Monday, January 31, 2005

The Strong Foundation That Is Geto Boys

Well, I don’t know how strong the foundation really is, but the fucking spirit still soars high.

king d-e-e...

Last night I made the trek out to Konnections 2005 for the first time, which is pathetic cuz DJ Chill and DJ Wiz have been doing Sunday nights there forever.

djs wiz and chill...

Located at I-10 and Gessner, which in the fog and rain that blanketed the city last night, seemed to be about 45 miles from my house (when in reality it’s like 10), Konnections is a huge Tejano club or some shit every other night, but on Sunday it just explodes with crunk love every week, just after the Simpsons. I’ma assume that there were about 2000 people in that joint, partying up a fucking storm. And with good reason, the boys that started it all for Houston were in the house.

spot the chief...

I got to the spot at about 11:45 or so and spotted DJ Chill outside. He reintroduced me to Mean Green, who I have met a million times, just haven’t seen recently, and gave me a VIP ticket. Boys at the door didn’t want to let me in with the camera, but Xavier from Rap A Lot and Chill basically pushed me through and it was all good.

dj wiz and the man cap'n jack...

I walked in expecting big things. I kind of figured that since this was the first Geto Boys show in close to ten years and that since this new Geto Boys album really is fuckin’ jammin’ (I’ll post a review soon) the place would be packed with celebrities. Meaning, maybe some of the folks who are currently making waves in the rap game would show up and support their founding fathers. Nope, not a one from outside of Rap A Lot. I saw Zro in the VIP, which was really just a roped off section next to the stage,

super producer cory mo in the spot...

Cory Mo, who produced a few tracks on the Foundation, and then some of my cats like LRJ, Longpaper University, Wicket Cricket, etc... Other than that nobody. No Lil Flip, no Slim Thug, no Mike Jones, no Chamillionaire, no Paul Wall, no nobody. What the fuck?

but of course longtime face mgr bw was in the house...

See, this gets said all the time, but I’m going to reiterate it here. Houston needs a lil dose of fucking unity. It’s a pretty supportive city for this music, fan wise, but when it comes to the artists out here, too many of them are on some shit. You go to a release party in Atlanta and you’ll see half the Atlanta scene up in that bitch. Lil Jon throws a party and you’re gonna see every fucking mug you see on the videos everyday up in that bitch. The Geto Boys throw a party, and none of these motherfucking Houston cats can even show up for a few minutes to show support? Maybe I’m taking shit too seriously, but the Geto Boys are some icons in this rap game. The Geto Boys opened so many doors for reality rap (and slammed many of them on themselves too, o.k., o.k. I know) and really, with Rap A Lot, set the stage for this whole independent revolution that so many young entrepreneurs are getting rich off of in the south. But these young fuckin’ bucks obviously don’t care.

live like that...

I mean, I’m one to talk. I don’t go to clubs all that often. But if there’s a genuine event, I’m talking about some shit that I feel I just can’t miss out of either anticipation, obligation or plain respect, then I’ma be up in the house. Tonight was one of those nights. After seeing Scarface rip it with the full band last week, then picking up the Foundation on Tuesday (actually Devin the Dude gave it to me) I was pumped. It’s been a while since I have been pumped for a concert. But believe me, I was fucking pumped.

dj keno...

And so were the 2000 or so people who surrounded me. Just before 1 a.m. or so, the opening act, the Bad Akktors took the stage. I got their CD last week, and it’s actually pretty good. Boys got some skills, and while they don’t stray too far away from the typical, they know how to put together some jams. Bad thing is, they did what so many groups before them have done, and that’s bring 50 people on stage with them. Seriously, I didn’t even try to make my way to the swarm at the stage, but from where I was standing I really couldn’t figure out who the fuck was rapping. It looked like a Mardi Gras float up there or some shit. Boys just whyling out, posing for the crowd, throwing it up, being nutty, and I was like, yo, “Can some of y’all fools please get the fuck off the stage, I can’t even tell who the group is.” But nobody heard the voices in my head.

who dat is...

Anyway that went on for about 15 minutes maybe, and then the stage was cleared, then packed once again with folks, for the Geto Boys. Scarface hit the stage first and if I wasn’t such a stoner, I could tell you what he opened with. All I remember is that he launched into “Mary Jane” after that and in his best Jeff Spicoli voice just kept saying “I’m a stoner dude...” After that Willie D came out, and they ran through some of the classics, but there was no Bushwick? Scarface said something like “Bushwick is having a moment,” and he was obviously pissed about something.

bushwicks moment maybe...

I don’t know, but finally he came out and did some solo shit (forgive me, but even though I have listened to every Geto Boys album hundreds of times, I can’t fucking remember the names of all the songs, I’m the worst at playing Name That Tune, seriously. Plus like 6 hash doobs didn’t help), jumped around a bit and kind of gave off some weird vibes, which the crowd immediately noticed. At this point I was on the stage, taking photos and I was watching the faces in the crowd a bit. A lot of the young cats there, may not even know who the hell Bushwick is, and I think his “Chuckwick” routine might have freaked a few of them out. It was crazy, he was all spinning around, jumping up and down, and at one point laid on the floor for a second. A true entertainer.


Which has always been a strength for the Geto Boys. All of them know how to rock a tight show. All of them come packed with so much energy and emotion that they can’t help but explode on stage, and to this day, fifteen years since I first saw them perform, they’ve still got it. Sadly, I don’t think any of them, except maybe Willie D - who really held the whole fucking show together, knows what they really have with the Geto Boys. The Geto Boys were an international phenomenon and to this day, they have fans in every country around the world who have never seen them perform. They rarely tour, in fact I think they only really ever did one legitimate, extended tour around the Def American days, and that’s a damn shame. Three of the best performers in hip hop, a group who not only made great records, but had an impact on an entire culture and they can’t get it together enough to simply be on stage together more than once a decade? They really don’t know what they have got, and to me that shit is sad.

face makes my camera blurry...

A lot of these Houston mahfuckers don’t understand what the fuck they’ve got. But I guess that’s a topic for a later date.

For example, I’ve been to Germany like 5 times. Everytime I go there, I meet someone who when I say “I’m from Houston” to them, they respond with something like, “Oh Houston? Do you know Geto Boys? Do you live in 5th Ward?” Of course I say yeah I know the Geto Boys and no I don’t live in 5th Ward, though I do live just a few short blocks from the corner that used to be J. Prince’s carlot - the first Rap A Lot office of sorts. Anyway, the Geto Boys have fans all over the world, yet have never performed outside the United States. Hell, their US performances have even been limited.

That shit is just stupid to me yo, they could have so much.

j. prince minding his investment...

Anyway, the show went on for about 40 minutes, and at about 2:15 or so, they threw the houselights on and started rustling people out the door as the Boys performed the only cut they did off the new album, that I can remember, “Yes, Yes, Y’all.” More disrespect, but that’s how it is in these nightclubs. They lock you in the motherfucker all night, so you buy drinks ALL NIGHT, then the performers who you came to see come on stage at like 1:45 a.m. on a Sunday frickin’ night, they do as much as they can and the lights come up and it’s time to go.

dj domination aka domo of the coughee brothaz...

With the repertoire that the Geto Boys have - and that boy DJ Domo skillfully rockin’ them motherfuckers off straight wax and a beat machine - why the hell couldn’t they have come out at like 12:30 and done a clean hour and a half? They have the material. Why the fuck did I have to stand around until practically 2 a.m. just to see the people I came to see? Huh? I really don’t get it. Then to make matters worse, they get cut off? Lights, on, everybody out. It’s like the performance is secondary or some shit, but we’re talking about the Geto Boys here, and they may never perform together again. Or will they? Only time will tell.

dj chill, money mark and dj wiz

Saturday, January 29, 2005

blog time

Well it's been a minute. Shit about a week since I added anything to this bitch. So tonight I decided that I would spend a little time and just be a blogger. I don't have a radio show for you this week cuz the damn computer fucked up as usual, and I don't feel like running these grey tapes into the computer. So for now here's some links and I'll try to find a song or two. And I'll try to find an interview for y'all to read in the next few days. Plus official South By Southwest announcements. Go buy the Geto Boys - The Foundation - In Stores Now. Fool.

Bavu Blakes interviewed me on Sucka Repellent. And he now has his own blog too.

Ozone ain't trippin' - Peep Chingo and Diplo, at Thermal in Houston, not the Cam'ron meet n greet as listed.

Semtex REALLY ain't trippin'

DJ Chill recently redesigned his shit. And it can be reached by plugging in now too.

I listen to KCRW. A lot lately actually. I love this H-Town madness, don't get me wrong, but really I like all sorts of music. And when John Peel died, I really was lost. I didn't know what the fuck I was going to listen to, as this man single handledly championed new music for longer than my lifetime, and laid the blueprint for what radio is really supposed to be. Unfortunately, while he had many fans around the world, none of those fans had any positions of power at any radio stations obviously. Radio has sank into a shit storm of evil, with only the random college net show to ever look forward to. At least stateside. Well, KCRW at the very least plays a wide array of music, generally unthreatening, but that's kind of nice too after jamming the Geto Boys new album 15 times in a row. On KCRW I actually hear cuts from the new De La Soul album right behind cuts from bands like Mercury Rev, who had a dope session this week in the studio. KCRW also plays MIA like crazy and at times makes me jealous that I don't live in LA, even though I really don't want to live in LA. Anyway, peep it out sometime in the morning with Nic Harcourt, or in the evenings with whoever they have on.

I sometimes watch 3 Voor 12.

I don't fucking know about this blog shit.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

How U Luv Scarface with a Live Band for the Tsunami Relief Effort?

On a semi-cold night in a very cold city, at a club called Numbers in a neighborhood called the Montrose, a small group of compassionate souls gathered to give of their wealth (Ten bucks at the door, not so bad) and time and art and effort to the most noble of causes in January 2005. Another Tsunami Relief Effort event has come and gone in our fair city, and by the looks of the turnouts at the couple I attended myself, Houston just doesn’t give a fuck about what happens anyplace else.

But tonight, those who did, were in for some shit.

Scarface was in the house with a FULL Live band rocking the fuck out of an incredibly enthusiastic crowd of about 200 people.

Flanked b 3 back up singers – Kai “Big Mama Soul,” Joe Deeze and Tonya Dean, Corey Stoot on Guitar, Marq Moody and Mike Dean on Keys, Anthony Nicholson on bass, Savar Martin on drums, Ralph Gill on trombone, Tim Glaze on trumpet and Melvin Dismuke, who handles all of the arrangements and plays trumpet live, Face has found his true calling.

The Geto Boys always were one of the best live acts in hip-hop. Their early shows were always no frills, but the raw energy and odd choreography always kept them ahead of the game. Seriously, the Geto Boys always had a great show.

And Face always has too. Over the years I’ve seen him in a gang of different settings and everytime, he always comes out and you can tell that he planned his show. That he made a real performance out of his show. He didn’t just come out and swagger around, he and DJ Domo worked out serious sets, with little routines thrown in here and there. He was always very close to his audience, very direct, fucking intense.

He ripped through classics like “Sunshine,” “Mary Jane,” “Mind Playin’ Tricks” – during which he got down on his knees to rap Bushwicks part, “Seen A Man Cry,” “My Block,” man dude went through a gang of shit in a clean 40 minutes. It’s 2:00 am, I’m faded and shouldn’t even be writing this. I’ll try again tomorrow. For now peep the million blurry photos I took. New camera coming soon….

gifts from the masses

what that do?

scarface, guy schwartz taping, and a cop who came to the stage just after face received his gift above

Shit I almost forgot. At the end of the show, for a grand finale of sorts, Scarface jumped on the bass...

He jumped on the guitar (playing both upside down ala Hendrix)

He jumped on the keys... And he jumped on the drums.

I couldn't get a good shot of him on the drums since he was so far back on the stage. The photo looked worse than this next one of the horn players. But I had to include SOMETHING on them horn player cuz they killed it. You never thought you'd see Face rock to a funky trombone did you?

Corey Stoot, Scarface and the one and only Mike Dean

Oh yeah, Face called his band The Formaldehyde Funk Something or other.....

Y'all missed out. But don't miss him at SXSW this year. Both he and his manager say they want to do it and we currently have a live show in the works with Bavu Blakes, Money Waters, Zin and Mojoe, all down south rap acts who perform with live bands. It's going to be quite a festival this year. Get your badges here or miss the whole TEXAS in one place at one time. Seriously don't dismiss South By Southwest, happening in Ausitn, TX 16 - 20 March as merely a rock fest, we got some of hip hops finest coming thru. Full list available here later this week. PEACE

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Diplo - Still Tippin' Remix

Mayne, well, mayne, what can I say. That boy Diplo done went and done it. This man has been bumpin' "Still Tippin'" in the clubs since the original version with Chamillionaire. And has played this version in clubs from Philly to London (peep the XFM Set if you can find it!) to Beijing to San Francisco. Muthafunky I can't believe I got my hands on this.

Peep it out and leave some comments. We need to get some feedback on this joint, in order to keep it ohsoreal. Thanks for visiting... Read all that shit below too....

Swishahouse - Slim Thug, Mike Jones, Paul Wall - Still Tippin' - Diplo Remix

Paul Wall, Archie Lee of the Swishahouse and Joey Dozier (Keep your head up BOY!)

Chingo Bling and Diplo - Photo as seen in latest edition of Ozone Magazine

Last nights Damage Control and My Vacation in Cancun So Thowed

Man last night, like the computers at the station, my camera fucked up and I couldn’t get a focus with my auto-focus 2.0 megapixel old ass Fuji camera. Shit. Well, I kind of like the effect anyway - and Damage Control keeps moving so fast it sometimes is quite blurry, so below, there’s some photos from last nights Damage Control – my radio show that happens every Wednesday night from midnight till 3 a.m. central on 90.1 FM in Houston, 89.5 FM in Galveston and for the blogosphere and beyond. The man Serg from Them Shrimp Huslahs recorded the show once again last night, so here it tis. Please just DL and listen, don’t try to stream it. I don’t even know if it’s possible, just don’t try. Don’t weigh me down maaaaaaaaan.

Click herrrrrrr for the realness. 3 hour mp3

This girl came with Bunny B of Da Entourage from Louisiana and showed us how you are supposed to dance to his new single “Pop It and Drop It.” Thanks Bunny…

Bunny B and his crew, the twins and the girl next to them, rap.

Still tippin’

And even still tippin’

Happy Birthday DJ Keno

Filafresh, SouthernGurl and Golden Child post on

LRJ with the twins to the rear

Freestyle session with B-1, Dope E, Golden Child and others

SouthernGurl and FilaFresh photograph DJ Chill with Fila’s phone

SouthernGurl and Golden Child, blue and red together we shall overcome.

I learned long ago that I shouldn't write while drunk and well, I you know, still feel that way. But I wrote the shit below on my Sidekick while sitting in the lobby of the hotel way stayed at in Cancun, and well, let's just say I was faded. I wandered around drunk till like 3 a.m. that night looking for the realness. Didn't quite find it. Saw a lot of this guy tho....

It’s fucking hard to be a progressive in lunatic land. Not that most progressives aren’t lunatics, they most certainly are. But when you come to a place like Cancun, and stay in an all inclusive hotel filled with ragge Eurotrashpeans who should have been born American and Americans who should have been banished to Padded Cell, PA a long time ago, it’s hard to feel like you could ever fit into any scenario.

That’s nothing new for me, but this is. My friend Jasper and I had a conversation some time ago about resort vacations vs. educational ventures. See myself, I prefer to spend every second of every day attempting to learn something new. Something interesting. And that includes my vacation days, because even on this all inclusive, fucking alcohol soaked excursion, I am trying to find the music. Not the cumbias (necessarily), not the boleros, but the newest of the new in Mexican music. And here I sit in a hotel bar, smoking a Cuban cigarette (the cigars are for the balcony later) sucking down all-inclusive margaritas, thinking to myself “Didn’t I promise myself never to do this?”

I mean here I am in another country, sitting on my ass in a hotel lobby. Like the touristas I love to hate.

Wasn’t I the one saying a few years back that a true trip for me was cohabitating with THE PEOPLE for as much or as little time as I had? I guess I’ve done that just about enough in my past few years with Murder Dog. Cancun is worlds away from Gary, Indiana, but I bet if I searched, I’d find some serious Gary-ish shit. But no, on these few days I’ve got away from home, looks like I’m gonna sit on my ass and maybe ride a few waves. Without a board.

the waves were off the chain…

Shit, but I’m kind of feeling this resort shit in a way. $400 a piece and we got flights, bus transpo, a fat room with bad satellite TV, all you can eat and all the Dos Equis and cheap liquor you can drink.

I’m told that Guillermo Guitterez, the wonderful Cuban violinist, is living here in Senor Frogville and is playing regularly at a hotel called Coral Ocean or some shit. Somewhere, amidst the cheese, lies a true legend. Somewhere amidst the white girls with bad braids, lies a legend. If you’ve ever been to the Caribbean you know what I’m talking about.

But for now I’m content with grooving to the sounds of the Gran Caribe Real house band. A surprisingly full sounding quartet featuring a keyboard player called Carlos who plays bass (on the keys) with one hand, and well, keys with the other. Next to him is a lackadaisical percussionist who makes up for what he lacks in emotion with straight skill (he plays in a hotel lobby, how emotional can he get ferchrissakes?), and another percussionist who’s solo’s make their cover songs sound meaty and right.

And the band is fronted by a vocalist who looks a little like the second coming of Selena and got more than a few husbands in trouble for falling into her trance. Oh how she’d shimmy.

there wasn’t shit on tv

For me, being at this resort is like being at a zoo. You get to watch animals in an unnatural habitat, made to look oh so real. But it’s not real, it’s a fantasy land. A $100 a day fantasy land drenched in alcohol and spiced with Cuban cigars. I don’t even smoke cigars, but with a long middle finger up to Uncle Sam, I am tonight. And a Cuban cigarette and some Cuban brandy. I’ma just put a few pesos in Castro’s pocket while I’m down here. Why not?

Fuck it, I even bought a ready made Cuban brandy and cola at the convenience store across the street.

europeans know what’s up…

Next time we make the trip, we’re gonna have to roll to Cuba. Of course there is where some of the most dynamic music the world over is made (Viva Communismo! – oppression and education breed great art and well, Cuba has both). But these cigars really do kick burro.

Honestly I couldn’t give a fuck about cigars, but these mugs go hard. I smoke weed pretty much everyday, and like I said, never really cared about cigars, but these mugs are taking me where I want to be.

This is my first real vacation in years. Most of my trips are financed by magazines, and I always have at least one thing that I have to get done. Here I don’t have to do anything but jump in some waves and drink world record amounts of alcohol, walk the streets, laugh heartily at mi fellow gringos and sleep. And I love to do all of those things.

you can do this sort of thing at the gran caribe real

I keep thinking about what Ice Cube said on the classic “I Ain’t the One.” “Sometimes I used to wonder, how the hell a ugly dude get a fine girls numba.” Plenty of ugly dudes are getting juiced for their duckets here. Fantastic entertainment. Good night.

night night dinner’s over…