Friday, August 29, 2008

Uh, oh. Checkmate- John McCain

Alaska governor, Sarah Palin

Uh oh. John McCain has chosen a woman for his running mate. Dude. Welcome to four years of George Bush 2.0.
Of course, all of Hillary's supporters will jump ship to McCain. And, don't be surprised if many of the "liberal" white folks who were supporting Obama, suddenly find reason to get behind McCain too.

This is just terrible. I'd never heard of this woman, but she looks all wholesome and Lois Lane-y. This is just terrible.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Swagger Like Us- TI

"Swagger Like Us"- T.I. feat. Wayne, Jay Z and Kanye

I thought people had stopped saying 'swagger'? If not, they should. This song is "old"- meaning it leaked Friday--but it sounds like it was recorded many moons ago, not one month ago like T.I. told VH1.

"It's been done about a month," he said. "It was a song that Kanye and I had done first; me featuring Kanye. An idea had presented itself -- 'What if we included these people and made it an event record?' -- and I was like, 'That's a very ambitious idea but a lovely one.' "....Soon after, Hov and Weezy submitted verses. Jay liked the song so much that Tip said it will also appear on Jay's The Blueprint 3 album later this year.

Anyways, I accidentally stopped listening about half-way through this, then had my attention recaptured for a brief second when Tip came on, only to lose it again. And why is Jay making a third Blueprint? One was enough. Really.

I dunno. For this song to have the four most popular dudes in rap music on it, it's not doing it for me. Maybe I'm tripping though. Or maybe I'm getting more and more cynical as I age. Who knows.

Killer Mike Sunday Morning Masacre (Number 3)

This is a creative series... I mean, I know Crooked I did it with his weekly series, but Mike took it a step further. I guess he's honing in on his God given skills- the gift of gab. He has a logo that I would've pulled, but, to be honest, I'm not overly interested in putting a huge picture of any woman's ass up on this blog- even if it is in the name of art. Sorry, ya'll.

At any rate, this week he's on my favorite rapper ever's track, "Never" and is his regular quotable self.

I think as more people start to catch on to Mike, he's quickly becoming the new Internet rap-craze guy to endorse-- like LB, the Cool Kids, Lupe Fiasco, Jay Electronica, etc. were in their respective Cyber World heydays. I just hope that people actually listen to this guy in more than snippet-fashion.

Transgression Art Show in Atlanta at City of Ink

Although I was holed up most of this weekend, I was able to make it out on Friday to Mr. Soul and Goldi Gold's Transgression Art Show at City of Ink. I really love both of their art work, and the theme behind this show in particular was dope. If we weren't in the midst of a recession, I would've supported with more than blog... but in the meantime, here's some pics that I took. Support these guys- they're both not only multi-talented, but genuinely good dudes.

Goldi and Mr. Soul

Mr. Soul's work (read what the letters spell)
Goldi's Dilla Piece
this isn't a good shot, but it lists the names of victims of police terrorism (Mr. Soul's piece)

Fred Hampton!
One of my favorite's (Gold's piece)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Broke $ Boujee Tomorrow at the Five Spot

I often feel broke. Never really feel boujee. But I'll be here if I'm in town tomorrow. (Whaddup Dibiase!)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Female Rap Ain't Dead-- In the studio w/ FEM

When I first got wind that Amil, Rah Digga, Rage Lady Luck and Babs were getting together to work on a project called FEM (Females Earning Money), I was excited. The acronym is a little trite, but I'm really big fan of Rage and I like the rest (except maybe Amil, who I'm not sure ever really rapped). But mostly I'm a fan of women who can actually spit getting together on one project. As I've been saying forever, balance must be restored.

My homeboy, rapper/producer, Big YO, was in the studio in NY with them while they were recording this past weekend. From what he says, their stuff sounds pretty good. I guess Amil is taking on a more behind-the-scenes role and word is Mia X and Bahamadia are going to be recording with them too. Anyways, I came across this video with them in the studio freestyling with Ed Lover (co-executive producer on the project along with Uneek from Bounce Squad) at nahright. Couldn't really tell if Babs was actually freestyling, but Rage and Luck definitely were.

I guess after they left Ed Lover, they went to Harlem to shoot a video. I really hope this project comes out dope. I've been hearing a lot of sneers and jeers concerning it, which is gay. Support female emcees or come out of the closet.

Monday, August 18, 2008

New Slim Thug- "B-ch I'm Back" feat. Devin (prod by Dre)

Spotted this new Slim Thug track over at the homie, Bem's Blog. Dr. Dre is on the production and Devin is on the hook, boy does it jam. I ran into the legendary producer, Mr. Lee, in Houston last week and he was talking about all of the work he's doing on Slim's new project. If it sounds anything like this, it will be jamming. Also got to talk to Slim for a minute- who has to have the coolest Grandpa voice in the industry, besides Alfamega. Anyways, this is a banger.

(RIP Bill Davis).

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The East Coast Avengers- "Kill Bill O'Reilly"

Sure, Luda and more recently, Nas let Bill O'Reilly have it on some ditties, but no one is going harder at dude than this group, East Coast Avengers on their very literal, "Kill Bill O'Reilly."
They actually call him, "the worst person on the planet." I don't know about all that. Annoying, evil, arrogant, obnoxious, assholehish, misguided and sickeningly insensitive... yes. But I'm of the belief that worst person on the planet is probably some guy I've never even heard of using his power to control folks like Rupert Murdoch and the Walton Family or something. Call me a conspiracy theorist.

The song goes on to say, "I wanna hurt ya, immerse ya in torture/fuck makin fun of you in punch lines, I'd rather kill your family in front of you by lunch time..."
Yeah, it's a bit much. But I guess the dudes had a point to prove. And you know how rappers gotta sensationalize their points.

Anyways, this song goes hard. Estoreic and trademarc give Bill the business over DC the MIDI Alien's dark, string-heavy production-- and it makes for some damn good recession music, ala Scarface & Cube's "Hand of the Dead Body."

I got a press copy of the album (which drops this October), and from the few songs I've been able to hear on my janky ass work computer, it sounds pretty dope so far. I guess the group got its name from the comic book heroes, the Avengers. Apparently, for a little while, there was a group that split from the main Avengers group to form the West Coast Avengers and fight crime on the west coast. Or something. I really don't know jack crap about the comic book world... but a lot of rappers seem to be on them pretty hard these days. Who knew?

Oh yeah. Also got a chance to check out the new Illa J. Man. I always say that the mid-90s, from like 93-98 were five of the best years in Hip Hop. I always thought it was because I was biased because those were my formative teen years, but based on this record, I may really be on to something. Illa J is Dilla's little brother, and on his album, Yancey Brothers, he's rapping over old beats Dilla made between '95-98. It's pretty jammin ya'll. I'm only on my second listen, so I don't want to give a solid opinion, but I really like what I've heard so far.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Coonery That Was the 2008 Ozone Awards

Photo by Gavin Godfrey/swiped from

I didn't go to the Ozone Awards expecting a lot. I'm familiar with the magazine... hell, I write for the magazine. And while I have much respect for a few of the editors there, their knowledge and intelligence doesn't always make the cut for the magazine. Just like mine doesn't necessarily get a chance to shine when I write for magazine's that are not interested in it. That's the publishing game. You make sacrifices/compromises in any profession. Like, Sanaa said in the ever-realistic Brown Sugar (XXL having a female editor...HA!)-- it's how you survive the business.

But the Awards this year was the single biggest example of mass "niggotry" © Phonte I've ever seen. Ever. Seriously. It was like a real life version of the Boondocks when they're doing their Gangstalicious and Thugnificent stories. And the worst part about it all is, this event is put together by a white girl.

I think I've made it fairly clear about how I feel about white folks in Hip Hop. If you're cool, ingrained in the culture and genuinely have the interest of the people at heart-- great. I've worked for and with many, many great white folks in my day, who I have the utmost respect for. But they earned my respect because they respect me and my people. Ozone Magazine routinely shows me that it doesn't respect my culture and my people. And really, it has nothing to do with the type of artists that are featured in the magazine. It's the way that information is presented and the information that is NOT presented that I have a problem with. But it seems like, because they are one of the only publications that routinely acknowledges southern rap artists, they get excused. Because all of the New York publications basically ignored and marginalized the accomplishments of southern and west coast artists for ages, Ozone gets a pass. Artists who are ordinarily intelligent and connected to the real movement defend the publication once they get acknowledged by it, because the publication speaks to an audience the NY magazines don't really reach like that. It's a catch 22.

Still, I have to say that I was disappointed when, at the artist panel, I heard one of my favorite rappers, Killer Mike, publicly defend Julia Beverly. He insisted that the audience give her and TJ another round of applause because even though people say that she exploits the culture, the truth is, folks wouldn't have been there if it weren't for her. True enough. By my question is: Been there for what?? Does the fact that rappers were able to "come together" for a weekend totally negate the coonish shit that dominated the event? I say, hell no. Let's be proactive. Let's sell our chains, dip into our album budget a little bit and put our OWN shit together-- on some positive shit. Seriously...Alright, I'm off my soap box.

Now, I did the clean version of the 2008 Ozone Awards Most Memorable Moments, but here's my list of personal encounters with the coonery.

Niggotry Moment #1-I gave David Banner "wood." So, I'm back in the GHETTO ASS media room during the awards show. To all of you who don't work in media, let me quickly break down the concept of a media room for you. When you're a writer/photographer you don't actually get to sit in the audience during awards show-- you go to the "media room" and wait for the talent to come back for interview/photo opps after they exit the stage. Usually, there's space in one particular area of the room for the artists to stand and get interviewed, and there is also a television in the room so that the journalists can watch the show as it's being taped. There was no such organization at the 3rd Annual Ozone Awards. There wasn't even a TV for us to watch what was going on. What was in the media room, however, was blunt guts on the floor. Apparently, even the media has began mimicking the wack ass music, and is now saturated with fake journalists with no professionalism. Here's a free clue: if your publication/website/dvd magazine has the words "hood," "ghetto," "street," "grind" or "hustla" in it-- your shit is probably destined for failure. Sorry.

But back to Banner.

So, I'm interviewing dude, and our videographer is taping it, along with a couple of other folk. Everything is going good for a few minutes... then it happened. Dude abruptly stops clowning for the camera and bursts out... "Man. I got wood!"

I pause, caught completely off guard. He can't really mean that he has actual wood right? Maybe this is a new slang word that doesn't mean what I think it means. Uh, no. This dude was dead ass serious. He then launched into this long ass, uncomfortable diatribe about how I am naturally pretty, don't have to dress like a hooker to get his attention and how he would like to wake up next to me in the morning and kiss me open-mouthed, funky breath and all. Yeah. Meanwhile the cameras are rolling and the dudes around me (do female journalists who cover hip-hop exist?) are laughing. Let's just say he embarrassed the shit outta me © Nia Long in Love Jones. I still don't even know how offended to be. The funny thing about this is that when I interviewed him over the phone back when his album was first scheduled to drop, dude kinda snapped on me for asking him political questions and not focusing enough on his music. David Banner, you officially get a thumbs down.

Niggotry Moment #2- I almost get trampled to death trying to interview Chingo Bling. So I'm in the hallway of the Hilton, outside of the conference room where the artist panel is going on. I spot Texas rapper, Chingo Bling. Now, let's just make it clear that I'm not at all interested in interviewing this cat. He looks like a rapping cowboy and I'm just not feeling it. But my Overseer has told me that I have to get local content, so it is what it is. I'm standing next to dude, waiting to ask him for a quick interview. Then Rick Ross walks by, and pauses to talk to some folks. Everyone gets all distracted (I'll tell you why in a minute). All of a sudden, outta nowhere, *someone from Carol City Cartel, hustles up and before I know it, he's punched DJ Vlad, who was right next to me and Chingo, in the face. He proceeds to try to stomp dude. I run. Very quickly. Hell, I almost got knocked over in the process. **Update: DJ Vlad is now suing Rick Ross for $4 million.

Niggotry Moment #3- Some dude punches a horse. I wasn't there to see this, but one of my co-workers saw some dude punch a horse outside of Club Glo while being harassed by a cop. Read that again, ya'll. He punched a horse. The f-ck is wrong with ya'll?

Niggotry Moment #4- I see a guy with a R.I.P. Bernie Mac shirt ONE HOUR after he passed. Seriously, ya'll. It was like an hour and a half tops after news broke that Bernie Mac had passed. Which lets me know that those shirts were made prior to his death. Who does that? I mean, sports teams do that for championship games and the Superbowl and whatnot, but who does that for human beings lives? Come on, ya'll.

Niggotry Moment #5-The influx of fake ass diamond chains. I'm talking about EVERY damn body had a chain on. Now I'll be frank. I know next to nothing about diamonds, jewelery, or how to spot fakes. But I do know that Young Bullet, Shawty No Name and Lil Parolee do not have the bread to purchase chains large enough to cover their entire scrawny ass chests. And don't try to tell me they're dope boys. I ain't buyin.

Niggotry Moment #6- The women. Man, I've talk about this time and time again. Ladies, it is not necessary to wear skirts so short your ass literally hangs out, wear crochet dresses w/ no underwear or bra, let niggas spray paint your body like you're a walking billboard, or wear weaves down to your ass to hang around rappers. Trust me, they will acknowledge you regardless because the simple truth is, there ain't a lot of us around. Hell, I gave David Banner "wood" in jeans, a tank top and no make up (because it sweated off my face standing outside on the red carpet for two hours in the Houston heat). So, stop it... I beg you. Seriously, I'm begging you because it makes it hard to defend us. It makes it that much harder for me to be taking seriously when I walk into a room full of dudes to do my job. Just stop it.

Niggotry Moment #7- Trae punches Mike Jones for...not representing Houston enough? Like, really dude? You wait until the Ozone Awards to punch this cat in the face? Grant it, Mike Jones may have needed punched in the face- hell, I don't know. Dude appears to be pretty annoying, so I'm not questioning your judgment there. But when you wait til half the rap community is in your city to punch dude publicly, you make it look like a publicity stunt- which is... well, kinda corny, man. Sorry. If you wanna see Trae's explanation, hit up The Rezidue. Again, I'm not buyin.

Niggotry Moment #8- Rick Ross' entourage. I'm not even going into the whole police officer turned biggest dope boy since Ricky Ross 30-day transition plan. But dude was on some whole other shit at the awards. Every time he walked by (which wasn't often) I swear, the music to Omarion's "Entourage" popped in my head. I mean, Ross got the big pink diamond chain hanging around his neck, dudes were swarming him like he was a hot chick like Mya (who was there)... the whole thing was a bit much. Meanwhile, the cats who actually may have deserved that much attention (Willie D, Bun B, Scarface when he showed up briefly on the red carpet before bouncing to coach his kid's football team) didn't get it like that.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Spree Wilson- Where do we go from here...

This Spree Wilson song/video is dope. I love Spree... no doubt one of the best emcees in the city- and one of the most complete artists in music right now.

*spotted at on Monday

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Esthero at the Loft this Saturday

So, the show on Monday at Variety Playhouse with Janelle Monae, Gnarls Barkley and Dallas Austin has been canceled. Which sucks. BUT... Esthero will be here on Saturday at the Loft for Musical Mutiny 2008. Yiryah and blackcowboy will also perform. Honestly, I wasn't hip to them, but I really dig what I have heard of Yiryah.

I've never seen Esthero live (I know, I know) but I do remember when I first really got introduced to her, even though I was late. It was on Goodie MOB's "The World I Know" from the Slam soundtrack. That shit jammed.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

T.I.- The Making of Swing Your Rag

Check out this new video on the making of Tip's "Swing Your Rag." I'm not the biggest Swizz fan, so the song is very whatever for me. Then Tip waxes poetic about introducing the influence that Gucci and Vuitton have had on the hood. So...thanks for that, T.I. Something we all needed to know.

Maybe after he does his few months in prison, he'll come back to the vibe he was on with I'm Serious and Trap Muzik.

A girl can dream, right?

Monday, August 4, 2008

guess who's bizz-ack

It's been a good minute. But guess who's bizz-ack like a good Scarface song?

I have a good excuse for my near month-long hiatus. Ya girl was holed up in South Fulton for a few days-- and it felt like a few months. Any of you who have ever been in the hospital (in critical or intensive care no less) know what I'm talking about. I was going to go into the long dramatic story about what happened and my near death experience, but, eh. Suffice to say, thank you Jesus for my continued recovery. And if you take a lot of Aleve, Ibprofen or aspirin-- stop. Thanks to everyone who called, tried to call, sent well-wishes, prayed, etc. I truly appreciate you. Wink.

Anyways. I was gonna jump back into the game with some cool recaps-- except that I haven't been able to get out like I wanna, or I'm too tired/lazy to blog. I did go to Jabari Graham's and Dubelyoo's Art, Beats and Lyrics the other week ago (make that JACK DANIEL'S A, B+L)-- that was really cool. Also, went to the 2nd show of Nas, Talib and Jay Electronica (who didn't do the 2nd show) last Thursday. That was aiiiight. I did a review that I'll post later. Let's just say these dudes ain't exactly spring chickens any more and that second show may've been a bad idea. Unless you're just a diehard Nas fan, and I ain't, it wasn't nothin to do jumpin jacks over.

Then, I was gonna do a thing about Ludacris' silly ass move to support Obama through a freestyle that called the Manchurian candidate aka Hillary Clinton an irrelevant bitch. But I beat myself to the punch HERE. Yessuh. I's be's back on deh plantation, masssa.

Anywhoo. I did at least come up with a cool link for you to visit: check out THIS LINK. Encycolpeezia Brown has the exclusive weekly first dibs on Killer Mike's Sunday Morning Masacre. Pretty cool.

Also, you should check out Stacy Epps' The Awakening when it drops this Tuesday. Good stuff. Support female rappers, or come out of the closet.