7 questions with: The Emcee Al N. York


It’s been a minute since I’ve been on my blogging. I apologize for the intermission but a girl’s gotta pay the bills you know? The first inteview I did on this site was with a young lyricist out of Florida who goes by the name of Al N. York. He dropped another mixtape the beginning of this month and hit me up with the hopes that I’d post it. I obliged, of course, because the kid’s got talent. He can spit, but he’s also got something to say. It is the balance of lyrical prowess, musical intelligence, substance,and relatability that is most alluring about Mr. York and will endear him to those who love hip hop and respect it as an artform not just a way to get “on”. His new mixtape “The Commercial” does not dissapoint. From the melodic title track in which he lays claim to 2010 being his year to break the glass ceiling to the infectious bounce-worthy “Limelight” which loops a young Biggie proclaiming “…now I’m in the limelight ’cause I rhyme tight” flawlessly into the hook York brings you into his world , the world of a young rapper who is hungry, ambitious and ready. There are a few slight bumps in the road as York slightly dims when in attack mode. Chest puffed and trash talking York still shines, yet his lyricism takes a back seat to his machismo. In my opinion York is at his glowing best when he allows his poetic soul to merge with his sharp tongue, trading quick jabs for round house kicks, allowing his skill to become his greatest force. The verdict: a nice addition to your mixtape collection, plus when he blows up you’ll be able to say “I don’t know bout yall but I been up on him since he dropped……”

HBBNG:  Since we last spoke have there been any big developments that have taken place concerning your music? Have you found yourself garnering more attention in your city since the release of your last mixtape Homeless Millionaire? Have you found more people associated with the entertainment industry checking for you?

AL N YORK: Yes, I have been making a transition from the underground to being known to a lot of the major players in the city. I actually saw one of the biggest promoters in the state who is based in Orlando named Mercedes Streets, she was in a Ace Hood Promo van, I pretty much stalked her.. had her pull over, and handed her the mixtape. Later that week she expressed how much she enjoyed the mixtape. A lot of similar stories, and I feel w/ the release of this new project.. It will elevate a new level.

HBBNG:  How have you matured as an artist in the past 9 months?

AL N YORK: As an artist I always wanna mature. I know for a fact Homeless Millionaire wasn’t for everyone, you’ ll see now the songs are more [well] rounded, and lyrically I always feel I have to improve, plus with me working on more original material I have to perfect my song making abilities, and always strive to improve.

HBBNG: What’s the signifigance of the title The Commercial?

 AL N YORK: The significance is tha length, a commercial is just an interlude or a prequel to the actual show. The commcercial  is only 9 songs, and just like something midway thru my underground career. I think that though its short, its my best project to date. So the commercial is kinda like, ok this is just an interlude in my career, but a strong one.

HBBNG: Artistically, what was your frame of mind with this new EP? What were some of the main influences and inspirations, whether they be situations, emotions etc, behind the creation this new project?

 AL N YORK: Well, urgency.. I dropped ‘Homeless millionaire’ in Jan 2009, it did what it was supposed to do, plus as an artist I knew the sound quality had to be improved cause the people who are in a bigger position to help me, are not gonna accept half ass recording and mixing. So about the beginning of  December I said ‘its time for something new’ started writing the project the 1st week of  December,  finished in 3 weeks, and im super happy [about] the outcome. My mindset, was to just get back out there, new energy for the new year, im still here, and im better than ever.

HBBNG: Who are some artists you’re feeling right now that reinforce your love for hip hop?

AL N YORK: Im surprised I loved Kid Cuddi’s album so much, it was incredible. Wale’s album was dope. 50 cent still being hungry after being so succesfull financially, even though the album didn’t sell, the art was there. Lupe’s new mixtape is amazing. J cole, who wasn’t big when we first spoke, that mixtape is very homeless millionaireish, we have the same steelo.  And a lot of people from my city doin it big are inspiring me not to fall in the back of the pack..

HBBNG:  Let’s say you have a magic Blackberry which has the contact information for everyone in the entertainment industry from rappers to singers to producers to record execs but you can only make one call. Who would it be and why?

AL N YORK: Im making that call to Jay-Z, from that call, you would be able to get in contact with anyone else. Knowin Jay gives an automatic buzz and people will listen off the strength of that co sign.

HBBNG: Finish the sentence: 2010 is my year to?

AL N YORK: My year to quit these 9-5s and make money doin what I love

Download The Commercial

Listen to The Flood/ Noah’s Arc


[Visual Analysis]Pac Div: Whiplash

Pac Div exudes that type of nostalgic cool that never looses it’s freshness. They evoke comparisons to groupls like De La and Tribe, yet remain completely and comfortably within their proper decade. As a connoseuir of the art of storytelling , the video for their recent release Whiplash strikes my interests as I find it to be a perfect visual definiton of the current quarter life crisis afflicted their peers. As fellow new school breakout Drake lamented on his successful single, Successful, that’s pretty much all he wants to be. Success itself, as determined by the concept of the ‘American Dream’, is almost always attached to the quality and breadth of our material possessions and we live in an increasingly materialistic society where consumerism and debt form an uncomfortable relationship within young urban America.

It was  near the end of the 90’s when record companies acting as image consultants aesthetically gentrified the still developing genre. The level of gratuitous lyrical and visual decadence rose to new heights as the era of bling descended upon us. Women, clothes, money, and cars had always been central themes in hip hop culture, yet compared to previous incarnations the face of hip hop was completely altered. For those of us who came of age with MTV and BET bred hip hop culture, these images have no doubt affected our perception of what “making it” truly means. Everybody has dreams, so as Langston Hughes poised in his famous work “What happens to a dream deferred?”  Through thier eyes we are given a glimpe of the flip-side to the grind, the many days spent in limbo waiting for the big payoff which may or may not come.  This clip Directed by Carey Williams makes no use of fluff or filler and his minimalist approach in composition mirrors a time when realness was a hip hop video standard. Strong contrast between light and shadow, and the specific use of color and black and white sequences mark the shift of tone as we are given a visual parallel of success and failure. Amidst broken down cars, bicycles and travelers on foot, a single Benz occupied by the trio becomes profoundly symbolic as it  glides over asphault like Apollo in his charriot.  Sunlight gleaming off the spotless paint and chrome wheels as their wistful faces are reflected in the hood, the car becomes a manifestation of the hard earned sucess the group has achieved and also an extension of their essence in relation  to the industry. The imagery suggests that Pac Div is letting us know they are the E-class of hip hop; verbally elegant, stylishly classic, well equipped, and top performers.  The languid flow of William’s shots perfectly mirror the hypnotic melody of the track with the segue into Young Black Male providing a poignant finale. The flagrant lights of the squad car bursting through the darkness command the screen. Most of us are well acquainted with the pulse quickining sight of red and blue lights flashing us down in the rear view mirror. Police brutality and racial profiling are disturbing factors in the success stories of urban youth, especially young black men in America. The discomfort and annoyance on BeYoung’s face set aglow by a department issued flashlight is an arresting image, no pun intended. 

straight outta oaktown: acktup
September 21, 2009, 7:40 pm
Filed under: Cool ppl, Jamz | Tags: , , , , , ,
Exposed Expressions

Exposed Expressions

From my boys over at ExposedExpressions Network; ugly niggas, pretty girls, good times and a hype performance by west coast phenom Acktup……

Acktup is a beast on the mic and has consistently dropped 4 albums each year for the past couple of years. Click here to read his interview with the San Francisco Bay View and find out a little more about the drive behind his grind and the secret of his success. His eighth album ‘Mobbin Like Me’ was released August 28th. The brother is well known and highly respected throughout the west coast, but there is no doubt that the hip hop community at large will soon give him the credit he deserves. At 23 years old he’s released as much material as a seasoned veteran and he’s still technically a youngster in the game. If you didn’t know about him, now you do………

check for him @:

Flava of the Month (maybe the year): L.A.U.S.D Curly Tops and Nautica Jackets

I know I’m mad late with this and everybody and their mama has already posted it, but give me a break, these last couple months had me going through. This mixtape dropped back in March 24th and I just downloaded it last week. One word THASHIYAT, and I’d be a fool if I didn’t post it up. I have been banging this NON STOP, and it will more than likely be in rotation the rest of the year. The other day I wrote about the appeal West Coast hip hop holds for me, and this album justifies my love. So if you haven’t given it a listen yet, please do. It’s free fool!!!!

I Dig……..

Smooth, Polyester, Diz Gibran, El Prez, Dnez, L.IV- It’s Not Right; like something off a 70’s blaxploitation soundtrack, playa playa….

El Prez, Bad Lucc- Today’s my day; hook that would make the P-Funk proud

Polyester, Miss Jack Davey, Shawn Chrystopher, Blu, Diz Gibran, Dom Kennedy- We made it 09′; samples one of my favorite SWV joints of all time

All the songs bump though, this particular one has been floating around the internet for a hot minute now but I’m posting it anyway. I heard that Carlo Rossi gets you in the zone………

Honorable Mention:

Nipsey Hussle: Bullets Ain’t Got No Names Vol 3; Nips is aight with me, the subject matter gets a little redundant but his flow is magnetic and his balance of gangsta bravado and intelligence is refreshing

I dig: The Hustle Way, Rap Music, Payback


Slap City!!!!!!!

Last month I traveled to lovely Sacramento, California and got in touch with an old friend who put me up on the Exposed Expressions movenment. I got to view the  Slap City Mix Show dvd still in post production stages and it was fire. Fast forward, everything that needed to be tweaked has been tweaked and the finished product is ready for consumption. If you’re hungry for fresh hip hop then you need look no further. The show is going to be broadcasted on the internet, and you can watch it here

Show Times:

7/29-  4pm pdt/ 7pm edt,  7:30pm pdt/10:30 edt, 9:30pm pdt/12:30am

8/1-    5:30 pm pdt/8: 30pm edt

8/5-   4pm pdt/7pm edt

8/6-    9:30pm pdt/ 12:30am edt

8/8-    5:3opm pdt/ 8:30pm edt

For all other inquiries about the Exposed Expressions Network of how/where to purchase the dvd hit them up here

A lil taste for ya….

Experience Tha Motha Flowa………….

Back in the beginning of this year I had the privalege to work with a very talented MC/artist/entrepreneur by the name of Motha Flowa. We put together a dope azz internet radio program brought to the masses by the good folks at, but due to some bad apples in the business plan we had to take our baby off the air. We will, however, be back to takeover the internet radio scene, and eventually the world, in the coming months and I will definitely keep yall posted. For now here are some goodies from our archives to tide you over. Enjoy!!!!

You can hit up the show page here

Don’t hate my crew cuz we get so damn down……….
June 28, 2009, 10:56 pm
Filed under: Cool ppl, Jamz | Tags: , , , ,

Latest video from hip-hop trio Tanya Morgan. I haven’t heard too much about these cats, all work and no play makes me a dull girl, but I’m feelin this song. The beat is breezy and the hook is catchy. Their sophmore release BROOKLYNATI is in stores now and the word is its heat…………..