Wednesday, July 30, 2008


TOMORROW NIGHT!!! @ Chop Suey, 9 pm, $5, 21+
“Basement Sessions” Release Show featuring:

  • Dawhud (my favorite emcee since Skee-Lo!)
  • Nam (proprietor of 2-0-sick)
  • Can U (kick it? yes, we can)
  • The Let Go (like the Ultimates, but not…)
  • Likeminded (Burien duo’s reunion performance. Bill Nye the Science Guy meets Styles of Beyond)
  • Hosted by: Luvva J (best stage name since Mike Hunt)
  • DJ’d by: Ryan Fresh (former ITF Contestant, mixtape fanatic and Gilmore Girls fan)

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Friday, July 25, 2008

Summer Jams Video Series: The Rocking Horse Winner, "Miss You"

Before Hayley Williams paramore'd her way into the hearts of teenage America, Florida's Rocking Horse Winner were continuing the tradition of power-pop female fronted bands like That Dog and (latter era) Save Ferris with their sacchrine-induced romantic jams. Though the band has since disbanded, you can find their sophomore album, "Horizon," at most stores, and sadly, in the used section.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

FLAVALICIOUS 95!! (I mean, 2008!)

NEW MIXTAPe! y0! Download it!!!

1. Jackson 5, “It’s Great to Be Here”/Intro
2. Bad Boy All Stars, “All About the Benjamins”/Love Unlimited, “I Did it For Love”
3. Blackstreet, “No Diggity (Ryan Fresh remix)”
4. Vybe, “Warm Summer Daze”
5. Nas, “If I Ruled the World”
6. Pete Rock & CL Smooth, “I Got a Love”
7. Showbiz & AG, “Soul Clap”
8. Classic Example, “It’s Alright”
9. Mariah Carey & Ol Dirty Bastard, “Fantasy (Bad Boy Remix)”
10. Gangstar/Nice & Smooth, “DWYCK”
11. 7669, “Joy”
12. 702, “Where My Girls At?”/Outro

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Monday, July 21, 2008

the new blog (again)

So, I've been keeping this underwraps for a little while, but I'm the new Asian Community columnist for Seattle Examiner. Read it for informative talky talk about the local Asian community (and where I don't make fun of shitty bands).

Friday, July 18, 2008

Review: Nas, "Untitled"

“The Unmentionable N-Word Album aka Untitled”
(Def Jam)

Nas hasn’t been a fresh voice for at least 14 years, but nonetheless, when you hear his slight raspy vocals, you know you’re in for a treat. As I was commenting to a friend last night, even Nas’ terrible records, would be a mediocre record for another rapper. I think it’s safe to say that there will never be another “Illmatic.” It doesn’t matter if he titles his next album “Nas-matic” or “Killmatic” or “I Need to Milk Nostalgia to Feed my Kids-matic.” The idea that a 30-something Nas will sound just as hungry as a 19 year old version of himself is absolutely silly.

Because of this notion, the litmus test on grading Nas has shifted the last five years; it’s become less about whether he can recreate the magic of an early 90’s hip-hop opus, and whether he’s still relevant and topical. That being said, “Untitled” might be one of the best of Nas’ recent releases.

The album’s proper starter, “You Can’t Stop Us Now,” is pretty much what you’re going to get throughout the record – thought provoking lyrics, crushing samples and the addition of great guest artists (in this case it was Eban Thomas of the Stylistics and the Last Poets). The generic production on “Breathe” makes it trite enough for radio airplay and the incendiary “Sly Fox” will have you asking for INS to deport Rupert Murdoch.

The legend of Nas is not only cemented in the fact that he’s the only lasting heir apparent to Rakim, but that his career changing approach to becoming a commentator to rile up Americans everywhere allows him to avoid becoming a shell of his former self. Unlike his contemporary, Jay-Z, Nas hasn’t concentrated on backdoor corporate deals (FILA sponsorship notwithstanding) or tried to crafted a boring concept album based on a movie that nobody saw – he wants people to know that he’s pissed, and that THEY should be pissed, too.

Overall, the production on “Untitled” is uneven – at times there’s a lot of promise and other times, it falls pretty flat. But Nas has steered himself to the point where it’s not really about the production, but rather about what he’s saying over those jumbled samples and drum loops that makes all the difference. Nas may be one of the few rappers who could get away with rapping over the most terrible beat in the entire universe and still walk out with his career intact.

“Untitled” is not “Illmatic” or even “It Was Written,” but it’s still worth a listen, particularly if you’re seeking a soundtrack for these turbulent political times.
Bonus Video:
Be a (Dreaded N-Word), Too [Unreleased]

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I Can't Believe They Got Signed: Fonzworth Bentley

Universally known as Diddy's manservant and perhaps the precursor to Kanye's impeccable fashionable style, it was just a matter of time before Fonzworth Bentley was awarded his own record deal. He's been working on some record or another for a few years now and the song, "Everybody" is the first that I've heard of it.

I realize that it's all the rage to be somebody's weed carrier and get signed and put out a brick of an album (see: Rampage, Fatal Hussein and all of G-Unit) and at times they will eclipse their mentor (see: Jim Jones, The Game). Manservants, particularly of Bentley's fantastic demeanor, don't really fit into this category; and it doesn't mean that homedude should have his own album, either.

Not to say that "Everybody" sucks because it doesn't. It's just a really weak song that reminds me of the Soul Glo song from "Coming to America," or a random Ready for the World song.


Soul Glo

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Busta "Roid Rage" Rhymes Ethers That Guy from Gym Class Heroes; the World Isn't Surprised

The new Gym Class Heroes song, "Peace Sign/Index Down" features Busta Rhymes, who's probably the most notorious guest rapper for ether-ing you on your own song, bested perhaps by Ol' Dirty Bastard, who -- unlike 2Pac -- didn't record enough material to see posthumous guest vocals outside of Rhymefest's buttercup joint. Don't worry, Travis, it's a rookie mistake.

Gym Class Heroes getting Sonned by Bussa Buss "That Song About a Middle Finger"

Craig Mack featuring Biggie, Rampage, LL and Busta, "Flava in Ya Ear (Remix)"

B-Real, Coolio, Method Man, Uncle L, Busta Rhymes, "Hit Em High"

Tribe Called Quest featuring Leaders of the New School, "Scenario"

Every Popular Rapper from 1994/95, "The Points"

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Saturday, July 12, 2008

MC Offensive Name Sons Your Favorite Rappers

Some emcee colorfully named Japcity has a song called "Operation: Purse Snatcher," which is basically a seven minute Lil' Wayne diss. Chock full of homophobic and racial slurs, I can hardly call it the greatest hip-hop song of all time, but at the same time, Lil' Wayne sucks.

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Friday, July 11, 2008

More Self-Promotion

I'm DJing this mother. I'll bring my new mixtape, if you bring da rukus.

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Summer Jams Video Series: Skee-Lo, "I Wish"

I mentioned this the other day in my favorite anti-Katy Perry post and so I felt the need to give Skee-Lo his own post because, let's face it, that song was the jam back in 1995; I would even put this one over Boyz II Men's "Vibin' (Remix)."

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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

I Can't Believe They Got Signed: Katy Perry

[I Can't Believe They Got Signed is my new feature in which we discuss why an artist shouldn't have released an album and why the current record model is rapidly heading to ruin]

The Offender: Katy Perry
The Evidence: I Kissed a Girl
Perfect Jury: Jill Sobule, Kathleen Hanna, Cyndi Lauper, Joni Mitchell, Grace Slick, Kira Roessler

Katy Perry, with her husky voice and Zooey Deschanel doppelganger looks, is the summer’s biggest star, placing her in the upper echelons of other summer anthem makers such as Skee-Lo, Montell Jordan, New Radicals, Vitamin C, Len, Wheatus and Dynamite Hack. The thing about being one of those acts is that if you’re not relegated to Reality TV shows with other D-List celebrities or county fairs, then you’re career is pretty much over (and hey, I liked Skee-Lo’s album).

Perry’s overproduced debut album, with its girlicious single “I Kissed a Girl,” is currently being shucked-and-jived for the Warped Tour crowd, who apparently are just as vapid as Perry herself. Perry’s image – a walking American Apparel billboard – is pretty much the only thing she has going for her. Hell, she could’ve made a fairly respectable “career” being a muse for one of those internet photographers like The Cobrasnake (God knows he’s probably sick of that Cory Kennedy and Steve “The New Long Duc Dong” Aoki).

Instead, Perry’s antics as a musical siren resulted in a plastic disc that costs $2 to manufacture and we’re expected to pay $13+ for. Bullshit. The mere existence of Katy Perry as a musical act is akin to Michael Bay’s existence as a film director. They both have respective roles in entertainment and people pay their hard earned money to indulge themselves in these atrocities that pass themselves off as art, when at the end of the day, it’s really a trite peace of crap with nothing new to offer to the masses.

Katy Perry and her album, the over-sexualized, “One of the Boys,” is the kind of deplorable waste that’s destined for the $.99 dust bin. It spits in the face of women who’ve made strides in popular music despite the male domineering environment (see: 7 Year Bitch, Bikini Kill, or even Eisley). The faux girl power atmosphere that Perry offers is not unlike Foxy Brown and Lil’ Kim’s “sex-as-a-weapon” mantra.

Then again, this time next year, there will probably be some new chanteuse who’s making the hits, while Perry plots out a tour with the likes of Bif Naked (Google that name).

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Thursday, July 03, 2008

Summer Jams Video Series: Less Than Jake, "All My Best Friends Are Metalheads"

I figure I'm going to catch a ton of shit for posting this, but fuck it, this song is awesome.

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