May 19, 2012

Tougher Than Leather

I came across this video and couldn't help cracking up. Maybe I would feel bad for the verbal abuse, but since it is directed at the rich Wall Street types, it makes it somehow deserving. It seems they pay to be verbally abused by him as a warped form of motivation, but I enjoy how he takes the opportunity to talk so reckless to their face, knowing they have no comebacks.

Eric Kelly seems unnecessarily angry or insulting at all times, but it seems to work positively in the boxing gym. These 2 quotes sum it up nicely:

"I'm doing something I people...even though I'm training a bunch of fucking nerds. A bunch of Wall Street coordination...they're just not athletic people"

"Everything is not for everybody. You know, you don't see me going down to Wall Street, picking up a fuckin' briefcase, tryin' to you? Cause that's not what the fuck I do....I beat the fuck out of people, ya know"

Perhaps the 99% should use this guy as a spokesman to make their case.

May 18, 2012

The Name Game

For those of you who have asked about where I got the name for the blog THE DOUBLE TRUTH, it is based on the last line spoken by Samuel L Jackson at the end of the "race rant" in DO THE RIGHT THING by Spike Lee. This scene has stuck with me since I saw it the first time as a kid because it was an interesting way to confront the stereotypes and hatred from each ethnic group within that Brooklyn neighborhood. I always liked the way he moved toward the camera and seemed to be yelling at the viewer, as we are all guilty of thinking this way from time to time.

For those of you that thought it was a reference to double speak from George Orwell's 1984, while it is not, that too has its merit as a way of talking one way, but meaning another. Either way, maybe this will help explain it for those of you that have no idea what I am talking about in both cases. Do your research!

Skip to 3:00 if you don't want to wait!

Fine Art Fridays

To try and make a regular habit of featuring stuff that is inspiring and interesting, I have gathered another round of art and culture related links to check out. Check them out and feel free to share anything else that might fit!


Though the artwork has less to do with hip hop then most things I post here, BAYO's work is fascinating to me regardless. I am a lifelong fan of drawing and BAYO's work is both skillfully drawn and contains thought provoking subjects. Much of the work deals with the "human condition" and undue stresses of life. My description may not do it justice, but check out the images below and click the link to his site above for more, if interested.


I came across these videos by Dana Tanamachi one day and was pretty stunned by the level of skill she can render with typography on a simple chalkboard. Maybe I would have paid more attention in high school if my teachers could put this type of dopeness on the board before every class to keep things stimulating. The sample below is one of her designs in a time lapse video that shows her evolving process in its various stages. This one was designed for the Nagging Doubt Viognier wine label. Check it out and you won't complain that chalk art is too limiting.

KEVIN CYR : Delivery Man

There is something oddly hypnotic about Kevin Cyr's work with beat up trucks, painted from photos he takes in various locales like New York. He invests the detail of a fine art Master but devotes his work to the exploration of rusty, dented, time-worn vehicles as a type of metaphor for the human condition. He places the trucks (mostly) on colored backgrounds that remove it from its busy city surroundings and almost turn it into a museum display, like a dinosaur bones of the year 2012. People seem to hate on his work for basically repainting other graf artists work on his canvases, but he is only paying tribute to the history of the subject, not claiming the subject as his own.

I saw his work in Miami once and can hopefully check his upcoming show at the Jonathan Levine Gallery in NYC. For those that can't see it in person, check out the samples below and his website for more info.

May 16, 2012

DLO (Dialect Lyrical One)

The Known Unknown: Rappers you should know about - part 6

Hailing from the Midwest (Madison, WI), DLO is a dedicated craftsmen of hip-hop culture. From various group projects with live band DUMATE, to his solo adventures as instrumentalist ICEMAN and many other projects as an MC or collaborator, DLO always brings a mature mind to his work.

He continues to put out work under his aliases and represents the small, but always growing hip hop scene in Wisconsin. You may not think of Wisco as a hip hop mecca, but as Madison is a college town, the population is full of educated, talented, and proud musicians of all genres that continue to release creative work.

Again, I am promoting folks that I have worked with personally and there may be a collaborative album in the works for later this year, but check out DLO's work on the links below and give yourself a new soundtrack to life.


DLO - Pempstrumentals 

May 15, 2012

J Dilla - The Record Label

To honor the late, great James "J Dilla" Yancey, his mother Maureen "Ma Dukes" Yancey is apparently in the beginning stages of forming a record label called RUFF DRAFT RECORDS to release some of the unreleased gems of Dilla's legacy.  The first official release is called "Rebirth of Detroit" and is due out this Summer. 

I have high hopes for this project, as it would be a fitting tribute to the man and his music to properly release some of his beat tapes and other projects the world may never have seen or heard. 

I am hoping that items like the MCA album that never was, though it has been floating around the web for years, will be produced in its full glory, among other things. I hope it isn't just new people rhyming over his instrumentals from 10 years ago and more of a well-executed, carefully curated series of music that can help add to his legend. Perhaps it is wishful thinking, but I will check it all out regardless. 

Let's hope for the best! Check out the promo video and artwork below:

D artwork by djehngo

DJ Shadow: For Old Time's Sake

According to DJ Shadow's site, he is going to be releasing a NEW album of OLD material from the early 1990's. Entitled Total Breakdown: Hidden Transmissions From The MPC Era, 1992-1996, I will undoubtedly check for it, as I have been a fan since the first time I took a chance on Endtroducing... back in 1997.

Allow me to reminisce for a minute...

DJ shadow introduced me (no pun intended) to a world of instrumental, experimental, hip hop music that I never knew existed before picking up this album. I had never heard of DJ Shadow at the time or Mo' Wax records, but something about the cover of Endtroducing with its blurry, inner-record store photo made me want to hear what was inside. It was the first time as a music buyer that I bought something "sight unseen" having never heard of it or read anything about it. I was hooked on the Invisibl Skratch Piklz at the time and all things turntablism, so the simple fact that it said DJ on it was enough for me.

This album lead to me to other artists like DJ Krush, DJ Honda, DJ Spooky, and other artists on Mo Wax at the time. I gained a newfound respect for what was possible with music and started crafting my own sounds and future artwork as a reaction to this type of music. I have since "Fallen down the rabbit hole" with other forms of instrumental music, but I will always remember buying this album and Warren G "take a look over your shoulder" on the same day. I think I listened to the Warren G album twice before I sat down and digested a lifetime of DJ Shadow.

His subsequent albums kept me interested in new directions of music at Quannum, Stones Throw, and more west coast vibes for years. I have not been as blown away with the follow-up projects of DJ Shadow, but I will always check for new music from him, and especially since this new batch is a nod to pre-Endtroducingwork. I don't think anything will ever hit me like this album did the first time, but it keeps me digging for other work by similar artists, so I have that to thank DJ Shadow for.

Check his old and upcoming work out if you like and let me know your thoughts.

May 14, 2012

Phonetic One

THE KNOWN UNKOWN: Rappers you should know about - Part 5

Phonetic One is an MC from the Twin Cities (Minnesota, USA). He walks the line between spoken word artist/ MC/ actor/ activist and fits well into the more positive, life-loving, feel good music of the RhymeSayers ilk. I had a chance to work with Phonetic One on what was originally planned to be a 8 to 10 song EP collaboration meant to be a soundtrack to the Summer season in 2009. We were able to record 2 of the tracks as a demo and will hopefully complete the album in the future.

For now, I am hoping to "drum up" some awareness for the project by providing a link to the tracks recorded thus far. Just in time for the 2012 Summer, these tracks seem like a good fit for a BBQ, so check them out below and let me know what you think.

Promotional singles from the yet-to-be-released album SUMMER SO(U)LSTICE. A collaboration between Phonetic One and LuvJonez.