subtitles (to hear the original language/voices) or the English dub (blame that all on the original Purple Tape). I think the dub is winning that race...
Two favorites from the Far East...
John Woo and Chow Yun Fat at their respective primes...file under "emotional violence" (said loosely since both films are not to be overlooked as mere build-ups to multi-angled, gun-blast exploitation...though there is some of that, but done in the best way).
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Check me out this Thursday, June 18th, 2009...with my man sHaKe. We D.O.A'd it last month for my birthday weekend...this will be a good look as it is the first night of a monthly takeover...come through with your posse and get loose. 21+. No dress code...and of course it's FREE! OLD SCHOOL HIP-HOP & SOUL...DONE RIGHT.
Guaranteed body rock'age.
IDENTITY BAR & LOUNGE
511 E. 6th STREET (Btwn. Ave. A & B)
Lower East Side
N,R,W to 8th St., 6 to Astor PL., F,V to 2nd Ave., L to 1st Ave. (if you don't mind a short stroll through the LES)
Starts Thursday, June 18 @9:30PM-CLOSE (Monthly)
off the top with a shotty + stupid fresh footwork = a win
I hate saying "back when..."
...but back when b-boys had to have footwork AND style to establish an existence on the floor/linoleum/cardboard/etc.
paid enough dues to live around here.
PLUS this is fucking classic footage of 'em destroying it at CB's. Wild as shit. Also, peep the cat in the Guardian Angel's style beret...Cuuuurtissss?!?!
Paul's Boutique, CLASSIC.
The original "Box"...
something's changed about this house...