Archive for April, 2009

Hello world!

April 29, 2009

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

Clipse Ain’t Lie

April 28, 2009

I’m not a fan of the whole drug rap genre thingie. Maybe it’s because I’m not too into the systemic destruction of a darker peoples. Or could be that 99.9% of these cats rapping it ain’t never did it like how they say they did. Clipse, I been effin with them since their debut album “Lord Willin'”. Not that I did or didn’t believe all their drug cartel talk, I just fux with them on account of how they always put out quality music, how they really really rap that good and how they keep that sense of urgency in their tone.

Did you hear that Clipse manager Anthony Gonzalez was just charged with leading a 10 million dollar drug ring? They even have an unnamed police officer listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in the ring. 10 million dollars and cops? The indictment says “the operation has distributed more than a ton of marijuana and more than 100 pounds of cocaine since 2003”. How the hell does one move a TON of marijuana and 100 pounds of cocaine and still have time to manage one of the best rap duos out today? Good Lord and Sweet baby Jesus! Not admiring or giving dude props, but tell me that’s not gully.

The drug ring was allegedly run out of a Virginia club, Encore Lounge, the very same club that the Clipse are known to mention in some of their songs. It’s even stated that Gonzalez bought the Encore Lounge “in November 2007 from an unidentified co-conspirator for 40 pounds of marijuana and about $80,000 in drug proceeds. The club closed earlier this year after more than 100 incidents of violence, shootings, drug dealing and disorderly conduct.” According to AllHipHop.com, “to date, Anthony “Geezy” Gonzalez remains at large. At press time, the Clipse could not be reached for comment.” I bet.

I know this is morally wrong, but the Clipse stock just went way the eff up in my book. I don’t know about you, but I’m hoping the brothers Thornton don’t get entangled in all of this legal fuckery, only because now I’m really waiting for their third album “Till The Casket Drops” to drop later this year. In this rap game, street cred is worth way more than good credit.

By the way, their latest song, “Kinda Like A Big Deal” featuring Kanye West is some kind of fuego.

DOOM!

April 27, 2009

What’s better than good Hip Hop + Comic books?

I called my brother from another borough Dallas Penn this weekend to see what was popping off since I was playing Mr. Dad with my four kids. He told me he had just taken a “deuce” at Bloomingdale’s while in the midst of shooting a DOOM video. I quickly changed the subject since his poop fixation is not at all amusing to me. I assumed he was palling around with the artist DOOM, and even asked if he caught a glimpse of dude with his mask off. Heh. Little did I know he was working on this.

EFFIN DOPE!!!

I am so jealous right now.

Iron Man: Armored Adventures

April 26, 2009

I missed this last Friday, 7pm on Nicktoons. Not too keen on the yung Tony Stark, but heard and read it was dope. Did anyone see it?

A Letter To Eskay And Byron Crawford

April 25, 2009

Wow. You both know how much I love, live for blog beef. That shit right there is what brought me to this game in the first place. Being that we somewhat fit into the Hip Hop blogger category, it’s most definitely par for the course. It’s kinda weird though, when two of my favorite bloggers actually get into it against each other. Especially two bloggers that I’m personally cool with. You already know how I came into the game on Byron’s site, that right there is a debt of gratitude that I can never forget. And Eskay showing me continuous support, from personally coming out to my book signing to endorsing this blog through the links and what not, whose effin’ with that? I’ll be the first to admit that beef in this arena has been overdue for some time now, I just didn’t expect that it’d be between you two.

Byron, you did fire the first shot by insinuating that the homie was somehow on some payola payroll ish (as if you didn’t know). And then you blasted again. We all know how you get down, you’re the original shit talker and I get that. From my perspective though, seeing how hard Eskay goes in on the daily over at Nahright, it’s more than apparent that the man takes a great deal of pride in his work. So much even that I can see where dude might could get offended by someone calling into question the very shit that makes him one of the very few that’s on top of his game: his integrity. Plus the fact that Eskay rarely goes out his lane to eff with other bloggers on some stray shots shit, one can deduce that he’s really not the one to play. But eff it, that’s what you do, that’s what’s kept your name on people’s screens for so long, you are the original shock blogger and I respect that. I would never ever suggest you switch your style up, I dig your game that much, plus that’s not why I’m here. And I’m doubting very much that you would ever take too kindly to any types of suggestions of that sort. I’m just saying maybe, just maybe, you might be enjoying pushing dude’s buttons a lil too much.

Eskay, I hear you man, sometimes you just gotta get shit off yer chest, let a knicca know when playtime is over. At the same time, you been in this game long enough to know how Crawford gets down. That nigga be on his best prowl trying to get under EVERBODY’s skin. I’m surprised he ain’t come for me yet. I see how you run a tight ship and make it a point to stay out of the bullshit, how you remain focused on building the empire that is the Nahright brand, but you been already know how this dude is, enjoying the fact that he set someone off, while he’s chilling out in the mid-west, way off in the comforts of his home. Some battles are most definitely worth it, this one, in my humble opinion, is not. Still and all though, gotta respect your gully for drawing the line in the sand. I didn’t expect to see you coming, but I can always expect and respect how every now and then, you just gotta check someone. Plus, I see how you kept it moving with like the next 20 posts in the same day, and without blinking an eye. Heh.

Grown men are gonna be grown men and I’m not here to play mediator to a peace treaty on some Russell Simmons/ Ben Chavis ish. If it’s a beef ya’ll have, then so be it, I’ma just have to pull up a chair and watch how this shit transpires from the sidelines. I guess what I’m really trying to say is that I’m kinda fucking mad that I gotta remain all neutral and shit, not being able to jump in with the flagrant comments and diss co-signs whenever the opportunity arises. Two of my favorite bloggers going at it is not the beef I’ve been waiting for. Especially when all this bullshit kinda originated with the white boy dropping an ambiguously racial twitter comment.

And Speaking of Asher…

April 24, 2009

He goes and drops the “nappy headed hoes” thing on Twitter. I’m just saying.

Ross vs. Roth

April 24, 2009

Funny.

"Ante Up" – Chronicles Of A True Hustler, Part 3

April 23, 2009

Previously: Pt. 1, Pt. 2,


Once again, and like clockwork, T goes in with his memoirs. Here with another installation is Part 3 of Chronicles Of A True Hustler:

A few weeks after I moved back home, Uncle Mark came to visit us. Uncle Mark is Mom’s younger brother, the youngest of her five siblings. Uncle Mark wasn’t handy with a gun and pretty useless with a knife. He also wasn’t much of a pimp and was a horrible drug dealer. Stealing? Stealing, he could do. Uncle Mark was a good thief, though he was never able to steal himself away from his drug addictions. Hooked on heroin and crack for most of his life, at his worst, Grandma wouldn’t even let him into her house unless he was under constant supervision.

During his visits Uncle Mark would sometimes shower, eat a home-cooked meal or occasionally pay back money he’d borrowed or stolen from us. On this particular visit, while shooting the shit after dinner, Moms excused herself and stepped into the kitchen, leaving Uncle Mark and I alone in the living room. That’s when he pulled my coat. Looking me dead in the eye he said, “I heard what happened with you and yo momma. What you need to do is get you a real hustle. That weed shit ain’t gone make you no real money. You need to get you a real package. That way, if yo momma kick you out again you can get you a motel room, be a man, you know?”


My first thought was, “Why would I take advice from him?” For all intents and purposes, he’s the last person I should be listening to. But, after the way my own mother had just treated me, I was searching for answers, and he seemed as good a
mentor as any. Plus, he was only echoing what I had been hearing on the streets; Crack had become big business, much to the dismay of then Mayor of San Francisco, Diane Feinstein. She, like other Mayors in California at the time, was overwhelmed by the devastating fall-out from the movements of drug kingpins Freeway Rick, Danilo Blandon and drug ring The Dark Alliance. Danilo Blandon was the cocaine supplier for Freeway Ricky Ross, who is credited for the crack epidemic that was ravaging California during the 1980’s. I remember seeing her hold up a huge bag of crack rock on TV, talking about how it had taken over the streets, reporters and camera men taking it all in. Watching her holding up that bag, that sealed the deal for me. It was time for me to ante up. I immediately traded in my weed scissors and shoe box for a razor blade and a crisp, clean mirror.

I knew nothing about selling crack. Moms had given me my start on the block with weed but that was “Hustling 101” and I needed to matriculate. There were things that only the streets could teach me and I was an eager student. One day, on my quest to transition from weed to crack, I headed west toward Hayes Valley looking for a “plug”, a connect to supplies of that white rock. The popular term for crack at the time was “Hubbas“, so popular even that there was a local hit record called “Hubba Rock” by Rappin’ 4-tay, if I remember correctly. I passed Po’ Boys Car Wash on the corner of Laguna and Birch Streets, where I’d occasionally see Willie Brown’s car being detailed. Willie Brown was a highly respected State Assemblyman who was always able to come back to the turf. Rumor was that Po’ Boys was a front for a cocaine distribution ring that dealt only in weight. Staring at Assemblyman Brown’s red Ferrari being gently buffed to shine, I knew I was in no position to challenge the rumor, nor was I in a position to handle the kind of weight Po’ Boys was “rumored” to move. I wouldn’t know what to do with a quarter-ounce, let alone a quarter-pound. I continued on to the Valley where I hoped to find a hook up more my speed.


“Are you the police?” he said. “If dude is the police and you ask him, he gotta tell you, or else it’s entrapment.” He continued, “You know what entrapment mean?” Before I could respond, he answered his own question. “That’s when the police trick you into catchin’ a case.” Tela V was schooling me, helping me get my hustling legs. Tela V was 3 years older than me. We were like frat brothers when it came to Hayes Valley. We were never in a gang together, but I knew him from the block, and growing up, we both claimed Hayes Valley as home. Though, he would never become DVP (Death Valley Projects), he was a close homey and the first cat I knew of that was hustling crack in Hayes Valley. He hadn’t been selling for long but was already making some money from the clientele he built. His interest in me was to basically make more money with someone he could trust. He was focused on his grind and it showed. Hayes Valley Projects took up a full city block, with multiple entrances and exits. They were a maze of 3-story buildings, clad in pink stucco and grouped around a parking lot with one way in and one way out. The North side of the parking lot would later be renamed Death Valley and South side, Iketown. The whole complex looked like a pink prison complete with external landings for each floor made from concrete and steel. When the police raided Hayes they would often ask for a suspect’s address saying, “What’s your cell number? Which cell do you live in?” That’s how much of a prison Hayes Valleys resembled, how much of a prison Hayes Valley was.


Tela V and I stood at the bottom of the stairwell, to the left of the Webster Street entrance, shielded from both Webster and Hayes Streets, facing the internal courtyard. He extended his left hand out toward me, palm up. In his hand, he held five milky-white rocks. Each rock looked like separated pieces of a puzzle. “These are double-ups. I sell ‘em for $20 but you can prolly get about $40 off a each one of ‘em.” “You know how to cut ‘em in half?” he asked. As I shook my head to indicate that I didn’t, he put one of the rocks in his mouth. And with a clink of his jaw, he spat out two perfectly halved pieces of the boulder he’d just showed me.

“Never keep yo dope on you,” he continued as he curiously surveyed the ground around where we were standing. Kneeling down to pick up an empty potato chip bag, he explained, “Always hide yo dope in somethin’ like this, and put it in a stash, someplace you can get to quick for a fiend but if the police raid, you ain’t gone have nothin’ on you. “Oh, yeah,” he remembered. “Don’t let no fiend put yo dope in his mouth. Sometimes they want to nibble it to see if it’s real. If you slippin’ he’ll put the whole thing in his mouth, switch it and hand you back some fake shit.” I nodded in the affirmative. He paused to look at me reassuringly, “You’ll be alright,” he said handing me the two damp stones he had just spat from his mouth, “That’ll be $20. You keep coming back and I’ll keep doubling you up”.

Combat Jack vs. Mythbusters

April 22, 2009

A lot of ya’ll have been requesting that I write a book of some sort or another. I actually did write one a couple of years ago, “Bling, The Hip Hop Jewelry Book”. My publisher is Bloomsbury, the same publisher that owns the worldwide rights to the Harry Potter franchise. Yes. I roll with Harry. It’s really good. The same quality of shit that I bring here to you on Today’s Mathematics. If you’re so inclined, cop it here. Thanks.

I say all this because when we dropped the book, me and my co-author Gabe Tolliver put together a lil’ promo video and uploaded it on to youtube. The promo covered a topic from the book addressing the possibility of making diamonds in a microwave from charcoal and with peanut butter and lighter fluid. Really. Funny and informative, the video garnered a lot of hits. It eventually landed in the hands of one of the producers of that Mythbusters show that airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on the Discovery Channel. They liked our video, licensed it from us and decided to challenge our infamous diamond making technique. The episode will be airing tonite, 9pm ET/PT and midnight.

I haven’t yet seen what they came up with. Peep it 2nite.

I’m hoping they didn’t play us.

Rick Ross – "Deeper Than Rap" Album Review

April 21, 2009

Perception. is. reality.

Rick. Ross. is. a. fraud.

“Deeper Than Rap”. is. almost. perfect.

Almost.

When he rolled up on the national scene in his white Maybach and monster single “Hustlin'” back in 2006, we all knew Rick Ross wasn’t being 100% with us. Especially with him bragging about how fabled drug lord Noriega owed him several favors. Right. Still, “Hustlin'” banged, and which of our rap stars was really keeping it 100% with us anyway? That rumor about him being a former Correctional Officer didn’t help Ross’ image any, especially since he vehemently denied being involved in any types of law enforcement type activity, before AND after the picture of William Roberts (Ross’ real name) in full C.O. regalia surfaced on the internets, clearly showing us all what type of kingpin the “Bawss” really was before rap. Why didn’t this nigga just tell the truth?

The past couple of months with him being savagely destroyed by Curtis Jackson didn’t help any either. Still, the buzz was that Ross’s latest album, “Deeper Than Rap” which drops today was extraordinarily good. So good even that no matter how badly dude was getting sonned before our eyes, this album might could be the one that would salvage the dead brand that is Rick Ross, similar in manner to how the Nas machine was resurrected after he dropped “Ether”.

“Deeper Than Rap” is almost that good. With 14 songs clocking in at just under an hour, the only throwaway track is the God awful “All I Really Want (Feat. The-Dream)”. The Dream is so overrated and overexposed and it clearly shows on this track, almost so that I wish T-Pain, his Autotune and Akon were on it instead. T-Pain would have murdered it. If you cop this, please do yourself a favor and always skip this one. “Deeper Than Rap” is a lushly produced album filled with melodies that are reminiscent of that beautiful 1970’s cocaine soundtrack music, milky piano keys, warm soulful hooks and rain like strings pervading almost every track, every corner on the album. As a whole, this comes as close as possible to being the most perfect grown and sexy rap album ever produced. This is the album Jay-Z should have dropped when he did “American Gangster”. The subject matter is basically that same Rick Ross material, you know, the one dimensional songs about kingpins, chicks, cars and one murderous 1990’s New York sounding diss track “In Cold Blood” aimed at you know who. Rick’s flows are tighter this go round and even complement the stellar production which takes center stage leaving Rick to play the background. Guest artists Kanye West, T-Pain and Lil Wayne (“Maybach Music 2”), Nas (“Usual Suspects”), and John Legend (“Magnificent”) help in making Ross sound a tad bit more credible. But not that much and not really. Foxy Brown drops a cameo on “Murda Mami” and as much as I’m a fan of her old work, there’s something that’s not sounding right about her performance. Trina, however, and whom I’ve never really felt before, kills it with Ross on the banger that is “Face”, a bouncy Southern joint about … face, that will be banging out of every candy painted whip and strip club in the US. Flex will most def be dropping a bomb to that. Because the production throughout is that dope, Rick playing the background is a very good thing. Producers J.U.S.T.I.C.E League, The Inkredibles, The Runners, DJ Toop and all others truly went in.

And ultimately the problem that cannot be fixed on this album is Rick Ross himself. Not his performance though, he shocks the eff outta me on this. The elephant in the room is Rick Ross. Other than MC Shan and Ja Rule, I don’t think there’s ever been a rapper who’s come out from beef as banged up and damaged as Ross’ image. His being a fraud cubed kills every mental picture I have of him, especially since what I perceive him to be is so far from the amazing shit that’s presented on the cd. This has to be one of the MOST historic moments in rap history, where a rapper with the most eff’d up image ever drops their most incredible album to a non-believing audience. Almost like Chingy dropping a masterpiece on “Illmatic” level next week. There is nothing known to man that can restore the mess that is Rick Ross. Not this album, nothing. This is a major win AND major PU~ for Ross.

For what it’s worth, this is a damn near classic album, the kind that I will be bumping in the crib when I have friends over, only I won’t be letting them know it’s Ross that I’m playing. It’s that good and his cred is that bad.

“Deeper Than Rap” gets 4 Combat Jack salutes out of 5.