Friday, July 16, 2010


Dear Industry Rapper,

You need to step your freshness up.  There are artists our here with no budget that are putting you to shame.  I've attached a great example of orgininality, lyrical sharpness, visual stimulation and Hip-Hop for Hip-Hop's sake.  Biting is for suckers, but inspiration is for those who want to grow and evolve.  I hope that you find value in this letter as it is not meant to be an attack, but rather a challenge.  The industry is in trouble and YOU can save it if you listen to your public.

The indies are after you and if you don't step it up, you're going to get stepped on.  I'm just saying...


Rox Fontaine

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Random Pics pt. 11

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


My Father and I never had the greatest relationship.  Unfortunately, I had to figure out much about life on my own.  All of that aside, one of the most respectable things my father ever did for me was force me to commit this poem to memory.


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son! 

-Rudyard Kipling

Monday, July 12, 2010

Premonition - The Build

Premonition is obviously a student of Hip-Hop and more importantly; a student of life.  Any artist that can reference Fyodor Dostoyevski and Chinua Achebe in the span of 4 bars is no dummy.  This is not to say that he's a rapper that will bore you to death with academic references.  He understands the balance in engaging the listener with lyrics that showcase his intelligence without talking over the listeners head.

The Build is a well thought out and cohesive first effort.  It's great to see an up and coming artist take his craft seriously.  This album is clearly about art.  From the content to the cover, this project is confidently coordinated and executed. The work is focused and defined. 

Listeners will definitely enjoy Premonition's tone.  His deep voice and mellow delivery almost lull the listener into his music whether you're actually listening to the lyrics or not.  This quality is most apparent on the self produced "Wait".  While listening to this track, I almost had to double check my playlist to make sure I hadn't accidentally skipped over to a Substantial (QN5) track. 

If there is any glaring gripe to be had about the album it is with the sonic quality of some of the tracks.  "Get Up" for example is an uptempo track with a pounding kick drum that doesn't quake like it should.  "Catalina Fischer" and "Prem", produced by Spills, both sound a bit "cheap" for lack of a better term.  The story is interesting on "Catalina Fischer" and it's delivered well, but the track is just distracting.  If it were up to me to pick the winning formula, it would be Prem and KO Beatz.  It was like listening to the Freeway and JakeOne you've never heard of.  They compliment each other extremely well. 

Give 'The Build' a shot.  It's quality material.  Definitely a great addition to any summer BBQ playlist.  Overall a top notch effort that deserves some attention. 

Premonition Official Website
Premonition on Twitter

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Rooftop Party

If you've never witnessed a sunset from a Brooklyn rooftop, do so as soon as possible.  It's one of the most beautiful of NY's simple pleasures.

I met up with my good friend Sheron after the BK Hip-Hop festival and we hit up a great rooftop BBQ party.  I met some really good people and though I was already pretty tired, they helped me pull my energy back up.  The food was on point as I was I hungry as hell anyway and Sean put me on to "Brooklyn Fizz" to wash it all down.  I don't know exactly what "Brooklyn Fizz" is but I do know that Absolut Brooklyn is involved as well as a splash of Sprite and lots of limes.  It's serious.  Trust me on that.


Jump over to my Flickr to view some post sunset pics.

Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival

Brooklyn Bodega really does a great job with this event.  It's a huge undertaking and while I'm sure there are hitches all over, it all comes together for fans of Hip-Hop.  You can't ask for much more than that.  You really get a great value for your money.

I took off from my home around 1 pm and traffic slowed me down considerably.  I didn't get there until 2:20 pm.  It should have only taken me 30-40 minutes tops.  Then I got there and couldn't find parking.  I was frustrated for a short while, but once I got into the park the positive energy made everything OK.  There were plenty of vendors and sponsors, lots of food and drinks and tons of good music.

I didn't stick around to catch headliners De La Soul perform, but I did get a chance to shoot them before they went on.  I'm sure they killed it as usual.  I slightly regret missing their performance though.

Trugoy aka Dave

Maseo (l.) and DJ Evil Dee (r.)


Smif n Wessun (aka Cocoa Brovas) also came through to represent Boot Camp.  Black Moon was also in the building.  I even saw Rockness.  It was good to see them out but I was only looking for Sean Price who did not show.  Sue me. 



I wish Babu had a solo.  When I started learning to scratch back in 2002, I was big on the Invisibl Skratch Piklz.  Especially Q-Bert and Mix Master Mike.  I knew I would never practice enough to get to such an advanced level, but I loved watching and listening to masters.  Then I discovered Babu.  He almost instantly became my favorite.  His style is so effortless and funky.

DJ Babu feat. Rakaa with the screw face

I missed Kalae All Day's set due to the afore mentioned traffic.  I did catch up with her at the show though.  She was stuntin' hard in her self designed Utta K.A.O.S. shades.  Also ran into YC the Cynic giving love and support to Kalae.

Kalae All Day

YC the Cynic

Fashawn came out representing Cali as well as that "Golden Era" Hip-Hop.  Definitely check out that 'Boy Meets World' album.  He really held it down on stage.  It's a shame that everyone had such a short amount of time to perform. 


At some point during the day, I took a short break to go get a drink and I ran into Grind Time battle rapper Soul Khan.  It was weird seeing him outside of his "I can beat any battle rapper...any time...any where." mode.  He's a real laid back guy and he even smiled for his picture.  I still wouldn't challenge him to a rap battle.  Hell, most people who do shouldn't.

Soul Khan

I had a really good time.  I cut out a little early to go cover another event but I got to see and talk to some great people.  The homie Pack FM was there for a guest spot with Those Chosen.  Mr. Mecca berated me for not smiling enough.  I caught Hip-Hop pioneer Marley Marl walking around with his son/upcoming producer M. Will the Shogun.  Craig G was hanging out backstage.  Curren$y and Trademark were in the house.  It was just overflowing with talent.  A great mix of old and new schools.  The crowd was into the whole experience and the brief rain couldn't change their mood.  I'm definitely looking forward to next years Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival.