Monday, August 31, 2009

Old School Mondays

Lets spread a little love as we go into September yall. This is the month to restart and refresh. The babies are heading back to school and the parents are taking a long breath. Take some time today to love someone close to you and make your love known.

Whodini - One Love
One of the all time great groups that don't get enough love in my opinion.

LL Cool J - I Need Love (Live on Apollo)
Another legend showing and proving that he ladies always loved Cool James.

Freddie Jackson - Nice and Slow
On the low I'm kind of a big Freddie Jackson fan. I love dude's work.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Rain on MJ's Parade?

I'm a little sad. I learned this morning that there's a 70% chance of thunderstorms for this Saturday August 29th. If you've been hiding under a rock for the past two weeks on that day Spike Lee and DJ Spinna will be holding a Michael Jackson celebration in Prospect Park (too many folks for Ft. Greene). This is an outdoor event that the whole Borough is trying to hit up. I'm sure being that Spike Lee is the host there will be cameras on deck. I'm hoping we can do a thunderstorm later on in the day after 5, sort of like Sunday.

In the meantime here's a video to get you hyped for Saturday's epic event.

For the record I'm still made I never saw him in concert.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Foreign Exchange - House of Cards (feat. Muhsinah)

For some reason I didn't cop the Foreign Exchange album Leave It All Behind. I'm still digesting the first one honestly. It didn't hit me well on the first listen and maybe that's why I haven't purchased the new one. While the first record was hip hop driven and this new one is apparently singing heavy (led by Little Brother's Phonte) I still had my issues.

Then comes this video. I'm on Amazon now looking for the album. Well done guys.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Rasu Jilani 120 Seconds

This is my brother Rasu co-creator of CDTBK. He's a very intelligent brother with great ideas and I consider him an asset to the Brooklyn scene. CDTBK is my family so check the joint.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Is Jay Z due for a dip album wise?

I remember a conversation regarding Jay-Z a few years ago (probably around Kingdom Come) with my good friend Vicky (lover of Kool-Aid). What's funny is now that I think about it the same way that Prince fans have been known to drink the purple Kool-Aid Vicky was always heavy on that Jay-Z drink. Well it seems it's Kingdom Come time once again.

Vicky told me that if you look back at Jay's career every OTHER album he takes a dip. They aren't necessarily wack albums but they fail to live up to his previous piece of work. Lets take a look.

Resonable Doubt - No doubt a banger.

In My Lifetime Vol. 1 - Ehhh he's trying to get the Bad Boy fan base and it's not his best.

Vol. 2 Hard Knock Life - 5 Million sold. He basically hit on all fronts with this one. This album was an event.

Vol. 3 The Life and Times... - Vol. 2 only...not so much. Tried hard and didn't work.

Dynasty Roc La Familia - This is more of a compilation album so I'm skipping it. Good though.

Blueprint - Some say it's his true and only classic. 5 mics in the source (or whatever). Crazy record overall.

Blueprint 2 - Post Ether Jay-Z, not a pretty sight.

The Black Album - Ahhh this was his chance to go out on top. PSA is on this album. BANGER (with a few missteps)

Kingdom Come - ...well I'm sure Dame liked this album. *smh*

American Gangster - Dope "concept" album. Has an official hit with Roc Boys. Solid record.

Which leads us to Blueprint 3. He's do for another dip and early reports are stating it should really be called Kingdom Come 2. I hope for Vicky's sake this isn't true. And I didn't think it was...til I heard Reminder.

Friday, August 21, 2009

10 Deep 2 Hot

The MotherGreen Team (minus Mahdi) got together at the 10 Deep Presents party. The designated place was in the Brooklyn neighborhood of D.U.M.B.O. This was hottest party in the city by far literally. We ran into a bunch of friends throughout the night. The young man Scott of 10 Deep was a gracious host we wish the whole 10 Deep nothing but success. He was outside often and I don't blame him. I felt like I was in the back of Debo's pigeon coup sweating like a slave © Smokey. It was entirely too hot and TOO MANY DUDES!

After we departed the party the plan was to head to Grimaldi's for some pizza and conversation. However waiting for certain family members who shall remain nameless we just missed their closing time. It was like the scene in Do The Right Thing when the Brownstone owner told Buggin Out he was "born in Brooklyn".

After that disappointing revelation we walked past restaurant after restaurant being turned away until we found a Mexican spot. That's where the drunken banter and all around good times hit a zenith. The following are pictures from the whole night.

Photos by Saviour and myself. (except the Bugging Out pic above)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Spike Lee and Spinna Tag Team For MJ

If you didn't know what you're doing on August 29th, now you do. Critically Acclaimed Director Spike Lee is paying tribute the King of Pop on his date of birth. The place to be is Ft. Greene Park from 12 noon until 5pm. The heavens will shake as we dance the sun into submission. DJ Spinna will be on the 1s and 2s doing what he does best (controlling the feet of any and all dancers in a 5 block radius).

I'm getting a little leery of so many "lets celebrate Michael" parties. I know he's the greatest and people want to express their love and respect for the man. However there are some out there who are just trying to profit off of his name and I don't respect that. Thus you wont see me at their events. This particular party has me really excited. Spike Lee actually worked with the man while he was alive. He's been a long time fan of Michael and I appreciate him doing something like this at the head of Brooklyn.

So if your a Brooklynite and a MJ fan like me I'll save you a spot in the park to boogie. See you there.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Yesterday's Heros / Today's Homie

In the days of the 90's when I would listen to anything out of Queens rap related groups like Mobb Deep and Capone N Noreaga meant the world to me. I remember getting a cassette copy of the Infamous form my boy Will for my birthday back then. I played that joint OUT. I didn't even know about the CD only song Up North Trip until months later. Those were the days. It was years later that I actually saw Mobb Deep in real life and realized that they were the height of that lil pesky kid on your block.

In 2009 everyone you ever heard of seems to be at arms reach from you. The advent of a software like facebook and twitter has knocked down social walls. In the past cats like Puff (I refuse to call him Diddy now) would only be accessible through television, the studio or the VIP section of a club. Now you can catch him updating daily (if not hourly) on twitter with what's going in his life and where's he gonna be for the night. When I started following Puff on twitter I didn't expect to see him talk about going to the club Santos later on, and then as I'm in line waiting to get in I see his whole crew arrive and sure enough roll right in.(can you believe they aint let me in!) On facebook I get actual messages from the living legend Jamel Shabazz. This is a photographer who's work I've purchased and given to others as gifts. I've had comic book conversations with the rapper/producer Kwame' and discussed politics with Davey D and Harry Allen. Would these conversations be possible pre-Twitter? Probably not. I definitely know they would not happen in the comfort of my own home (as these discussions did).

While there's been a backlash against these types of sites I think it's a case of how you use it. Some people use facebook to stalk folks and put all of their business out on front street. Others use twitter to alert the world of their daily stool rotation. These are things I don't need nor care to know about. However I do wish to know about Police using excessive force in California or Pos from De La detailing his overseas trips and shows. These are things that interest me and therefore I pay attention. The things that bother me I make sure it's misses me.

Ultimately if any of these social networking sites bother you just unfollow, trust me it's easy enough. I wont be logging off anytime soon though, because I just found M.O.P on twitter and they are just a loud and wild online (only with LOL's added which is ....just special).

Friday, August 14, 2009

De La Soul 20 Years High and Rising

Photo's by Shino Yanagawa (iPhone)

At the Nokia theater in New York City a celebration was going on last night. Some would say it was a show but I say a celebration. People from all walks of life came together to celebrate the 20 year anniversary of their album 3 Feet High and Rising. I have to say those boys Pos, Dave and Mase know how to put on a show. I mean when you have Bumpy Knuckles and Buckshot opening up for you, you already know what's up. I walked in on Buckshot's show after talking to a myriad of friends. He was straight killing the stage. The crowd was heavy into his show as he performed jams from the Enta Da Stage album. I was really excited when he did the first verse from his new single with KRS One "Robot". I think the song has a lot of promise (yeah I said promise).

Next up was De La straight from Long Island. Plugs 1,2 and 3 came with it and really showed that they deserve such a long career. The show was full amazing moments assisted by the 10 piece band called the Rhythm Roots All Stars. The executions of songs I'm used to hearing on a CD were flawless. The energy level of these brothers who are all significantly older than me (and many of the new rappers on the scene today)put folks to shame. I particularly loved when they performed the songs Stakes Is High and BUDDY with stage assistance from Ali Shaheed Muhammed along with Dres from Black Sheep.

What was amazing to me is that the real stars of the show were the celebration attendees. The crowd was simply amazing. Thus the pictures chosen for this piece. I was fortunate to have a balcony seat and the view of the crowd rocking during the song "The Grind Date". The scene was mesmerizing. Not to mention when De La performed Rock Box and to add insult to a microphone beat down brought DMC on stage to rip it with them people lost it. Hell I almost jumped out into the crowd from where I was. Even the grand wizard Prince Paul was on deck for the event. You could feel the love in the room and I can count the number of hip hop shows that gave me that type of feeling.

A + show, would view again.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Worst. Summer. Ever.

Remember the summer? No not this summer because this one SUCKED and was nonexistent. I'm talking about summers of the past where we had more than one day of 90 degree weather. When people would go to Ft. Green every Sunday to dance their troubles away to some soulful house music. When there was no need for security at Habana Outpost in Brooklyn.

When my man Shan Boogie had a BBQ for every major holiday filled with lovely ladies, food and fun for all. When clothes had originality on the streets of NY and Summerstage was the ground zero for all things fresh. I haven't gone to ONE Summerstage performance this year and guess what, I'm fine with that. Hell besides the Giant Step show I wasn't moved to see anyone. The Soul Summit party in the park seems to have lost its thunder. The Happy Feet party seemed to constantly be on a night where either there's too much going on or work in the morning. What happened?

Pretty much the whole month of June was a wash...literally. I've only gotten a few good bike rides in. There have been days when I thought about taking a jacket with me, A JACKET! I don't live in San Diego and thus in the summer a jacket should not enter my thoughts at all. So I'm writing this summer off. With a few weeks to go I'm gonna rock out for Labor day and that's about it. Hopefully 2010 will be better.

Oh and Michael Jackson died.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sav's Birthday Extravaganza

It's a rare occasion when you can get the old man to come down from the mountain. That's just what happened last Wednesday at Von's Cellar. Dj Tahleim was on the 1 and 2s and the crew was in the house deep. The music of the night was heavy on hip hop which kept the energy high. The drinks were flowing, shots were thrown down and toasts were made. All in the name of one man Saviour who seems all too happy to have so many loved ones in the same vicinity to well wish and represent.

Here's some pictures to capture the moment taken by myself and Shino Yanagawa.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

John Forte On Good Day New York (Video)

My brother John Forte, out of jail and active. This video interview of him on Good Day New York is a nice piece in the larger puzzle of his rise back on the scene. The song he performs "Play My Cards For Me" is signature Forte since the I John album to me. Take a look and cop the Style Free EP off of iTunes.

I'm happy to see him happy and doing what he loves free of bars and regret.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Chin Chin - That's Where I'll Be (Official Video)

One of my favorite bands repping Brooklyn has a new video. My boys Chin Chin smooth it out with another banger from their album "The Flashing and the Fancing". I love these guys. Come out to see the crew rock live in Prospect Park in Brooklyn with TV on the Radio on Tuesday August 11th. See you there.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

56 Miles and Riding

Photos by Shino Yanagawa
Words by Dashaun Simmons

This past weekend my man Dan sent out a text for a ride on Saturday. I haven't had a big ride in a while on the ole bike so I was down. The team consisted of Shino and myself, Dan, Hue, Keith and Divine. We met up at Prospect park and after some delay departed to head down Ocean pkwy towards Brighton Beach. However on the way we planned to get some Di Fara but when we saw the double long lines we decided to just get a banana, a water and keep it moving. By this time my other friends Richard and Kris were en route from Bed Stuy to meet us.

Back on the trail of Ocean Pkwy we encountered a group of riders who seemed to be enjoying the day just much as we were. The ride down Ocean Pkwy was scenic, filled with trees and beautiful homes. That's a stretch of Brooklyn that I feel is often missed by most. Once we reached Brighton Beach we made a left at the boardwalk and walked down to the Sheepshead Bay end. This is where Kris and Rich joined our party and we broke out in search of food.

We found a pizza shop under the B train in an area I'd never been in before. The pizza was good and after some sustenance we were off to reach the Belt Pkwy bike path headed towards Queens. This was my first time seeing the actual "Sheepshead Bay". It's a nice area with restaurants and nice homes. It didn't even seem like we were in NY let alone Brooklyn.

Once on the Belt we rode to Canarsie Pier and found a couple of cats flying kites along with a food truck to sell us water and Gatorade. We then continued along the water passing fishermen and small (dirty) beaches passing East New York and leaving the borough. Shino yelled out when she noticed the sign "Welcome To Queens". This was the first time we rode into Queens.

Queens led us to ride up Cross Bay Blvd and head across a bridge to reach Far Rockaway (this is where Kris and Rich got off our crazy ride). Once in Far Rockaway we reached the beach on the west side of the island. As we walked up to the boardwalk after my suggestion to look at their water compared to Coney Island Divine turned to me and said "I'll go in the water if someone goes with me". As we got to the sand I looked out and
I couldn't believe that the water was CLEAN! Divine, Shino and all all got in the water and felt so relaxed after a long ride.

After relaxing and talking on a bench for a while we got back on the bikes and rode to the end of the island. Right before getting on the bride we spotted a food truck and got down on some knishes and hot dogs. At this point the sun was setting and you could see all of the riders hitting the bridge to head home. The ride home was sweet and I would do it all over again in a second.