Aug 4, 2012

DMC US Finals: Turntable Madness in NYC

Not to many people are up on turntablism these days, but I am still a die hard fan. The DMC US finals is being held in NY this year, so it is the first time I am able to see it live! The entire weekend is filled with DJ events and hopefully I can make it to most, if not all of them to see some of my favorite DJs reveal their tricks in person. Check it out if you can!


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Aug 3, 2012

Fine Art Friday: Sigur Ros, Laurence Demaison, National Geographic

Video: Sigur Rós: Varúð
Kind of a left field post here, but the video below is artfully done, as is most of Sigur Ros' videos, and the music is hypnotic, much like the visuals. I enjoy the fact that they don't use stereotypes of model girls and other cliche video props and try to illustrate the music with more poetic grace. By the end of the shoot, the girl probably had to get a tetanus shot from the barefoot skipping, but it looks nice!

Sigur Rós: Varúð from Sigur Rós Valtari Mystery Films on Vimeo.

I am a big fan of dark art, but not everything dark, as some of it is too "ham fisted" and obvious. However, the work of Laurence Demaison seems to carry the darkness through more creative territory, somewhere between surrealism and fashion photography. I enjoy the distorted faces and bodies and mostly black and white images that he churns out. Check out his work below and see how to push the boundaries of shadow and light with photographs.

This is an old photograph but still amazes me when I look at it. Look closer, and you may be able to make it out, that yes, this is a photograph, not a painting. As National Geographic remarks of the photograph taken in Namibia, "Tinted orange by the morning sun, a soaring dune is the backdrop for the hulks of camel thorn trees in Namib-Naukluft Park."

The power of nature combined with right time, right place-ism! Even if it ever turns out to be Photoshopped,  which NG claims it is not, it still looks awesome.

Aug 2, 2012

Download: Alchemist X Domo Genesis - No Idols

After just discussing the Durag Dynasty project earlier this week, Alchemist drops the official No Idols project with Domo Genesis today! Filled with grimey samples, mellow flows and key guest vocals from Smoke DZA, Tyler the Creator, Freddie Gibbs, Action Bronson, Earl Sweatshirt, Prodigy and more, No Idols keeps the dirty underground sound of recent left coast projects alive. Check it out and zone out to some space cadet raps and hazy beats! More please!

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Free Download: MyOne - "Away With Words" EP

MyOne of Strange Fruit Project just released an EP called Away With Words. While S1, Symbolyc One, has been building his mainstream cred with contributions to Kanye West projects and other major label features, he is still loyal to his Strange Fruit Project family by lending his production to this EP. MyOne is building up his own catalogue with smaller projects like this and hopefully that bodes well for future music from the SFP crew. Check out the link on Bandcamp above and check it out!

Aug 1, 2012

Liquid Swords: Why It Changed My Life and Could Change Yours

On the heals of the re-issue of GZA's masterpiece Liquid Swords, I felt moved to share why this, among other Wu-Tang family albums, changed my life when I was growing up. I have to admit that GZA was not my favorite member of the Wu in the beginning, as I was a stan for Method Mad and his gravel voiced, grimey sounds, but once Liquid Swords came out, and due to my stan-ism for all things Meth, I checked it out since he was featured on "Shadowboxin'". I spent way too many hours of my life memorizing all of only-Method Man's parts for all Wu songs, but the first time I heard the song "Shadowboxin'" I was floored. The super creepy and grimey soul loops from the RZA, which I was convinced had the bomb sounds from Metroid in it, and the graphic lyrics made me take notice of GZA's ability to paint pictures with words. The combo of Meth and GZA made me rewind the cassingle about 5000 times to memorize all the words from this song.   "Check these non-visual niggas with tapes and a portrait" --GZAThese words forever changed how I approached albums and how I appreciated an artist's vision for his work. Liquid Swords was one of the first hip-hop albums I had heard that envisioned the entire album as an entire piece, even weaving the song titles together in some kind of jumbled story on the back of the CD.   I was always weirded out how they cut the video track short and flipped "4th Chamber" into the mix, but that song was ill too, and made me bug out at how the GZA could build an entire mood for the album that embraced the grime, wit and soul of the Wu Tang's 36 Chambers, but with enough changes to stand on it's own. If you don't already own this album and claim to like hip hop, you need to march the the store and trade your cash so one of the illest albums of all time. No flashy club hits, no forced features from unlikely artists, just straight Wu-Tang, grimey hip hop for the soul!  

Jul 31, 2012

Alchemist X Planet Asia X Killer Ben X Tristate: Durag Dynasty

Alchemist has been the king of side-projects for a few years now! From The Step Brothers project with Evidence (which as yet to come out) to the Gangreen project with OhNo and friends, Alchemist keeps pushing the types of projects that HE wants to hear and does not appear to give a f**k what people think, to which I give him a standing ovation!

It is a huge motivator for all of the purists to have Alchemist on our side and a testament to creativity to his lack of concern for marketability on a major label. I love that he keeps dropping project after project to get these sounds out into the world and helping build the legend of underground MC's like Planet Asia and Killer Ben, Tristate.

Keep killing the game Alchemist and keep shining a light on quality music and music makers! Check the single "The World's Most Dangerous" above on SoundCloud. The album "360 Waves" is due out later this year.

Jul 30, 2012

Video: Elzhi - "Blue Widow"

It's nice to have Elzhi back on the grind! With his latest video for the single "Blue Widow, Elzhi keeps it pretty chill and smoothed out with a clean look and sound. Maybe I am not up on any of his upcoming releases but this seems to be a "loosey" for now and promoting a new future project. This shows promise for a new album of original material, so hopefully, he can keep it up.


Directed by Donavan Glover
Production Company Shot Selection Films (

Video: J.HURT " Chasing" ft. Faith James

Check out the promotional video above for the track" Chasing" featuring Faith James, produced by LuvJonez. Featured on J. HURTs Mixtape THE CLARITY.

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Jul 29, 2012

MF Doom X Frank 151 Magazine

I only ever seem to find Frank 151 magazines in odd places and never when I am expecting to see it. However, I am and have always been fascinated by the coverage and detail of the subjects (interviews, etc.) and the concern for art in each issue with special illustrations and such.

This last issue (no. 48) felt like a free book on MF Doom and a cross reference of musicians he has worked with, his influence in the rap game, graf artists he worked with and other topics that give hella insight into the MF Doom movement (preview the issue above).

Among the articles in the mag is an interview with KEO, a friend and collaborator of MF Doom fro way back. He shares details about the process of developing the now infamous mask of Doom and other backstories about the influence of comic book culture and hip hop. Check the video for the interview below and try to track down a copy of issue 48 to read more about the legend of MF Doom.