Saturday, February 13, 2010

Ain't Got No Soul

The feeling is gone.  I was sitting at home watching the NBA All-Star game skill events and I would have much better spent my time reading, playing a game or listening to music.  Each event was entirely devoid of any kind of excitement and just seemed like one big ho-hum party thrown by a bunch of snobs.  It was truly pathetic in every way.

Maybe it's the altered mind state caused by the economic climate?  Was it a result of the morose aftertaste left by the disaster in Haiti?  I'm certain those things affect the overall feel in some ways but I think it's predominantly that everything is soulless.

Raw emotion has taken a backseat to spectacle.  Celebrity today is just the duty of selling products.  Popular music is just a shell of what human expression through sound used to be.  It's all empty.  Of course, this is not news.  However, I was a bit taken aback by how obvious it was made by tonights events.  All of the history, all of the celebrity, all of the advertising, all of the didn't equate to a real experience. 

We need more soul.  

Friday, February 12, 2010

Sean Price - "Shut the F*** Up"

 Kimbo Price is at it again!  This is that filthy, raw ass rap that none of these industry clowns are not "allowed" to do.  Sean Price has been unstoppable the last 5-6 years and he's still rolling full force.  Fix your ears for this one!

Click to Download/Listen

Janelle Monae - "Cold War"


Big ups to Janelle Monae!  She's FINALLY set a release date for The ArchAndroid album.  May 18th, Folks.  She left this letter to fans on her website:
Dearest Darlings,

I hope this message finds your hearts beating well. As I type this to you, I am sitting in my room, rubbing my feet through the grass, watching snow fall in Atlanta, sipping on Wonda-punch made last night, and listening to an EMOTION PICTURE entitled, "The ArchAndroid." I must admit, I am feeling very wild inside, and pleasantly distracted by the music from this album. 

I know that some of you may have been patiently waiting on a sign from me—hell, about anything. Especially new music. Well, to my truest supporters (both "new" and "been down") I will be releasing my album this May 18th, 2010, a follow up to "Metropolis, Suite I of IV: The Chase." :-) Yes, it is finished and yes, I am ready to give it to you.

I must admit once more, I have been very nervous/anxious, yet proud/excited to share it with you. You can imagine how overjoyed I am that you will finally hear what we’ve been working on for years. At Wondaland, we poured our hearts and minds into this until as they say in church, “all hearts and minds were clear.” 

The time has come. The time is now. 

Over the course of the next few months, The Mad Minds of The Wondaland Arts Society and I will be giving you samples of positive ions from this hand-crafted Emotion Picture. This is to prepare your palette for "The ArchAndroid." This week, we have decided to start you off with "Tightrope" and "Cold War." 

I hope these songs touch you like they've touched me. While listening to "Tightrope" you may want to move. You may feel compelled to dance. You may associate this song with an addictive dance and share it with your friends, family, and enemies. You may even get in touch more with your inner confidence. In fact, you MAY even want to slap somebody. Hopefully it helps you with your balance... life's balance. 

While listening to "Cold War," you may feel obligated or inclined to find your purpose. You may want to form a huge tribe to help fight against the many things that work against you being your true self, just the way you were uniquely designed. You may even begin to dance while thinking, with a furrowed brow. You may begin to feel an increased responsibility to helping others free themselves from depravity. 

You may have a unique experience with the songs, all your own. If any of these things happen, remember, it's ok. :-)

I pray you listen with an open spirit that’s ready to receive a new thing. I hope this music encourages your heart to love stronger, your feet to run faster, and your dreams to birth a new reality.

The songs are here:
Love forever,
Janelle MonĂ¡e

P.S. This music is yours now. Own it.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Donwload to Donate: 4 New Tracks

On the 19th of January I posted a download link to Download to Donate for Haiti, a compilation of songs to raise funds for the tragedy in Haiti.  E-mails went out today notifying those who downloaded the album that 4 new songs have been released to compliment the previous songs.  New songs are from Weezer, Metric, The Crystal Method and Jack Johnson.

Click here to download the new songs to complete your album.

Janelle Monae ft. Big Boi - "Tightrope"

I love this girl to death!  We're finally treated to a new song from her forthcoming ArchAndroid album.  No exact date for the album release yet but if you haven't heard Janelle before, definitely check out "Many Moons"  from 'Metropolis: The Chase Suite'.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Substantial - "Wink" Mixtape


Substantial just released a mixtape to satisfy his fans' thirst for his witty rhyme style.  Download for FREE below.


1) Wink Intro (feat. Billy Bee Whitums) (Produced By Tonedeff)
2) R Love Songs Gay? (Produced By Tonedeff)
3) Without You (Produced By Subtracktion)
4) The Love Song (Produced By Nujabes)
5) Eclipse (Produced By Nujabes)
6) Hikari (Produced By Nujabes)
7) Let Me Stay (Produced By T-Dot Da Kid)
8) Am I Dreamin' (feat. Nate Vibez) (Produced By Marcus D)
9) It's You (I Think) (Produced By Kno)
10) It's You (Unknown Remix) (feat. Steph) (Produced By The Unknown)
11) Potential (feat. JsouL & Eric Roberson) (Produced By JsouL)
12) Precious Love (feat. Milka) (Produced By DJ Deckstream)
13) Up Close & Personal (feat. PackFM) (Produced By Tonedeff)
14) She Wanna Roll With A Winner (feat. Gods'Illa) (Produced By Joe.D)
15) Peaches (feat. Deaf In The Family, Scavone, Doujah Raze & Potta) (Produced By The Resource)
16) U Can Get It (Produced By Algorythm)
17) Body Language (feat. Powerful of Gods'Illa) (Produced By Kokayi)
18) Make Love (Produced By ChewFu)
19) Can We (Produced By ChewFu)
20) The Bidness (feat. Naturel & rnb) (Produced By Kanye West)
21) Freq'N'U (feat. Fresh Daily & rnb) (Produced By Keeby)
22) The Jacket 3 (feat. Steve Wallace) (Produced By Studio Steve Wallace)
23) QT (Quality Time) (Produced By Final)
24) I'll Be Back (feat. Sweep) (Produced By DJ Deckstream)
25) U Were There (feat. JsouL) (Produced By Joe.D)
26) Ugly Woman (feat. PackFM & Extended Famm) (Produced By Kno)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

"Lord, Why Did You Make Me Black?"

Lord, Lord,
Why did You make me Black?
Why did You make me someone
The world wants to hold back?

Black is the color of dirty clothes;
The color of grimy hands and feet.
Black is the color of darkness;
The color of tire-beaten streets.

Why did you give me thick lips,
A broad nose and kinky hair?
Why did You make me someone
Who receives the hatred stare?

Black is the color of a bruised eye
When somebody gets hurt.
Black is the color of darkness.
Black is the color of dirt.
How come my bone structure's so thick;
my hips and cheeks are high?
How come my eyes are brown
and not the color of the daylight sky?

Why do people think I'm useless?
How come I feel so used?
Why do some people see my skin and think I should be abused?

Lord, I just don't understand;
What is it about my skin?
Why do some people want to hate me
And not know the person within?

Black is what people are "listed",
When others want to keep them away.
Black is the color of shadows cast.
Black is the end of the day.

Lord, You know, my own people mistreat me;
And I know this just isn't right.
They don't like my hair or the way I look
They say I'm too dark or too light.

Lord, Don't You think it's time
For You to make a change?
Why don't You re-do creation
And make everyone the same?

(God answered:)

Why did I make you black?
Why did I make you black?

Get off your knees and look around.
Tell Me, what do you see?
I didn't make you in the image of darkness.
I made you in the Likeness of ME!

I made you the color of coal
From which beautiful diamonds are formed.
I made you the color of oil,
The black-gold that keeps people warm.

I made you from the rich, dark earth
That can grow the food you need.
Your color's the same as the panther's
Known for (HER) beauty and speed.

Your color's the same as the Black stallion,
A majestic animal is he.
I didn't make you in the Image of darkness
I made you in the Likeness of Me!

All the colors of a Heavenly Rainbow
Can be found throughout every nation;
And when all those colors were blended well,

Your hair is the texture of lamb's wool
Such a humble, little creature is he.
I am the Shepherd who watches them.
I am the One who will watch over thee.

You are the color of midnight-sky,
I put the stars' glitter in your eyes.
There's a smile hidden behind your pain
That's the reason your cheeks are high.

You are the color of dark clouds formed
when I send My strongest weather.
I made your lips full so when you kiss
the one you love they will remember.

Your stature is strong; your bone structure, thick
to withstand the burdens of time.
The reflection you see in the mirror...
The Image looking back at you is MINE!

- RuNett Nia Ebo

Inspired by the book of Genesis 1:26a and 27a&c

Posted with permission from Poet RuNett Nia Ebo.

YC the Cynic - You're Welcome


Download  It's free.  It's dope as hell.  This kid is 19 years old and will surely be a staple in the underground.  Pass the word.

Hartley Park Heroes


Caught these young thrashers putting their practice time in and they allowed me to shoot them at work/play.  Enjoy.





State of the Sneaker Address

Greetings My Fellow Sneaker Lovers,

To borrow the phrase and make it relative to sneaker culture, "These are the best of times, and the worst of times". Much has gone on which represents the good, and the bad which makes up this "culture" we walk with everyday.

On the good side so many people are finding new ways to express their love of sneakers, drawing more attention to something we were once called all kinds of names for being into, and making friends in parts of the world that we don't frequent, or flat out have never been to. Sneakers have become a gateway to a world of things many people would have NO MEANS of being exposed to. We have comprehensive books, there are design competitions created to nuture the next generation of footwear designers, there are college courses being taught in distinguished and well recognized universities and colleges around the United States....about sneakers! There's even a weekly talk show that airs every Wednesday for the last 2.5 years that allows folks to express their opinions. All of these things can be considered nothing but good as the trend continues!

The bad comes to us in the form of a gripping world-wide recession which has caused for good shoes to sit on retailer shelves along side bad ones, discounts and sales more frequent than before showing the desperation that retailers and boutiques so passionately didn't want you to see. Bad in the form of folks using sneakers as a way to get one up on other folks in the culture, and by people using sneakers to show what their real intentions are (which is exploit others love of sneakers for profit). Sneakers have unfortunately become the "exstacy drug" for those with low self esteem, and those who have been cast out as generally poor quality people with no real reason to be out in public. Sneakers have given these people the pardon they sought to come outside and play again, walk amongst our children, and stand next to us with a smile. It's detrimental to the greater good of sneaker culture and those fantastic people who are a part of it. Bad also comes to us in the form of folks who say "It's not a culture!" yet, they seek the social acceptance and titles from the masses that can give the illusion of leadership that in reality they are NOWHERE NEAR qualified for. The effort put forth to validate these folks must stop IMMEDIATELY. We are contributing to the problem. Those representing the best in sneaker culture will eliminate these bad elements. Sooner rather than later.

My good friend Chris Vidal always says "sneakers are a reflection of a time in our lives". Those times helped us become who we are today. They are a starting point for folks to get together and learn more about what makes us good people. About what makes us get up in the morning leave the house to provide for our families, accomplish higher goals, contribute to society, and this culture. When my Sole Brother Dee Wells created OSD (Obsessive Sneaker Disorder) and asked for me to join him in bringing it to the world, he did not ask me how many pairs I have? He did not ask me if I have any "connects" at the swoosh? It did not concern him how many Tier Zero shoes I can get? He didn't ask me what I do for a living to afford all my sneakers? He shared his vision with me because he saw who I was as a person. He believed in me enough to help express our common love for sneakers with NO COMPROMISES. There are so many people who this holds true for...I ask those people to STAND UP! Step in front of those with no real love!

For those of you who go to sneaker events seeking the validation of being seen, yearning that seal of approval that places you at the top of the social ladder, for those resellers and shop owners who pay people to camp out for sneakers that someone else wants to wear, for those retailers who sell the sneakers to friends and family while you look out the window and see a line down the block for the sneakers, BE DAMNED! For those of you who put yourselves in financial situations that YOU KNOW are bad for your family or your business, just to have a rare find, your sickness has nothing to do with sneakers. Don't blame kicks! I have no problem with re-sellers, but to those of you who are immoral resellers and so-called "collectors" at the same time, Biggie said it best in 10 Crack Commandments "Never get high on your own supply". That's basically what you are doing. If your love of sneakers can only manifest itself based in how many shoes you can sell first (at insane prices), you're sick and you need help... and don't blame sneakers! To those of you who are trying to buy your way into privilege, those of you who are asking shop owners to disregard the rules that make an ethical retailer because you want to be "that dude", please get into something else. It will be the one time that reselling would be "globally" accepted by all (as long as your prices are right-LOL).

Lastly- to quote my homie Pete of Premium Laces NY "I'm into good people". I ask everyone who has that same mentality to take your place in our culture and allow the good aspects of sneaker culture to return to the spotlight. Sometimes silence is taken as a co-sign for the injustice. But actions speak louder than words. It's our actions towards the injustice that have to change more so than saying something..but BOTH are effective. Stop entertaining the outlandish requests, turn down the meetings with folks you know are full of crap, tell them what they are planning is a "bad idea". On the flip-side, seek to introduce someone new to what we love, seek to be charitable to those groups that represent humanity on it's basic level, look for ways to educate and learn more about sneaker culture simultaneously. All of these things and more will maintain the more genuine traits of sneaker culture. WE WILL WIN!

Sean "Paper Chasr" Williams
OSD: Appreciate, Educate, Elevate (Sneaker Culture) (OSD) (OSD2)

Canibus at Southpaw Brooklyn

The underground was on fire last night!  I almost didn't make it to this show as I was tired as hell and didn't feel like driving 30-40 minutes to Brooklyn.  I forced myself to get up and out on my grind and I'm most glad that I did.  This show was on point.

Here are a couple of shots that I snapped throughout the night.  Enjoy.  Lite commentary after key moments.

YC the Cynic

I had a chance to speak with YC briefly.  We're going to link up for an interview in the very near future.  Stay tuned...

 St. Joe Louis

PackFM and MCMI backstage.

PackFM giving it his all during the Dominion set.


Check for Canibus' new album Melatonin Magik in stores TODAY!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

On to the Next...

Everybody loves a good leather.  Whether it be on their shoes, bag, jacket or seats; wherever there is leather there is the perception of class and style.  Well, the folks at Nanai Leather have added a new material to the stable of exotic leathers.  We already know how exclusive Alligator, Ostrich, Stingray and the like are.  What do you know about Salmon though?  Yes, the fish.  Using a vegetable tanning process, the skin is toughened up and dyed without the use of harmful chemicals.  The skin is as strong as cow leather.