Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Do NOT let this guy teach you how to do The Wop

He looks like he should have a handlebar mustache and sing in a barbershop quartet. Would YOU trust him to teach you how to breakdance?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Illa J - We Here

The Yancey family just can't be stopped. J Dilla is still stuntin' on mofos from the grave (See: "Move" by Q-Tip) and now we have his baby bro Illa J coming with more of The Essence. If you don't know what "The Essence" is, just take a listen to "We Here" from his debut release Yancey Boys:

If Illa J looks familiar, it's because he stood in for Dilla in the video for "Won't Do" from his brother's 2006 posthumous release The Shining. It's a little scary how much they look alike - it's as if Ma Dukes used a rubber stamp to replicate her boys. So what do you make of a ridiculously multi-talented family who all look just alike? There's only one plausible explanation: they're ALIENS. Frank n' Dank's Frank Nitty explains:

Well when you put it that way...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Black Milk @

About a month ago, my homegirl Starr from over @ got to interview Black Milk, one of Detroit's emerging homegrown innovators of masterful beats and rhythms. finally put the feature up, so check it out:

Black Milk: Respect Due

Hip-Hop first met Black Milk as a producer. He showcased his production on Slum Village’s Detroit Deli and Dirty District Vol. 2 as well as Lloyd Bank’s diss track “Death Wish,” amongst other projects. He eventually revealed more of his rapper persona with last year’s Popular Demand, and recently followed up with October’s Tronic. While the rest of hip-hop has come down with the Auto-Tune virus, Black Milk departed from the soul sample-driven sounds of his previous works and employed more live instrumentation, embracing the use of both vintage and modern synthesizers while exploring a more orchestral song structure without abandoning his trademark sound. Often touted as a pioneer of the future Detroit sound, he remains modest and low-key but allowed to step into his world.


Great interview - she even brought up AutoTune like I'd suggested on Twitter, HAHA. But whyyyyyyy did she have to bring up T-Baby/"So Cold in The D"? if Kwame "Mayor of Hip Hop" Kilpatrick wasn't bad enough for Detroit's already tarnished image, now we have T-Baby repping the face of Detroit on YouTube. Lovely.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

N*E*R*D - Sooner or Later

My only gripe with this video (aside from the blatant Zune and Ciroc product placement) is the fact that they cut out 2 minutes of the song which were arguably the best. They could have left the first part of the face-melting guitar solo in there and used it to build more on the scenes at play. In the album version, it builds on a creshendo until it explodes into wonderful shredded guitar string fury. It also makes the song over 6 minutes long, so I suppose they're counting on people's short attention spans prompting them to close out the browser window or change the channel after 4 minutes *sigh*

Other than that, it's a dope video. And it always makes me happy to see Black folk gettin' on their rock shit without any reservations. The band they had in the background was badass.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

"Merry Christmas, mothaf*ckas"

Christmas is a little early here @ Write For Freedom, thanks to Chop Steak down in Austin, TX. After taking a year off, he's back with his annual Christmas mixtape of songs that jammed hard throughout the year.

Check out his blog to download the mixtape. Also, see the track listing below:

  1. N*E*R*D - Everyone Nose
  2. Shawty Lo - They Know (Remix) (f. Ludacris, Young Jeezy, Plies, Lil’ Wayne)
  3. Dwele - Body Rock
  4. Bun B - Underground Thang (f. Pimp C & Chamillionaire)
  5. Innerlude: Mistletoe Jam
  6. Heltah Skeltah - Smack Muzik (f. Flood)
  7. Outkast - Da Art of Storytellin’ Pt. 4 (f. Marsha Ambrosius)
  8. Bishop Lamont - Everyday
  9. Erykah Badu - Honey
  10. The Game - Ya Heard (f. Ludacris)
  11. Black Milk - Try
  12. M.I.A. - Paper Planes (f. Bun B)
  13. John Legend - Green Light (f. Andre3000)
  14. Z-Ro & Trae - Who’s Tha Man
  15. John Brown - Lay The Pipeline (Sarah Palin)
  16. Overlude: My President is…
  17. Young Jeezy - My President (f. Nas)
  18. T.I. - Live Your Life (f. Rhianna)
  19. Plies - Bust It Baby Pt. 2 (f. Ne-Yo)
  20. Lil’ Wayne - Let The Beat Build
  21. Extralude: NYE
  22. Foreign Exchange - Take Off The Blues (f. Darien Brockington)
  23. The Roots - Rising Up (f. Chrisette Michele & Wale)
  24. Fonzworth Bentley - Everybody (f. Andre3000 & Kanye West)
  25. Outerlude: Peace, Pole
I'm telling you right now, his mixtapes piss excellence - the songs are masterfully blended and the interludes are actually worth listening to. And I'm not just saying that because I'd supplied drops for previous mixtapes, HAHA.

So go on over to and cop that isht plz. I SAID GO!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Sooner or later. It all comes crashing down...

It's amazing how a song with a fairly simple message can take on so much meaning and significance when it is placed into context with a situation or event. Right now, N*E*R*D's "Sooner or Later" could be the anthem for the economic turmoil the nation is facing, the collapse of Wall St. and the Big 3 in the auto industry, the real estate crisis - take your pick.

Ominous implications aside, "Sooner or Later" is a great song. I can't even begin to try to explain how and why this song pisses excellence. I guess you can start with the face melting guitar riffs that completely take over the 2nd half of the song, and the clashing of the instrumentation which seems to match the "crashing down" that comprises the hook and go from there. I'm glad that they're not only releasing it as their 3rd single from Seeing Sounds but they've filmed a what looks to be a dope video for it. A real video this time, not...well this or this. Check out what it looks like behind-the-scenes to see what we're in for (via We Yow!zers):

Sooner Or Later - Behind The Scenes

I can't remember the last time I actually gave a damn about a music video, let alone felt genuine excitement for its release. This song excites me a great deal though, so I guess its only fitting - but the fact that the video is taking what's currently happening and putting it up against lyrics that offer admonition for careless behavior give me a feeling that it could be epic, just like the song itself. I'm not trying to be hyperbolic, just sayin' how I feel...

On a totally unrelated note, has anyone figured out what the hell Shay actually does in the group? He's in all the videos and the publicity shots but...I still don't know what his purpose is. Is he the electro-rock version of Jarobi perhaps? Just a thought © Gnarls Barkley

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Marsha Ambrosius - Sunshine ft. Little Brother

Marsha Ambrosius a.k.a "The Singer Chick" from Floetry has been doing alright for herself since ditching the duo to pursue solo endeavors that favored hip hop over the sultry neo soul sound that made her famous. After singing infectious hooks on some of hip hop's most anticipated releases in recent years like Hip Hop Is Dead, The Big Bang, Hi-Teknology 2 and The Documentary she's turned her focus to solo endeavors like her upcoming mixtape Yours Truly which is slated to drop later this month. Check out "Sunshine" featuring Little Brother:

Nothing beats a solidified summer banger in the onset of winter. It's like chicken soup for the warm weather music fanatic's soul. Wait. Nevermind...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008 Best of 2008

Voting became cool and trendy in 2008. Not only that, we all witnessed firsthand that every vote truly does count. Just ask Minnesota and Georgia - their senate races were so close, they're STILL recounting the votes and it's almost 2009.

That being said, you should really check out's Best of 2008 Readers Survey:

Vote for your favorite song, new artists, videos, DJs, movies and more. It's been just a week and already 15,000 votes have been cast. You've got 2 more weeks to vote before the polls close and the results are revealed on December 23. While you're at it, check out URB & Friends Best of 2008:

With a new list each day of the month, URB and their homies bring you their insights on what came out on top in 2008. Good times. Yezzur! © Pharrell.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Too Much Excitement To Contain

Another rare funny SNL moment via Kevin @ 410 Scrolls (watch out for cameos from Justin Timberlake and Jamie Lynn Sigler of "The Sopranos"):

Even though it's supposed to be a joke, the beat to the song is actually kind of hot. I'd certainly download it and bump it in my Creative Zen or on my iTunes @ the crib. I can't go around singing "...and I JIZZED. IN. MY. PANTS" though. I just can't. Kind of like when I was mildly obsessed with The Love Below back in the day and I'd have the urge to sing "sheeee lives innnnn my laaaaaaap" and then I'd have to catch myself before I blurted it out in public. Yeah, that's not gonna fly. Not at all.

I Don't Read Women's Magazines

And this pretty much sums up why...

(Thanks for the Flickr link Alex!)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

B-U-N-B's Coming To The C-H-I!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Manic Music Monday @

It's back to the grind after an extended holiday weekend, making Mondays like today especially hard. Early this morning, Mother Nature gave Chicago her idea of an early Christmas present: SNOW >_<

I shouldn't complain, because what we have now is like Springtime compared to what I know we're capable of getting - but I'm never happy to see ANY snow ever, so BLAH. On top of that, I can't brain today - I have Teh Dumb :( My brain still thinks it's the holiday weekend, so this week's Manic Music Monday post over @ is pretty skimpy - nonetheless it's amusing, so check me out. Don't worry, I've got some goodies coming soon. In the meantime...

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Q-Tip Is Coming to Jugrnaut!!!!!!111ONE

FYI - Jugrnaut is a "high-end streetwear lifestyle store" located in the South Loop @ 427 S. Dearborn St. If you're ever in the area or if you want to take a field trip for a couple of hours, definitely check them out and show some love. If you're not in the area but you want to see what they're about, check out their blog and their MySpace page and make it a stop on your next tour of the Chi. In the meantime, if you're as ecstatic about this as I am then make sure you RSVP to get the time of the event sent to you via e-mail the day before.

Yezzurr! © Pharrell

Monday, November 24, 2008

Manic Music Monday @

Another Thanksgiving is fast approaching - so give thanks for the short work week and the long weekend, then go check out some of the artists that I'm thankful for this year. And if you haven't already, check out that new isht from Jazzanova - it's quite loverly, I'm sure you'll agree:

(Good lookin' out @ EL3G The Scholar for putting me on)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Q-Tip - "Renaissance Rap"

More excellence from Q-Tip's "The Renaissance":

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Single Guy: Obama Mama!

Kev Clark is back this week with his recap of that fateful Election Night 2 weeks ago. Barack Obama is gettin' brothas play like never before. Who knew? Or maybe some people just know both how and when to capitalize on a sweet opportunity when it comes their way:

Obama Mama! By Kevin L. Clark

The hype for the 2008 presidential elections was unprecedented, understandable and undoubtedly the most powerful thing that we’ve seen in awhile. Once the votes were tallied and our 44th President of the United States was declared, Barack Obama did more to help out the dating game than most would give credit for – and I’ll tell you why!

Q-Tip manages to throw these pretty dope parties at NYC club Santos Party House, and with all the excitement building up to a fevered pitch, people took to the streets to get ready for the New York celebration. Yours truly was trapped at the plantation for a while, but I got my freedom papers in the form of being the guy known for partying. While the rest of my comrades finished our legendary (if not to be seen) video documenting the November 4th election, I headed over to check out what all the fuss was about up the block from the 9-to-5.

The line outside was packed and the electricity could be felt in the air. It was probably how people felt when Joe Louis was declared the heavyweight champion of the world… of the world, Craig! Ladies were coming out looking their Saturday night best on a Tuesday, and the smiles weren’t just relegated for the stars and industry insiders – the everyday man was getting love too!

Word broke out that Obama won, and the game was just beautiful. Black love – hell… universal love! – was on front page and with that, the game decidedly shifted back to the light-skin brothas’ lane. With everyone hi-fivin’, huggin’ and sharing their tears of happiness for the former Chicago senator, this cutie with some slightly chinky eyes was burning a hole through ya boy.

Clockin’ in at 5′3″, 135 lbs, this girl had that whole Cassie/Lauren London vibe and was rockin’ an ill Obama tee. She walks up to me and gives me a huge hug. Almost on cue, Diddy walks in and the pace picks up about five notches. Something about Sean Combs makes people feel giddy, and the girl who shall remain nameless planted a juicy kiss on my cheeks and says, “Obama-riffic!” Cheesy, I know… But hell, she’s cute; what can you say?

Check out the rest here.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Manic Music Monday @

Another Monday is upon us, which means it's Manic Music Monday over @! Check me out, especially since I had a couple of weeks off due to personal conflicts. But I'm back like AZ circa 2002...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Black Milk - Give The Drummer Sum

The latest from my Detroit bredren Black Milk:

When was the last time you heard horns like that on a hip hop track? Srsly. That's just one of many reasons why his latest release "Tronic" pisses excellence. The song "Try" is another:

Black Milk - Try.mp3

Appearances by Dwele, Pharaoh Monche and DJ Premier are several more. I could go on, but it's one of those things that you need to experience for yourself. Cop that isht - I don't care how - just know that you need it in your life like Sarah Palin needs a conscience.

Amoeba Music: What's In Mos Def's Bag?

Mighty Mos Def stops by the immeasurably awesome one-stop entertainment shop, Ameoba Music on Sunset in LA. Check out the video:

The fact that he had Jackson Conti, Cold War Kids and Jake One in the same bag only reaffirmed my desire to mate with him. Props to EL3G The Scholar for posting the link on Twitter :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

To All The Veterans...

Thank You

Forever grateful to the ones who fought, praying for the safe return of the ones still fighting. But for real, let's dead the wars...

The Single Guy: Cleanliness In Next To Godliness

In all of the madness of the elections last week, I completely forgot to do the weekly syndication of Kev Clark's blog "The Single Guy" over @ Hello Beautiful. This week he ponders the message his ever-present facial scruff is sending to potential targets, er, dates:

Cleanliness Is Next To Godliness
By Kevin L. Clark November 10, 2008 12:33 pm

That phrase seemingly hasn’t hurt my dating life as much as I thought it would by living in trendy New York. Surrounded by tastemakers and fashionistas, it wasn’t until a wholesome Christian girl knocked some hellfire and brimstone from my arse that I learned how close to God I could’ve been.

I wouldn’t think that I’m the most attractive looking man in New York. I may get a few looks in Bed-Stuy, but that’s because the rough look is never out of style there. And, no… I don’t suffer from low self-esteem, it’s just that I’ve had facial hair since 13 and shaving gets to be low on the totem pole of things to do when your nickname in the office is Kunta Kinte or Hey, Mon!

Plus, the scruff factor serves as a truth teller amongst women. I know you guys have the up-and-down glance made into a science - with a checklist in your head just to keep things you like in order. But with me, you get to see my personality shine through the good, the bad, the ugly and jacked-up hair days.

Amid all this college kid angst enters Kennedy, a 23-year-old grad student who attended Columbia as a Psych major. She could honestly have any man she wanted with her bubbly personality, sexy lips, 1000-watt mile and poofy hair that’d make Maxwell jealous. I tried to earn this girl’s attention every Thursday when we’d both be at Cody’s Grill for lunch.

I was attracted, yet she had no clue who I was. Contrary to my homie Carl’s belief, I don’t chase girls - I jog. And as fate would have it, she had just come back from a run and wanted a drink. I, with two lunchtime Coronas in my hand, sensed the urgency and inquired if she wanted one. She gave me the “look” and her face slightly turned smug.

My smile was my shield from judgment and, reluctantly, she took the beer and invited me to sit down. Eventually, we discussed how familiar it was to see each other here every Thursday, talked about the places we partied at and how much a Columbia education costs. When we touched on the subject of dating and being single, she blurts out, “You’ve probably been single for a couple of years now, huh?

Four, actually,” I replied and her beautiful eyes lit up. “You know why, right?” she asks. I shake my head no and she answers with, “…all the scruff and gruff - the girls probably don’t like it.” I rebuttal with, “You keep smiling,” and she says, “Only to keep from laughing!” Ouch. Base! My feelings were tinged, but not burnt. But she turned up the heat when she managed to clown my hairline, my Old Navy hoodie and my Bo Jackson sneakers all in a 15-minute time span.

In all that she finally broke it down to me:

A lady doesn’t really care if you have the washboard abs and the silver tongue to make all the girls come. But when you make absolute NO attempt at trying to get her attention, then you’re failing yourself. Simply put, cleanliness is next to Godliness.

And with that said…

Ladies… Can a man with personality and wit outshine the dude who wears Dolce & Gabbana with a NY fitted hat and some Timbs? Or are we slaves to personal preferences? Speak on it!

Check out last week's entry, "I'm Through With Dating Black Girls" here.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

WTFuckery: Blood On The Sand

Back during the summer when I first started this blog, I asked my dear friend Kevin J from over at 410 Scrolls to grace Write For Freedom's presence with a guest post, because he's an awesome writer and stoopid funny. It took him a while, but he's finally come around with his latest stroke of literary genius: an overview of the clusterfuck that is the video game 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand.


"THQ Inc. today announced the acquisition of the publishing rights for 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand for the Xbox 360(R) video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and PLAYSTATION(R)3 computer entertainment system. The highly anticipated sequel to the multi-million unit selling title 50 Cent: Bulletproof, 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand will put gamers in the role of world famous hip hop artist 50 Cent as he, and members of G-Unit, battle their way across two war-torn countries on a mission to collect payment from a crime cartel boss. 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand is currently scheduled for worldwide release in early 2009, featuring run and gun shooter game play, brawler style combat, online co-op and eighteen exclusive new 50 Cent tracks." [THQ Announces Acquisition of 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand]


Essentially, what the preceding the paragraph dictates is that Fiddy is coming back for one more round in the videogame realm after the commercially successfully, but god-awful, mind-numbing, eyes-bleeding experience that was his previous game title, "50 Cent: Bulletproof" (an epic that detailed his hunt for hitmen that attempted to end him). I'm never one to knock the hustle. I do try not to, often and with discretion. I wonder though – how does someone transcend making music to stopping terrorism to regaining some bling that he lost. And yes, that's the story.


"When 50 was onsite at Vivendi with Tony Yayo, one of the things they challenged us to do was introduce new elements of gameplay in the game," Blean said. "Instead of having them always running and gunning, they wanted something that would break the pace of that." So "Blood on the Sand" will include vehicle missions such as a driver-and-turret-gunner Humvee road chase and a helicopter-borne shootout, in which 50 and his ally "rain death from above" onto enemies in a city." [50 Cent Video Game Exclusive: 'Blood On The Sand' Details, First Images Revealed]

The first game was essentially a G-Unit album wrapped with the marketing appearance of a videogame and multimedia tie-ins. But it was bad. So, so very bad. And you never want to down someone else's hard work, and I'm sure the staff on the game worked hard – but it was bad. Just. Bad. Blood on the Sand doesn't seem like it will fare that much better. For the more technical among you, the game runs on the Unreal 3 engine, a game engine that powers some extremely high-profile and great looking games. Do I really want to watch Fiddy drink Vitamin Water while shooting terrorists to get back his bling? If you answered yes, then welcome to the target demographic. Curtis greets you with open arms.

Maybe I am approaching this all wrong. Maybe this will be a journey rich with subtext and philosophical themes, changing the way we envision what conflict resolution on a worldwide scale could be. Maybe Fiddy is the future. Let's examine some of his body of work. From the work that transcends time, "Gunz Come Out":

"I'll come through and touch ya, walk out then cut ya
In case your dumbass wanna tussle
AR-15, co-exist to make the shell case muffle
Scope, infrared, run you're still dead
Hit your calf, hit your ass, hit ya back, then your head
Contract killa, murder for the scrilla
Search, find a nigga, run up behind a nigga
Shoot car windows out to flatline a nigga

If we can't depend on Fiddy to "shoot car windows out to flatline a nigga" and take that same vibrancy and leadership overseas – then who can we depend on? If celebrities can't insert themselves into scenarios they never would directly participate in, and thus make a great deal of money on it that will never find its way to the families of those who do make a difference every day placing their life on the line, then what's the point of even getting out of bed in the morning?

FAT JOE LOVES 50 CENT Pictures, Images and Photos

We Love You Too, Fiddy. Go Get 'Em.


Friday, November 7, 2008

Obamapalooza Videos

I'm on Vimeo now :) If anyone has an account with them, feel free to add me. That being said, check out me and my +1 on the ticket/partner-in-crime Alex in my wobbly Flip Video Ultra clips from the Election Night rally in Grant Park:

Inside Grant Park:

Finally @ The Rally:

The Beach Ball:

Yes We Can! Yes We Did!:

I got footage of his speech, but it surpasses the upload limit for the week so I'll have to do it next Thursday when it resets. That night was so surreal - all of this is. Definitely one of the best nights of my life.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

"Obamapalooza" in Grant Park

FINALLY! Here are my personal photos from the now infamous Election Night rally at Grant Park in Downtown Chicago dubbed by many as "Obamapalooza." They start off showing the crowds that were gathering in the early afternoon around 2 PM and ends with the deluge of people leaving the gathering around 11:30 PM:


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes. We. Did

This is a time for celebration and rejoice, without a doubt...but we have a long road ahead of us. My friend Paul put it like this:

"Now the real work begins.

Holding Washington accountable and making sure that President Obama (man, I love the sound of that) lives up to the promise of candidate Obama.

Obama is not the messiah, he's still a politician. As much as I believe that we'll be on a much better course as a nation, power does things to people.

Obama is not impervious.

Let's all make a promise to each other that we wont let our government squander this incredible opportunity we've given it.

No free passes.
No blind eyes.

Don't sleep y'all. "


Tuesday, November 4, 2008


If Obama wins today, this should totally be his victory song:

History ft. J Dilla - Skyzoo

Obama '08

Let's Go!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Thriller: Indian Style

I saw this about 2 years ago initially, but it is one of the greatest things you will ever watch. I figure since the MJ version of "Thriller" gets just a *tad* overdone this time of year but you can't have Halloween without it, I decided to switch it up and go Indian-style:

Yet another indication that I am WAY too easily amused >_<

Happy Halloween! Go easy on the witches brew or potion or whatever it is that you end up imbibing tonight. Last time I checked, puke shouldn't ever be a part of your costume ;)

The Single Guy @ Hello, Beautiful

Breaking News...

Starting today Write For Freedom will be syndicating a weekly blog via Hello, Beautiful. It's a bit of a departure from the usual content that I generate here, but when Kevin Clark asked me to cross post his writing I figured it'd be good to break up the monotony of all the music-related randomness that's kind of my thing in this here blog o' mine. Under the label "The Single Guy" he writes about his experiences as he navigates the dating scene in NYC, a far cry from his small-town upbringing in Kent, OH. Kevin and his way with words are a hot mess sometimes (in a good way of course), so his stories are pretty hilarious. It's worth a read - there's something everyone can relate to @ some point. So, without any further ado...

Black Magic Woman
By Kevin L. Clark October 27, 2008 4:51 pm

I believe that one of the most precious things on this Earth is a black woman. The way y’all walk, talk and even sass can light this Scorpio’s passionate flame and I can’t get enough of it. But, if I knew what type of spell this “black magic woman” would cast on me, then I would’ve never have went to Lotus that night…

Her name was Denay and she had to be the finest girl in the club that night. I called her “friend,” but everyone else had some more clever connotations for the Harlem dimepiece. “Ay, aye, aye, aaaayyyeee!” was cool for starters. “Shawty with the phat ass,” was another one. She never would answer to comments like that and on this particular night, she looked like she got dressed in sin with a dress that hugged her curves so right that I wanted to call her mama.

The fates must’ve been in the air because as they would have it, Denay thought that I looked pretty official myself. She stalked me through the crowd to ask about my shirt. I replied to let her know that it was just something to wear. She smiled… I did too… and a whole lot of drinks were consumed! We enjoyed the next few hours on the dance floor, navigating in our own personal world. But I must say, in trying not to offend any born-and-bred New Yawkers, this: “Y’all can’t dance…”

See. Told you he was a hot mess.
Read the rest here. Check out his other stories here.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Manic Music Monday @

The picture above pretty much sums up how I feel today for a number of reasons, but I digress. Luckily I was able to channel some of that irritation into creative fuel to put together a damn entertaining edition of Manic Music Monday for this week. Check it out here. Yezzur! © Pharrell Chart Exchange - Week 2

We've got a couple more bloggers/blogs on board for the weekly chart exchange - thanks for playing Tha 4.0 Show and Thoughts Remixed! Just to refresh your memory, the premise of this weekly chart exchange is to cross-promote blogs, politick about the music we love and network via social networks such as (using social media to network - what a novel idea!). Anyone with a blog or website and a profile can jump in and participate. Just be sure to cross-post, otherwise it kind of defeats the purpose of the whole endeavor. Onward to the charts! Click on the charts to view our profiles for a more extensive look at our musical tastes:

My Top Artists
Oct. 20 - 26

I got an *ahem* advance copy of John Legend's Evolve (which drops tomorrow, BTW, 10/28) and it pisses excellence - hence the 41 plays last week. Ian Pooley was my "getting-ready-to-go-dancing-at-a-club" music on Saturday - and it took me a long time to get ready because I kept getting sidetracked by the music and I'd start dancing, HAHA. If you dig breakbeats and instrumental hip hop, definitely check out Bulljun & El Barrio 2016 by Bulljun (FYI - his website's completely in Japanese might wanna translate that isht unless you're on some Google isht and you're "feeling lucky"). I listen to his stuff a lot when I'm at work - it helps me zone out so I can plow through my tasks with significantly less disdain. Elis Regina is the reason I became interested in Brazilian music on a grand scale in the first place. She had a powerful voice, charasmatic stage presence and a defiant persona which earned her the nicknames "furacão" ("hurricane") and "pimentinha" ("little pepper"). She was quite the beast back in the day - unfortunately she didn't get the memo that coke and booze don't mix very well so she died tragically young. She deserves a blog post all unto herself (and she shall have it one day soon).

That's enough about my charts. Check out what my fellow bloggers are listening to these days:

Thoughts Remixed's Top Artists
Oct. 20-26

Laya's Top Artists
Oct. 20-26

Tha 4.0 Show's Top Weekly Artists
Oct. 20-26

Once again, If you're on and you have a blog/website that you'd like to cross-promote, you can participate in the weekly chart exchange. Hit me up and we'll get things moving!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Will Paints Barack

This is Will. He braved chilly weather and strong winds to spraypaint a mural of Barack Obama on a piece of a wall on Halsted in Lincoln Park:

I will venture over that way later on this week or next weekend to get a picture of the mural after its completion.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Blue vs. Green

The Presidential Elections are just 11 days away. Don't like Republicans, but you don't like the Democrats either? Are you considering voting for a 3rd party this election - more specifically the Green Party? Here's a very thought-provoking, rational, well-articulated argument for voting Blue over Green this election season. Just food for thought - it offers a clearly defined set of angles that you may not have considered before. Check it out:

Why I'm voting for Obama (and not McKinney)

By Megan K.

If you are considering voting for McKinney (Green Party candidate) AT ALL please take the time to read this.

The 2000 election was the first Presidential election I was eligible to vote in. I voted for Ralph Nader of the Green Party. I was extremely firm in my decision to vote for him, as I was already disenchanted with the two-party system and was heavy into my activist community at the time. On election night (and the days that followed), I watched in horror as George W. Bush stole won the election, with all the politicos saying that Nader, being the 3rd party candidate, was the "spoiler" for Gore...who had been tapped in the polls as the likely winner.

Now, I won't go so far as saying that I promised I'd never vote for a 3rd party candidate again, but I learned some things that year, and when I worked in politics many years later these lessons were repeated and enforced.

The fact of the matter is, America is currently under a two-party system. And I honestly believe it shouldn't be. When we hold elections there should be many names at the top of the ticket for any number of parties. HOWEVER in order for a multi-party system to work we MUST use Instant Runoff Voting instead of plurality voting, which is what we use now. There is no other way we would be able to effectively choose political leaders in a multi-party system.

Secondly, the Green Party is, at its very essence, a grassroots movement. And as a grassroots movement, it needs to be built from the ground up. That is, it needs to gain traction on the local, city and state level before they take on the national political scene, much less the Presidency. To completely ignore your local Green party, or any Green candidate that is running for city council or the school board or mayor or state representative, and then throw your vote to the Green Presidential candidate? Sorry, but I think that's back-asswards and a waste of a vote. If you REALLY believe in the Green Party platform, you have an obligation to go out and get involved in making a strong Green Party in your city or state. (Did you know that the national Green Party is simply a network of state-level Green Parties?) Without doing so you are going against exactly what the Green Party stands for, which is revolution. Don't be an armchair activist, and ESPECIALLY don't be an armchair activist who votes for the Green Party candidate only when it comes to the Presidency. No revolution has ever been accomplished by folks taking the easy way out, and this election will be no different.

Third, if Obama loses, McCain will be President. There is absolutely, positively NO chance of McKinney winning this election. I'm sorry folks, but there's not. (Not until we build a Green Party from the ground up ... see #2). So regardless of the fact that I don't agree with Obama on ALL of the issues, I certainly agree with him more than I do McCain. The United States is about to head into another Great Depression so I want a president who knows economics and has the bipartisan appeal to get things done. Upon reading the Green Party platform you might notice that Economic Stability is last on their list of issues, after "democracy", "social justice", and "ecological sustainability". On the issue of the economy, the Green Party says "We need to restore a progressive tax structure, rather than continuing to move money toward the top echelons of society while squeezing everyone else." Know what? Obama believes that, too. But that alone is not going to fix our economic problems. The Green Party also says "Foremost, the Green Party stands for community-based economics and regional trade. We believe that the only model of true economic security is for a community and area to be largely (not entirely) self-sufficient in the production of its necessities." This theory is theory. But wow, it would be a major change from the current economic system. I mean MAJOR. Could the American economy handle such a violent shake-up of its core values if the Green Party won the Presidency?

Finally, there's the issue of a working government. Do you think if McKinney actually won the Presidency that she would be able to work with Republicans and Democrats (not to mention foreign leaders) to get things done? No, President McKinney would veto pretty much everything that Congress put in front of her and everything would have to pass back through for a 2/3 majority. So really. Think about it. The President does not create policies or laws. That's the job of Congress. And according to most polls, we'll have a Democratic majority in Congress next year. So. Democrats write the laws, the Green Party President rejects them because they go against the Green Party ideals, the bill goes back to the House and Senate for another round of voting. That seems like an awful waste of time when Congress could be passing bills that, even if they are not perfect, are better than what we've had for the last four years (not counting this year) when Republicans controlled Congress. So if there isn't a Green Party majority in Congress, what's the point of having a Green Party President? (Again, we need to work from the ground up. See #2.) the end...while it would be really great to have a president who agrees with gay marriage and indigenous peoples' rights and environmental sustainability as much as I do, I know that at this pivotal moment in history, after our country and its laws have been raped and pillaged by the republican machine, we need a president who has the bipartisan appeal to get things done. McKinney just doesn't have that appeal. And I know that if Congress tried to pass an amendment to the US constitution saying, once and for all, that marriage is between one man and one woman, Obama would veto it. And honestly? That's enough for me because there really isn't much more that a president can do about the issue of gay marriage.

I know that change will come to America, and that one day gay marriage will be legal everywhere, and the environment will be a priority, and social justice will prevail. But I also know that social change takes time, and it takes effort. Pulling the lever for McKinney is not the solution to the problems that America is currently facing.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sampletastic: Lil Wayne & A Tribe Called Quest

Unbeknownst to most, the sound behind one of the biggest hip hop records of the year derives its sample from one of hip hop's most influential and respected groups. The song is Weezy F. Baby's 808-laden, screwed vocal looping pantheon display of bravado known simply as "A Milli." Tribe comes into the picture because the "a milli-milli" that gets repeated ad nauseum comes from the super-rare Vampire Mix of "I Left My Wallet In El Segundo." While they make strange bedfellows, somehow when the forces combine it's like Captain Planet ("The power. Is YOURS!") and it becomes a purveyor of greatness. Someone on put up a comprehensive breakdown of this amalgamated anomaly on YouTube. Peep game:

If that didn't make your head explode, congrats. It's so simple it's mind boggling. Along the same vein, it's beyond me why they even needed a sample to create that. Bangladesh could have just as easily gotten Lil Wayne to say "a-milli" into the mic 8768437534 times and then slowed it down. It seems like it would have achieved the same result - but hey, what do I know about music production?

And while we're on the subject of Bangladesh, apparently he wasn't the only producer who worked on "A Milli" but he's getting all the credit. Chicago-bred/ATL-based producer Cha-Lo is said to have had a significant hand -as co-producer to be exact- in crafting the track, but they're straight giving him the hard, sandpapery shaft and there's nothing he can do. That's the music industry for you...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

"God forbid you ever had to walk a mile in his shoes..." © Everlast

Pictures are worth 1,000 words but...
this one kinda leaves you speechless.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Free Album Download: African Swim

Major props to Adult Swim for reppin' the Motherland's latest interpretations of this ever evolving life form we call "hip hop":

[click image to download album + artwork]

Check out the African Swim page for a taste of the music you're in for, as well as exclusive videos from several of the artists featured on the album.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Terry Tate to Sarah Palin: Reading is Fundamental

Everyone's favorite office linebacker is back on the scene, but this time he's hitting the presidential campaign trail to hand out some crucial tidbits of, erm, knowledge to Sarah Palin while she chats with Katie Couric:

Normally I would balk at posting something that depicts violence against a woman in a comedic manner that diminishes the seriousness of the matter. But seeing how Sarah Palin billed sexual assault victims for the cost of the rape kits and foresnsic exams when she was mayor of Wasilla, I say it'd be karma if Terry Tate really were to PWN her via full body tackle.

But maybe that's just me. I'm a bit of an asshole, don't mind me. In any event, check out more from Terry Tate, Office Linebacker @ Isht is HILARIOUS.

Sunday, October 19, 2008 Chart Exchange

Even though I have the widget posted in my sidebar for your browsing pleasure, I'd been toying around with the idea of doing posts of my Weekly Top Artists on Then Laya suggested that I not only post my charts, but also post the charts of other bloggers who would in turn cross-post. It sounded good to me, so we're getting it crackin' today since the magical Weekly Top Artist elves @ use their mystical powers to update charts on Sundays.

Now check her out:

If you don't know what is all about, Laya gives an excellent breakdown of the overall premise:

"For those that don’t know, is a music sharing site. You can run a plugin to your favorite player (iTunes is my choice, natch), and it will “scrobble” all of the tracks you play. The site aggregates this date per user, and provides a widget showing your weekly or monthly “charts” by artist or track. "

Anybody else who's on and has a blog that they're interested in promoting via cross-post exchange get at me. Thank you Laya for the "great minds think alike" moment and for all of the generous (and TOTALLY unsolicited) praise on my blog. Bawwwwwww :) Check her out at and on Twitter and Yeeeaaaaah boyyeeeee © Flava Flav

Thursday, October 16, 2008 | M.I.A Part 2 of 2

M.I.A's interview with Pitchfork Media staff writer Jessica Suarez continues:

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Mama M.I.A/ "Boyz" Remixes

M.I.A: "I'm creating a baby"

That didn't stop her from performing with N.E.R.D, Hot Chip, Franz Ferdinand, T.I. and Chaka Khan (!) at Diesel's xXx party in Brooklyn last Saturday. Check out excerpts from her pre-show interview or watch the full thing @

(Part 1)

If that's not enough M.I.A for you, check out for 2 remixes of "Boyz" - one with Hov and one with Wale - which originally appeared on her 2007 release "Kala."

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Q-Tip - "Move"

The latest track from Q-Tip from his (finally) upcoming release "The Renaissance." It's produced by J Dilla who continues to stunt on niggas from the grave. It you listen closely, you can hear the beat features a finely chopped sample of "Dancing Machine" by The Jackson 5:

Look familiar?
Perhaps this will jog your memory:

Ah, greatness on all accounts. I'm seriously looking forward to this album coming out next month (Nov. 4 is the date I'm seeing. His website has the official countdown on the homepage so we'll keep our fingers crossed that there will be no delays).

Monday, October 13, 2008

Manic Music Monday @

Check me out over @!
Your Monday will suck significantly less if you do ;)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Dear SNL...

Please take note. This is how you do a GOOD impersonation of Barack Obama:

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Sampletastic: CRS/Thom Yorke

In 2006, Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke put out a pseudo-solo release of the electro-rock persuasion called "The Eraser." The title track features a haunting series of looped piano chords that lay the groundwork for punchy drums and Yorke's signature eerie vocal stylings:

Thom Yorke - The Eraser.mp3

In 2007, Plain Pat put together a formidable Kanye West mixtape called "Can't Tell Me Nothing" which preempted in an attempt to get folks riled up about "Graduation" I suppose. The mixtape featured a collabo between Kanye, Pharrell and Lupe Fiasco, collectively known as CRS. The song "Us Placers" sampled "The Eraser" and all of them spit some of their best verses over that loop:

It was pretty brilliant even though really, it sounds more or less just rapped over the instrumental and kept Yorke's vocals intact for the chorus. But the fact that anyone would think "Hey, I should rap over a Thom Yorke song" is pretty remarkable in itself. In any event, you can definitely tell they were feeding off the mojo that was injected by Thom Yorke into the original. That same mojo made its way into the video as well - Va$htie did her damn thing and the end result was a video that pissed excellence and shat upon 96% of all rap videos ever made:

Friday, October 10, 2008

RIP 1520 Sedgwick Ave.

Via The Smoking Section @

Tell 'em why you're mad Contra ™:

Dear Rapper/Producer/Promoter/Mogul/Entertainer,

You disappoint me.

Throughout history people have given their lives for symbols of their cultures. To this day, feuds on a global scale & cataclysmic proportions continue over territories significant to cultures and religions.

The above pictured is the birthplace of Hip-Hop.

People have given their lives for less. You all fight every day over chains and songs, contracts and beats. You didn’t even have to fight for this. Just sign a check. Make a donation.

And yet you still failed.

This building was bought by a real estate developer who has neither notable connections to Hip-Hop culture nor made contributions to it, except maybe a Sir Mix A Lot LP he bought to help a fat friend through rough times. He quite certainly had no debt to Hip-Hop.

But you who owe your lives to what began here, you should be ashamed of yourselves.

Kool Herc joined the tenants of this building and pleaded for your empathy and support. You turned a cold shoulder proving once again that you have completely forgotten where you came from.

Let it be known that this is not addressed to those helping other causes, supporting other communities in substantial manners. This is for you who stood by, counted your money and walked away.

Fuck you very much, from the bottom of my heart. I hope you choke on your grill, get strangled by your chain or get run over by a Ferrari.



Brought to you by gentrification, bitchassness in the hip hop community (if there even is a community anymore) and the letter F.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Justin Nozuka @ Martyrs'

After missing him when he was in Chicago 2 previous times this year, I finally got to see my deliciously silky-voiced 1/2 azn booskie Justin Nozuka :-D I had a Flip Video Ultra camcorder on me, so I was able to capture some video of him performing my favorite songs from his CD "Holly" that came out last fall:

"After Tonight"

"Golden Train"

"Ain't No Sunshine"

(This was a cover of the Bill Withers joint - a live performance exclusive)

That last video is a scorcher. Whew.