Monday, August 16, 2010

We're Moving!!!

Photo by Shino Yanagawa (iPhone)

Actually I've already moved and I'm just now telling yall because, hell I've been busy. Work has been very demanding (with no signs of stopping) and my extra curricular activities (freelance writing, NBA Hang Time, Martial Arts) I'm stretched pretty thin. With that said please make your way over to http://dashaunworld.wordpress.com/ , you'll be glad you did. From now on I'll be posting from there. I'm still working out the kinks but I dig the system and hopefully you will too. Be sure to comment and subscribe because I'm feeling the writing bug again. I'll start posting my reviews that have been going up on Fusicology in case you guys haven't read them yet. And Maybe some of my other side work.

Either way lets stay in touch and if you're on twitter follow the kid @13Rose.

Look out for the Mother Green Relaunch also. We're not done! (c) KRS One.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Free Tiger Ghetto Iced Tea


What the hell is going on in the world? I was on Yelp the other day looking for the phone number to my favorite espresso shop Culture. (I'm kind of hooked on their chocolate chip cookies) But anyway, as I'm on the Culture page on Yelp I see out the corner of my eye the add for a "Free Tiger Ghetto Iced Tea". I immediately though this was a joke and actually felt like I was transported to facebook for a second. Of course I had to click on the link to see what this was all about. The Iced Tea was on the menu for a restaurant called Beacon in midtown Manhattan. I immediately called over two of my other co-workers (of color) to investigate. One called up the restaurant to inquire about this free offer and asked "what exactly is the Tiger Ghetto Iced Tea." The woman who answered the phone simply replied "It's our take on the Arnold Palmer."
We Said

So because Tiger is a golfer you throw his name into the mix? Because he's black (which he would question himself) you call it a "Ghetto" Iced Tea? Or maybe they just think it's "ghetto" to put lemonade and iced tea together. In my opinion the ghetto is a place not an action. Calling actions or describing something as ghetto to me is lazy and offensive. First of all my people in Baltimore will agree with me that we call it a half and half (half lemonade half iced tea). Hell even Nantucket Nectars got it right. This restaurant is just being stupid. What sucks is that the owner of this restaurant also owns my favorite pizza place in the city Waldys. What also sucks is that somebody thought this was clever.

It's wild that this happens and my latest entry into the Japanese Magazine I contribute to BMR was about the word ghetto. If your in Japan or read Japanese, check it out and see what my partner in scribe Motoko and I have to say about the word.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Atari 2600 and Me.


I like video games. One might even say that I love them. However, these days I don't have must spare time to rock out on a video game. I own a couple of systems with games for each of them. But they mostly just sit and wait for the day when I can really dive into my library. With this in mind I try not to purchase any new games or systems because I don't have the time, so why spend the money right? WRONG.

About a month ago I was invited to a friend's home for a BBQ out in Jersey. My boys from HHK were excellent hosts and one in particular started a small fire in me (pause). While in his room I noticed his Atari 2600 game collection. I haven't played one since I was a kid and even then I recognized the strength of some of those games. Sure graphically they weren't much but some of those games had great replay value. We went downstairs and played a little track and field and it was there that my love for the Atari was reborn.

Upon my arrival home I immediately went on eBay looking for a good deal on a 2600 system. I had one problem though. I knew that I didn't need any new/old video game system. Remember, I'm mister "I don't have time". The only way I was gonna get this Atari was it would have to be a great deal. So I found one. One person was selling an Atari 2600 with two controllers, two paddle sticks, full cord set and 14 games for 30 bucks. Plus they included a cracked class cover for the system. I went in bidding for it. I watched the time and carefully plotted my way to win this system. I decided I wouldn't pay more than 50 bucks for it and in the end that's what I got it for.

So I Dashaun J. Simmons am now once again the proud owner of an Atari 2600. Feel like playing some pitfall, or space invaders? Come on by.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Roger Milla: The Indomitable Lion

Another James Blagden banger! My brother James has illustrated a new video just in time for the World Cup. Enjoy and spread the love (video) around.


My DaM-Funk review on Fusicology


I was sitting at my desk doing some work, making it through a stressful day when I see an email from my friend Keiko. She let me know that the latest piece I wrote for Fusicology on Dam Funk was up on their site. This instantly made me feel better and a lil hyped. I'm doing what I've wanted to do for many years now, write and be recognized for it. Now if I could just be home in time to receive my Atari 2600 from UPS all would be right with the world.

Please enjoy and special thanks to Sandy Yap for making it happen.

DaM-Funk Review

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Peep D://BOI at AfroPunk in Brooklyn


My boys Nerve and Surreal (D://BOI) are gonna be showing off their DJ/Electronic skills in front of a big Brooklyn crowd in about two weeks. Gotta love that. It seems like this years Afro Punk festival is just creeping up on me. I haven't been in a Game Rebellion mash pit in a while so I should be on deck for that. And this year the boy K-os is performing!?! If you don't go at least one of the three days for the festival this year don't speak to me...well we can speak but I'll be judging you.

Go here for all the info you need on the festival and here to learn more about D://BOI

Friday, June 04, 2010

Stadium Status

A great piece of work. Pay attention to these guys, the Internets Celebrities. I think there's something special going on with these three. They made it to great points in this film about the building of new stadiums in NYC with tax payer funds. This film is part comedy, part social commentary, part PLAIN RIDICULOUS because the video needed to be made.

Let me know what you think.


Stadium Status from Internets Celebrities on Vimeo.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

No Romance Without Finance



*steps up to mic, clears throat*

You love who you love. Nobody should argue against that because it’s emotions and there’s no real logic there. HOWEVER, you have a choice regarding who you want to be with. Just because you love someone does not mean that you should be with them.

Call me crazy but I think if a man and woman are in a relationship they should both contribute to their livelihood definitely. Especially in these days and times where money is not so easy to come by for many folks. However maybe your family is dealing with some hard times, in that case I think the man of the house has to step up and make something happen. I still see the man as being the head of the household. Not the ruler, but the leader. Yeah I'm a little old school, sue me.

So ladies if you choose to be with someone who can’t take care of themselves financially, don’t be surprised when you start a family with them and your in financial trouble. Love who you love but think. When I was little I used to hear women talk about “what can that man do for me" and "I can do bad all by myself.” I initially took these statements to be offensive and making it too hard on men who might be good dudes but don’t have the money these women are looking for. I get it now. Sometimes folks want to do something nice, and if the damn cable bill is overdue 2 months, something nice is out. Some ladies I feel have lost their sense of self and allow guys that do nothing to be with them. To you I say don’t do it. Unless you want days and nights of financial stress which will stand in the way of your relationship being a happy one don’t do it. If he really loves you he will clean himself up, and get his stuff together for you. If you have time to play Xbox and Playstation you have time to find work.

Sorry, I needed to get that off my chest. I will now take questions from the audience.


Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Dallas Penn Takes On The Nets


My homie Dallas Penn in cahoots with his crew The IC's (internets celebrities *yes there's an s at the end*) shot a short film discussing the changing landscape of downtown Brooklyn. Specifically the crew looks at the impending Nets Stadium which is to be built upon the Atlantic Yards site. This topic has been the cause of much head and heartache by many residents who view the stadium as being just plan unnecessary. I share that view and have voiced it many times on this very blog.

Today at the Brooklyn Public Library (Grand Army Plaza branch of Special Ed - "I Got It Made" fame) the film will be screened. This is an event you wont want to miss. Dallas has a way with words that will definitely leave you thinking and laughing. The screening will start at 7pm and you can take the 3 train to Grand Army Plaza if you aren't driving or on a bike.

See you all there and if you haven't already gone peep DallasPenn.com
And Internets Celebrities

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Gray Days The End of May Days


Yesterday was Nice and Smooth is Blazing Hot outside while today is cool as a cucumber. It's warm enough though, that you don't need a jacket which I can appreciate. However the lack of sunlight reminds me of school trips in elementary grades. Cloudy skies remind me of those great trips that were threatened to be canceled due to rain. Some times we still went on the trip even if the weather was questionable, other times we didn't.

This lack of sunlight makes me very tired. Very Very tired. Who needs a power nap?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Janelle Monae Performs Tight Rope on Letterman

She made me smile, that's all I can say. The homage to James Brown was super on point. I'll cop the album tonight and come back with my thoughts, I didn't want to listen to the leak and risk not purchasing.




The People of Hakodate Are So Nice



I turned 31 this year. Every year for the past 4 years or so I've had a party with some great people and great music, but at 31 I shifted gears. I decided for this birthday I would celebrate in Japan. So for my actual birthday Shino and I took a trip to Hakodate which is a southern city in the northern island of Hokaido in Japan. Hakodate is a port and actually was the first port in which the western world entered the country. At a time when Japan was a closed country, and still living in the shogun era, America "convinced" Japan to open the country. Do to the western influence many of the buildings have a western influence and can create quite a surreal backdrop. The city ultimately reminds me of San Francisco with it's many hills and trolley cars.

On the day before my birthday Shino and I took a trip to a public bath for some relaxation. Because our history with public baths were attached to hotels we thought there would be soap and shampoo provided, wrong...WRONG. So I'm in the male public bath rinsing off before getting in the bath (shaking my head). Once I'm in the bath I started soaking up the hot water as well as the atmosphere. A Japanese gentleman (Kowata san) approached me in the bath and started a conversation in English and a little Japanese. He was a very nice guy and when I was done with my bath he even offered some soap for me (which was much needed).

Once out of the bath and reunited with Shino, Kowata san told us about a lounge downstairs from the baths. We then joined both him and his wife for a very nice conversation about why we were in Hakodate. We were planning to have sushi that night as Hakodate is famous for it's fresh seafood. Kowata san and his wife invited Shino and I over to their home for sushi. We took them up on their offer as they were right in the neighborhood and not far from our hotel. This lovely couple treated us to a delicious sushi dinner and great company. We talked with them for hours, and watched a music special in Japan in which Kowata san was chosen out of hundreds of amateur musicians to perform in Tokyo. He is a mailman by day and trumpet player/band leader by night. I even shared a beer with Kowata san due to it being customary in Japan to drink (only a lil though). We finally bid them adieu around 1am and walked back through the quiet streets of Hakodate to our hotel. I was now 31.




Monday, May 17, 2010

Detroit Police Raid Gone Bad


The citizens of Detroit Michigan mourn the loss of a 7 year old girl Aiyana Jones due to a police raid gone wrong. The worst part is the apartment this little girl was in was the WRONG APARTMENT! I'm sorry but does this happen to any other community? These cops were filming an episode of "The First 48", and they felt the need to get wild? Politicians will attach themselves to this situation to get a better position in the future but will it be for actually changing things besides their bank statements? Seems like business as usual in the good ole US of A.

Prayers to that poor family who have to mourn the senseless death of their child. Stay strong Detroit.

Read the full story on
CNN

Old School Mondays

People seem to forget what it is to truly be an artist so I'm gonna show you fools. Lets get a little reminder of when folks just went there.








Thursday, May 13, 2010

Song of the Day : B.D.P. - 13 and Good

This song is from one of the BDP albums I actually don't own. I've always loved this song and the questions it poses. At the end of the song KRS doesn't give you his answer for what is right or wrong, you have to decide. I can dig that. Remember when you could put out a story song like this or the Lost Boyz song Renae and have it get play? Those were the days...


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Jay-Z Saturday Night Live Medley

I can appreciate what Jay brings to the table when it comes to his shows. It's more about the his presence than the actual performance. The audience is immediately drawn in to him because they are watching Jay-Z. Hell I did my best Jay impression when I did Encore during the HHK Championship.

Watching him here on Saturday Night Live he still seems to be doing him. The lovely lady who joins him at the end to fill in for Alicia Keys is none other than Bridget Kelly. She's a new artist on Jay's Roc Nation label and fits in well for the performance. Her voice sounds pretty good and she's definitely easy on the eyes. I can't say as much for the vest Hov is rocking, but that's neither here nor there. Kudos to the band for doing 4 much on the 99 problems joint. Also on a side note, is that Young Guru Baseline's engineer DJing for Jay?

Enjoy the show people.


Monday, May 10, 2010

My Surprise Party In Tokyo


My second full day in Japan I was supposed to get dinner with my good friend Hiro, Shino and her sister Chiho (that's too many o's). Before going to Japan I decided that I would celebrate my birthday there this year. It would be like taking the Freaky Deaky Fun Fest on the road. So when I told Shino about this idea she told Hiro and he asked to receive a list of my friends in Japan so he could email them in Japanese that I was coming. I thought nothing of it at the time.

Once I actually arrived, one by one I kept hearing about another friend who would not be able to make my party. I scheduled it to be the Saturday before I was to come back to NY (a full week into the vacation). I didn't stress about it because I know people are busy and sometimes folks just can't make it out. I did get a little sad thinking about some friends not making it out but I was determined to have a good time.

As the evening came Shino, Chiho and I got dressed and ready for dinner. I was told that we would meet Hiro at our friend Ryo's lounge Ripple in the city and then go to eat. Cool. On the train ride over she told me that my friend Miwa just sent her a text that she would also not be able to make my party next week. Things just kept getting better... Once we got to Ripple, Hiro met us downstairs and pushed me to go up the stairs first. I didn't think much of it because most Japanese folks are extra polite so, not big deal right? WRONG. I get upstairs and there's a GANG of people up their and, one person as far as I knew was currently living in Arizona which freaked me out. I looked around and figured out what was going on. That's when everyone yelled SURPRISE!

I saw a bunch of my friends, some of which I was told I wouldn't see because they were too busy. I couldn't believe I was having the second surprise party ever in my life. My friend and writing partner Motoko even popped up with a cake(not inside the cake she held it). That threw me way off because Motoko was just in Japan about a month ago so there was no way I expected to see her there. She came just for my birthday party and helped plan it. I was stuck.

Hiro and Mo did a great job putting together the party. My hang out crew from my first trip to Japan 5 years ago were there and one of them is now engaged to be married. Then the music started and the food came out, as well as the presents. I'm normally not a guy for getting gifts because they make me feel awkward and on the spot. This year I got probably the most gifts ever for a birthday as an adult. Thanks to everyone for the time and thought power spent on me. I don't deserve it.

The guys from Funny-Brand put together a really dope performance piece for me. They are truly crazy. Hiro and the guys did a lil human pyramid building and at the end got me to join on top. It was awe inspiring. They are my family and I love those guys deeply. I can't wait til they come to NY so I can return the favor (no pyramids tho).

Thanks to everyone who came out and enjoyed a great night at Ripple with the birthday boy. Yall made 31 extra special for me. I'm still trying to get my hands on the video shot there and better pictures. Enjoy.






Lena Horne R.I.P


A beautiful woman from the planet of Brooklyn, Ms. Horne was a woman who was simply before her time in regards to film. However maybe the world just didn't deserve to enjoy her huge talent. Ms. Horne's singing was great but what I will most remember about her was that smile. She had one of the most amazing smiles I have ever seen.

I first saw her in action on the Cosby Show when I was a kid. I knew about her because she was pretty famous and I guess I did see her in the The Wiz before then BUT it was the Cosby show that put me on to her. That showed me that she was an icon. That single appearance gave me a glimpse into her personality and why people idolize her.

May Lena Horne be remembered and rest in peace.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Back From Japan With Tales to Tell



Peace True Believers,

I returned from Tokyo, Japan Monday night feeling refreshed and ready to accomplish all. My time was well spent with friends whom I now consider family. I've been learning to read and write hiragana and katakana as well as a little kanji and it helped a lot with reading signs. I have so many stories to tell and they are so dope, I want to get each their own shine.

My first full day in Tokyo, Shino took me to a flower festival in Ueno. The view was simply beautiful. There were a lot of people there taking pictures and purchasing things from the vendors. We walked around for a lil bit while being closely trailed by a mother and her energetic son. The little boy repeatedly left his mother behind as he was eager to cover more ground amongst the large group of strangers. They day was rather sunny which was a big contrast to the gray cloudy weather I arrived to a day before.

After a nice walk through we found a cool cafe for some tea while we waited to meet up with Shino's sister Chiho. Once we were all linked up we walked down a number of streets, taking in the sights of Ueno and it's many different flowers. At one point we found a type of puppet store where there was a man using a hand puppet to illustrate a woman's face. He did a very good job and captivated everyone who walked in.

After the puppet show we felt it was time to head back home but decided to take the long way. So we walked down to Ueno park which had tons of people in it that day. On the way to the park we passed what seemed to be a large school facility. The architecture was striking and the gift shop located in the rear was very nice. After walking through the park we got back on one of the many Tokyo train lines and went home. It felt good to be back in Japan.

I'll have plenty more stories about my trip to Japan so just stay tuned people... stay tuned.








Wednesday, May 05, 2010

My Interview with Shing02

Photo by Richard Louissaint

On April 18th the Museum of Natural History held a joint exhibit involving the embrace of Bollywood and Japanese Anime by the American public. Amongst the walls which house dioramas of ancient civilizations in North America and other parts of the world, a Japanese rapper named Shing02 was rocking the mic with his DJ Icewater on the decks. It makes sense for Shing02 to perform in this venue due to his song “Battlecry”, which is the opening theme for a popular anime series “Samurai Champloo”. I got the chance to sit down with Shing02 to discuss the meaning of some of his lyrics, his relationship with the late great producer Nujabes, and how he likes his Japanese cuisine. Being that I just got back from Japan I'm just getting this up but, enjoy.

Pt. 1

http://www.zshare.net/audio/75165744afc62e5f/

Pt. 2

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tanya Morgan - Bang + Boogie (Official Video)

Tanya Morgan continues to keep the Brooklynati movement moving with their new video Bang + Boogie. One of my favorite joints on the album (Just Not True is my absolute fav). This video showcases why we need more acts like these brothers on the scene. Also, peep Von Pea rocking that good MG Performance Shell. Looks fly right? You want one don't you? Hit us up so you don't miss the bus.

TANYA MORGAN - BANG + BOOGIE from AAC FILMS on Vimeo.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

R.I.P. Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal (GURU)

What can I say that hasn't been said? The man from Boston who blessed Brooklyn with his presence is now gone in the physical form. Being a hip hop head from Brownsville, Brooklyn I've always loved the music of Gangstarr. How two folks with origins outside of NY could come to Brooklyn, and create musical heaven is beyond me. East New York mourns the loss of Guru the great.

What is his legacy? I wont comment on the uncertain things out there regarding a certain producer. What I will say is, because of GURU I know that lemonade was a popular drink. Some would say that its "mostly the voice" that cements his legacy. I think it's a man who thought to push boundaries beyond what the corner cats would dig and still kept them with him. Jazzmatazz was a great idea that he made a reality. Let us celebrate the life of Keith Elam aka GURU.














Monday, April 19, 2010

Old School Mondays

Soul music is the food of my spirit so I want to take today to celebrate soul music.



Sorry for the quality but you know how ****** is with his stuff. Great song.




I learned about this song working retail. Shouts to Ann Taylor Loft store cds lol.



One of the greatest to ever do it, may he rest in peace.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Bollywood and Anime in America


This weekend the Museum of Natural History in NYC is having a huge event celebrating the embrace of both Bollywood films and Japanese anime by America. I am a huge fan of Anime and therefore will be in attendance. If you're looking for something to do on Saturday or Sunday during the day, this is your event. There will be a few films being shown on both Saturday and Sunday, PLUS a live performance. A Japanese hip hop artist named Shing02 is gonna perform on both days. Look at the video below for an example of how dope Shing02 is.

Full Event Info


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Hip Hop Karaoke Championship VTech Wrap Up

The sponsors of the 2nd HHK Championship, VTech put together a reel for the event. Watching this video got me super jittery and makes me sad I'm gonna miss the next HHK this month. It's all good though, because instead I'll be enjoying my birthday in Japan (pics to come). Enjoy the video and I'm still waiting for the individual performance videos to come out. I need to see Doni D's "Gimme Some More" again, he killed it.

Enjoy


FULL SCREEN
The Sounds of VTech / hhk_2010vid

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Kuntaw Arnis Demonstration

Three days a week I practice Kuntaw in Brooklyn with my fellow Kyuds and Guro. This Filipino art has been a part of my life in one way or another since I was a kid. My father learned the art while he was stationed in the Philippines back in the 80s. In the video below you will see two Kuntaw Kyuds doing a great Arnis demonstration. You see in Kuntaw our weapon of choice is two sticks. These two guys inspire me to reach further in perfecting my practices.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

What's Wrong With Williamsburg.


Over the weekend I went to Williamsburg to work on a side project. Once that work was done, I found myself ready to head to Queensbridge via the G train. However before I would leave my beloved Brooklyn I had to eat something. I had not eaten a thing and the day was halfway done, so I decide I'll stop off and grab a hero from a corner store. Kool and the Gang right? Wrong...WRONG.

I saw two deli's along Metropolitan not far from the train station. I start to think "I'll pick one and if I don't like it I'll check the other one out." I went and peeped the first one and the layout looked fine enough. I was put off by the hipsters who stood in front of me in line, but hey I'm no jerk so I'll play nice. Then I notice the names for the "special" sandwiches in this establishment. There were names like "M.J. Forever", and a few obscure movie names... lame. Once it was my turn I asked the gentleman behind the counter how much would a hero with ovengold turkey, swizz cheese, lettuce and tomatoes would cost. The man looked at me with a straight face and said $7.50. I sharply replied no thank you, and left with a taste of disgust in my mouth.

I went across the street to the neighboring deli and got the same sandwich I previously asked for with Kettle chips and a water for $7.25. Now this is what a meal of this magnitude should cost in Brooklyn. That experience nearly ruined my day. Needless to say, I pretty much hate what Williamsburg has become. No it's not new, and no I didn't just develop these feelings this past weekend but COME ON!

I concede and now acknowledge Willy B as the Manhattan annex it wishes to be. You guys can have it, anything past Graham is dead to me.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Song of the Day : Ghostface Killah - Mighty Healthy

Peace

Today's entry comes from Tony Starks himself. When the Supreme Clientele album began to come together the first two singles were HEATROCKS! This is the first single and video from that album. Just an indication of the classic that would follow in full length form.


Thursday, April 08, 2010

Pixels

This is a well done video. Me being an old school gamer I loved how they incorporated many of the golden age games.

Enjoy

Che Grand's 3rd Annual 99 Cent Party


It's going down once again. The bol Che is putting together a jammy jam for the people. We can expect dope performances from the Lessondary crew (Tanya Morgan, Spec Boogie, ELUCID...etc). Last time I went I had a blast, and that was before Che's album EGU dropped. The Lessondary are family with MotherGreen so we support them always. Come out and have a blast, this time it's in Brooklyn!

In the meantime listen to this HARD track from my man ELUCID called Laser Days.

DOWNLOAD HERE


Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Why You Should Read PLUTO (Manga)


I am currently enthralled by a Japanese Manga (Comic) called Pluto. It's written and illustrated by one of my favorites Urasawa Naoki. Urasawa is also the author of one of my favorite anime/manga stories Monster. If you haven't seen that anime, do yourself a favor and go to www.veoh.com. I've uploaded the whole series for your viewing pleasure.

The Pluto story takes place during a specific story arc in the historic manga/anime Astro Boy. The setting is basically that of a murder mystery. In this world humans and robots co-exist and sometimes its not so smooth. Someone is killing off the most strongest/unique robots in the world. There is a very dark mood in this book which I can dig. The future overall seems pretty sterile, however that could be due to the main character being a robot. The art and story are both extremely well done. I say you should pick this one up, you wont be sorry.


Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Dr. Jay's Interviews Just C


My brother and partner in MotherGreen Just C was recently interviewed by the Dr. Jay's blog for his position during the day, running Artful Dodger. I have personally watched this young man grow into a strong leader still looking for pointers and ways to expand his expertise. Just is certainly a gentleman to look out for in 2010.

Peep the storay (c) Camp Lo

“Artful Dodger is an incredible brand with a lot of room for growth, and Scott Langton is a visionary designer,” Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter said in a statement about the annexation. “They represent what’s next and new in fashion, and we are glad to have both the brand and Scott as a part of our family. Artful Dodger represents the first of many acquisitions that will begin to shape our joint venture with Iconix.”

Since taking off, the brand has brought a new creative genius into the mix—meet Just C.

I got a chance to sit down with him to get the 411. Check it out.

Monday, April 05, 2010

54 People Arrested On Easter / Jesus Wept

I was out last night for a local birthday party in Bed Stuy with my lady and some friends. I noticed a large amount of youths on the Shuttle headed to Franklin Ave. Once we got off around there we walked to Nostrand Ave. and it seemed that about 50 teenagers were swarming the streets. It was like school just let out. I saw all kinds of cops paroling the area and I knew no good would come of the mix.

Fast forward to this morning I go online and see an article by the NY Joke(Post) about 54 people being arrested in the city due to an Easter Sunday rampage. Apparently a bunch of kids were running wild between 34th street and Time Square. Four people were shot and 1 woman was hit with a BB gun. The word on the street is that most of the cats involved were gang-bangers, which is quite interesting as yesterday I watched HBO's "Bastards of the Party" documentary. These gang members here really need to redirect their energy to doing something positive and productive.

Where is the focus people?

The Full Post Story
The Full NBC Story

Friday, April 02, 2010

Song of the Day : Dionne Farris - Hopeless

This was the jam back in the day. Straight off the Love Jones soundtrack. Wonder what ever happened to this woman with such a lovely voice. Also peep Randy Jackson (American Idol) in the video.


Thursday, April 01, 2010

Janelle Monae - Tight Rope (feat. Big Boi)

Now this is a jam! Janelle Monae with the first single off her new full length album. If you haven't seen this woman live you suck. Get a clue people.


Wednesday, March 31, 2010

When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong

This young lady is seen visibly upset and mouthing off in a college class. At some point she goes back and forth with the professor and one of the students. She is completely disrupting the class and believes she is in the right. The police are called and that's when she decides...


To keep it real.


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

From C-SPAN to Black SPAN

This made my day. A seemingly white man calls into C-SPAN to give criticism on the influx of "black so-called republican callers" who praise Barack Obama. Just watch the video. This is just comedy to me.


Monday, March 29, 2010

I've Been Promoted (Officially!!!)


For the past two months I've been languishing in promotion limbo wondering when my title would change along with responsibilities, opportunities, and headaches. About two weeks ago I finally got the hard answer to that question. April 5th. That news was followed by an official congratulations letter from the company (signed by no one)making it official. I was now going to be a Jr. Copywriter working in advertising. I can officially place a picture of Don (The Man) Draper on my desk and it will be understood.

I've been wanting to be a copywriter since I joined this agency almost four years ago (time flies). I moved up the ranks of project management learning the ins and outs of traffic (ad speak) while keeping my eyes on the copy prize. I took a course at SVA got my first feel for the relationship between headline, body copy, and layout.

More than a year later i just filled out the form for my new business cards. Dashaun Simmons, Jr. Copywriter has a nice ring to it don't you think?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Homeboy Sandman (Do Your Homework)

I was talking to my homegirl Derrica yesterday about rap and I mentioned Homeboy Sandman. She didn't know who dude was so for any of you out there missing the boat, here's Homeboy Sandman. He's NICE!





This is my favorite Homeboy Sandman song. Buttermilk!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Meth Ghost Rae - Our Dreams (Official Video)

Meth Ghost and Rae have had the streets and world wide innernets buzzing about their new project since Fall of last year. I have to admit I'm a bit skeptical. I purchased the Only Built For Cuban Links 2 album because New Wu was so gutter I couldn't deny it. However after a week or two I was bored with it.

Now we have a new album from the three stars of that New Wu song doing a whole album together. Here's the video for the first single "Our Dreams" which samples a MJ banger from the Forever Michael album. Let us know your thoughts.



Before The Video Games

Remember playing outside with your friends? I do. This past weekend I spent some time outside playing with my nephew and niece (8 and 2 yrs old respectfully) on my old block. The kids brought their scooters with them to the park and that was fun for about 3 minutes. Then we went over to the jungle gym so my nephew could play tag with some other kids. My lady and I kept my niece occupied with slides and a little handball we found.

While in the park I ran into my boy Illanoyz whom you might remember from the first two Heltah Skeltah albums as well as the Boot Camp Click album "For The People" where had a solo track. I haven't seen Noyz in years and he had his children in tow. We took a minute to think back to a simpler time. Noyz remarked that this was where it all started for us. Playing in the parks with one another before we had serious video games. I agreed and realized that that's how we got to know folks from different blocks. Noyz told me that this park was his kids favorite place to play and a few minutes later told them it was time to go. "Yall too big for this park now." All I could do was nod my head and smile. I too, am "too big" for this park now and serve a different role. I'm ok with that, although I do miss those great games of Freeze Tag with my friends.

I can't wait to take the young ones out again.


Monday, March 22, 2010

Friday, March 19, 2010

Song of the Day: Vakil - The Creed


This brother has a real dope flow. It reminds me of Ras Kass when he was on one in the 90s. Vakill hails from Chicago and with the production on this track he reps the crib properly. Vakill has made a presence on the independent scene and hopefully he's getting his just due and money on that side. This song "The Creed" is from his second album and is an older track, but it still bumps. I never really hear folks talk of this cat, he should get more light.

DOWNLOAD HERE

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Little Sun Does Not = T-shirt Status

If I've seen it once I've seen it a thousand times. Just because the sun is out and it doesn't "feel" like winter anymore doesn't mean you can throw on a T-shirt and call it a day. It's still March people! Next week we will be back to highs of 45. I appreciate beautiful weather as much as the next guy, however Spring doesn't officially start until next week and even then I'll wear a jacket. I saw all types of folks wearing t-shirts with no jacket yesterday like it's the end of April. It's not!

Also, flip flops? Easter hasn't even come yet and you're breaking out the flip flops? I'm done. < /rant>

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Hip Hop Karaoke Tribute To Guru

If you know anything about the HHK family you know we love that good ole boom bap hip hop. One of the torch bearers for said genre Guru of Gang Starr has fallen on hard times and is currently in the hospital. Hoping for a speedy full recovery a couple of regulars got together and rocked a nice tribute for dude.

The video shot below was on an iPhone by the man the myth the legend Murray.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Video Game Confessions: Super Mario World

Yeah, um I never actually beat this game. *looks down at the ground* The groundbreaking pack in game for the Super Nintendo system had amazing colors and addictive game play. This was definitely one of the best platform games to ever drop. The problem for me (which isn't really a problem) is that it's a big game (or was for it's time). I start to lose interest if I die too many times, which happens often especially in a haunted house level. As a person who loves video games I should have on my resume this game completed say... 15 years ago.

This past weekend in NYC there was rain, rain and it wouldn't go away. So I retreated to the good ole SNES love of Super Mario World. I still have a long way to go.

Gamers like the one in the video below really piss me off. Why can't I be that good!?!?


Thursday, March 11, 2010

They Broke Ground Yall... (Atlantic Yards)



Well, it's on now. They broke ground for the Atlantic Yards and Brooklyn wept. What can I say that hasn't already been said. We don't need it, we never did. Affordable housing for who exactly Mr. Ratner? Jay Z should be ashamed of his face being used for such a nefarious act. I'm rambling a little bit here I know, but I'm just really frustrated.

Brooklyn is my home. I was born in Brooklyn hospital which is not too far from the Atlantic Yards site. My father spent a significant part of his teenage years living in the Atlantic Terminal projects right up the block, so you see that area is special to me. The Nets can't even buy a win right now. They should focus on winning a game and not ruining the landscape of my beloved Brooklyn. To the politicians who stood by and endorsed this mess I say, shame on you.

In the words of the great Walter Sobchak "Has The World Gone CRAZY!?!?!?"

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Learning a New Language


I've been studying Japanese on and off, for years now. I went through phases of learning basic greetings and conversation starters, to days of the week and how to tell time. At this point I can read and write in two of the three alphabets (Kanji will probably take the rest of my life). However, in high school I took 4 years of Spanish. Now I'm nowhere near fluent but I do understand some basic stuff like sentence structure and some vocabulary. The problem I have is because for so long my brain was programed to view "Spanish" as THE foreign language that I speak, it was my default. So now because I've been learning Japanese and not using my Spanish my brain is fried. If someone speaks to me in Spanish I'll have a Japanese answer pop up first. This is no good. A friend of mine is currently taking a French course and he speaks both English and Spanish. Since I told him of my issues with two foreign languages he's answered questions in class using Spanish instead of French. Much to the dismay of his teacher I'm sure.

So have you ever experienced such a thing? What's your second language and what's the third one that gives you trouble.

SPEAK OUT! (c) Martin "Raw Dawg" Payne

Monday, March 08, 2010

Old School Mondays

You may not believe this but there was a time when new music was good. Great even. Lets go back there...










Friday, March 05, 2010

Musical Insanity (aka Ja Rule and Bobby Brown)

This post is inspired by my boy Bill from Okayplayer. I remember when this joint came out it was just pure insanity. Ja Rule and Bobby Brown!?!? What's funny is that this actually isn't too bad of a song, but it's just...Ja Rule and Bobby Brown.

Enjoy.


Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Felipe Luciano: A Man You Need To Know

Felipe Luciano is OLD New York. I'm talking real melting pot so hot it causes riots and gang wars New York. Out of all of that Luciano gained a strong sense of self and used himself to help the people of his community. As a chairman of the Young Lords Felipe Luciano took to the streets and mobilized his people to become a political force. He was an original Last Poet and his poetry is the stuff of legends. One of the reasons I love this man is he is all about Black and Latino love (the way it should be).

Here is one of my favorite pieces from the man, and one that he's most famous for.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Church Of Underground Hip Hop In The 90s 2.0


When we left off on in this discussion, I was reminiscing on the great selections available in college radio in NYC back in the 90s. The show being discussed was the Mr. Magic (RIP) and Mr Cee show on 91.5 FM. Now when that show finished around midnight, there was possibly the most well known show from that era. This show went through a number of iterations beginning with Uptown rapper Kurious being the host. The next version and most well known had DJ Stretch Armstrong holding it down with my man my mellow Bobbito Garcia aka Dj Cucumber Slice (slice slice...). Together they held the flag for underground hip hop on the Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito show aka Stretch and Bob aka 89 tech 9.

The show aired from 1am to 5am and caused many bags to appear below my eyes in high school. I can remember sitting up with my mother's old radio with my finger on the pause button. I would cautiously wait for a song to start so I could hit the pause button and get to recording. So many gems would be played on this show as well as some stinkers every now and then. Bob was also prone to playing demos which would be hit or miss.

I have to say the game got real when Lord Sear joined the show. The man previously seen in THIS video singing. With Lord Sear bringing the comedy, Bobbito setting him up and Stretch on the cuts, the die was cast and history was made. There were many classic jokes sessions to accompany the freestyle sessions. This was my favorite time to listen to the radio.

I found this blog (Dirtywaters.blogspot.com)
thanks to Bobbito which posts old shows. Go forth and download!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Kyochon Will Not Get My Money (Video)


Near the Empire State Building there has been a huge ad for a new Korean chicken restaurant for months now. I'm guessing the place is under construction. To be honest, I never planned on going to this place, even though I enjoy Korean food. With that said after seeing the video I have posted below, they will never see a dime of my money. I make it no secret that once a company shows offensive advertising I completely take them off my radar. This commercial is nothing but offensive to me. However I'm one person, and I still don't eat Burger King from their chicken fries campaign from years back so maybe I'm extreme.

You be the judge.


Spec Boogie - Cornbread Earl & Me

This is just soooo damn dope. My man Spec took a concept of flipping classic flicks with dope hip hop and calling it SPECFLIX. For more of these videos check the homie's website SPECBOOGIE.COM

Spec Boogie - Specflix - Cornbread Earl & Me from spec boogie on Vimeo.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Spec Boogie - Bed Stuy

This is a Spec Boogie banger right here. Directed and edited by Ali Santana. My beautiful home of Brooklyn. You gotta love it.

Enjoy.

Spec Boogie - Bed Stuy from Boombaye' on Vimeo.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Church Of Underground Hip Hop In The 90s



When I started high school in 1993 there were a few albums that came out and completely rocked my world. "Enta Da Stage" by Black Moon, "Enter the 36 Chambers" by Wu-Tang and "Doggystyle" by Snoop were amongst this great new hip hop. Around this time I discovered the college radio shows like Mr. Magic and Mr. Cee's show on 91.5 FM. I used to listen to this show every Thursday at around 10pm. Nothing would keep me from the radio when they started. It was on this show that I would learn about the latest dope hip hop that the major stations like Hot 97 didn't play yet. I discovered cats like Mic Geronimo, Camp Lo and The Alkaholiks. This is the hip hop that I just wasn't used to yet but came to love.

Mr. Cee and Magic would have contests for listeners to call in and receive things like promo single CDs and albums. I once got through on the call in, and won the Cella Dwellas debut album "Realms and Reality". I unfortunately never received that album and called Mr. Cee to tell him. He was very cordial even though I never got the album. Maybe it was lost in the mail. One prize however was received, and it was won by my MOTHER not me. She was listening to the show with me one night and was the winner of a Mary J Blige single. It was the first CD in my household ever.


I was limited on cassette tapes to record from the radio so I would be very careful with what I taped and what I didn't. Space was precious and wack songs along with idle talk had no place on my tapes. I now wish I had those discussions on tape as it was a precious time in my life. Mr. Magic is now deceased and many of the songs I heard back then are either rare or forgotten all together.
Look out for part 2 as I discuss another show from that era.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fela! The Broadway Musical


Twas my V Day surprise to the lady and surprised she was. As we walked into the theater I looked around and noticed the festive stage design. It was pretty bright and I could see folks walking around who seemed to be a part of the show, even though the production hadn't officially started yet. The band Antibalas was playing some dope Afro Beat groove. As I sat down I was ready for whatever this show was going to be.

My introduction to Fela Kuti's music started about 8 years ago after a night of clubbing and dancing. I crashed at my brother Tahleim's place and before going to sleep he proceeded to play for me two artists who would alter the way I heard music. One was Fela Kuti and the other was Nina Simone.

As the show started and the familiar Afrobeat grooves filled the auditorium I felt giddy. I'd seen Antibalas before live and hell my boy Marcus is even in the band, however I've never seen them play Fela songs. This was quite an experience. The dancers were excellent both male and female and I honestly felt like the play overall made me feel proud to be who I am. I loved the connection made between Black people in America and Fela. I love that it was the black power movement that helped fuel his return to his homeland to do an important work. The actor who played Fela did a great job as did the woman who played Sandra Isadore. I nearly jumped out of my skin as they went into my favorite Fela song Upside Down.

As the play went on I got a good sense of the respect and admiration Fela had for his mother
Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti. She laid the foundation for him to be a rebellious leader for his people. The music moved in and out of the story almost seamlessly. Also the light work was well done in this production. Props to Jay-Z and Jada Pinkett-Smith for backing this play.

Bottom line, if you are a fan of Fela's work/music you MUST see this play. I'll probably see it again if possible (a first for me). See the video's below for a primer on Fela's work.








Thursday, February 11, 2010

James Baldwin : Go Tell It On The Mountain


I just finished this book two days ago and I must say I was very pleased. This was my first Baldwin novel. I previously read a play written by him titled "Blues For Mister Charlie" which made my blood boil. It's a very emotionally charged play to say the least. I was given that play by a woman I would see on the train often on my way home from school. This was during my college years. Fast forward 6 years or so and I'm reading my first novel by the man.

Go Tell It On The Mountain is an excellent book first of all. The way it starts out, I thought the story was gonna go one way. Actually my preconceived notions may have something to do with me knowing a little bit about the author, but alas I was wrong. The book spends a lot of time on digging into each of it's main characters. There were a number of ooh and aahhh moments for me (which look strange when you're on the train, reading). I was happy that the book cover does not discuss any of the plot, so when I read it everything was fresh. I wont go into any of story here, because if you read it I would like for you to have a similar experience.

I give Go Tell It On the Mountain a B+ only because there's a part of the story that I feel was not resolved. I'm sure it doesn't need to be but because it was so juicy I really wanted some closure there.