HoustonSoReal is not dead and will never die, but do not sleep on the fact that AustinSurreal.com IS THE NEW JUMP OFF! Come swim with me.
Saturday, June 30, 2007
NEW GRIT BOYS VIDEO WORLD PREMIER OF FRESH FEATURING TUM TUM AND TRAE!!!! Scion Presents Little Brother in Houston!
Man it went the hell down last night. Little Brother backed by the band Orgonne just straight rippin' thangs! Grit Boys were going to open up, but things didn't quite work out, so for all y'all who missed them, here's the NEW VIDEO FOR FRE$H!
Feel the real! Grit Boys album is the best album to come out of Houston in a long time save for Devin the Dude, who in my opinion is on a whole nother level than just rap. So don't hate, get that Grit Boys album. It doesn't sound like FRE$H, it's even fresher.
Anyway last night was another magnanimous Scion event at Warehouse Live. I'm telling you every one of these shows has been off the chain, but Little Brother really surprised me. I've seen them before, hell I saw them a few weeks ago, but backed by LA's Orgonne, they were like one of the best rap groups I ever saw in my life. Seriously they kilt it.
As eveidenced by the action in the crowd.
Shit was wild.
New friend and old influence, Willie D joined them on stage and said something like "Them boys on the east coast wanna say hip hop is dead, but I'ma tell you right now that shit ain't dead, it's alive right here with these boys! He gave it up HUGE to Little Brother.
Stacey of OGPR.
Friend, Kamera, Perseph1
Perseph1 and friend
Perseph1 and another friend
SMUGGLAZ! and Bobbie Fine!
Johnna Lister of Music World. Come out to the Contemporary Arts Museum Sunday night for Solanges birthday party. Bring a can of food and yer in free. Swizz Beats, Lupe Fiasco and Mseo of De La Soul will be in the house!
Perseph1 and Savvi
Scooby of the Grit Boys and Meshah Hawkins aka Miss Hawk
Khalief of the Niyat
Cozmos formerly of Seeds of Soul
Vango and Friends
Cipher and Mic of the Legendary K-O
Damien of Legendary K-O and Frank
DJ Kunphused has no problem calling conservatives "Homos"
BP of Street Pharmacy and Mason
Kris the White Shadow and The Are
Me and Cozmos go so far back you have no idea. You haven't lived until you've dropped acid with Cozmos, listened to Sonic Youth all night then knocked yourself out with a valium. Kwam too.
Snap, Perseph1 and friend
Who dat is?
Melesa and LA
Willie D, Big Pooh and friends
Big Pooh and Willie D!
Phonte greeting the fans
The Are and DJ Cozmos speak with John Tucker aka Dr. Teeth
Frank 151 in la casita keeping it trill
Then after the show my man Kris and my man Snap filmed a video for my man Khalief and then Little Brother got in it...
And it looked like it was gonna be real dope
But I was floored and had to make it home.
So I just snapped some flicks.
And the moon was fool. I mean, full.
NORWAY I'LL SEE YOU THURSDAY NIGHT AT THE QUART FESTIVAL WITH KILLER MIKE!!!!!!
And don't let me be the one to influence your decisions, but it is my distinct opinion that if you have a beating heart in your chest and a genuine love for real music you'll make sure and Vote for Devin the Dude, Rapid Ric, Killer Mike and Grit Boys wherever possible.
Kenika, Lil J da Mex Connect, Mapei and More in NYC This Past Weekend Oh yeah and I saw Bad Brains on a Boat HOLY HIP HOP AWARDS BATMAN!
Yes I did, I saw Bad Brains (my favorite band of all time for the simple fact that they released 3 of the greatest records (and one tape) of all time, and well a few pretty mediocre ones, but man...) on a Boat, as evidenced by the photos somewhere below. But this is not what the bulk of this post is about.
The bulk of this post is about me shouting at the naysayers. The people like the writers at XXL who thought it was real cute to pontificate on what they see as the demise of the Houston sound. This post is about presenting to you some real, untapped talent from Houston (and Sweden).
I'm wondering right now if I am the only hip-hop journalist (of sorts) who gives a shit about new music (O.K. Charlie Braxton too). I mean real talk, I have 2 kids, a house, 2 cars and many more things we gotta pay for every month, but I'll never be a slave to the mainstream and somehow we survive. We survive by doing things on our own terms, not by following the suits in the towers (word to Byron Crawford, remember him! This is one fight we just might be united in.) with the checks that only sometimes come.
So yeah I'm just gonna press on in this game. I presented a lot of the cats y'all like from Houston like 5 years ago and I'm going to continue mining the new talent and helping them grow.
Meanwhile, you can keep hating. But just know that Kenika might knock you out, and you don't want to get knocked out by a girl. (Though real talk a girl punched me in the face at 3 a.m. at Sway Monday night, more on that later).
Anyway, it went down.
Kenika and Young Samm on stage at Don Pedro's in Brooklyn.
We left Houston at 9 a.m. Saturday morning. It was Kenika's first flight ever and things started out a little rocky. We entered Terminal C at Intercontinental airport to one of the most chaotic airport scenes I have ever seen. It seems as though everytime I flythey change some sort of policy and this time was no different. I mean it was real different. They had like 20 self-check in terminals that wouldn't let you check in if you had any luggage. You had to stand in two long ass lines before even going thru security and we almost missed our flight. Young Samm did miss his flight. Shit was real fucked up. When I'm rich first thing I'm buying is a private jet so I can say fanculo to the entire airline industry. Seriously, they all suck.
But whatever, we made it. New York City. The Big Apple. The City that never Sleeps, and neither do I whenever I'm there.
We started off by going to see transplanted Houstonian Lin Yee Yuan at her new Apartment Warming Party.
Lin Yee in the Kitchen!
DJ Johanna B from Sweden in Lin Yee's backyard.
And of course the man, DJ Basbudet from Sweden in Lin Yee's backyard!
Saturday night Kenika performed with my man Lil J da Mex Connect, Mapei from Sweden, Naeem from Spankrock who made an impromptu appearance, DJ Chill and Young Samm. Suffice it to say, as stated above, it went down.
Lil J da Mex Connect got next. As far as Latino artists representing the streets of the south, he's got it for real. I think him, Chingo Bling and Rob G all represent different sides of the spectrum and are really going to kill it in the next year.
He's a powerhouse.
The streets is here fool. His album BOTH SIDES OF DA GAME features a gang of production by Mr. Lee and a bunch of songs with Lil Keke as well. Look out for the man and expect big thangs.
Super photographer Ian Meyer in the place to be. He saved the night by letting us use his turntables on a moments notice. He also took some incredible photos at the show. CLICK HERE TO SEE IAN MEYERS PHOTOS. Ian Meyer is the official documentarian of Sabbath in the Park as well. We have an August event in the works I think and then of course the one year anniversary in October then of course Sabbath on a Fjord and Sabbath on a Pyramid in Mexico coming sooner than you think.
Maggie Horn and Matthew Schnipper!
Quesaye and Adam are my peoples but they didn't like the party cuz there were no fine girls there. Um, yeah, that's like the worst thing you could ever say about one of my EVENTS!
Look at this boy. This is Scavone, my official, exclusive, security. Clean and sober save for about 60 vitamin supplements including one called "Intimacy."
Gina Gold always reppin' for her people.
Vivian Host from XLR8R and Ian Meyer - the man behind the Sabbath in the Park pic in the last XLR8R!
Diplo had to give Chill a lil tech assistance. Word to Wes.
This is Diplo dancing with some Christmas lights, real talk.
Kenika killed it. Peep the man them call Diplo in the crowd with Chill's video camera. WHUDDUP BRO!
Dude in the blue jacket literally danced the entire night at the front of the stage. I mean, literally non stop.
Yes things did get a bit blurry.
Diplo and DJ Johanna B.
These dudes agree with my assessment of the Kenika show as well. They loved her.
Then Mapei came out and KILLED IT TOO!
Don't hate the females doing their thang thang. I know some of y'all do hate. I know some of y'all do.
Butthere's no reason to. Kenika and Mapei both bring a new energy to the game. They have their own voice and perspective on this shit and I think got next.
But for now they'll keep on paying their dues recording in home studios and doing shows in places like Bushwick, Brooklyn. When we pulled up to the spot Saturday night my boy Scavone said to me "Boy you are a real asshole. Why the fuck do you have me out in Bushwick at a Mexican restaurant across from the projects?" I responded, "Well, shit. Why not?"
Why the fuck not indeed. I think I mentioned on the blog before that back in 1994 I used to work with kids in Bushwick, back in the day when there were no hipsters to be seen for miles (I didn't even know Williamsburg existed back then). Now, like many inner city urban areas, it's being gentrified. But obviously not too much, as at about 2 a.m. I went on a walking mission with Scavone to find a battery for our cordless mic. We of course did not find said batteries but did find ourselves walking through the projects in Brooklyn at 2 a.m. on the way back to the club which prompted Scavone to say to me "Boy, why the fuck are we walking through the projects in Brooklyn at 2 a.m.?" I said "Cuz that's what we do."
And it is. Back in 1994 Scavone and I would walk everywhere, often times with a 1/2 gallon carton of pink lemonade mixxxed with rum or vodka and some nickle bags of weed. One day we ended up stading on top of a ten foot trash heap in Red Hook blitzed out of our minds and surrounded by wild dogs. Real talk. It was then that Scavone said to me "You know Red Hook is the murder capital of New York right?" I said, "No, and please, lets not think about that right now. Let's get past these dogs and somehow find our place in Fort Green before we get eaten alive, by something."
But yeah, that trash heap is a memory that is analagous to a lot of what hath become, what was, and what will never/ever be in my life. You don't have to understand that.
Naeem from Spankrock jumped on with Mapei and threw everyone into a frenzy. The gay dudes grabbed mics and rapped a lot, the thugs danced like it was 1979, Scavone was repulsed as usual, and I felt as though our little night in Bushwick was a complete success.
These girls are Mapei's relations from the states here. They didn't stop dancing for one second the entire night either. They could have lit a small city with their energy, it was insane.
Never stopped for even like a second the whole night.
It's all love at our events and such.
Big ups to TODD P! You don't know what you did for us man. Sorry the door was quite light, but all these folks are like you know, um, industry or some shit, Yeah, naw they ain't industry they're just on the perma-list and well shit, I owe you one for sure big time. Owner of Don Pedro's seemed pretty open to what we wanna do, maybe we can do another jammy jam soon. Like August? I'll email you bro.
Then the next day we went to a roof top barbecue in Brooklyn presented by Houston's own Aerosol Warfare. They were in town with Shepherd Fairey for some shit and so we came down and came thru their event and might have had a few drinks, on a roof.
Kenika has obviously been spending too much time with me. Seen here two fisting beer and vodka. At least she was conservative with it and used small cups.
Lil J da Mex Connect just stuck to the grape swisha's though.
NME of Aerosol Warfare!
Gonzo of Aerosol Warfare - Thanks so much for the shirt dudes!
I don't know who that is on theleft but that's Gigi formerly of Houston on the right.
Done Deal Records! Omar, Ivan and Lil J da Mex Connect.
Astra! On a roof!
Look at the gams on this blivit. In street terms he is known as a "Meatrosexual." A word coined by Queen Majesty and affixed to Scavone's forehead. He just did 6 shows in Germany. Feel the real. Deaf in the Family.
YOUNG SAMM! On a roof!
Not a roofie, a roof. We had no roofies.
Kenika and a girl from Houston who's name escapes me but now knows how to Trinity Garden Drop after being schooled for just minutes by Kenika and Young Samm.
Started getting blurry 'bout here.
And just kept getting blurrier.
Then we went to another roof in Brooklyn where Dante's Chicken Shack was hosting a wild fete consisting of Mapei, Yo Majesty, an appearance by Oxy Cottontail and the might KUDU y mas. Imissed everything except Mapei I think. Sort of heard Yo Majesty.
Ran into Alyssa which I am never mad it.
And BiJules who has the same birthday as me.
Dante - host of the event and Isla of Purple Crush!
DJ Basbudet does the beats for Mapei and more and is off the freakin' chain!
DJ Johanna B!
And there she is again. Straight wreckin'.
With a special appearance by Rappin' Roxy!
As you can see this party was no joke.
Naeem also kilt 'em again.
This may have been Omar's first hipster experience, seen here soaking it up.
They let Kenika get on and do one song then cut the sound. Not sure if it's because it was too loud or because she was screaming MAHFUCKA YOU CAN KISS MY ASS! She then proceeded to drop a couple accapellas for the thoroughly motivated crowd.
Roxy, Young Samm, Kenika, DJ Chill, cold chillin'.
So then the next day, the posse of me, Chill, Samm, Kenika, Ivan, Omar and Lil J trekked across Manhattan mostly on foot visiting labels and magazines and such. Word to J. Grand, Leah Rose (she didn't write no hate piece), Catchdubs, and everyone else we saw on said trek.
My wife says I lead a charmed life, and yes I guess it's true. I always knew that my Jah was a loving Jah but I didn't know that he/she would dump me in the center of New York on this particular day of this particular year when my hands down favorite band of all time was not only playing a show, but playing a record release party ON A BOAT.
I almost shat myself when I found out, and immediately got on the phone in search of tickets. Thanks to Zach at the Agency Group and Tamar of Press Here Publicity. I was bout finna take Kenika with us, but Chill got a chance to spin on Lord Sears Sirius radio show so we felt it would be best for her to go to that.
Immediately ran into Roxy upon arrival and snapped this pic of...
Darryl Jennifer, bassist in the Bad Brains and Roxy.
Then got this one of her and super writer/co-creator of The White Rapper Show/Ego Tripper Extrordinairre - Sasha Jenkins. One of the best dudes in hip-hop at least in this little realm I seem to float around in. The White Rapper Show made my 2007.
Trevor Andrew aka Trouble. (not the metal band from Chicago).
Anyway it went down. Sightlines were real sketchy but shit it went down.
You can't ask for much more than Bad Brains on a Boat it's almost as live as Sabbath in the Park. Though HR did just stand, arms folded at the mic like a reverant monk the whole show.
They did however play just about everything, at least everything that counted. They freakin' had me esstatic.
Said arms, folded reverently.
Then we went and met the rest of the crew at SWAY!
I think Kenika may be texting someone "Why Matt take me all these places with these white people on drugs and shit. They like my music tho." Naw I don't know. Kenika touched a lot of people on this particular trip and had a wonderful time. Expect big tings.
She writes her own shit too. Just so you know.
Brooke Nipar of Missbehave Magazine!
Brooke, Kenika, and The Realest Maggie.
Kenika and Queen Majesty.
Kenika and Maggie.
Sylvia from KUDU and I hath finally met officially. She's from Austin and her band is really dope. Though, she came up to me and said "Why do my girls like you so much? What do you do? What is your angle? What is your game?" Like she was all up on me and shit asking why this, why that. And my response was "Because I'm nice and I'm not trying to punk or use anyone."
She just kind of said uh huh, gave me a semi-dirty look like "You have a penis which automatically means you are lying," look and I just shook my head and said to myself "it's a dirty world out there, I have to understand her perspective on such things." And I do. But real talk, I just try to be nice. And women are generally nicer than men, especially in New York where many are fagrockets with bad intentions.
In fairness though, they kind of have to be. Rent in the ghetto is $2k a month I mean come on now, you gotta hustle.
All that being said. Like 10 minutes later I was sitting in the corner near the door at Sway and I snapped a pic of a couple of my friends, and a short, skanky cunt came running up to me talm bout "DELETE THAT DELETE IT NOW!" I said "Delete what, who are you?" And I showed her the back of my camera like "Look I have no pictures of you."
She then punched me in the face with all of her might (which wasn't all that hard) and then stormed out the door. Apparently no one else saw this happen. So when I turned to Maggie and Kenika and said "Some girl just punched me in the face!" They and a few others jumped up like "WHAT THE FUCK? WHO?" And ran out the door ready to kill.
They were all like WHERE IS SHE? WHO IS SHE? And I saw said mental midget cunt of a pseudo woman duck down scared behind her boyfriend.
I said "Man I don't see her, I'm not even totally sure of who she was." And we walked back in and collected our bearings and such.
But she did, she clocked me in the face hard. See Sylvia, like I said, I'm nice. Even to salacious little cunts who can't handle their drugs on a Monday night.
Bitch, if you happen to know how to read and are reading this, LETS BE FRIENDS! Get all up on my MySpace. Fuckin' stupid cunt. Ask anybody, there were probably 35 men in the place that night who deserved to be punched in the face much more than I. Like Dennis Kucinich, I am all about peace and might have saved your life. At least saved your face, cunt.
Speaking of faces we will end this post with a photo of Kenika and Fat Face McGillicuddy. Where he came from I don't know.
P.S. There's nothing like a long conversation with Charlie Braxton to clear a mans head and put things into perspective. Thank you for being there Charlie. Tonight on Damage Control you're gonna hear all the Houstonians that you see above, PLUS DONNIE CROSS FROM JACKTOWN FOOL! Get ready ready.
Just before I left for NYC, Friday night to be exact, I made the trek out to the Northwest Side of Houston for the opening night of the Holy Hip Hop Awards. For those who don't know, this is a huge event, now in it's 8th year, for the Christian rap community. A lot of these artists are a breath of fresh air, and no matter what your background, I think you could get into a lot of this stuff if given the opportunity.
But alas and alak, they have a harder time getting radio play than the gangstas. Even the Christian radio stations don't give it too much burn. I walked out of there thinking, "Man when I drive across the US and am in the middle of nowhere searching the radio dial, I can always find a country music station. After that I can always find a Christian station. No matter how far away from a city I may get, there's always a country station and always a Christian station reaching my ears. Why are there no Christian rap mix shows? Are there on terrestrial radio? At all? If not, why haven't any of the people I met that night started one."
Anyway, I was on a panel with Special Ed and the Sugar Hill Gang and some of Holy Hip Hop brightest stars, including my old friend, the recently saved 007 of the 5th Ward Boyz. It was quite an honor. For real. I also asked myself, "Why me? Why did I just get to sit on a panel with legends like that?" Thanks so much to Sketch the Journalist and Tre' 9 for having me out.
Sugarhill Gang and Special Ed!
Gifted of Bound 4 Glory Records with Sketch the Journalist!
My view of the panel. 007 was to the right of me and somehow I did not get a photo of him. I feel like an idiot, cuz that's my man for real. FREE LO LIFE!
Panel shot by Sketch the Journalist. 007, Me, Ed Grice aka DJ EST of the Apocalypse Crew, and Fred Lynch
Pastor Levi and Pastor Roy Paul. Known in Houston as two of the most supportive people in the Holy Hip Hop Community.
Scott Alan of Scott Alan Photography.
This dude is a serious Christian Rap Pioneer! FRED LYNCH OF P.I.D.!!! He's from Dallas and his group put out a gang of albums in the 80's and 90's.
I don't have everyones proper names here so I'm waiting on Sketch to hit me with them. But yeah man, it went down. The topics at hand were "Making a Name: Indy Hip Hop Promotion." It was just me handling that one with Sketch and the audience asking questions. Then the next one where we all spoke was titled "Is Hip Hop a Religion?"
I think we all decided that no it is not a religion, especially now.
Here's a couple shots from Sketch the Journalist from the next night at the Awards.
Sketch the Journalist and 007 of the 5th Ward Boyz!
Sway presenting an award.
Sketch the Journalist sent me this note about Sway. "Perhaps the most touching moment of the night came when Sway took to the stage to present the evening's final award. Before he announced the nominees, he took a minute to explain that he had been involved in hip hop since the 1980's and that veterans like himself often sit around and wonder what the culture is lacking.
With what appeared to be teary eyes he said, "I think I've seen it here tonight."
The crowd burst into wild applause, so much that may have missed Sway's other golden nugget.
"The outside media should know about this," he said. "And I want to do a [news] piece on this for MTV."