Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Super Michael Jackson Bros.

Normally I wouldn't post something like this because of the high regards in which I hold MJ. However... this is a pretty cool video. Props to whoever came up with this idea and execution. This is just one of the many tributes to come to celebrate the Baddest man ever on the planet.

Monday, July 27, 2009

President Obama missing his pumas.

Back in the 80's if a cat was walking down the street with a fresh pair of suede Pumas he would get tested by some street toughs. These thugs would check to see if he had heart and if he didn't he would walk home in his socks only. The conversation would normally start off with something like "oohhh those are nice, what size are those?" The rest is a street tragedy.

Fast forward to 2009. The ongoing drama of one mans arrest in his own home has the nation talking about race, police policy and what's presidential territory and what's not. Let me get this out of the way, I don't think Obama really needed to discuss the case in Boston. There are plenty of cases of police misconduct going on in the nation both during and before his presidency in which people of color (specifically Blackmen) have been the victims. You can look to the case of the Blackman executed by the police in Oakland earlier this year in which the President was silent or the murder of Sean Bell before his election. Both of these incidents involved Blackmen receiving the short end of the stick with white officers doing the shoving. The President looked past these incidents and instead speaks out when asked about his Black friend who is arrested in his home by a white officer.
I understand being emotionally involved when a public matter hits close to home. In this case the matter caused President Obama to show a bit of his own personal character when he denounced the arrest of Prof. Gates. People oppressed by police behavior cheered when the President showed his displeasure of the way the situation was handled. He made mention of the disparity between how Blacks and Latinos are treated by law enforcement as opposed to others. He also made sure to note that such a disparity might have no direct effect on this case yet because it is so apparent in our culture it still looms. As I watch the video of his comments he really only answered the question asked. The reporter brought up race in the initial question and Obama answered accordingly.

Not even 48 hours after the President made such a bold statement he was changing his tune and reaching out to the arresting officer who as I blogged about before will not apologize for his actions. To me this is the act of a President who can't stand on his principles. As the President of the United States if you state an opinion you are entitled to that opinion. Hell as a human being you are entitled to that opinion. It is NOT a good look for the President to call a member of law enforcement to appease his feelings. What are you going to do when you have to negotiate with foreign leaders over matters of life and death? Sure he didn't officially apologize but he did everything short of it. Inviting the man over for a beer along with Gates to smooth it over? Gates was arrested on his own property! There was no crime committed and that's why the charges were dropped!

I'm sorry but if Obama was walking down Franklin Ave. in 1988 with fresh suede Pumas on he would walk home in socks. Why? Because his heart is missing. I hope that he finds it and chooses at some point to stand his ground. You leave your church of 10 years because of media fire and you back off of your words as soon as you are called to task on it. For such character he should have to wear a pair of Kangaroos for a year.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Jay-Z - Run This Town feat. Rhianna and Kanye

Hmm I'll say this much, I don't like the flow on this song. The lyrics are a bit forgettable on Jay's part. This is his second attempt to garner interest in his latest project Blueprint 3. I can't say I'm looking forward to this album. I mean, Kanye is the best thing about this track. It's ultimately just a forgettable song which is supposed to be a single. Not exactly how you want to launch a new label (Roc Nation).

You be the judge.
Run This Town

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Harvard Prof. Arresting Officer Refuses to Apologize

By now I'm sure (or I hope) you have heard about the Harvard Prof. who was arrested in his home under the idea that there a break in occurred. The Prof. Henry Louis Gates Jr. was locked out of his home and had to force his way inside. An onlooking neighbor saw Gates struggling to enter his home and mistook him for a burglar. We should all hope our neighbors would look out for us in the same way. Protect my assets PLEASE!

The trouble comes when the police arrived at the Professor's Boston residence. The arresting officer claims the Prof. refused initially to show identification when requested. He also states according to CNN that Gates exclaimed the ordeal was taking place because he was "A Blackman in America!". Gates would later be arrested and taken from his home under the charge of "loud and tumultuous behavior in a public space."

So now after all of the hoopla the charges by the police have been dropped, even President Obama weighed in on the situation. The officer who arrested Gates says he refuses to apologize for his actions. Am I surprised? No. The officer thinks he did the right arresting a man in his own home when no one has been harmed. *smh*

Stay classy Boston.

Read CNN for the full story on the refusal HERE

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Clipse -I'm Good (feat. Skateboard P)

This is my theme song right now. I can't wait for the new Clipse album to drop. I had Hell Hath No Fury on last night during my leg work out. This song right here tho...FLAMES!

Video coming soon.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Read the fine print

I was having a conversation with my cousin Supreme last night regarding food. He told me he learned that there are certain brands of Doritos which contain pork ingredients. I then chimed in with my recent discovery that Martin's potato bread (my favorite burger buns) is also made with pork (mono and diglycerides). We were both saddened.

I bring this up because today Supreme hit me up with the Frito Lay website. I must say they do a lot to inform their consumer on which products are better for their individual diet. Frito Lay offers a number of products from Sun Chips to Doritos to the Friday famous "Chili Fritos!". I appreciate them putting their consumer diets first and being forthcoming with their ingredients.

Pay attention people.

Frito Lay

Friday, July 17, 2009

Q-Tip at Summerstage Tomorrow

You Going? You might want to. I've seen Tip about three times since he dropped his Rennasance album last year. The album is pretty dope and Tip laid down a cool musical backdrop for this piece. He also travels with a dope band and the set list is official with plenty of bangers from the A Tribe Called Quest archives. Summerstage overall has declined in quality performances for me over the past few years. This may be a reflection on the state of music today or the taste of their program manager. I don't know but what I do know is the whole damn world is gonna be there. DEEP! So you want to get to Central Park early if you are going to go. Little Dragon is going to be performing as well and they have a hefty following.

For more info here's the Summerstage Site

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Game vs. Jay Z (The die has been cast)

I never thought the bol Game (who I think is weak sauce) would directly address Jay. Well I was wrong. This dude Game really trying to go in on Jay on this record. The backlash from Jay's DOA record has been a bit much. This is crazy. What will Jay do on this?

This song really brings to the forefront this age issue in hip hop. Dudes really REALLY got a problem with cats getting up in age rapping. To me I don't care as long as the music is good. I say diss a cat on his weak output rather than his years on the planet. Any body can get it in hip hop but have some respect for your elders. *smh*

What do yall think.

Game - I'm So Wavy

NAACP Chicken Deal at Dallas BBQ

My co-worker Howard put me on to this..."situation". The chain Dallas BBQ has been the scene for many birthday affairs in the past with my old crew. The food is ok and the environment is conducive to loud conversations and carrying on. If you want to joke loud and tell old stories about crazy antics this is the place to do it.

HOWEVER. I don't dine there often, actually outside of one time this year it's been at least 4 years since I stepped foot in one. Now I learn that the location in Times Sq. is offering a 100th Anniversary NAACP deal which includes two 1/2 chickens two servings of soup and two servings of potatoes or rice. It looks like a date deal to me. ALSO in order to get this deal you have to show your NAACP card! So this is kind of like a recruitment initiative. Very interesting.

Your thoughts? Power to the people?

Buckshot & KRS One - Robot

I can't even front, this is a dope record/video. The boys did their thing with this. See what happens when you let Ruck run the label (ha).

Peep Game

Monday, July 13, 2009

It's A Family Affair

This past weekend my Grandmother (on my mother's side) came up from North Carolina to spend time with the family. So the NY part of the family got together out in Long Island at my aunt's house in Central Islip for a good ole BBQ. I got to see some family I haven't seen in AGES! Hell my uncle Vinton was the reason I got heavy into computers. When he and my aunt got together I loved going over to their house in Queens and playing Olympic Games on the Commodore 64.

Now here we are in 2009 and my Grandmother is a Great-Grandmother. I was her first Grandchild so we always had a special bond. It's ill what you can learn from being around the elders of your family. Nana (as we call her) got to talking about delivering her baby without much help from the doctors (she had 8 kids). We had Turkey burgers and regular burgers on the grill. Plus there were some ribs (not for me) and corn on the cobb all cooked on Propane (God's gas according to Hank Hill).

Just sitting back and watching my nephew play in the pool along with his sister took me back to my childhood. Watching my mother, Grandmother and Uncle sing along to the Main Ingredient almost brought a tear to my eye. There were four generations of my family together under the sun, now THAT is a miracle and miracles are the way things ought to be! (c) Cyrus of the Gramercy Riffs.

Here's a couple of pics taken by myself and Shino on the point and shoot.

Sometimes Words Mess It Up.

I'm really in a 90s zone right now. This Saturday at Element (in the L.E.S.) DJ Spinna, DJ Scratch and DJ J.Rocc are putting on another one of my favorite parties. The Keistar Flavors party 90's edittion. I have one particular song at the moment that I have to hear. 

No you don't understand I have to hear this song. Right now I'm gonna play you a version of this song that's all scats. This is an example of when you don't need coherent words. Sometimes a rhythm and a great beat is all you need to go hard. I hope to see you at the spot on Saturday so we can boogie together. In the meantime where ever you are reading this just do a little boggie to yourself to this crazy record. 


Friday, July 10, 2009

The BBQ to end all BBQs

The date was July 4th and the place to be was Brooklyn, NY. I woke up to see the sun shining bright and the sky as clear as the skin on a 1 year old. Today was the day that as a nation we celebrate the rockets red glare and the bombs bursting in air. Somewhere in planet Brooklyn Dj Spinna was preparing for his 9th annual Rebel Music Cookout BBQ.

This is a BBQ that's so crazy there's security at the front gate. We are not talking about a party in the Hamptons here, we were in Clinton Hill Brooklyn people. I arrived with my invited guests and our contributions to the event (water, chips, beer etc.). We had to wait a little bit for the music to get set up but once we heard that first song it was on like popcorn.

With DJ Spinna and Kim Lightfoot on the 1's and 2's we did it up real nice going through sets of soul, disco, house, raggae and hip hop. The man of the moment was of course the no longer living legend Michael Joe Jackson. We danced the day and night away to some great tunes in between throwing down some bbq chicken, rice and peas, mac and cheese you know the basics. I ate well and danced even more. This was the destination for all the beautiful people from the babies to the grown ups. There was plenty of water and food for everyone.

After the Spinna BBQ my boy Danny put me up on a rooftop party downtown BK that he was spinning at. It seemed to become the unofficial after party for the Spinna Event. The music was eh but the view was beautiful. Nice way to end the night especially when you are on your bike.

Thanks to Keita and Spinna and the whole Keistar family for putting together one hell of an event. Here's a few flicks from Shino Yanagawa to see what you missed.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

How to Eat to Live When the Food is Deadly

When I was a teenager I read the book by the Honorable Elijah Muhammed called "How To Eat To Live book 1". This book truly effected my outlook on nutrition which to this day continues to expand and take on new shapes. Growing up and living in the inner cities of America the average person does not have much access to the healthiest of foods. For those of you who don't know and think "well you should just eat a lot of vegetables from the local supermaket" most of those veggies SUCK! The produces is not fresh and does not last long at all. Also the other choices are fast food and MORE fast food. This is not just an issue in the inner cities however. All over America there is a food crisis which effects our health mentally as well as physically. I truly think that when a child is fed the "wrong foods" their development is altered in a way that is not benefitial for their future.

Below is a trailor for a film which addresses how the issue of how our food is grown and maintained and how we can change it. Enjoy and discuss.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

What A Ride!

*Photos by Shino Yanagawa*

On July 3rd Shino and I embarked on a grand ride through the city. Leaving from Flatbush to get lunch at bush baby we saw that the weather was perfect for a long ride. After eating we rode through Bed Stuy and Ft. Greene where I got my bike fixed to stop the squeaking. After fixing my bike we went to the Afrikan Street Festival which seems like it's loosing it's strength. There were very few people walking around to shop there. We then rode right out of the borough of Brooklyn and over the bridge into Manhattan. After the normal yelling at pedestrians to stay on their side of the bridge everything was smooth.

We shot through the village looking at the many well dressed folks along with the clueless looking foreigners. The next area to conquer was Central Park. So we took 6th Ave up through the middle of the city racing with handsome cabs and exchanging pleasantries along the way until we hit 59th street.

At this point the greenery of the park hit me and I could not help but to smile. This was the first time I rode my bike through Central Park all year. There were a couple of people out on bikes and skates trying to be healthy while enjoying the weather. The dreaded 110th street hill almost killed us all though. One guy plain got off his bike and walked it. (shameful) Also I must make mention of the beautiful pool in the north end of the park. I might have to pay a visit to take a swim later this month.

Once done with that hill we left the park and rode down the riverside. I couldn't remember the entrance to the west side ride higher than 59th street so we just rode down the street paths. At one point we saw a Dominican older man who complimented a woman on her child, then looked at me and Shino and said "YOU'RE NEXT!". I laughed and he then told us he had "3 children and 2 grandchildren...with 3 different women" and followed that statement with "NEVER AGAIN!"

After that we finally made it to the west side ride and looked over towards Jersey on this beautiful day. The ride was great going back down to battery park where there were plenty of families out for the day. There is a really dope looking restaurant right at the end of Battery Park kind of on the water. One day I will eat there (Take advantage of this beautiful weather people. You'll never know when it might rain again.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

A Night On The Town for Forte' and Shan Boogie

Last week we did it up for my boy Shan Boogie at the local family bar Von's on Bleeker St. However before that I made a stop at SOBs to see my brother John Forte put it down. I walked into the spot with no problem (shouts to my boy Kozza). Once inside I saw Bizzare Royal on stage performing which let me know they were way behind schedule. I should have been walking in on a just starting Forte performance but there was another act to go still before he would take the stage. I was in for a treat because that next act Planet Ubiquity did the damn thing. If you get a chance I would recommend checking them out. Their style and sound is pretty dope plus they definitely had the crowd moving.

After that band rocked next up was my man John Forte'. While waiting for him to rock I ran into my brothers Blackman, El Divine and Ahsaan in the crowd. Before seeing them I was pretty much alone besides seeing my boy Jaleel from TV on the Radio. He told me that he too was heading over to celebrate Shan's birthday after the show.

Once Forte' got on he had the crowd in his hand. He did a bunch of new songs from his upcoming EP entitled "Style Free". He was at times joined on stage by his God brother Ben Taylor (who REALLY looks like his father James). Forte' isn't a "SANGER" singer but he can pull through some strong lyrics and a cool melody. I was just happy seeing an old friend free and doing what he loves after a hard lesson learned.

Following the show I rode with the boys over to pick up Shino and then on to Von's. Once inside I saw the homie Kareem and a couple of cats from work. Everyone was going downstairs to party for my boy Shan's birthday. On the lower level the vibe was extra cool. The music was blasting some vintage MJ with DJ Eli on the 1's and 2's and a gang of people on the dance floor. Lorraine and her crew were in the house plus I ran into Just, Tahleim and a gang of fam in general. I had such a good time but at 2 had to exit stage left. Work in the morning people...

Peep the photos by myself and Shino Yanagawa with my lil point shoot.

Planet Ubiquity
MG Fam all day
The Brothers Grimm feat. Black El Divine and Me
Anthony and Kos
Lorraine, Shino, Lisa & Yvette

The Birthday Boy, Just and Me