Thursday, February 13, 2014

Get Him to the Greek- Taverna Kyclades

They gave us mythology. They gave us the diner. They gave us Yanni. They gave us fraternities (I had the best pledge name EVER). I mean, they even gave us democracy. But what the Greeks can do to an octopus trumps all of the afore mentioned. How they tenderize this cephalopod, it defies logic. But maybe I'm giving the entire culture too much credit. My best friends since nursery school are Greek. Can they outsmart the 8 armed Mensa member? I highly doubt it.

But Taverna Kyclades, a recent addition to the East Village, knows how to. After killing the game on Ditmars Blvd. for years, they took it to primetime. No disrespect to Queens, I got love for ya. The kitchen, it's as if as if Zeus is manning the grill, Poseidon walks in with the fresh daily catch, and Hephaestus sparks the grill. Peace to the gods for real. By no means am I an octopus expert, but more often than not the consistency is tough, fibrous, a tad too chewy. 2 visits in less than 2 months, and the dish was basically identical. Looks, texture and flavor. Fall off the bone tender, even if there is no bone. Minimal ingredients and simple preparation, charcoal grilled served with olive oil and some lemon juice. The epitome of Greek seafood.

A Greek salad? Cliche? Not when it's banging malaka. A huge brick of feta cheese sitting on a tomato heavy salad. Clean and refreshing with just enough olive oil. Just wish there was more of the chopped romaine lettuce and that the chief of salad was more heavy handed with the kalamata olives. I need that briny hit playboy! Sidenote, the small is large. More than enough when ordering a bunch of items.

Back to the grill again, the grill again! I'm a seafood junkie and I need another hit. Come on trick daddy! Just one tentacle baby! You have the option of calamari grilled or crispy. Healthy How opts for the non fried version, especially when dealing with fresh product. Again, olive oil, lemon and a charcoal grill. Tender with a little snap. Just how you want it. Had this cold the following day and it was just as enjoyable.

Oooooooh, the Pikilia aka home made assorted Greek style spreads. This dish was actually served first, but we kept dipping throughout the entire meal. From left to right, Melitzana, an eggplant yogurt dip, my least favorite due to my eggplant allergy, but apparently also the lady's since it was the only dip left at the end. Tzatziki up next, a yogurt cucumber spread more mild than the common tangy variety. The feta cheese spread with red and hot peppers called Tirokafteri rested in the middle. To the right of that is Taramosalata, a fish roe based spread with olive oil and a binding agent, usually bread or potato. Not as fishy as you might think. Finally we have Skordalia, a silky garlic and potato dish that is delicious. Warm pita wedges accompanied the spreads and served as a great palate cleanser throughout the meal. A must have for future visits.

Potatoes? We writing about potatoes? What are we writing about? Potatoes man. Peace to AI. I hear you. As my pops used to say, FDP, aka Fuck De Potatoes. And I hear that. But Greeks are known for their lemon potatoes or as John Stamos likes to call them, Patates Fournou, and I had to try them. Soft and lemony. The end. They doubled up as great hash browns for brunch the next day.

The entire ensemble in all its glory. Similar to the food, the restaurant's ambiance was clean and simple. Blonde wood tables and chairs filled a split large white room with various Greek posters throughout. There is a full bar beyond the dining room next to an ice display where the fresh seafood flaunts its stuff. The tables aren't that big, so if ordering a nice selection, things can and will become crammed. The food comes out pretty quick and for a slow eater such as myself it can prove a bit challenging. But that won't keep me away. It'll just force me to eat this great grub quicker.

TAVERNA KYCLADES

228 1st Ave.

New York, NY 10009

(212) 432-0011

www.tavernakyclades.com

Monday - Thursday 12:30-11pm

Friday - Saturday 12-11:30pm

Sunday 12-10:30pm

Some tunes for your listening pleasure...
Mc.Serch Back To The Grill Ft Chubb Rock Nas... by homhom

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

NOLA Kneaux How Pt. 1: If I was a Po' Boy...

...Na na na na na na na na na na na na na na naaaa. And we're back in business. I think I finally fully digested my final bite from the Big Easy. Shit was causing the mad writer's block, among other blockage, ya digs?!?! Potty humor off the jump. And you thought I was all grows up. I wish.

Iconic food items are not lacking when you think of NOLA. Gumbo, jambalaya, oysters, muffulettas, etouffee, and of course the Po' Boy. Having tried and thoroughly enjoyed 3 of these marvelous sandwich creations, today they get top billing when waxing and salivating poetic about the Crescent City. This is a formal warning for the gluten free vegans reading this. HAHAHAHA. As if. Turn away or risk metamorphasizing (new word alert) into a life of gluttonous carb filled bottom feeding treif sin. These pics can turn tricks. And I doubt the dressing is locally grown organic.

All hail the Peace Maker, Acme Oyster House's homage to the native sandwich. WHO DAT WHO DAT WHO DAT!! The menu reads...

Voted #4 in Top Ten Sandwiches Golden fried oysters & shrimp, seasoned to perfection, with TABASCO® infused mayo

Now, I have no clue who's poll they're referring to but fuck it, they can be #4 in my book. Or at least # very delicious. Crustaceans overflowing from the pillowy bread bassinet aka the baguette. The original Psalms passage was supposed to go like this... my shrimp runneth over. But then the Lord invented Kosher so they had to edit.

Crisp, golden fried locally sourced shellfish dressed to the 9s, aka with lettuce, tomato, pickles and mayo. Shrimp and oysters on the smaller side, perfectly sized for a sandwich. The ideal bite would include all of these elements, and since Acme has been in business for more than 100 years, founded in 1910, they know how to provide many of these. That said, none of this would be possible without the bread. The highly touted and sought after New Orleans French Bread. A crisp thin shiny shell surrounding soft white bread that coddles the fried protein, posturpedic for heroes. It's pretty amazing how the bread dictates the outcome of the sandwich. Usually all focus is spent on the fillings, the sauce, accoutrements, but not the vessel. It finally clicked. Now I understand where I've gone wrong my entire life. Problem solved, case closed.

Fast forward to a night out on Frenchmen Street following a Pelicans victory, enjoying some drinks, brass bands and Mardi Gras Black Indians repping the Yellow Pocohontas tribe. Hunger kicked in, and with a pointer from a rather eccentric local named Thaddeus, we made our way to the Verti Marte on Royal Street in the French Quarter. I would like to take this time to thank the whoadie, because without his inside scoop, I highly doubt we would have entered this typical run-down looking corner store.

Narrow aisles and sparsely filled white metal shelves led you towards the counter in the back where a huge chalk board menu hovered. Options were plentiful, but we were focused on that boy boy. Luckily for us, not the quickest deciders (usually me), there was a line so we had some time to place the order. I was fairly positive I'd be getting the shrimp po' boy, even though it was similar to the afore mentioned Peace Maker. The shrimp needed to have a solo before we headed back north. Now what was the lady to order?? Hmmmmmm. We heard chatter about their signature sandwich "All That Jazz." Listed front and center under their specialties, how much of a risk could it be? Apparently not much based on a quick Google search.

Whats's there to say?? I mean, look at it. Don't be scared to click on it. Admire it. It's perfect in all of it's simplicity. Shrimp lightly seasoned and breaded, then fried the way a shrimp should be. Tender with a snap. Lettuce for some texture, tomato for a sweet kick and some acidity, and the mayo to tie everything in. And again the bread. Peep the cross section. It molds around the scrimps, yet it doesn't waiver, it doesn't collapse. Thaddeus, you crazy for this one!!

All That Jazz was really all that jazz consisting of "a medley of grilled ham, turkey & shrimp, swiss & american cheese accompanied by grilled mushrooms, tomatoes, on grilled french bread with our original "wow sauce". DAMN SON. That's a super group right there. Not the small assembly of amateur musicians that play on your shoulder. Purdie on drums, Eddie Harris on the sax, Dizzy on trumpet, Ramsey on piano, Grant Green on guitar and of course my girl Bobbi on the flute. Compared to the shrimp po boy, this was hefty and rich. The ying and the yang. But it was GOOD. Most definitely an ideal meal when sauced up. And even better the next day cold out the fridge. You the man Thaddeus.

I'm sure there are other po' boys out there that are as good, if not better. Parkway and Johnny's were recommended, but they just didn't make the cut. Any online research will throw out a whole other bunch of names. I guess that's just another reason to head south. However next time, we might throw the remix on and go Muffuletta hunting.

Stay tuned for more NOLA Kneaux How...

I thank Louchie Lou & Michie One for providing me with subject fodder, but that won't be played on HFE. Instead, let's invert a bit and play one of my favorites...

Verti Marte

1201 Royal St.

New Orleans, LA 70116

504-525-4767

Acme Oyster House

724 Iberville Street

New Orleans, LA 70130

504-522-5973

acmeoyster.com

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

REALLY?!?

Had I known my last post was going to be frozen in time for nearly 3 years, I can guarantee it would not have been an ode to cherry juice. I would have called a last minute audible. Possibly delve into my cross country trek to score happy hour oysters in Seattle. Or tell you about that time I went to Portland and left Voodoo Donutless. Or recount the summer of Momofuku Milk Bar red velvet/cream cheese frosting soft serve. But no. Instead I decided to opine about cherry juice. Cherry juice?!?!? Really? Cherry juice?? Damn dude. No disrespect to the burgundy super fruit, but I'm better than that. This is Howfresh EATS cotdamnit, not DRINKS.

The gluttony. The meals. The snacks. The epicurean adventures. And don't forget the potato chips. Endless amounts of food capable of removing hunger from 3rd world countries. Bites documented from all angles. But none of that was shared. None. I was selfish. I hit the light switch and left the room. The masses had to walk and eat in darkness. I won't even talk about the customized H caps aka the buttahs, or the weekly vinyl nights I never invited you to.

H hat in hand, fresh off the plane from NOLA with funkaaaay MATERIAL for days, please accept my apologies. I come with a truckload of them LED bulbs, lasting longer than those phased out incandescent joints. The HFE marquee will not dim again.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Sip the Juice, Howfresh Got Enough to Go Around Vol. 1... Very Cherre Pure Tart Cherry Juice



Eric B. & Rakim- Know the Ledge


Howfresh doesn't only eat. He drinks too. He needs to wash down the copious amounts of decadent fare he consumes on a daily basis. Preferably high in antioxidants, delicious, and absolutely no high fructose corn syrup. He is known to walk around supermarkets and grocery stores perusing their beverage sections looking for the finest liquids. Sip the Juice... will become a recurring post featuring these unique nectars. So tap the bottle, and twist the cap!

Since February is National Cherry Month, it's only right to spark this with some Very Cherre Montmorency Pure Tart Cherry Juice. I got a couple minutes before the clock strikes March. What we have here is pure tart cherry juice, 100% juice from concentrate. It was pricey at $3.50 for an 11 oz. bottle, but I'm a sucker for anything cherry (especially popping them- HOLLA!!) and a cool short, round bottle. Also, the cap said "antioxidant rich", something I'm aspiring to be.

The irony with my love for cherries is that I'm allergic to them. A little OAS (oral allergy syndrome) tries to spoil the fun. But I keep telling them, you cannot stop the kid, but only hope to contain him. I have learned that fruit in the natural, raw form only cause a reaction. When cooked, canned, and/or pasteurized, the symptoms (tight, itchy throat) are absent. Happens with peaches and apricots too.



For the small amount of juice sampled (1 bottle), it was extremely enjoyable. Montmorency cherries are the most popular sour cherry in the US, found most commonly in cherry pie. When drinking, there's a subtle sweet note followed by a tartness that lingers. This interplay between sweet and sour provides quite the satisfying experience. I find it delicious and a flavor I can't tire of. Very refreshing too.



Cherries are packed with a higher amount of antioxidants than most fruits, up on a level close to blueberries. According to Very Cherre, their juice contains an Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) greater than any other fruit juice, namely pomegranate and grape. Basically, the more ORAC units one consumes, the better chance they have to fight cancer and heart disease. Cherries also contain a high amount of melatonin, another antioxidant which is a compound used to fight insomnia. Who would have thought that these tiny red orbs are a powerful superfruit. I guess what they're trying to tell you is drink cherry juice if you want to be healthy.

Howfresh was not compensated by any cherry growers association for this message. He just loves the cherry.

Eric B. & Rakim- Know The Ledge INSTRUMENTAL

Friday, February 18, 2011

Do the Uptown Bounce, Do the Uptown Bounce, Do the Up, Do the What, Do the Uptown Bounce... Harlem Food Fest 2011.


View Larger Map

It went down like this...

Zhigge- Rakin' in the Dough (Uptown Bounce Beats)


Zhigge- Rakin' in the Dough (Uptown Bounce Mix)


Zhigge- Rakin' in the Dough (Headboppers Mix)


The Situation: Between three and four hours to eat at the eminent eateries within the confines of 110th and 155th Streets according to HowFresh. Not samples or little bites, meals. Quality over quantity fams. We're not baby bulls rushing up the grassy knoll. We're Papa Bull status, enjoying the scenery, pacing ourselves to get right with the esteemed spots. And no fish. Yeah, it pissed me off too. My boy, and commenter extraordinaire Buckemdown, had some time away from life obligations and wanted to delve into the epicurean adventures in Harlem World. He reads the blog, he hears me talking about all the conquered eats and he wanted in. "A chicken leg gets eaten in the park, I want in. You guys got fat while everybody starved on the street. Now it's my turn." As long as it's not from the sea.

We had a car so maneuvering was fairly simple, just evading snow dunes and slush puddles. There was some strategy involved. The largest, most satisfying meal should lead off followed by smaller dishes, concluding on a sweet note. It's no surprise Charles' Country Pan Fried Chicken was the inaugural stop for the 2011 Harlem Food Fest. Coat the tummy well for the debauchery that was to follow. Patsy's would be hit and then there was a gray area. Play it by ear. 116th St. is teeming with African spots, some on my hit list, though I worried that fish would pose a dilemma, which it did, but you know how we do, take it back to the drawing board and re-execute. Then take it on home with some sugar, brown sugar. Ya dig!! See how it went down:



I'm on the Northeast Side of Harlem looking for a bust down, make me put my two arms up, touch down!



Charles switched things up and moved the steam table so it's front and center. No longer do you serve yourself now that a glass case protects the food from the nasty germs we bring in from the street. All good, takes a little more time, but at least ock ain't coughing on my collards. For the EXTREMELY thorough review/love letter to Charles read HERE.



You didn't think we were doing all you can eat?? My stomach's grown, but be easy. Meat and 2 sides ($9.99). Of course the fried chicken, opting for collard greens and potato salad. Bliss. Mac and cheese for tasting. A straight diabetes Arnold Palmer (half iced tea/lemonade) and a block of corned bread. Words can't explain my satisfaction with this meal.



Fried chicken sampler (boobie, thigh and leg) on Buck's plate with okra stew and baked beans. Big fan of the okra stew, and the beans were quite impressive. Just really rich, something to be wary of when dealing with all you can eat. Plan accordingly.



Le Pièce de résistance!!

Time for DIGESTION and MENTAL PREPARATION. Then hit the road.



Even though it's Black History Month, we had to pay Italians some love. Blacks and Italians love each other anyway- right? See Do The Right Thing. But pizza cures all differences. Rarely a parking spot to be found on 1st Ave., just double park and run in to place your order. For the record, Rao's was booked and couldn't fit us in.



I feel Patsy's makes one of the best slices in the city ($1.75). I opined a while back. Very thin, with a great char on the bottom. And those bubbles- I miss the days of hot bubbles on the pie. Blemishes are so attractive. Really though, I haven't had a slice from a local pizzeria with bubbles in ages. A tomato sauce that hints at sweetness but pulls away before it becomes cloying. This particular slice was too soggy, but I blame that on the rain. Must have permeated the oven. The slices are small, maybe 8" including crust, but on a marathon eating day there were no complaints.

On the road again.

Things then took a turn towards the interesting. Africa Kine, the spacious, 2nd floor Senegal eatery near the corner of 8th Avenue was the destination. Their lunch menu is limited so the possibility of an audible was very likely. At this point no alcohol had been consumed so we figured this was the opportune time to sauce it up. Mind you, Africa Kine has a BYO beer/wine policy so no laws were being broken.

Got some bottles, ascended the stairs and found an empty booth by the window. There were several diners but no waitstaff. In the past the servers are always far and few so we sat and cracked the Heiny. Finally a waitress came and we learned that only fish and lamb were available. As mentioned earlier, I had a feeling that fish would rear it's ugly, eyebrowless head. Lamb on the other hand just didn't sound appealing. So we put the open green bottles in a jacket pocket and kept looking.



Salimata, around the corner, had been on the hit list, and this was a perfect time to give it a go. 2 storefronts from the Aqsa Mosque, the bare-bones Salimata serves Halal Guinean fare. This posed a minor dilemma with the open bottles and extra brew in the bag. They do not have a BYO policy so we kept the haram liquid tucked away.



The options here were very limited as well but time was short and we weren't in the mood to keep searching. I've learned that many African spots serve a very abridged menu for lunch. And that's being generous- usually a dish or 2. The choices were a fish dish and tomato stew, so that meant tomato stew with goat accompanied by a large plate of rice ($10). The hearty, dark red stew with tender chunks of goat (and bone), carrot and potato had great flavor, but a bit oily, and by this point the Charles' meal was trying to bully the stomach. Buck stopped early, knowing there was more food to go, while my big eyes had me shoveling rice into the mouth. I find it quite difficult to let food go to waste or just sit there. As I begin this gym regimen, that's going to have to change.



One full avenue to the east was Make My Cake. Originally there were two dessert spots planned. Make My Cake and Levain Bakery, the renowned cookie maker from the Upper West Side. We weren't sure if Levain would be possible since their opening dates kept getting pushed back. Turns out that's still occurring as the ribbon cutting is set for March 1st. Very pleased they were closed, because while my eyes would say yes, my stomach couldn't have handled it.



The red velvet with cream cheese frosting at Make My Cake is all you need to know. Moist, decadent, delicious. Unfortunately all the red velvet cupcakes had toasted pecans this day so I went for another favorite, the butter cream, and some cookies for good measure. A perfect way to end a savory journey.



With the time allotted I think we did a great job. Of course there were other spots, but we weren't trying to feel rushed. Four quality eateries were visited leaving a true impression of the total dining experience (sans Patsy's- though an argument could be made that eating your slices in the car outside is the experience). Best believe if fish was approved, either Famous Fish or A Taste of Seafood would have been included. Where my seafoodies at?!?

Eating like this is no joke. Serious, serious business. Got home and passed out. Didn't have a bite of food till Sunday morning. 17 hours with no food is quite the rare occurrence. Already working on the next extravaganza.

Harlem Food Fest 2011 Itinerary:

Charles Country Pan Fried Chicken
2839-2841 Frederick Douglass Blvd. (8th Ave) between 151st & 152nd Sts.
New York, NY 10039
212-281-1800

Patsy's

2287 1st Ave bet. 117th St & 118th St
New York, NY 10035
212-534-9783

Salimata Restaurant
2132 Frederick Douglass Blvd. just south of 116th St.
New York, NY 10026
212-280-6980

Make My Cake
121 St. Nicholas Ave. on 116th St.
New York, NY 10026
212-932-0833
Website: www.makemycake.com

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine's Day for All the Lovers and Haters. 2011 Edition.



Editor's Note: Eleven additions were made to this edition, along with re-upping every track so the listening experience can live another day. Divshare just doesn't cut it anymore. Sorry boo. (The download links haven't been updated with the new tracks). This took a long time, so I hope somebody appreciates it. Laugh, love, cry, break a computer screen, give a goon hand, whatever. No violence though. You hit a chick, you should have your face broken. And chicks, don't hit your dude. Enjoy.

Originally published in 2009:

Ah, February 14th. The day of love. Or not. I've been known to ship flowers cross country, or over seas, but today I let the roses live another day. In all honesty, if you love your lady you should get her shit all year, not just on this commercially motivated excuse to pamper your girl. But shit, in the grips of an economic chokehold a bouquet of carnations and a handful of Hershey's kisses should do the job. I've been sick as a dog spending the better part of the day compiling lists of tracks that one could play for their sweetheart, or ex-sweetheart. I tried to keep it even and tried to keep it hip-hop. If an R&B track is included it's because it contains a rap cameo or jacked a hip hop beat, or just because I fucking like it. My list, my rules. Before we get into the list I need to spark it with some real crooner shit- the king of soul in my opinion, Mr. Sam Cooke. How could your girl not love you after hearing this. I know mine did.

Sam Cooke- Desire Me


And here we go with the joints. No particular order. 53 joints in total (3 have been added- they were meant to be on but got lost in the shuffle- The Light by Pharoahe, Mahogany by Eric B & Rakim, and Ex Girl to the Next Girl by Gang Starr)- wow- shit took a while, so hopefully somebody enjoys it. It's personal, so I might be missing some shit you would include in your list. If so, hit the comments section and drop your thoughts. I'm working on getting one link for the entire compilation. The links for both the Love and Hate mixes are below- click on link. If you're not familiar with divshare, you can dl the file by clicking on the divshare logo to the right of each song.

HowfreshEats Loves V-Day 2009


HowfreshEats Hates V-Day 2009


Love is in the air:


Diamond D- This One


A Tribe Called Quest- Electric Relaxation


Sean Price- I Love You (Bitch)


Eric B & Rakim- What's On Your Mind


Ghostface Killah- Camay- baked Macaroni, turkey wings...


Mary J. Blige- All My Love


De La Soul- Eye Know


Common- The Light


MF Grimm- Bloody Love Letter


The Roots- Silent Treatment


Gang Starr- Royalty


Sean Price- Heartburn


The Roots- You Got Me


Pete Rock & CL Smooth- Lots of Lovin


Pete Rock & CL Smooth- Lots of Lovin Remix


Masta Ace- Beautiful


UGK- International Player's Anthem


Amerie- Why Don't We Fall In Love Remix ft. Cam'ron- what would this mix be without any Cam?


The Pharcyde- Passin' Me By


Pete Rock- Take Your Time ft. Loose Ends


Fat Joe- All I Need


Groove Theory- Tell Me Hip Hop Remix ft. Brand Nubian


Lost Boyz- Renee


Mya ft. Jay-Z- Best of Me Remix


DJ Shadow- What Does Your Soul Look Like Part 1


Pharoahe Monch- The Light


Eric B & Rakim- Mahogany


Sterling Simms ft. Jadakiss- All I Need


Freeway & Jake One- She Makes Me Feel Alright


Donwill- Laura's Song


Joell Ortiz ft. Novel- Call Me




Heartache:

Mayer Hawthorne & The County- Just Ain't Gonna Work Out


Brand Nubian- Love Me or Leave Me Alone


Main Source- Walking Out the Front Door


Gang Starr- Ex Girl to the Next Girl


Da King & I- Tears


Akinyele- I Luh Hur


Biz Markie- Just a Friend


I Gotta Love- Jin ft. Kanye West


Da King & I- Tears -Darp Vibe Mix


Kurious- Nikole


Ghostface Killah ft. Keisha Cole- Walk Away


Amel Larrieux- Sweet Misery (Stretch Remix)


Original Flavor- All That


Organized Konfusion- Why?


Ghostface Killah- Tooken Back


Three Times Dope- Funky Dividends


Heavy D & The Boyz- Truthful


Smooth- You Been Played


Raekwon ft. Mika- Once In a Lifetime


Mary J. Blige ft. DMX & Nas- Sincerity


Little Brother ft. Lil' Wayne- Breakin' My Heart


Miguel ft. Raekwon & J. Cole- All I Want is You


King Sun- Undercover Letter



No love, just HATE:

Eamon- I Don't Want You Back


Jim Kahn- Ho


Ghostface Killah- Wildflower


Street Smartz- Problemz


Ghostface Killah- Never Be The Same Again


Ghostface Killah- Back Like That- the puppies are staying...


Akinyele & Kool G Rap- Break a Bitch Neck


Cam'ron- Sorry


To end this on an upbeat note, the great Teddy P. He adds such enthusiasm to heart ache. It's true though, nothing's more liberating than getting over an achy breaky heart. Fuck bitches get money!!

Teddy Pendergrass- I Don't Love You Anymore

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Punisher the Real Dope Homie.



The first Latin rapper to baffle your skull...


11 years ago (plus a day). Damn, time flies. I remember being in the office when I heard Pun passed. I was working in the music industry back then. Yes, I did work at one point in my life. My desk sat across from Don Pooh Records, a subsidiary of the label. One of their artists was Sunkiss, Pun's right hand man. A cool cat, who'd always shoot the shit for a sec before stepping into do whatever they did. Rarely in a somber mood, you knew something was up that day. He broke the news and it was a straight shock. It was obvious that Pun was in extremely poor health, but dude was young and in the prime of his career. I just remember getting on the horn and hitting my circle, who at that time were major hip hop heads. Silence, followed by "Get the fuck outta here", in some form or another was the overwhelming reaction.



It only takes a verse to understand what you're dealing with. Straight nasty. Quotables upon quotables. However you were introduced to Big Dog Punisher, be it "Firewater", "Off the Books", "You Ain't a Killer" or the Clue freestyle over "Clones", that rapid fire, crystal clear profound inteligente spit was arresting. Shit made you stop whatever you were doing and just listen. I'm an unapologetic Fat Joe fan and it's understandable to think the 2 might sound similar based on appearance- they did dub themselves "Twinz"- but once Pun spewed a lyric, game over. No surprise that... Latins going Platinum was destined to come... became a reality.

"You Ain't a Killer" was the joint that caught me hook, line, and sinker. My favorite joint off of Capital Punishment. It was a promo only 12" and pretty hard to get your hands on. I found a copy at Kim's on W. 4th and was happy as a pig in shit. Young Lord blessed the beat with those sinister pianos and Pun went berserk. You be the judge.

Big Pun- You Ain't A Killer


"Ask anybody if my men are rowdy,
Give me the mini-shottie I body a nigga for a penny probably,
I'm obligated to anything if it's crime related,
If it shine I'll take it, still in my prime and I finally made it,
I hate the fact that I'm the last edition,
Rob me a stash magician,
Could of went to college and been a mathematician,
Bad decisions kept me out the game,
Now I'm strictly out for cream,
Doing things to fiends I doubt you'll ever dream,
My team's the meanest thing you ever seen,
Measured by the heaven's Kings, down to the devil's mezzanine"


Fat Joe & Armageddon- Firewater (Big Pun Tribute)- SOBs 7/27/10


This past summer Fat Joe performed at SOBs and ripped it more than you could imagine. Even the staunchest Joey Crack hater would have to cede that Joey did his thing. As you can see, he and Armageddon blessed "Firewater" then let the track ride out with Pun's verse. It was really dope to see Joe rhyming along to the words he he could remember and just being into it, a fan, paying homage to his former Terror Squadian. I can't call whether the Liza Rios slander was hyperbole or not, but you'd be lying if you didn't acknowledge Joe repping for his boy. Don't forget, I support Pun in anything he does, anything he loves, a brother from another mother, sent from the above.

Fat Joe - Firewater (feat. Raekwon, Armageddon & Big Pun)




A classic ad Loud did for Capital Punishment. Yankees and the Bronx. Dopeness. Since I'll never have the platinum plaque I got the next best thing, the poster, even with tack holes in the corners. It will be framed one day.



Never had a chance to catch Pun live. I don't recall there being many opportunities. His career was so short-lived with poor health playing a major factor in such limited performances. My brother hit the above show at Latin Quarter when on 96th and Broadway. Why I didn't attend, not a clue. Look at that line-up- Fat Joe, Pun, MOP, Black Rob and a young unknown Eminem. Look at him playing tertiary status. Damn. Below is another heavy hitter.



Big Pun & Ghostface- Yeah Yeah Yeah (Green Mix)


Green Lantern took the a cappella from "My World" off Endangered Species and freaked it. Apropos to use Terror Squad's "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah." It's tough listening to Pun late in his career. Compared to his earlier recordings, the breathing, or panting if you will, became more pronounced and his machine gun flow became semi-automatic, if not the speed of a revolver. The toughest part is knowing he died shortly after and his weight was the direct result of that. In an eerie way it's as if he's rhyming from his deathbed. I'm here to celebrate Pun's life and not wallow in the melancholy, but it's impossible to ignore and not make mention of it. He clearly was suffering and it's evident in the music.



I'm not a player, I just fuck a lot!! Holla. When doing so you best to wrap that shit up B. One of the best promo items ever. I wouldn't suggest using this one though. Expired back in January 2001.



And last but not least, DJ Soul just released an hour plus tribute mix to Pun that I highly recommend you peep. Exclusives, freestyles, hard to find tracks and top notch mixing. Get it HERE.