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Thursday, August 15, 2013

40 YEARS OF HIP HOP : THE FIRST PARTY FLYER FROM DJ KOOL HERC

Wow. 25 cents to get in!


Friday, August 9, 2013

Comfort Zone



By John Costson



Sunday morning laundromat flow. A few weeks ago, I started a routine every Sunday as to where I wake up, do a three mile walk/run and hit the laundromat to relieve my garments of the phenomenal funk that lurks within. It allows me to clear my head, gather my thoughts, and type my blog up. Plus, I get a great laugh counting all of the mullets and tattoos I see. This week, the routine is not different. But this week, I feel the need to vent a little.


I'm planning a trip to Las Vegas for my birthday this December (the 29th so start shopping now please. I could use a new car and good chain... nothing special). The problem that I have is that the people I want to go with all have excuses as to why they can't go. Now, I understand that we all have different responsibilities to attend to, like kids, marriage, family, etc. I have no problem with that. What I do have a problem with are people who are scared to death to leave their comfort zone. It's like they are afraid that, if they take a chance and do something different, something AWESOME might happen and they can't handle that.

I guarantee that if I told folks that I would pay their way for the trip, they would drop whatever they're doing and go. It's a lot like life in that people, to get out of their comfort zone, must be enticed by someone else taking on their responsibility. They wont do it themselves. They'll only do it if they are taken care of. I was once told by someone that he needs other people to do things for him because he doesn't want all the hassle. With that mentality, how can you expect to go places in life?

I'm sorry that this sounds like rambling. But I'm feeling the need to let go of people that aren't contributing to anything in life. I love all my folks to death. But if you are afraid to take a chance, I can't hang with you anymore. A few years ago, people told me not to go to Virginia. But I took a chance and, while things didn't work out there, it set the stage for the success I see today. Stepping out of my comfort zone was the best thing that ever happened. Although there may be pain at first, it will help define the person you become.

Umm.... You can see this goes a little deeper than a Vegas trip. But it all is related. Alright, got that out of my system!!! Next week, I promise I'll have clown material for you all. Until then....... www.twitter.com/thefakejcoston

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Challenge: One Year Later

By John Coston

I can't lie. Last week, I was unusually emotional and angry over the whole Zimmerman case and, while I was happy from a writing standpoint over the inspiration it sparked, it left me feeling like I left a whole lot of words on the table. I will keep the rest of those thoughts stored away in a vault because I need to get back to that positive energy that I'm known for. So I will try (and fail, as usual) to keep this blog brief.

In March 2012, I wrote a blog called "The Challenge" which was basically designed to be a motivational tool for you sloths to get up off your couch and set a goal for yourselves. My hope was to see if anyone's life (including my own) can really be changed with a little dedication. I also wanted to see if anyone would follow up with me and let me know how their life was changing. Of course, no one let me know (DAMN U!!!). So, I found myself taking a challenge on my own. My personal goal was to lose at least 50 lbs. I wrote it down, posted it in my bathroom and followed my own instructions. At first, to my dismay, nothing was happening. I actually gained 10 lbs and started to get that "F-it-all attitude!!"

Then, in June 2012, I underwent a crazy health scare. Not to be graphic (Welp, its my blog so I'll be as nassssty as I want!), but I was having difficulty urinating and it was affecting my sleep and well being. I went to the emergency room and, after 5 hours and a whole bunch of tubes hooked up to me (not to mention Jury Duty in the morning), I was diagnosed as having Type 2 Diabetes. I always said to myself "It wont happen to me." Guess what? It happened, and I wasn't too thrilled. I was given metaformin and told I could look forward to plenty of medication. I decided that I needed to change my lifestyle completely. I was a year in on giving up alcohol and thought, "Challenge accepted."

I changed up my diet to include fruits and vegetables and eliminated sodas and pure junk food (accepted for the occasional cheat meal.) As I blog tonight, I have lost 114 lbs so far and I have regained my life. I still have a long way to go but I feel like a new person. I started taking up Couch to 5K (a running app) and I am in my 4th week of workouts. I went a few months hitting a plateau with my weight but, with a trip to NY coming up, I am getting back to it. I will be posting my progress at the beginning of each blog with maybe a sentence or two about it. This was my challenge and, so far, I'm meeting my goals.

Do you have any goals or challenges you want to meet? Hit me up! I can provide words of encouragement, digital hugs (A real one if you're in Atlanta) or digital slaps to wake you up (Also, a real one if you're in Atlanta). Either way, if you have a goal to meet, let's reach it together. (Yep, that was the softest line EVER!!)

P.S. As I said last time, Im not a doctor!! So anything involving fitness, please consult one first. Im broke and I cant pay your medical bills!!! Sheesh!!! www.twitter.com/thefakejcoston

VISUAL CAFFEINE-Episode 27-SAMPLES MIX

New VISUAL CAFFEINE!!

This month SEN-ONE6 takes a few classic Hip-Hop beats, and shows you the inspiration behind those beats. This is the essence of Hip-Hop culture. It began with two turntables, then it evolved into samplers. The original concept of Hip-Hop music was to find the rarest loops and breaks to rock the party. DJs used records to create their art much like a visual artist uses colors to create a painting.  In case there were any other DJs in the house, you had to make sure you covered your record labels so no one could know what you were playing. Today, with the advent of the internet it's harder to keep the best loops and breaks a closely guarded secret.

SEN-ONE6 does a good job at showcasing where a handful of underground classic rap records got their loops and breaks. Take a seat class is in session...
VISUAL CAFFEINE-episode 27-SAMPLES MIX from SEN ONE6 UZN on Vimeo.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Mr. Lonely....

By John Coston

Let me start by telling you my new project: Building an ark to combat the ridiculous amounts of rain we've been receiving in Georgia as of late!! If you have any unwanted pets, bring them to me (Only in pairs, though). Hehe....

Ok, got the bad rain jokes out of the way. Now let's get to the topic at hand: Loneliness. It's a shame what some of us will do to combat loneliness. Some of us will visit the strip clubs and make it rain paychecks if it means we will be shown a little bit of attention (Ok I may have made it slightly drizzle on a few occasions. Don't judge me!!)

It's why people date murderers in jail, wear clothes two sizes too small, and why people update their Facebook status to "in a relationship" when they're still single (Shots fired, son!! Lmao! Inside joke). Loneliness and attention go hand in hand in that, if no one is paying attention to us, we feel inadequate, which causes us to shun our social circle and, eventually, leads to being lonely.

In my opinion, people look at being lonely the wrong way. Don't look at it as a time to hop into a bad relationship with the janitor at work because he picked a flower out of trash and gave it to you. Look at it as a time to work on self improvement. How about losing those last 10 lbs hanging off? What about taking that class or reading that book you've been putting off? Loneliness should be looked at as an opportunity to reset your life a little bit so that the next time an opportunity presents itself, either for love, work, etc., you're ready to take it on. Like the saying goes, "If you are ready, you don't have to get ready." Umm, something like that.

 I would be lying if I said I don't get lonely at times. I'm human. But to me, this is just downtime. I need this alone-time to accomplish the goals set and, in due time, I'll get back on my "Master of Seduction/Every Woman's Fantasy" deal. (Even I had to laugh at that foolishness!) I'll be damned if I give another stripper my ATM card and tell her "take it all!! I love you!!" Just kidding about saying "I love you." www.twitter.com/thefakejcoston www.facebook.com

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Edo. G "Hold U"

By Ralo

Edo. G was nationally recognized when he dropped his first album "Life Of A Kid In The Ghetto" in 1991. Prior to 1991 he was making a name for himself on the local underground Hip-Hop circuit in the city of Boston, until he caught the attention of New York radio legends, The Awesome Two. They formed a group called Edo. G And The Bulldogs, and released their first full-length album on Mercury/ Polygram Records.

The most unique thing about "Life Of A Kid In The Ghetto" was the subject matter, every song was about a different socially relevant topic- like "Be A Father To Your Child", "Bug-A-Boo" and "Dedicated To The Right Wing"- which talked about some of the legal troubles that the Two Live Crew were in at the time. The album is best remembered for it's first single, "I Got To Have It" which sampled Hamilton Bohannons' "Singing A Son For My Mother", a loop that was so infectious it was later used by Heavy D and even Mary J Blige.

Edo. G And The Bulldogs followed their debut two years later with their second effort "Roxbury 02119" in 1993. Edo. G then went on to do nine more projects one of which was "Arts And Entertainment" with Brooklyn legend Masta Ace in 2009.

Edo. G is back with his new single and video titled "Hold U" from his most recent album "Intelligence And Ignorance". On "Hold U" he showcases his technical lyrical skills while talking about some of the social ills that face the 99%. Edo.g proves that time has been good to him because he hasn't lost a step since 1991.

Monday, July 1, 2013

VISUAL CAFFEINE-Episode 27-SAMPLES MIX

New VISUAL CAFFEINE!!

This month SEN-ONE6 takes a few classic Hip-Hop beats, and shows you the inspiration behind those beats. This is the essence of Hip-Hop culture. It began with two turntables, then it evolved into samplers. The original concept of Hip-Hop music was to find the rarest loops and breaks to rock the party. DJs used records to create their art much like a visual artist uses colors to create a painting.  In case there were any other DJs in the house, you had to make sure you covered your record labels so no one could know what you were playing. Today, with the advent of the internet it's harder to keep the best loops and breaks a closely guarded secret.

SEN-ONE6 does a good job at showcasing where a handful of underground classic rap records got their loops and breaks. Take a seat class is in session...
VISUAL CAFFEINE-episode 27-SAMPLES MIX from SEN ONE6 UZN on Vimeo.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Prince Paul In The Mix

By Stacey E. Bueche



Stacey:  Interviews

Prince Paul: I feel like this-  if somebody wants to interview you AT ALL, it's a big deal, because obviously, there are a LOT of people I know out there that feel like, "Damn, I wish somebody would interview me!"  There have been times when NO one wants to hear anything you have to say.
Stacey:  Keeping A Low Profile

Prince Paul: I don't worry about popularity, and I'm not one big on social media, like most people.  I can't do that.  I'm pretty private.  The other thing, too, is that I've always lived below my means.  It's not a matter of me hustling, feeling that I have to work all the time.  I don't feel like "I've got to get that gig for $100.00," to keep my name out there.  So when I DO work, it's more for fun than profit.  I do need to make X amount of dollars, but it's also a matter of me being shy and a bit anti-social...  I'm able to keep that without having to be somebody I'm not, by going out to and being like "Man, I gotta get that radio gig," etc.  The things you see me doing primarily are for fun (not 100%)...

Stacey:  First Music Memory

Prince Paul: Music, whatever's going on, is the soundtrack of your life. In the very beginning, I remember the wind-up Fisher-Price toy, playing melodies (2-3 years old).  Then, it's my Dad playing the radio, and me sitting with my Dad (who was into hard-core jazz like Thelonius Monk, Coltrane...) which wasn't too pleasing for a child.  My Mom listened to early R&B, and then I had older siblings who were teenagers, and they listened to the radio all the time...  So it's a combination of them all. 

Stacey:  DJ Prince Paul, The Early Years

Prince Paul: I was 11 when I started deejaying-  I was young.  You don't get any respect as a DJ when you're 11 trying to DJ.  Everything at that time was based on spinning "SUCKER DJ..."  In the 8th grade, for me it was "Genius Of Love," Tom Tom Club.  When I first started it was Grandmaster Flash, Fearless Four, Treacherous Three, The Crash Crew, The Disco Four...In hindsight, not ALL of them were great... 

Stacey:  DJ Extraordinaire Prince Paul

Prince Paul: Everything is based on power.  I had the skills.  I'd see what Theodore (Grandwizzard Theodore), DST, Jazzy Jay, and all of them were doing, and then try to step it up a little more.  In High School, I thought I was pretty good.  For 17, I was pretty good.  

Friends of mine in Long Island were going to Brooklyn, packing up the van with equipment, and they asked if I wanted to go, I said "No, I'm going to stay here and ride my bike," (I had a Schwinn at the time)... I thought about it, and, I was like, "Yeah, I'm gonna go."  So I asked my Mom, put my bike up, and went down there.So this was in '83-'84, and there were 3 DJs, almost like a battle, and I was doing tricks (I guess you'd call it turntablism), and I was showing off, under the leg, with the mouth, and THAT drew the attention of Stet.  So they approached me, "Man, YOU got what we're looking for."  At first, I thought they were gang members, but then it was hard to tell.  Remember they're older, and Daddy had beads, long braids and spikes-  it was indicative of that "Beat Street" era.  "Yo, we need a DJ-  would you be interested?  Yo, we just won Mr. Magic's Rap Attack Contest at Coney Island, and we've got a human mix machine, and we won a deal with Sugarhill."  So I know Brooklyn (because my Grandmother lives there), and I met with Stet, and became their DJ.

Next thing I know, we're making a DEMO (who knew what a DEMO was?).  I had no idea what was going on.

Stacey:  Please Listen To My Demo

Prince Paul: I was a kid.  Making a record wasn't the first thing to do-  People were still rappin' to be rappin', not rappin' for profit, and making money, or just for fame...  so to make a record was so out of the question, and then when it happened, I was like "Whoa!  I'm signing a contract for what?  What is this again?"  I was 17, but I told them I was 18 so I could sign the contract.

What happened with the Mr. Magic Rap Attack was a really bad record deal with Sugarhill Records, so we demoed "Just Say Stet" and we did a little show at Harlem Week-  remember at this point, we were just going around doing gigs willing to do gigs-  Harlem Week, Disco Fever, The Roxy-  wherever we could get on at.  I think Tom Silverman saw us at Harlem Week, and we had the place rocking yet nobody knew who we were!  Tom said "If you ever make something, come check us (Tommy Boy) out."  We handed him the tape, "Just Say Stet," and he said "Yo, I want to sign y'all..."  AND it was a MUCH better deal than Sugarhill (in hindsight not a good deal at all, but much better than Sugarhill)...  

The ironic part is, that our demo of "Just Say Stet," Tom Silverman wanted to re-record in HIS studio.  Which we come to find out later, to record in his studio meant we owed him money,  because there's recoupment for studio time.  As it turns out, the studio was in his apartment and somehow the bill came out to $10,000.00... I don't know HOW that happened. That's how things are.  

I went there, and I remember I knew specifically what I wanted to scratch on the record.  I only brought those records with me.  I remember Tom & Daddy-O had the same sentiment.  "What kind of DJ is this? He only has X amount of records-  why is HE a DJ?"  DISSING ME.  Like saying they should get rid of me because I was WACK!  Because I wasn't prepared as much as he thought a DJ should be in that situation.  But I studied, and knew exactly where I wanted to cut the records... the ironic part is that I made him so much money based on De La Soul and everything else, that if they fired me, I doubt that Tommy Boy (as a Label would not have had such success, based on the money Silverman made off of Prince Paul's contributions) would've ever happened...  

Stacey:  DJ to Producer Extraordinaire

Prince Paul: Going into Stetsasonic I was ahead of them in terms of drum programming, because as you know, Grandmaster Flash was the first one to introduce the beatbox.  So if you're a DJ, it's a natural progression to have-  automatically you wanted a drum machine, figured out what it was, and got one.  So I was doing that already with an 808.  So when we started making the first album, I said "Hey, I got some ideas," and they happened to pick two of them.  One was a song called "Bust That Groove," and the other was the title track, "On Fire."  I was a really good DJ.  I mean really really good, and I remember wanting to do really fancy scratches and cuts, and remember them going "NAH, man.  You gotta do like Jam-Master JayTone that back!"  They were really into a structure.  I'm all over the place-  that's where we butted heads.  I was respected for my talent, but I was not AS respected because of my age...    To fast forward a bit... 


Stacey:  Thank God for De La...

Prince Paul: I knew it (De La Soul's debut LP, "3 Feet High and Rising") was different at the time, but you can't gauge something like that, because who's done it before.  Put it like this, when we made that record, we were kids having fun.  The fact that we found each other, it's almost like having your hip-hop soul mate.  The weird way that I thought, and the weird way that they thought-  and then we were put together?  It wasn't like I had a sound yet, so that they could determine "We should work with him," nor did I know how they rhymed, because I was just put on to them.  Just because we went to the same High School, I didn't know they rhymed.  It has been just a weird kind of life changing experience, where we were put together, and it worked out.  We got along so well- we laughed, we joked, we experimented-  where I didn't have the freedom with Stetsasonic, with them, they thought I was cool because I had a record out.  As much as I didn't know, I still got the respect from them.  It was a lot of fun.  As much as I felt dissed by Stet, I used that energy with De La, and producing De La, I was like "Hey, whatever I did you got.  Whatever you guys want to try, let's try it.  Let's facilitate it.  I'll make it work.  Tell me what you guys want to do, and listen to what I do, and let's just have fun."

I did that.  They'll tell you, on that first record, everything-  every idea they had, I said, "Let's do it.  Let's record it." There's a difference between recording it, and listening to it, and then say no-  rather than say no before even trying it.  That's what I was used to with Stet-  "Let's try thi..." cut off by the sound of Stet saying "NO man..."  I thought, "I'm not going to do that.  I'm going to treat these guys differently.  Treat them like they're humans, man (in Prince Paul's semi-sarcastic voice, garnering many laughs as always)..."  And that's what I did.  That's how we did it. We had a lot of fun...  and it worked!


Stacey:  Solo Work


Prince Paul: Kool Keith has always been around, they (Ultramagnetic MCs) recorded their first record in the same studio De La recorded their first record.  People think he's crazy.  In a conversation he'll repeat the same thing over and over again, like "Yeah man, Yin Yang twins, man, what's up with that?  Yeah man, Yin Yang Twins..."  But you know what the crazy thing is, is that's one side of him- he's entertaining, he's funny, a great guy to chat with.  But when we got to working, and we worked on "Prince Among Thieves" together, I said "Yo, here's what I need you to do.  You're name's Crazy Lou, and you are a weapons specialist.  So I just need you to rhyme about all the types of guns you sell."  He was like, "Okay."

I recorded him and Everlast the same day somewhere in L.A.  He came in there and said, "I got almost all the rhymes written out," and he had a gun magazine with him. I was so impressed with the fact that he took time and did the research what I asked him to do.  He didn't take it lightly.  The fact that he was so on point and professional and knocked it out so quick, and did it in that capacity, that it overshadowed all that "Yo, Keith is crazy!"  He was mad professional, on point, you can't get better than that.  He did his job, so I have mad respect for him-  as a person, too- but he doesn't come to play, he comes to work. 

I did "Psychoanalysis," "The Gas Face," with 3RD Bass, I did a Big Daddy Kane record, I did Queen Latifah, Slick Rick, Boogie Down Productions, Vernon Reid's solo album, and of course I did The Gravediggaz...  and, I don't know if we're coming back. Talking to RZA, before this movie came out, he was talking about, "Yeah man, let's do another Gravediggaz record, let's do another Gravediggaz record," for a while, and then Poetic passed away.  To me, he was a big part of what we did, and the fans are demanding it.  Either let's do another record, or call it quits.  It really depends on RZA'a availability, because, of course, he's the RZA.  So I'm like "Hey, when you got time, you got time."  When it happens, it happens...

Methuzulah "Pay Homage"

 By Ralo

The urban lifestyle has always been a hive of activity in the world of hip-hop culture. First there is the visually arresting images of graffiti, then there is the hypnotic rotation of turntables. You can't forget the acrobatic display of b-boys or the oral expression of MCing.

The lyricist or the MC has long been the center of attention in the sub-culture of underground hip-hop. There are often many questions about who is the best lyricist or who can beat who in a battle. The topic of discussion also centers on who's new record is wack, and who's new record is heat, or which newcomers sound good and shows promise.  Lyrics, delivery and production all play key roles in judging the quality of underground hip-hop. Noncommercial rap has always had more poetic value than its corporate under produced counterpart.

This week our spotlight is on Atlanta based Methuzulah. His latest joint is titled "Pay Homage", it recognizes those early Hip-Hop artists that laid the foundation and the ground work for current day Rap culture. Methuzulah lyrically goes out of his way to mention the most relevant figures in the history of recorded Rap. Everyone from Spoonie Gee to EPMD gets a nod on the song. "Pay Homage" features Boog Brown, Yamin Semali and Rasheeda Ali. Methuzulah is proof that Underground Hip-Hop will continue to stand the test of time.

The Seven Rules

By John Coston

Welp, finals are finally done and I finally have a few moments to spare to catch up with you all on life, liberty, and the pursuit of foolishness. I have decided to share with you my seven rules to live by. I posted it on Facebook but, this time, I will give some explanation behind the rules. They are as follows:

1.)Make Money
2.)Live Well
3.)Laugh Often
4.)Hold No Grudges
5.)Read Books
6.)Document Your Life
7.)Find a Mate and Get Busy as much as possible!!

The first rule should be obvious: You need to make sure that you are financially comfortable in order to provide for yourself and enjoy the lifestyle you so desire.

Now, the second rule may be hard for folks to understand but it is really simple. Learn to take care of your mind and body. Exercise, eat healthy and develop a source of spirituality (That doesn't mean go to church every week either....I'll save that for another blog).

The third rule is something I didnt practice enough until I got older. I thought that, as a man, you were supposed to keep a kind of rugged exterior and that a smile was a source of weakness. Now, I can't stop laughing at silliness!! Whether I'm watching a comedian or Tim Tebow attempting a pass, I always look for a source of humor. Hey, humor relieves stress and it will help you live longer! (The previous statement has not been approved by the FDA, ASPCA or Trapper John, M.D. Please dont sue!)

The fourth rule is there for the following reason: 9.9998 out of 10 times, the person that you hold a grudge against has probably forgotten about the shade they committed against you. It's not worth holding that negative energy inside because it's only going to stress you out. Let it go. It's worth it. Besides, success is the best revenge anyway.

The fifth rule is to help increase your intellect. If you read enough books (not just comics and porn, freaks), you will not only build knowledge but you will be able to formulate rules and plans of your own. Reading helps build knowledge and knowledge applied can lead to mo money, mo money, mo money!! (Showing my age! SHeesh!)

The sixth rule is kind of what Im doing now. You don't need a publishing company to write about your life. It's a way to reminisce about the good and bad times and it will serve as a way to show your kids and grandkids that, at one time in your life, you were cool (Everyone except Andrea. Sorry).

The last rule is self explanatory. Find your soulmate and enjoy your sex life, not only because its fun, but because you have someone to talk about John's 7 rules with for the rest of your life!!! S.W.A.G.!! Im back on it!! Enjoy!!!

Friday, May 10, 2013

What Is American Beauty?

By Damion Boycott

We happen to live in a country where a large majority of the people are of European ancestry. These European descendants control everything we see in the media, movies, newspapers, advertisements and much more. Therefore, as African people we get everything through a European filter. As a result of getting everything through a European filter we are over exposed to the European standard of beauty, which for the most part is white women with long hair or white men with a prominent jaw line.

If a person of color sees these images from the time they are small children, they begin to buy into the idea that white people look better than they do. The European standard of beauty is celebrated everyday in American society. This is particularly damaging to young black girls. Females are very image conscious from the time they are little children. We don't realize how much of a negative impact television and magazines can have on young black girls. As African people we buy into the stereotype that Europeans are more attractive than people of color.

The idea that white people look better than people of color is a serious psychological issue that black people grapple with every single day. The American media sells the idea to us 24 hours a day, and 95% of African American people buy into it. We have ultimately been sold a bill of goods. These images enforce the idea of white supremacy and black inferiority.

Any person of color believing that Europeans are more physically attractive suffer from what is known as Conceptual Incarceration. This means that they are mentally incarcerated by European ideas and European concepts. This term, Conceptual Incarceration was coined by noted African American Psychologist Dr. Wade Nobles. This concept is one of the key issues that African Americans struggle with.

The May issue of Lucky magazine is a perfect example of how the European standard of beauty is imposed upon us everyday. The cover features the head shot of a white woman with a title that reads "This Is American Beauty". Lucky magazine would never put a picture of a black woman on their cover and hold her up as an American beauty. This is one example that people of color are being over exposed to white cultural dominance.

This is exactly the sort of thing that contributes to low self esteem in African Americans especially young black girls. This glorification of white beauty is what makes people of African origin want to bleach their skin, which is detrimental to the kidneys because of the Mercury content. Also, an absurd fascination with the "European look" is what causes so many black women to straighten their hair. Anyone studying history will notice that African women were not trying to straighten their hair before they made contact with Europeans.

We have to create our own standard of beauty and see the value in ourselves. We also can not let anyone dictate to us what beauty is. It is imperative that we teach our children that there is beauty in their African features. Lucky magazine is part of the machine and they are doing their part, shame on them. People of color have to combat the mainstream media and teach their children the true knowledge of themselves. The sad deculturalization of African people continues.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

De La Soul "Get Away"

By Ralo

25 years after "Plug Tunin" De La Soul is still moving forward. Originally De La was respected for their originality and their ability to be different and dope. That originality opened the gate for plenty of acts that followed. Digable Planets, The Pharsyde, A Tribe Called Quest, Slum Village and even The Black Eye Peas had an audience because De La Soul paved the way.

As teenagers De La Soul achieved the dream they had set for themselves by releasing their first album in 1989 on Tommy Boy Records. Since then De La Soul has released eight full length albums.

De La Soul is back with "Get Away", their fist single since 2004. The Long Island trio has borrowed  samples from the intro of the second cd in Wu-Tang Clans' "Forever" double album. "Get Away" is the lead single from De Las' forthcoming album, "You're Welcome", due to hit the streets this fall. "Get Away" provides a welcomed diversion from the disaster that is commercial rap.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Visual Caffeine- Episode 25- Free Dome Radio

FREE DOME Radio has 3 UZN DJ's for 3 hours every Friday from 7-10pm(EST). You have DJ STREET TECH-DJ SHAKA U and playing the Mariano Rivera role-DJ LORD YODA X. So you know we had to go build with them.
You also have BIG LORD as the host-helping to keep things goin with his MC skills.
Sit back and enjoy the talent.
Make sure to catch their show every Friday 7-10pm(EST) on:
VISUAL CAFFEINE-episode 25-FREE DOME RADIO from SEN ONE6 UZN on Vimeo.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Samssun "Now"

By Ralo

Last week saw the release of "Now", the first video from independent artist, Samssun. "Now", which was first heard on  Off The Corners' Volume 3 Mixtape, was produced by Samssun himself, with scratches and turntableism provided by Ayce International. Lyrically Samssun branches into M.C. mode with rhymes that were artfully written and offers heaping bushels of wisdom. Opening his box of creativity, he touches on everything from The New World Order to Nikki Manaj, while showing forth his skill at combining metaphor with social relevance.

The video chronicles the movements of Samssun and Ayce as they apprehend fans of commercial rap music- Drop Squad style. Unassuming pedestrians are confronted and questioned about their taste in rap music. All of this is done in an effort to bring about balance in a world of uninspiring, under produced commercial rap. The setting is quite different from the average garden variety run of the mill rap video, and their humorous approach actually amounts to a five minute movie, as opposed to just another video.

The video was conceived and directed by Samssun, and the duty of filming and editing was handled by newcomer Jamaal Blair. "Now" is Samssuns introduction to the world. Be on the look out for his forth coming album "Community Service".

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Most New Yorkers Oppose Stop And Frisk

By Damion Boycott

According to a recent poll a large majority of New Yorkers oppose The NYPDs' Stop And Frisk program, which disproportionately affects black and latino males. Stop And Frisk amounts to racial profiling and has been labelled unconstitutional. Most New Yorkers also support the idea of establishing an independent Inspector General to monitor The NYPD in light of the Lloyd Vs. The City Of New York trial and growing disapproval of police tactics. Call for more oversight of The NYPD has amplified in recent months.

66% (more than half) of New Yorkers are in favour of creating the position of Inspector General to monitor the activities of The NYPD. The numbers are as follows: 53% of white New Yorkers support the idea, 77% of Hispanics do also, and 78% of black New Yorkers are in favour as well. 92% of voters in New York City said they are less likely to vote for a Mayoral candidate that supports the continuation Stop And Frisk.

However, The NYPD and Mayor Michael Bloomberg are opposing the idea of having an Inspector General. Mayor Bloomberg said "The NYPD already has enough oversight". The Civilian Complaint Review Board is considered toothless by some New Yorkers who think more oversight is necessary. City Council Speaker and Mayoral candidate Christine Quinn announced that law makers had reached a deal to install an Inspector General to oversee The NYPD. The call is for an Inspector General who could investigate The NYPD and issue subpoenas. If the police are not accountable to an entity outside of themselves, that means they can get away with more misconduct. With an Inspector General in place The NYPD can no longer shoot and kill black men with impunity, nor could they continue the illegal practice of Stop And Frisk. An Inspector General would mean no more slap on the wrist for police murders and other misconduct. Mayoral candidate John Liu has advocated for an Inspector General and said if elected Mayor he would put an end to Stop And Frisk.

If New York had an Inspector General in place, cases like Sean Bell and Kimani Grey could have turned out differently.

The Stop And Frisk trial, Lloyd Vs. The City Of New York, is in it's sixth week. This landmark trail could very well bring an end to NYPDs' Stop and Frisk.

SUMMER STAGE NYC 2013 FEATURING DJ KOOL HERC, BIG DADDY KANE, RAKIM, MOS DEF, OTHERS




                                                                 The Hip Hop Legends

source : hiphopdx.com

Black Sheep, Das EFX, Grand Puba, Pete Rock, DJ Premier, Chubb Rock, Dana Dane and more are involved in this year's incredible lineup curated by Hip Hop's founder. City Park Foundation recently announced the annual Summer Stage. The New York City-based event will have over 100 free music, dance, film, comedy, family and theater programs in 17 parks across the five boroughs. It will go take place June 4th to August 29th. Summer Stage will be celebrating the inception of Hip Hop and reflecting on its four elements in a multi-disciplinary series called “This is _ Hip-Hop.” Some of the highlights of Summer Stage will include a concert curated by Hip Hop's credited founder, DJ Kool Herc, dance performances by The Rock Steady Crew, a Hip Hop musical commission, “King Kong,” and the play “Sweet Billy & The Zooloos."

In addition to Kool Herc, Big Daddy Kane, Rakim, Marley Marl, Black Sheep, Das EFX, Grand Puba, Chubb Rock and Dana Dane will grab the mic, along with a DJ Premier vs. Pete Rock deejay event. Yasiin Bey (a/k/a Mos Def) will also be rocking the stage at The Airborne Toxic Event.

Summer Stage will educate people on the elements of Hip Hop and teach those who attend different skills associated with it. Hopefully us here at Off The Corner will be out there taking pictures,gathering interviews and enjoying the Hip Hop Icons of this monumental event.

Here is the schedule for Summer Stage 2013 :

Saturday, April 20, 2013

GURU Tribute

By Ralo

There have been many recognizable voices in the history of recorded rap music, Q-Tip, KRS-ONE and Chuck D are some of those notable voices. One voice that is sure to endure is the distinct and raspy voice of GURU. I'm proud to say that I introduced the music of Gang Starr to my circle of friends in the late 80's. I discovered Gang Starrs' first single "Gusto" backed with "Knowledge", because it was produced by DJ Mark The 45 King. I bought that single because I was fascinated with the production style of The 45 King. What seemed like just another vinyl record purchase, turned into a 20 year relationship of enjoying the progressive approach to Hip-Hop that is Gang Starr.

GURUs' lyrical content was conscious and socially relevant at times, yet still remained raw to the street. He always demonstrated his remarkable ability to tailor his message to his audience. GURU talked about everything from world events, on songs like "Who's Gonna Take The Weight", to relationships on songs like "Love Sick" and "What You Want This Time". GURU also touched on the topic of black on black violence on "Just To Get A Rep", and still managed to maintain his street credibility. GURU released about 13 albums in total and left behind a legacy of music and respect that will not be matched for years to come.

DJ Tiger did an Off The Corner tribute to Guru this week that was well done and very well received. It was two hours of music and conversation about the life and times of GURU, the day before the third anniversary of his passing. I got an opportunity to share some of my own personal stories about my experiences with the music of Guru, as well as tell of the good fortune I had to meet GURU on three separate occasions. The Archive of that tribute can be heard here at Off The Corner.

Talib Kweli paid lyrical homage GURU in a new song called "GURU", which was produced by Marco Polo and features DJ Premier. This tribute to GURU will be  on the forthcoming album "NewPort Authority 2" by Marco Polo.

Friday, April 19, 2013

How Viacom lead to the detriment of Hip Hop; loses another lawsuit against Google

Viacom BET Mtv VH1 SPIKE Comedy Central
There are 3 major corporations that own and distribute 95% of the music industry (Universal, EMI & Warner Music Group) They basically turned Hip Hop into Hip POP because they have control over the “urban” radio stations telling them what to play and what not to play (Payola for Pay). Viacom, another massive company, owns MTV, BET, Comedy Central and VH1.
Viacom in 2007 sued YouTube after Google purchased it for $1.65 billion. Viacom argued in the lawsuit that YouTube’s explosive growth was based in part on users uploading & posting videos of Viacom’s programs, which included The Daily Show and South Park, but Google argued that the DMCA protected YouTube from liability because the site promptly takes down infringing content once it is notified. According to the DMCA, safe harbor protection applies if an Internet service provider like YouTube “responds expeditiously to remove, or disable access to, the material that is claimed to be infringing.”
On Thursday April 18th 2013, a federal judge handed a major victory to YouTube on Thursday, one year after a federal appeals court breathed new life into Viacom’s $1 billion lawsuit. Viacom had accused YouTube of illegally hosting videos that infringe on the company’s intellectual property, including popular content like MTV videos and TV shows like Comedy Central’s “South Park.”
U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton, who has presided over the case for several years, once again found that Google and YouTube are protected by the “safe harbor” provisions of the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act)
Kent Walker, Google’s general counsel, said in a statement to TIME : “The court correctly rejected Viacom’s lawsuit against YouTube, reaffirming that Congress got it right when it comes to copyright on the Internet,”. “This is a win not just for YouTube, but for people everywhere who depend on the Internet to exchange ideas and information.” Read more on this story HERE


The reason why I’m making the connection between Viacom and and the Music Industry is because they act together with one cause, to stop the real Hip Hop culture from being aired to the masses. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

R.A. The Rugged Man "The Peoples Champion"

By Ralo

R.A. The Rugged Man has been revered and respected on the Long Island Hip-Hop scene since he was 18. He signed a major label deal with Jive Records at that time, and later got another major label deal with EMI. His contract with EMI was eventually taken over by Capitol Records in the 1990's.

He has since recorded with some of the most talented artist in rap music. He got a chance to work with Rakim, Chuck D, Jedi Mind Tricks and many others. He was also featured on the legendary Rawkus "Sound Bombing" albums. Apart from his career in rap music, R.A. was also a contributing writer for Mass Appeal Magazine.

His second album, "Legends Never Die" is scheduled to be released on April 30th. Guest appearances include Talib Kweli, Master Ace, Brother Ali, Tech Nine and Kirzz Kaliko. The first single and video is "Peoples Champion", which was produced by Apathy. If you need proof of R.A.' Skills as a lyricist you won't after this. "Peoples Champion" has a classic quality that will appeal to listeners for years to come.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Hip Hop Commentary..Happy Born Day Dj Kool Herc



real hip hop is not on the radio offthecorner

For all outlets that say they support Hip Hop Culture, today is the day that they should be paying homage and respect on the birthday of the Founding Father of Hip Hop, Dj Kool Herc. Not surprisingly, New York based radio stations Pop97 and Plague105.1 didn’t do a damn thing to recognize the one figure that brought this culture to New York, 1520 Sedgwick Ave in the Bronx to be exact. Now I’m not surprised that they didn’t do anything in his name, I’m just disgusted with the bullshit they are constantly doing, and the mindless people that don’t even give a fk what they are not doing. I haven’t even heard a prominent Hip Hop Icon come on one of their stations and call them out! They are painting only one picture of what Hip Hop is supposed to be! To me basically they are a gossip outlet, if it isn’t Kfoxy talking about wtf Kanye and Kim are doing every other minute, to "Charlene man" running his jokes, and catching beef with every other person in the limelight, they are playing RAP music 99.9% of the day, not Hip Hop music, RAP music! There is a big difference if you didn’t already know!  I have no problem with party music, but goddammit not every minute of the day!



 And let’s face it most of it is simplistic trash, from Trinidad James (Def Jam, you are something else, smh) to Gucci Mane who revels in beating up women. There’s no balance and there hasn’t been a balance in a longggg time, ever since the shiny suit era took over Pop97 shit hasn’t been the same, everything is all about PAYOLA and MONEY. So for these 2 radio stations to not even say anything about the person who gave them this Hip Hop to water down and exploit is an even greater tragedy. And I really don’t give a fuck if you don’t agree with me, this shit has been going on far too long, I give respect to Peter Rosenberg for saying what he said about Nicki Minaj, even though he can be a hypocrite as well, he is chained to the corporate jail of Pop97 as well (we heard some of the songs played on his late night show, not all of them are “The Realness”).    

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