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July 2004 Archives

July 1, 2004

Think of How Many Weak Blogs You Slept Through..

Bilal at Tramps, Summer 2001

Times up, sorry I kept you.

Okay party people, internet service has now been restored in my bedroom at our headquarters, and the hiatus is over.

Now, how does this blogging thing work again?

Picture Us Cooling Out on the First of July...

a coffee shop in montreal, callously mocking our fearless leaders


Evidently you guys up north are having some kind of holiday? There seems to be some dispute over what you ought to be celebrating. But if nothing else you can always look southward and think of this as "At Least We're Not Those Guys" Day..

For example, you could revel in the pitiful truth that many Americans still wish the other side had won our Civil War. Like this guy, who ends his feeble critique of Air America thusly: "Hopefully, the liberal left is beginning their lonely march out of the American political landscape. Perhaps, we won't have to secede again after all! " Uhh, listen man, if you really want to leave that badly, don't let us keep you.

July 2, 2004

Female Emcees (and My Blueprint for Hip-Hop Blogging)

So seriously, I've been out of the game for so long, can someone remind me how this hip-hop blogging business works?

Oh yeah, I think I remember the formula now. I unearth some obscure web page that says something clueless about hip-hop, and then fulminate with rage against their cluelessness, milk it for a few snappy wisecracks, and use it as a springboard to pontificate ad nauseum. And, whenever possible, mention some famous person with whom I've discussed the issue.

Here's a breakdown of the recipe:

Step One: Quotation
Step Two: Fulmination
Step Three: Sarcastication
Step Four: Refutation
Step Five: Corroboration (i.e. gratuitous-name-drop-ization)
Step Six: Oh So Witty Summation

And now I will demonstrate, annotating each step, with an atrocity I recently found at CNN.com:


The first female rapper? The answer is...1

No, the first woman to release a rap single was not Lauryn Hill or Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, Queen Latifah or even Roxanne Shante.

Punk songstress Deborah Harry of Blondie served up the first female voice of rap. In the middle of "Rapture," a song that dominated the airwaves in the early 1980s, Harry launched into a rapid patter of words atop an irresistible beat. The formula, merging street with sexy, proved so powerful that Lil' Kim, Foxy Brown and other female hip-hop stars use it today.

Who the hell wrote this, and what the crap are they yapping about?!?!??2 Golly, after watching CNN's coverage of the war in Iraq I would never imagined they could get a story so totally, totally wrong.3

As I'm sure most of this blog's readers will know, the first female emcees who put out a record were in a group known Sequence4, made up of Gwendolyn Chisholm aka Blondie (so if you said "Blondie did the first female rap record" you'd be sorta half right), Cheryl Cook aka Cheryl the Pearl (as cited by Kool Moe Dee on "Let's Go," where he mockingly compared LL's voice to hers), and Angie B (now known as R&B diva Angie Stone). Their single "Funk You Up" came out on Sugar Hill about a year before "Rapture."

And just as the Sugarhill Gang were far from the first rappers, Sequence were not the first female emcees by any means. Long before anyone was rapping on wax there were already female voices in the mix, includingPebblee Poo of the Masterdon Committee, Sha Rock of the Funky Four Plus One More (who later performed alongside Debbie Harry as the first rappers ever on Saturday Night Live), and the first all female crew the Mercedes Ladies.

Last Sunday the grand exalted Kool DJ Red Alert5 teamed up with my crew of DJs at Table 50 on Bleeker Street, and while he was waiting for his turn to burn G-Man and I asked Red to name the first female emcee he could remember, as a head who was around from the very beginning. He agreed with G that Sha Rock was the best female of the era, but said the first two he remembered seeing were Smiley (presumably the same one from the Mercedes Ladies) and before her a young woman known as "Little Lee" or "Lil Lee," who he said was also Melle Mel's girlfriend in the very early days.

I've never heard of Little Lee before, and neither has Google, but I would damn sure never doubt the Propmaster. Do any of our older readers remember her?

And for real though, does anyone know who I can talk to at CNN about this embarrassment? If CNN is this far off I shudder to think how Fox News would do: "and in 1988 the rap world welcomed a female voice for the first time, with the avant-garde innovations of Paula Abdul on 'Cold Hearted Snake.' Paula's pioneering work paved the way for today's reigning Queens of Rap, Northern State."6


There you go, see how easy that was? It's just like shooting fish in a barrel riding a bicycle!

July 3, 2004

Join Us On the Radio Tonight: Fahrenheit 9/11 Giveaway

Once again we hit the airwaves tonight at Midnight EST, with our radio show the Underground Railroad. You can hear us online here, or on WBAI 99.5 FM if you live in the tri-state area. And while you check out the sounds you also can talk to us live in the chat room.

Thanks to our partner Joyce, we will celebrate Independence Day on the radio show tonight by giving away two pairs of tickets to Fahrenheit 9/11.

The tickets are for the Tuesday 7PM showing at Clearview First & 62nd Cinemas, and the winners will meet Joyce at the theater at 6PM to pick up their tickets. Joyce wants us to make sure some real hip-hop heads use these tickets, so we will be cooking up some trivia questions for you..

Tonight's show will also feature cameo appearances by Mr Len and several of his associates.

July 5, 2004

Escaping (and Finding) America

This weekend on the radio show we were graced with the presence of the mighty O-Dub and the esteemed Mr. Len (along with his group Bully Mouth, who need some home training but are nice on the mic). Then after things wrapped up I went home to pack for a quick trip to Montreal, where I am sitting now in an internet cafe on St. Denis.

Some of you may know I've been scoping out this town for a while, as an escape route if Dubya gets in again. One thing I can tell you for sure is I will definitely be back here every July from now on, because this Montreal Jazz Festival is redonkuloso. I can't believe this has been going on every year and I've missing it..

Most of my memories will be from the random acts on various stages that I'd never heard of, and the unofficial performers holding it down on streetcorners around the fair, like the group led by one of these guys that was killing "Chameleon" in front of the Musiqueplus on St. Catherine.

But the highlight so far (since the Jorge Ben show got cancelled) was seeing the Funk Brothers last night with Joan Osborne, Sam Moore, and the Four Tops (sans Levi). Such an honor getting to see so much history on stage, and having a chance to give some love to these men who gave us so much and got so little recognition for it. The evening felt especially historic when Sam Moore came out, since as Sam pointed out we were witnessing the first time in history that a Stax artist was backed up by the Motown band, as he held it down on "Shop Around" and "Ain't Too Proud to Beg."

It was a beatiful night. I can't think of a better way to spend the 4th of July, in these strange and ugly times for our country, than taking the opportunity to step outside our borders and spend the evening with thousands of Quebecois and visitors from around the world, all coming together on Avenue Du President Kennedy to honor the pioneers of the Motown sound, the quintessential American music. A reminder, for one night at least, that America doesn't always have to be the shame of the planet. That once in a while, in our best moments, we ugly Americans can fill the world with beauty, and touch hearts around the globe with our love.

July 7, 2004

Democracy is Like Sex, Get Free Tickets

Just got alerted to a promising event in Brooklyn tomorrow night, and the organizers have been cool enough to let me offer two pairs of tickets to you, my beloved readers. I need to get to sleep right now, but I will come back later this morning and put up a trivia question for the tickets..

EDIT: Okay here is the question: Up in the Bronx where the people are fresh, who was the one DJ that could pass the test? The first two people who send the correct answer to contest @ hiphopmusic.com will win a pair of tickets for the concert.

NEW EDIT: I heard through the grapevine the show is free now, and they will just ask for donations at the door.

And in the meantime check the info below, looks like a tight show for a good cause:


An incredible artist lineup including the legendary Pete Rock, Kurtis Blow, Immortal Technique, The Fire Department (Eric & Neal from Soulive), Groove Collective, Anthony B and MORE, in a show to benefit X The Box, The League of Pissed Off Voters, and ActivElement.

SO GET DOWN TO BROOKLYN AND SHAKE YOUR JUICY TO SOME GOOD GROOVES, because who wants a revolution they can't dance to? It is time to SWING THIS ELECTION OUR WAY... and if you got the groove, you got the power!

Thursday July 8
Williamsburg Brooklyn
99 N 13th ST
Bedford stop on the L
Doors at 7
Show at 8
Tickets are 20$ at the door

THE FIRE DEPARTMENT (Eric & Neal from Soulive) w/ special guest MCs

With Special guest speakers


Music For America will be there registering people to vote

I thought the punchline would be "Democracy is like sex, you never ever want to see Dubya involved in either one," but they took it in another direction.

July 9, 2004

Skillz Vs. Shaq

A month or two ago Shaquille O-Neal aimed a dis record at Virginia's underground stalwart Skillz (formerly Madd Skillz), sparking possibly the most peculiar beef in hip-hop history.

Skillz, after denying that he himself wrote Shaq's verse about him as part of a staged publicity stunt, came back at Shaq with a lukewarm response named "The Champ is Here," that began with a painfully stilted "guest appearance" by Ben Wallace, sounding an awful lot like Skillz took some Sportscenter clips and of Ben and pretended he was talking to him.

And now, according to hiphopsite, Skillz is about to put the Dis back into Obsessive Compulsive Disorder by aiming seven new tracks at Shaq on an upcoming mixtape.

To be honest, based on those first two tracks I think Shaq is actually winning this battle so far. But either way, something is seriously wrong if you need 7 tracks to beat anyone in a battle, much less Kazaam.

I still think this is all staged anyway, and will culminate in a three-way cage match between Shaq, Skillz and John Cena.

(via okayplayer)

July 12, 2004

Help Me Escape Realaudio

Since I got my new computer i've spent about a week struggling to make the latest version of the realaudio encoder perform what should be the most basic, easiest functions, to no avail. At this point I'm ready to do what I should have done a long time ago, and stop supporting this evil empire at all.

So I need some help, can you guys recommend the best way to make files that are of similar size and quality to realaudio files, without subjecting myself and my visitors to the horror of realaudio products?

July 15, 2004

A Conversation With Ty

Barry King, Ty, DJ Bizznizz


A couple of weeks ago we had the honor of welcoming Ty to the radio station, along with DJ Barry King and DJ Bizznizz, who's been on the UK hip-hop scene for 20+ years. Here some excerpts from our conversation:

  • Part 1
  • - "It try to paint pictures of myself as a victim as well as a victor.."
  • Part 2 - Are Hip-Hop's traditions more respected abroad than in the US?

  • Part 3 - Race in the UK

I'm also posting this to test the viability of using mp3 instead of realaudio around here. The sound is not as good on the 2nd file, although I encoded them all the same way. Maybe the levels were too high on that one?

Ty also did a quick freestyle for us, that I will add later.

July 16, 2004

Label Trouble for Nikka Costa?

Earlier this week Nikka Costa updated her website with audio from her single "I Don't Think We've Met" and an "Electronic Press Kit" video with clips of her working on the new album. I'm not sure how I feel about the single yet, but some of those tracks in the EPK are sounding tasty.. especially the last one where they are playing in 5/4.

The album is slated to come out October 24th, but release dates from major labels are about as reliable as intelligence reports from Colin Powell. And judging by this message Nikka posted on her site yesterday, she might be running into another case of industry rule #4080:






If you want to help Nikka fight the power, you can hit the CEO of Virgin at: matt.serletic@virgin-records.com

I, Robot: Once Again the Brother Gets No Love

A couple of months ago my friends and I watched the trailer for "I Robot," and as soon as they introduced Bridget Moynihan as the co-star I said "oh, this is gonna be another movie where they don't let the Black leading man have any romance with the white leading lady, even though the formula would always call for romance otherwise."

My friends kinda scoffed and said "nahhh, are things still really that bad?" But sure enough, check out the reviews:

Smith carries the movie on his broad and often bare shoulders, which is a heavy load since nearly everyone including the human cast acts like automatons.. Moynahan brings a stiff beauty to the role of the techno-scientist, but her timid filmmakers won't allow romantic sparks to fly between their black male and white female leads. That's not futuristic; that's retro."

I told you so! Hollywood's (and America's) fear of Black male sexuality is alive and well.

July 17, 2004

Jadakiss Spins His Bush Quote

Okay check out Jada's first explanation of his "Why did Bush knock down the towers?" lyric:

As for the controversial line, the Yonkers, N.Y., rapper's view is unwavering. "I just felt [Bush] had something to do with that," Jadakiss says, referring to the events of Sept. 11. "That's why I put it in there like that. A lot of my people felt that he had something to do with it."

And compare that to the latest one:

Rapper Jadakiss blames Bush for Sept. 11 in new song

...seven words in his new song Why?— "Why did Bush knock down the towers?" — has gotten Jadakiss the most mainstream attention, and criticism, of his career.

"It caught the ear of white America," he said proudly during a phone interview with The Associated Press. "It's a good thing. No matter what you do, somebody's not going to like it, but for the most part, most people love the song."

...Jadakiss doesn't really believe Bush ordered the towers destroyed — he says the line is a metaphor, and that Bush should take the blame for the terrorist attack because his administration didn't do enough to stop it.

"They didn't follow up on a lot of things properly," says Jadakiss. "It's the president of the United States. The buck stops with him."

...Hearing Jadakiss converse about political issues is a new concept — the rapper, who began his career as part of the group The Lox, is more known for his gritty rhymes about street life. But Jadakiss says his outlook has changed.

"I'm growing up, I'm getting a little older. I've got two kids. I'm almost 30 years old," says the Yonkers, N.Y. native.

He talks up Fahrenheit 9/11 as an important, must-see movie — he's watched it twice — and he's even registering to vote in the upcoming presidential election, a first for him. (He backs John Kerry.) He wants the minimum wage raised and more jobs created.

"As a rapper, as an artist, we've got power," he said. "If we can get people to vote from the ages 18 to 44, we can make a change."

Well, if he must backtrack, at least he's backtracking towards awareness. I just want to know why he was wearing that Ronald Reagan shirt on the Jimmy Kimmel show.

Join Us On The Radio Tonight

Once again we hit the airwaves tonight at Midnight EST, with our radio show the Underground Railroad. You can hear us online here, or on WBAI 99.5 FM if you live in the tri-state area. And while you check out the sounds you also can talk to us live in the chat room.

July 19, 2004

Barbara Ehrenreich and Liberal Bloggers

Barbara Ehrenreich recently started filling in for Tom Friedman in the NY Times op-ed pages, and some liberal bloggers are not taking it very well.

Most of the A-List lefty bloggers are not really all that far to the left, at least compared to the wild-eyed hippies I hang out with at WBAI. And I don't have any problem with that, we need a variety of voices out there.. but it's disappointing to see how smugly contemptuous some of these guys can be towards folks who are a little further left than themselves.

Ehrenreich's crime, evidently, was to voice her support for Ralph Nader in 2000, which so offended these guys that four years later they still disparage her mental health and (quoting Lenin) diagnose her with an "infantile disorder."

And now that Ehrenreich is joining them in rejecting Nader's 2004 campaign, they can't let go of their grudge, and just keep on with the sniping and condescension even when she's on their side.

Their bias against her is so strong they can't even recognize when she is joking:

So, Ralph, sit down. Pour yourself a Diet Pepsi and rejoice in the fact that -- post-Enron and post-Iraq war -- millions have absorbed your message. You're entitled to a little time out now, a few weeks on the beach catching up on back issues of The Congressional Record. Meanwhile, I've thrown my mighty weight behind Dennis Kucinich, who, unnoticed by the media, is still soldiering along on the campaign trail. In the event that he fails to get the Democratic nomination, I'll have to consider my options.

I think most readers will find it obvious that she she's only kidding when she implies that Kucinich still has a shot (and with the boasts of her own "mighty weight"). I mean, you'd have to assume that Ehrenreich is an abject doofus to think she really believes that. But apparently Matthew Yglesias and Ezra at Pandagon (one of my favorite blogs, for the record) are so caught up in their sense of intellectual superiority over (former) Nader supporters that they will assume just that. And even after Ezra gets called out on his blunder and admits it, he keeps digging himself deeper by insisting it was Barbara's joke that was a misfire, rather than his errant response. Dude, just admit you goofed and move on! It happens to everybody.

Listen, guys, I greatly appreciate the work you all do in your blogs, and I can to some extent understand your frustration with voters who choose principles over pragmatism. But sometimes you can cling to a grudge so tightly it stops the flow of blood to your brain. And if you want those who supported Nader in the past to feel welcome joining you this time, you should probably stop treating them like you think they are idiots.

July 20, 2004

Prince at MSG, 7/13/04: My Mom's Review

One day in 1987, I came home from high school to find my mother bursting with excitement about a new double album she just bought. "John, you've got to hear this new Prince record! It's too funky." Then she put the needle down on "Housequake," and needless to say my life has never been the same. That was how my mom introduced me to the love of my life, an album named "Sign of the Times."

About a year later my mom's friend had an extra ticket to see Prince's Lovesexy tour at Madison Square Garden, but since she knew what a devoted Prince fan I'd become, she stepped aside and let me take the spot, and I saw my funk hero for the first time thanks to my mom's sacrifice.

So I've always hoped for a chance to pay her back by taking her to see the man, and last week I finally got the opportunity as we caught Mr. Nelson's 2nd of 3 shows at MSG. I asked my mom if she would write a review for the site, and here's what she put down:

It’s true that Prince’s concert was an entertainment masterpiece, balancing world-class musicianship with an exciting visual and entertainment spectacle carried off by both performers and crew with flair and flow.

It’s also true that the band was tighter than OJ’s glove.

But besides the superb writing, arranging, dancing, singing and playing, other things also stood out: the unbelievable diversity of the crowd! It seemed like every age, class, sensibility, lifestyle and appearance was there to see Prince. Also, Prince is a black artist who has crossed over and brought his own people with him. It’s a beautiful thing to see such a big diverse crowd of people supporting an artist of Prince’s stature.

He is as talented as Miles Davis, and could treat the audience with the same contempt and get away with it. Instead Prince charmed the audience with his warmth and playful sense of humor. Having seen Sammy Davis Jr. live, the same genius emanates from Prince as he sings, dances, talks and trades vibes with the audience as if a crowded Madison Square Garden was his living room. What can it feel like to hold the entire mass folks of folks in the Garden in the palm of your hand?

Maceo Parker sang “Georgia” as a tribute to Ray Charles—an unexpected and special treat!

Prince and his entire entourage, performers and crew, performed at 120%, and when the concert ended after 3 hours Prince was going strong.

Beside Sammy Davis Jr., the show echoed great artists and entertainers like Cab Calloway; Jimi Hendrix (Prince’s virtuoso guitar playing); of course James Brown (Prince is so funky I bet there’s some kind of undiscovered medical benefit from listening to his music); Stevie Wonder (the genius of Prince’s compositions and of his vocal performance); and Caetano Veloso (the sophisticated diversity of Prince’s compositions.) Prince belongs in the Pantheon!

What a mellow and happy crowd! The euphoria created by Prince’s concert could be a tool for world peace, because as they filed out of the Garden into New York’s concrete jungle, people looked way too mellow to fight, argue or have harsh words!

I've seen Prince about a dozen times now, and at least ten of them could vie for Best Show I've Ever Seen, but this one will always have a special place in my heart, since I got to share it with her. I'll just add a few notes about this show compared to the others I caught this year:

Prince is a master of making the rehearsed seem spontaneous, so who knows if he was just pulling the paisley over my eyes, but it seemed like he was really feeling it that night, extending and exploring the jams a little further than usual. He kept beatboxing patterns for John Blackwell to copy on the drums, then sometimes announcing a key for the band to groove on. When he went into "A Love Bizarre" it seemed like a surprise to the band, cuz they just stood there and let him accompany himself on guitar while the Blackwell stayed in the pocket. And in the part of his acoustic set where he usually does that "something's funky, is that your breath or mine" he seemed to be actually freestyling a new verse this time, starting each line with "I ain't got no more words, I'm making it up as I go along.."

But the biggest surprise for me was seeing him do a complete version of Bambi.. once he got about halfway through I was on the edge of my seat thinking "I know he's not gonna do the 'baby you need to bleed' part, right??" but sure enough he did it!

As much as I disagree with the message of that song, it was still kinda nice to see him loosen up that much, in this hyper-sanctified post-profanity era of his career. Maybe his current beliefs still allow little vulgarity, if it's in the name of promoting puritanism?

Then he followed Bambi up with his version of Led Zeppelin "Whole Lotta Love," which was cool to see in person.. he stayed on it a while and did a lot of soloing.

Anyway I could on forever, but you should know by now that when it comes to live performance, nobody is touching Mr. Nelson. Seriously, if you love music and haven't seen him yet, make it a priority. It's easy to tell yourself you can catch him next time around, but you never know what the future will bring.. I saw Curtis Mayfield a few weeks before his accident in 1990, never would have thought at the time I was catching one of the last concerts he'd ever do. And I'll always regret never having caught Ray Charles.. treasures like these you need to cherish, every chance you get.

July 21, 2004

Possibly the Best Trip Ever (for me to poop on?)

I'm on my way to Montreal again this weekend, with two destinations in mind:

Triumph the Insult Comic Dog live in concert on Thursday, returning to Quebec for the first time since his mockery of the Quebecois sparked national outrage (or at least set off some uptight politicians) last February.

And later this weekend a screening of the newly restored Shaw Brothers classic "Golden Swallow." Cheng Pei-Pei, Jimmy Wang Yu and Lo Lieh directed by Chang Cheh, action choreography by Liu Chia-Liang?? It gets no rougher.

What else is going on up there this weekend, Montrealers?

(the radio show will continue as usual, with the rest of our crew holding it down.. I heard Mr. Complex might stop by.)

July 24, 2004

A Quick Post From North of the Border

Best line from Triumph's concert in Montreal: "Seriously though, I am not a puppet, I am a real dog. I mean, what grown man would actually spend his life crouching behind a desk and manipulating a puppet everyday? No man would humiliate himself like that. Oh, well except for Dick Cheney."

Join Us On the Radio Tonight

Once again we hit the airwaves tonight at Midnight EST, with our radio show the Underground Railroad. You can hear us online here, or on WBAI 99.5 FM if you live in the tri-state area. And while you check out the sounds you also can talk to us live in the chat room.

I am writing this from Ottawa, which means I most likely not be in the studio tonight, but the rest of the crew will be here holding it down as usual. and there is a chance I might pop into the chatroom...

July 27, 2004

Mean Magazine

I wrote a few pieces for a magazine that I am informed will be hitting stores this week. Writing for someone else was a painful transition after getting so used to blogging in here, especially because I'd never seen the mag before and wasn't entirely sure what tone or style they'd want. I think it turned out pretty well though.

And the magazine is quite good, I must say, I found almost everything in there worth reading.. a great interview with Darrell Hammond and Chris Matthews, Rick Rubin interviewing Rev. Run, Paul Barman interviewing Kweli and Pharrell. I did the Sleepy Brown and Jin interviews and the intro to the Eazy E tribute (that was most of the work). If I can find them I'll put up some outtakes from the interviews later..

July 28, 2004

Republican Strategists Are Stupid

Do they really think they will hurt Kerry by spreading that picture around? Kerry should thank them, cuz they do him a tremendous favor by poking holes in his stiff patrician facade.

Dukakis' problem was that he came off likea dweeb, and the tank helmet picture accentuated his dweebiness, but that's not the position Kerry's in. If there's anything to be learned from the George W. Bush era, it's that America would much rather elect a average-joe goofball than a haughty upper-crust intellectual, and up until now Kerry has been looking too much like the latter. So if his unwitting Woody Allen impersonation knocks him down a few notches that might be the best thing that ever happened to his campaign.

Stevie Wonder in Bryant Park Tomorrow Morning?

It is my understanding that Stevie will be performing in Bryant Park tomorrow morning for good Morning America, making up for the show that got cancelled last month. Does anyone have evidence to the contrary?

EDIT: I guess he wasn't there? Anybody? Bueller?

July 29, 2004

Alchemist is Banned From This Website

Apparently noted producer The Alchemist is using "Beverly Hills Pimps n Hos," a loathsome company owned by that loser from the Paris Hilton sex tapes, to promote his new album. And with their help, Alchemist has become perhaps the first Hip-Hop artist to promote his album using comment spam, as witnessed here. Therefore he is now banned from this website until further notice. Sure, sure, he probably has no idea the company is doing this. I don't care. He's banned.

In related news, I'm going to try installing this MT plugin, has anyone else tried it out?

Montreal Graffiti Vol. 2

montrealgraffiti1.jpg montrealgraffiti2.jpg montrealgraffiti3.jpg montrealgraffiti4.jpg
montrealgraffiti5.jpg montrealgraffiti6.jpg montrealgraffiti7.jpg montrealgraffiti8.jpg

click on each thumbnail for the full-sized image

More of the same can be found here. Peace to Anne and Amy and the other good people I met up in MTL, and especially to the esteemed proprietor of Said the Gramophone for hosting our side trip to Ottawa.

July 30, 2004

Vintage Thirstin Howl Interview

I'm at the home of my friend and frequent collaborator Irina, and I found an interview she did in 1999 with (NY underground stalwart) Thirstin Howl here on her laptop, which she has given me permission to post:


Irina Slutsky: Today is Monday, August 23, 1999 and this is Irina interviewing Thirstin Howl III

Thirstin Howl III: Skillionaire

IS: Skillionaire…. So we’ve got 25 minutes before he’s gotta roll cuz he’s a busy man. Tell me about your background and your life history….

TH: I’m originally from NY, I was born in Far Rockaway, Queens in Peninsula Hospital right across the street from Edgemere Projects and we moved to Brownsville when I was about 9 but we lived all around east NY and my family traveled around with my mother. Plus you know I lived from house to house with relatives as well cuz my mother spent a lot of time in and out of prison but I’m from Brownsville. Anyone ever asks you, I’m from Brownsville, that’s where I learned everything that’s where I became who I am.

IS: And Brownsville is a neighborhood in Brooklyn…

TH: Brownsville is one of the roughest in Brooklyn, if not THE roughest. Nothing but projects in Brownsville. Every project is surrounded by a project on every end. I lived there with my mother and my two younger sisters.

IS: Do you feel like you were a good influence on your sisters?

TH: I was their father. They’ll tell you that themselves. They hated me a lot because I was strict. Somebody had to be strict. My mother wasn’t strict. We were allowed to do whatever we wanted. I didn’t have too much discipline myself so I made sure my sisters were disciplined in some kind of sense.

IS: The first time you heard hip hop was…..

Continue reading "Vintage Thirstin Howl Interview" »

About July 2004

This page contains all entries posted to hiphopmusic.com: in July 2004. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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