Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Last Day Of School


Today is my last day at work before the holiday break, and it feels like the last day of school. The office is occupied by folks who ran out of days off and we have to work. Jokes are flying everywhere and sexual innuendo is in the air (which is normal I suppose). I'm planning a day of finishing my work and having a grand lunch with the crew.

I'm taken back to the days of skipping class to go to lunch just because it's the end of the semester. The order of the day was playing spades with my friends at the lunch table, and rhyming until the period was over. I would have an hour long discussion on who was gonna make the playoffs in the NBA every December as early as it was. Some folks would bring small radios in and we'd jam while we at those cheeseburgers (I loved those cheeseburgers) and fries. The rest of the day would be split between going to class and roaming the halls dodging security. That's exactly what I feel like doing today.

I just want to walk the halls with some of my co-workers and cause mayhem. A few hours to go and there's still a bit of work to be done. But lets be honest we've all checked out. Nobody is mentally here, I hear laughter all around and people with luggage next to their desks. All in all I have a warm feeling inside and I feel that today will be OK, but that could just be the chili from last night.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Jay - Z Forever Young (Official Video)

Not my cup of tea but you may enjoy it. I can feel what he's trying to get across but...eh. Maybe this will get played on top 40 radio? And for the record I don't think this is a hip hop song at all. It's pretty much a pop rap single. Nothing wrong with that, just making an observation.

Carry On.


Monday, December 21, 2009

Old School Mondays

I feel like paying respect to some of the best to ever do it. The hip hop group, the legends RUN DMC.

Classic


My Favorite Run DMC song.


My second favorite Run DMC song. Wish it was synced better.



Friday, December 18, 2009

Drop The Bomb: Majora Carter


This beautiful woman from the South Bronx (south south Bronx) has a lot to say. I'm not gonna say much because Majora Carter says plenty with eloquence and an urgency that demands your attention. She's an inspiration to me and I look forward to learning more about her. Here's her website so you can read up on her works. http://www.majoracartergroup.com/

As far as this video, enjoy and learn.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Black Atlas aka The Site I Always Wanted


Journalist and author Nelson George in association with American Airlines has started a site I can really get behind. BlackAtlas.com is a website dedicated to viewing travel from a Black perspective. I am a person who can enjoy traveling pretty much anywhere, however I do love seeing my people in different settings. Black Atlas affords me the opportunity to see how a the folks live in different environments before I board the plane. It's truly a genius site and I commend Mr. George for getting it going.

I'm going to register right now and you might want to do the same.
I'm currently looking for a small vacation to take during the winter break. This site is just what I need!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Roses and Why You Shouldn't Cut Them.

This is the first full song I've ever heard from Georgia Anne Muldrow. I've heard of her many times but it took for Mos Def to place a song of hers on his album for me to take notice. I really like her voice and presence on this song. Take a look at the official video for the original (sans Mos Def) version of Roses and listen to the Mos version.

What do you think?

OG Version


Mos Def Version

My first Furniture Purchase


Today I finally made a decision and copped a dresser for my bedroom. Since moving into my new apartment I have been in need of a spot for my pounds of t-shirts and other summer gear. Today in between doing laundry, Shino and I took a trip to a local furniture store. After walking around for about 10 minutes we decided on on dresser that was a decent height and cost less than 300 bucks. I didn't realize it until we were leaving and Shino asked me "have you ever purchased furniture before?" It then hit me that for 30 years I've been getting by on hand me downs!

Since I left my mothers home years ago I first took over an apartment that was my father's first. I moved in furniture that was my aunts before me. The only thing I'd ever purchased for myself was electronics. I am now living in my first apartment that I really had to move things in and buy new furniture.

This is a new beginning, causing me to step out of my comfort zone.
There are times in life where you have to step back and see the whole thing moving like a movie. I feel this is one of those times. I am thankful to all those who helped me to get to this point in my life. I feel as though there is something big on the horizon for me and I am clearing space for it to have a place in my life. I eagerly await it's manifestation and hopefully it will inspire me to write.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Harold's Chicken Shack Appreciation

Photos by Shino Yanagawa

To my fellows out in Chicago, (you lucky dogs) I salute you. It was maybe three years ago the first time when I touched down in the beautiful city of Chicago. Like most new places in the US, I immediately went into my hip hop trivia bag to figure out what to eat. One thing that I heard about was a hood spot called Harold's Chicken Shack. So after a two days of being in the city I took a drive with my friends to the Harold's in Hyde Park, close to where I was staying. It was there that I had a truly great Chicago experience.

I met a young man who straight went crazy when he saw my sneakers. He saw the Creative Recreation sneakers I had on and noticed they were a colorway he'd never seen. We then got into a conversation about what kind of sneakers his peers wore out in the Chi. As our conversation concluded I was next up to give my order. In Harold's, chicken is sold by quarter, half, and whole portions. You can also order wings but I've yet to do so. There's an art to placing an order at this establishment. I asked the brother ahead of me for some assistance siting that I was a New Yorker and a novice with Harold's. He told me a 1/4 should do me fine if I wasn't completely starving. After our cool conversation was done, it was my turn to order. I walked up to the window 90% confident. However that 10% caused me to ask the woman behind the bulletproof glass for help. I asked her what size order should I get. She told me "well you ARE a MAN so you should get a 1/2 chicken." In order for me to keep my manhood intact I had to order the half chicken. My official order was 1/2 chicken white with mild sauce, bread (I'll get to that) and fries.

Now about that mild sauce. Harold's "mild sauce" is the stuff of legends. Nobody actually knows what's in this concoction. Some think it 's hot sauce and ketchup mixed together but NOPE I think that's not enough. At Harold's they pour this stuff all over your chicken and fries. It's something I crave back here in NY to no avail. The last time I flew back from Chicago I ate some Harold's on the plane. I knew I was wrong and I probably set my people back a few years for that act alone but dammit the chicken is THAT GOOD!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Mos Def - Supermagic (Official Video)

Continuing to push forward with his "The Ecstatic" album Mos Def drops a new video for Supermagic. This is the opening track and it's full of energy. I wish I could get a video to "Life In Marvelous Times" though.


Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Headed To The 2nd HHK Championship


On December 4th 2009 (Ether Day) I joined a number of really dope karaoke performers at the Mercury Lounge. The goal was to have the most fun on stage and possibly gain entry to the 2nd HHK Championship. The performances ranged from top tier to cringe inducing. However we all went to have fun and that was indeed had by all. The judges ranged from underground MC Pack FM to Label CEO and Manager extraordinaire Dru Ha. To offset those two was a vet in the show promotions arena (lets call him Mr. Schwartz).

What I loved about last Friday was that as a crowd we were so into being supportive that the judges named a group of us the FUN BUNCH! There was a time when a guy did Nas' The World Is Yours and forgot when to start. I stared the first two bars for him and then he was off and running.

Here's a few videos from the big winners on Friday. Come out and support everyone on January 29th at Irving Plaza as we go big for the 2nd annual Win The G contest!

The Kid


Robert Downey JR


Doni D


K-Dot

Monday, December 07, 2009

Dock Ellis & The LSD No No Headed To Sundance!!


I'm damn near shaking as I type this entry. My brother James Blagden has reached a new height as his short film Dock Ellis & The LSD No-No has been selected to play at the Sundance Film Festival next year. I can't even front, I smell a trip coming along. I've never been to Sundance but I might think this is a big enough reason to go. The film was chosen from a group of 3,504 short films from the United States. In case you missed the previous post where we discussed this short watch it below and tell your friends to tell a friend about it. It's that good.

To read the Sundance breakdown of all the films and see Dock Ellis listed click HERE.
And to the Lovable Old James... "you got a No-No going."



Friday, December 04, 2009

Happy Ether Day!!!


About 8 years ago a young man from Queens bridge decided that he would not lay down and give up. With a radio show named after an attack on his character and career airing daily, Nasir Jones finally said enough is enough. He finally took his shots at the Champion at the time Jay-Z from mixtape level to the center stage with the historic song Ether. This song would reshape the way people would view battle rap records. The phrase "ethered" was born.

So on this day we celebrate the underdog. The person who against all odds defies the critics and comes out on top, even if it's only temporary. This holiday is for you.

Celebrate Ether Day and let the world know about it.

The anthem (explicit lyrics)

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Court Says No To Columbia Land Grab


Thank goodness somebody still cares about the people of this city. Columbia University (which already has a pretty large piece of land in upper Manhattan)recently took action to gain a bigger piece of the Harlem pie. Fortunately the citizens of Harlem did not take this news lying down. The court ruled that Columbia could not claim eminent domain to gain more land.

If only we could get that type of ruling in Brooklyn regarding the Atlantic Yards. Maybe then Brooklyn could have a reason to be in the season. For now my people in Harlem would should enjoy this victory they've had it hard these past few years getting pushed out by gentrification and a housing bubble. At least some of yall get to stay.

Hands off Harlem!

The Full Story

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Not Like This Tiger, Not Like This...



*smh*

I've done my best to not follow this damn story but it seems to follow me wherever I go. So dude is married and has apparently been caught cheating on his wife. I have no sympathy for the guy because to me, if you take the vow of marriage you stand on that vow. Perhaps if you are worth as much money as he is one woman just isn't enough for you. Hell who am I kidding, if you go from making 25 to 30 grand one might not be enough. However if that is the case... don't get married! OR if you must get married for appearances sake or enforcements don't get caught slipping so hard! This guy is clearly so far from a pimp or a player it's ridiculous. And to these women putting their business out there, eh you sleep with dogs you get fleas.

So now dude is dropping out of his own tournament, getting tossed around like a rag doll in the media PLUS he currently has no woman to lay up with and get his head straight. To quote one of my favorite skits ever from a rap album, Tiger "needs some help, he needs to go to the Mosque or something."

Oh and to you news outlets who can't get enough of this fool and his antics, we are diving deeper into a war with no real goal post, people are still out of work and young people are not graduating from high school. Lets get focused please.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Yall Must've Forgot! Race Still Matters At Work


In reading this piece written in the New York Times regarding racial gaps and the effect of a college degree, I was reminded of something that has haunted me since I graduated college. What if I didn't know the people I know? Would I have been afforded the same employment opportunities as some of my peers with less connections? Would my skin color play a larger roll in the employment process if I didn't have white co-signers? How much weight does my degree really hold?

I guess I still don't have an answer yet, but this article does provide me with some food for thought.
Enjoy.

The Full Story

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Japanese Man Marries Video Game Girlfriend

*smh* Some people (read Shino) will probably be mad that I'm reporting this but hey it's real. This Japanese guy has taken his obsession (my opinion) with a Nintendo DS video game character to the point of marrying it. I'm sure this man would not be pleased with me calling his new wife an "it". You just have to see the video to believe it.

Battle of the Aint No Sunshine's

I was discussing Buddy Guy with a co-worker and she brought up that he did a version of Aint No Sunshine. I've always loved this song and was kinda blown away when I heard the version done by the late great (still can't believe I'm saying this) Michael Jackson. In case you haven't been exposed to the greatness that is this song lets go through it.

Bill Withers


Michael Joseph Jackson


Buddy Guy & Tracy Chapman


Tom Jones

Monday, November 23, 2009

Move Your Bag Keep Your Life!


I've been bothered many times by folks who choose to have a bag placed in a seat on the train. Now I'm not bothered by just the bag on the seat instead it's the general apathy towards moving it for a human to sit. COME ON PEOPLE! If your bag is so precious that it cannot sit on the floor, place it in your lap. It's quite simple to me. However it seems not everyone feels this way and on this past Saturday aboard a D-Train in Manhattan this mindset caused a fatality.

Two NYC MTA riders are on the D-Train in they city. One has a seat with a bag on the seat next to him. A man who is standing would like to sit in the aforementioned seat but is denied much like driving to hole on Shaq. The problem is the sitting man was not 7'1 nor 300+ lbs. He also didn't plan on the man he was denying having a temper and a knife. The standing man apparently an exterminator stabs the man siting in the neck and kills him.


Should this man have stabbed another man because he was denied a seat for a bag, probably not. Do I understand his frustration? ABSOLUTELY! The arrogance displayed on the MTA on a daily basis can be quite ridiculous. Now I don't see this shooter being seen as some sort of Bernhard Goetz, the city isn't in the same space currently. However I do feel some folks might not have so much sympathy for the "victim" in this case.

Lesson to be learned: MOVE YOUR BAG!

Read the full story HERE.

Friday, November 20, 2009

New President of Europe, Behold A Pale..


This is the type of stuff I read about in those New World Order books back in high school. Europe no longer being a "continent" but a unified front. The whole world following suit soon after is how the books has it all playing out. I haven't felt like this since I first saw smart card commercials back in the late 90s. Belgian Prime Minister Herman Van Rompuy has now been elected by the European Union officials as the first European President.

Read the full story
here.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Smart.fm My New Addiction


An old friend of mine told me months ago about a new job she was taking at a website called Smart.fm. Immediately it sparked my interest because I'm currently a member of Last.fm (the music streaming community site). She told me that Smart.fm was a website where you could learn almost anything you want for free.

For some reason I took my sweet time getting really into the site but once I did I was hooked. I've been teaching myself Japanese off and on for years now. However lately I've gotten a little more serious and started studying how to read the language. I now use Smart.fm on a daily basis to help with my reading comprehension. The really dope thing is that they monitor how much you study for the day so you don't over do it and cram. I highly recommend this site and they even have a (free) app for the iPhone.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My Name In Lights Even When I Didn't Win

Photo by Shino Yanagawa

I forgot that while preparing for the first Hip Hop Karaoke Championship in 2008 I got called for a phone interview. In the mayhem that followed the sound check that fateful day at the Highline Ballroom I must have blocked out this interview. Needless to say it has been unearthed and I've made it available for your reading pleasure. It's in PDF form so you can see how it was intended in print for rather than a simple copy and paste. I think the article is pretty well done and with the new championship coming up it's kinda ironic.

Congrats to the contestants who have been picked thus far to compete for the coveted $1000 and bragging rights. Come check me out Dec. 4th (Ether Day) rocking the Mercury Lounge for the second regional HHK competition.

ENJOY

Song of the day: Carly Simon - You Belong To Me

I discovered this song while working retail in a past life. This song would play daily for a month on my store's monthly CD. I never knew who sang the song nor did I know who Carly Simon was at the time. I would learn years later that she's the God Mother of a good friend of mine John Forte.

Enjoy people.



New Version w/ Forte'


Monday, November 16, 2009

Shaniya Davis, 5 Years Old, Not Like This...


This story has made me sick to my stomach. This poor little girl could not have possibly done anything in this lifetime to deserve such treatment and neglect. A mother of age 25 prostitutes her 5 year old daughter? Files a false report that the child was missing when she apparently gave the child to some man to have his way with. To read the full story of the charges click here. As I type this ABC is reporting that the body of this little girl has been found dead.

If we can't protect the babies who can we protect. My heart goes out to the father of Shaniya who admittedly made a mistake by allowing his lovely daughter to be alone with her mother. It's a shame when a child being with their mother is a mistake and even worse in this case fatal.

She deserved better.

Old School Mondays

We didn't forget about yall. Lets walk through old hip hop for a sec.




To the cops of Suffolk county...


Classic Finesse (oh it's like that now!?)


DJ Premier laced Joe on this one. Peep the Sheepskins!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Dock Ellis & The LSD NO NO by James Blagden

This video is crazy funny. To be the first one my brother James has ever worked on it's dy-no-mite! I've never heard of this pitcher Dock Ellis before, but I love him now. This video is the story of what can happen when a sports star just doesn't give a damn. James Blagden is a talented illustrator hailing from Denver residing in Brooklyn. Visit his work at www.jamesblagden.com

Enjoy people.

Charles Barkley Goes In On Sammy Sosa


I don't know if you've been following sports news but Sammy Sosa has decided to take it light (literally). I'm not gonna weigh in on this because, it's whatever at this point. Dominican man goes and lightens up his skin. Eh what else needs to be said? I'll tell you what else, whatever Charles Barkley has to say.


Hip Hop Karaoke Championship 1st Round

Tonight at Brooklyn's South Paw it's going down. My man Josh Diggs fresh from the altar along with J New and DJ Wex are giving us another HHK Championship. This time there will be qualifying rounds leading up to the big night. Tonight is going to be a lot of fun and if you've never experienced HHK I weep for you.

The sign up starts at 9pm and show starts at 10.
It's 5 bucks with the flyer and 8 without.

See you there and if you need convincing...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Goodie Mob Reunion Show @ BB Kings Tomorrow

One of the greatest groups in hip hop hailing from the south have reunited. Tomorrow on stage together all four original members of the Goodie Mob will perform. It's been years since Big Gipp, Khujo Goodie, T-Mo and Cee-Lo have rocked together. They first got together back in ATL and that day the Atlanta flood rains started. The Goodie have two banging albums under their belt (one classic).

If you are able to I say get a ticket and witness history. If you are unfamiliar peep game and learn yourself on Hip Hop royalty.

1st single, classic.


The title track from their classic debut album.


Another Goodie Mob jam!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Freestyle for the iPhone

When I first heard about this new iPhone app I thought "of course... there's an app for that". Apparently with this app you can write and record songs to original beats. The app has a notepad, a microphone and 10 tracks for the user to record to. Freestyle is also endorsed by my boys Tanya Morgan (Brooklynati in stores now!). For a limited time it's available for free on the iTunes store.

Check this video of the boys Von, Don and Illyas using the Freestyle app.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Empire State Of Mind Draws A Line?


I remember hearing about a new Jay Z song on the Blueprint 3 that was supposed to be crazy. Now I had already listened to 3 weak songs from the album so I wasn't really in the mood. A friend of mine at work said he really liked the album and suggested that I listen to ESOM. So I went on You Tube and listened. The song had a nice beat and seemed to be an anthem. However it didn't move me much even though I acknowledged that it wasn't a bad song. Once Jay performed this song on MTV's VMAs I thought it would be big but not as huge as it is now. I mean the man opened the Yankees 1st home game in the World Series to this song. However on the flip side of the success of this song there is a conversation being had regarding what view of New York does it represent.

No one can deny that Jay Z is a man who pulled himself up from the gutters of Brooklyn NY. The thing is he did that a long time ago. Remember when Jay released his debut album in 96 he was riding around in a Lexus and reading the magazines about living the high life. Jay's mind has always been in that space but as he moved through his career there was always a sense that he was making a way for us to do better along with him. Some might say the overall air of this Empire State Of Mind song gives the impression of a man who is now above it all and rubbing elbows with the city's elite, alone.

I will now post an entry from one cat from Okayplayer who says it all better than I could. I give you OKP L.E.S. Now mind you L.E.S. wants us to know that he's not rallying against Jay-Z, but only describing why he's turned off by the whole thing.

"this is the anthem for the New 'White Washed' New York"

Michael Bloomberg just bought himself a re-election, and changed the law. while I'm very happy the Yankees won, the average person in New York cannot afford to go to a game in the new Stadium, which is basically a giant shopping mall that happens to have a ball field. Big and small business are closing down left and right, even in wealthy neighborhoods like the Upper East Side. Small businesses in working-class neighborhoods are in serious trouble if they haven't already closed down.

So hearing this sentimental, commercial, New York Jay-Z anthem rubs me the wrong way. As a matter of fact (i've always been a big Jay fan) it's the first time i almost feel resentment toward him. He has now gone to the 'other side.' I was never turned off by Jay braggin' about getting money, women, jewels etc. but this song is more of a statement, in my opinion, that he really is an elitist. When i saw Michael Bloomberg introduce Jay at City Hall I thought to myself, these are the people in the top bracket of income in this city and country. they have more in common with each other than they do with me. I can't relate to either of these people and they have all this power politically and culturally. So while i did not cast my vote for Mike Bloomberg, I will also not cast my vote for Jay-Z.

It's a wrap, times up, Jay's term is up, this is the first Jay album I didn't buy or even listen to. Jay is talented and i love his body of work over all. but we need
new voices in New York. Jay-Z is no longer the voice of any people but himself and the elite in this city.


Now I ask you all, do you agree or disagree. State ya biz (c) Young Vito voice of the young people.

Back In The Days w/ DJ Shark



Another night in Deity where folks were getting down to the sounds of my man DJ Shark. I was pretty battered from a sparring session earlier in the evening however I still made it over to the party. You see this was a makeshift birthday party for Shark San and his lovely wife Kazumi was leaving to go back to Japan in a few days so it a special occasion. The turnout was really good. I ran into my homegirl Cynthia in the place to be with a friend in town from the Bay Area. The music was tight as Shark moved smoothly through the mid 90s with uptempo grooves like Janet Jackson's "Alright" and Wrecks N Effect's "New Jack Swing". A lot of my Japanese friends were in the house.

It was good to see people like Toru and Harue having such a good time. I even ran into my friend Hiroko who I haven't seen in months. She seemed to be in good spirits and fit right into the fold of the evening. There was this one Japanese cat dressed in a Cross Colors jacket (you heard me right) and a flat top dancing mega hard. On the flip side was this older Black dude who kept dancing very weird with every woman in the place trying to corner them off for who knows what. You could see many women running from him throughout the night.

All and all it was a good time at Deity. It could always be better though, especially once they get better speakers with more bottom in the basement.

Check these photos provided by Ivan Lam.













Monday, November 09, 2009

Old School Mondays

Let's take it to the land of soulful funk today yall! I want to make your face scrunch up after these videos.

Respect the God Father


DJ Spinna put me up on the jam right here.


One of my favorite EWF jams.


When this man sings something stirs in my heart and I get a lump in my throat.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Oh boy, Hollywood to remake Old Boy


First of all if you haven't seen Oldboy yet do it now. Seriously, you can read this later after you've watched the film. It's a great movie. It's the second installment in Park Chan-Wook's revenge trilogy including the movies Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance & Lady Vengeance. Oldboy is by far one of the most twisted films I've ever seen period. It is a Korean film and completely pulls you into the story. This movie blew my mind when I first saw it years ago and now it pains me to learn it's being remade. Yes once again Hollywood has found another great foreign film and decided well lets do it in English instead of releasing it in America. Oldboy is an incredibly dark film and guess who's supposed to be it's new star... Will "Hell Naw" Smith. Now don't get me wrong I like the man, he's a good actor but lets just say there are somethings the will need to be taken out of the film in order for him to keep his stature in Hollywood.

Take a look at the trailer, and if you're on Netflix you can stream the movie.
Treat yourselves people before Will Smith and Steven Spielberg release their take on it.



Tuesday, November 03, 2009

What happened to Chivalry?


When I ride the train every once in a while a seat becomes available. I generally look for a woman in need or a child before I sit. However I've been noticing lately that the tried and true practice of giving up ones seat for a pregnant woman 1. doesn't happen as often as it should and 2. only involves a man and woman. Do women have no sense of respect for their sisters? I've seen a woman look right up at a visibly pregnant woman and keep on siting. Not even checking to see if said pregnant woman would like a seat. This leads me to my next question. Why are we as men giving up seats to women when they won't even do it for themselves? WTF MATE?

Has it always been that some women just expect respect and courtesy but not to give said courtesy? I will continue in my crusade to give up a seat to the common lady (especially if she's cute) but it's not easy. It's not easy seeing these women sit and ignore a pregnant woman on her feet. Is it the idea that she has to deal with HER pregnancy on her own? I don't get it, but maybe you do.

I need some feedback people.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Run This Town (Parody)

Thanks to Sandy for putting me up on game for this joint. This cat is really funny and this parody is well done. He keeps this up and he might get a show.



Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Colecovision...my old friend


When I was a young lad growing up in the 80's like most American kids I was stuck on video games. The first video game system I ever owned was the Colecovision. This system was a powerhouse of gaming back then. Back in a world where Atari ruled with an iron fist providing games that looked nothing like their arcade counterparts Coleco stepped the game up. The system came with two joysticks which operated more loosely like an arcade stick than Atari's (before the 7800) and the games had better graphics. The game that came with the system initially was the arcade classic Donkey Kong (produced by Nintendo). This version unlike Atari's looked pretty much just like the arcade version.

I didn't realize how great this system was at the time, at least until I got Turbo. Turbo was a cool driving game in the arcade, and it came with an actual steering wheel and gas pedal for the Colecovision. It doesn't get much better than that my friends. This is before any light zapper or a power pad was created by Nintendo. Other Colecovision classics I owned were Smurf, Ladybug (MAN I LOVED THAT GAME) and Time Pilot.

Unfortunately the Colecovision came out right before the Video Game Crash of 1983 and it suffered the wrath of low popularity. When Nintendo came in 1985 and gave life to video games again the Colecovision was officially dead and gone.

I'm paying tribute to an old friend who held me down before I knew what a Mario brother was. This weekend I'm going to my mothers to pull out the Colecovision. I think I need to get a game of Ladybug going.




Monday, October 26, 2009

Netflix Comes To The PS3!!!!


You read right. The PS3 will now stream Netflix content (Movies & TV Shows) like it's Microsoft competition the XBox 360. I'm so glad I made the Blu-ray choice over the red rings of death. I can now rock my Street Fighter IV (PSN: ThirteenRose) and when I'm tired watch old Kate and Allie episodes from my childhood. Currently you will need to order a free disc from Netflix to load in your PS3 to allow this new function but hell that's fine with me. This my friends is the definition of a win / win situation. I am only 1 month in with Netflix and I'm VERY pleased with my investment.

Straight From The Horses Mouth

Old School Mondays

As a fan of Old School R&B I thought we could take a trip down memory lane to some bangers from the 80s.

This is one of my favorite Whitney songs (pre Crack is Wack era)


The King Of Stage ladies and gentlemen


Soul II Soul ruled the summer of 89.


This song and video brings a smile to my face. Look at the choreography.

Friday, October 23, 2009

BlackRoc

Word on the street is Dame Dash (HOLLA) has gotten together with the band the Black Keys to construct a project called BlackRoc. This is not the first time rap and rock has crossed paths, nor will it be the last. Looking at who's involved (Mos Def, Rza...) it could actually be a good situation. Take a look at these webisodes and judge for yourself.











Thursday, October 22, 2009

MP3 Players AKA The Battery Man Killer




Once upon a time in a land called New York people used portable CD players. Before those CD players came into play a little thing called a Walkman was the tool of choice for your resident music lover. During my days of walking the streets in the 90s I would run through many a Duracell rewinding those college radio show jams plus using the great invention of auto-reverse. I remember discovering that there was a man on Utica Ave. selling 2 AA Duracell batteries for 1 dollar. In a local store they were going for at least $2.25. This was a blessing for a teenager without much money in his pockets.

Fast forward to today as I'm riding the B train into the city for the days work to begin. I see a man walk through the car holding several loose packages of double A Duracell batteries. I couldn't believe my eyes. I mean I haven't seen a cat selling $1 batteries outside since MP3 players came into play. The rechargeable battery player rendered their services mute honestly. Others look at this man with looks of bewilderment looking to figure out what he was actually doing in this day and age trying to sell this particular product. It was all explained when he began to announce to my train car that we were on a Uptown bound B train headed to 145. He further explained what our next stop would be and that there was a D train directly behind this B. How he knew about a closely following D is beyond me but I digress.

I support that man in his endeavors to make an honest living, however I didn't purchase any batteries, I just don't need them now. Instead I skipped to a Black Spade song on my iPhone that I charged last night...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

CHIN CHIN Live for CMJ @ Von Kellar



The super dope band Chin Chin is gonna be performing at one of my favorite spots in the city Von Kellar (the basement of Von's). It you are in the streets on Friday you MIGHT wanna make it over to this event. There will be a set by DJ Such and Such (Jaleel from TV on the Radio) and some giveaways apparently. Do yourself a favor and see these guys live. I have their album and play it regularly but it's not the same as their live act. The show starts at 7pm the spot is Von's which is located @ 3 Bleeker St.

If you are unfamiliar peep this little taste of the Chin Chin experience.




That's Where I'll Be


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Fall Weather Music

AKA East Coast Stomp weather. This is the time when I throw some good old 90's east coast stomp music in the iPhone (IhaveaniPhonevertisement). The air is crisp, the leaves are a golden brown and the wind is picking up. You need to soldier through this change but it's not cold enough to throw on a mean mug. Thus you want to listen to some lighthearted head nod walk tall music.

Enjoy these selections from my high school years.

Leaders Of The new School - The International Zone Coaster


Fu-Shnickens - La Schmoove


Lords of the Underground - Chief Rocka


A Tribe Called Quest - Check The Rhime


Naughty By Nature - Uptown's Anthem

Monday, October 19, 2009

Gone But Not Forgotten (1st in a series)


There was a time in NYC where if you walked down the dark streets of the Lower East Side on a Friday or Saturday night you had to be on your toes. You could walk for a little bit and not see an open store and thus no real light. During the 90s this was a recipe to become the next victim of the night. However it was during this time that I ran the streets from Ave. A down to Chinatown. I would close down an old staple restaurant in the LES called Mekka (RIP) and then walk down to a little hole in the wall spot at the end of Orchard St. called Good World. This was a place for the true lover of Hip Hop and Soul music overall. My boys Shan Boogie and Torbitt (drummer for Chin Chin) would get together every Friday night and tear this spot down!

I've had so many good nights there man. The way I would go is just walk down Orchard past Max Fish, crossing Delancy St. walking by small chinese internet "cafe's" until you see the USPS mail trucks and hear some music. That's how you know your in the right place. There was this ill muscle marine forces black dude on the door checking IDs. Once I got inside I would walk pass the bar and say what's up to my man Marcus (member of Antibalas now) and hit the back where Shan and Torbit were rocking. Once my bag was down the dancing didn't stop until Marcus would let out this famous yell "If you are not working here or f*%king someone working here time to go!".

Man I would go to Good World every Friday to hear joints like Aretha Franklin's Rocksteady, Poor Righteous Teachers' Easy Star and Michael Jackson's Baby Be Mine. In fact I would have to ask Torbit sometimes if I missed Baby Be Mine if I got there later than normal. I remember one time this cat tried to buy me a drink because I was going so hard to the Doobie Brothers' song Long Train Running. He was just happy to see me loving that song so much.

Well years have passed and the LES is no longer the same. The weekends are packed with limos and filled with folks from New Jersey with gel in their hair and their bottle service business. Orchard St. is now filled with little boutiques and crepe spots. I was in Chinatown about a month ago for dinner at a cool Italian restaurant. I noticed when I got there the old mail trucks were still on the scene and thought I'd go around the corner and visit an old friend. I saw a demolished building undergoing construction and felt a lump in my throat. The sounds of racing rats ran me away as if to say "get out of here New York Native, this aint for you any more!". Another piece of NY is gone.

The picture you see above is all that's left.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The San Francisco Treat Pt. 2


Photo's by Shino Yanagawa

There's a little stretch of land in San Fran called Castro. In my opinion this is the big brother of Chelsea. It's kind of like Chelsea times 10. As Shino and I walked over to this colorful neighborhood from Mission we noticed a number of rainbow flags in many restaurants and other well designed establishments. Once we hit the main strip of Castro we noticed we were the only man and woman couple to be seen for blocks. If you are the kind of person to get offended by walking down 8th Ave in the 20s, don't even think about setting foot in Castro. The innuendo is ALL OVER the place. I loved it. I found a really dope comic book store in the area and a Levis store unlike any other. Shino and I wound up having a conversation with a fellow breeder about the area and where to hit next on our walking tour. After looking at the Castro theater (which is super dope with the films they show) we took off towards Twin Peaks.

Twin Peaks is the main hill you will see while traveling through the city of San Fran which is home to a large fork shaped antenna. What's so great about Twin Peaks is the fact that people actually live on the hill in a number of beautiful homes. The streets can get pretty steep so at night it can get rather cold and depending on the season foggy. The views however are gorgeous. You can see the whole city from their and it's very picturesque. I highly recommend it.


Check in for Pt. 3 (The Conclusion) coming soon.










Thursday, October 15, 2009

Force MD's Take Us Back

This is one of my favorite groups of all time right here. This was a group of young men from Staten Island who were at the forefront of the hip hop doo wop scene. This was at a time when rappers employed a LOT of melody into their music and performance. I remember when Krush Groove came out and Tender Love dropped. It was officially a wrap and the Force MD's had to get their props. The group is from the early era of hip hop when cats like Kool Moe Dee and Kurtis Blow were running the scene. Take a listen as they give an education on their start in the game.

R.I.P to the fallen members Mercury, TC and the DJ Doctor Rock.



This is my favorite Force MDs song. FORGIVE ME GIRL!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

RIP Captain Lou Albano

As a kid of the 80s I spent plenty of time watching WWF on television. I was in love with wrestling. To me this was the golden age of wrestling. Today I'm paying tribute to one of the best managers ever Capt. Lou Albano. He will always stick in my mind with those rubber bands of his. The Captain leaves us at age 76. You might remember him from Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" video. He also played Mario on the Super Mario Bros Super Show.

Here's a little review of the man. He was a part of my childhood, and now I feel a little sad.
Respect.


Do The Mario!


Doing the damn thing as a great manager.


Girls Just Want To Have Fun

Cyndi Lauper - Girls Just Want To Have Fun (Official Music Video) - For more amazing video clips, click here

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Bobbito Garcia Profile on CNN

My man Kool Bob Love B.K.A Bobbito Garcia getting love on CNN. This is what I'm talking about people. The power of real deal New Yorkers speaking about the unity of Black, Brown and Yellow. Salute!

Jay - Z - Empire State of Mind (Brock Mills Stills)

Check out this video from a talented young brother straight out of Brownsville, Brooklyn. Watching this video made me appreciate the song way more than just hearing it or even seeing the performance on MTV's VMAs earlier this year. Be on the lookout for Brock Mills Stills you might want him to do some work for you. He's ill!
http://www.brockmills.com



Empire State Of Mind from Brock Mills on Vimeo.

The Demise of the Chirp


Nothing has made me smile harder than realizing that the era of the "chirp" is over. I was talking with a friend at work today and she brought up how she hated speakerphone people. This reminded me that I had an old co-worker who would 90% of the time answer her cellphone on speakerphone. You would have to ask her to take you off speaker to have a normal conversation. What a waste.

Those thoughts made me think of the infamous "chirp". For those of you not in the know the chirp is the sound emitted by a phone when it's on the setting of a walkie talkie. The first phone company I came across to use such technology was Nextel. Nextel allowed people to not use their regular phone minutes and instead contact their friends/family directly. This mode of conversation became known as "chirping". So now as a way to save money people would chirp their friends making a damned walkie talkie sound whenever they wanted to talk or receive a communication from someone else. HOW ANNOYING! Yet, it caught on like wild fire and we were forced to endure another company with similar technology, Boost Mobile. During this time people would be on the bus and the train chirping away. I've seen people wait for that fateful moment the train leaves the tunnel and gets some reception to get busy chirping.

Jerkstore #1 :"CHIRP CHIRP Hey I just got out the tunnel. Where you at? CHIRP"
Jerkstore #2:"CHIRP Oh word. I got a bottle of Bacardi here. CHIRP"
Jerkstore #1 :"CHIRP CHIRP Yo! Don't drink all the Bacardi yo! I'm almost there. Two stops left! CHIRP"
Jerkstore#2 :"CHIRP Aight! CHIRP"
Jerkstore#1 :"CHIRP CHIRP One CHIRP"

Now did I really need to hear that conversation. More importantly did the whole train car need to hear that conversation? My answer is a resounding NO but that's my opinion, yours may differ. You probably got annoyed just reading that exchange imagine hearing it. I've heard all types of conversations that I really REALLY didn't need nor want to hear. Where is the common courtesy for your fellow man? Will someone please think of the children!?!

These days I remove my terrible iPod earbuds from my ears and hear no signs of chirping. The fad has gone to rest along with other fads like Crystal Pepsi and Keffiyeh scarfs. May it rest and leave our ears in peace.