Thursday, April 30, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Three Bad Brothaaas, that is. Got back from a trip to the Big Apple, just in time for the equally big Dyme Def “Panic EP” Release Party. I barely made it (missed flights are a REAL bitch!), but I did – and American Airlines is lucky I did!!! What a fuckin’ night!
Seriously. From beginning to end it was packed with great music, mostly great energy, and a whole lotta neck bobbin’. Luckily, we were early though, so I had time to loosen up with some fine adult beverages, and watch as folks trickled in. By the way, how fitting is it that Brainstorm strolls into the Crocodile rockin’ a green flannel? And how about the dude who tried to walk backstage behind D.Black, knowing damn well he wasn’t part of the group. He ended up sitting next to us after a couple more unsuccessful attemps. Anyways…
First up was a short-set from Sportn’ Life’s SK. He was pretty good, but I think they were workin’ out some audio kinks during his set – or I was busy making sure I had a tight grip on the double-fisted drinks…most likely the latter.
Next up, Spaceman took the stage, and I mean, he took that shit on a ride! Dude really brings his A-Game every time we’ve seen him perform. Here’s a little taste:
His short set was jam-packed with goodness, but this was the only song I got on tape for y’all. Not that it’s bad, but this one has been around for a minute now. Bottom line though, I tweeted it then, and I stand by it now: he really brings a Meth-like level of energy to his performances.
Next up was another Sportn’ Life rapper: D.Black. B is a fan of this cat, and I have to admit, he’s growing on me too. He’s got lyrics…beats too…but his stage presence leaves something to be desired. The dancing resembles falling down at times, and *lowers voice* from one big man to another, tight shirts ain’t for us dog. Just sayin’. Regardless, the Sportn’ Life crew showed strong once again, peep:
I think this was the only low point of the evening. No, I’m not talking about One’s show, I’m talking about the lack of love the crowd was showin him! He may be from Michigan, but this Massive Monkey might as well be a Northwesterner. Dude is hear all the time…but that’s not really the point. Bottom line, One Be Lo is fucking. filthy. Show this man some love!! Alas, the lack of energy from the crowd seemed to sap the energy from the set. But you can’t stop good music, here’s proof:
Most of the noise you hear in the background is a bunch of braches yappin’ away about nothin’. Well, you can’t win ‘em all I guess.
Taking the stage next, the Saturday Knights… well, after they escort these two homeless guys who somehow wandered on stage out of the buildin… wait, what’s that? They are the Saturday Knights? Ooooh, I see. Well, this is a little awkward.
Set over, they packed up all their equipment into a shopping cart and rolled off the stage to give way for the night’s headliners.
Damn it’s nice to say that! We’re not very good at hiding our feelings here at AYCE, and we’ve been championing the Dyme Def cause ever since we started this here blog. This was my first time seeing ‘em with top billing though; it was the first time I wasn’t left bitching about the short set. Not only did they play the whole new EP – which, if you don’t go get it right now, you’re stupid…seriously, stop reading this, click here, follow the link, and thank me later – the also played some classics, along with some of the “leaks” they’ve put out recently.
You should have been there. Seriously. I would have taken more footage, but I was too busy enjoying the show, which you missed…dummy. In fact, you really don’t even deserve this, but the grand finale was just that: first, the fellas invited everyone up for a cypher (including Fatal Lucciauno, and the host for the evening: Gatsby of Cancer Rising):
And then, to top it all off, they finished off the evening with the best cut from the EP (IMO):
Again, what a fuckin’ night! Took me a day to recover (I’m old…and I drink too much), but I wouldn’t have missed it for the world – or a missed flight for that matter. Big ups to the Sportn’ Life cats, One Be Lo, Tyrone and Ron Jeremy (aka the Saturday Knights), and of course, the headliners… 3 Bad Brothaaas… Dyme Def. Watch out, they gon BLOW!
Monday, April 27, 2009
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Welcome boys and girls to another edition of AYCE Presents: 20 Questions. So this time around we’re gonna take it back to the birth place of hip-hop and talk with MR. Frank Ramz. Every time I would log onto to the MyspAYCE or Twitter, there was Frank Ramz…tweeting and posting bulletins like a man possessed. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I am and ignorant sonofabitch…I read a few of the posts but never listed to any of the songs. C’mon, anybody that says they listen to everything that come through is a damn liar.
Well, Frank is a persistent dude and sent us a promotional packet and shonuff, after a couple listens I was hooked.We exchanged a few emails, some more songs and tapes, a post with links to his mixtapes, and here we are. So…(in best ringleader voice) Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages…AYCE is proud to introduce, and present to you without further ado…20 questions with Frank Ramz!
1. So you have gone by a few names Ramzy, Frank Ramz, and Franklin Rambert. Tell the folks out in the world who you really are and where you come from…
Frank Ramz: Franklin Rambert is the government name which iShortened into Frank Ramz. But I’m a regular dude. iLaugh, iCry, iStruggle, iDo alot of thinking. iAm music and Music = M.E. (M.y E.verything).
2. You mention West Farms, The Bronx briefly in one of your tracks…is that where you grew up?
FR: Yes. Born & raised in West Farms, The Bronx. Learned alot from the good old almost projects. haha
3. Growing up in The Bronx, what does “The Bridge Is Over”, and Boogie Down as a whole, mean to you?
FR: First, let me say iJust recently saw KRS perform that song in NY, woooo! An experience..great show! But the Boogie Down means alot to me. Shaped me into the man iAm today. Being the birthplace of hip hop, that played a big part in me rapping at the age of 10.
4. Do you feel pressure to represent The Bronx?
FR: iThink alot of others in Bronx feel pressure, but iDon’t at all. Because with my music, iRepresent wwaaayyy more than just the Bronx. My music comes from my heart so iDnt feel any pressure at all.
5. Despite growing up in one of the poorest, drug riddled communities in the country (no joke, I looked it up), West Farms, let alone the Bronx, West Farms, you don’t drink or smoke ANYTHING and you seem to be a pretty down to earth dude. When it’s so easy to go the low route, who/what kept you on the straight and narrow?
FR: First, it was my moms and anybody else that told me smoking and drinking was bad. Also, iHave asthma. Then, as iGot older, as damn near everyone does, iExperimented. They both are dead wack to me. iUnderstand why people smoke/drink, but iCant get down with it..and my girl better not touch either or! iAlso don’t like having those toxins in my body.
6. On the same token, there are a lot of lines in your songs that talk about drinking and smokin blunts, is this a contradiction or just your everyday surroundings?
FR: Haha..people ask me about this alot because of “Sober Thoughts”. iHad to explain that song on my blog and to couple people. It’s like this; iGo thru ish that other people would get thru by smoking and drinking. And iGet thru it sober. Now, mainly all of my friends smoke and drink, so they relate to the song. But there are times where iWould love to have that escape that they say smoking and drinking offer, but that’s not my shit. My escape is the music. So ima allow the people who smoke and drink an even deeper escape with that song. Also, on ‘Dr. Scholl’s Soul’ iMention grabbing a blunt, but notice the line after.
7. Speaking of Mrs, Ramzy, you got your lady involved in the Frank Ramz project, how is it having wifey, or Nas Ramzy as you sometimes refer to her, involved in the artistic process of each tape?
FR: She basically handles the album artwork. A graphic designer is one thing she aspires to be, so iAllow her to work on her skills and leak out her creative juices by creating album artwork for my projects. Now she has a few people interested in her designing covers for them.
8. You said you started rapping at age 10, shouldn’t you have been playin with Transformers, G.I. Joe’s, and watching Saturday morning cartoons like the rest of us? What influenced you to start and such a young age?
FR: iWas doing all of that also. But me & my friend, G.P., would re-do a Mase verse and recite for kids in our class. They would love it and we kept going. The rest became history…
9. Mase…man I remember jammin to “Harlem World” back in the day. He never came back the same after becoming Reverend/Preacher/Father Mase and movin over to 50’s label. Man, how disappointed were you when he became a man of the cloth?
FR: iActually wasn’t so disappointed when he stopped rapping to become a pastor. He said it on “Start From Scratch” on *Double Up*; “..If I Could Do It All Again I’d Do It All For Christ!”.
10. You have said that you would call your music as “reality rap”…define that for us.
FR: Basically, my songs are like a mirror reflection of what I’m going thru or been thru. And it’s all relatable. Like, music used to help me get thru certain moods that iWas in, so iWant to basically return that favor. People can seek comfort in listening to my music like, ”Oh damn..I’m going thru the same thing!”. And your days become a little brighter knowing that you aren’t alone or that someone has been thru the same thing and made it out.
11. Saturating the airwaves and internet with music, a-la Soulja Boy and Charles Hamilton, is definitely a way to get your music heard and your name out there. Are you at all concerned that with the amount of music, and the rate at which you are putting it out, that you may run into some of the negativity that Charles and Soulja Boy have run into? When is too much really too much?
FR: iAm well aware of the amount of music I’m putting out. After *Falling Up* iHave one more project that I’m going to put out, then after that I’m going to chill as far as mixtapes go. iWill still be making music out the ass, but Ima focus on networking, building up a buzz and what not. My manager and I are working on various ways of getting me out there. After the 5th project, the next will be an actual album that will be for sale. It’s all about foward progress!
12. Everybody is a rapper AND producer these days. If you had to choose one or the other, which would it be?
FR: Above all I’d rather be a ghost writer. iHave been writing for this female R&B singer named Ashley Tacora. iWould also like to do some writing for hip hop artists. But if iHad to choose between those two, I’d have to stick with rapping. I’d definately love to venture off into production one day in the future, but rapping is it for me. iLove making music.
13. You and I know that it’s hard out there, especially with the way the economy is today, everybody’s gotta have a day job. I heard that you just got yourself a new job last month?How’s that going…working, recording, and school too, right?
FR: Minus the school. But um, iActually quit that job. haha..people who know me will laugh at that! iHave a problem with being talked down to or talked at. But having a job and doing music usually ends up conflicting anyway. Because iWould have to close out the store and do a show around the same time, and iPut music before anything.
14. Damn, that must have been record time for leaving a job…(laughing), can’t blame you though. I probably wouldn’t have lasted long at that job either. So your first tape and blog are titled, “Welcome To Medusaville”…What/where is Medusaville?
FR: Medusaville is my reality. My world. Everybody has their own world, which is their mind. Basically, iHave Versaci glasses (my eye sight sucks) and the logo is Medusa. So iSimply added the ville to make it my world. On the mixtape, iAllowed ppl to see life thru my glasses. I’m not the type of person to talk about my problems all the time and be stressed out constantly, so people thought iWasn’t going thru anything. After they heard Medusaville, iWas getting hit up like, “Damn..is that true? why you never said anything about it?” iDon’t need to. I’m a strong dude!
15. I was checkin out your blog the other day and noticed the “Sir Ramz-A-Lot” moniker. You know that we here at AYCE are from Seattle, right? You know, the home of the original Mr. A-Lot…Sir Mix-A-Lot. How do you think you can be an innovator in the game like Mix was?
FR: That moniker came from my homie Score. Its not really something iRun with seriously. But he actually said it as calling himself Sir Lance Alot to my King Ramzy. Then he ended up adding the A Lot to my name simply because it sounds better (in his opinion..Score A Lot sounds cool to me). But that was like, 2 years ago. More recently, my homie Elus brought the name back in effect, still not something iRun with seriously. BUT, my sound combines so many elements of music, not just hip hop. I’m bringing back actual lyrical skills with realness and having fun at the same time. iLove switching up my flows and harmonizing from time to time. However the beat makes me feel, and sometimes, iSay what the beat tells me to say. iAlso experiment with beats of different genres, not completely leaving the lane of hip hop, but bringing something refreshingly different to the table!
16. So you went to Herbert H. Lehman High School (2005) in the Bronx…If I’m not mistaken Asia Nitollano, former “almost” a Pussycat Doll, went to Lehman…know her or got any good dirt for us?
FR: Negative. (laughing) Ya’ll did some research. iNever heard of her. One thing about me, iWas never a school oriented dude. iWas trying to pass the classes and get the hell out of there!
17. In previous interviews and bios you have said that “hip-hop is dead”, which has become a reoccuring theme these days…My question is what does that mean to you? How do you plan to resurrect it?
FR: If iSaid hip hop was dead, it was most likely out of anger. Or maybe iWas thinking of one specific artist or song when iSaid it. Ultimately, iDont think its dead, but its definately unconscious. Needs someone to wake it up! iDont believe that hip hop will ever die!! By continuously being me. Making good music, bridging gaps between different styles, bringing originality and creativity. Having fun with the music and still keeping my lyrical skills in tact.
18. Given the opportunity to choose, who would you want to tour with?
FR: Give me Timbaland, Kanye West, Lauryn Hill, John Legend, Redman & Method Man. I’ll be good!!!
19. No disrespect but I gotta ask, cause people are gonna ask me, what with the “iPhone/iPod” writing?
FR: It was something iStarted doing just because and got accustomed to real quick. I’m honestly trying to shake the habit now, so expect to NOT be seeing it soon. Of course sometime after this interview.
20. You have the stage, any last departing words for the people reading this?
FR: Simply thanks to everybody who has ever supported me and my music. If you’re new to me be sure to check out the music. Don’t listen if you’re not going to listen. Nothing is being forced down your throat. & *Falling Up* drops April 30th!! AYCE, thanks for the opportunity!!
Frank Ramz it has been cool getting to know you a little more and a big thanks from all of us here at AYCE (ok there's only 3 but I like to make it seem like more). Looking forward to Falling Up dropping...uhhh..today. Got a twitter from the man himself sayin "Why wait?". So here it is folks. Peace!
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Actually… his, his, his:
You might remember we were fans of this cat’s first offering, and he’s back with another heater. From the Bawstan area, Mayhem just hit us with another sneak peek from his upcoming album, A Beautiful Mind. Ladies and gentlemen, let me just tell you, Mayhem is makin’ me a believer!
Like “One Day”, the beat on “My” is off-the-charts ill. Produced by Grime Tha MC from The Camp, and cut up by DJ FamilyTyz (of Naysayers - make sure you peep these cats!!), I promise your head will bobble to this one. Seriously, I’m not familiar with the whole EMS crew and their production resources, but…DAYUM!
That being said, don’t think for a second that Mayhem’s lyrical ability is being overshadowed by the outstanding production. Not only is the delivery on point, his content is too. One of my favorite “my’s” from the track:
My life and loyalty’s been fueled by my hunger / my passion to rap saved by my wonder / my wonder for books, my wonderful looks been given my momma / and my honor to be a honorable man I learned from father
Yep, the “premature child” has full-grown talent and a strong crew behind him. Let’s hope A Beautiful Mind delivers a whole lot more of the same heat that “One Day” and “My” are given off! Stay tuned…
Mayhem – My (zSHARE)
Y-O and Thurz (and Ro) dropped the video for “Hollywood Hiatus” today… and I highly suggest you take a little hiatus from whatever you’re doing and watch this shit! Peep:
P.S. - Jus for old times’ sake
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Monday, April 6, 2009
Saturday, April 4, 2009
In 1989, a collective of young artists gathered at a storefront health food cafe in South Central Los Angeles. Their mandate? To reject gang culture and expand the musical boundaries of hip hop. Directed by Ava DuVernay, THIS IS THE LIFE chronicles the little known story of "The Good Life" emcees, the alternative music movement they developed, and their worldwide influence on the artform. This film features Abstract Rude, Cut Chemist, Chali Tuna, Myka 9 and many more...You can order the DVD and such here. This is an amazing movie for all people who love hip-hop. Just ordered my copy, y'all betta get yours! Peace.
Friday, April 3, 2009
…finally. Thanks to Matt at MAC Media for the promo copy. As you prolly already know, there’s like 74 different versions of Rapper Big Pooh’s new joint – on the real, why we gotta call him Rapper Big Pooh? As opposed to the other Big Pooh? Anyway… B and me decided to collab on this joint; all we heard was “Pie” and it was ON! What’s that? Oh, you mean “pie” is the same as… oh! Well say that then!
So, the fucked up thing is, 90% of the different versions aren’t really different… you’ve probably already read a review for the Candy Apple version (i.e. the iTunes release), but those other reviews can D-generation X it. We about to break it down like this:
North American Pie Intro:
Catch - DAYUMN!!!! Is this shit NC-17? “Don’t matter just don’t bite it!”
Benny – I felt like the first time I saw Showgirls…dirty, used, and SPENT!!!
C – Anybody NOT heard this shit yet? Sick beat, says this “nimrod bangin’ on his Compaq.” Oh yeah, love you dog, but you ain’t Jigga!
B – I gotta agree, no H.O.V.A. on this track…like “uh, uh, uh”. What is he on “The Comeback” from? I still bob my head and tune out the lyrics.
It’s A Go feat. Torae:
B – Torae completely rips this beat…and for what it’s worth Pooh has a nice run on this one too. Probably one of my favorite tracks on the album.
C – “Get your Scantrons, I’m putting y’all to tha test..” Yep, Torae was on a good one. Pooh wrecked it…at least I think he did. Good cut either way.
Nothing Less feat. Ab Soul, Jay Rock, & K Dot:
C – Pooh…I mean, Rapper Big Pooh, kicks it off and does a nice job (Big Perm in the heez). Let’s see… Pun, Big, TI(p), yeah… they ain’t on this shit (noticeably so).
B – Highlight is Ab Soul: “Sorta becomes a cycle like hoes bleedin”. Not sure that this is a great beat for anyone but Pooh. It’s one thing to recycle lines on different albums but to recycle the “Scantron”, line that Torae used on the previous track…FAIL.
B – I feel like Pooh says a lot on this track without sayin much at all. Some lines spit without any cohesiveness. I also feel like the flow doesn’t match the beat…but that’s just me.
C- In the interest of brevity: I like a flute…
Move feat. Darien Brockington:
C – I like this cut, one of my favorites on the LP; not sure why, but I like it. Something about the sax on this beat…
B – I too like this one. D. Brockington’s vocals steal the show. Reminds me of a pre-pee R-Kelly. After listening to the last track I was pleasantly surprised by Pooh’s flow.
Something Like Stars feat Big Treal
B – Seriously, I can’t front on a Jake One beat…206 up! This one is a beast.
C – Meh…
Step It Up:
C – One of the deeper songs on this shit; makes me reminisce on the music that made me look forward to this album. I miss Sleepers.
B – I like the beat but keep waitin for Phonte to come in on it…. Truthfully, and you can ask my lady, any talk about periods and…I…zone…how bout those Sounders(FC).
Reality Check feat. Big Dho, D.Black, & Mykestro:
B – THIS is the beat that I expected Pooh to his…his gritty voice works on this beat for me. Had me noddin my head.
C – Are we seriously still reviewing this shit?!? How many cats can you put on one track?
Problems feat. Jozeemo:
C - “Hi Haters!!!” Oh, are you talkin’ to me?
B – From talkin’ bout accepting responsibilities to handling them in a different manner…contradiciton? Maybe…
Tu Habla Mamacita:
B – Interlude…No hablo espanol…
C – Ditto…
Roll Call feat. Jozeemo, Chaundon, & Joe Scudda:
C – Well hello, Justus League! Where y’all been? It’s aight.
B – The skin on Catch’s Windows Media Viewer does almost as much for me as this track. Seriously, you should see this shit.
The Life feat Mushinah:
B – I like the story tellin on this one. Like I said before, I think this is more along the lines of what I was expecting from Pooh. Mushinah’s sultry voice doesn’t hurt either!
C – I’m a big fan…prolly my 2nd favorite cut of the whole album. See: above.
C – Is this the last track? Already? Ha! Again though, this is a lot more of what I was expecting when I started listening to this shit. Not fair? Maybe. But when you think about where Pooh came from…
B – Is there a producer that knows Pooh better than 9th Wonder? He (9th Wonder) knows Pooh, and seems to know how to pull the good out of him.
All in all, I think, we felt the album was ordinary…. Did we expect too much? Maybe. That’s the way it works though…it’s like this: when you are a fan of previous work, then you come in with certain expectations. What are y’all expecting from Detox? Exactly my point, sometimes our feelings cloud our expectations. This album was “aiight”.
P.S. - Can I get a copy without the “Rapppppprapppprappp”, “Go buy my albummmmmm” and “Don’t bootleg my albummmmm” tags? I know it’s an “advance” copy, but had to listen at least 5 times to get past them!
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
1. Both winning submissions will be officially released by Delicious Vinyl as free digital singles for download and announced on 2DopeBoyz.com.
2. Each winner will also receive a 16 bar verse from Illa J for use on their own projects. Winners will have two weeks to send three completed songs (beat + lyrics), each with 16 bar gaps for Illa J to hear. Illa J will choose one song of the three from each winner and record an original 16 bar verse. Each winner will then be able to use the song in any format as they see fit.So congratulations again to Grynch, just one of the many doin his thing for the 206! Don't forget to check out the 2dope site on Thursday for the official track release!