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Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Lying: a Daily Operation for the Bush administration 

Like Guru, Bush flips the script: Rice to Give Sworn Public Testimony. Is Condi about to get hung out to dry? Ask me if care, sleep with dogs.... (Washington Post)

The Quiet Americans: Why can't the media call Bush a liar? (LA Weekly)

The return of Ma$e? (Daily News scroll down to sixth item)

Common and Kanye live on Chappelle's Show (what, no video?). (via Cocaine Blunt & Hip Hop Tapes)

Brothers from another mother? Nick Nolte and James Brown:

Images courtesy: and Reuters via Telegraph

Mentioned before but worth mentioning again:

- Technics new CD turntable and

- Pioneer's DVD video turntable.

And finally, sneaker heads, in case you're not knowing: Sole Collector magazine.

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Tuesday, March 30, 2004

"A political blunder of the first order..." | Real Brothers Grindin' | Another plug for Different Kitchen at Low Bar 

Richard Clarke: Revolutionary But Gangsta? (via I'm So Sincerr)
- Dead Prez: RBG in stores today. Seriously, go cop that, you need this album in your life.

Clarke Charges on Bush Seem to Have Sticking Power. (Reuters)

On the other hand though: Despite a week of negative headlines about how his administration handled the threat of terrorism before the attacks of September 11, 2001, President Bush's political position against presumptive Democratic nominee Sen. John Kerry has strengthened, according to a new CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll. (

An example of Bush bringing "freedom and democracy" to Iraq? G.I.'s Padlock Baghdad Paper Accused of Lies: American soldiers shut down a popular Baghdad newspaper on Sunday and tightened chains across the doors after the occupation authorities accused it of printing lies that incited violence. (New York Times)

WTF? But after demonstrating his continued disdain for the Fifth Estate and freedom of the press throughout his 4 years in office so far right here in the US, that stunt should come as a surprise to no-one. Speaking of which, here's a really weak rebuttal from the "journalist" who did the voice-over for the fake medicare news report serviced by the White House that I discussed a few days ago. (TelevisionWeek)

"I have nothing to hide....": Condoleezza Rice has defended her decision not to give public testimony to a congressional commission investigating the 9/11 terror attacks. (BBC News World Edition)

The future of radio in a post-Nipplegate world? Radio shock jock Howard Stern is in discussions with investors about starting his own radio business. (New York Post)

And I'm lovin' MOP's remake of the Geto Boys' "Mind Playin' Tricks On Me."

Great interview with Pete Rock at

While you're in the stores pickin' up DPZ, you might bump into me coppin' that and the, ahem, Hood Hop album from the self-proclaimed "Teen President" (what?): J-Kwon Out To Shock With 'Tipsy' Remix... Feel free to flame, I'm really not caring. (MTV News)

The food might be bad for you but the music's bangin' like whoa: cop your 99 cent Pharrell/N*E*R*D/Kelis LidRock CD from KFC now.

But for great food: this week it's gotta be Low Bar at Rice restaurant....

Man, blogger is so wack and/or I'm so technically inpet that I had to link to Nick Catchdubs' site to show you the official email invite for my party "Different Kitchen at Low Bar" jumping off this Thursday (April 1). Nick will be DJ-ing along with some other good folks cooking up what I'm sure will a fine musical stew of sounds in the kitchen that night. So, BK and NYC heads come through and peep my attempt to make this blog come to life as a club night with all the eclecticism, good vibes and Brooklyn attitude, filtered through my own uniquely bohemian hip hop sensibility, you've come to expect from your favorite blog site.

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Monday, March 29, 2004

“Nothing would be better, from my point of view, than to be able to testify....” 

Image courtesy: MSNBC | Charles Dharapak/AP

The 9/11 Commission controversy carries on unabated. I missed Rice on 60 Minutes but The Center for American Progress breaks down the claims she made on the show here. (MSNBC | Center for American Progress)

However, watching the end of Richard Clarke's appearance on Meet The Press earlier that day, he made sense to me: "Invading Iraq after 9/11 is like invading Mexico after Pearl Harbor..." That being said, I'm about to say something else semi-controversial: while I think Bush has been a terrible president who's strategy on fighting the war on terror has been wrong and who hyped his case or outright lied to justify invading Iraq, I'm not convinced he can be blamed for not preventing the 9/11 attacks. While bin Laden and Al-Qaeda were acknowledged as a rising problem over the years, I don't think the pre-9/11 mindset of Amercia would have tolerated the targeted assassination of bin Laden or an outright declaration of war against a group most people hadn't even really heard of until 9/11. I'm open to hearing other opinions on this though.

Frank Rich on the "Iraqi Infoganda." (New York Times)

Man, this guy just had to be French, didn't he? You know conservatives will have a field day with this story: French lawyer says he will defend Saddam. (Reuters)

Follow-up from the "THE STATE OF BLACK MEN IN AMERICA" Town Hall Meeting I mentioned on Friday. I caught the tail-end of the meeting and was impressed by both the turnout which, similar to the Million Man March, included black men (and women) from all walks of life from young hip hoppers to professionals and retirees and the candid nature of the discussion. Like many panels and conferences the discussion centered around the theme of "talk is good, but where's the action and what's the follow up?" Panelist Kevin Powell, and others on the panel, have to be given props for speaking honestly to the fact that change will come, not by looking to the panelists to provide some magic plan for change, but incrementally and from each individual making changes or taking action and leadership roles within their own own sphere of influence, even that means only within their own family or circle of friends.

Here's some organizations and events I also got put up on from being at the meeting:
- Hip Hop Project: A last-chance alternative high school program where students learn about the business and creative processes of the music industry.

- H2Ed: Another hip hop educational program.

- The National Hip Hop Political Convention Website

- $5.15 Is Not Enough: A coalition of community, labor, student, immigrant and political groups launched in November 2003 to lobby for a raise in the minimum wage in New York state.

- African Film Festival: April 3-15, 23-25.

- Haiti on Screen Film Festival: March 31-April 4, 2004.
Is the lesson to learn from this story that those who murder rap artists are never brought to justice?: Prosecutors Refuse Charges Againts [sic] Man Accused Of Killing Soulja Slim. (

Meanwhile Miami watches their police watching the rappers: Panel seeks police binder on rappers. (Miami Herald)

The story behind Korn's "Y'All Want a Single" music video that I mentioned a while back. (

Kelefa Sanneh on Usher and Janet in "Two Lessons at the School for Scandal." (New York Times)
- If the two female clerks at Music Factory in Fulton Mall in BK yesterday are any indication, Janet's new album (out tomorrow I believe) is gonna stiff horribly, 'cos they were panning it crazy. They were however loving the new Usher.

Hip hop producer Just Blaze launches his own online radio station called, appropriately enough, "Just Blaze Radio" (permalink also in sidebar at left under the "Hear Music Online" section). I pride myself on being on point with my hip hop ish but I played this for a while this morning and didn't recognize well over 80% of the jawns on the playlist. For real heads and those who need to get schooled.

Was this the junior mafia Pac was attacking when he did "Hit Em Up"? (via Pricelicious)

The fad is pretty much a wrap at this point but for those still ridin' with it, pretty authentic-looking bootleg Mitchell & Ness throwback jerseys are available from a street vedndor right outside the 23rd & 6th Best Buy in Manhattan for $60 a pop, which is a fraction of the price for the real jawns but damn, $60 for anything bootleg just don't seem right....

Mobb Deep's "Got it Twisted" video drops soon if not already with a cameo from fantastic character actor Danny Trejo.

And for those who haven't heard it yet: Nina Sky feat. Jabba "Move Your Body." This record is gonna be (already is actually) a monster in the clubs and on radio this spring and summer. Don't fight it, just succumb and get your tunderclap, jellybean, scoobydoo and lightning dance moves down when you hear this jawn drop in the clubs (thanks Gigi at Gigi Productions for the mp3 link hook-up).

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Friday, March 26, 2004

The mystery of April 1 and why DUMBO, Brooklyn is that next ish! 

Our favorite Brooklyn record store is moving:
halcyon new location


halcyon 1.5 the shop
opening MAY 11

at 57 PEARL ST.



(halcyon 2.0, the venue
in the works for early 05...)
Which will be perfect because it'll be a short, skip and a jump to:
"cooking up some marvelous ish!"



8PM until


Low - bar below Rice
81 Washington St (between Front St. & York St).
DUMBO, Brooklyn, NY 11201

DJ LINE-UP (subject to change):

- Nick Catchdubs
- DJ Don
- DJ I-Queue (that's me)
- DJ Knowledge
- DJ Thomas (from Peru)
- Paul Washington (ADA)
- DJ White Chocolate (bka Tom Ryan from Virtu)



F to York St.: right out of subway, immediate left on York, walk 3 blocks (past Pearl and Adams Streets), right on Washington St. Enter through Rice (on your right) at 81 Washington St.

A/C to High St./Brooklyn Bridge: exit from rear of the train (coming from Manhattan), walk down Cadman Plaza West, right at first light on to Prospect St., pass under the overpass, first left on Washington St. Cross York Street. RICE is on the right hand side, halfway down the block.

BY CAR (from Manhattan):

Over the Brooklyn Bridge - Take Cadman Plaza West Exit (stay in right lane). Right at light at end of exit ramp, bear right on to Prospect Street, drive under the bridge. Take first left on to Washington Street. Cross York Street. RICE is on the right hand side, halfway down the block.

Over the Manhattan Bridge - Take right on to Tillary Street. Take to end. Make right on to Cadman Plaza West, make right on to Prospect Street, drive under the bridge. Take first left on to Washington Street. Cross York Street. RICE is on the right hand side, halfway down the block.

Sponsored by: ADA, Catchdubs, DebutStudio and Virtu
The idea for this party was to bring friends of mine who are DJ's (some pro's, some hobby DJ's and others somewhere in between) together to spin for an hour or 2 in a set-up that would be like friends playing records for each other in somebody's basement, but on a slightly more elevated level. The sets wouldn't be organized by time but kept loose and organic so that people could rotate on and off the decks as they felt.

With an eclectic playlist, ranging from hip hop and drum n bass to disco electro punk, micro house and beyond, and an eclectric set of friends this should make for a very cool vibe. And if all goes well, plans are for "Different Kitchen" to become a regular monthly party or even more often if the demand is there.

"Different Kitchen" will be the antithesis of most of the club and lounge nights in New York City. Low Bar is, true to it's name, a real low key spot in a part of Brooklyn that's still cool, but hasn't become an overrun trendy cliché like most of Manhattan and, scarily, many parts of Brooklyn now. Aesthetic-wise, it’s partway between a dive bar and hip Manhattan lounge minus the high prices, doorman attitude and scenester victims. They have a full bar and a kitchen (part of the Rice restaurant above) with a GREAT bar menu that stays open until the bar closes.

And for those of you saying, “Brooklyn, I'm not f-cking with that,” DUMBO is literally right off the Brooklyn Bridge, like 1 minute after exiting (with no traffic) and you’re right there. MTA riders, it's 1 stop into Brooklyn on either the F or A/C subway lines (see above). For those of you who haunt the East Village and LES on the reg', this is basically 10 more minutes out of your way.

OK, so now you know for those of you who were wondering: "April 1, what am I saving the date for?" Don't think about it, just be there. Brooklyn: you know it makes sense.

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A Town Hall Meeting in Brooklyn 

Received by email earlier this week:

Join us on

FRIDAY, MARCH 26, 2004, at 7PM


A townhall meeting on


144 St. Felix Street
(between Lafayette Ave. & Hanson Place)
in downtown Brooklyn, New York

featuring a keynote address by

(Writer, Activist, Author of the book Who's Gonna Take the Weight?
Manhood, Race, and Power in America

and a discussion with panelists

- CHANCE BROWN, Corporate Trainer and Project Manager for a major financial
services company

- ALVIN STARKS, Social justice philanthropist

- SWAY, MTV News correspondent

- ERICH K. WILLIAMS, Executive Director, Hip-Hop Culture Gallery (Mount Vernon, New York)

Moderated by DEAN MEMINGER, NY1News Anchor, Reporter, and KISS-FM News Anchor

with a special performance by Poet KHALIL ALMUSTAFA

Musical soundtrack provided by DJ BLESSED PRODUCTIVE

The event is FREE and open to males AND females

Doors open at 6:15PM

PLEASE arrive early as seating is on a first come first serve basis and
the program WILL start on time

Trains...M, N, Q, R, 2, 3, 4, 5 to Atlantic Avenue station


And on Saturday, March 27th, also at HANSON PLACE CENTRAL UNITED
METHODIST CHURCH and FOR MALES ONLY (ed note: ay, yo?!)

10AM-12PM...workshop on FATHERHOOD, led by THABITI BOONE,
Author, Activist, Speaker on the lessons and concerns of fatherhood

12PM-1PM...lunch break, informal discussions about Black manhood

Holistic Male Development and Relationship Consultant

3:30PM-5:30PM...workshop on FINANCIAL LITERACY/PLANNING, led by ALFRED
EDMOND, Senior Vice-President and Editor-In-Chief, Black Enterprise Magazine

For more information please call 718-399-0695 or email us at

For media inquiries, contact Akila Worksongs at 718-756-8501 or

And PLEASE NOTE the following dates for the STATE OF BLACK MEN Tour

(featuring keynote speaker Kevin Powell) in other cities throughout

Detroit...Friday, April 30th and Saturday, May 1st

Los Angeles...Friday, May 21st and Saturday, May 22nd

Washington, DC...Friday, June 25th and Saturday, June 26th

Oakland, CA...Friday, July 16th and Saturday, July 17th

Chicago...Friday, August 27th and Saturday, August 28th

Philadelphia...Friday, September 17th and Saturday, September 18th

Houston...Friday, October 8th and Saturday, October 9th

Dallas...Friday, October 29th and Saturday, October 30th

Cleveland...Friday, November 19th and Friday, November 20th

Miami...Friday, December 17th and Saturday, December 18th

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White House on amber alert... 

Now, son is joking about it?!: House Dem leader derides Bush WMD joke. (Washington Times)

Speaking of jokes:
If only Sandy Berger, Rice's predecessor, had told the incoming Bush officials that Al Qaeda was no big deal, they might have gotten alarmed about it. They were determined to disdain all things Clinton, including what they considered his overemphasis on terrorism.
From "Maureen Dowd: White House on amber alert" (New York Times via International Herald Tribune)

The hearings that will hopefully bring down this administration: Bush's campaign thrown off course
9/11 hearings force president's team to go on defensive. (San Francisco Chronicle)
- No surprise, Richard Clarke's book Against All Enemies : Inside the White House's War on Terror--What Really Happened is now #1 on Amazon's book chart (Nadine S., this should be your next read).

Michael Kinsley on the GOP's bogus campaign strategy of accusing Kerry of raising taxes 350 times during his senatorial career in "350 Tax Increases?" (Slate)

Talib Kweli Lets Music, Not Words, Drive His Beautiful Struggle. (MTV News)

Fahiym Ratcliffe on being "30 Plus" in hip hop: as the hip hop generation hits 30, a generational overlap never before seen in black American culture is developing with the possibility of opening up much needed dialogues in the young black community. Y'all know this is an ongoing internal debate I've been having if you're a regular reader of this site. (

And from a good friend:

New York Underbelly presents...

Fridays at Between (a Rock and a Hard Place)!
This could be the best party ever. This Friday March 26th at Between (a Rock and a Hard Place) - in honor of the release of the new documentary "The Mayor of Sunset Strip" we'll feature 4 great bands, special guest DJs, drink specials, and free stuff all night. And headlining 'round Midnight - Sharin and Sune of the RAVEONETTES! (Yeah, you know, that hot band opening for The Strokes...)

"The Mayor of Sunset Strip" chronicles the life of Rodney Bingenheimer. Rodney "on-the-'Roq" Bingenheimer, is one of the best known disc jockeys in the world, and has been called "The Prince of Pop." His show on Los Angeles' KROQ-FM has been a hit with youth of all ages since it's inception in late 1976, becoming famous for, among other things, the newest and the best rock music for all of L.A.'s "in-crowd" and forward thinking listeners.

In the 70's Rodney made his name as a national columnist for "Go" and "Phonograph Record" magazines; and he also operated and co-owned his club, "Rodney Bingenheimer's English Disco", an L.A. club where Bowie, Iggy Pop, T.Rex, Suzi Quatro, Led Zeppelin, and The Sweet where all regulars.

He was the first to play records by - and interviews with such artists on his KROQ show as: Blondie, The Ramones, The Sex Pistols, Van Halen, The Go-Go's, Nina Hagen, The Cramps, Nena, The Clash, The Cure, The Smiths, The B-52's, Billy Idol, Adam Ant, Echobelly, Ride, X, Siouxie and the Banshees, Bad Religion, Duran Duran, The Jam, The Bangles, The Runaways Redd Kross, Bananrama, Joan Jett, Tom Petty, Dramarama, Teenage Fan Club, Suede, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Echo and the Bunnymen, No Doubt, Blur, Elastica, Belly, L7, Sonic Youth, Nirvana, Rialto, Placebo, Oasis, The Verve, Kent, Ash, Gene, Travis, Coldplay, Doves, JJ72, The Strokes, Starsailor, The Hives, The Vines, Black Rebel, Motorcycle Club, and The Electric Soft Parade plus over 300 celebrity interviews!

Doors open at 9 pm with FREE ADMISSION til 11 pm on the UNDERBELLY list - reduced admission from 11 til 1 am.... OPEN BAR from 9-10 pm at the BACK BAR, and $5 whiskey and Coke, or vodka cran specials 'til 1 AM... RSVP at

The Rock (Live Performances):

9:30 pm Essex
10:15 pm the Inmen
11:00 pm the Madison Strays
12:00 midnight - SHARIN and SUNE of the RAVEONETTES

Special guest DJ's all kick off the evening in style. Our Sponsors, Red Stripe beer and Turi Vodka, will ensure the best beverages to celebrate the movie with...

We'll have free passes to a sneak preview of the movie for you, special giveaways and drink specials all night long...

the Hard Place:
PLAID is located at 76 East 13th Street between 4th Ave. and Broadway... Any Union Square subway gets you right there.

Come early - it's going to be CRAZY - and take advantage of free drinks courtesy of Plaid ... tip your bartenders!

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Thursday, March 25, 2004

"tolerance, free speech and the separation of church and state...." 

Here's a great letter from this week's Newsweek:
I hear a lot of talk from the Bush administration about tolerance, free speech and the separation of church and state—in Iraq. At home I see a continuous attempt to write Christian dogma into law, from "abstinence only" sex education to the proposed amendment banning gay marriage to keeping the word God in the Pledge of Allegiance. What does this say about our "liberal democracy"? Could it be that "the most evangelical president" is also the most two-faced? If this administration is promoting secular democracy overseas, it is because its real wishes are politically untenable. Ultimately, we want stable trading partners, whether led by dictators, presidents or religious zealots, so long as they quench our insatiable thirst for oil and cheap imported goods. American foreign policy has always been, first and foremost, about America's economic interests. The moment they cease to be served is the moment we withdraw.

Dorothy Brethauer
Albuquerque, N.M.
This is why is the best hip hop blog on the web:

- Dr. Dre Abandons 'Detox.' (

J Smooth broke this story a month ago (and I bit it about four hours later).

and now:

- NY's Black Talk Radio Bumped for New "Liberal" Network. (

I've been in favor of the establishment of a liberal talk radio network to counterbalance the overwhelmingly conservative perspective on radio but, thanks to Jay, I got put up on the real about the fallout from that happening. Sometimes a "liberal" perspective is not enough.

And sometimes I break stories too (I think):

- Neptunes Heading To Interscope (

I mentioned that one back on January 23 (scroll down a little).

The world of "sneaker pimps": True sneaker fans know their collection can never be too big, bold. (

And I wish kids who watch BET and MTV could read this article and realize how ridiculous and unrealistic the world presented in hip hop music videos really was: Maybach Learning Some Costly Lessons. (

OK finally, back to the J-Kwon "Tipsy" video just one more time because I forgot to mention this yesterday: why is this video set at a house party even though the chorus of the song goes "E'rybody in the club get tipsy"? (Blastro)

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Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Bush on the defensive 

Iraq Charges Against Bush Begin to Mount. (Reuters)

Paul Begala, co-host of CNN's Crossfire, opined yesterday that the two assets Bush had in his favor was the public's perception that he was strong on defence, the war on terror and national security and that he was a truth-telling, Texan straight shooter, but that recent events were finally starting to strain those perceptions. Agreed and let's hope that trend continues.

And the 9/11 commission is ongoing right now. While Team Bush tries to share some blame with the Clinton administration, this morning The Howard Stern Show astutely pointed out that, when Clinton ordered missile strikes against suspected terrorist bases during his tenure, conservatives attacked him for using them as a means to divert the public's attention away from the Monica Lewkinsky hearings at the time. (Reuters)

Meanwhile, more attacks in Iraq including on a hotel in the supposedly safe "Green Zone" of central Baghdad. Coalition Authority Head Jerry Bremer's take, according to one US official: "Today Iraq is not merely progressing but accelerating." If by that he means in terms of the number of attacks and bombings occuring, I guess he's right. (Reuters)

Kerry/Bin Laden Cartoon Draws Reader Response. (Editor & Publisher)
The cartoon:

Image courtesy: Augusta Chronicle

From a file labeled "Duh": NYPD Admits to Rap Intelligence Unit. (Village Voice)

It's almost time to update "The Hot Ish" list (in the sidebar at left). I thought N*E*R*D was gonna have a lock on the coveted featured album slot (currently occupied by Cee-Lo). But I gotta say so far, I'm not loving the new Fly Or Die album as much as I thought I would (I like Kelis' album more than this one) although it's growing on me. On the other hand, Usher's Confessions album is f-ckin' fantastic so he might get the nod although next Tuesday is the release date for Dead Prez's long-delayed R.B.G.: Revolutionary But Gangsta album too (as well as J-Kwon's Hood Hop album!) so it could be a toss-up. Have you seen the ads for the DPZ album? Fantastic, they remind me of a campaign clothing line P.N.B. Nation did in the early 90's where they flipped their acronym with various clever meanings for all my old school heads who remember that.
- Usher Says He's Not A Baby's Daddy. (MTV News)

Finally though, speaking of old school heads, I have to go back to J-Kwon and his "Tipsy" video for a minute: did you ever think you'd see the day where Daz of Tha Dogg Pound would be the old dude in a video? Damn, what does that make cats like Dr. Dre (or me)? (Blastro)

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Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Team Bush at it again.... 

By now you know Team Bush's steez so this comes as no surprise: White House Assails Ex-Official Critical of Antiterror Effort. (New York Times)
- Whatever happened to ex-treasury Secretary Paul O'Neil and his book?

First Conservative Punk, now GOPunk too? A Bush Surprise: Fright-Wing Support. (New York Times)

Because they know by the time the FCC is done, they'll be nothing worth watching or listening to on the TV or radio and the real exodus will begin: Radio Broadcaster Takes on Satellite Rivals. (Reuters)

And on a related note:

The battle of the airwaves: Sarcastic, bilious and very rightwing, talk radio host Rush Limbaugh has become one of the most powerful voices in American politics. Can a group of liberals really beat him at his own game? (Guardian)
- He has gone from TV comic to political satirist to Democratic Party insider. Could he be the liberals' Rush Limbaugh — or a senator from Minnesota? (New York Times)
- Air America Radio

A townhall meeting on the State of Black Men in America this Friday in Brooklyn, NY. (EURWeb)

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban's new (?) blog. How does a cat like that have time to blog? I know he also spends a lot time in email debates on the Pho list too.

Spotted at the "Ides of March" opening I went to last Friday at ABC No Rio: art collective Nineteeneighty. "Ides of March" is great BTW, go check it out.

Good peoples I linked up with on Saturday night: Jeremy of New York Underbelly, one of the bigger weekly live music 'n' DJ rock parties in the city. This Friday (March 26) they are having a party for the Mayor of Sunset Strip documentary featuring members of the Raveonettes (the party that is, not the documentary).

A little taster of Franz Ferdinand's new single "Matinee." (courtesy: XFM)

.. and of another funky britpop jawn: Rasmus "In the Shadow" (courtesy: XFM)

Music videos at popzoot.

Lots of good stuff at Hip Hop Logic recently, check it out.

Image courtesy: NY Post

N*E*R*D's Pharrell Williams (but not Chad Hugo?): the $300,000 man. (New York Post)
- Fly or Die in stores today.

Just when you write her off again, she comes back with some heat to remind you that she can actually rhyme: Lil Kim & Rah Digga's "Da Rockwilder" freestyle. (mp3 link courtesy:

And here's that Diplomats joint I was talking about yesterday (scroll down a little) that I thought was called "45th & Broadway": Jim Jones f/ Juelz Santana & Taj Mahal "My Posse's On Broadway." Damn, is that actually that old Sir Mix-A-Lot joint flipped? Not quite as hot as I remember it either. That'll learn me not to stay up late in the middle of the night listening to Kay Slay's "Drama Hour." (mp3 links courtesy: | UBL/ARTISTDirect)

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Monday, March 22, 2004

"Newports, CD's, DVD's, chronic..." 

"Newports, CD's, DVD's, chronic..." -- sales pitch of a street vendor at the corner of Fulton & Flatbush yesterday afternoon.
You gotta love Brooklyn's Fulton Mall

OK, so Bush is kind of wack for trying to: 1) steal the thunder of the anti-war rallies by scheduling his official campaign kickoff speech at basically the same time on Saturday afternoon this past weekend and 2) also holding it in (Orlando) Florida, the state that was the center of the controversy around the (still) disputed 2000 election results, but did you see actually hear his speech? This guy repeatedly exploited the events of 9/11 (something he promised he wouldn't do during the election campaign), lied about the economy (George: where are the jobs?) and generally made John Kerry look terrible using charges (Kerry waffles on his policy positions, would raise taxes, would be "soft on terrorism" etc.) many of which it's arguable he's just as guilty on. If Kerry doesn't get his act together soon, Bush will have already settled perceptions of Kerry in many voters' heads before he's even made his own case to the electorate. (

Ex-Aide Assails Bush on War on Terrorism. (Washington Post | Related: Reuters)

30-year veteran in the C.I.A.'s Directorate of Operations, Milt Bearden explains why capturing or killing bin Laden or his right hand man Ayman al-Zawahiri will have liitle effect on the overall effectiveness and functioning of Al-Qaeda or on the war on terror in "You Cut the Head, but the Body Still Moves." (New York Times)

Meanwhile the chaos continues in Afghanistan: Afghan assassination sparks bloodbath. (Toronto Star | Related: Reuters UK)

... and in Iraq: Rocket attacks mark Iraq occupation anniversary. (Australian Broadcasting Corporation | related: Reuters)

And developments in Iraq also bring us this ironic little gem:
"In a morning meeting on Wednesday, [Iraqi Coalition Provisonal Authority leader] Mr. Bremer warned the Iraqi leaders that they risked isolating themselves and their country if they continued to snub the United Nations. According to Iraqi and American officials, Mr. Bremer pointedly warned them of a "confrontation" with the United States if the Iraqis failed to invite the organization back." (from
I don't think I really have to add a comment to that, do I?

And one more final Bush administration, war on terror-related jewel:

- The Army's allegations last year were grave: A military chaplain at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was linked to a possible espionage ring and eventually charged with mishandling classified information. Six months later, all charges [emphasis added] against Capt. James Yee have been dropped. (USA Today)

Why did I have to find out about this story on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart?: US government faked Bush news reports. (Guardian UK)

And sorry I missed pointing this one out in a more timely fashion: Medicare analyst says Bush aides threatened to fire him. (San Francisco Chronicle)
- White House Intimidation: A Brief History of Threats and Defamation. (Center for American Progress)
- The Medicare Mess: The Medicare bill backfires on the GOP. (Time)
- White House Backs Probe Into Medicare Drug Cost. (Reuters) BTW, how are those probes into the Robert Novak CIA undercover operative leak and the 9/11 intelliegnce failures going?

And just as I get tired of wielding the mallet over son's head comes this op-ed: Bush claims there are jobs, but he's living on parallel planet. (Salt Lake Tribune)

Back on the hip hop ish, Hashim (aka Madison) is back to active posting at his excellent Diesel Nation blog.

Peep Nas's "Star Wars": like I said before, this Extra-P produced track from the Illmatic 10th Anniversary reissue is super-bananas. (mp3 courtesy:

The Diplomats are kind of a joke to me as a group other than a couple tracks here and there, but their new joint "45th & Broadway" (heard on Kay Slay's Hot 97 "Drama Hour" radio show last week) is straight coconuts! Classic old school, 808-laced southern bounce beats fresh for 2004. Anyone with an mp3 link to this jumpoff, holla, like now.

I've never been much of a fan of Dilated Peoples but their Alchemist-produced "Poisonous" is retarded, don't sleep. (mp3 link courtesy:

G-Unit/Lloyd Banks "You" (mp3 courtesy:

Guilty pleasure record: Cassidy "Come On" (I think that's the name of the jawn that Hot 97 has been rotating quite a bit recently. It's the one where he keeps going something like: "C'mon, Ma it's yours song, girl" in the chorus but J records, like those jackasses at Universal, seem to not want people to be able to sample their music since I couldn't find any mp3 links for the album at any of the standard music sites.)

There's also a new Shells joint that Enuff just started spinning in his afternoon mix show that's ridiculous! For the reasons just cited above (Shells is also a J records artists, or at least he was when he was signed like 3 years ago), no linkage available on that one either. Anyone with more info on this track, you know the drill: holla.

A snippet of the DFA remix of N*E*R*D "She Wants to Move." This is not the mix I heard on Trevor Nelson's BBC One radio show and is one of the first DFA remixes I've heard that I wasn't totally loving (at least based on this tiny sample), it's just aight to me so far. Also not the remix I heard, this is ridiculous nonetheless: "She Wants To Move (remix)" feat. Mos Def, Common, De La Soul, and Q-tip. My only complaint: they flip the Jungle Bros. hook but didn't put Afrika and Mike G on the track, what gives? (mp3 links courtesy: Piccadilly Records | Mo Ca$h and I'm So Sincerr)

BTW, the N*E*R*D NYC tour date tix are go (thanks, Reggie W for the hook-up).

Public Enemy vs. the White Stripes: the "White Enemy" mash-up. (mp3 snippet courtesy: Piccadilly Records)

Hollertronix style DJ-wannabe's, this might be an essential secret weapon to drop in your crunk sets:"Yeah! Party Break" from Sound Klash Ammo (mp3 link: coutesy

Teen pop fans rejoice: confirmed today (March 20th) on 100.3 "The Beat" (Los Angeles) that B2K are back together. (spotted on Velvet Rope)

For those into this kind of vibe, Citizen Cope's new album The Clarence Greenwood Recordings is a decent listen. Kind of like Wyclef meets Basehead (or the folkier side of Beck) to my ears (thanks Brian R for the advance hook-up, can you do me one more and shoot an Usher jawn this way and keep your head up [or should that be down?] when "Black Friday" goes down over at Arista).

Need something to do tonight? From a new acquaintance of mine:

The Stars present:

Shawn Banks on percussion


CBGB's downstairs lounge

Monday March 22 at 9pm

313 Bowery (between 1st and 2nd street)
(212) 982-4052 or click here for more details

And finally, shout out to Rawj and the Feenom Circle crew out in the Bay Area. They sent me their College Graduates mixtape sampler a couple of weeks ago and I've been vibing to it on and off since then. Definitely recommended if you're into Talib Kweli, Cee-Lo, Jurassic 5, The Roots and similar artists. "Fall/Stand" and "Hardhats" are two of the tracks grabbing me off the mixtape.

And peace to Toronto's Common Difference and the Burga Fat Productions crew. Their Alarm Clock demo album crossed my desk a little while back and, while I didn't love the whole thing, "Top of the World Pt. 2" sampling Chic's "Savoir Faire" is the best record Pete Rock & CL Smooth never made and the acoustic-guitar powered "Stripes" trawls similar ground in alternative hip hop as their countryman K-os.

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Friday, March 19, 2004

Has the whole world gone mad? 

Man, it seems like it's going off throughout the whole world:


- The Pakistan military allegedy has Al-Qaeda "Number 2" Ayman al-Zawahri cornered in the Pakistan-Afghan border region (previously an area unpatrolled by the Pakistan military and left in the control of heroin dealing Afghan warlords, Al-Qaeda fugitives and their former Taliban patron stooges) but that's been the story for the last almost 24 hours so I'm not sure what the real deal is. (Washington Post)


- More bombings. (San Jose Mercury News)


- Iraq Suicide Bombs Killed 660: Thousands of people in Iraq have suffered from suicide bombings - a phenomenon unknown here until after the U.S.-led war toppled Saddam Hussein's regime nearly a year ago. (Associated Press)


- U.S. Sends Troops to Quell Kosovo Violence. (Reuters)



- Poland 'Misled' on Iraq, President Says and was considering withdrawing troops from Iraq several months early. (Associated Press)
- Polish leader: Troops stay in Iraq. (CNN International)

Blog alert: I've been referencing a few stories here and there from the politics 'n more Greater Nomadic Council group blog run by mallarme (as he just informed me) but it's been on fire recently with the posts so, rather than link to it every day in my posts, make the site part of your daily blog reading routine with the new permalink in the "Media & Politics" section of the sidebar at left. Here's a couple of tasters to give you some incentive though:
- Iraq on the Record: a report prepared at the request of Rep. Henry A. Waxman, is a comprehensive examination of the statements made by the five Administration officials most responsible for providing public information and shaping public opinion on Iraq: President George W. Bush, Vice President Richard Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Colin Powell, and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice. Read the report here.

- Bush: "our long national nightmare of peace and prosperity is finally over." (Onion)
After building up some unexpected goodwill with his surprise hit reality TV show The Apprentice, it's back to business-as-usual for "The Donald": Trump Seeks to Trademark 'You're Fired!' (Reuters)

But CBS finally does something I can respect: Mel Karamzin Stands by [Howard] Stern in Decency Debate (New York Post)
- Viacom Pres. Mel Karamzin's apology and response to Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) regarding the Howard Stern segment that got Stern dropped by six Clear Channel stations has been rejected by Brownback.

The Senator's spokesman Brian Hart said that "the tone of the response, as well as Mr. Karamazin's testimony before the House Commerce Committee, seems like 'business as usual' instead of progressing toward upholding existing FCC regulations and working toward cleaning up our public airwaves." Racial slurs, one of which was uttered by a caller to Stern's show and was the basis for the Clear Channel filing, and removal of Stern from its stations, do not apparently fall under the definition of broadcast indecency. (All Access Net News, reg. required)

I used to hardly watch any TV (outside of firing up the box to get at some movies from Netflix) but now my Thursday nights are being blown out by The Apprentice (which had a mid-season catch up episode last night which was good for johnny-come-lately's like myself to get up on the whole story to date) followed by Making Da Band and Pimp My Ride on MTV. Networks, please leave the good TV to HBO so I can only waste my Sundays on this stuff.

Speaking of MTV though, here's some advance album previews courtesy of Viacom's finest:

- Usher's Confessions (via MTV)

- N*E*R*D's Fly or Die (via VH1)

And via earplug issue 18, an album that sounds interesting:
Dirty Sound System Dirty Diamonds (Diamondtraxx)
Paris-based producers and DJs Dirty Sound System became a hometown sensation last year when their Dirty Diamonds mix CD was a runaway hit despite being available only at the legendary boutique Colette. Now the album is getting a proper release, and its easy to understand why Parisians were so excited — the irresistible mix is a tongue-in-cheek, rock 'n roll twist on the floaty retro-future pop popularized by Air and their ilk. From the opening strains of "Angie" (the Rolling Stones' classic is given a vocodor once-over) to a score from horror flick director and composer John Carpenter to the classic Larry Levan mix of Grace Jones' "Pull Up to the Bumper," Dirty Diamonds makes space-age lounging cool all over again. (DJP)
More music industry website action: CMU Online and their daily and weekly newsletters.

And check out my friend Osman Akan's installation of seven etchings that form a virtual sculpture at the ABC No Rio "Ides of March" art show opening tonight (March 19) at 156 Rivington, between Clinton and Suffolk from 7-10pm. The show runs through the 15th of April. For more details, click here.

Toy, an artist/musician aquaintance of mine is also having a gallery showing of her work in Harlem this weekend:

Saturday March 20
100 West 118th Street, Suite 2F
(at the corner of Lennox Ave.)


For more details, call Toy at (917) 806 1522

And some observations from this week's soundscan album chart:

- Chingy's album has sold more than the Black Album (2.4M vs. 2.16M) and is still outselling it now on week-by-week basis by a good 5000 units.

- Outkast has scanned 4.35 million which means it's probably been certified for at least 9 million units sold (since double albums count for 2 units each on Billboard and the RIAA certification stats).

- Black Eyed Peas have scanned 947K of their current album (and not one of them to a real hip hop fan, I bet).

- Anthony Hamilton is at 427K. People, please do yourelf a favor and cop this jawn. It's the best soul album this year. All you jokers who made India.Arie go platinum should be ashamed of yourselves for passing up on this album. And Kelis is only sitting at 441K sales of her album. Same goes for her, go cop that jawn as well: it's slightly more bohemian in sound than Hamilton's record but, point blank, it's incredible.

- Nelly's remix album has sold 752K and Murphy Lee's solo jawn has sold 629K. That tells you roughly how many suckers will buy anything they see on TV no matter how bad it is.

- Joe's album has sold 375K after 13 weeks. I haven't heard the album but my question is: how does that happen when you're a veteran artist with a track record of hit singles and albums and you have 50 cent & G-Unit on your first single?!

- Zero 7 drops to under 8000 sales this week for a 2-week total just shy of 18K. I'd say it's pretty much over for them unless they employ "the Moby strategy" and get a joint (or two) in a TV commercial or a soundtrack pronto. I'd love to say the album deserves to do much better but, while it's grown on me a little, it's really not all that. Air, their musical counterpart, don't seem to be anywhere on the Top 200 chart. Ditto for other hipster faves The Strokes while their counterpart, The White Stripes, have scanned 1.48 million units.

- Meanhwile, staying in hipster territory, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs have limped to 206K units 6 weeks after finally making it onto the chart. So much for the MTV airplay the "Maps" video was (is?) getting. (Buzz "soul" artist Joss Stone is one position above them after a 9 week chart run so far with a 282K sales total.) Franz Ferdinand enters the chart at 164 with 7700 first week tally. Let's see how that improves when they get the Epic Records machine behind them, while the Von Bondies barely enter at 197 with 6400 pieces. I wonder how much of that is attributable to the press they got from their lead singer catching a whupping from Jack White?

- The Missy Elliot total after 16 weeks: 600K. Her sales actually went down 2K this week with all the hoopla around her big tour with Alicia Keys and Beyonce which just jumped off. Does the Emperor have no clothes?

- And all hail the king?: Slim Shady is sitting at 169 on the chart after 95 weeks with just over 9 million albums sold. Benzino: was you crazy thinking you could bring this kid down?!

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Thursday, March 18, 2004

Why do male hip hop bloggers never discuss sexism? 

One year later, the mess in Iraq is worse than ever. (New York Times)

Failed foreign policy isn't the only thing Blair learned from his "mentor" Dubya: British government pledges higher spending for defense, medical research without major tax increases. (San Fransisco Chronicle)

Conservatives are running the insulting talking point that the election result in Spain was a vote for Al-Qaeda or at least for politicians advocating appeasement polices with respect to terrorists. For an alternative (and more rational) take on this issue, read "Why the Socialists Won" from Calpundit and The Progress Report here.

Yesterday (scroll down a little), I asked the question: "Have we reached the point where hip hop culture has to finally looks at itself in the mirror and really examine the effect it's having on our children?" in response to a Thulani Davis article in the Village Voice on hip hop and its relationship to sexuality and feminism. Lizelle of Paper Thin Philosophies asks: "is hip hop so incredibly male-centric for me to believe that there is no space to speak about these issues, most especially on our self-published blogs?" So why do I not "step up" and devote more space on this site to these issues? As you probably already realize from reading the single line comments I make about most issues on this site on a daily basis, I'm not much for deep debate or thought.

In addition though, I think the principle theme expressed in the song "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist" (from the Broadway puppet musical Avenue Q) probably applies as an explanation as to why I and other male bloggers don't feel the need to become more invested in discussing or combating the problems of sexism, feminism or patriarchal social systems etc. not just in hip hop but in society in general. Can you view yourself as not being racist if, even if you don't express racist thoughts, you participate in, and maybe even benefit from, an institutionally racist society without criticizing it or working towards changing it? Similarly, most people don't view themselves as being sexist even if, like me, they listen to music that routinely epxresses sexist or anti-women points of view and enjoy watching videos that objectify women even while decrying their banality or lack of creativity. And am I sexist if I plain don't like the music of thoughtful female artists like Jean Grae or Bahamadia but cop singles from Eve, Foxy Brown, Trina or Lil Kim in a minute 'cos I know they'll get the party people moving?

For more on this, J-Smooth tries to spark the debate here or feel free to leave comments below.

A very fly bicycle: the Schwinn Sting-Ray

Courtesy: New York Times

- From trendcentral: Schwinn is jumping back on the bandwagon by re-introducing a popular bike from the ’60s and ’70s, the Sting-Ray. They formed a partnership with Orange County Choppers to design a new version, which has more of a motorcycle style.

Big Ced's new music industry blog/website: The Industry Cosign.

Mobb Deep and... Nelly?! (RapNewsDirect)

BTW: I finally figured out (thanks to some discussion on that the Mobb Deep track that first used the sample that Kanye used twice in current songs for Twista and his collbao with Jin is "Nothing Like Home (feat. Littles)" from their Infamy album. Apparently the sample is from a song titled "Cause I Love You" by Lenny Williams from his 1978 album Spark of Love (ABC). (

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Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Latest election Poll Numbers Discussed and new R&B via Trevor Nelson examined  

Starting macro:

- Wake Up America: This Is How Our Allies See Us (The Greater Nomadic Council)

Meanwhile, the "international coalition" of allied forces in Iraq begins to fall apart. (Los Angeles Times)

Election-wise, it's only March but it's already getting ugly:
- New Bush ad accuses Kerry of turning his back on soldiers (San Fransisco Chronicle) (This from the guy who wanted to cut the troops' combat pay.) (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

- Kerry, Under Attack, Questions Bush's Credibility. (Reuters)
And the polls have bad news for Bush and Kerry:
Findings from the most recent Times/CBS News poll explored in "Nation's Direction Prompts Voters' Concern, Poll Finds":

By a margin of greater than 30 points, more people said the policies of Mr. Bush's administration had reduced the number of jobs in the country rather than increased them.

Perhaps most significant for Mr. Bush, the number of Americans who think that the nation is heading in the wrong direction is now 54 percent, as high as it has been in his presidency. The right direction/wrong direction figure is a measure that pollsters view as a highly reliable early indicator of problems for an incumbent.

But the biggest difficulty for Mr. Bush is the perception of his management of the economy. The number of Americans who say they approve of his economic record is now among the lowest of his presidency, 38 percent. In addition, 57 percent of voters said they were uneasy about Mr. Bush's ability to make the right decision on the economy, compared with just 39 percent who said they had confidence in his economic-decision making. Voters were evenly split over whether they were uneasy or confident about Mr. Kerry's ability to make economic decisions.

By 57 percent to 33 percent, respondents said that Mr. Kerry says what people want to hear, rather than what he believes in. By contrast, 45 percent said Mr. Bush says what people want to hear, while 51 percent said he says what he means. (New York Times)

And from "[Gallup] Poll finds pessimism about U.S. direction":

60% said they were dissatisfied with "the way things are going in the United States at this time." Except for a survey two weeks before the invasion of Iraq a year ago, that is the most negative reading since 1996.

Bush's job-approval rating was a respectable 50%, however, which has been a sort of dividing line for presidents seeking re-election. Since 1948, no president who maintained an average job-approval rating of 50% or better in his re-election year has lost a bid for a second term. No president with a rating below 50% has won. (USA Today)
While come November, be very scared if Florida becomes the deciding state again:
Four years after Florida made a mockery of American elections, there is every reason to believe it could happen again.

In 2002, in the primary race for governor between Janet Reno and Bill McBride, electronic voting problems were so widespread they cast doubt on the outcome. Many Miami-Dade County votes were not counted on election night because machines were shut down improperly. One precinct with over 1,000 eligible voters recorded no votes, despite a 33 percent turnout statewide. Election workers spent days hunting for lost votes, while Floridians waited, in an uncomfortable replay of 2000, to see whether Mr. McBride's victory margin, which had dwindled to less than 10,000, would hold up.

This past Tuesday, even though turnout was minimal, there were problems. Voters were wrongly given computer cards that let them vote only on local issues, not in the presidential primary. Machines did not work. And there were, no doubt, other mishaps that did not come to light because of the stunning lack of transparency around voting in the state. When a Times editorial writer dropped in on one Palm Beach precinct where there were reports of malfunctioning machines, county officials called the police to remove him.

The biggest danger of electronic voting, however, cannot be seen from the outside. Computer scientists warn that votes, and whole elections, can be stolen by rigging the code that runs the machines. The only defense is a paper record of every vote cast, a "voter-verified paper trail," which can be counted if the machines' tallies are suspect. Given its history, Florida should be a leader in requiring paper trails. But election officials, including Theresa LePore, the Palm Beach County elections supervisor who was responsible for the butterfly ballot, have refused to put them in place.
From "Florida as the Next Florida" (New York Times)
- Poll: Kerry, Bush tied in Pennsylvania. (
- Poll shows Nader could hurt Kerry in Pennsylvania. (San Jose Mercury News)

Info from a friend on one of the many jumpoffs at SXSW:
If you're coming to austin this week, you do not want to miss the scion
showcase on Wednesday 3/17.

Featuring Austin's hottest dj crew: Parakitachi
LA's own djs haul & mason (2 guys; 4 turntables: must see)
and a very special guest appearance from Pete Rock
Click here for more info and RSVP

Thulani Davis writes about how a new study on 'hip-hop' sexuality finds anti-woman strain—even among young women—in "The Height of Disrespect." Have we reached the point when this culture has to finally looks at itself in the mirror and really examine the effect it's having on our children (and I'm saying that as someone who has no kids)? (Village Voice)

The future for any record labels and artists with vision:
- eMusicLive
- Disc Live
- Instant Live (owned by Clear Channel aka Satan)

Sasha Frere-Jones on why Timbaland is The Beatles and The Neptunes are The Stones: Gandalf Gets Swivey on the Wheels. (Village Voice)

UK hip hop now influences American hip hop: did y'all hear the new Joe Budden jumpoff on Hot 97 this morning called "Wait a Minute" or "Just a Minute" (or something like that)? I know Billy Squire's "The Big Beat" is a long-established breakbeat in hip hop but the way it was flipped on this track sounded pretty much like Dizzee Rascal's "Fix Up, Look Sharp." Man, that's kinda f-cked up, couldn't he have just jumped on a remix of Dizzee's joint and given him a helping hand trying to break over here?

Speaking of the UK, it's kind of bugged how they regularly scoop their American counterparts with the latest remixes and tracks on their radio shows over there. On a station like Hot 97 in New York, where half of the on-air personalities are mixtape DJ's anyway, shouldn't their playlist have the newest, most exclusive ish of any station anywhere? After all, isn't most of this music being made over here? Here's a rundown of new R&B heard via Trevor Nelson's Radio One (UK) show worth looking out for (note: archive listeners this link is only good until 3/21/04. Afterwards, see tracklisting from this show here):
- Brandy w/ Timbaland – In 2 Da Music

- Usher – Caught Up: this ish was ridiculous, like a stripped down version of The Jacksons "Can You Feel It" with a Neptunes feel.

- Usher – Bad Girl: this sounded like the Neptunes channeling Lenny Kravitz (which I guess is basically what N*E*R*D is) except, unvbelievably, it was actually Jam & Lewis doing some of freshest ish they've come up with in a long time.

- Deeni feat. Jay-Z – So Hood: this is probably some bootleg ish as they flipped Hov's "December 4th" beat and then jacked one of his verses from the original. Hot as f-ck though.

- N*E*R*D – She Wants to Move (remix): not sure if this was the much-discussed, little-heard DFA remix, but it sounded good with it's fattened up bass and the guitar taken out for maximum dancefloor action.

- Amy Winehouse – In My Bed (remix): not the Dru Hill song but some (presumably) British singer flippin' Nas's "Made You Look" beat to great effect for an R&B jawn.
While on Skitz & Rodney P's "Original Fever" show, they dropped a (I'm assuming) bootleg mash-up mix of Hov's "99 Problems" that was using a lot of Licensed to Ill-era Beastie Boys samples.

Getting back to R&B though, I'm really feeling the new (?) Avant single "Don't Take Your Love Away" (reg required). Others may disagree but I have to say I think R&B is in a really good place right now. Going back to the era of the early 70's AM Radio soul sound has been a happy development as there's been a lot of great records come out in the last 6-12 months.

And finally, anyone else think that Cam'ron's "Shake" is biting Talib Kweli's "Move Somethin'" (the Kweli clip doesn't play the right part of the song to illustrate my point, but it'll help jog your memory so you can make the comparison)? (mp3 sample links courtesy: | UBL/ARTISTDirect)

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Tuesday, March 16, 2004

The Tuesday snowing hard edition 

Yesterday I was walking around the city in a tracksuit top and it was nearly 60 degrees. Today it's snowing hard in New York. The weather's as crazy as everything that's going on in the world right now. Go figure...

WTF is going on with the Palestinians?: Boy set up as unwitting suicide bomber, say Israelis. (Toronto Star | New York Post)

Is the election result in Spain a vote of No-confidence in Bush?
- Blow to Bush: An Ally in Spain Is Rejected by Antiwar Voters. (New York Times)
- Editorial: Spain's vote against Bush (San Francisco Chronicle)
- Madrid Bombs Shook Voters: Distrust of the Government, Anger at U.S. Fueled Upset. (Washington Post)
- Spaniards ignore logic in caving to al-Qaida. (Chicago Sun-Times)

Punk, hip-hop get out the vote: organizations blend politics and music. (Chicago Tribune)

Tim Robbins' Iraq War play satire Embedded Takes Heavy Fire. (Editor & Publisher)

Going down this weekend on March 20: the Global Day of Action against War and Occupation. (United for Peace & Justice)

Missed 'em on SNL but N*E*R*D is on tour.

James Brown: what's your dysfunction? (via Consumption Junction)

A good hip hop blog: Cocaine Blunts & Hip Hop Tapes (discovered via Pop Life)

Mod culture rides again:
- Brand image: Marketing La Dolce Vespa (The Globe and Mail)
- Gotham II: New York City's scooter rally.
- The classic 60's movie Blow Up now available on DVD.
- The H line by Hilfiger: Tommy Hilfiger's actually not-bad 60's-inspired high-end tailored clothing line. Look as sharp as Steve Marriott without having to wear ratty thrift store hand-me-downs.

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Monday, March 15, 2004

Monday morning music report 

OK, this may be strictly anecdotal but I've noticed I've been asked for money by people on the street more over the last month or so than I can ever remember in the past few years. And not necessarily by people who look "homeless" or like bums but by people who, if they didn't approach me, I wouldn't even give a second glance to because they looked like "regular working folks." The media continues to tout the economic recovery but it sure doesn't feel that way on the street.

As a rule I don't really go in (much) for conspiracy theory thinking and they haven't confirmed it one way or another, but evidence is increasingly pointing to Al-Qaeda involvement in the Madrid bombing last week, so is it weird in any way that the bombing occurred exactly 6 months after the anniversary of the September 11th 2001 US terrorist attacks? (Newsday)

Read Rolling Stone's article on the Bush Administration's evisceration of America's environmental laws. (via rebecca's pocket)

And can hip hop get out the vote? (WireTap)

Al Jourgensen of Ministry's letter to the board of Urban Outfitters re: their "Voting is for Old People" t-shirt. (via

Here's those Spreewell "spinner" rims sneakers (the Dada Sprees) I mentioned a few weeks back finally revealed:

Image courtesy:

But is doing a deal with the NBA referees the best way to try and make these hot?! I think Dada needs a new marketing team. (

Six monkeys, a Great Dane, a Chihuahua, two cats and a tarantula named Fang: Orlando Lopez still can't mess with my man Antoine Yates with the tiger and alligator in Harlem though. ( | Daily News)

Kool Cigarettes in New Flavors Draw Criticism: besides the issue of whether this is a product being marketed to teenagers, don't flavors like Caribbean Chill, Midnight Berry, Mocha Taboo and Mintrigue sound like they were designed to appeal to brothers? (New York Times)

Use condoms.

I heard DJ Enuff dropping this Kanye and Jin collabo "I Gota Love" last Thursday in his afternoon drive mixshow on Hot 97. Alas,'s J-Smooth scooped me on blogging about it because I didn't know the name of the track, plus I was convinced that I'd heard the same sample in the track used on a Mobb Deep song and I spent a bunch of time going through old mixtapes trying to figure out which one (since it's not on the Murda Mixtape or Prodigy's H.N.I.C. album like I initially thought). (mp3 links courtesy: Holla-Front Forum)

However, this weekend the mystery over which Mobb Deep track might have used the sample was basically rendered moot. While at the record store on Saturday afternoon, I heard "Overnight Celebrity," the second single by Twista, done by Kanye and almost fell over in shock when I realized he had flipped the exact same sample to make virtually the same beat in "I Gota Love." To my ears this is way more a blatant and obvious a case of double-selling the same beat than in the Lil Jon Usher vs. Petey Pablo situation. "I Gota Love" is still very official and I think this could be the song that takes Jin over the top (although Kanye will likely get all the credit, which he probably should, in this case), but is anyone else gonna call him on this? He seems to be at way too early a stage in his producer career to be already doing this kind of lazy beat recycling, isn't he? (mp3 link courtesy:

Also copped while at the Fulton Street Beat Street store on Saturday:
- Marques Houston feat. Jermaine Dupri "Pop That Booty"

- B2K feat. Fabolous "Badaboom"
both of which, contrary to how they sound, are not produced by R. Kelly but someone named Tony Scott (mp3 links courtesy: Sandbox Automatic) and, better late than never:
- Jaheim's soul masterpiece, the "Diamond in da Ruff" remix featuring Jada & Left Gunz (mp3 link courtesy: as well as a bunch of other old "Hot Ish" list entries like Rashad's "Sweet Misery" feat. Jadakiss & Sheek, Grafh's "I Don't Care," Usher's smash "Yeah" single and A Tribe Called Quest's incredible first album People's Instinctive Travels... which is now on double vinyl (I sold the original single wax version since it was basically useless for DJ-ing with plus I had a CD anyway). Good looking to my parents who gave me the Xmas gift certificate that paid for all those records.
Unfortunately they were already sold out of Nina Sky (feat. Jabba) "Move Your Body" 12". That joint is gonna be a monster all this Spring and probably into Summer. The Lumidee of 2004, please believe it.

BTW, they also had a new R. Kelly single called "Happy People." It's a hot track but he sounds like he's going back to the well maybe one time too many by running the midwest Chicago steppas' soul formula he perfected on his Chocolate Factory album yet again for this track from the forthcoming album of the same title. I have no doubt that this will be huge though. BTW: imagine an R. Kelly-Kanye duet. That ish would be ridiculous: off the meat-rack, maximum Chicago soul guaranteed. I'd be shocked if there weren't plans for this to happen already.

Also being sweated by a lot of DJ's at the store: a new Lloyd Banks/G-Unit track titled "You" on white label that was sounding kind of official too but not like something I needed to spend my limited paper on.

And I caught some new mixtapes in Fulton Mall while I was at it too. All of the following are recommended:
- DJ Clue Thee American Idol: this one's been out a couple of weeks I think (which is an eternity in mixtape time) but this is still a heater if you haven't copped it yet. Features "Cross Country" connection, the track that (I think) set off the short-lived Game-Joe Budden beef.

- DJ Big Mike Get The Money & Run - Part 3: features a non-album Kanye West cut titled "I'm Here Now."

- DJ Jay Faire (Best of) The Game: not quite as hot as I had expected as The Game recycles a lot of his "freestyle" rhymes from track to track and some of them have been featured on previous tapes, but this is still a good collection for those wondering what the hype is all about.

- DJ Kay Slay Addicted To Beef Part 2 - Gangster Music hosted by The Game on which he reveals himself to be a fan of Ma$e. Now that's gangsta!
More detailed tape highlights later in the week if I can be bothered.
- More on The Game (albeit slightly out of date) via

And while I was in record shopping mode, I decided to see what was new online at Turntable Lab and saw these gems:
- Ultramagentic MC's classic Critical Beatdown on double wax for the first time (as far as I'm aware). Holy smokes: that's so necessary, it's stoopid since I've never had "Ego Trippin'" on 12". (mp3 links courtesy: turntablelab)

- New Too Short "Burn Rubber": this track is fya! Brand new Lil Jon heater guaranteed to be smashin' clubs this summer. (mp3 links courtesy: turntablelab)

- Notorious BIG "Dreams": the original was so hard to find, it was ridiculous. I'm only mad it's been reissued 'cos I paid an insane amount to get a copy on eBay.

- DJ Muggs: Muggs shows all those European mash-up producers how a real hip hop cat gets down with his bootleg mixes of "Top Billin'" (using The Doors "1 to 5" aka the sample from Hov's "The Takeover") and "Emotional Rescue" (interpolating Snoop Dogg lovely). (mp3 links courtesy: turntablelab | sandbox automatic)
BTW while I was on Fulton Street copping the mixtapes, I saw clips from this DVD: Ghetto Brawls, "100% Ghetto" (and 100% ig'nant and an embarrassment to all people, never mind just Blacks, everywhere).

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Friday, March 12, 2004

Friday shorts.... 

Holy sh!t! Skytel 2-way, Sidekick, Treo and Blackberry users, fall back. It's over: The FlipStart by Vulcan. (spotted via The Greater Nomadic Council blog)
- Gizmodo on the FlipStart.

"Nipplegate" Justin and Janet action figures. (E! Online via, of course, pop (all nipple))

Kanye was on Hot 97 yesterday evening talking to Angie Martinez about starting a petition asking for the 1/2 mic extra from The Source to attain 5-mic "classic status" for his College Dropout album. First off: who cares? Does anyone still take The Source's album ratings seriously any more? And second, this is why a lot of cats think Kanye's kind of an ass-clown and arrogant despite all of his talent. The less he does interviews, the better, I think.
- Off on a Tangent with Kanye West. (

While even more on The Grey Album. (MTV News)

Someone was kind enough to fwd. me this week's soundscan album chart. Some observations:
- Jessica Simpson -- In This Skin: Holy Smokes, what did I miss? She jumps from 16 to #2 on the chart with 159 535 copies sold this from 52 436 sold last week. Is there a Norah Jones remix on the album or something?

- EamonI Don't Want You Back: Whoa, cats is actually tryin' to cop the album from this dude, WTF? This is sitting at #10 and sold 66 547 copies this week and 72 846 last week.

- Young GunzTough Luv: Falls out of the top 10 already after only 1 week dropping 3-12 and going from 127 522 to 62 723 weekly sales.

- Cee-Lo.... is the Soul Machine: Kind of a semi-entry at #13 with 55 665 units. Or should Cee-Lo be happy?

- JC ChasezSchizophrenic: Drops from 51 585 to 14 868 sales. Wow, this joint is brickin!

- Zero 7When it Falls: 9 906 first week sales. Man, I would have thought there'd be at least 9000 lounges, restaurants, boutiques and ad agencies that would have copped this album, never mind actual real fans.
And received by group email yesterday, this is a mind-f-ck for real:
1. Grab a calculator. (you won't be able to do this one in your head)
2. Key in the first three digits of your phone number (ian note: not the area code)
3. Multiply by 80
4. Add 1
5. Multiply by 250
6. Add the last 4 digits of your phone number
7. Add the last 4 digits of your phone number again.
8. Subtract 250
9. Divide number by 2

(update tip: try hitting the "=" key after each step to make sure this works the way it's supposed to).
Do you recognize the answer? Whoa....

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