My Mom’s birthday is on Sunday. We’ve been in a bit of a spat lately and haven’t spoken this month. I wrote this the other day as an apology letter and decided to film it as a birthday gift.
Vodpod videos no longer available.
It’s been another fruitless year in the love department. Don’t let this Hallmark Holiday get you down. Cheer up with another mix of sad and bitter love songs to accompany you on the worst (best?) day to be single. Hopefully I’ll make a happy V-day mix next year.
Here’s the download link: CLICK ME.
Last night Reebok and Milk Studios collaborated with photographer Jonathan Mannion to put together the best party I’ve been to so far in this young year. Jonathan’s iconic hip hop imagery was prominently displayed in huge tack sharp prints, two legends of rap performed (Big Daddy Kane and DJ Quik), and Bushmill’s open bar got me drunk as fuck. BDK is one of my all time favorites and this was my first time getting to see him perform. Hearing him go into “Ain’t No Half Steppin” was just one of those moments for me.
Mannion has not only documented the scene over the years, seeing him onstage singing along to every word of BDK’s set, you can tell he’s also a huge fan. Refreshing to see someone who’s been killing it for so long not be burnt out on the subject he covers.
The king overlooks his court.
The man of the hour posted in front of his flicks of Ice-T and Snoop.
The two hired guns of the party were posted on the wall next to eachother.
Mos Def and DMX.
ODB and Slick Rick.
DJ Quik did a little DJ’ing and a little rapping.
OG LA photographer Estevan Oriol.
Ran into the homie Thurz.
Avocado is a fucking weirdo.
Even the napkins were killing the game.
The ever controversial Lana Del Rey played a free in-store at Amoeba Records yesterday. I’ll admit despite following her blossoming career for a quite sometime, I’ve not heard her record, I’ve watched her awkward TV appearances, and I wanted to experience the hype in person.
The line was really long (I got there at 3:30 and it was literally around the block) and filled with people that looked like this.
During my tenure in Los Angeles I’d yet to see an in-store at Amoeba. Didn’t know what to expect, but certainly didn’t expect assigned standing-room-only according to where you were at in line. After waiting outside for 2.5 hours I got inside only to be stuck in the “Reggae 45’s” section with a curious Bob Marley pondering why there were so many smelly hipsters in his aisle.
Lana started her set with “Born To Die“. She was accompanied by a solitary piano for her whole set (5 songs, including “Video Games” and “Blue Jeans“, that all ended up sounding pretty similar due to the stripped down music). Despite all the criticism she currently receives, her voice was pretty strong. I don’t know if it’s “Golden Ticket to Hollywood in American Idol” strong, but there were some notes that made me want to cheer along with the crowd. She nervously mumbled through banter between songs. The whole shindig lasted about 17 minutes.
When she started singing the camera phones came out in droves.
This guy was double fisting.
Just to give you some perspective of how disappointingly far away I was. That’s her…the little white dot in the middle-ish.
Over the last month I’ve been teaching an MC Writing Workshop at the Bresee Foundation. The class is for high school students interested in upping their bars. It was surprising and exciting to learn that 20 students signed up to participate. The class has been a wonderful experience. It’s fun to wax poetic with the kids about the intricacies of writing raps. I can ramble for days about the minutia of rhyme schemes and rhythms, so it’s nice to have an attentive audience that’s so hungry to learn. It’s been inspiring to witness their progress as the end of the session draws near.
The early birds waiting for everyone else to show up.
This week’s assignment was writing and sharing a story rap with the class. The topics ranged from silly and light-hearted to straight up tear-jerking, but every single student came prepared and shared.
We generally use the internet to play beats while they rap…some of the kids have producer friends already and have their beats loaded on the phone.
We have a no drug raps, no sex raps, no swearing policy. Ryo always manages to finagle his way around the rules which generally leads to a good laugh.
Moshe has bars for days and he swears this class is his first time ever writing raps.
Headed over to Soul Assassins Radio last night to watch my pal Nocando utilize their microphone. Soul Assassins Radio is a truly forward thinking cross platform new media show, utilizing live video stream, podcast, and satellite radio via Shade 45. Ern Dogg and Mr. Choc were great dudes…gracious and polite hosts.
Just like our hosts, Maseo was a really fucking cool dude. Very down to Earth and friendly. So many artists get comfortable and act like assholes, tainting their idealistic legendary image after even a brief meeting. Maseo was the complete opposite, I became an even bigger fan due to his demeanor.
What you see at home when you’re tuned in.
Then Jimmy hopped on the mic and killed it. I didn’t get to hear it over the beat because it was all in headphones at that point, but Mas, Ern, and Choc were wildin’ so it must’ve sounded good over a beat too.
The Hundreds has been killing it with the clothing and web content for almost a decade now. Last night marked the 5 year anniversary of their Rosewood store. They celebrated the occasion with packed house of family, friends and supporters. Smoke filled the air as motherfucking Jermaine Dupri spun throughout the night.
Asa Akira was in the house. It’s always special standing next to someone you’ve watched have sex so many times.
Haven’t seen my boy Dorian (with the rude middle finger) in almost five years. That’s when he moved to SF and started working for TH, and I moved to LA to do whatever the fuck it is I’m doing. We used to get fucked up together when we lived in Santa Barbara back in the days.
The good folks at Check Yo Ponytail brought the “Adderall Admiral”, Danny Brown, to the Echoplex last night. Danny might literally your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper. The Hybrid brought him to everyone’s attention in 2010 while his follow up XXX ended up in everyone’s rap top 10 lists in 2011. The Detroit native murdered the show last night with a concise set that saw him powering through a raucous playlist the crowd knew word for word. Mini mosh pits, stage diving, and chin checks galore.
I only posted the above picture because the little dude with glasses jumped on stage, got way too friendly with Mr. Brown, eventually tried to snatch something out of Danny’s pocket and got socked and / or elbowed in the face before getting dragged off stage by his collar. Fans: be cooler.
Main Attrakionz are an up and coming group from Oakland. I haven’t peeped much of their music yet but the blogosphere seems to like them. Their set was energetic enough that I will check for them in the near future.
My favorite part of Main Attrakionz set was the (all male) group of overzealous fans that jumped on stage towards the end of the set. There’s something heartwarming about goofy white dudes awkwardly dancing and singing along with every word while trying to simultaneously censor the N-word on the fly.