Bugged out…….
February 22, 2010, 12:47 pm
Filed under: Dopeness, Jamz | Tags: , , ,

I got a thing for trippy videos



I was cruising Hip Hop DX this evening when I spotted a story about west coast legend Ras Kass that gave me reason to pause and suspend myself in rigorous contemplation. You can read it for yourself here, but if you’re too lazy to click and just want the annotated version, Kass is hoping  to raise the funds to produce his next CD. $ 3,800 to be exact and he would like to do that in the 60 days. Hmmmmm, very interesting. Essentially, Rass Kass is asking his fans for the monetary support which cover the manufacturing costs of his next album. A couple of spectators have been calling fouls but to be fair, this is a pretty clever concept.  Donator’s recieve special incentives depending on the amount of purchase, like a hard copy of the album once it’s completed, or free admission into any Ras Kass concert for the rest of 2010. I didn’t know this until recently but his last album was able to reach listeners by these very same methods so I guess his fans don’t mind giving up a couple of bills for their favorite rapper. Now I can’t say this doesn’t make me want to SMH just a little bit, but my disagreeance is tempered by the fact that it’s a dirty game out there and you’ve got to get it how you live. There is apparently an entire movement dedicated to ” …the plight of the endangered lyricist…” That’s really real. It’s a sad truth that  the ones who won’t sell out to the almighty dollar, the ones who see comprising their artistic integrity for profit as a no-no, and the ones with exceptional talent are all too often left out of the blinding lights of pop culture fame and fortune. However, these are exactly the same ones who are among the richest of us all, dollars and cents not withstanding. Fans have already pledged $896 dollars, about 24%, and it’s only the first day. Now that’s love….until something new drops, enjoy a throwback on me……..


always up to no good……inglewood

I ride with El Prezzo, Animal Style mixtape drops February 15th……

props to

[Visual Analysis] Dana Dane- Nightmares

When I was  13 or 14 years old, I found an old box of my father’s which contained a couple of casette tapes. One of the tapes was Realms N Reality by Cella Dwella’s, which I still bumped Freshman year of  college in my cherry red Pontiac Grand Am, and the rest were a couple of mix tapes. I’m not going to front like I remember every song that was on those mixtapes, mostly a bunch of classic cuts from the 80’s, but I do remember Nightmares by Dana Dane. I probably can’t remeber the rest of the tracks because I had this one on repeat all night long the first time I heard it. Lyrics? Sick. One of the things that makes an emcee great is their ability to take an average scenario and turn it into a lyrical masterpiece and Dana Dane does that with this one, flawlessly. Beat? Fresh. I already think the theme song to The Munster’s goes hard as it is so the sample just does it for me.  I was surprised to find this  gem was available on youtube and more than pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed watching it. Premiering circa 1985, one year before my birth, this video represents everything I love about the golden age of hip hop. It plays out like something that could’ve been produced by my high school theatre arts squad, and it’s in that aspect that it holds the greatest appeal. Low on sophisticated camera techinques, but heavy on style and charm, this video would smash anything out right now. Dana Dane takes you on a journey both lyrically and visually, the hallmark of any great video. While nowadays some artists come out with a video that has nothing to do with the song and everything to do with their fashion sense, I actually felt as if I was watching Dana’s nightmare unfold before my eyes. Throughout , there are several diagnol lines created by various objects within the frame, the door as he enters into the doctor’s office, the armour he lays down on to recount the tales of his beastly stalker, the angle at which the three back-up ‘singers’ are shot during the chorus. Diagnol lines within a shot serve to create a feeling of disorientation, hence the setting of a nightmare. That’s television and film 101, a little something I picked up in college. The smoke machine is a trusted standby for creating an eerie atmosphere, is it just vapor or a ghostly presence?  The colored lighting is  icing on the cake , an impressionistic touch enhancing the surreal nature of the experience. There are plenty of great shots as well, Dana Dane writhing on a neon hued floor, blue suede shoes ditty bopping down a dimly lit hallway, and the beastly chick blowing in his face is classic. The party sequence is a   highlight for me, the way the crowd converges and disperses along with his narrative creatively provides continuity. His three back-up’s are a haunting vision, all ethereal tones and shadows, another punctuation in his conceptual dreamscape. Watching this video 24 years after it was originally released, I can’t help but take note of it’s nostaligic qualities. Seeing dudes actually dance is kind of cool as are  the after school special graphics. You don’t need a big budget when you’re that nice with it.

[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. 

Buttah Vid: I CARE 4 U
October 12, 2009, 12:07 am
Filed under: Jamz | Tags: , , ,

It’s a throwback, but a little Aaliyah never hurt nobody. I was looking for something new when I found this one, which I’ve never seen. It was directed by Little X, one of my favorites, as a personal tribute. The video is comprised of clips from the anime Macross  II, a tale that focuses on the relationship of a reporter with an extraterrestrial being named Ishtar who’s singing has the power to enhance emotions. This is one song that I wish she would’ve had the chance to create a video for, but Little X provides a hauntingly beautiful visual interpretation…Check it

Say What?
August 12, 2009, 1:49 pm
Filed under: Life....I wonder..., Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , ,


Ahhhh, sex and love, we all think about it, we all fantasize about it, we all pursue it, some to the detriment of thier sanity. I’ve been on a no dating streak for a while now, and I don’t think it’s going to break anytime soon. Many would tell a lady in my predicament that my standards are impossibly high, but I maintain the standards of courtship have gotten incredibly low. Fellas must you always kick off your game with the lackluster ice breakers, ” Where yo man at?” or ” You got a man?”. Noooooooo,  but I don’t have one for a reason, and what makes you think that you have the qualities that I’m looking for in “my man”? Thanks, have a nice day. If I do ease up and continue conversation for the sake of not being a spoil sport, must you then make me regret my decision by commenting on my physique like I’m standing on an auction block? Yes I know that men are visual creatures, blah blah bleh, but does your instinctual animal attraction to the female form incapacitate you to the point where intelligent, creative, and engaging conversation is obsolete? 

Prime example, I’m walking through my hood one day trying to exercise and dude rolls up next to me. He asks if I need a ride and I politiely decline, telling him I’m trying to get my cardio on. Dude then proceeds to tell me, ” Oh, I got something that will work you out.”  His intent gaze on my butt canceled the idea he was talking about letting me use his boflex sometime. He was cute, but not cute enough to get away with that one.  Flip it, what if I came up to you and said ” Hey boy, where yo girl at? Oh you don’t have one, I can’t believe that. I mean that bulge is looking nice in those jeans, so why don’t you let me get your number or something, maybe we can chill sometime.” What would you think of me? What words would come to mind? Where would you file my memory in your internal rolodex? Under slut, jump off, possible side piece? I don’t mean to be sexist but I believe most men would definitely get the picture that the lady parts would be on easy access, and they’d like it.

It’s not about being stingy with the lovin’ or being a prude, it’s about being subtle, creating tension, leaving something to be desired. That’s the thrill of the game.  At least for me anyway. What happened to the smooth criminal?  The one you didn’t even realize was seducing you out of your panties utill they hit the floor. That one who could speak  five seemingly normal words of salutation  and through eye contact alone have you like, okay we need to rap for a minute. Boys, a little subtlety can get you a long way.