Aug 18, 2012

Video: KA - Born King N.Y.

KA continues to make videos that are NY-centric and quality visuals to promote his latest album, Grief Pedigree. KA is a humble and consistent MC that is super slept-on but has started to slowly build internet buzz for his laid back, quality control approach to music. He is the definition of today's independent artist and does everything himself with no pollution by Top 40 attempts to water down his sound. Check him out and support quality underground music!

Aug 17, 2012

Fine Art Friday: ROA, Valerie Hegarty

Both of these artists deal with similar themes, but in two completely different ways, and I enjoy the darkness of them both. Using the concept of decay and neglect for the Earth, both artists approach the subject with destructive yet amazing results.

ROA tends to work in public spaces, often forcing the wounded or trapped animals to interact with the preexisting construction around it, as a comment on man's encroaching elimination and destruction of natural spaces around the globe.

Valerie Hegarty deals with the concept of decay with a similar nod to destruction, but more in the sense of a metaphorical rediscovery of the planet after man has destroyed himself and nature takes over the recovery of Earth. Kind of what the set of "The Road" looked like of Earth in its last days. The results are toxic and subtle jabs at mankind's constant drive to drain the Earth of it's resources and how nature always has to deal with the fallout in the end.

Aug 16, 2012

GQ - A Baller Evolved

GQ is a somewhat slept on member of the 9th Wonder imprint Jamla Records, but keeps putting out quality mixtapes and EP's in support of his upcoming Jamla full-length album this Fall. GQ's story is unusual, as Quentin Thomas is a former UNC Tar Heel college hoops champ and chose to pursue rap as a career after school, but not with the typical radio-chasing, mainstream poppy, Young Money-esque bravado. GQ chose to pursue the art of MC'ing and collaborated with 9th Wonder's Jamla records family to embark on his path.

Though GQ's choice in beats seams uneven at times (clubby trunk music vs. soulful laid back), I tend to skip the heavy handed Trap sound and land on the more introspective, throwback tracks that allow GQ to tell stories and show his range, much like BIG K.R.I.T.

Check out one of his most well-received projects entitled "Trouble Man" from DJ Booth and see for yourself. If he can iron out the "trappish" wrinkles in his sound, I feel like GQ will be around for a while and help the Jamla family make a bigger dent in the hip hop underground. If you like J.Cole, Kendrick Lamar, J. Hurt, or Pac Div, you should check it out.

Stay updated on GQ at Twitter or Tumblr


Aug 15, 2012


I recently came across the work of BONEFACE, a UK based illustrator, and wanted to share his work with you guys. He has excellent command of line, texture and color combined with often gritty subject matter, which is always something I am drawn to. He has lots of great work on his site, so check out the images below for an overview and check out or buy some of his work at the links below. (via stapledesign)


Aug 14, 2012

Interview: Slug X Atmosphere X Rhymesayers

Slug, of Atmosphere, recently sat down with HipHopDX for an interview on life, music and the legacy of Rhymesayers Entertainment. With his usual mix of goofing around and seriousness, Slug shared some stories about how he creates music, how he listens to new music, and how he stands up to icons like Slick Rick and Ghostface.

It is always surprising that more people don't know about the RSE crew from Minnesota and how their success has kept many hip hop favorites thriving in the rap underground for so many years. They continue to build a strong roster and promote quality music that avoids the "bitches and bling" era of radio mainstream music in 2012. Check out the interview at HHDX after the jump and research the RSE website here for more info. If you don't know, now you know!

HipHopDX link
Rhymesayers Entertaiment website 

Aug 13, 2012

Video: D-Styles vs. Q-Bert 2012

After recently attending the DMC finals this year, I have scratch DJ's stuck in my mind again constantly and was glad to come across this video of two of the legends of the game, D-Styles and Q-bert, performing at the KAIKOO POPWAVE FESTIVAL earlier this year. The video shows both DJ's cutting some of their classic material live and doing some improv cuts to make it special. I never get tired of hearing great DJ's cutting and hope that an album or some more collaborations come out of these type of public reunions. More please!

For more info on both check out Q-Bert's Thud Rumble and D-Styles sites.

Aug 12, 2012

Educate: The Hip Hop Archive

The Hip Hop Archive, founded at Harvard University and searchable online at, has been up and running for 10 years now and continues to evolve. The HHA has been producing academic scholars and utilizing researchers to help develop the archive into a wealth of information and history about the origins and world wide impact of hip hop culture.

When it first began, I was a bit suspect of an Ivy League school taking on this endeavor, but as the years have passed and many collegiate programs refuse to offer curriculum that studies the culture as a whole, Harvard seems to be light years ahead of its peers in most academic fields. There seems to be some "cheesy" elements to how the HHA is presented to the larger population (bland graf, typical images, etc.) but in terms of building a solid foundation to reach a broader audience, the HHA has done well.

For me, because I grew up during the Golden Era, it is sometimes hard for me to digest overly theoretical or philosophical assessments from often white educators who claim a thorough understanding of but little actual experience in culture, as if discussing an ancient Egyptian mythology in a far away land. I give them credit for seeking out an ever-evolving culture that is vastly important to generations of people, but I feel like the Hip Hop Elders should have organized something like this years ago.

Hopefully, the HHA can just be seen as a launching point and other organizations with closer ties to community and culture will spring up one day. It would be great if universities could see Hip Hop as an entire department and not a dissected section of spoken word poetry, theatrical dance and other fragmented and "ivory tower" versions of the original movement. I applaud the HHA for existing in the first place, but would be glad to see these type of educational facilities spring up within the communities that birthed the movement instead of a private college campus.

Check out the links above and research the lectures, demos and history offered by the HHA.