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!

New music videos by Sol-Leks & J.Craft

Summer’s in the air. And it’s a great time for some good ol’ NYC rap.

This time I’m bringing you some visuals from 2 of Manhattan’s Uptown elite. The first being a rarity from the leader of my Balance crew, and one of my favorite rappers that I know (if not my favorite) – Sol-Leks. The kid has been on a wild hungry streak, doing back to back shows and throwing this video together in the span of 2 days. I’ll admit, I wasn’t a fan of this song until seeing the video. I get his vision now. It feels like a movement. He sampled it from a track on Kanye’s last album and chose it to be the lead of for what I hope means the arrival of Sol-Leks album. That would be something. For now, enjoy. And shout out to fellow Balance Crew member, 16’s Candles contributor and all around visionary, Who Is Number 5? for the camera work and editing. Nice assist by Rayniel as well. 

Speaking of Rayniel, who you may have seen me mention on this blog a couple times, the second video is by his team, the FM crew featuring the homie J. Craft on a solo mission. (Don’t it feel so 90’s? Peep the laid back flow and the brown bag on the car hood posturing) Rayniel also handled a majority of the filming and editing on this one. This is Inwood/Wash Heights Hip-Hop in it’s purest form. Manhattan keeps on making it! 

GWB film will finally give Wash Heights it’s shine…And I know the Star!!!

Much like my crew, The Balance, did for the area rap-wise when we released the video “DiMelo!” featuring almost every prominent rapper north of Harlem in Manhattan, there’s a film coming soon that will do the same cinematically for that very area. 

Washington Heights deserves it’s own spotlight and recognition on the big screen. As a region that is often used for locations in movies and seldom highlighted, it’s truly about that time.

Director and Writer, Jonathan Ullman has set out to do so. Using The Heights as a protagonist itself, the neighborhood is the primary setting for a fictional urban drama that gives a glimpse into life within the blocks steeped heavily in Dominican culture and often forgotten by the rest of the city. True enough, this is a lot less sunny than the depictions delivered by the In The Heights stageplay. No. This isn’t Broadway on Broadway. This is just Broadway. And with the void waiting to be filled, and a whole community waiting for a true-to-life reflection, this film can very well end up being this generation’s JUICE.

The IMDB site’s synopsis of the film reads,

“Near the shadow of the George Washington Bridge, a young Dominican teenager is hunted by a drug kingpin as his older brother must fight for both their survival over the course of a day in their Washington Heights neighborhood of New York.”

And with familiar faces like young Antonio Ortiz and veteran actor Luis Antonio Ramos, it feels more like a movement.

Most importantly, my boy Rayniel is the star of the film, bringing his career even closer to stardom. This blog didn’t exist when he made his national big screen debut in the indie film Sugar, but I was surely pumping and promoting it just as much as I will do for this flick. How ironic that Mr. Rufino is one of the many rappers from the Heights that assembled to make that “Dimelo” song and video a historic moment in Uptown history. It’s only fitting. The kid is super talented!

I’ll follow up once the trailer drops. In the meantime, check out some of the webisodes that update the film’s progress.