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The Knux “Fire (Put It in the Air)” Video

Dude, you sure this jacket's my size?

Dude, you sure this jacket is my size?

The Knux dropped their album, Remind Me in 3 Days…, last year and not many people remembered to go pick it up. The hella confident brothers—read this story written by moi for if you don’t believe—just dropped a visual to one of the better tracks from the album, “Fire (Put It in the Air).” Come on y’all, album sales aren’t everything. Two fingers to Rah Almillio off the strength of his given name being Alvin. Good man. [via mtvU]
Vodpod videos no longer available.

March 19, 2009 Posted by | Aqua's Clips, Hip-Hop | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bombin’ Atomically: COPE2 & KET vs. NYPD

"King" COPE2

"King" COPE2

Without question, COPE2…ahem, “King” COPE2 ran what I saw of the graffiti world coming up in the BX (Tracy 168 was sick too). I lived by the 2 & 5 train and also found myself plenty of times on the 4 line and spotting new COPE throw ups and burners was a great way to lose time while riding the iron horse. COPE’s infamy—you can even spot his throw ups in Grand Theft Auto IV—surely had him on the NYPD vandal squad’s hit list, so it’s more than a little bit interesting that COPE and Po Po are going to be sitting on the same panel at the powerHouse Arena in DUMBO this Thursday.

cope_2What’s the panel about? To discuss Vandal Squad: Inside the New York City Transit Police Department, 1984-2004. The book’s title speaks for itself but the kicker is that it’s written by Joe Rivera—dubbed “Joe Blow” by COPE—a former transit cop.

Needless to say, many in the writer set—notably KET, founder of the sorely missed STRESS Magazine—are not too keen on someone who made a living locking up graf writers profiting from their art. KET is on the panel too, and in his blog is clear on his the intent of calling out Jake on their duplicity. I may have to make the trek out to Brooklyn to peep this sure to be intense discussion. [spotted at Gothamist]


So They Meet Again: Vandals and Former Vandal Squad [via Gothamist]

Vodpod videos no longer available.

March 18, 2009 Posted by | Freshness, Hip-Hop, News, The Boogie | , , , , , , | 27 Comments

St. Patrick’s Day Special: “Jump Around (Remix)” & “Syndication'”

Fine Malt Lyrics, no guitars

Fine Malt Lyrics, no guitars

While I was an Editor-at-Large at Scratch Magazine, the crew (peace to Jerry, Jesús, R. Dot, Lizz, Tony G, O-Dub, Brian C, Dalmar & Killah Kaity) dropped an ill The 25 Greatest Hip-Hop Remixes package. I believe P.E.’s “Shut Em Down (Remix)” was numero uno. The point of this story is that Pete Rock, who produced the aforementioned remix, could have easily taken up half the list, but one particular song that I felt had to make the cut was House of Pain’s “Jump Around (Remix).”

You can tell the Chocolate Boy Wonder was in his “Pete and those horns” era when he flipped Everlast, Danny Boy and Lethal’s biggest hit and gave it an extra jolt. The other point of this story is that back in like 7th or 8th grade, being that I was one of the few Black kids in a predominantly white school, me and the small crew of fellow “urban” students where the de facto Hip-Hop experts. This esteemed position in the class hierarchy tasked us with constantly explaining to our classmates why Vanilla Ice was garbage and why it behooved them to seek out pale MCs like MC Serch and Everlast instead.

Everlast got much love for rolling with Ice-T’s Rhyme Syndicate crew and was the talk of the hood when Video Music Box played his “Syndication'” video from the Rhyme Syndicate Coming Through album. Lately, rather than rhyming over James Brown loops, Everlast has been running around with a guitar and channeling Johnny Cash, but that’s neither here nor there.

Vodpod videos no longer available.


Fab 5 Freddy Set the Record Straight (On MC Serch & Illmatic) [via Combat Jack]

March 17, 2009 Posted by | Freshness, Hip-Hop | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bun B X Top 5 Dead or Alive

RIP Pimp C

RIP Pimp C

I’m a realist about the world. I don’t sit around wondering too much about too much. I deal with everything how it’s supposed to be dealt with according to my personal spiritual law. I regret that there where things that [Pimp C] couldn’t be apart of as far as his family and his children, but I was very blessed to have not just a good friend but a great business partner as well. But before I had even started the process to working on his album, I had to come to terms with what happened. You know you never get over it.  You learn to move past it but, it doesn’t take more than five or ten steps before you see something that reminds you of him.”—Bun B

That quote from the Southern Rap Impresario didn’t make the cut, so I thought I’d share. Props go to the homie Martin A. Berrios who dropped the “Top 5 Dead or Alive” concept on AHH that plenty people seem to be jocking lately (yes, shots). [Bun B’s Top 5 Dead or Alive via]

I got to listen to the final UGK album, 4 Life, a few weeks back and got to chat with Bun B for a bit on the last UGK studio album and on his fav rappers (it’s an interesting list). Oh yeah, Bun B bodied Hov on “Big Pimpin’.” Listen to his verse again before you question the kid.

Bun B on Surviving the Financial Crisis [Global Grind via Nah Right]

Bun B Mad Skip to My Lou got traded… [via Urban Daily]

Never Made Twenty [Noz has got the goods]

The Pimp & The Bun [via Word of South]

March 16, 2009 Posted by | Aqua's Clips, Freshness, Hip-Hop | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

88-Keys f/ Kanye West “Stay Up! (Viagra)”

I mean, everyone else is gonna post, so why not… [spotted at Nah Right]

Good cut from an album, The Death of Adam, that dropped LAST year.

March 16, 2009 Posted by | Freshness, Hip-Hop | , , , , | Leave a comment

A Different World X Chris Brown

Don’t know why I was thinking about A Different World specifically, but then Chris Bumbaclat Brown came to mind too (you really can’t avoid the topic due to his assorted shenanigans). The odd juxtaposition (ground breaking & inspiring African-American targeting sitcom Vs. a frikkin’ nugget) made me remember an episode of the Cosby Show spinoff that dealt with domestic violence. After a quick Wikipedia perusal I found that the episode was from its 5th season and was titled “Love Taps.”

If you don’t want to sit through the entire vid:

At 3:40 Freddie mentions seeing a woman getting beaten by a man the night before, but her pleas to have it discussed are initially dismissed.

Then at 5:38 the woman getting knocked about (Lena, who I will think of whenever I hear “When the Saints Go Marching In”) asks her idiot boyfriend what makes him hit her, as if she had it coming.

cbrellaHmm, this whole thing sound too familiar? This episode was aired April 23, 1992. At the time it definitely made me think about men laying their hands on woman. Though, I knew better off g.p. since my dear mother gave me proper home training. Something Chris Clown obviously lacks, allegedly.

At the conclusion of this episode, the boyfriend get his comeuppance: After Dr. War’s son (sporting a possible future Kanye West look) calls the cops, Lena agrees to file a report/press charges. My sisters, my sisters, it’s easier said than done but cutting those zeros is a must.

Shout out to Oprah at 2:35 (below)


Chris Brown’s manager Tina Davis denies have sextual encounters with her client. [via Miss Info]

March 13, 2009 Posted by | Lamewatch, T.V. | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Who?: Sir Ibu (of Divine Force)

"Holy War (Live)"/"Somethin Different" Jamak-ka Record (1987)

"Holy War (Live)"/"Somethin Different" Yamak-ka Record (1987)

So one of my peeps hits me up like, and I quote, “Alvin, if you can find “Holy Wars” (1988?) by Sir Ibu, Supreme and Nefertiti in downloadable form, I’ll name my first born after you.” No need for all that since aiding others in the name of fresh Hip-Hop is part of my Personal Legend a la The Alchemist (not the rapper/producer).

Well, after some savvy Internet searching I have found the track (above) in question; it is truly a rare Golden Age of Rap gem. The name Sir Ibu will befuddle neophyte rap fans. Q-Tip gives him a name drop in his “Renaissance Rap” video (why it didn’t get its own track on his great The Renaissance album is still perplexing), but here is a little background… [continued after video]

Sir Ibu is one of the MCs in Divine Force, a rap outfit so obscure that the only substantial info I could find on them was usually around and about Ego Trip’s The Big Playback album [ahem, which I have on vinyl, sealed]. The aforementioned album is essentially the companion audio to the through Ego Trip’s Book of Rap Lists.

According to my findings—it was just a Google search…I’m saying, Lexis-Nexis is expensive—Divine Force originally consisted of Master Shykwan, Supreme M.C. and Ice Tee. Eventually Sir Ibu would replace Shykwan, who dipped to join the military, and Jizer got down as the group’s DJ. With the team now set, the group would release “Holy War” on Yamak-Ka Records in 1987. Interestingly, Yamak-Ka’s president was Melquan, who would shortly thereafter manage the Wu-Tang Clan’s GZA. Melquan subsequently secured record deals for the GZA and the RZA at Cold Chillin’ and Tommy Boy Records, respectively.

Sir Ibu would drop a joint called “I’m the Peacemaker” in ’89 via 4th & Broadway Records (the same label that released Eric B & Rakim’s Paid In Full). I can’t find much on Ibu after that. Another example of this almost forgotten MCs influence is on Ghostface’s “Mighty Healthy.” Mr. Starks interpolated some of Ibu’s bars on this early Supreme Clientele heater. Seems like Ibu did get a check for that tribute, though. (below)

March 13, 2009 Posted by | Freshness, Hip-Hop | , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Reflection Eternal X AllHipHop

The boy Mikey Fresh stays on his grizzly. Finding a reliable freelancer is a chore so he’s already ahead of the game. Full interview coming soon at AllHipHop.

Reflection Eternal f/ Bootsy Collins “Internet Connection”

March 12, 2009 Posted by | Freshness, Hip-Hop | , , , | Leave a comment

Mr. X to the Z

Xzibit was definitely one of the most entertaining and insightful interviews I have had with an artist in a long minute. I remember getting a pair of promo 12″s of “What U See Is What U Get” and being floored after throwing them on my Technics. Loud Records also sent me a copy of the video on a promo VHS tape that was made out of styrofoam—damn, VHS—which I proceeded to show to any and everyone I could.

The production on the track is credited to Jesse West who Hip-Hop heads may know as rapper 3rd Eye. Why am I mentioning this? Because, 3rd was the first guy rapping on Super Cat’s “Dolly My Baby (Remix)” that also happened to feature the Notorious B.I.G. and Puffy kicking his verse with an extreme horrible flow.

March 11, 2009 Posted by | Aqua's Clips, Hip-Hop | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Best Sticker, Ever X FAIL

I lost.

I lost.

This is the best sticker ever. And only 5 for $5. What? Those are crack era prices. (Spotted at Uncrate)

I can think of dozens of garbage R&B crooners and lame rhyme kickers that should do us all a favor and sport these on their chests throughout their videos. That way the visual would match up with the lackluster audio we are being bombarded with.

March 10, 2009 Posted by | Freshness, Lamewatch | , | 2 Comments