Hot 16…Or More…”LIKE ME”

Ahhh 2006. What a crucial year. I first reconnected with my boys Killa and Sol-Leks at the end of ’05 and began this journey as a professional solo rap artist. Sol-Leks had this dope set-up in his room and used to do these preliminary recordings until he got the place that our crew, The Balance, would eventually wind up calling Wet Paint Studios. Between these times, I was reintroduced to Sekwon, who would be up in Sol-Lek’s room and have some of his beats playing. I heard songs that Sol-Leks had recorded over his beats and it always seemed like he had picked all of the good ones to rap over. I had jumped on a Sol-Leks track that Sek had produced, but he wanted me to rap over a few of his beats for myself. I had initially heard a beat he did early on called “La Lupe” and did something over that, but it went nowhere. He used to have this real choppy production style that skipped and was dependent on samples with hi-hats everywhere, so they didn’t really jump out at me. But like every other month, he’d come thru with a new cd of beats. He was real diligent with his. In early 2006, he had brought one of his beat cds and it had this track sampled from a Clint Eastwood movie. Just the fact of where it was sampled from alone made me want to take it. The other thing is that at that point, since not alot of his tracks hit me, I was real excited and I wanted to make sure I claimed it before Sol-Leks could. I took this track and wrote to it almost immediately. I recorded it in Sol-Lek’s room, but I didn’t like the mix. Sek said I did some real 50 Cent-ish type rhyme. I wanted it to be catchy tho. Where as most rappers would’ve tried to make it hardcore, I saw something else in that guitar and whistle run. But I still wanted to show off. So I chose this rhythm that rode the beat perfectly and lead into the hook each time. The first incarnation of it sounded more wordy in the first verse. So the song sat for a year after the Wet Paint era kicked in and the first Crazy 8’s and Moonlighting mixtapes took precedence. I re-wrote it and re-recorded that song about 3 times because Sek lost his original version of the beat. I just wanted to still let it be heard because I knew it was a dope song at the end of the day. Especially since I re-wrote it with more swag. So he finally re-made it correctly and by the time Wet Paint was done and I was recording with my GemStars crew in 2008, it was time for me to re-release the Crazy 8’s as the deluxe version with 8 new songs. I included this final version and it was well worth it. Sek has gone on to become one of my favorite and most reliable go-to producers. He’s come a long way and is a beast behind the boards now with respected rappers getting tracks from him. Watch out for the kid. So here it is…My first real song over a Sekwon beat….


Verse 1


you can smoke a spliff,

on a cliff, (reference to the opening line borrowed from “Uptown Anthem” by Naughty By Nature)

but the difference with the 6…

Is I really Jump-Off, (Double entendre. The jump-off. Cliff. See?)

Like I’m suicidal with…

What I spit;

This that wrist-slit – quit the life you live,

cause it’s Bleek – but that Memphis,

mean I’m on my Grizz

ly! (alot of people hate when rappers stretch a word to carry it from one sentence to another, but what I did here was made a triple entendre out of the whole suicide, wrist slit Bleek reference and made it connect to the Memphis line which can fit the Bleek and Grizzly references. And it all fit within the diced up rhyme pattern. Hence, the stretching of the word grizzly)

I’m the other kid who’s name contain a hyphen, (feeding off of the Memphis Bleek line, this is an allusion to Jay-Z; the other kid with a hyphen in his name. ha!)

ya’ll just wasn’t cutting it, so I’m bringin’ the knife in.

I’mma write til I can get my girl Canary diamonds,

all about that yellow– you can call her jewelery lightskinned!

But I ain’t colorstruck…

I’m from the westside where they throwin numbers up,

bandanas on their ups! (This was back when the gang culture in NYC was still a little bit new and more lively so the kids would be more outlandish and do stuff like wear bandanas in random places to signify their sets)

But get right, or get doubled up,

cause that sheet come in one color,

– it’s white! when you covered up!

Call for EMT,

round here, niggas eating spoonfuls of TNT…

Don’t let the waves fool you…

Cause Harlem’s known for gettin’ pretty and fly,

but you can check Youtube;

even Loon throwin C’s – you see! (Back then, Loon had beef with Dipset rapper 40 Cal. and appeared on a video clip claiming an L.A. Crip set)

I keep my frequency,

on FM,

for instance’ if a nigga’s hatin – F ’em!

He don’t really wanna see that FN,

unless you throw an A in between it


we can be best friends! ( because throwing the letter A between F & N would make him a fan – get it? Instead of seeing the FN, which is a gun. Which would be an extreme outcome)

And it ain’t even me to be threatin’,

-but I’m from a zone where the dudes known to toast more than the Best Man

And I don’t mean Taye Diggs,

this is Harlem where they got ’em sayin “A!” and “Ya Dig”! (phrases popularized by Dipset rappers Juelz Santana and Jim Jones at the time)

Spot me at a House Party – ain’t no Play or no Kid,

but still a Class Act, (duh, Kid N Play movie titles from the early 90’s)

-cats act, but they ain’t like him…



Verse 2

“That’s enough about where I’m from,

let’s get into where I’m goin…

My career’s speeding up!

Your careers’ll be slowing…

Down, like in the dumps!

I dump your stuff where the hole is,

couldn’t find a line if your rhyming came with a clothespin – oh! and…

Before your rhyming hit the store,

shellack that wax, (“wax” is old school slang for an album. It originated in description of the texture of vinyl records)

or you won’t be shining at all!

These rap cats wack…

Waving a 9 in all your songs,

but anh anh anh!

Survey says; you’re lying- you’re wrong

Zero!! (allusion to the game show Family Fued)


Lik is gassed – he know,

my head is too big for my face like, Ne-Yo

I’m So Sick, (Ne-Yo break out song. Also the bridge of a double entendre sequence)

I need some antibiotics,

in my system – jump over fences like your man was bionic


Couldn’t heal him man,

16 Million Dollar Man,

can’t stop him but,

“we can rebuild him!” (This quote and the ‘jump over fences’ line are allusions to the old TV show The 6 Million Dollar Man a.k.a. the Bionic Man)

From scratch,

but scratch that – it’ll be a minute until then,

I walk up just like the kid who did in Lenon and killed him.

Critics ain’t spoke much,

you ain’t neither,

-it’s thumbs down like Roeper,

and you ain’t Ebert.

But soon as we get these ropes up,

you ain’t leaving,

so what he’s a New Jack?

Leave that New Jack Swingin‘! (Double Entendre like a muthafucka!)

And yeah I know that’s wrong considering Black History,

-but he been talking long…

Consider Black history!!

I’m the shit that means;

simply I’m the shit to me,

your opinion means shit to me,

are you shittin’ me??!


Hope you learned something…

To listen to or download this song, click the pic of the mixtape cover below.

Still Got A Thang For, Topanga!

Ben Savage wasn’t acting. You don’t grow up on camera from pre-pubescence to adulthood with Danielle Fishel as your only love interest and watch her go through the same transformation without developing feelings. Especially with her uhhDevelopment

Yet Ms. Fishel is more than just a growth spurt. The ultimate girl next door, she radiates a warmth and familiarity to most men who grew up watching Boy Meets World. I had no idea that so many dudes felt the same way as I do about her. I thought she was my number 1 out-of-the-box crush and that I saw something special in her that no one else saw. I was definitely wrong. Check any search engine for her and she’s plastered all over guy-centric websites as a “hottie” or what-not.

Although she practically disappeared from 2000-2007, somehow she stayed relevant in the male mind. This was only bolstered once she resurfaced on the dreaded Tyra show and then struck out on her own on Style network’s The Dish. Showing a more silly side, Danielle caught her second wind as a celeb and became more famous than ever. Too bad the show came to a close this spring, but the extra bright side to her ever present bright side is that Ms. Fishel is in the exact same year of school as me, studying Psychology. DOPENESS.

The part about her that had me thinking that I alone had this special attraction to her is that unlike most of my Caucasian Persuasion crushes, Danielle’s look is decidedly ethnic. Her thick features almost make her look like a Black girl dipped in Vanilla, but this is largely due to her Maltese background. For those of you geographically unfamiliar, the Maltese islands are archipelagos next to Sicily that have an ethnic make-up that is a hodgepodge of Mediterranean races from Italian to Arab and African. 

It’s this part of her that defines the full lips, naturally tanned skin and curvaceousness that has her on the hot lists across the internets. Yet it has nothing to do with her crazily captivating smile, which is probably her most famous feature besides her much drooled over chest. The whole breast fixation more than likely stems from her television history and the reality of seeing her blossom before our eyes from whom? to Zoom! Although she’s only a 36 C – Which in my opinion is the perfect cup size, she’s always been top-heavy, and this has a sort of Pamela Anderson effect on her, making her look like she can win any marathon breast first. 

What I also think is very neglected in most mentions of her are her crystal green/hazel eyes. This completes the exoticism of her look and also adds to the inviting and warm feeling. Even tho she’s starting to look her age, just looking at these pictures reminds me how much I still actually want to meet her.

So if you ever see this,

Danielle Fishel,


have been and are still,

My Crush!!

The Very Last “Negroes In The News” Post – Who’s Boning Lauryn? Bow Wow talks life & Death, Consequence Brings his own shovel & Jalen Rose gets 20!!

This is my least favorite section of the blog. Mostly because it usually deals with such negativity. Sometimes Negroes are just Negroes and their outlandish antics have to be discussed. In the short time that this segment has run here, I’ve covered crazy murders and random acts of violence and coonery along with beacons of Hope to balance things out. But Iam not a news blogger. Nor am I a celebrity blogger. So everything you catch in this segment is pretty much something that you’ve already been made aware of or something that can easily be found on the web. And as I get ready to stop blogging altogether, this is the first section to go.

With that said, I’ve decided to go the entertainment route this time around and I hope this last entry entertains you.

NBA analyst and one of my favorite former players, Jalen Rose, just got handed a 20 day jail sentence for drunk driving. The sentencing stems from a march incident in Detroit that ended up in a car crash. His law team seems to be upset at the length of the sentencing, but fails to acknowledge that the actual term was for 92 days. The judge relaxed the other 72 and let Rose live a little. She even gave him a delay to go visit his Grandmother! Whether his reputation and status at ESPN will be affected by this is yet to be seen, but for now the bigger question is, damn – why can’t Black men just stay out of jail??!

Moving on, While Flo-Rida is getting slapped with paternity claims from random chics, Bow Wow made headlines this month for opening up about the birth of his first child and his baby mama drama, as well as his bout with suicidal thoughts. There’s been all kinds of Negro shit surrounding this, from claims that Bow skipped out on the baby shower and birth, to back and forth Twitter shots and coverage that the baby mama in question, ex-video chic, Joie Chavis, left his name off of the birth certificate. Bow made a public statement, written like a true kid, about his role in his daughter’s life and his hopes for her. The suicide talk just seems to be a sympathy play…But the general sentiment towards Bow has always been a scrutinizing one since he’s reached adulthood. Everyone seems to roll their eyes and make some kind of quip about him when he’s mentioned. Even chics that I know were fans of his 7 years ago!! I wonder how much of it is his own doing and how much of it is just people’s natural fickleness after watching dudes grow up after being over-saturated. Now if he had really followed through on those suicidal thoughts, I bet everyone would be claiming how much they’ve always loved him and giving the whole Amy Winehouse treatment. I’m just saying, Bieber be careful!!

Speaking of babies,

really, who the fuck is still knocking Lauryn Hill’s crazy ass up??!  Even Rohan is done. And he made 5 with her!

For some reason (presumably because he got dropped from the label that seems to be killing the game right now), Former G.O.O.D. music artist and Kanye mentor, Consequence has been taking the Beanie Sigel route and taking shots at the dude who’s been keeping him relevant for the last 9 years after his fade to irrelevance almost 9 years before then. A week ago, Cons released a diss track aimed at Pusha T, who’s the newest signee over at G.O.O.D. Consequence’s explanation for the beef sounds really weak and cliche and makes him sound like the bitter left-out member of the winning team. The diss is lackluster for Cons, who can be nice when he wants to be and definitely influenced Kanye’s whole cadence and delivery when he first hit the scene as a rapper. The song ends with a warning that Ye is Cons’ next victim. Now I’m no fan of Pusha T, and I definitely am not a fan of Kanye. I was actually looking forward to something like this because I was expecting Consequence to kill them and say some stuff that needs to be said, but for real, if you keep rapping on this level Cons, Don’t Quit Your Day Job!!

And lastly, Lupe announced that he was quitting Twitter and directed his followers toward the amazing Nikki Jean around the same time as the release of her album, Pennies In A Jar. Now whether or not you believe he’s actually done, you should know that Iam a big fan of Nikki’s ever since the days back at Howard University seeing her do her thing on the piano. You should click on the picture of her album to visit her site and learn more about her! 

That’s all. It’s been a fun ride. Negroes will continue to be Negroes. Somehow someway, we know it’ll end up in the news…

New Chris Classic x Brandon Carter visuals + Chris Classic Mixtape!!

Young Carter hit me with these clips in an e-mail about a week ago in support of the 3rd installment of the homie Chris Classic‘s mixtape series Summer Classic.

This first one is footage of the 2 recording one of the tracks on the mixtape  in quite frankly, one of the swankiest studios I’ve ever seen an unsigned artist work out of. Nevermind the fact that it all looks like one big Coca Cola endorsement, pay attention to the process…

The second video is a commercial for the mixtape itself, featuring the wild homie Chicago Gee. It’s a take off of an original song by Brandon that he performed acoustic guitar at a show last year, only to have punk-ass Amanda Diva try to play him on stage. The most IMPORTANT thing in this commercial however, is the fact that Chris is changing the game by dropping his mixtape in true technologically advanced fashion, by making it directly uploadable to your smartphone, for free. DOPENESS

We’re probably all gonna be doing this soon…

Check out the link to download Chris’ Mixtape by clicking on the image of the cover below

(17) Classic Sounds…


Speaking of Homophobia, and I say that because of this clip right here,  here’s a group that went against the popular Hip-Hop grain, made a song about a penis and rapped over house music. Say What??!

The groundbreaking founders of the legendary Native Tongues collective were apart of the wave of afrocentric rap outfits that almost dominated the late 80’s scene. What separated the Jungle Brothers from the pack, however, was their expressiveness and desire to party that matched their desire to drop jewels. Unlike the Public Enemy‘s and X-Klan‘s of the time, Jungle Brothers saw the lighthearted side of things, and used Hip-Hop as a mechanism to make people think and dance in the same swoop. The similarities between those groups, were the clever uses of funk/soul samples into drum-centered, vocal snippet heavy jams.

The production on this particular album is from that clever class that helped the Native Tongues click become popular. The infusion of different samples from jazz and funk songs were placed in such ways that didn’t dilute the distinct Hip-Hop song like some rap, but were more creative than just a straightforward loop or replayed interpolation. While the verses are usually just consisting of break beats, there’s a horn break here, a guitar loop there, and then a cavalcade of vocal samples that range from African chants to spoken word phrases. Yet, the sum of all of it’s parts is simplicity. It doesn’t come off as scratching and mixing caucophony like alot of songs from that era. The putting together is the production, but it’s the cohesion that makes it come off as seamless as if it were in fact one loop.

A great example of this is on tracks like “On The Run” and the album’s title track and lead off cut, “Straight Out The Jungle”. This may be the album where the group showed the most balance of their career, vacillating effortlessly between smooth and concise delivery and more upbeat and faster paced ones. On the former, the group gets funky and mirrors the pace the title suggests. It’s an uptempo groove that finds the group’s two rappers, Afrika Baby Bam and Mike G trading lines that make them seem like they’re moving through something with purpose. It’s not so much that they speed up their individual flows, but they keep up with the beat, which seems busy due to the scratches and elements that dj Sammie B continuously throws in there. On the latter, it’s the opposite. Probably some of the coolest blending of conscious and bravado ever seen in rap, the two rappers go back and forth in calm cadences, using a rhythmic default melody that has you rapping along with it before the song is over. They also make eloquent use of the jungle theme as they pass the mic in a flawless relay. This is all done over a stripped down guitar loop for the verses and great vocal parts brought in for the hook and breakdown that bring the song alive. It was their debut song and one of the best introductory cuts ever for a rap group.

The balance continues not only in tone, but in topic as the group spends a considerable amount of time between dropping pro-Black gems and describing their lifestyle and what makes them fly on addressing the ladies. There’s subtle tracks like “Behind The Bush”, which is just as laid back as the title track and cleverly suggestive(and begins with the horn sample that is used everytime  they rap on the remix of De La Soul‘s Uber classic “Buddy”), then you have not so subtle tracks like the infamous “Jimbrowski”. Coining a term that quickly became Native Tongue slang and fell right in line with the “Jimmy” parade going on in rap at the time, this song was bold. Basically, it’s an ode to the rappers’ genitalia that finds them characterizing and personalizing it and providing sexual braggadocio in an overly playful way that avoids graphic description. Featuring all kinds of zany background adlibs from legendary dj Red Alert, the song was a big enough deal to garner it’s own instrumental remix on the album called “Jimmy’s Bonus Beat”. Despite it’s lack of raunch, it is still a very blatant sex song that is kind of reckless for a bunch of dudes running around wearing African medallions. But the Jungle Brothers never claimed to be saints, nor prophets. They never took the mantle of being the CNN of the streets, or being the voice of the unheard.

It’s this absolving of responsibility that allowed them to walk the line between fun and consciousness. So when they crossed boundaries that were only crossed by local clubs outside of New York in areas that hadn’t broke into the mainstream yet, and made a rap song over a beat by a house music producer, it kind of made sense that it was them. “I’ll House You” was a breakout hit that despite journalists review of this album as a commercial failure, cemented the group in rap history. And to my knowledge as a kid in the 80’s I distinctly remember my cousins in Brooklyn bugging out to this song and hearing it everywhere. I didn’t understand why this house song about house was being considered rap music. It’s the equivalent of someone trying to explain Kid Cudi to me now. Yet, as a grown man now with some music knowledge and Hip-Hop appreciation, I’ve come to value this song as pioneering to the subsequent movement that followed in the late 80’s and early 90’s where rappers began mixing house in to often shameful results. They took a risk and made it okay for rappers to step out of their box. It’s catchy as hell and in my opinion, it’s the only rap/house song that really worked. I only hope that they feel as though they’ve gotten their appropriate recognition for that. 

One thing that they should get recognized for, is the fact that they brought another game changing element with them. To add to their laid back ethos, the Jungle Brothers represented another shift that was taking place in rap; the intonation. A departure from the super animated and commanding voices that dominated the previous decade of rap, the JB’s were lighter-voiced and full of melodic-based confidence that was sort of a throwback to the days of the Cold Crush Brothers, yet so indicative of the new school that they were representing. Having that said, it’s only poetic justice that this album introduces us to the king of the light voiced rappers, Q-Tip. Appearing on the very necessary and very popular track “Black Is Black”, Q-Tip makes his impression felt, and this was before there the debut album of A Tribe Called Quest. This is where the group’s impact is most felt. Whereas the title track briefly and lightly touched on their conscious angle with lines like “Men killing men just because of one’s color/ in this lifetime, I’ve seen nothing dumber”, they address the color issue exactly on this song with lines like “My light complexion has no meaning/ If you think so, you’re still dreaming” and “I tried and tried to tell my people/we all are one, created equal/before we master, we must plan/is that so hard to understand??” And tho this is probably the cheesiest song on the album, it is by no means wack. And it was a topic dying to be spoken about that not enough rappers have tackled to this day.

The group also gets heavy on the track “What’s Going On”, which features one the best, but sloppiest samples of a Marvin Gaye song ever. Using vignettes of everyday drama, the group paint a picture of a world suffering from way too much negativity. 

As a pioneering group for the afro-centric age of Hip-Hop, the Jungle Brothers brought us untouched topics, pride for African roots among Blacks, House rap and Q-Tip. They are definitely employers of the one lightskinned, one darkskinned formula for rap groups with 2 main rappers, yet they taught us to look past that because “Black Is Black”.  What’s interesting is that their voices don’t have any huge distinguishing qualities from one another on this album…It’s more a matter of their inflections that help you tell them apart if not watching a video or listening intently. And while for some reason their follow-up album has received more critical acclaim, this album has gone on to heralded as a classic as it rightfully should.

My favorite tracks here are “Braggin’ & Boastin”, “I’m Gonna Do You”, The super boombastic “Because I Got It Like That” (which I ride around with on my iPod and has a massive amount of remixes) and on the later releases, their original promotional single, aptly titled, “The Promo” was added to the album. Also featuring Q-Tip, this is one of my favorite Hip-Hop beats. 

All Together, this album gets 16 Candles out of a possible

4812 or 16.

4(Classic Just because where it stands in Hip-Hop, whether it be the time of it’s release, it’s influence, or the popularity of it’s singles overall)

8(Classic because it was solid for it’s time, but may be a little dated or less than amazing by today’s standards)

12(Classic as a complete release and probably celebrated widely on the surface, but possibly lacking one key element – be it one song that doesn’t fit, a wack guest appearance, lyrics, lack of depth or beats)

16(Classic all around)

More like a 14 but once I give a 16, it’s a 16. And as far as Afrika’s questionable persona….Look up his new musical endeavors and judge for yourselves…For now, enjoy the music.

No Homo?…Hip-Hop is Gayer than you think…

Let me just begin by pointing out that as much as I respect Russell Simmons, he really annoys me when it comes to his Hip-Hop culture commentary, for reasons that I’ll point out later. In the meantime, just as I recently wrote a post about the objectification of women in media, this class has also got me tripping on the definitions of gender identification and sexuality. Homosexuality in particular has been a hot button topic recently, with all the New York hype surrounding gay marriage and this past month’s focus on it by Hip-Hop media. It all points to a larger theme of acceptance and a changing world.

But has the world really changed? Or has it moreso come full circle? Well, that depends on how biblical you are. Some of you may feel that this all just means that people and lifestyles are just blending more and sooner or later, differences won’t be discriminatory agents. Some of you feel like this is just a return to Soddom & Gammora – like times and is a sign of Revelations that Jesus is indeed coming. I’m more concerned with what it all means for Hip-Hop, and how I’ve played a part or been affected.

This is no doubt a business dominated by and heavily influenced by homosexual males, be they closeted or out, be it in the executive aspect or through the fashion aspect that creates the trends and signifies status. Anyone on the outside can just look and see how rappers have spent ages idealizing and romanticizing the designs of famous gay European fashionistas to be indicative of wealth and coolness. It’s even more significant to be able to say that you rub elbows with said designers. You can also look and see the evolution of style that has occurred from the baggy look to the hipster movement and see tangents of culture blending. And anyone on the inside who has spent enough time in the offices and on sets can tell you that a good majority of the decision-makers in this industry are at the very least, questionable. let us not forget the ever-looming speculation concerning rappers themselves.

The question then becomes, why should we care? Or why do we care? Perhaps it matters because this, like most challenges to the normal and historical social order of Hip-Hop is disruptive to what we’re used to and forces us to have to adjust. Just like any other minority as in when women began to become more prominent, or when Eminem made us have to embrace White rappers the same way as the brown faces that we’re used to, homosexuality presents a new challenge. The thing with homosexuality is however, that in this male arena, it kind of stands as the antithesis of the culture itself. Created from the improvisation inspired by poverty shared by young kids in the Bronx, Hip-Hop developed as the voice of a generation in the aftermath of the aggressive Black Power movement and the wild disco era. There were pieces of both of those coming together expressing a mutual sentiment against inequality and a desire to just be indulgent and free. This was fueled by male braggadocio and the self-esteem issues prominent in minority life. Of course this movement was taking place around the same time as gay rights pushes and the rise of drag and flamboyant subcultures. Yet the 2 worlds, tho often next door to each other, seldom intertwined.

And that brings up another issue; for so long, and mostly due to gays themselves, the idea that flamboyancy is one in the same with being homosexual has been the way gayness has been characterized for males. This threat to the traditional male behavior and gender role is a direct threat to the very hetero machismo that Hip-Hop culture was built on. Why would there have been reason for the 2 worlds to cooperate harmoniously?

I read the latest issue of XXL magazine where this was being covered, and was surprised that they took a more sociological look at the whole thing. Besides the Beanie Sigel quotes, which were the most humorous and honest parts of the article, I found this quote by a professor to be the most poignant “For Hip-Hop, it’s not really an actual conversation about same sex, and it’s always these rhetorical tropes or some sort of public posturing or progressive support for same-sex marriage”. This is super true. The so-called evolution that rap has experienced is more of a political correctness when asked about it, but not in the music itself.

And this is based on the point made by the professor that as long as it’s not a conversation about sex or sexuality, then gays are more of a thing to be accepted than a group of people. But if it was truly a matter of what goes on in someone’s bedroom, as NORE tried to narrow it down to, then there would be a lot less homophobia in the world. We all know that with that presence of flamboyancy, it’s always  more than just a private matter. The lifestyles and stereotypical socialization of gays, particularly gay males, kind of puts their sexuality in everyone’s faces.

There’s so much surface posturing in Hip-Hop when it comes to this, like Russell Simmons (Who’s been accused of being one of those closeted execs time and time again) who says stuff like homophobia is exaggerated in Hip-Hop because Hip-Hop is more accepting than any other culture and that poets have always been the most tolerant. This is utter bullshit and just good talk. It’s waaaaay too early for that kind of statement. Rap hasn’t changed that much to the point where you can make bold statements like that. Not with all the anti-gay punchlines and derogatory language on the radio. And when you’re being hit with that kind of suggestion that hard from a consistent source, it’s never just words. Sure, there may be a larger sense of coolness with lesbian and bisexual female activity, but certainly NOT for gay dudes.

As somebody who’s never used the word faggot and knows plenty of gay folk, I understand how the performance versus real life aspect takes place. Then again, you have to wonder why it’s okay for me to be cool and friendly with gay people in my regular day-to-day life, but when it comes to my raps, there’s a good amount of lines that point at being a gay dude as the worst thing that one can be. Naturally, this arises from that conflict that I mentioned earlier of the macho hetero basis of Hip-Hop with the effeminate basis of stereotypical male homosexuality. In a competitive field such as rap the natural thing to do is to strip a competitor of their status. You belittle them of those things which they value the most…This includes wealth, skill, and most strikingly, manhood. And if a man who acts feminine represents a loss of manhood, then implying that someone is gay is a severe offense. The other thing is that within the urban community, there’s the damaging rise of the down-low epidemic. And for it’s very dishonest nature and contribution to mistrust between males and females and breaking of families, it garners serious contempt. As it should.

There’s a lot of stuff about gay culture that I just don’t get and can’t rock with, such as the adopting of opposite gender identity and characteristics. I also have little respect for those who don’t just come out and pretend to be straight.

None of this is an excuse tho. And if my otherwise evolved mind is able to understand homosexuality in real life (even tho, I don’t fully understand it per se), it should reflect a bit more in my songs. I’ve come quite far in the last few years, I think there’s room for growth. Evaluate me after these next 2 projects of mine drop.

And Now….The Full GWB Trailer…..

The new Juice

My Homies are Famous!!!

As indicated by the big red stripe across his face next to Plies and officer Rozay in the top left corner of this blog’s banner, it’s pretty clear that I don’t like Talib Kweli. Of course it would take one of my best female friends and favorite people to finally make me post anything Kweli-related on here. The homegirl Starrene GangStarrGirl Rhett is the lead feature in Kweli’s rock/rap offshoot group, Idle Warship‘s new video, “System Addict”. The song is ehhh…However, not only does the video start off with Starr, but as the only feature with a speaking part, she gets a whole little dialogue. How G is that?? I should mention that Iam a fan of Res, who is also apart of Idle Warship, so anything with her, I check for. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that the song starts with a quippy Jean Grae verse. 3 Dope Ladies in one spot. And best of all…No Kweli. At All.

Told you the camera loves you Starr!

Speaking of camera love, I mentioned a couple months back that I would follow the progress of this cool indie film coming out this year called GWB. Starring my boy Rayniel Rufino, this is Washington Heights drama in full effect. The party for the official trailer just took place this past weekend, and the official debut will happen during next month’s HBO Latino Film Festival. For now, peep, the teaser trailer.

We see you homie!

Damn, Have I been Objectifying Women??!

Going back to school has got me tripping hard. This Sex and Culture class has got me turning into a masculine feminist. After viewing this classic and very eye-opening and insightful presentation on female imagery in the advertising media, Killing Us Softly, I had to question myself. This unconscious suggestion, the subliminal encouragement that women are sexual accessories has been apart of our lives forever….Us born into this world of tech and industry where demographic is a household word.

I couldn’t help but think of my Crush Alot section of this blog, the segment where I highlight a beautiful woman in the public eye who I don’t know and downright gush over her as I splatter the post with scantily clad photos that exhibit her sprawled across the screen in sexually suggestive poses. In my mind, I’m simply being a warm-blooded heterosexual man and sharing my affinity for gorgeous women and all of their dimensions. I can argue that a large majority of these posts focus on the careers and backgrounds of these ladies, but there is no denying that what is most emphasized is a lustful intention that finds these women reduced to not much more than eye-candy underneath my logo. It also makes me think of the many times that I’ve had to explain the upper right corner of this site’s top banner to a woman who I just newly intrigued to come visit my blog. It’s often their first question for me after an initial vist here. Before any mention of any singular post, or any commentary on my writing, or acknowledgement of me as a musician, it’s this; ‘What’s up with the naked women as soon as the page opens up?‘, or ‘I don’t know how I feel about that’ or ‘I can’t go to your blog while I’m at work‘. Yikes! I try to explain that if those 2 pictures are looked at within the context of what the banner suggests, which are a collection of my thoughts (including also, things that Iam against, such as backpack rap and skinny jeans, and things that I love, like classic rap music), then it should make more sense. Yet as it was broken down for me, the images of the seductive women in the corner with glazed skin and supple parts tend to stand out more than anything else. And then after all of my deducing and logic, I’m reminded that the positioning of D.Woods and Selita Ebanks blowing out the candles on my logo is suggestively below where my waist would be in the middle. And then I’m stuck…Simply because, damn – I didn’t even realize what I did. They’re blowing my candles. And since ultimately, the candles bear my moniker, they are figuratively blowing me.

Maybe being a warm-blooded heterosexual man in America is the root cause of the perpetuation of this objectification that we rarely think about with any real investigation. It can be problematic. How many of you have found yourself complaining or commenting on how oversexed everything has been in the past 5 years (if not longer)? Have you listened to popular music recently??

Now, does this mean that I’m gonna stop doing my Crush Alot posts and change the banner? Probably not. But what I will do is take a more critical look at how Iam presenting women in my work here. I’ll be doing a review of everything that I’ve done here pertaining to the female species and how they are approached. I have so much respect for women that I only hope it has shown in the short time that I’ve been blogging. And tho I hate feminism and it’s extremes, I’ll stand up anyday for women to have equal rights in every realm.

I urge you in the meantime to watch Killing Us Softly( I included a clip) and think of how you absorb these sexual and objectifying messages that have been around since the dawn of all 80’s Babies and 3 decades prior. Maybe it has been strumming our pain with it’s fingers…

Nas Is The Greatest Storyteller of All Time! – 10 reasons why

A few years ago, I took it upon myself to write a list in the makeshift studio setup that my crew, The Balance, used to operate out of. This list broke down all of the qualities that define a great rapper by most popular definitions into categories like flow, personality/charisma, lyrical depth, etc. I felt it important because most of us Hip-Hop listeners never think critically about why we like the rappers that we like. Sometimes, we just like folk simply because we do and for no deeper reason than that. Yet it’s more common and logical to deduce that we like who we consider our favorites and “bests” because they excel in a certain category. It’s super rare for a rapper to encompass exceptional talent in a multitude of these categories all at the same time, and for those who do, we should recognize what a feat that is and give it more respect. More often, we can’t separate who we like from our opinions on their technical skills. That in mind, I’ll start with an example that expresses the art of doing so perfectly.

My opinion of Mr. Jones may be steeped in scrutiny and indicative of a complex love-hate listener relationship. And though I wouldn’t consider myself a fan, he was absolutely right on “Ether” when he said “name a rapper that, I ain’t influence” (one of the few truisms in that overhyped song). This includes me.

Slick Rick may have reinvented the wheel, and Biggie might be everyone’s favorite, but the Storytelling ethic of Nasir Jones is unrivaled and unparalleled. He perfected and owned it. He’s tackled Story-based rap from so many conceivable angles that it would be futile for another rapper to try to keep up. Effortlessly playing with characters, personification, linear dimensions, flow, pacing, conceit and metaphor, with a crazy attention to detail, this is why he’s a legend. He may be the most contradictory rap artist in history, and he may be deficient when it comes to making commercial bangers or bragging raps or even staying on topic when he’s not telling stories, but this is where you can truly see Nas’ genius. Here are some of the best examples.


A cult classic. Tho most of Nas’ stories revolve around violence and street fare, this is the seminal track that planted his flag as the new hood novelist. It resonated with so many street dudes and people with folks locked up. And it was just sooooo New York.

9.  BLAZE A 50

An unreleased track that many Nas fans consider a gem and one of his most action-packed escapades where he actually restarts the tale towards the end.


Not many are familiar with this one, but that’s exactly what Nas did flawlessly here; made you feel familiar with characters he introduced in a likely situation about a very understandable topic. All while making a larger philosophical point. Pussy does indeed kill…


Speaking of which…this vivid and candid story takes on a whole new significance in light of how this matrimony unfolded. Not his best ending either – lyrically or literally.


This 2-part saga reflects on Nas’ allegiance to a hustler he befriended who’s wife seeks his help after his murder and then offers advice as the plot takes an unexpected turn as Nas reflects on his own life.

5. FETUS (Belly Button Window)

Say what you will, but not too many cats out there can rap about their own prenatal existence and birth.


The Nigger raps about fried Chicken as if it were a lady, while telling a loose history of it’s love affair with the American Negro. With an assist by Busta. Who’s doing shit like this??! Nobody else.


For the simple fact that he pays enough attention to the cohesion and theme of the story that he actually says words backwards, this conversation and list should be done right here! The fact that the beat borrows from a 80’s rap classic only heightens the fact and adds poetic justice.


This is my favorite Nas story. It’s so cinematic that you would swear you were his accomplice. My only gripe is that he says he prays to “Muhammad and Allah” at the end. Uhh..Hey guy with the Islamic name, you should know that Muhammad is the prophet and Allah is God. Lots of Muslims would be trying to put your head on the chopping block after hearing that part. Especially because right after that you follow it with a suicide


It doesn’t get anymore creative than this. Give him his props for switching up the flow (Which he rarely does, but kills it whenever he puts effort in) and fully diving into a character and maintaining it for the whole song. On top of that, he incorporated double entendres, dialect and dropped food for thought. Aha!

And just for the Hell of it, because this is the standard that all post 90’s rappers modeled their creative and conceptual rhymes from and because it really does stand in a class by itself for redfining the story rhyme, Here you go…It can’t even be put on a list.

If you remember the album, It Was Written, then you remember that the song before this “Street Dreams” kept ending in a gunshot sound after every break, so after the final break a short skit ensued where people were running from that gunshot as it was depicted as a club shooting where the gunman tossed the weapon away and then Nas begins his monologue. It was true album artistry. He just set the stage for this song to feel important. And it was. indelibly so…Sure, Common did it before him with “I Used To Love H.E.R.”, and Pharoahe Monch and Organized Konfusion did the gun/bullet thing first, but Nas made the world pay attention. Even 2Pac had to try to 1up him after hearing that.

And there’s alot of songs that I could’ve added here, like “Poppa Was A Player”, “Drunk By Myself”, “2nd Childhood”, because his arsenal of stories is so immense and colorful, but you’ll find it hard to debate with me on any of this here. Give him the crown. “It’s one life, one love so there can only be one king”.