The wrath of Trina

First off, my heart and prayers go out to all those that have been affected by Hurricane Katrina. Not that I suggest everybody to start looting, but from my understanding, New Orleans isn't the wealthiest city around. So, I'm assuming that most of the people that are still left behind in the city aren't that affluent. These people have lost everything, and in a way they're basically doing what they need to survive. Of course I've seen the pictures of people lugging beer and other unncessary items during a time when surviving should be of the most importance, and acts like that just shows the priorities that some have. But, by labeling all of the actions as acts of looting, it greatly overlooks the circumstances and conditions in which many of these people have been placed.

I know "looting" is all bad and everything, but why focus on that when people are dying. The police forces are already spread thin as it is, and I'd rather have them saving people's lives than trying to make sure people dont take toilet paper at the local wal mart. I'm not condoning the fact that people are jacking dvd players, even though they are getting it from wal mart, but seriously, people have lost their homes, lives, and memories. The actions of some opportunistic people is trivial compared to the hardships that a great majority of the people affected by the hurricane are going through.


"trapped...", shot, and an attempt to "kill whiteness"

I missed most of the VMA's last night, but I was able to catch the single man opus that was R Kelly's "Trapped in the Closet" performance. It was an intense performance, with R Kelly dramatically performing the roles of all of the cast members. "Rufus! Cathy! Chuck! Rufus! Kathy! Chuck!" I'm sure it'll be on constant repeat this week, so we can all be a witness to this performance by one of the most misunderstood living musical genius of our time.

I was also able to catch Common's seemingly nervous freestyle, but I did miss Kanyeezy's performance, which I heard good things about. It's too bad that such a positive (although ego-maniacal) cat, like Kanye had to have a negativity hit his party, with Suge Knight being shot.

On some more serious discussion, these "Kill Whitey" party sound like another Macon Detornay event gone bad, but with the attempt to acknowledge white privilege being replaced completely with the greatly offensive performance of black face by white kids. These parties consist of white hipsters listening to a slew of Miami Booty Bass, shaking their asses, like how "black people do it." The idea that these parties are an attempt for comedic display and poking fun of whiteness would be all good, if there appropriation of black culture were not so blatant. Unfortunately, this isn't just an east coast phenomenon; "White Out" parties have apparently taken place in the Bay Area. Peep the discussions over at Poplicks.


"getting up" block party

Props to Mark Ecko for putting together the "Gettin Up" block party and giving a space for the, often misunderstood, graffiti community to showcase their talents. New York Times had an article today about the event. The day allowed for an intergenerational mixer for old and new school graffiti writers, showing how this youthful art form provides a space where Some dope pictures from the event can be seen here. I wish I would have been there to witness this momentous day for hip hop, luckily we can hear a converstion between Jay Smooth and Joe Schloss here. Though, this event was very close to being shut down due to New York's Mayor, Michael Bloomberg (peep the New York Times article). And, even after the event, folks are still questioning the legality of such an event, as well as arguing against the legitimacy of graffiti as an artform. Staten Island DA, Daniel Donovan wrote of the event:

"This sad spectacle, which unfolded on W. 22nd St. and 10th Ave. yesterday, is an unfortunate reminder of the days when our city was facing 2,000 murders a year and law-abiding citizens could not venture out after dark."

Donovan must fail to realize the failed policies of abandonment alienation that existed during the late 1970's and early 1980's that created such a social environment, which would eventually lead the youth culture to create hip hop as a response to a dominant force that failed to acknowledge their needs and creating a voice for the voiceless. Policies that took the ideas of broken windows theory as a response to graffiti was shown to be a problematic response to a growing culture that found this medium as a means to combat hegemonic ideologies.

And this return to a war on graffiti, or should I say a war on the youth, continues on both coasts, with graffiti prevention squads rising up all over, with LA task forces even cracking down on legal murals (courtesy of Jeff Chang). Often times, these crack downs on graffiti and even gangs fail to recognize the wider social impacts that contribute to their rise. Declining social conditions and recessions create the breeding ground for individuals to engage in activities that go beyond socially constructed norms and mores. But more than this, what is constructed as deviant is decided and created not by the individuals that face the wrath of unjust social policies, but is instead decided by those in power. Graffiti has been documented in the art world throughout as art, but when will mainstream ideology finally accept this idea?

btw, happy birthday to me.


what would pat do?

God may love you, but everyone else thinks your ignorant.

If ya'll haven't heard the latest from televangelist Pat Robertson, he has asked for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Old Man Pat, you say the darndest things sometimes. But on the reals, while, Bush is probably trying to distance himself from Pat, I'm pretty sure the idea of assassinating hugo chavez is in his mindset. Robertson is an idiot for even bringing up the issue of venezuela's oil. Fool could have just played the whole communist card without people thinking anything of it, but acknowledging that the oil resources were of great concern for america shows people the real reasons why Venezuela's so important for America.

This isn't the first time Robertson has attempted to influence global politics in Latin America. In the 1980's, Robertson lent support to the Contras, the Nicaraguan right wing guerilla army, as well as praising Rios Montt, who was known for repressing the growing Catholic liberation theology movement in Guatemala during the 1980's as well as leading a brutal military dictatorship.

But today, Mr. Robertson retracted his statement saying that he was misinterpreted, saying, "I said our special forces could take him out. Take him out could be a number of things including kidnapping." So according to Pat, America should remain patrolling the rest of the world, acting as the supreme police force dictating how everyone else should act. So why not kidnap a popularly elected president? It would greatly stabilize America's oil supply and be the wise thing to do if we want to maintain our hegemonic stronghold on the geopolitical scene of Latin America. And while we're at it, why not through in a hint of "God is on our side" to justify what we're doing. Wait a minute, isn't this the type of reasoning that the radical Islamists have that has lead America to wage this "war on terror," I mean "war on ideology"?


RIP: Bob Moog

My heart felt condolences goes out to the family and friends of Dr. Robert Moog, the man that revolutionized the face of modern music. He invented the remix.


registering early for a liberal society

Some say the darker the berry and the sweeter the juice, but according to a study conducted by The Bay Area Center for Voting Research, the darker the constituency, the more progressive the roots. The study found close correlation between a large African-American population in a city and its tendency to have a more liberal political ideology, as opposed to more conservative cities to being more homogenously white. Turlock isn't on the list, but I have a pretty good estimation where it would land if it were. (courtesy of Poplicks)

Also on Poplicks, O-Dub breaks down the tracklisting on Kanye's "Late Registration," which was recently leaked. I happened upon a leaked copy of the album, which I do plan on buying. I just finished giving it a listen and will be happy say that my expectations for it were made. A few highlights: Just Blaze, who graces the new issue of Scratch, brought the heat, providing the only track not produced by Kanye on "Touch the Sky." I'm not a particularly huge fan of Paul Wall's songs, but I think I have been growing more of an appreciation of him as a rapper; he does well complimenting the slumpishness of "Drive Slow." Other tracks to put on repeat: "Hey Mama," "We Major," and "Gone."


more lil bro....

So far, I've been hearing a lot of good things from "The Minstrel Show," but apparently its such a good album that the Source's editor in chief had to resign from his position cause Mays and Benzino didn't think it deserved a half mic more (read on...). I'm guessing the dispute dealt with more than just one album review, especially with the Source's poor retention record for its editors. When will the Source finally realize their irrelevancy and just close up shop. It's almost common knowledge how fucked up this poor excuse for a hip hop publication is. Even though it was a good magazine at one point in time, that time has long passed and has pretty much become a medium for Benzino to make diss tracks without having to destroy our ears with more of his wack music, though he still makes that wack music and uses the publication to market his shit. As we all wait for the full demise of the Source, why not sit back and watch Little Brother's video for "Lovin' It."


thats my word

"Somethin Went Off In My Hand On My Strap, But Im Smokin Purple, Sippin Yac"

Keak da Sneak - Super Hyphy (Video)

When I heard there was a video for "Super Hyphy," I was expecting a dope video, but then I remembered watching Frontline's video for "Bang It." Although the quality of "Bang It" is superior, atleast Keak had fools giggin. From my understanding, Rah Records still had access to the footage for the "Super Hyphy" video, and used that footage to still make cabbage off of Keak since he signed to Thizz. I'm hoping they'll do a remake, cause while the Bay's been coming out with all these slappers, I don't know if I've seen a video yet that does justice to the songs. (*cough: original "Hyphy")



A couple decades ago, rocking the American flag was considered an act of political protest, many right wing conservatives would have labeled it as flag desecration. Some might recall how Abbie Hoffman got a beat down in the Capitol while wearing his infamous American flag shirt. This was during the Congressional hearings against groups from the New Left, where Abbie and Jerry Rubin were placed as witnesses for the House Un-American Committee in 1969. Many found Abbie's act of self expression unpatriotic. But in contemporary America, somehow hegemonic ideology turned rockin' an American flag motif into a patriotic, and in some respect a nationalistic, fashion trend. If the same sentiments about wearing an American flag still held true today, I guess, Juelz Santana might be facing a a federal conviction for flag desecration.

A couple months ago Juelz Santana told us not to watch him but instead to watch television. Wise words, coming from a member of the "no homo" infatuated crew, the Diplomats. Juelz' current banger, "Mic Check," which can be heard on his mixtape, "Back Like Cooked Crack II," has been receing heavy rotation on my ipod. With a guest appearance from lyrical wizard, Rakim, on the video, this could only show that Juelz has been given a blessing from the mic god, himself. With a solid first single and an equally dope follow up, "What the Game's Been Missing," is sure to fill please the cultish following that the Dipset gang have seemed to aquire. So for those that still are frontin on the talent coming from the Dipset camp, take a listen to:
"There It Go (Whistle)." = Certifiable Club Banger


Big Brother's younger male sibling

The moment my ears were exposed to "The Listening," I became an instant fan of the trio from North Cackalack (sp?). The "throwback" early 90's style that Little Brother reminded me of was the primary draw as the laid back feel just made my head bob like it hadn't in a minute. Of course many point to producer 9th Wonder as the main star of the group, but I think Phonte and Big Pooh often go overlooked. The two emcees might not be spittin that hot fiyah, of Dylan calibar, or be lyrically lyrical on the m.i.c., but they definitely are not to be ignored. Phonte came correct last year, with his collaboration with Nicolay, on Foreign Exchange's "Connected (an album that easily goes on my short list for 2004), though I have to say that I have been sleeping on picking up Big Pooh's "Sleepers." From what I've heard from the Chittlin Circuit mixtapes that LB's been putting out, it just makes me more eager to hear the new album, "The Minstrel Show," which they say is a comment on how they percieve a lot of today's rap music to be a modern day minstrel show. We all have to wait until September 13th to hear the album, but the new single, can be heard here: "Lovin' It"


The Cool Collar Scholar

I got put up on game on Alameda's Trackademics a couple weeks ago as I was streaming my daily dose of Hard Knock Radio (peep the link and listen to July 15, which feature Trackademics as well as an interesting piece by Mumia regarding gradualist politics). I first caught a very unique remix to Ciaria's "Oh" featuring Ludacris, that blended well with the original song but maintained very different pace and feel to the song. After hearing some of his remix songs on the episode of Hard Knock Radio, I decided to dig more into what this youngin had to offer. What I happened to come up on, was a very diverse array of beats, with remixes from Jay Z to Keak da Sneak to Amerie to MIA. He's blessed a couple tracks off of the new Mistah F.A.B. (currently hitting folks with the slapper "Super Sick Wit It") album, ""Son of a P.I.M.P." as well as blessing Bored Stiff legend, Spank Pops, with beats for his new album. This cat is definitely doing his thing, and his remix album will be a delight to many ears awaiting a smooth dose of beats.

To get more info bout this cat, peep:



the battle is raging...

Aight... Being that I will no longer be around the presence of the academic elitistism at UCSD (as much as I used to anyways), I have come to the realization that my bullshitting skills, I mean college writing skills, will go unused and unpracticed until I finally decide to go back and get a graduates degree. If I keep these skills lying dormant for too long, I know that my writing will primarily consist of sentences composed mostly of three to four words. Of course I won't be on here busting out essays and all that every time I post, nor will I always have posts that are atleast one paragraph or one coherent sentence for that matter. So, here, I begin this blog, which as of right now has no direction. Just expect random thoughts and rants ranging from politics, hip hop, pop culture, the Filipino-American experience, social justice, and the latest on R Kelly's "Trapped in the Closet" parts 6-10 (read up on the Cliff Notes of parts 1-5, if you ain't knowing bout it). With that said, this will pretty much be a forum for my own intellectual masturbation. I'll try to post stuff up as often as possible, but we'll see how everything goes.