Wednesday, January 30, 2008

rap for nerds

my friend Jav sent this site link to me.
it is the epitome of "inside" comedy. rap lyrics manifested in charts and graphs.
i've attached my 2 favorites.
hiphop heads = cracking up. all others = "i don't get it".

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

a tribute to greatness


on Feb 4th the hiphop community in NYC will come together to pay homage to one of the best producers ever, J Dilla. he passed away 2 years ago of kidney failure. he is often referred to, and will be for numerous years to come. visit the Dilla wikipedia page to learn more about the man, the producer, the legend. come to APT next Monday to feel the bass thump and to hear the masses sing along to all this classic tracks.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

DJ the DJ

you may or may not know that i still dj occasionally. recently i've been spinning at the nicest hostel in the country - located on 103rd and Amsterdam. my friend Sabrina runs events there and does a friday evening "beats and travel tips" shindig, which i've played at 6 times. yesterday, my boy D--J - [dalmar james] stopped in to chat, and hopped on the wheels. though he hasn't played in awhile, he still threw on some joints - like "Communism", "Buddy" and "Eric B is President". Dalmar also produces tracks, and is nice on the guitar. check out his myspace page to listen to some of the underdog's sound.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

best 10 ever

my friends (Phil and Kelley) sent a note out to their friends this week -- requesting a top 10 list of hiphop songs ever. my response follows. i invite you to hit me up with your top 10 list.


a tough question, my friends. a tough one.
i would prefer an album discussion, as many singles have been released, but a classic album is -- well a whole different game. in this new world of single purchasing, lost is the art of constructing a beautiful album worth of songs that build and shape not only one chapter, but a full story.

thus, i will answer your question and my question, as a hybrid ::: my favorite 10 albums {{and best song(s) on each}}

ok - so - here goes: (click song link to play the video)

1) illmatic - nas {{ny state of mind}} -- 'rappers are monkey flippin with the funky rhythm i be kickin'!!!' BEST ALBUM EVER. no doubt.

2) step in the arena - gangstarr {{who's gonna take the weight}} - the beat is stupid - the lyrics, nasty. primo & guru at their best.

3/ 4) ready to die - notorious big {{unbelievable & juicy}} - i can listen to these over and over -- classics both of 'em, just like the man. biggie smalls is the illest!!!!

5) low end theory - tribe called quest {{check the rhime}} - this album and this song were what brought jazz influenced hiphop beats to the forefront

6) great adventures of slick rick - slick rick {{childrens story}} - the best storyteller ever - period.

7) paid in full - eric b & rakim - {{eric b is president}} (though 'move the crowd' has the sickest verse ever) - another pair of guys who simply rocked it every time. though 'eric b is pres' is the pinnacle.

8) mecca and the soul brother - pete rock & cl smooth {{T.R.O.Y.]} - utterly fantastic.

9) 3 feet high & rising - de la soul {{buddy remix}} - the best crew/ collabo song to date. hands down. 'plug 3 gets all the buddy!!'. de la made hiphop fun and nutty -- and intelligent, without being heavy handed. though stakes is high is classic as well - this was another game-changer. man - the early 90s were incredible!!!!

10) enta the stage - black moon {{who got the props}} - the production on this whole album is magnificent and with buckshot's gruff monotone flow. wow. "who got the props, who got the props - 5FT, Evil Dee & Buck shot!!"

-- if i had an 11th --- Common -- {{I used to love h.e.r.}} off of Resurrection. the official ode to hiphop music.

-- and a 12th -- Souls of Mischief -- {{'93 til infinity}} off of album of same name. my west coast all time favorite.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

monkdogz & art - frank & vera - good food & patti

on thurs, patti and i met up to see some art showcased by monkdogz, at their gallery on 27th between 9th - 10th Aves. they have bi-monthly events displaying new urban art. it's fun to go to the venue because there are numerous other galleries in the bldg that tend to stay open late and allow you entrance when monkdogz have their events. the events are generally well attended - so much so on this occasion, that the coat rack broke under the weight of the garments. (pic above)

patti was planning on meeting a friend for drinks - and invited me to join. we then went to a cute bar/ restaurant called FRANK/ VERA (eatery = frank, bar = vera). i'd been before - raffy used to love to go to the bar next door (Black Star) for their Wednesday reggae night. it's gone now :( -- and we wandered into Vera a few times afterwards. anyhow, the food smelled great, so patti and i decided to grub, as well as drink. we split the arugula salad, she had the mussels and i had the ravioli. good eatin'. the bartender had brought in his ipod that night, and suffice it to say i was pleased with his selections - which included some cuts off Black Moon's Enta Da Stage, and Nas' Illmatic. that's a very good way to get me to have a few more drinks at your establishment. no doubt.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

my latest mix

my latest mix is up on YOUSENDIT. a super-cool file upload service.
it is only available through Monday, Jan. 14 - so get it now!!!

it has a couple of mistakes, but it's not bad for my first mix in several months. there are many jazz-influenced tracks, but i'd still call it a hiphop mix, if i had to label the genre.

bonus points to anyone who can name the "cheapskate" original i snuck in.

Go grab it (in two parts) here :
part 1
part 2

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

the take-away shows

my friend Mindy gave her her issue of Nylon Guys - because, as the subtitle says, "it's not for girls" :) anyhow, i encountered an interview with a gentleman named Vincent Moon. he's an upstart short film director - who focuses on shooting musicians playing in odd places (THE TAKE-AWAY SHOWS), and posting them to his site . his style is simple and elegant. 1 take, 1 camera - fly by the seat of your pants artistic creation. I encourage you to view episode number 41 : Arcade Fire. they perform one of their tracks in a freight elevator. take notice of the percussion being done on the elevator ceiling, and by simply the ripping pages from a magazine. splendid.

Moon truly is "reinventing the music video with his unconventional, confrontational short films"; to quote the article.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

the Florist

my pal from work, Floris (of the Netherlands), had a bunch of us over to his lovely home in Rye, NY this past sunday for some food and many drinks. the cranberry crusted goat cheese was spectacular, as were the chicken and pork sattes Floris made on his super-duper grill. the house his wife found for he, she, their daughter is the coolest place ever for kids. it's like the Webster home with 15 lil rooms and passageways and sucken floors. that - and the fact that the neighborhood contains all families where kids run free from home to home in safety and adulation - makes Fleur, their daughter, extremely happy. they have truly transformed their house to a home.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

my 100th post!!!!! >>> rum & friends

so, this is my 100th post on this blog. kinda cool, huh? it's exciting in this new age of technology to be able to share one's thoughts and ideas with your friends and colleagues - and the masses simultaneously. i hope you've enjoyed reading so far, and that you will continue to do so... and now, onto the latest edition.

last night my good friend darryl was in town from DC. he was in celebrating with some friends - one who's opening her own law practice (jane - pictured above) and one moving to LA to become an actor. now, let me briefly skip to the near-end of the night by telling you that as of today i am BOYCOTTING THE BRANDY LIBRARY. more on that in a moment.

i joined the crew at the bubble lounge in tribeca. i thought i'd been there before, but upon entry did not recognize the interior. here's the recap:
  • the 6 of us shared a beautiful bottle of champagne from 1982, that Curly Rob (moving to LA actor - pictured above) ordered.
  • one of the waitresses was absolutely stunning. (no picture of her though).
  • apparently alicia keys was in the venue just a few hours before we were, sitting in the same area. according to our waiter, she was nice.
  • the dj they had at the spot was not really mixing but played some stuff i liked but had never heard before, so I went over to talk to him. nice guy. been around the industry for many many years -- and, in a crazy coincidence, used to own filter 14, which he sold to my friend tommy frayne. i djed at filter 14 for the better part of 2 years, but it was closed down when the meat packing district got all gentrified. ;(

ok - so after bubble lounge, we went over to the brandy library - just a few blocks away. they accommodated all six of us by moving around some chairs, which was nice of them. Darryl and I perused the extensive menu and i offered the idea that we ordered some rum (one from his country of guyana - and one from haiti - pictured above). 80 and 86 proof, respectively. wow! we and the others, including curly rob, ordered another round of drinks filled with lovely liquor mixes we were unfamiliar with. then, it went down hill. we were talking, having a good time - recounting stories and experiences.. then the bar tender came over to us - rob - specifically and asked him to quiet down. i mean, we weren't yelling - we were seated - and nowhere near rambunctious. we were all a bit taken aback. we ordered a few nibbles, and then got another round. we were conscious to 'keep it down' and basically split into 3 groups of 2 to ensure our volume stayed a minimum. when rob went to order one last drink for he and his lady friend, he was told by the bartender that he would not serve him!!!!! are you f-in' joking me????? we were there for over 2 hours, he ordered 3 tiny drinks and food. w ordered the same amt of drinks, and he weighs 75lbs more than i, so he was not even close to being drunk, and a loooong way away from being obnoxious. rob was very composed - asked for the bill - and began putting his jacket on. i confronted the bartender. what i gleaned was this : the BRANDY LIBRARY is a turn their nose up, holier than thou place where you are not supposed to have a good time, only speak in hushed tones, and where the ownership makes excuses to get rid of unwanted guests, instead of being man enough to be upfront about their reasons.

i will no longer patronize their establishment, and hope you will not either.