Monday, February 25, 2008
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Here's the newest tape from Chi-Town intellectuals Kidz in the Hall, Geniuses Need Love Too. Though we've heard some of these tracks before, the new ones will suffice until The In Crowd drops in April. Enjoy:
Next up is a great version of the remix to "Hey Mama" that Kanye West performed a couple weeks ago at the Grammys. Off that Glow in the Dark Mixtape. I'll be back to talk about Kidz in the Halls' newest mixtape Geniuses Need Love Too. 'Til then, I'm ghost.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
(Baltimore Mayor Tommy Carcetti)
The stakes are higher than ever in the fifth and final season of HBO's suspenseful crime drama "The Wire." Written by ex-Baltimore Sun police reporter David Simon, the series reflects the intricate interrelations between the Baltimore streets, the police bureau, the investigative detective unit, city hall, and now the metropolitan paper with significant sociological undertones revealing real-life truths of crime and corruption.
The show adds a new dimension to the familiar cops-and-robbers quarrels this season- the media and the role of journalism in the community. Viewers are introduced to a newspaper based on The Baltimore Sun and its newsroom of personnel, most notably City Editor Augustus "Gus" Haynes (Clark Johnson, "Homicide: Life on the Street") and reporter Scott Templeton (Tom McCarthy, Flags Of Our Fathers), to understand the media's social responsibility plus how the paper decides what to cover.
Common themes of deception, territorial conflict, and institutional deficiencies are evident throughout the first six episodes of Season Five. The show has a morbid, serious portrayal of the lies and betrayal that afflict all levels of city class structure.
Every episode is defined by its complex array of characters, chiefly the drug players and the police force out to lock them up. West Baltimore drug operation the Stanfield Organization, headed by Marlo Stanfield (Jamie Hector, "Oz"), has run Baltimore's streets since Avon Barksdale's business but city authorities have it under heavy surveillance.
Earlier this season, budget cuts from Mayor Thomas "Tommy" Carcetti (Aiden Gillen, Shanghai Knights) sent alcohol-loving detective Jimmy McNulty (Dominic West, 300) back to homicide and brought police morale down as a whole. In retaliation, McNulty plants red ribbons on homeless murder victims to fake the work of a serial killer as an attempt to get attention from his boss and link the homicides to Marlo.
Since then, a myriad of storylines have taken place. Marlo asks Baltimore drug co-op leader "Proposition" Joe Stewart for help laundering money and pursues a relationship with Greek drug lords behind Prop Joe's back. Marlo shows his obsession with power and respect as he tries to lure enemy stick-up artist Omar Little out of retirement by murdering Omar's mentor in addition to having his henchmen, Chris Partlow, kill Prop Joe before he goes on vacation.
Shake-ups in the police force rattle city politics and Marlo's phone number is intercepted by an ex-investigator, giving detectives reason to wiretap the young drug lord after Templeton stages a phone call with Marlo. McNulty's faux serial killer targeting the homeless story is gaining momentum, Omar calls out Marlo, and the media is gaining national attention due to Templeton's manufactured story.
With four more episodes after this past Sunday's "The Dickensian Aspect," "The Wire" is approaching a dramatic climax, and the media will capture it all.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Check out my homie DJ J Past's newest mix right here, the half hour experience that is Interplanetary Funkmanship. Check out his MySpace here, support New Brunswick DJ's!
Monday, February 11, 2008
Ah, the Grammy's. Though I don't completely agree with the nominations or picks, I can enjoy this award show for what it is. Plus, I had to cover it for the Inside Beat anyway, so why not share my thoughts with you guys? Here's a serious rundown of the night's events:
8:00 – Alicia Keys sings a sensual duet with a superimposed image of Frank Sinatra, Mr. Blue Eyes himself, on “Learnin’ The Blues” backed by a blaring brass band.
8:05 – Carrie Underwood is smokin’ hot in her knee-high boots but “Before He Cheats” feels like the most over-played song, ever.
8:09 – Ladies man Prince announces the first televised award as Alicia Keys’ “No One” wins Best Female R&B Vocal Performance
8:17 - Morris Day and the original members of The Time energize disco-style, combining with Rihanna. Sporting a tan, feathery top and skirt combo, she performs electronic renditions of hits “Umbrella” and “Don’t Stop The Music.”
8:23 – Tom Hanks present Canadian rockers The Band with Lifetime Achievement Award recipients and introduce a trippy Cirque du Soleil interpretation of Across the Universe, a tribute to Brit legends The Beatles.
8:33 – Cindy Lauper’s wild, gray-blonde hair looks an absolute mess while she and Miley Cyrus announce Best New Artist Amy Winehouse.
8:37 – My Grammy Moment pits three YouTube musicians, two violinists and an upright cellist, against one another to rock out with Foo Fighters later in the telecast. Now, please make those horrible noises stop.
8:45 – Kanye West emerges, with “MAMA” stenciled in his hair, on an otherworldly stage of erupting smoke, rocking a luminescent jacket/shades combo to perform “Stronger” with French dance-pop crew Daft Punk. Then, drenched in a solitary spotlight and backed by angelic images, ‘Yeezy performs a tear-wrenching a cappella to “Hey Mama,” receiving a standing ovation after singing “Last night I saw you in my dreams/ Now I can’t wait to go to sleep.”
8:52 – Looking strung-out and puffy-faced, Fergie tries to be taken seriously singing alongside John Legend’s ivory-tickling then announces the Love soundtrack as the Best Compilation Soundtrack Album. Ringo Starr and Beatles producer Sir George Martin take the podium to accept.
9:12 – Burt Bacharach receives a Lifetime Achievement Award, Nelly Furtado needs to lose the slicked-back ‘do and hire a new hairstylist.
9:15 – Well-deserved Song of the Year award goes to Amy Winehouse for “Rehab.”
9:20 – Back to My Grammy Moment, goody. The winner is violinist Ann Marie Calhoun, who performs with the Foo Fighters outside the
9:32 – South of the border comedy import George Lopez introduces Braid Paisley, who has an affinity for screaming wild, wild west style in between lyrics. Yee-ha!
9:37 –Chris Brown looks ridiculous in a Colonel Sanders white and red suite alongside Akon and Solange Knowles to present Best Rap Album to Kanye West for Graduation. That makes three, one for each album in his discography. Thankfully, the Grammy band halts its leave-the-stage music per ‘Ye’s request as he speaks about his late mother, Donda.
9:42 – The Queen Aretha Franklin and Bebe Winans, the dude with the fly black-and-white jacket, sing praises on a high-energy version of “Never Gonna Break My Faith” supported by a gospel choir. How ‘bout them trombonists.
9:56 – The iPod commercial girl Feist is oh, so catchy singing “1 2 3 4.”
10:00 – An awkward Keeley Smith & laid-back cool Kid Rock present Best Rock Album to the Foo Fighters for Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace.
10:11 – Twenty-five time Grammy winner Stevie Wonder honors Motown Records founder Berry Gordy then introduces a slammin’ Alicia Keys for an impressive rendition of “No One” with help from John Mayer.
10:18 – Ringo Starr announces that Vince Gill wins Best Country Album with These Days. “I just got an award given to me by a Beatle,” Gill said, “Have you had that happen yet, Kanye?” Ha, he’s got jokes.
10:24 – Jazz master Herbie Hancock and Chinese pianist Lang Lang interpret Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, known by most as the theme for United Airlines’ old campaign.
10:33 – Best Rap Collaboration goes to Rihanna and Sean “Jay-Z” Carter, even though it’s really an R&B song with an 8-bar rap verse from the Jigga Man.
10:40 – Live From
10:47 – Tony Bennett and Natalie Cole presents Doris Day with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Then, the Record of the Year goes to… Amy Winehouse for “Rehab!” What a presence from the up-and-coming
10:58 – President and CEO of the Recording Academy Neil Portnow puts on a little PR campaign, then jazz prodigy Eldar performs a song from the late pianist Oscar Peterson, who passed away around Christmas.
11:02 – A run-down of all the musicians who passed this year, including Max Roach, Luciano Pavarotti, Dan Fogelberg, Pimp C, and Ike Turner then Josh Groban and Andrea Bocelli pay tribute to Pavarotti.
11:12 – Nine-time winner Bonnie Raitt introduces Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis and John Fogerty to perform a scorching set, including “Good Golly Miss Molly” and, possibly the best song ever, 1957’s “Great Balls of Fire.”
11:24 – “Professor” will.i.am pretentiously schools the crowd and viewers to the “importance” of the Grammy’s, finishing with a pinpoint freestyle.
11:26 – Usher and Quincy Jones appear on stage for the moment of truth, Album of the Year. And the winner is… Herbie Hancock for his
11:30 – Recap time: Amy Winehouse wins out with 5, Kanye West gets 4, 3 go to gospel singer Karen Clark-Sheard and Garden State Boss Bruce Springsteen, and Herbie Hancock gets Album of the Year. It’s been real, until next year.
Friday, February 8, 2008
[i'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse]
Thursday, February 7, 2008
DJ Felli Fel ft. Ne-yo, Fabolous, Kanye West & JD - Finer Things
Rich Boy ft. Lil' Wayne, Nas & John Legend - Ghetto Rich
Idle Warship (Talib Kweli & Res) - Industry Diary
The Cool Kids ft. Lil' Wayne & Duffle Bag Boiz - Gold and a Pager
AZ - Fire prod. Nottz
Monday, February 4, 2008
As the post-Super Bowl G-men victory celebration continues with tomorrow's parade in the city, the timing is impeccable for Re-Up Gang to put out their highly-anticipated We Got It 4 Cheap, Vol. 3 The Spirit of Competition. The currently leaked version doesn't have DJ Drama yapping all over it, which I personally prefer to keep it strictly Pusha T, Malice, Ab-Liva & Sandman over familiar beats. Here are some of my standout tracks after one listen:
[it's complicated, this life i lead
the cars, the whores are beautiful but all i need
is focus, cuz the latter is the ladder to success
that i climb, i stair-step to the top, i'm complex]
Props to MVP Eli, Brandon, Osi, Michael, David, Plaxico, Amani, Shaun, Justin and the rest of my fellas on the best team of '08.. I knew you had it in you.. GIANTS SUPERBOWL CHAMPIONS! NOW WHAT? HAHA