Tuesday, August 31, 2004
Image courtesy: The New York Times
Yesterday Bush says we can't win the war on terror, todays he says we can and will win it. Isn't that... erm, a flip flop? Steady leadership, huh? (San Francisco Chronicle | MSNBC.com)
"Now, serious security analysts have begun to admit that the goal of a democratic, pro-American Iraq has receded out of reach." From "A No-Win Situation" by Paul Krugman (full story The New York Times)
Well I guess as long as the coordinated bombing attacks, suicide bombings, kidnappings and mass executions aren't happening here, Bush can continue to declare that the world is a safer place and that the war on terror is being won, right? (The New York Times | WhiteHouse.gov)
The Justice Department has asked a judge to throw out the convictions of a suspected terror cell in Detroit because of prosecutorial misconduct, reversing course in a case the Bush administration once hailed as a major victory in the war on terrorism, legal sources said Tuesday. From "Justice Department seeks to throw out major terror conviction" by John Solomon and Curt Anderson. (Full story from AP/San Diego Union-Tribune)
Thousands of air marshals were rushed into service after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. But according to a report by the Homeland Security Department's Inspector General, Clark Kent Ervin released yesterday:
Managers within the Federal Air Marshal Service reviewed the files of 161 applicants and found that some had financial, employment, and criminal problems in the past. Of the 161 cases, 62 had been accused of domestic violence or assault, drunk driving, or sexual harassment, and half of those were arrested at least twice in the past decade.From "Report criticizes air marshal hirings." (Full story The Boston Globe)
Others had filed for bankruptcy in the last seven years, misused government resources, been fired, suspended, or made to forfeit pay in previous jobs.
104 air marshals who had been granted security clearances had been involved in 155 cases of misconduct when they worked for the Bureau of Prisons previously. Offenses included falling asleep on duty, verbal abuse, breach of security, physical abuse of an inmate, and misuse of government property and credit cards.
Between February and October 2002, there were 753 documented reports of sleeping on duty, lying, testing positive for alcohol or illegal drugs while on the job, or losing weapons
These are slightly old now but with the RNC poppin' off now these two items still seem newsworthy (and a whole lot more interesting than covering the media's analysis of Schwarzenegger's and Laura Bush's speeches. I mean, who really cares? And Arnold=Obama, impact-wise, as some pundits have opined? C'mon!):
- I'll just say that, in a very general way, I think I actually agree with Janet. (abc7.com)
- Not if they followed the platform of their daddy's party they wouldn't: Bush gals to see gay vows. (Daily News)
Speaking of the RNC though, Jay Smooth walks it like he talks it. Me? I just blag it, erm, blog it, that is.
And some Times book reviews worth peeping:
- The 9/11 Report: A Dissent by Richard Posner.
- All the President's Critics.
- Al Gore on Ross Gelbspan's global warming screed Boiling Point.
Plus another Clint Willis book I want to read.
So, my brothers and sisters, any takers? (via On and On)
Monday, August 30, 2004
New Jill Scott, Lauryn Hill & A.D.O.R. | Chi Modu | Black vs. African-American | Should "hip hop" vote for Kerry?
This really doesn't have to with anything I normally discuss on this site but I saw an article with a picture on the brand new National Museum of the American Indian (above) in The New York Times yesterday and thought the building looked incredible. (Note: archive readers, this link may be dead by time your read this. | Related: the museum's official website)
Speaking of incredible pictures, check out the official websites of acclaimed hip hop photographer Chi Modu: ChiModu.com | Hip Hop Images.
Jill Scott returns tomorrow (I believe) with her long-awaited sophomore studio release Beautifully Human Words and Sounds Vol. 2.
And in semi-related news, Funkdigi comes up with a link to "The Passion" a new Lauryn Hill joint that may (or may not) be from her VERY long awaited follow-up album allegedly to be released before the end of this year. Titled very similarly to Mel Gibson's controversial Jesus epic (coincidence?), if this is a sign of things to come, the prognosis is not good. This is far from the souled out perfection of her classic solo debut album The Miseducation and is more reminiscent, and far worse than, her now infamous Unplugged No. 2.0 and trust me, I was one of the few people who actually liked that album/DVD.
Early 90's Pete Rock affiliate A.D.O.R. finally drops his debut (?) album Classic Bangerz Vol. 1.
Ma$e is on the cover of the new Vibe but I haven't read it yet. And props to the Dave Chapppelle and the rest of the Spitkicker crew for making the cover of the new XXL which I also haven't checked out yet. There's also a new issue of Kicks er... kicking around. Sneaker heads: is this worth copping?
Allhiphop.com runs an editorial by Bakari Kitwana on "Why We Shouldn't Vote For Kerry". This seems to be on ongoing theme in hip hop this election season with some trying to make the argument that, since the Democrats take the black vote for granted (because they know we either won't vote or will automatically vote for them regardless of whether "our" concerns are being addressed or not) and the GOP is openly hostile to issues on the black agenda, voting at all or for one of the two major parties is a waste of timne.
But guess what folks? You don't vote for one of the two parties most likely to win, you really don't have a voice that can help affect policy change. If masses of young voters, black, minority of otherwise, come out and vote in November and begin the process of demanding a voice in the political process from the left or the right side, see how quickly their concerns will start to be addressed. (Spotted via Hip Hop Libertarian)
Speaking of blacks: The Times examines the problems with using the term "African-American" as a racial descriptor. (Note: archive readers, this link may be dead by time your read this.)
And also somewhat related: Fear of a Mixed Planet is the great title for the new album by Digital Underground's Shock G.
Is Jet Li's new movie "Hero" really better than "Crouching Tiger..." like some crtics are claiming? I also hear it's been out on DVD but is only now getting a proper theatrical release so what's really good?
The Olympics is a wrap but now that others have gone there, can I just go on record and ask what is it about those female beach volleyball uniforms that make every player look super hot (even though some of them are actually kind of mediocre grill-wise)? Also, Paul Hamm got over but how do you resolve how this dude got jerked? (SI.com)
Friday, August 27, 2004
So Sat. night I'm spinning and around 1-ish, some drunk Spanish dude comes and keeps mumbling asking for salsa music. I tell him I don't have any but that I'll play some reggaeton later (side note: I can't always play that stuff peak hours 'cos, unless it's a heavy latin crowd, too many spanish language records in a row sends cats heading for the exit. Maybe I'm not a good enough DJ yet to freak that ish right yet but despite my predictions that reggaeton is next to blow, it hasn't quite fully crossed over yet. You're safest dropping the Tego remixes of "Lean Back" and "21 Questions" and the NORE reggaton jawns before you start jumping heavvy into ish like Don Omar and Ivey Queen.).
Anyway, it gets closer to the end of the night and it's mostly a lot of latin cats hanging out so I blast off for about 30+ minutes with mad cuts off the Reggaeton Traxx vol. 1 and 2 as well as Baile Reggaeton volume 1 12"s that I have. Dude comes back up and says thanks but then complains that I should have played all that stuff at 1am. Some people are never happy. At least he did say thanks though.
Here some other stuff to check out if you're still too shook to meet the guy behind some of your daily web reading here:
- On Saturday:
An Evening with Words and Music
Saturday, August 28
362 West 119 Street, #1
(between Morningside and Manhattan Avenues)
8:00 pm - 1:00 am
First set starts at 8:45 so come early.
Come and enjoy the end of summer with the musical poetry of Nucomme while Keith Johnston, from the American Theater of Harlem, will take us on a multi-faceted journey and Veronica Williams & Vernon Bush will share their vocal styling and round out a great evening.
As usual, there's going to be plenty of food, snacks stuff and beverages.
An inspirational donation of $15 is requested.
This promises to be another wonderful evening. so, please join us. And don't come alone, bring a couple of friends.
- I don't know this dude, but somehow I'm on his list:
Come see dj destructacon's return to 151 Rivington.
Only the finest rock you've ever heard- nothing that would be in Fred Durst's CD collection [ed note: maybe not, Durst does wear Smiths t-shirts all the time]
Sunday. August 29
@ 151 Rivington
(btwn suffolk and clinton)
9PM - ???
FREE [ed note #2: always good!]
dj destructacon for the '04.....
- And while I've mentioned this one before, here's a reminder for Monday (August 30th):
"The St. Juste Experience"
performing LIVE: Sony recording artist ST. JUSTE
hosted by: PRINCE PAUL | music by: DJ A-VEE
425 Lafayette Ave
Doors open 11pm OPEN BAR: 11pm
I still have a St. Juste sampler to give away to the first person who hits me requesting it but I guess no-one's really checkin'. I swear it's good though. Email me if you want to hear a taste of the latest in neo-alternative soul.
But let's end with a couple quick Olympics notes: "Dream Team"? Damn! And as for the real Dream Team of this Olympics, Italy finally wakes them up. (SI.com)
Have a good weekend, y'all.
The battle in Najaf may or may not be over after three of some of the most brutal weeks of fighting since the war began almost a year and a half ago now. I've no idea on what date the images above were taken but I received them a couple of days ago in an email entitled "US Photos that will never make the news" with a message "Since all they are publicizing are the horrible photos, I think it is appropriate to see the other side of things."
Frankly, I don't think the media has done a good enough job showing how terrible a toll this war has taken not only on the poeple of Iraq but also our troops. Most the imagery I've seen to date has either been sugarcoated or hasn't gone into enough depth showing what's happening in Iraq due to the media's concerns about the "sensitivity" of American viewers or efforts to avoid accusations that airing such imagery would be providing "aid and comfort" to the enemy or would sap the morale of the troops by whipping up anti-war sentiment within the public back home.
Granted, when the images of Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal were garishly splashed all over the media earlier this summer, they outraged all who saw them including many on the right who had strongly supported the war but now we've slipped back into the same old partisan bickering over... the Vietnam war?!
Sometime before the end of this year we will almost certainly hit the terrible toll of 1000 American troops killed in Iraq over this misguided foreign policy disaster. While I will continue to do everything I can to convince folks that Bush has messed up horrendously with his badly conceived and executed counter-terrorism and foreign policy strategies and needs to be voted out before he does any more damage, maybe posting these pictures will remind us or allow us to hold out hope that, in between all the missteps, some good is still being done in Iraq.
Bush Admits Iraq 'Miscalculations' in New York Times Interview: are we getting close to a full on, actual admission by Bush of mistakes made in the Iraq war? Don't hold your breath but here's some excerpts from that "Times Interview" to judge for yourself. (NB: archive readers, these links may be dead by time you read this.)
The ranks of the poor and those without health insurance grew in 2003 for the third straight year, the government reported on Thursday, in a sign of the lingering pain being caused by a long slump in the job markets. (full story from The New York Times)
But on a lighter note....
Bin Laden No Longer Knows Where He Is: The evildoer blames Mapquest for his confusion (MSNBC.com)
Or maybe not....
Thursday, August 26, 2004
De La Soul back to grindin' | KRS-One Keeps Right | Why I might like Bob Dylan | Jonas Quant's broken-beat | Dread Event
Not much to talk about today but I did check out the new De La Soul album The Grind Date at a listening party last night. The LI trio are still sounding pretty good considering they are now seven albums deep although those hoping for a return to the sonic elcelcticism and loopiness of their early albums will be disappointed. This new album is much closer to the vibe of the albums in the unfinished AOI trilogy sound-wise. The first singles are "Grind Date" and the Madlib-produced "Shopping Bags" although, inexplicably, only the former is on the 12" and neither is on their website. Fellas: welcome to 2004, a lot of folks are finding out about new music via this thing called the internet which works real good for veteran acts who can't realistically expect to get a lot of radio and video airplay.
Speaking of veteran acts, KRS-One's new album Keep Right is shockingly good to my ears although others I've spoken to have panned it. Maybe, and this is embarrassing to admit given The Teacher's legendary status and track record of classic albums, I was feeling it because I set the bar of expectations so low?
If you're uptown this weeknd:
Darcel "the page Turner"
2319 Fredrick Douglass Blvd (aka 8th Avenue)
betw. 124th & 125th st.
Friday August 27
Please RSVP at:
718-692-4905 or email@example.com.
For more info click:
Dances on Paper Press
This needs to be represented in a hip hop music video (from Masanori Shiohara's MasaMania photoblog. Note: link may be dead when you click it.)
Speaking of music videos: check out the animated flash style video for Swedish downtempo producer Jonas Quant's broken beat soul track "Tryin'" from his album Getting Out on Lax Recordings.
Underground hip hop from Dread Event:
"The World Is Round" | "Gross Resume" | "Crewsade"
(FYI: The "World Is Round" drops as a single September 6th.)
Yahoo! Search blog.
And I never really appreciated why music critics were so open on Bob Dylan until I heard his song "Queen Jane Approximately" used in Bernadro Bertolucci's controversial (but inconsistent and, overall, kind of mediocre) movie "The Dreamers".
RNC delegates, welcome to New York. (Newsday via Boing Boing)
The Swift boat ads have been exposed by the press as blatantly false, but that hasn't stopped the Bush machine from pushing them. Has Kerry figured out how to fight back against the lies and the lying liars who tell them? Read the full story "When Republicans attack" by Tim Grieve at Salon.com | Note: subscription or day pass req'd.)
General concedes some Abu Ghraib abuse was torture. (CNN.com)
For once though, should I be giving Cheney credit for standing up and doing the right thing on the gay marriage issue? (MTV News)
And in a double Ian-might-agree-with-the-conservatives shocker, is dismantling the CIA a good idea or is Fred Kaplan right? (The New York Times | Slate | Note: archive readers, the NYT link may be dead by time you read this)
But back to reality, here's a good question: why was this Newsday story removed from their website here immediately after being published?
Wednesday, August 25, 2004
Pat Buchanan: ripping Bush a new one just in time for the RNC?
I don't know about the use of metaphors such as "likening the task facing cultural conservatives to that of soldiers sweeping black neighborhoods after riots" and Pat Buchanan's populist protectionist brand of conservatism is little outside of the mainstream of even right wing political thinking, but any time I hear a conservative is bashing Bush, I'ma make note of it. (The New York Times)
An independent review points blame at Rumsfeld and others in prisoner abuse scandal. (The Boston Globe)
Is the Red States/Blue States model passé now? The Retro vs. Metro argument advanced in the new book The Great Divide is getting a lot of buzz currently.
Margaret Thatcher's Son Charged in South Africa in Plot to Overthrow Equatorial Guinea. (ABC News)
Read about the travesty of the U.S. Terrorism Tribunals at Guantanamo. (The New York Times)
And speaking of trials, what's going on with that Saddam Hussein trial? That sh1t straight disappeared from the media after the debacle of the opening motions.
Finally, what the f-ck happened in Russia? (The Toronto Star)
Blinky Blink | Nelly action figure | Don Cash | Street's Mos' | Fam-Lay | Comp | The Beacon goes gutter...
Here to save R&B, but can he save himself?
Two things I forgot yesterday:
- Kels' double album is on stores this week also.
- Yesterday I said "Harlem's Back." But I didn't mention that my girl Jessica's artist Blinky Blink (formerly of Ma$e's Harlem World crew) has a new single called "Make Me Wanna Sing" bubblin' right now which has already been featured in HBO's acclaimed new show "Entourage" and is available on the Blink/Ma$e Harlem Knights mixtape.
Street's Mos': the most gutter new hip hop mag. It's like F.E.D.S., Don Diva or F.E.L.O.N. but without the drug lord profiles and bulletproof vest shopping guides.
and at the completely opposite end of the scale....
aRUDE: style, art, fashion, culture, scenes and beyond. (Shout to my man Iké)
And a shout to my man Jose whose new octomoto.com blogsite is, in his own words:
emerging art +
the art of emerging :: information economy
for the independent artist
The Fader claims he's a "21st century icon" and Toronto's eye magazine maintains he is the "avant rap-rocker" who is "Toronto's most mysterious MC." Meet Don Cash.
Spotted via the underground post...:
- Nelly action figure.
- The UK's answer to the revered but defunct hip hop satire magazine ego trip was the excellent, but also now defunct, fat lace magazine.
Def Jam are out of their minds for dropping Neptunes affiliate Fam-Lay. His double-single "Fresh N Drivin'" b/w "Git Busy" is retarded. Not a good sign for the LA Reid-helmed future of this legendary label.
I don't know much about this crew/label but you gotta love anyone with the name Fatz Belvedere.
Comp was hot on Ghost's "Run" track but can he fulfill the promise he showed on that cameo?
Gutter hip hop show of the week: Fat Joe & Cam'ron at The Beacon tomorrow night but with tix from $43.50 to $83.50 (WTF?) your wallet better not be gutter status.
Tuesday, August 24, 2004
The new "Hot Ish" list for August is finally up in the sidebar at left with the month almost about to end! As always, feel free to leave feedback comments positive or negative on what's moving me this month. I'm still adding things I forgot to chart (like Kardinal Offishall's "Bang Bang") but, overall, the list is starting to become very influenced by what I spin now that I have regular DJ gigs. Doing a list like this regularly also makes me realize that there's a lot more good sh1t out there than I would initially think if someone asked me out the blue what I was feeling music-wise. (mp3 link courtesy hiphopsite.com)
Harlem's back! Publicly they beefin' but is it any conincidence that both the Ma$e and Jim Jones albums drop today? And let me not be embarrassed to admit: I LOVE THE MA$E ALBUM. Yeah it's a pop record full of beat jacks and remakes but the game needs Mason Bertha who injects a little light heartedness and fun back into hip hop. Young Buck is also in stores today (and also features a "Kill Bill" sampling track called "Bang Bang" weirdly enough) so it's a pretty big week for mainstream hip hop releases. (mp3 link courtesy juno.co.uk)
New issue of Scratch out with Kanye (surprise) on the cover. Turntable Lab agrees with me that it would be tough to top the debut issue but, according to their review, they seemed to have done it:
We couldn't really see how they were gonna top the jam packed debut issue of Scratch but they came pretty damn close. This issue finds Kanye West on the cover breaking down his equipment and humble beginnings. Other producers interviewed include the Alchemist, Havoc, 45 King, Neptunes, 9th Wonder, Jazzy Pha, MIDI Mafia, Trackboyz and David Banner. DJ's Green Lantern, Clark Kent, A Trak, Shortkut, and Scratch all give incite to their craft. Lot's of gear gets reviewed, scratching techniques are discussed and the birth place of Crunk is revealed.I'm such a record nerd that when I saw the magazine I could tell from the price tag on the Marvin Gaye joint that Kanye was holding that he had bought it at Sound Library.
But I'm so out of it that I didn't even know "Lean Back" was the #1 song in the country and that Juvie had been #1 before that. I knew those were big singles, but that big? Whoa!
Miller tries to make good, but why we had to get in they ass before they stepped up and came corrrect. (allhiphop.com | EURWeb)
A web link to that Target-Champion-Eric B & Rakim ad jumpoff I mentioned a few days back.
Mos Def's Big Band live.
Now this is gully (and this is stupid). (BBC News)
"City of God": great film, great remixed soundtrack based on what I heard of it this past weekend.
And tomorrow night: "Set it Off 2: The Rebirth" unsigned female MC showcase at The Pyramid (101 Ave. A between 6th & 7th Street in NYC). Email Mental Supreme or call (718) 789-5441 / (877) 585-5177 for more details.
Monday, August 23, 2004
Image courtesy: Catch.com
More jokes here while Malkin and her ridiculous book get dissed here and dissected here. I can't front though, even though Matt & co. disagree as does my man here, Michelle Malkin is still a hottie to me despite her insane politics and a few "unflattering" pictures circulating the internet. (Catch.com | 1115.org | Is That Legal? | Byroncrawford.com | 100... monkeys typing | Related: Michael Moore in new book deal via Crains New York)
And how to do the "Lynndie". (Bad Gas spotted via FunkDigital)
"Rebel cleric Muqtada al-Sadr represents everything our government claims to hold dear -- democracy, God and patriotism." Full story from "In Iraq, a rebel with our cause" by Julie Ostrowski (New York Metro, pg. 10)
How not to fight against terrorism. (The Cincinnati Post | Related: Average Joes have tough time leaving no-fly list. (Chicago Sun-Times)
"Charter schools are key to President George W. Bush's education policy, but an analysis released last week by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) indicates they may be less than a miracle cure. The study found that students in charter schools—publicly financed schools with flexible hiring and curriculum—generally do not do as well as their public-school peers." (Full story at "Education: Not Head of the Class" in Newsweek.)
"We're Americans. It's part of our culture. I don't consider us to be evil, I just don't think we know any better. We're a really young culture. We're hillbillies, and the rest of the world sees us that way. I travel all over the world, and probably the only worse rednecks than us are the Australians." The Onion A.V. Club interveiw with roots-rock singer-songwriter Steve Earle.
"Unprecedented" does a pretty good job of laying out the case for how Team Bush™, with the assistance of Dubya's brother, his state cronies and the Supreme Court, stole the 2000 election in Florida. Watch it before you make up your mind.
And Swift Boat, part III (The New York Times)
While finally, Russell prevails. (CourtTV.com)
Saturday, August 21, 2004
A shot from the "Team America" set: pure puppet polemics and politics previewed.
Photo courtesy: The New York Times
Had to post this ASAP before the next show airs: Trevor Nelson previews cuts from The R's new double album Happy People/U Saved Me on his "Soul Nation" radio show on the UK's BBC Radio 1. Kels sounds like he is pimping the Chocolate Factory/"Step in the Name of Love" formula a little too heavy but you can't front on the incredibly lush, soulful production that he's perfected over the past couple of years. "Steppin' into Heaven", one of the tracks from the album: holy smokes, absolute musical bliss. Put on your gators and mustard colored silk suit, find a honey and get your 2-step on when this drops Tuesday. (Related: track playlist for the show | Easier yet: preview wma/mp3 snippets of the entire album courtesy of the Juno records website)
"Where Are You Now, When We Need You Most, Rage Against The Machine?" (The Onion)
"Team America": making fun of the political Right and Left. (The New York Times)
And in Olympic news:
- Go Iraq: check out a sports highlight show tonight to see that incredible goal. (Sports Illustrated)
- The (so-called) "Dream Team", whoa! (Sports Illustrated)
Friday, August 20, 2004
Fader mag's new issue is about to hit stands with M.I.A. and Cam'ron on the cover(s). Other highlights:
- A beautiful photo spead on the "Kingston Queens" of Jamaica.
- An article on UK garage crew So Solid's junior proteges Skip and Frost. No Homo/No Paedo but those kids are too cute for words.
- Holletronix's Diplo reviews a round up of recent UK garage/eski/grime 12"s in the "Vinyl Archeology" column.
- A feature on the already notorious and debauched Brit poppers The Libertines whose self-titled sophomore album is about to drop. Up the Bracket was one of my favorite albums of last year (see 1/2/04 entry) so I have high hopes for this new one, but can crack and smack-head songwriter an co-vocalist Pete Doherty keep it together long enough for this group to survive? I wish someone would do an interview with the silent and mysterious black drummer in the group Gary Powell though 'cos I'd love to know his story and get a take on everything that's happened from his point of view.
- A short review of the upcoming "Purple Rain" DVD reissue describing the movie as being full of "disco apocalypse survivors and galactic lingeries models." (Update: Purple rain was the "Movies that Rock" presentation on VH-1 on Sat. so I ended watching a bit of it including that great scene where "The Kid" scams Apollonia into getting naked and jumping into a lake to "purify" herself. I think I've now found a compelling reason to buy this DVD.)
Speaking of reissues: about time Warner Bros. did the "Goodfellas" DVD right. It came out this past Tuesday, I believe.
Combining two features from New York's Hot 97 radio station: is it just me or is Funkmaster Flex's "Air It Out" bit on his show so ghetto it's verging on coonery a la "Jerry Springer" or "The Ricki Lake Show"?
Outerspace: the baby Beatnuts?
More stuff to do.
From my homegirl Fiona B.:
Events at Joe's Pub (425 Lafayette Street New York NY 10002).
Chin Chin w/ River Nelson and DJ Prolific.
Consisting of the Kentucky born brothers, Torbitt and Wilder Schwartz, Jeremy Wilms, and Yoshi Takemasa, Chin Chin combine elements of house, afro-beat, rock, and Rn’B into what they call electro-soul. With an extended lineup including members of the Antibalas Afrobeat Ensemble and Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Chin Chin aim to incite audiences into a dancing frenzy with their horn driven electrified grooves.
River Nelson: imagine the musicality of an OutKast with the lyrical potency of a Nas. If you can somehow conjure that particular sound, you’ll get somewhere in the neighborhood of the River Nelson song experience. He’s borderline obsessed with all genres of music, loving Rock bands like the Vines, The Doors, Coldplay and Pink Floyd. His musical taste and open-mindness oozes through his music. It’s a perfect combination of the conventional and irregular.
Wednesday, August 25th
Lord Finesse presents his
Immortal Turntable Series featuring Tony Touch.
Doors open 11pm.
Cover Charge: $10.
Dress Code: Hip Hop (Ed note: hey! Break out the throwbacks and hoodies).
Come out Early - No advance tickets!
Monday, August 30th
Sony recording artist St. Juste featuring DJ Sparkle
Prince Paul hosts
DJ A Vee on the turntables.
Heavily influenced by legends Janis Joplin and Tina Turner, as well as underground singers like Tamar Kali. St. Juste has an album coming out on Columbia/Sony Records entitled The Confession Booth. With emotional lyrics and rock steady grooves, The Confession Booth is feisty and fraught with feelings It's a record that St. Juste hopes "will inspire people to go for their dreams and know that it's ok to screw up and be you."
(Note: the first person to email me will receive a CD sampler of her album which is pretty good.)
From my man Kelvin (aka DJ Blackul?ve)
Low Bar (downstairs at Rice restaurant.)
81 Washington st. (between Front st. & York)
Kitchen will be open late.
Directions: click here
and in the same nighborhood that night:
The Sundree Group and Grand Scheme Media Present...
PROJECT DUMBO PHOTO OP
Pochron Studios(Indoor/Outdoor Loft)
55 Washington Street Suite 901
Brooklyn, NY 11238
(Corner of Washington and Front Sts)
Music provided by Swift & Finesse
Brooklyn has emerged as a magnet for creativity, imagination and innovation. We bring you a multimedia experience that reflects the many facets of this unique, local identity. Welcome to DUMBO!
Grand Scheme Media
East River Drive
And on Monday:
Trying to counter the success of Michael Moore, Karl Rove's men in Hollywood are rushing to release a pro-Bush epic, "The Big Picture." But are they violating federal campaign law? Read the Full story "Triumph of the W." by Joe Conason in Salon. (Note: subscription or day pass required)
An Army investigation into the role of military intelligence personnel in the abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison reports that the scandal was not just caused by a small circle of rogue military police soldiers but resulted from failures of leadership rising to the highest levels of the U.S. command in Iraq, senior defense officials said. (Full story in The Washington Post)
And more Election 2004 links:
- Declare Yourself
- Downtown for Democracy
And finally: Iraqi soccer players angered by Bush campaign ads. (Sports Illustrated)
Thursday, August 19, 2004
Rep. Doug Bereuter (R-NE): a real American patriot?
Call it liberation or occupation, a dominating American presence in Iraq was probably destined to be more difficult, and more costly in money and in blood, than administration officials claimed in the months leading up to the war. But it need not have been this difficult. Had the military been as meticulous in planning its strategy and tactics for the postwar as it was in planning its actions on the battlefield, the looting of Baghdad, with all its disastrous material and institutional and psychological consequences, might have been stopped before it got out of control. Had the collective knowledge embedded in the Future of Iraq Project been seized upon, rather than repudiated by, the Pentagon after it gained effective control of the war and postwar planning a few months before the war began, a genuine collaboration between the American authorities and Iraqis, both within the country and from the exiles, might have evolved. And had the lessons of nation-building -- its practice but also its inevitability in the wars of the 21st century -- been embraced by the Bush administration, rather than dismissed out of hand, then the opportunities that did exist in postwar Iraq would not have been squandered as, in fact, they were.these quotes are from an article last year that was the cover story in the November 2nd issue of The New York Times magazine titled "Who Botched the Occupation?" but it's even more relevant to post (or in this case, maybe re-post) now than it was back then since things have only gotten worse in Iraq in the nine months following.
The real lesson of the postwar mess is that while occupying and reconstructing Iraq was bound to be difficult, the fact that it may be turning into a quagmire is not a result of fate, but rather (as quagmires usually are) a result of poor planning and wishful thinking. Both have been in evidence to a troubling degree in American policy almost from the moment the decision was made to overthrow Saddam Hussein's bestial dictatorship.
And in Afghanistan:
- U.S.: Afghan battle leaves 50 dead (CNN.com)
And at home:
- Leading Indicators Drop in July Signaling the Economic Recovery is Losing Steam (ABCNEws.com)
Ted Kennedy "Mistakenly" Put On 'No Fly' List (TheKansasCityChannel.com)
Bullets, not Boobs: can I simultaneously agree and disagree with this one? (MSNBC.com via Nadine S.)
Benedict Miller (The San Francisco Chronicle via Nadine S.)
but on the other hand...
Doug "Paul Revere" Bereuter (Lincoln Journal Star via Zentronix)
and for New Yorkers:
- Counter Convention
- RNC: Not Welcome
- F-ck New York (via Kev W. and Rio Rocker | Note: this takes a really long time to load so let it ride)
- Trump the Game (iWon news via Nadine S. again!)
Stay tuned for details on the next party and, to New Yorkers/Tri-staters who read this site and haven't been coming through, stop frontin' and make it happen. I don't wanna hear about how there's nothin to do in the city when the kid is workin' hard to put on events like this for you.
Speaking of frontin' like there's nothing to do in the city, don't even try it when there's all this stuff happening....
- The kid at Fuelray once again. Click here for more details. Tonight it jumps off at 8:00pm but, truthfully, Saturday's has been the night most poppin so far so feel free to f-ck with:
- Bhangra Against Bush
- Tangiers at the Canal Room
- OP/Paper magazine party:
in conjunction with
Lima Chips Press, Lil Ricky & DJ AC
TURNTABLE vol. V
The Original Producers’ Beat Lounge
Two full hours of FRESH beats from some of NYC’s hottest producers spun on digital wax by DJ KAMRON of "The Jump Off Morning Show"/Power 105.1
The Coral Room
29th St. Between 10th & 11th
PRODUCERS: hear new heat from you and your peers banging properly in a club system. Find out which of your joints really move the crowdContact firstname.lastname@example.org to have your beats included or transfer your joints to DJ Kamron on AIM (Killakam555) or bring your beats on CD (producers with ‘walk-in’ beats are behind those who upload their tracks before the night of the event)
ARTISTS, MC’s & A&Rs: hear some of the hottest current as well as the illest emerging beat makers and snatch up some fresh joints for your album.
Music Lovers & Beat Enthusiasts: there is just no better way to get up on the illest new tracks fresh out the studio.
PRODUCERS’ BEATS ON THE SET THIS EVENT:
Needlz, Baby Grand, Mr. Khaliyl, headspinnsz, Cee L. Oh!, The BollyHOOD, Heavy Metal, Soulfingas, Lez Lemon, Jules The Black Rhino, The Ratt Pakk, The Blue Room, Angola Red, Olu, Rich Medina, Jneiro, Jarel & more...
TURNTABLE is IMMEDIATELY followed by The Lima Chips Press 1st Year Anniversary celebration with Guest DJ’s: DJ Eleven & Carol C, Rich Medina, DJ Language, Dale Turner & J-Smoke.
And upcoming events worldwide from Seven Heads Records:
featuring live performance by
Asheru of the Unspoken Heard
Friday August 20th
Doors at 5PM, show at 6PM
Kon and Amir
in store performance
Saturday August 21st
14th St. and 6th Ave. Manhattan, NY
“Grown Folk Music”
Featuring sets from
The Saint and Anti, Monk One (WBAI, Wax Poetics, Scratch Magazine), and Amir (Kon & Amir, On Track, Fat Beats)
Monday August 23rd
158 Ludlow Street @ Stanton
New York City
Wednesday, August 18, 2004
Jim Jones: better than I thought?
In a banner, watershed year for documentary movies, "Hooked", the story of Oakland playground ball legend Demtrius "Hook" Mitchell, stands out and holds it own. I caught a preview of the movie, which is being released on DVD next month (I believe), last night and it's incredible. "Hook" is described in the film by his hometown contemporary and NBA star Gary Payton and others as "one of the best players never to make it in to the NBA" but directors Michael Skolnik and William O'Neill have also achieved their stated goal of creating a film with a sports theme that even non-sports fan viewers would find compelling. This is easily one of the year's best films in any genre so check it out if you can when it drops. Click to yesterday's post for trailer and website links.
“No one can deny that the ‘Diva’ sneaker and my ‘Phat Classic’ are better quality and technology than Nike’s Air Force 1’s. Those shoes have cheap old technology. Jay-Z and other rappers are doing these sneaker companies a favor by putting themselves with these sneakers. The real truth is we don’t need them [the sneaker companies].”from "Simmons' Sneaks Outselling Competition." I think Russell has a point: the S. Carters and G-Units have been the best and most sought after sneakers in the game over the past couple years. If Diddy made a Sean John dunk style sneaker, I'd probably never buy Nikes again. Full story at allhiphop.com.
A couple mp3's for you:
- Nas "Disciple" (via hiphopgame.com)
- Nas "I want It" (via hiphophavoc.com)
And if someone has a link to an mp3 of Jim Jones "Bend N Strech" from his new album On My Way to Church, holla at me. Unbelievably, I think son might have a legitimate club smash on his hands with that joint right thurrr.
Panama really doesn't like Nelly.
But Funkdigi put me on where to find the Kweli shirt I was asking about a few days back. Good lookin' fam. Come check him out spinning tonight at the Different Kitchen party at Low tonight. Also spinning: me and my man Mori. See ya tonight.
The Iraqi Conference on Election Plan Sinks Into Chaos. (The New York Times)
The New York Press presents:
The Conservative Case Against George Bush
and (to be fair):
The Liberal Case Against John Kerry.
Hasn't been updated in a minute but worth a read anyway: Rhetoric and Race.
I'm pretty much sick of the Jim McGreevey story already but this headline is so perfect I had to acknowledge it. (The Village Voice)
Tuesday, August 17, 2004
Email me if you're interested in going to this. I'm not sure they'll honor RSVP's direct to the address on the flyer if they don't know you, but I have a connect I can hook peoples up through (offer expires Wednesday August 18th, 4pm EST).
I've been out of the mixtape game for a minute but here's a couple Roc-related mixtapes out that I picked up/was given (guess which was which): S Carter: The Re-Mix and Jim Jones: Ambitionz of a Gangsta (Featuring Juelz Santana). (Thanks Shawnte C. for the hook-up on the free jawn.)
My new favorite non-hip hop joint that I'm trying to get on wax "Everything is Everything" by French retro-soft rockers Phoenix. Recommended if you lke N*E*R*D.
And my dream whip (and my only-slightly-less-ridiculous dream whip). (Related: an article on the 645 via The New York Times)
Some perspective on Michael Phelphs' Olympics so far. (San Diego Union-Tribune)
Music industry wannabe's and scene victims:
31 W. 21st St. (btwn 5th & Broadway)
Hosted by: Mr. John, Hen-Roc, & Richie Dollars
Call to RSVP 212.352.0599
Table Service Available
Me? I'll be trying to catch a preview screening of street ball documentary "Hooked." (Trailers: Window: Hi | Lo Real: Hi | Lo)
Speaking of which, the newest issue of Bobbito's street ball magazine Bounce is out.
And on Thursday: Bhangra against Bush.
Vernon Robinson: pioneer or embarassment?
As they astutely noted in today's Progress Report how does moving American armed forces further away from most of the world's trouble spots like the Middle East, Africa, the Balkans etc. allow the US to "deploy a more agile and more flexible force"?
"I can't imagine the great agony of a mom or a dad having to make the decision about which child to pick up first on September the 11th...."Bush vows to 'bring an enemy to justice' in his latest ad. So three years, later what's he waiting for? Oh yeah, there was that slightly diversionary waste of time in Iraq. (The San Francisco Chronicle | The Washington Post | Related story in The Guardian)
Porter Goss, the Bush nominee to head the CIA, on possibly working at the CIA again. (from MichaelMoore.com spotted via Ascensions.)
It had to be a black Republican who pulled out this boneheaded campaign strategy. (The Mercury News | Site reg' req'd so remember to use Bugmenot.com if necessary)
Dubyaspeak.com for more Bush follies.
And New Yorkers: give the RNC the "window treatment"... (via Dave P)
Unless, of course, you don't want the FBI Knocking on your door. (The New York Times)
While the GOP is still pulling dirty tricks in Florida and trying to supress the vote there again. (The New York Times)
And Zakaria explains Why Kerry Is Right on Iraq. (Newsweek)
But the People will Judge Bush.
And Nader suporters you can still repent while there's time by visiting the Repentant Nader Voter PAC (spotted via The New York Times).
Monday, August 16, 2004
The Times hoods it out | Miller falls way short | AF1's West Indies are back | The "Dream Team" wakes up to reality
Photo courtesy: The New York Times
You know how it go, Fox and GavThe New York Times hoods it out with coverage of the "long white t-shirt" phenomenon and ghetto fast food mainstay Kennedy Fried which they rate as better than KFC!
In a navy blue Rov, stuntin' in Halo
On the I-95, keepin it live
In the hood, in the 5, front of Kennedy Fried (Whooooo)....
-- Foxy Brown "Stylin'" (mp3 courtesy Sandbox)
Spotted in Fulton Mall this weekend: Nike's Air Force 1 West Indies edition are back in stores. I had to cop a pair although they were the red colorway, not the yellow ones shown in the pictures in the link.
So Shyne is the new 50 in terms of street buzz right now and has a brand new record label called Gangland Records but a Japanese-American scenester/model/heiress is his first signing? Either he has nothing to do with this and Def Jam signed her and engineered this affiliation as a way to attach a little street cred to her or Shyne has no f-cking clue what the hell he's doing. How does he start a record label since he's been in jail for the past 4 years, anyway? BTW, his album is aight though. The remake of "Verbal Intercourse" with Fox Brown is kind of hot and that "Jimmy Choo" single with Ashanti smells like a hit too. (The New York Post | mp3 links courtesy: J&R Music World | Archive readers: these two links may be dead by time you read this)
In Olympic news, USA basketball is humiliated by Puerto Rico. Or, with the increase of international players in the NBA, should fans of the American team resign themselves to the new reality that the era of US dominance in international competition is over? (The Boston Herald | Related: Sports Illustrated has already lined up the excuses.)
F-ck Miller Brewing and Rolling Stone: Joe Walsh and Def Leppard but no black artists in their "50th anniversary of rock 'n' roll" commemorative beer can series? (The New York Times)
Despite the rain, I'm hoping to be in Central Park tonight watching my future wife perform. I'm sure tonight couldn't be more different from Nas's show in the Park yesterday which was (surprisingly to me) supposedly crazy. Obviously this rain is the byproduct of Hurricane Charley so I hope any Florida readers I may have out there survived the storm OK.
Friday, August 13, 2004
And next week it goes down again with special guest DJ's Funkdigi and Mori:
Late 80's/early 90's hip hop courtesy of the kid to commemorate the Ready to Die baby theme of this month's invite.
Gonna mix up the content in today's post between some music and political/news stuff:
I don't how many times I've expressed a variation on this thought but Bush is yet again embarassing himself with this line of argument. Son needs to just stop with the relentless fear mongering and hanging the spectre of threat of terrorism over everything. Sh!t is getting real tired.
If I haven't said it enough already: for the sake of all that's good, please just vote (or register if you haven't already). Do not fall into the thinking I've heard Talib Kweli espouse (most recently on BET last night and previously in an interveiw in The Ave magazine) that voting is a waste of time or irrelvant to the lives of those living in "the hood." C'mon....
Why the internet is great: the President's cogent explanation of federalism wrt dealing the sovereign First Nations. (via hiphopmusic.com)
Ron Reagan, Jr. shuts down Laura Bush's stupid ass on the stem cell issue in The New York Times letter section.
The new "Fahrenheit 9/11"? Right wing critics are already lining up to denounce the "War on Terror" puppet movie spoof "Team America." Besides the trailer being f-cking hilarious, that news in of itself pretty much guarantees that I'll be at the theater opening day to support this movie. (South Park Alliance)
And in "cherry on the cake news" and with too many levels for me to really comment or contemplate fully, this might be the dumbest sh!t I've read relating (indirectly but actually very directly) to the Iraq war. (The Los Angeles Times via Nadine S.)
So in case I haven't made this point clear enough several times already, don't vote Nader either. Maybe people need to get more active in this organization just in case.
But God forbid Kerry doesn't prevail in November, maybe we can just build a better Bush (Via David P, I think)
The RNC Sloganator Memorial (via David P)
Semi-ig'nant comment of the week: dude must be seriously gay if this is his wife. (The New York Times)
F-ck Quiznos Subs! (EURWeb)
Ruben Fleischer's video for M.I.A.'s already post-modern pop music classic "Galang": Nick Catchdubs scooped me yet again this time only because I deleted an email from a Sasha Nixon (who he/she?) hooking me up with a link to this joint as it was dumped into my Bulk/Spam folder. Is this dude (Ruben, that is) the new Michel Gondry or something because he only seems to do videos for the coolest, hipster-cred bands on the planet?
Speaking of vaguely hip hop-related British acts: can artists like The Streets, Dizzee Rascal and Ms. Dynamite break in the US hip hop market? I say hell no (with very limited, qualified exceptions) but the debate rages (or at least is ongoing) at the Coolfer music industry blog.
Finally, before you drop $300 or $400, consider the iPod vs. The Cassette arguments. (via Nadine S.)
In a slight departure from the normal content on this site, with the Olympics jumping off today, here's some reading to get you up to speed even though most heads I've talked to don't seem to give a f-ck about them this time around. Is it because of the dismal set-up by the Greeks, the taint of the doping scandal in the Track & Field world, fear of terrorism or something else, who knows? (The Seattle Times | Fox Sports Australia | Sky News)
In any case, as a (very) ex-college track athlete, this is the one time every four years where I get real interested in sports so I'll be trying to catch as much of the games as I can. Read on for the low down on the key ish that matters at these games (from my p.o.v.):
- What Olympic Ideal? (The New York Times)
- Michael Phelps: Built to Swim (The New York Times)
- Mighty Michael: Phelps is young, fast and gunning for history. An inside look at a legend in the making. (Newsweek)
- A close look at the Olympic swimming schedule for Michael Phelps’s gold-medal chase. (Newsweek)
- A Long Jump: Track-and-field superstar Marion Jones tries to outrun an accelerating scandal over doping. (Newsweek)
- Newsweek Olympics blog
- Olympian struggle: Fans face boot for eating or drinking wrong brands at games. (The Halifax Herald)
- Keeth Smart: Black fencer ranked #1 in the world | USA Today story
- Maritza Correia (aka my future wife). This Guyanese-American athlete is the first black woman to make the US olympic swim team: WestIndianTimes.net story | Olympic team bio | USA Swimming bio | U. Georgia bio | NBC Olympics website bio
- Daiane dos Santos: the 2003 floor exercise world champion and Brazil's great black gymnastics hope. (The New York Times)
The opening ceremony will air tonight at 8:00pm on NBC.
- The British-born supermodel Naomi Campbell to carry the torch during its final approach to the Olympic stadium in Athens tonight, WTF? (EURWeb)
Thursday, August 12, 2004
Daniel Bernard Roumain. Photo courtesy: dbrmusic.com
Last night at the Spin-Off I completely missed Kweli's set and only stayed for part of The Roots' show because the DJ battle ran forever and they didn't hit the stage 'til mad late (and I was still tired from the night before to stay up late two nights in a row).
At first I was amazed so many women were at a DJ battle until i realized nobody there really cared about the DJs and they were all patiently waiting them out for the Roots to hit the stage. The part of their set I saw they sounded great but after they did "Stay Cool" (without a De La guest appearance, sorry Joey), I jetted. I've seen these dudes enough times that I didn't feel compelled to stick around for the whole thing. By the way, do the Roots even have any black fans any more because the crowd was 90+% white last night.
Also: anybody who knows where I can cop one of those Harley Davidson steez Talib Kweli "Beautiful Strggle" promo t-shirts, hit me up, thanks.
Heads have been sleeping on LL Cool J's "Headsprung" even though it's slowly turned into a club heater, but check out the B-side “Feel the Beat” (produced by Timbaland): Win High | Win Low | Real High.
From what little I could hear of it at the listening session last night, Saul Williams' new album sounds pretty good. Here's a quick taste: "List of Demands (Reparations)".
New Dizze Rascal "Stand Up Tall" video. Lovin' the spinners on the London cab steez but is the popped Lacoste tennis shirt collar look a nod to Dizzee's white hipster core fanbase in America?
Backspin Promotions look like they work some good projects.
Daniel Bernard Roumain: "hip hop"/classical music composer.
A guide to One Million Free & Legal Music Tracks at The Red Ferret Journal.
So now that Kevin Liles has rejoined his boy and rumors still swirling of a Sean Carter label deal, will Warners become the new Yankees of hip hop? (Hits)
Asics' Kill Bill sneaker.
Not blogging, not photo blogging but vlogging (or mlogging: "movie blogging"). (The Guardian)
Wednesday, August 11, 2004
Last night was the Brand Nubian album release party at 17. Not much to say other than it was kind of surreal seeing infamous PR maven Lizzie Grubman hanging around outside. Her involement in the party probably explains why a party for these notorious 5 percenters was almost exclusively populated by white (Devil?) fashion victim types, most of whom probably didn't even recognize Puba (BTW the cat originally responsible for the striped "button up" [sic] craze for my old school heads) when he came in. DJ for the night Beverly Bonds is truly the hip hop embodiment of talent and beauty though.
After that, I zipped up to Spirit for the Mobb Deep album release party. This was more my speed (pun intended for those who know what I'm talking about). I immediately knew I was in the right place when I spotted the Shyne promo-wrapped Rolls Royce Phantom outside. Inside Hot 97's Mr Cee and Camillo tore it down with Cee ripping a whole set of early 90's hip hop that you never hear in clubs any more. I didn't stay for whole thing but was there long enough to see the ghetto lingerie fashion show and MOP wreck "Ante Up" three times in a row including the remix with Bussa-Bus which sent the crowd bananas. Look out for a new MOP/Mobb Deep full album collabo according to an announcement made by Fame from the stage mid-performance.
Mobb's album is in stores today as is Shyne's. Thanks to Michelle at Room Service for an advance on the Mobb. It's cool but it's also clear at this point that they'll never touch the perfection of The Infamous again, but there's enough heat on this album to warrant a few spins. Also: check the artwork in the booklet for some very cool custom Mobb Deep throwbacks and warm up suits sported by Havoc and Prodigy. They need to be selling those, fa' real.
So tonight there's a listening party for the debut release by spoken word artist Saul Williams on the Fader Label (the brand new record company from the people behind Fader magazine). Check out his first (?) album Amethyst Rock Star. Even if you hate spoken word and think it's pretentious, monotonous, boho BS (like I do), this album is really worth checking out because there are very few straight up hip hop albums coming out nowadays with this much passion or taking this many creative chances musically.
Also tonight is this:
I have a phone number you can call that might be able to still get you on the free guest list but I'm not posting it. Email me for it although I make no promises that it'll still work since the alleged cut off calling deadline was 8/9 (I called yesterday and got put on the list still though).
Watch MC Wordsworth slam Bush in a different kind of debate. (Related: Pre-order Wordsworth's new Mirror Music album via his WordWideCommunications.com website)
Chappelle sound board. (via Nadine S.)
And when I saw this in my email inbox I thought it was gonna be about the return of underrated, late 90's hip hop group from Uptown Cru responsible for "Bubblin", "Pronto", "Live at the Tunnel" and "Just Another Case" but sadly, no.
And for my Island peoples: controversy in the steel band world. (The New York Times, archive readers: this link may be broken by time you read this.)
Finally, there is hope again. (E! Online)
Tuesday, August 10, 2004
Image courtesy: Soulwalking.co.uk
It's still not clear what lead to his untimely death but Rick James, RIP (MTV News):
- Pop (all love)'s Aaron has a summary of the Rick James blog coverage.
- Allhiphop.com's has an execellent recent interview with James.
- Mp3 snippets of a recent track (and by recent I mean in the last 10 years) called "Hard To Get (Revisited)" by James and OG Bay Area gangsta rapper Richie Rich from the How to be a Player soundtrack album that shows he still had that real funk. (Real | Win)
I didn't get my ish together this past weekend but look for "Super Freak," "Mary Jane," "All Night Long" and "Square Biz" to get dropped in the mix this weekend at Fuelray.
Speaking of DJ-ing, I know Hashim and Metalface have been trying to get their DJ on, maybe they need to look into this? (The New York Times)
You can thank me now for making it happen: the Maroon 5 12" is now out 'cos I copped one on Sat. afternoon at Beat Street in Brooklyn (I couldn't wait to hit up my peoples at J records for promos this week). I dropped it twice that night while spinning to great effect. Only negative: no Kanye remix on the wax.
Speaking of remixes though, can we get a moratorium on any more new versions of "Lean Back" now? The Em/Mase and Tego Spanish remix joints were fine but now there's another half-assed sounding remix with Big Pun and an R&B remake by some chick named Paula Campbell going around too. C'mon when they have a whole shelf just for versions of one song (at Music Factory, what is this: dancehall?), it's done and time to get ready for a new single.
Swindle magazine: very cool-looking, but do people wanna pay $14.95 for an art house take on hip hop and pop culture in a hardcover book format?
But, if the music is good, I wouldn't mind paying a premium for the new Prince Po album The Slickness because the artwork is ridiculous. It folds out into an actual picture frame (both the CD and vinyl album version), that ish is bananas.
And can LA Reid save Def Jam? As much as I respect him for what he's achieved as an executive in the past at Arista and LaFace, as a betting man I wouldn't put my money on it. Him and Def Jam are literally oil and water. Interscope/Shady/G-Unit/Aftertmath is the new Yankees of hip hop (maybe). More discussion over at J Smooth's. (Newsweek)