Montreal Jazz Fest Dispatch Day One: Excuse My French

Monday, June 30th, 2008

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Although I tell people that I “used to go to Montreal all the time,” the truth is that I’ve only been there twice. I guess I’m just a tremendous bullshit artist; either that and/or I lived so hard on those short trips that I felt like a frequent flyer.

My first adventure was freshman year in college, when, along with four friends, I was stopped by border patrol. My buddy Reed thought it was a sweet idea to wear a football helmet at the customs drive-thru, and the Canadians – I’m sure having no doubt that we were wicked stoned – pulled us over. I hid an eighth of weed in my crack that day, and after two hours of feeling like I had a concrete dump in my pants, I realized that I would have been toast anyway if they introduced a dog to the equation. Luckily, they didn’t, and we were free to roll about and frolic.

On my second trip to Montreal two years later, I ran into no such border problems. What I did come face to face with, however, was a treacherous blizzard that added both a death-defying dynamic as well as about five extra hours to my trip from upstate New York. As I would imagine is often the case with voyages to Montreal, though, it was all made worthwhile when we got to watch a stripper light her crotch on fire and extinguish it with my friend’s hat.

Oh yeah – the reason I’m telling you this: today I’m taking a bus up to Montreal, where I’ve been tapped to cover Jazz Fest (or Festival International de Jazz de Montreal, as they say). Have no fear, though, as I’m not pretending to be some jazz aficionado; I like jazz as much as the next person who can’t really tell you why they do or don’t like jazz but pretends to understand it because: A – You’re supposed to; and B – Doing otherwise displays an ignorance to the fact that much of hip-hop was directly inspired by and/or jacked from jazz musicians.

My ignorance in this case is nearly acceptable, though, as there will be plenty of music that I do get. Montreal Jazz Fest is to jazz what South by Southwest is to indie rock: it used to be all about it, but these days there’s plenty for a hip-hop head to chew on. Sure, since I’ll be bugged on mushrooms for most of my stay I’ll spend hours marinating at outdoor jazz shows; but for the most part I’ll be checking whatever hip-hop angled or crazy eclectic shit that I can find. That, of course, and strip clubs.

Hopefully by the time you read this I’ll be in Montreal, though you can never be too sure. If ever there was a sign of how superficially pious and even downright masochistic both American and Canadian society truly are, it’s how guards on both sides of the border are loath to hear that you went abroad to party. For some reason, going to ogle salami nipples and drink Molson Export doesn’t qualify as an acceptable reason for travel. Fortunately, I suspect no problems this time. I may come back a degenerate first and journalist second, but so far my priorities are still in order. So far.

Faraone Scene Stealing From Termanology / Reks / Statik Selektah..

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

Get Loose @ The Duce w/ Total Eclipse

Saturday, June 28th, 2008

Not Now But Right Now.

Friday, June 27th, 2008

Another Sign Of Armageddon? Two Fabled Albums To Drop in the 2K8

Friday, June 27th, 2008


1992 was an ill year for me. I was a snotty 11 year old Charlotte Hornet Starter Jacket wearing piece of shit little scumbag. Between Using You Illusion and The Chronic – my speakers had me using words like indo-nesia, g-funk era, and loc’d out at the breakfast table – and blocking the TV air guitaring the theme of the CBS Evening news with the attempted swagger of Slash. When I wasn’t staying up late to watch the Blue Jays win the world series or catching re-runs of Miami Vice with my old man – I was steadily practicing my Axl Rose mic sway (don’t front on the strut) and attempting to guess what was actually beneath those infamous blocked out portions of the “G” Thing video. My parents were definitely on the verge of sending me to live with a relative. Not only did I not truly understand the absolute genius of what I was listening to back then – I literally had no idea that some 16 years later I would be writing about the fact that I’m actually highly anticipating two albums that have taken almost as long to drop. The craziest thing is these two albums that were once in the same vein as the tomb of Jesus, Atlantis, and Mona Lisa’s eyebrows may actually be dropping in the same year? “WTF you babbling bout Trees?” Peep this.


Last week another solider in the blogosphere leaked nine tracks that he claimed were “mastered and finished versions” of tracks off of Guns N Rose’s fabled Chinese Democracy LP. Yeah sure they were right? Well — two days after leaking them; knock knock. The muther fucking FBI is at his door asking questions related to his source of the leaks. Now this means two things: 1) Chinese Democracy is real and the tracks he had are really from the album & 2) The government is somehow involved in the conspiracy to keep this album under wraps.  But why? Why would federal agents be so concerned with a seemingly routine .mp3 leak on the internet? Perhaps this album is actually the blueprint to a sustainable Chinese Democracy? Is Buckethead a subliminal reference and/or missing link to the illuminati? Where does the bizarre Axl Rose / Dr. Pepper agreement fit into this entire puzzle? One thing is for sure – we are dangerously close to seeing this album’s release. I’m thinking if not this year, the only viable release date is the following Tuesday after the Mayan calendar ends in 2012.


Another fucking classically delayed and over hyped project is also a c-hair away from surfacing. Snoop Dogg (or Snoop Doggy Dogg for the O.G.’z) – recently admitted he just got out of the studio to lace tracks for – get ready – DETOX. “I see what he got them waiting for, it’s on and poppin,”  stated Snoop Dogg during an interview yesterday, and added “He got records, he got heat.” Now I’ve avoided reporting on Detox in any fashion – but with the recent reemergence of Eminem (see Marty’s post below) and the ramblings of Snoop during the interview who also stated the good doctor was going to be producing his entire next album (future classic?), I’m beginning to wonder if these magical and so elusive projects may actually get a fucking release in the oh-eight era!


Back To The Grill Again

Friday, June 27th, 2008

If there’s on thing about summer time I revel in – it’s the BBQ action. Never have I not (peep the grammar) — ahem– Never have I not been a fan of going to these functions and catching a sweet second degree off the coals of some grill. Matter of fact, I took in quite a view at last nights shindig at my homey Will C‘s new digs for the summer. Yep, my boy locked down a roofdeck on the banks of the Charles overlooking the Mass. Ave bridge. Shouts to DJ Rugged One and Karma who were also in attendance as well as my posse, Crecco, DJ Knife, and Sir Remington III. I really need to get a fucking digital camera for this blog shit.


All of this aside – no one barbeques quite like 50 and the G-Unit. Of course, the pigs shut it down, but what else can you expect to happen when the theme of the evening is the promotion of an album called Terminate On Sight.


How To (And Not To) Interview A Commercial Rapper

Friday, June 27th, 2008

I saw my boy go through some serious shit today. I won’t tell you who, or where, or any of that junk, but here’s what happened: A hip-hop commentator who favors underground flavor sat down with a generic hood rapper for an interview. Assuming the customary postures, the mainstream MC got into his “I’m tough and I’m not down with anyone but myself” bit, while the reporter tried at every turn to surreptitiously insert as many insults as possible. In the end, the MTV rapper walked off in disgust, while the interviewer was just happy to not get his teeth knocked in. I’ve been mixed up in familiar scenarios myself; basically, the underground dude doesn’t want his people to think that he’s babying the shamelessly commercial cat, and the shamelessly commercial cat doesn’t want his hood fans to see him get clowned by a slow, white, geeky chump. I’m not giving any specifics because I’m not here to spark beef. I’m here to help avoid such circumstances in the future.

Ten Questions That You Can Ask Mainstream Rappers Without Getting Shot
1 – Some people are saying you’re the greatest rapper of all-time. The G.O.A.T., if you will. How does that feel?
2 – Since you made so many millions of dollars on that underground mixtape hustle, why did you want to sign with a major?
3 – A lot of people use the word hustle, but you used it first. Does that piss you off?
4 – When you fuck a different bitch every night, do their pussies start to smell the same?
5 – Is it true what they say – mo’ money, mo problems?
6 – What size shoe are you? I know this dude at Adidas who can totally hook you up with mad pairs of free kicks.
7 – Who’s cooler – Cool or Dre? Jus kidding man – I thought that would be funny.
8 – Does it suck to be a real dude in a game where so many dudes are just fronting, or are you just used to that by now?
9 – Why did Lil Wayne back out of beef with you?
10 – Does it feel good to sell more records than Slug and other underground punks like that, or do you not even think about it?

Ten Questions That Mainstream Rappers Will Absolutely Shoot You Over

1 – How does your mother feel about you always talking about bitches sucking on yo’ dick?
2 – Were you molested as a child?
3 – Is it hotter in Atlanta or in Nelly’s video?
4 – Who would you rather fuck – Lil Wayne or Baby?
5 – How do you feel about R.A. the Rugged Man’s line, ‘I don’t want fans who don’t know who G Rap is?’
6 – Who is G Rap?
7 – Have you responded to allegations that you bit your whole style from Aesop Rock?
8 – Exactly to what extent have you negotiated the sociopolitical repercussions of pushing superficial hoo-rah on captive audiences?
9 – How is your live show? I heard it sucks.
10 – What does it feel like when two white boys like Slug and Ant from Atmosphere sell three times as many records independently as your narrow ass ever will on a major?

Baltimore Love Thing

Thursday, June 26th, 2008



Err’body that knows me knows I got mad love for my hometown of Baltimore, even though we don’t give much love back out to the world. Our main exports are crab cakes, crabs like the ones on your dick, heroin, The WIre, Dru-Hill, Cal Ripken, urban blight but most of all–B-MORE CLUB. That’s why I couldn’t hide my excitement when I received a promo copy of Delicious Rmxxology. Following the likes of Verve Records and others, Delicious Records, the seminal 90s label that broke artists like Young MC and Tone-Loc, asked a diverse group of producers to give their own versions of classics from their expansive catalogue. The centerpiece is Young MC’s “Know How,” which gets the 130-bpm B-More club treatment from Aaron LaCrate and Debonair Samir. I was about 6 or so when Arsenio Hall hit his peak, but based on this video, I’d say all the stories are true.



Guest producers also include Don Rimini Ravekid, Pink Enemy, Breakbot, Hot Chip, Peaches and mo’. An unlikely contributor is none other than Marshall Mathers, whose sleep-walking production actually works well here. Check these out and let ‘er rip on the comments.


Vinyl Lives

Thursday, June 26th, 2008


Trees, this one’s for you buddy. Gais Faltima has produced a sleek, sexy all-in-one system that crosses over from format to format. It has a turntable, CD player (MP3/WMA compatible), plus USB and memory card port, so aside from banging Raekwon’s purple tape there ain’t much it can’t do. Best of all, it allows format-to-format conversion (vinyl to .mp3, etc.) while it’s playing. Add on AM/FM tuner and the fact that it just looks so damn spiffy and the $500 price is decently justified.

The Can Festival – London, UK

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

I guess today is more or less Banksy day for me – rather than Wu-Tang Wednesdays (as planned). There’s not much I can do without the ability to post .mp3s. I’ll try to keep it real visual for ya’ll muhfukkaz.

Anyway – I was on another blog earlier today that I frequent quite often (Grandgood), and saw a post about a “Banksy Movie” complete with a YouTube clip. – having watched the YouTube clip I realized the author got it twisted. To my knowledge there is no Banksy movie planned – but his YouTube clip showed The Can Festival which took place this past May in London.

 For those that aren’t up on The Can Festival (shown above) – it was allegedly started by Banksy as a legal place for Stencil artists to operate cohesively to create their work in a public setting. The mythological Banksy invited artists to join him in London in an abandoned tunnel – which at one time was used exclusively as a taxi tunnel before the Eurostar terminal moved to St. Pancreas. The location of the event was kept secret until the 11th hour – and when the location and address was finally announced a line stretched for blocks as Londoners and tourists waited to see the work that the plethora of talent which included Bsas Stencil, Run Don’t Walk, James Dodd (dlux), Tom Civil (civilian), Vexta, Prism, Daniel Melim, Altocontraste, Bandit, Roadsworth, 3D Del Naja, Artiste-Ouvrier. Blek, Sten, Sadhu, C215, Lucamaleonte, Lex, Orticancvoodles, Kaagman, Dolk, Pobel, M-City, Vhils, Btoy, Coolture, Schhh, Borbo, Sam3, Faile, Eine, John Grider, Logan Hicks, Pure Evil, Dot masters, Dan, Eelus, Banksy and more.

In addition to the artists that were there to paint professionally, the public was also invited down to bring their own stencils and lace the designated area. They were however expected to adhere to a strict set of rules. “This is an open event and coming with your own stencil is positively encouraged but please observe the following. 1) This is a stencil only event no freehand lettering or characters. 2) Report to reception on arrival and they’ll show you where to paint. 3) No going over other artists. 4) Painting outside the designated area may well result in prosecution.”

Although the main event and installations have been taken down – Eurostar (who owns the tunnel) has promised to leave up the stencil work inside the tunnel for at least six months. If you get the chance to make it to London – head on over to LEAKE STREET, LONDON SE1 7NN – 3 minutes from the London Eye.

If you want to see some more shots of the event – Peep the Flickr Page Hurr.

The Sexorcist (Real) vs. The Sexorcist (Fake)

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008



– via Necro MySpace Bulletin earlier today.



From Necro:
that post is a lie
its a shame that kids are trying to start beef like that
even you believed it and i understand why
how could u know
kids have tried lies like this on wikipedia
posting up new albums im doing that they made up
low life shit
So don’t believe the hype

The Best Damn Ghostface Article You Ever Read

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

For this first of many Wu-Tang Wednesday installments to come, I unearthed this feature that I penned about Ghostface two years ago for Boston’s Weekly Dig. In addition to being one of my favorite articles that I ever wrote, it’s also useful resource for Wu-Tang geeks. In the interview, I asked Ghostface about his notoriously verbose contribution on Pete Rock’s “Soul Survivor.” You won’t – or maybe you will – believe his response. It crushed me at the time, but now I think it’s hilarious.

It would be difficult to charge Ghostface Killah with sexual harassment. For one, he’s sanctioned by intergalactic bylaws to floss by any means necessary; and for two, everyone wants to be harassed by Ghostface – even your granny wants his chain bouncing off her chin.

Some of Ghost’s Wu-Tang companions failed to penetrate mainstream consciousness after the Clan’s bubble popped. For the most part – the crew’s shine decline can be blamed on Wu-Tang “fans,” many of whom only consumed anti-establishment fringe-hop when it was pushed through commercial outlets. Wu-Tang heads are like baby daddies; they were affectionate when Wu-Wear was en vogue, but they haven’t shown much love since.

But while contemporary Wu classics such as Inspectah Deck’s The Movement and Cappadonna’s The Yin and the Yang dodged the radar, Ghost has towered over hip-hop and emerged as an enigmatic presence on par with no other MC – ever. Homeboy could cut a track defending Paul Wolfowitz with Raffi on production and he’d still get props from Nubian broads, The Wiggles, whiteboys and Kurdish amputees.

“I know how to just go into different worlds without having to play myself,” he says. “If I have to go and make a song for radio – I know what type of music to get; when it’s time to get grimy – I get grimy; and when it’s time to get sentimental – I know how to go in and paint pictures. This is what I do – I’m a universal MC. I love music, I love hip-hop.”

While he skips across subgenres with ease, Ghost’s most devout apostles embrace his more obtuse rhymes. Some endorse his abstract facials to the point that they claim to understand lyrics that even he doesn’t get. One dynamic verb spread that’s oft discussed amongst diehards is his contribution on “Tha Game” from Pete Rock’s Soul Survivor. – a verse that famously opens with Ghost proclaiming himself, “MC ultra, high-brolic bankroll alcohol vulture…tally ho pitty-pat backgammon pro,” then reflecting on “Words with the president, brunch with Yeltsin / Gorbachev under Meth’s nuts, he out in Belgium,” and encoring with a tale of “Six and a half monkeys, twelve Nazis / Four disappear, three ate two, one flash in thin air.”

That notorious verse – like so many of Ghost’s past and present underground ventures – slides on no matter what the meaning, which, it seems, has also flashed into thin air. Sidewalk anthropologists have attempted to translate the spiel (hell – even I had a hypothesis involving Planet of the Apes and Swahili prostitutes), but as it turns out, interpreting Ghost can be like searching for the Alamo basement.

“I forgot what I was talking about on that one, but I knew what I was talkin’ about back then,” he says, laughing at how easy it is to crush a rap geek’s universe. “That’s when I was wilin’ out. Now when I tell stories I get a bigger impact than with abstract rhymes. MC lovers love the abstract shit, but a lot of males and females can relate to radio joints like the Ne-Yo track – I’m good at that there.”

The Ne-Yo track he refers to is “Back Like That,” one of many tangible offerings on Ghost’s latest Def Jam release, Fishscale. Not that anyone from outside the Shaolin sphere can catch every narcotic reference and slang shot that he fires on commercial tracks, but there’s no doubt that his newer material earns him more dollars and makes more sense to his fans than Ghost’s jigsaw raps ever did.

While releases such as Fishscale and 2004’s The Pretty Toney Album enable Ghost to freeze his medallions, side projects like last year’s Put It On the Line allow him to flaunt his ice without repercussions in the hood or on planet hip-hop. Ghostface is still applauded underground; not just for his remarkable writing, but because he picks producers on the merit of their work – not their names.

“Fishscale is the same thing I usually do – it’s the norm,” he says. “But every album is a different era – and with this one right here I just tried to get a new vibe, so I used beats from a lot of underground guys – like J Dilla, MF Doom and Pete Rock. I always find a vibe with the first couple of beats I have and then work around it.”

So far, Fishscale has won approval from both haters and the oversized Hanes demographic that we justifiably hate on. It’s that bridge appeal that allows Ghost to keep his cred despite having his own sneaker line and action figure (both due out this year), and that will keep him getting laid and paid when Nelly’s bunking with Coolio on Ja Rule’s couch.

“When I first kicked it off I was young – I didn’t know enough about the business,” he says. “I’m a lot wiser now; now I know how things work.”

MC ultra indeed.

Kobe Beef…Tasty as Ever

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008


I’m not sure where the loyalties of all our fine, upstanding readers lies, but here at World HQ (also known as the city of Boston) we are celebrating a championship for what seems like the millionth time in the past few years. Not to get complacent or anything (I’m from Baltimore, so I know about shattered sports dreams…and crab cakes), but all this “title town” business is becoming a bit ho-hum; the Celtics-Lakers series could have used a bit more drama, that’s all. Sasha Vujacic cried, Lamar Odom played like it was a November game against the Grizzlies and Kobe didn’t fool anyone with his optimistic post-game press conferences while trying to remove the proverbial broomstick that had been edging into his ass for the past 4 quarters. KG and company were dominant the whole way. But thank God for another big man who’s never been afraid to let his ass do the talking.

If you haven’t heard by now, Shaq is in the midst of making the rounds on the talk-show semi-apology circuit after leaked a video of Diesel “ripping” a freestyle at a New York club on Sunday. For some odd reason (Henny? Moet?), the big fella decided to start aiming darts at Kobe, apparently still not over the fact that they won three NBA world titles and made a dump truck full of money together. Peep the script:

By now, SportsCenter, CNN and just about every other media outlet have already had a panel of “expert” white talking heads dissecting the video from every possible perspective. Commissioner David Stern is probably shitting his pants right now trying to compose new rules to punish players for speaking publicly in rhyme format. Personally, I don’t like either of these guys, so it’s like watching Rick Ross battle Guerrilla Black to me (indifference with a side of obesity). But no one has talked about it from a hip-hop perspective. That is, was Shaq just dropping a freestyle, or does this qualify as a legitimate hip-hop battle rhyme?

Looking over the criteria, we can make an argument for both sides. This could qualify as hip-hop battle for a few reasons. First, despite his claims that it was “all in fun,” Shaq definitley gets some personal shots in at Kobe. He utilizes a time-honored battle technique–the homosexual insinuation and invitation to perform sexual act on him. Remember, Jay-Z didn’t start getting really pissed until Nas sizzled with “H to th izzo, M to the izzo.” Also very Jigga-like, Diesel drops some personal info on the low on how Kobe fucked up his marriage (“Kobe ratted me out, that’s why I’m getting a divorce”). He also has a hype-man to give himself added credibility, despite the fact that dude looks like Spud Webb minus the Jump-Soles. Lastly, he sends out warning shots to all others who may dare challenge him, skewering Patrick Ewing for not having any championship rings and going to so far as to say he’s better than the original Lakers dominant center, Kareem. All this is pretty incendiary. You don’t ask another man to describe the taste of your asshole unless you’re ready to go to war, as my pappy told me long ago.

Now let’s look at the other side. Shaq claims that he used to freestyle all the time with Kobe, J.R. Rider and other teammates when they were on the Lakers together, so we can assume that they all ragged on each other to some degree (“Kobe, you a crazy ass-raping mothafucka man!”). On top of that, Shaq’s skills on a good day are on par with the homeless guy who raps for spare change on Newbury St. in Boston. Although he’ll dispute it, he’s an athlete, not a rapper, and I’m pretty sure athletes and celebrities by definition can’t have rap beef. If Manny Ramirez and A-Rod talk shit to each other and it happens to rhyme, that’s not a rap battle. On top of that, Shaq was playing to an East Coast crowd that probably hates Kobe anyway. His eyes seemed to light up when he saw the reaction to “Kobe, tell me how my ass taste,” so he probably just rolled with it.

So what’s the verdict? Albeit one of the stupidest of all time, this unfortunately qualifies as rap beef in my book. As much as it pains me to do so, we have to judge Shaq by the same standards as we would any other rap battle; i.e. if Cormega when on the radio and asked Nas to tell him how his ass tastes, you bet that would set it off right quick. This may seem innocent enough, but it could usher in a whole new era of athlete-on-athlete battling that could revolutionize hip-hop. Who wants to go watch a real competition at Scribble Jam when any clown in a jersey can get his 2-minute bootleg video from Club Donkey getting played on constant repeat on cable? The only thing left is to hear Kobe’s response: I’m thinking a posse cut like “Hit Em Up,” filled with rage and guest spots from ex-team mates. But then again, it is “K.O.B.E.”